Free will and Determinism

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Libetarians take on a limited form of determinism- they are the 'more in favour of free will' people

Thomas Reid- developed a 'common sense philosophy' and said that whilst yes, nature does control things It does NOT LIMIT OUR FREE WILL. This is because free will is subject based- meaning it's in your control and you have the ability to chose.

  • Nature might LIMIT you in how you get there, despite it- YOU ARE STILL FREE TO ACT. E.g. Charity shop example.
  • Reid says it's common sense, in THE END Free Will is the ability to control your life. and this permits us to be responsbile for our moral actions.

Economic Libetarians- Say human beings must be set free from gov/state controls-FW=Morality

  • So when people EXCERCISE/UTILISE free will they will learn to be responsible for their actions
  • So, the development of morality is based on OUR FREEDOM and not control of our lives
  • Hayer- We should get rid of SOCIAL CONDITIONING. We need to break free of state controls. Criticsms: Human hardwiring. 2. Free will makes us irresponsible
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Religious Determinism

Luther's philosophy was that heaven not earned by good deeds, but heaven is a gift dependant on if God wants you to have it. We play no role in our own salvation.

Calvinism- Doctrine of Predestination- God has predestined our fate. Criticsms: Arminians - predestination goes against God's idea of free will. Antimonians- Only those who would be saved could do what they like.

SYNOPTIC: Boethius- God see's everything 'simultaneously' in a snapshot, therefore my actions are already determined. He knowns the whole course of eternity from start to begining. Therefore- the EPICURAN DILEMMA can be applied in this context- either God has predetermined our actions,  or 2. He has given us free will, but has not done anything to stop it- making him omnipotent but manivolent. Or even if he wanted to stop it Omnibenevolent but not all powerful.

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Soft Determinism

John Locke said humans DEVELOP MORALITY throughout their lives.

  • The 'TABULA RASA' mind is a blank slate which is filled up with LIFE EXPERIENCES creating MORAL FRAMEWORK.
  •  Synoptic- Contrast with Plato's argument from knowledge which says we already know everything.

David Hume- Nature does ultimately control human destiny. For example, there is an infinite determined link between casual objects. He calls this the

  • 'CONSTANT UNION OF OBJECTS' and this can not be controlled. However, through the 'INFERENCE OF THE MIND' you have the ability to excercise your 'free will' and do what you want.
  •  Hume calls this the 'liberty of spontaneity'- being able to chose your actions randomly.

Criticsms- Libetarians- if human actions are determined by events, you become apart of a chain so you don't have free will.

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Hard Determinists

Clarence Darrow- Murder trial found that it was not the boys fault, they were determined by their upbringing. Resulted in a lesser sentence of life imprisonment.

Honderich- Everything is determined, internally and externally. He goes along with ARISTOTLES view that REASON for everything-  is out of human control.

  • Therefore, how can free will exist?
  • Anything a human does is a result of anything that has happened, we are not responsible for our actions
  • Criticsms- what about moral responsibility for our actions?

Behaviourism- Pavlov- Social Conditioning of dogs to salivate without bell

Pyschology- effects of chemicals e.g. Alcohol on brain. SYNOPTIC- Freud's conscience- the ID is always determined to be there, the superego is  trying to fight a battle between sides- how much of this is dependant on us? FROMM- free will is non existence, we have been put into obideance since birth.

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Ethical Issues raised with F&D

Good and Evil- If God has predetermined our fate- this is compatible with some part of the Augustinian Theodicy such as all humans being 'seminally present' in Adam's sin. The Augustinian Theodicy still says we have free will, despite God knowing we will sin- therefore, everything is predetermined. The reason we have free will in the Augustinian theodicy is because free will is more valuable than being a robot.

However- criticsm- Free will is an illusion then, as God has predetermined everything.

Nature of God- Boethius' view of God seeing everything in a snapshot, meaning he knows everything already. It is brief and unclear on the intracecies of it all.

Conscience- Is the conscience a result of hard wiring determinism- if the conscience is Newman's 'voice of God' then we are robots, this perception is incompatible with the Augustinian theodicy but perhaps but more compatible with the IRENEAN THEODICY which believes humans develop in the 'image' of God and 'likeliness'. Ireneaus also believed the suffering in the world helps our development of conscience.

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