Sybill Trelawney's Analysis

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Sybill Trelawney’s first prophecy to Albus Dumbledore states, “The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the 7th month dies…The dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not, and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can one live while the other survives.” Voldemort assumes that the boy in question is Harry Potter and travels to Godric’s Hallow to kill Harry. Ultimately, his actions label Harry as the “Boy Who Lived”. Despite her hundreds of failed predictions, Trelawney’s first prophecy became real. Dumbledore advises Harry that prophecies, regardless of their accuracy, do not dictate what we do. A philosophical Harry …show more content…
Hard determinism states determinism is incompatible with freedom. If given the opportunity to rewind time and make a different choice, humans could not choose differently, because choice does not exist. Utilizing physics, Sider states determinists could study the patterns of past behavior of the particles and forces upon them, and could, theoretically, calculate the future. Such calculation does not exist yet, but conceptually it could. Sider’s argument is an over-simplification. Both living and non-living things are governed by physics; however, living organisms (like humans) are governed by biology. Biologists’ main concern is past events. Now that is not to say biology cannot be used to make predictions, but like fallible prophecies, they have the potential to be wrong and are in no way deterministic. Physics has more predictive power than biology. In fact, classical mechanical physics is completely deterministic. If given the exact variables and positions of particles at any given time, the addition of linear vector forces than be used to calculate the future and past positions and velocities of particles. Newton’s laws of motion published in 1686 are indubitable even to this day. On the other hand, quantum mechanics, a branch of physics developed in the 20th century, is more probabilistic and therefore lessens physics’ predictive power. Quantum mechanics states than …show more content…
Soft- determinism states that every action has a cause, but does not rule out the possibility of free will (Sider). According to Sider, a misunderstanding of the word “freedom” makes some believe free will and determinism cannot coexist. He highlights the fallacies of determinism and libertarianism, and suggests we humans need a clearer explanation of freedom. Perhaps the most alarming problem of determinism is the absence of accountability. If determinism is true, people cannot be blamed or punished for unfree actions. Without punishment, the lines of good and bad can be hard to distinguish. Although a vast majority of criminals are subject to uncontrollable factors such race, socioeconomic background etc.(as is everybody else), some determinists believe that criminals still deserve punishment from a legal system. Punishment could serve as the cause for stopping future crimes. Despite this logical defense, the absence of accountability is still disturbing. On the other hand, libertarianism too has unsettling flaws. Libertarians make the extreme claim that science is limited to non-humans, because we have souls and they are a non-physical source of change in the world. I believe that the soul and body are not distinct entities since there is no sufficient evidence and no observations to prove or

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