Freedom (or free will) versus determinism has been a staple of debate amongst humans for well over a thousand years. Its origins can be traced back to modern arguments that place religion at the center of the argument. The side of free will argues that there is nothing inhibiting us, as humans, from making the choices we choose to make. In my opinion, the other side of the debate, determinism, is incredibly vague and ambiguous. Free will, on the other hand, seems to be much more viable in every conceivable way. First, I will describe the definitions and intricacies of both ideas theories.
First off is the concept of free will. This theory is the idea that human beings have the ability to choose without constraint from any outside source of interference (e.g. social pressures, religion, and law). By this theory, one can assume that any action is done by the will of the individual, which in turn proves that every action done has a sole agent responsible for said action.
For example, Bob goes to the store, he buys bananas. His mom calls and asks him to pick up some juice while he’s there.
Bob may be naturally inclined to fulfill his mom’s request, but he is in no way out of control what choice he decides to make. The key word here is inclined. He would likely choose to buy the juice as well as his bananas, because he is a good son and doesn’t mind spending the money for juice. He could also choose to completely ignore his mother’s request because he wants to. He has complete control of what he chooses because he has free will. He will be responsible for the consequences should he choose to ignore his mother.
Next up is the theory of determinism. A simple definition of the theory states that all events are caused. As I said, a simple definition. The debate over this theory is over what or who is causing the events. Some say fate; some say god, or gods; some say cause-and-effect. By the definition of this theory, it can be derived that if all events are caused, then we as humans are living a life that has already been planned out for us by some divine power or powers which essentially means that no one individual is responsible for his or her own actions.
For example, Bob goes to the store, he buys bananas. His mom calls and asks him to pick up some juice while he‘s there. He does not pick up the juice and blames it on a series of events that lead up to him being unable to buy the juice.
This form of determinism is called “simple” determinism. This cause-and-effect postulation represents a butterfly effect type of scenario. “The bus boy at a restaurant bumped into the guy who stocks shelves at the store so he didn’t come into work, therefore there was no juice stocked and Bob could not buy any”.
Another example of determinism would be if Bob goes to the store, he buys bananas. His mom calls and asks him to pick up some juice while he‘s there. Some Divine Being made it so that Bob wouldn’t be able to buy the juice.
This form of determinism is called fatalism. Advocates of this theory believe that a cosmic force is