Incompatibilism: Relationship Between Determinism And Free Will

Incompatibilism and compatibilism are theories about the relationship between determinism and free will. Compatibilism is the idea that free will and determinism can coexist. Incompatibilists deny this by way of two theories; the denial of determinism (libertarianism) and the denial of free will.

Determinism is the theory that every event was determined by a previous existing cause. Given the laws of nature and the initial state of the universe, there is only one possible course of history; and this is the basis of determinism. Human choices and behavior are not removed from the natural world, and although the causes for our decisions, actions and events are far from being discovered, we can be sure that they exist (Side 2005: 114). The
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Stace begins his argument by establishing that he believes the dispute over the compatibly of free will and determinism is merely a verbal one, in that the argument is not truly a dispute over the existence of either theories, but a "confusion about the meaning of words" (Stace 2002: 487). The problem arises with the common belief that determinism is inconsistent with free will, or that the definition of free will is indeterminism. To dispel this definition and define free will accurately Stace examines situations where we ordinarily identify a person to have free will. If someone did not eat for a week because they were lost in a desert with no food, we would say they did not act out of there own free will. However if someone did not eat for a week because they were fasting for a cause, we would say they acted out of their own free will. In accordance with determinism, it can be said that in both these situations the fasting was due to a cause. In the free situation the cause was the desire of a person to be an activist. Similarly, the unfree act also had a cause, he had no food and was lost in a desert. As Stace put it, "The only reasonable view is that all human actions, both those which are freely done and those which …show more content…
Firstly Strawson 's view, as a hard determinist brings about issues in relation to punishment , and also practicality. Given that there seems to be no separation from a persons biology, or the way they are, and their decision making, it seems wrong to punish them for actions they did not commit freely. Of course a hard determinist could say that they disagree with punishment, and that it should not be implemented. It would be unlikely, however, for a hard determinist to adopt this view and then proceed to reject all forms of punishment, blame placing and recognition of accountability. Furthermore, the view as a whole is one that isn 't enforceable, not only is a world without punishment unimaginable, but those who identify as hard determinist would also have to cease to acknowledge free will in their everyday lives. Both of these results would be somewhat disastrous. Hard determinism is a view that people adopt in theory but not in practice, and there seems little point in a philosophy about the way the world is that simply doesn’t fit with the way the world

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