Determinism , in philosophy , theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Determinism is usually understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do. The theory holds that the universe is utterly rational because complete knowledge of any given situation assures that unerring knowledge of its future is also possible. Pierre-Simon, Marquis de Laplace , in the 18th century framed the classical formulation of this thesis. For him, the present state of the universe is the effect of its previous state and the cause of the state that follows it.
Free Will and Determinism
Three Arguments Against Determinism - Greg Boyd - ReKnew
ABSTRACT: A modest free will thesis, stating that at least sometimes, someone has more than one course of action open to him, can be derived from three premises: first, the proposition that we should believe only what is true; second, the 'ought' implies 'can' principle; and third, the proposition that I believe I have free will. The first of these is the only one that is at all controversial; however, I argue that it is a necessary presupposition of rational thought and discourse. As a result, one cannot rationally accept hard determinism. The minimal free will thesis MFT holds that at least some of the time, someone has more than one course of action that he can perform. It may be disputed whether the truth of MFT is sufficient for us to 'have free will,' 2 but there is no doubt that the main philosophical challenge to the belief in free will has come from the thesis of universal determinism, so understood as to exclude MFT. A proof of MFT is therefore of considerable philosophical interest, whether or not it constitutes a full proof of free will.
Is Determinism True or False?
It is not unusual to hear people complain that it is difficult, if not impossible, to find a believable or even coherent model of free will, and, well, they are right. They accordingly hold that without such a model, it is nearly impossible to hold a meaningful discussion about the existence of free will, and thus, many people become determinists, aligning themselves with a simple and seemingly coherent model of reality that is based upon cause and effect. After all, neither I nor any scientist has a coherent definition of gravity, as all definitions of it are blatantly circular, but because I and undoubtedly all scientists experience gravity daily, we retain our belief that gravity really does exist. I am inclined to believe that most of us retain our belief in gravity as well, and yet, despite the fact that we have the experience of making choices daily, many of us disbelieve in the ability to choose because we lack a coherent understanding of it. This is not to say that I believe we should question the reality of gravity; instead, I believe that we should be consistent in accepting that which we experience as real.
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