Argumentative Essay On Determinism And Free Will

2102 Words 9 Pages
I. In this paper, I will be arguing for the following claim that we, human beings are not predetermined beings, but rather we have free will. It has long been argued that people are not free and do not have free will; that rather than having free will we live in a world that is predetermined. That our choices and actions are reflections of and happen because of a long line of other choices and action that caused the present, and thus we have a fixed future. This is just not the case. We, human beings, in the universe, all feel as though we are making decisions and using our free will each day. We are not forced to do things, we will them to be done. The higher power of God derives in us free will. Determinism is ultimately
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But what does that mean. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy discusses moral responsibility as a warranted societal response to a when a person performs or fails to perform a morally significant action. In our society we have agreed on codified laws which we have agreed, as a society, are morally significant. We have also agreed on punishments or responses when a person breaks one or more of the laws. If we, as a society agree in punishment for breaking laws, then we, as a society must believe in free will. Humans must have free will or we are punishing people for actions for which they had no control. There cannot be moral responsibility if everything is determined, as the responsibility would not fall on the human, but rather the force that made the predetermination. Philosopher John Locke discusses this in his book An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. He states that the ability to suspend the fulfillment of one’s desires shows that we are have free will. As we would have desires, for example, maybe we are angry at the person who just cut us off on the highway and have a desire to ram our car into theirs. The fact that we have the ability to suppress our desire and not ram the other persons car shows that we have free will, and we freely choose do the opposite, as we don’t want to endure the punishment that we would receive from our morally responsible society. Furthermore, in 1961 Harry Frankfurt defined what he called The Principle of Alternate Possibilities. PAP suggests that an action can only be morally right or wrong if the person choosing the action could have made an alternate choice. The PAP supports free will as a choice can only be morally right if there was an alternate choice. We freely make the choice, and thus negate the alternative. We cannot be a morally responsible society if there was no choice to begin

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