The Debate Of Free Will Vs. Determinism Essay

2442 Words Dec 7th, 2016 10 Pages
The debate of Free Will v Determinism is one that has gone on for centuries, and shall continue to go on for many to come. There are many who believe that their view is the end all, be all, correct view to hold. While not all of these thinkers are correct in their standings, Paul Holbach’s essay, “The Illusion of Free Will,” lays out a strong argument for universal determinism; man does not have any free will, and all of his actions are determined by the laws of nature. His argument is one that is accurate and strong, leaving little to criticize, despite what many believe to be proof that he is incorrect: the presence of choice and the absence of restraint. He takes these two beliefs and shows exactly why they do not denote free will, and all of man’s actions are, in fact, determined.

Before even getting to his argument Holbach states that “[man] is connected to the universal nature, and submitted to the necessary and immutable laws that she imposes on all the beings she contains,” (438). The laws of nature are necessary and immutable, meaning that all of nature’s beings are subject to them and that they cannot be changed. This is the basis for Holbach’s entire argument, and he first sets up the conditions which include that man is subject to the laws of nature, as all physical or material things are. He sets up this argument by first stating that man is a material, or physical, thing and that all changes in material things are determined by the immutable laws of nature.…

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