Free Will Vs Determinism

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Prompt 2

Question 1

Compatibilists believe that free will is compatible with determinism and an act can be both free and determined at the same time. They identify free will with freedom of action and to act freely simply means to be free from external coercion.

Determinism is the idea that every event including human decisions and actions are completely predetermined by previous causes. Once the causes occur, the effects must follow. These effects include moral choices.

Compatibilists think that determinism is actually required to act freely, because if there were no causes and effects for a person to be connected to, their actions would become random, chaotic, and unpredictable and therefore their actions are not truly “free” since such
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Firstly, most of the arguments for libertarianism do not prove that we are not in a deterministic system.

The libertarian response to the problem of free will consists of several arguments. The first is the argument from experience. The argument is that our experience of freedom is the best proof we have that humans have free will and are free of a deterministic system. We know that when we think we want to lift our finger, we can do so, and nothing can force us not to. However, there is evidence against free will that undermines our confidence in our experience of freedom. It has been shown that our actions can be involuntarily caused by electrical stimulations to the brain, and yet people would give reasons as to why they did those actions, as though their movements were free and voluntary. With such evidence, it seems plausible that instead of a scientist using electrical stimulations to cause us to perform actions, there is a possibility that our brains can be stimulated, or controlled, and we would still believe that our actions are made out of our free will and completely voluntary. Based on the evidence, we would not be aware if our brains were being controlled and as such, it is implausible to claim we are truly free simply from our experience. Hence, the argument from experience does not prove we are not in a deterministic
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Even if we have no free will, humans still possess the ability to reason and be rational. Our actions are still a result of our reasoning and rationality. Despite the fact that our goals and desires are not what we freely choose, we would still pay attention to them. Even if a person is causally bad due to a combination of genetics and circumstances, if he chooses to kill people, his actions are still deliberate. He would have deliberately thought about killing another person and proceeded to act out on his thoughts even though it is known widely that harming an innocent person is wrong. Punishment serves as a method to deter people from wrongdoings, and to let people know what actions are wrong. If there were no negative repercussions to wrongful acts, people would simply attribute their wrongdoings to determinism and claim they are not morally responsible for their actions, since their actions stem from prior causes that they have no control
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