Essay on hard determinism

People do not also naturally question where the causes behind their choices come from, which gives humans the idea of having free will. Moreover, hard determinism has many advantages to it. It could be helpful in courts of law and in the legal system, that is when it would be most convincing. If hard determinism is successfully persuasive in court, then it should be accepted that both free will and determinism are incompatible. However hard determinism does have its flaws. While soft determinism views that humans are unique, because they possess free will; hard determinism refutes humans that important component that makes humans distinctly different form animals.

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Humans are also no more free than robots. In addition, it would be wrong to punish a criminal, because they just could not help it; and that would ultimately lead to an unstable society filled with mayhem and troubles. Ultimately hard determinism argues that humans may feel free but it is nothing but a mere illusion, and some people would argue against this and believe that it is free of choice. Continuing on the pros of the hard determinist view, libertarianism brought up many new points to the argument.

Libertarianism was about the idea that humans are all free and that free will is not compatible with determinism. Furthermore libertarianism has far too many problems and disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that there is scientific data and empirical evidence that proves that humans are psychologically and scientifically determined, this discovery was made by Skinner, who was also a hard determinist.

Concepts of Determinism, Compatibilism, and Libertarianism - Words | Essay Example

It is through classical conditioning that human behavior is a response to the stimuli an individual is in or exposed to. Eventually, once the psychological evidence is shown, such as operant conditioning and scientific determinism, it becomes a challenge to see how humans are not determined, and that leaves little room for the libertarian perspective to prosper.

One other argument against the libertarian perspective of free will and determinism is the explanation that everything has a cause.

However a hard determinist philosopher by the name of T. He believed that the human mind must be determined, and that the mind should not be separate from the rest of the body, as it has been demonstrated that the mind highly dependent on physical brain activity. Ultimately, there are many perspectives that are related to the question of free will being either compatible with determinism or it being incompatible with determinism.

Free Will vs Determinism - Does Free Will Exist?

From the evidence presented within this paper, hard determinism is the most consistent theory to follow when it comes to the question of free will and determinism. Even though it is hard to accept, Holbach explains that humans must accept it because it is the truth.

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Humans are not free to choose their actions. If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please:. Essays Philosophy. Essays, UK.

November That means that human decisions and actions are as predetermined as any other event. An understandable illusion, perhaps, since it makes us feel that we are importantly different from the rest of nature; but an illusion all the same. Determinism as an all-encompassing view of things received a severe blow in the s with the development of quantum mechanics, a branch of physics dealing with the behavior of subatomic particles.


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According to the widely accepted model proposed by Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr , the subatomic world contains some indeterminacy. Similarly, atoms will sometimes emit radioactive particles, but this, too, is viewed as an event without a cause. Consequently, such events cannot be predicted. The discovery of quantum indeterminacy was one of the most surprising discoveries in the history of science, and it has never been universally accepted.

Einstein, for one, could not countenance it, and still today there are physicists who believe that the indeterminacy is only apparent, that eventually a new model will be developed which reinstates a thoroughly deterministic point of view. At present, though, quantum indeterminacy is generally accepted for much the same sort of reason that determinism is accepted outside quantum mechanics: the science that presupposes it is phenomenally successful.

There are still plenty of hard determinists around. This is because when it comes to macro objects like human beings and human brains, and with macro events such as human actions, the effects of quantum indeterminacy is thought to be negligible to non-existent. Yes, there may be some subatomic indeterminacy.

Soft Determinism Essay example

But what is merely probabilistic at the subatomic level still translates into deterministic necessity when we are talking about the behavior of larger objects. For most people, the strongest objection to hard determinism has always been the fact that when we choose to act in a certain way, it feels as if our choice is free: that is, it feels as if we are in control and exercising a power of self-determination.

This is true whether we are making life-altering choices such as deciding to get married, or trivial choices such as opting for apple pie rather than cheesecake. How strong is this objection? It is certainly convincing to many people. After all, it feels as if the earth is still while the sun moves around it; it seems as if material objects are dense and solid when in fact they consist mainly of empty space. So the appeal to subjective impressions, to how things feel is problematic. On the other hand, one could argue that the case of free will is different from these other examples of common sense being wrong.

We can accommodate the scientific truth about the solar system or the nature of material objects fairly easily. The idea that we are responsible for what we do underlies our willingness to praise and blame, reward and punish, take pride in what we do or feel remorse. Our whole moral belief system and our legal system seem to rest on this idea of individual responsibility. This points to a further problem with hard determinism.

Hard Determinism Vs. Negatives

If every event is causally determined by forces beyond our control, then this must include the event of the determinist concluding that determinism is true. But this admission seems to undermine the whole idea of arriving at our beliefs through a process of rational reflection. It also seems to render pointless the whole business of debating issues like free will and determinism, since it is already predetermined who will hold what view. On these grounds, some critics view hard determinism as self-refuting.