Essay on Is A Man Free?

1365 Words Oct 6th, 2016 6 Pages
Is man free? Is man in control of his actions? These short questions engage the greatest controversy regarding human beings. Hard determinists, compatibilists, and libertarians have pleaded their cases to no avail. However, I intend to display why the compatibilist holds the most significant argument due to the implications for mankind. The perspective being, responsible human agency requires determinism and free will to be reconciled. One must first understand the key terminology as well as philosophers involved in this debate. In order for human agency to be determined, everything that happens has to happen, given what came before. If the events do occur, they must happen given previous events due to a physical necessity. David Hume with A.J. Ayer (compatibilists) and Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron D’Holbach (hard determinist), agree on the basis of human agency being determined. Hume states, “It is universally allowed, that matter, in all its operations, is actuated by a necessary force, and that every natural effect is so precisely determined by the energy of its cause, that no other effect, in such particular circumstances, could possibly have resulted from it.” D’Holbach follows with, “In whatever manner man is considered, he is connected to universal nature, and submitted to the necessary and immutable laws that she imposes on all the beings she contains, […]”
Lastly, Ayer bolsters the validity of the argument for determinism by showing that if it is not an accident by…

Related Documents