Philosophy Free Will Essay

1668 words 7 pages
Goodridge ­ 1

Henry Goodridge
Phil 1­A
Professor Teuber
Some may think that a belief in determinism eliminates the possibility of free will, and even destroys the credibility of being held accountable for one’s actions. Within the context of the pizza and yogurt problem, this means that not only was eating pizza unavoidable, but that the repercussions of the event should not be placed on the shoulders of the diner. On the flip side, a libertarianist might argue that a vast pool of options exists whenever a problem is encountered, therefore meaning that any consequences of a chosen action are the fault of the decision maker. Going back to the pizza and yogurt example, the libertarianist could argue that the choice to
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And while this does mean that an action like physically forcing somebody to do something they don’t want to is infringing on their free will, determinism does not provide the same restrictions. Determinism simply says that any decision a person makes or action taken is

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done so because of a set of causes that explains the final output. This does not mean that the set of causes somehow takes away the fact that the decision was still made freely. For example, when I decided to get the pizza instead of the yogurt, it may have been because I have weak willpower and cannot commit to a diet. My decision to get the pizza is still mine however, and my weak willpower isn’t forcing me to choose against my free will, instead it’s contributing to the reason that I want pizza more than yogurt, and therefore the reason I freely decided to turn down the yogurt. Determinism does not provide an alternative to free will at all, in fact it simply explains why, out of all the seemingly endless options in the world, each particular one was chosen. I wanted the pizza more than I wanted the yogurt, I chose the pizza because of this, and my free will is still intact because there’s no constraint on my ability to do so. It is not necessarily that each final decision was the only possible one that could be made, but rather it was the only one the decision maker wanted to be made. All determinism does is


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