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Free will - Essay Example

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Module title: Module ID: Submission date: Free Will Abstract: The present paper aims to elucidate the notions free will and determinism in the light of the works created by 18th century US philosopher Jonathan Edwards on the one side, and his contemporary Scottish philosopher David Hume on the other…
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Free will

determinism. Though both the sides bring evidence in support of their claims, yet the discussions endorse the very point that most of human actions, as well as man’s fate, are dependent of determinism though humans have been granted some powers to get involved into the activities of their choice to some extent in the wake of their whims and wishes. Hence, the topic under investigation observes great philosophic significance in its nature and scope. The Paper: Renowned theologian Jonathan Edwards (1754) has provided a detailed account of the concept of free will in his works, where he views the free will to be the desires prevailing in the human breast, and produce pleasure for man. Since it is mind that maintains the powers to direct the physical organs for the performance of an act or abstinence from the same, the mind issues commands whether some specific act in the wake of the desire should be performed or refrained from executing the same. Hence, there always appears some motive that results into the accomplishment of various tasks because of the desires that affect human mind. Nevertheless, man cannot perform every act out of his free will due to the prior knowledge of the Lord regarding all the things and incidents that would take place in man’s life. ...
knowledge God maintains in respect of the future developments by alluding to the Scripture, where the predictions about the future developments have been made by God, which do not actually come under the definition of the uncertain guesses (393). In addition to this, since God is also already aware of the whims prevailing in the minds and hearts of the coming human generations, He has determined the actions the individuals belonging to these generations would perform and execute during their life span at large, which could be the products of the volitions of their moral (and immoral) agents (393). Hence, the actions and volitions appear to be the predetermined phenomena over which humans could have little or no power, according to Edwards’ doctrine (394). Hence, the foreknowledge of God about all events and actions that are actually the product of volitions provides an indirect pardon to the human actions due to the very reality that these steps had already been determined, against which humans could not be held responsible for. Another very important argument made by Edwards in support of his claim regarding the determinism includes the evident existence of the human actions that would occur in future years to come, to which he called the nature of Necessity (394). Furthermore, a thing existence of which is necessary in the universe, why it could be endorsed that the thing itself is not necessary. Hence, the action and event that has been preserved as the Foreknowledge in the possession of Nature would certainly occur one day in exactly the same manner as it has been preserved as the part of the Foreknowledge of the Providence. In other words, the argument indirectly refutes the possibility of free will due to the existence of actions and events as an essential ... Read More
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