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DETERMINISM AND FREE WILL

The conflict between determinism and free will is a long-standing one. It
is one of those philosophical issues that might never be fortunate enough
to receive a unanimously agreed upon solution and for this reason, it is up
to each person how he views the issues and seeks to resolve it. As with
most philosophical theories, determinism and free will is a contentious
issue because they oppose each other and in order to support one, you need
to give up the other. It is generally believed that the two cannot exist
together for they are in conflict with each other and thus are
incompatible. It is therefore important tofirst understand what is meant
by determinism and free will. Clear definitions of the terms can help us
decided whether the two are compatible or not or if free will has any place
Determinism is the philosophical position, which maintains that behind
every event is a cause or another event. Waddell Ekstrom (2000) writes:
“The doctrine of scientific or casual determinism maintains that every
event is causally necessitated by a previous event, so that every event
stands in a chain of events stretching backward into history, the links of
which are deterministic causal connections. An alternate way to put the
doctrine is this: At any particular moment, there is, given the actual past
and the laws of nature, exactly one way the world could go.” (Page 16)
Determinism therefore ignores the role of choices or moral responsibility
and primarily focuses on the role of previous events or cause in the
creation of a new event. For example, when a person misbehaves with an
elderly determinism would free him of his moral responsibility to have
behaved more properly and instead study the causes of his behavior.
Determinists believe that behind every current event is a past cause or
event and keeping this view in mind, we would probably acquit the
misbehaving person and instead accuse those…

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