Phil 102 Essay
Phil 102 Essay
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Phil 102 Essay
Free will and determinism act as a baseline of human actions taking into account the concept of choice. It would not be wrong to say that free will is an idea that infers, humans have the choice in how to act and think of self-determinism. Free will and determinism is a debate that approaches different disciplines. Philosophers have incorporated different perspectives in order to determine the stance of choice, addressing either choice is determined or it is free will that guides actions. A. J. Ayer a well-learned professor has brought into insight a philosophical spectrum that addresses the stance of free will and determinism. Ayer has explained the dilemma of self-determinism and a compatibilism solution for it. According to him, free will is an outcome of the conflict between two different assumptions asserting, either men are acting freely, or with a reflection of being responsible for their actions morally or human behavior is the product of causal laws. (Van Inwagen, et, al. 2018). He infers that free will is more like compatible with determinism and it is the stance of dissolution and reconciliation of conflict that exists between moral responsibility and determinism. In this paper, I will argue that determinism and free will are compatible.
A.J. Ayer’s essay, “Freedom and Necessity” is a clear illustration of stance that clarifies the compatibility between free will and determinism. He is of the view that moral responsibility does not require any contra-causal freedom; he believes that there are several factors that determine the stance of free will such as an absence of any constraint that can act as a barrier. Ayer asserts that all necessary truths in this world are true on the context of meanings that are used for expressing them. His acceptance of human freedom is highly undemanding because he has denied the existence of causal necessity. In accordance with his philosophy, all actions can be caused taking into account the importance of agent that is the source behind causing an action. He asserts that the presence of constraints has no effect on the stance of determinism, taking into account that humans will be free. (Ayer, et, al. 1972). Ayer has characterized freedom in a straight forward way, addressing that people have free will when they are in control of their actions, asserting that people who are not in the control of their actions are not responsible for the outcome or position of an act in moral context. In fact, people are moral agents that are worthy of praise or any kind of blame as a result of an action.
Ayer has used cognitive psychology to infer that all human actions are actually the result of the activity of brain. The adaptation of this naturalistic view asserts that there is a direct conflict associated with the abstraction that is required for free will. In a simplified form, Ayer infers, if all actions are the product brain events, adhering to the laws of nature then those laws that cause action are not according to an individual's will. ultimately, the responsibility of action cannot be assigned to an individual. It is significant to note that Ayer has incorporated a conflict between morality and naturalism, taking into account that morality requires freedom of choice and freedom of will in contrast to naturalism that requires a determination by natural law. (Van Inwagen, et, al. 2018). Ayer characterizes freedom in terms of its opposite. Ayer infers that human understanding considers caused and determined as an opposition of freedom while he thinks the opposite of freedom is "constraint" not the cause. He infers that it is necessary to think about situations where there is no external control in the form of natural laws. The cases in which a person is threatened, brainwashed or hypnotized, there is no stance of free will. It is significant to note that an individual can only be called as free of constraints only if he/she has performed an action in compliance with the will only. Such an individual will be free from all compulsions or reaction to a threat. The stance of being free is completely compatible with the existence of causal mechanisms that can pave the way for enforcement. In a nutshell, causal connections between decisions and actions are mandate for free actions. (Ayer, et, al. 1972).
In the context of free will and determinism, Ayer took into consideration the problem of ffree will and took a sharp turn from his own idea of “compatibilist position”, addressing that the antithesis between the claims made to justify determinism and free will are illusory. According to him, the problem of free will is the product of human actions taking into account that except some easily identifiable cases, human actions are not bound to any beholding sense. There are several philosophers who have argued that moral responsibility accompanied by determinism is compatible. The point of consideration was the ownership of actions, adhering to the fact that how can one be made responsible for an action in the sense of wrong doing and righteousness. (Ayer, et, al. 1972). It is asserted that what would be the outcome other than right and wrong?
Ayer inferred certain laws to address the question concerning outcomes. He incorporated causal laws as a tool to analyze determinism. It would not be wrong to say that human actions are determined by causal laws. It is significant to note that Ayer evaluates the relationship between free will and determinism by adhering to two aspects, "affirming" and "denying". Ayer called these ideas as “moralists”, because their code of conduct is exactly in contradiction to the attempt to preserve the legitimacy of the moral responsibility. He considered it as a hopeless way of proceeding taking into account that this way is treated as a hopeless stance for moralists because it requires extended consideration for understanding the freedom that is required for moral responsibility. Ayers infer that freedom required for moral responsibility should not be treated as a baseline of freedom from causal determination adhering to the freedom from constraint and compulsion. According to him, this freedom is compatible with the essence that all events are causally determined. Although it is objected that man can never be freed from the interference of determinism, posing human being as, "helpless prisoner of fate". Ayer infers determinism does not entail to “helpless prisoner", in fact, it is the utilization of decision making powers to fullest. The discovery of conditions asserts that the action is no less free for being administered by the natural laws. (Ayer, et, al. 1972).
An exegetical analysis of all the features associated with the tie between determinism and free will infers that it is a satisfactory theory. It would not be wrong to say that causal determinism is an idea that affirms, every event is actually necessitated by different conditions. Although Ayers attempt is a semantic trick still it is valid because the concept of free will drift thought to a stance where it is affirming that there are several events that are predetermined while others are not. If an action falls in the latter category, it is assertive that freewill is applicable but in the other category, man would not be responsible for the outcome because there could be a lack of free will. It is significant to note that Ayer has profoundly elaborated the stance of freewill and determinism.
Ayer, A. J. (1972). Freedom and necessity. In Philosophical essays (pp. 271-284). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Van Inwagen, P. (2018). The incompatibility of free will and determinism. In Agency And Responsibility (pp. 17-29). Routledge.
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