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Freewill

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By rhiannon1
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Critically assess the claim that free will and determinism are compatible (35marks)
Free will is when you make an independent choice or voluntary decision, put in philosophical terms it is the art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Free will is also known as libertarianism or non-compatibilism, this theory also states that you are responsible for your actions, as does soft determinism. Hard determinism and predestination state that you are not responsible for your actions because your life is predetermined and out of your control. This essay will explore the ways in which freewill and determinism work together and the ways in which they oppose one another, including the views of philosophers.
According to Baruch Spinoza; “In the mind there is no absolute or free will; but the mind is determined to wish this or that by a cause, which has also been determined by another cause and this last by another cause, and so on to infinity”. This tells us why Spinoza and other hard determinists are called ‘hard’; their position is very strict. Hard determinists believe that all of our actions have prior causes and we are therefore neither free nor responsible, making hard determinism incompatible with free will and moral responsibility. John Locke provides an example which perfectly demonstrates how free will is simply an illusion. He states; ‘say a man wakes up in a room that, unknown to him, is locked from the outside. He chooses to stay in the room believing he has chosen freely; when in reality he has no option’. This is saying that it was already predetermined that the man would stay in the room, which is why he did indeed stay in the room.
More modern versions of hard determinism point towards genetic heritage, social conditioning and subconscious influences as prior causes. This is supported…...

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