Dilemma of Determinism

Determinism is a philosophical concept that suggests all events in the universe are caused by previous events. This means that everything, including our own behavior, is predetermined and could not have been otherwise. Determinism has been debated by philosophers for centuries and there are many different arguments for and against it.

One argument against determinism is the dilemma of free will. If everything is predetermined, then how can we be said to have free will? If our behavior is determined by prior events, then how can we be blamed or praised for our actions? Some people argue that free will must exist if we are to be held responsible for our actions, but others argue that determinism does not nullify responsibility.

Another argument against determinism is the problem of evil. If everything is predetermined, then how can there be any evil in the world? If God has already decided who will be saved and who will be damned, then why does evil exist? Determinists have difficulty explaining how good and evil can exist if everything is predetermined.

On the other hand, there are several arguments in favor of determinism. The most persuasive one is that it removes blame from people. If people’s behavior is determined by prior events, then they cannot be blamed for their actions. Determinism also eliminates the need for free will, which some people find objectionable.

Despite the arguments on both sides, determinism remains a controversial topic. Philosophers continue to debate its implications and whether or not it is compatible with our notions of responsibility and morality.

If determinism is true, it implies that everyone’s every thought and action are pre-determined; that no one has any real control over anything because we are all the result of blind forces that have molded us into who we are. I will argue in this paper on the free will vs. determinism debate that determinism is implausible and show why by providing arguments for determining how determinism is wrong, providing arguments for deterministic, and then refuting those arguments.

Determinism, as the philosophy of determinism goes, is the belief that for everything that happens in the world there are antecedent causes sufficient to determine without fail what will happen. Determinism removes freedom and moral responsibility from people and instead makes everything simply a part of nature. Determinism does not seem plausible to me because it takes away our ability to make choices and control our own behavior; it paints a bleak picture of life in which we are all just puppets dancing on strings pulled by some unknown force.

Determinism also has trouble explaining how we can be held responsible for our actions if they were predetermined long ago. If determinism is true, then I could not have chosen to do anything else but write this paper, and I would not be morally responsible for my actions. Determinism seems to rob us of our free will and our ability to be responsible for our own behavior, which are two important concepts that have a big impact on how we view ourselves and the world around us.

In light of this, it seems reasonable to believe that determinism is false. There are several arguments for determinism, which I will now refute. The first argument for determinism is the idea that everything has a cause, and because everything has a cause, the future must be determined. This argument does not hold up because it relies on an assumption which has not been proven- that everything does in fact have a cause.

There is no reason to believe that this is true, and plenty of evidence to suggest that it is not. The second argument for determinism is the idea of scientific determinism, which holds that all events in nature are determined by the laws of physics. This argument also fails because it relies on the flawed assumption that the laws of physics are deterministic.

Some people believe we make decisions because they are free, and others think we are slaves to fate or that behavior is solely a result of heredity and environment. The view of determinism is that every occurrence stems from a cause or set of causes. 

Everything happens as a result of outside causes, and those causes are what cause everything that happens. Humans are not free. If we accept the determinist argument and infer human action as a consequence of external forces rather than free will, then we must accept that our theory of behavior leaves no room for moral judgment.

Incompatibilists maintain that determinism is logically inconsistent with our belief in moral responsibility, while compatibilists argue that determinism is consistent with moral responsibility provided that we include a sufficient degree of freedom in our account.

Determinism removes one of the key ingredients required for free will and moral responsibility—the power to choose otherwise. If an act is not freely chosen, then it cannot be morally responsible. Determinism does not mean that we are robots without any control over our behavior; it only means that all our behavior is determined by antecedent causes. We may still be held responsible for our actions, but this would be a matter of convention or custom, not morality.

Compatibilists argue that determinism is not a problem for freedom and moral responsibility as long as we add a sufficient degree of freedom to our account. Determinism need not remove all our freedom, but only the kind of freedom required for moral responsibility.Compatibilists typically argue that freedom is not a metaphysical concept, but rather a practical one.

We are free to the extent that we can act in accordance with our desires and beliefs. Determinism does not preclude this kind of freedom; it only removes the kind of freedom required for moral responsibility. So, even if all our behavior is determined by antecedent causes, we may still be held responsible for our actions provided that we are free in the relevant sense.

The dilemma of determinism is this: if determinism is true, then we are not free and cannot be held morally responsible for our actions; but if we reject determinism and maintain that we are free, then determinism must be false. The dilemma can be resolved by accepting a compatibilist account of freedom and moral responsibility. Determinism does not preclude freedom in the relevant sense, so we can still be held responsible for our actions.

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