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Libertarian vs Determinism - Research Paper Example

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It is moral and normal for people to claim responsibility for their actions. This includes blame and credit for good and terrible actions. According to Wgner (277), this comes from a connection between one’s will and actions where one believes that his will determines the action taken. As a result, it describes determinism. Furthermore, some famous philosophers like Thomas Hobbes and David Hume call this compatibilist freedom or negative freedom as stated by Isaiah Berlin. However, some compatibilists argue that it goes hand in hand with human freedom where people define freedom with freedom of the will. However, this is only true if one is free from external mechanisms such as coercion. Conversely, freedom of action is not similar to freedom of the will. When someone is in confinement, like in jail, some actions are not allowed whereas the will is free. Nevertheless, they are still related since it is the action that is used to relay the will. This, thus, leads to the term “free will” where an agent has the freedom of action. Logical determinism and causal determinism are also part of soft determinism. The former describes the future and how it has already been determined despite free will. Unlike this, Causal determinism states that every effect has a cause or mechanism. This does not mean that humans are free, nor do they always have free will. They can either have free will and use it how they want, or can have just an appearance of it where they never make choices despite there being preceding mechanisms that favor the result of the decision. In addition to this, physical or social constraints do not define the result of the latter circumstance (Wegner 279). An example is how humans have learnt to fly without using their own bodies. Hence, using the word free in this scenario would be inappropriate. On the other hand, Ayer argues that if human behavior is fully governed by causative mechanisms, then it is not clear how any action done could have been avoided (Ayer 272). This can only be different if the cause had been different. As a result, it has lead to controversial opinions on the freedom of will regarding assumptions that an individual is morally responsible for his or her actions. As a result, since the freedom of will is biased, then no one knows what he or she is. In other words, an individual can never act freely if causative factors determine his action. Ayer, thus, disapproves causal determinism. It may also be suitable to classify compatibilism according to those mechanisms that they think are attuned with human freedom. This is because compatibility with God’s foreknowledge or physics, among many other mechanisms, are different. Furthermore, whether in the biological world, the mind, or in the physical world, uncaused random events are true. These events, termed quantum, bring about the probability of novelty, human creativity, and accidents. Generally, it is termed as comprehensive compatibilism where free will is attuned with both indeterminism and adequate determinism. The latter is restricted to the true determinism in the world while the former describes how certain mechanisms directly influence human behavior and actions. Furthermore, they provide alternative possibilities for the latter determinism to choose the most suitable. According ...Show more


Name Institution Course Instructor Compatibilism For one to perform an action, a thought for that action must have preceded. This is normal human behavior where life depends on an individual’s mind and desires. Hence, we are merely agents of our minds. In psychology, this is referred to as compatibilism, also called soft determinism, that describes how we still behave as free and ethically liable agents where what we do is determined by what we desire…
Author : ashlynnmcdermot
Libertarian vs Determinism
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