Free Will & Determnation Based On Two Articles Provided By The Client (Essay Sample)
The paper was written recently. The task was to write a paper about free will and determnation based on two articles provided by the client. The idea was that the writer had to decide whether there is a free will or whether the world is predetermined. The preferred formatting style was mla, no more than 4 pages in length.source..
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Free Will and Determination
Various experts have differing views on whether the world is predetermined or whether people are the storytellers of their lives. When considering every specific situation, it is crucial to understand every event is an outcome of the previous events and so forth. Moreover, there cannot be any borderline conditions, such as the treatment of the forced events as the examples of the display of a free will since psychological factors are in their turn causal factors. When deciding whether a man should carry out responsibility for his activities, it is useful to view actions as occasions predestined to happen and only anticipate similar circumstances. Therefore, the universe is predetermined, and the concept of free will is an imaginary condition.
An important approach to keep in mind when thinking about determinism is to view it as a result of a certain sequence of past incidents which lead to the current outcomes. According to the author, in case determinism defined everything, all the episodes in people's lives were predestined from the start point (163). Nagel suggests thinking over an example of the sun appearing and disappearing from the sky every day as compared to choosing a cake over a peach (162). If many people explained the first event as something predetermined and inevitable, they though tended to explain the second one as a free will. However, the ideas lying behind both phenomena remain the same, as according to Nagel, the sum of various circumstances, such as the hereditary constitution, different events occurring in one's life and alike affect one another, influence a particular decision and make it inevitable (163). Moreover, the very process of making decisions is only a continuation of the occurrence predetermined to happen (163). Therefore, every decision or event is predetermined from the beginning.
The defender of compatibilism defends a position when a person is free in his decisions. Stace gives an example of Mahatma Gandhi and his starvation to free India (446). The author argues Gandhi could refuse from starvation if he wanted to, so that makes a decision an option. Nagel, when considering the example with a cake and peach, explains people tend to believe they can choose one option over another one at a particular moment with the same set of conditions, in other words, “just then, as things actually were” (162). However, the key idea people miss is nothing would have changed the decision to prefer a cake to peach just because other conditions would be present at that moment (Nagel 162). In its core meaning, the choice has already been predetermined by the choices made earlier which influenced the decision to eat a cake. People have a possibility to analyze and understand their decisions, but have no access to change their mind as in the case of Gandhi, whose predestination was already determined by his upbringing, physical peculiarities, character, and political situation in his country and so forth. Therefore, there is no option to modify the course of things since the preceding events influence the subsequent ones.
When considering the notion of a choice and responsibility for it one should treat people's behaviour as an inevitable outcome. As Nagel states if determinism was true, nobody could accuse anyone of any deeds or glorify them. Since everything is predestined, no one has any kind of guilt for the actions he committed. While this type of thinking is not fully applicable to real life, Nagel proposes to view any type of undesirable behaviours, such as frauds, as a natural course of occasions and not to question the guiding reasons of these individuals since one cannot change anything (164). This approach sounds reasonable since there is no call to worry over the consequences; i