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Free Will

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:17 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36 
  • Words: 2076
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The debate between free will and determinism stems from the apparent

conflict between the universal rule of causality found in nature and the

apparent ability of men to choose between multiple courses of action in

order to lead to the most desirable outcome. Inorganic matter such as

chairs, stones, and planets, blindly follows whatever forces affects it, and

non-human organisms act for their survival alone, but human beings seem to

be an exception to natures rule by their unique ability to ponder about how

to go about their life and which values to live by. Determinists reject the

idea that any of these choices are freely chosen however, and claim that a

man is no exception to natures law because he and his choices are nothing

more than the product of his environment. Decisions, they usually claim, are

simply a product of conflicting environmental influences duking it out. A

proper understanding of the nature of volition however, can reconcile the

apparent conflict between free will and causality, and soundly reject the

position that man is merely a product of his environment.

Determinists claim that the nature of the universe is such that it is

governed by certain universal scientific laws, so that each action is caused

by a specific prior cause, and human action is no exception. They claim that

the human mind is also governed by these rules so that no alternative course

of action is possible to humans other than the specific and unique set of

prior factors that caused that human action to be made. Thus, human

choices are not free because they are determined ahead of time by

whatever environmental, social, genetic, biological and any other unknown

factors caused such choices to be made. Accordingly, men cannot be held

morally responsible for their actions, since they...


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