Sider's Argument On Free Will And Determinism

505 Words 3 Pages
The “apparent fact” according to Sider is that free will and determinism are incompatible. And they are incompatible because of the following arguments: 1. If determinism is true, then everything happens is caused by something happened previously. 2. If everything happens is caused by something happened previously, then we could not have acted freely. 3. If determinism is true, then we could not have acted freely.
To understand the argument, we must first know what “determinism” and “free will” are. According to Sider, determinism is the belief that every event is caused by a previous event. For example, when a ball rolls on the ground, we assume that some force (perhaps a child) caused it to start rolling. Determinism claims that all events are like the rolling ball; that is, all events are caused by previous events. Free will is much more difficult to define. Though he does not give us a specific definition, Sider seems to define it as the belief that certain events are not caused by any other events. A libertarian (a supporter of free will) does not claim that all events are uncaused. Instead, he believes that the event of a human choice is free (or uncaused) under most conditions. For example, my choice to go to class this morning was not caused by any other event. I was free to choose to go to class just as I was free to choose
…show more content…
How can we believe both? Premise (1) follows from determinism. According to a determinist, there is a cause for every event. Believing Premise (1) does not necessarily imply believing determinism. The premise only states that if you accept determinism, you must accept that all events are caused. Premise (2) follows from our definition of free will. If we believe that every event is caused, human choices are no different. Our choices are also caused; therefore, if we accept that all events are caused by previous events then we have no free

Related Documents