Self Deteminism or Freewill

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Self determinism
On this view a person's acts are caused by himself. Self determinists accept the fact that such factors as
heredity and environment often influence one's behavior. However, they deny that such factors are the
determining causes of one's behavior. Inanimate objects do not change without an outside cause, but
personal subjects are able to direct their own actions. As previously noted, self determinists reject the
notions that events are uncaused or that they cause themselves. Rather, they believe that human
actions can be caused by human beings. Two prominent advocates of this view are Thomas Aquinas
and C S Lewis.
Many object to self determinism on the grounds that if everything needs a cause, then so do the acts of
the will. Thus it is often asked, What caused the will to act? The self determinist can respond to this
question by pointing out that it is not the will of a person that makes a decision but the person acting
by means of his will. And since the person is the first cause of his acts, it is meaningless to ask what the
cause of the first cause is. Just as no outside force caused God to create the world, so no outside force
causes people to choose certain actions. For man is created in God's image, which includes the
possession of free will.
Another objection often raised against self determinism is that biblical predestination and
foreknowledge seem to be incompatible with human freedom. However, the Bible does clearly teach that
even fallen man has freedom of choice (e.g., Matt. 23:37 John 7:17 Rom. 7:18 1 Cor. 9:17 1 Pet. 5:2
Philem. 14). Further, the Bible teaches that God predestines in accordance with his foreknowledge (1 Pet.
1:2). Predestination is not based on God's foreknowledge (which would make God dependent upon
man's choices) nor is it independent of God's foreknowledge (since all of God's acts are unified and
coordinate). Rather, God knowingly determines and determinately knows those who will accept his
grace as well as those who will reject him.
A further argument for free will is that God's commandments carry a divine "ought" for man, implying
that man can and should respond positively to his commands. The responsibility to obey God's
commands entails the ability to respond to them, by God's enabling grace. Furthermore, if man is not
free, but all his acts are determined by God, then God is directly responsible for evil, a conclusion that is
clearly contradicted by Scripture (Hab. 1:13 James 1:13 17).
Therefore, it seems that some form of self determinism is the most compatible with the biblical view of
God's sovereignty and man's responsibility.
N L Geisler
(Elwell Evangelical Dictionary)
contingent vs. necessary truths
The distinction between contingent and necessary statements is one of the oldest
in philosophy. A truth is necessary if denying it would entail a contradiction. A
truth is contingent, however, if it happens to be true but could have been false.
For example:
Cats are mammals.
Cats are reptiles.
Cats have claws.

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The first statement is a necessary truth because denying it, as with the second
statement, results in a contradiction. Cats are, by definition, mammals - so saying
that they are reptiles is a contradiction. The third statement is a contingent truth
becuase it is possible that cats could have evolved without claws.
This is similar to the distinction between essential and accidental qualities. Being a
mammal is part of a cat's essence, but having claws is an accident.…read more

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Categorical imperative, Transcendental
Notable ideas Idealism, Synthetic a priori, Noumenon, Sapere
aude, Nebular hypothesis
Immanuel Kant (IPA: [manul kant] 22 April 1724 ­ 12 February 1804) was an
18thcentury German philosopher from the Prussian city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad,
Russia). He is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe and of the
late Enlightenment.
His most important work is the Critique of Pure Reason, a critical investigation of reason
itself.…read more

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o 1.1 The Young Scholar
o 1.2 The Silent Decade
o 1.3 Kant's later work
o 1.4 Kant the man
2 Kant's philosophy
o 2.1 Kant's theory of perception
o 2.2 Kant's Categories of the Faculty of Understanding
o 2.3 Kant's Schema
o 2.4 Moral philosophy
2.4.1 The first formulation
2.4.2 The second formulation
2.4.3 The third formulation
2.4.4 Idea of God
2.4.5 Idea of freedom
o 2.5 Aesthetic philosophy
o 2.…read more

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The Young Scholar
Kant showed great application to study early in his life. He was first sent to Collegium
Fredericianum and then enrolled in the University of Königsberg in 1740, at the age of 16.[6]
He studied the philosophy of Leibniz and Wolff under Martin Knutsen, a rationalist who was
also familiar with developments in British philosophy and science and who introduced Kant
to the new mathematical physics of Newton.…read more

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The light reaches the eye of a human observer, passes through
the cornea, is focused by the lens upon the retina where it forms an image similar to that
formed by light passing through a pinhole into a camera obscura. The retinal cells next send
impulses through the optic nerve and thereafter they form a mapping in the brain of the visual
features of the distant object.…read more

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My great thanks, to my wellwishers and friends, who
think so kindly of me as to undertake my welfare, but at the same time a most humble
request to protect me in my current condition from any disturbance."[8]
When Kant emerged from his silence in 1781, the result was the Critique of Pure Reason.
Although now uniformly recognized as one of the greatest works in the history of
philosophy, this Critique was largely ignored upon its initial publication.…read more

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Kantian position into increasingly radical forms of idealism. The progressive
stages of revision of Kant's teachings marked the emergence of German Idealism. Kant
opposed these developments and publicly denounced Fichte in an open letter[12] in 1799. It
was one of his final philosophical acts. Kant's health, long poor, took a turn for the worse
and he died at Konigsberg on 12 February 1804 uttering "Genug" [enough] before
expiring.[13] His unfinished final work, the fragmentary Opus Postumum, was (as its title
suggests) published posthumously.…read more

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All the preparations of reason, therefore, in what may be called pure
" philosophy, are in reality directed to those three problems only [God, the soul,
and freedom]. However, these three elements in themselves still hold
independent, proportional, objective weight individually. Moreover, in a
collective relational context namely, to know what ought to be done: if the
will is free, if there is a God, and if there is a future world.…read more

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­ as an end in itself rather than (merely) as means to other
ends the individual might hold.
These ideas have largely framed or influenced all subsequent philosophical discussion and
analysis. The specifics of Kant's account generated immediate and lasting controversy.…read more


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