Free Will And Determinism

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Gregg Andrews Phi 130 November 1, 2001 Writing Assignment 2 Free Will And Determinism The problem of free will and determinism has troubled the mind of man since time began. The reason it is a problem is that no one knows the truth. There are two sides to this issue. One side says, "Everything in the universe is governed by causal laws."� This view is called hard determinism. The opposite if this view is the libertarian theory. This view believes that we do have free wills. Neither one of these theories can be proven to be true with absolute certainty. They both try to however to critique each other's theory.

First, hard determinists argument goes something like this. Every event (or state of affairs) must have a cause. Human actions (as well as the agent who gives rise to those actions) are events. Therefore, every human action (including the agent himself) is caused.

Hence determinism is true. This theory is more an assumption than an argument. I think that the hard determinists just said all that cause that is the only way they can defend themselves. The domino effect also helps to illustrate the hard determinist view. This view says that there was one beginning cause and that everything else happened as a result of that one cause. This I believe may hold some weight. That some object is always followed by the same event. For example, after every war there is peace somewhere as a result and new things happen and are invented because of it. Therefore, showing that the domino effect may have some truth to it.

Secondly, another theory is that of the libertarian group. There belief is that we all do have free will. However, libertarians do not necessarily believe that all our actions are...