You can’t change the past. You can’t change the laws of nature. Given the past and the laws of nature, there’s only one thing that you can do next. So, you have no alternatives.
This argument utilizes the following three premises to show the impossibility of free will:
1) You can’t change the past.
2) You can’t change the laws of nature.
3) Given the past and the laws of nature, there’s only one thing that you can do next.
Based on these premises, the argument concludes that “you have no alternatives.”
The first premise is that “you can’t change the past.” In this premise, the word “can’t” represents inability. Additionally, “ability” doesn’t require “possibility,” so inability in this context stands alone …show more content…
Therefore, if the past and the laws of nature “can’t” be changed, there’s only one course of action that you are able to take. This premise clarifies that if the past and the laws of nature cannot be changed, you do not have the ability to do anything other than what you do. This is due to a causal relationship in which everything that occurs in the present is caused by antecedent conditions. The implication is that the combination of the past and the laws of nature determine the future, and thus, in the present there is only one course of action due to the specific chain of antecedent conditions that occurred. In contrast, free will requires the ability to have done something other than what you …show more content…
If the term “can” means the ability to do something, then the third premise is true. I do not reject the trueness of the premises. However, I object to the conclusion that “you have no alternatives.” To have no alternatives, would mean that at many moments, there is only one action which we can take. However, I disagree based on the condition that having alternatives is dependent on having the ability to take an alternative. In my opinion, you don’t have to able to take an alternative for it to be considered an alternative. An alternative can exist independent of the individual’s ability to take the alternative. Therefore, since the premises are true, but the conclusion is not complete, this is an invalid argument. The question is whether an alternative is an option within a set of options, or if it is an option that can specifically be