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Implications Of Determinism And Free Will

2264 words - 9 pages

Having the free will to write an essay on the “implications of determinism for our understanding of free will” clearly shows that we have the free will to write the essay and the implication for failure of not writing is our decision. Upon reading this essay the free will to decide to write the essay was decided upon by the writer. It was already determined before embarking on this course that an essay would need to be written. Therefore, as logic would have it, it would be irrational to say that determinism and free will are not compatible. What needs to be illustrated is that an individual interpretation of this long standing philosophical argument is that there are many implications of determinism. That is , determinism does not work alone but is compatible with free will not unlike the ‘yin-yang’ theory whereby one relies upon the other. In light of this, what are the implications of determinism in the ability to understand free will? Hard Determinists believe that individuals do not have free will, which then questions moral responsibility. As opposed to this are the compatibilists and soft determinists who believe in both the compatibility of determination and free will. As the ‘yin-yan’theory that free will and determination is interdependent but interconnected as they interrelate to one another.

As William James (Doyle, n.d.) said, “The theory of Determinism, in which the will is determined or swayed to a particular course by external inducements and forced habits, so that the consciousness of freedom rests chiefly upon an oblivion of the antecedents of our choice” For the purpose of this essay, Williams James’s definition of determinism is going to be the influence of the implication of determinism and free will made by an individual influenced by external causes. Firstly, let us look at the other side, namely hard determinism and the incompatibility with free will. John Locke believed that when our mind has decided to take action, it is from this action that we lose our freedom of free will. Locke said that even though a man can choose of his own volition, a choice might lead to an act whereby volition is no longer and he is not free. For example, when Locke (1689) illustrated a man waking up in a locked room, the man decided to stay there but he was unable to leave anyway because the room was locked. Free will became an illusion because the man was unable to leave. Locke believed that free will was simply not being able to think that man is free but being able to act upon this freedom. Was this a rational argument? No because that man had decided to stay. Whether the room was locked or not did not implicate that he did not have free will. He decided to stay. The implications of this hard determinism and incompatibalism on free will is a prime example of how these philosophies do not hold up in today’s moral society.
Morals and social values are often the dilemma when discussing the implications of determinism...

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