Hard Determinism

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Hard Determinism

Hard Determinists believe that everything has been predetermined by prior causes.This includes humans and all of our actions.

If all of our actions are predetermined by prior causes there is no room for any free will, this makes Hard Determinists incompatibilists. Some Hard Determinists, such as John Locke claim that free will is simply an illusion that has been borne from our ignorance of our true circumstances. John Locke has an analogy of a sleeping man in order to demonstrate this. In this analogy a man is asleep in a dark room and is unaware of the fact that the door has been locked from the outside. When he awakens he decides to remain in the room and go back to sleep. He believes that he has made this choice of his own free will when in actual fact he was unable to make any other decision due to the door being locked. Therefore he was ignorant to his true circumstances.

Newtonian Physics

Hard Determinism is based on 19th Century Newtonian physics and the Principle of Causality. This argues that everything has a prior cause and that this prior cause would give us the scientific explanation for how it came to be. The reason everything within the universe including human beings and their actions have to have had a prior cause is because the Universe is a closed system. Therefore, this means that our actions are predetermined and if all of our actions are predetermined there is no room for free will.

Debate Split

There is a debate over whether our actions are caused by internal or external forces.

Internal Causation

Our internal causes that guide our behaviour are things like our genetics.We have no choice over our genetic make up it is simply decided for us at conception. Our genetics can mean that we have a certain disposition towards some behaviours or choices. However some would argue that we give too much weight to our genetic make up and that it does not actually have as much of an influence

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