Free Will Vs Determinism Essay

638 words - 3 pages

Ted Honderich
Determinism Vs Free Will

Psychology 101-1322
Professor: James Pattison
Belinda Bielicki
July 2, 2011

Determinism versus Free Will:

The most important and the oldest philosophical question is perhaps that of free will and determinism. Do people have free will, or are our actions pre-determined? Ted Honderich defined determinism as the philosophical idea that every event or state of affairs, including every human decision and action, is the inevitable and necessary consequence of antecedent states of affairs. "Nothing occurs at random, but everything for a reason and by necessity."
Determinism is used by philosophers to account for some of the choices and actions that cause or create the effects of causal sequences; these sequences raise questions about the freedom of the choices and actions.
Determinists believe our decisions are controlled by previous exposure to ...view middle of the document...

Most people tend to believe that all events or occurrences have a basis instead of just simply happening, if we get up in the morning, and go out to leave for work and the car does not start, even if we are not able to determine why the car no longer starts, we do not simply accept the idea that the car simply stopped working for no reason. Whether the car won’t start, the TV no longer works or the window won’t close, each has a cause. This same philosophy can be said with people, every action that is said or done has a cause.
The ongoing argument regarding whether or not free will in fact exists is one that has implications relating to the nature of humanity's role in the world, the appropriateness of praise and blame, and the perception of individual and moral responsibility, are the hard determinists, those deeming that all natural events as well as human actions are predetermined.
Determinist make a valid argument on causality its discharge of human choice means that recognition of the deterministic view would mean human beings would be no more accountable for their actions than an animal. For that reason if a determinist is to argue that determinism is more than the product of influences on him than he accepts free will, yet still discards the notion of conscious choice to act, or believe. Therefore if a determinist were to argue for his position, to make it plausible he would also have to argue that his belief only exists because of prior factors beyond his control, and then he would not be able to prove its truth without the acceptance of the idea of free will.

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