Concepts and Points of View in Free Will and Determinism
There are two main philosophical theories that help us understand the cause of our actions and thoughts.
Many philosophers and writers claim that every single occurrence (consequence) is the result of a present or past action (cause). This theory is called determinism.
Free will is the belief that humans have the option of choosing and making their own decisions. Advocates of free will believe that our life can be influenced by outside people or forces but it will be our option if we follow or not these influences, making us mainly responsible of our actions.
The problem between determinism and free will arises from the differences among philosophers on the definition of free will.
Hard determinists argue that every single action will have a consequence on our future and that the concept of free will does not exists because our freedom to make a choice was imposed by a past or present action, therefore it is not a “free” decision.
Libertarians believe only in free will and they deny that an action will influence our future. This theory has its main contradictions with what we believe to be true by science. There are several physical laws that follow deterministic patterns denying libertarianism. Libertarianism will follow a more spiritual (or religious) concept probably believing that a good free willed act will break the physical scientific laws. Praying might be a good example of a free willed act that could break a physical law.
Compatibilists oppose the two incompatible theories of hard determinism and libertarianism.
Compatibilism state that the determinism and free will theories can coexist. The main point in