In a great many controversies about free

In my opinion,
I believe that there is not an individual controversy about free will.
Nevertheless, there are rather a great many controversies about free will. “The
term “Free Will” sits at an agents thought, behaviour, morality and liability” John
Searle (2013) had said. According to me, free
will is the freedom to act according to one’s “strong-minded intentions”
without interruption from others and free will is when you are gratifying a
desire of yours. Nonetheless, there are serious arguments about what
would be an acceptable theory of free will e.g. some consider that free will is
a complete mystery (Inwagen, 2016) and some are commanding of why free will is
a complication in the first place(Plantinga,2016) (Closer To Truth- Big
Question in Free Will, 2016). I believe that free will is not an illusion and
that the incompatibilist interpretation of free will and causal determinism is
correct. I will, in a nutshell, explain the following; what the broad trouble
of free will is, what is Causal Determinism, contrasting interpretations of
free will and causal determinism including the requirements, why the argument
against incompatibilism (COMPATIBILISM) isn’t a good one and why it fails, Libertarianism,
the Luck Problem and the Conclusion. This essay is addressed to whether free
will can be exercised in a world that is causally deterministic. Its answer to
that by my reckoning is that free will is incompatible with causal determinism
and that indicates that you cannot exercise free will in a world that is causally
deterministic and there are several reasons why.

MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS-

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Here’s the broad trouble of free will;
on one end of it is said that, our actions are ‘free’ meaning that we are
accountable for making these choices and nothing and nobody else makes them for
us and this means that if we can make these choices then it seems that we can
exercise free will even if we live in a world that leads to prior events and so
on (COMPATIBILISM). However we may think that we have free will but we may not;
there are influential arguments against the likelihood that we have free will (INCOMPATIBILISM,
LIBERTARIANISM, SCEPTICISM, AND THE ACCOUNT OF IMPOSSIBILISM) e.g.  Every event is guaranteed by a prior event,
for example, Causal Determinism (THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH). This is explained
below.

Causal Determinism- Causal Determinism
is a thesis that tells us that literally everything that ever happens in the
world- past, present or future is causally necessitated by antecedent events. It is thus said that every
event that befalls in the world is guaranteed to come by events or
circumstances that came before it. For example, if a row of dominoes
collapses, the initial domino would cause the additional domino and so on to
collapse. “This states that each domino implies an alone event in the world,
caused to come by the antecedent dominoes before it, and afterwards itself
causing the dominoes after it to come.” This example is indicating of what has
happened before we were alive and what is happening now and in the upcoming.
The thesis of determinism could likewise be stated that at any time the
universe has one physically possible future.

 Incompatibilism is the interpretation that free will is incompatible
with causal determinism e.g. incompatibilists state that free will could not
exist if the world is causally deterministic and that you cannot exercise free
will in a world that is causally deterministic i.e. whether or not people have free will is thus
whether or not determinism is false. Compatibilism is
the clarification that free will is compatible with causal determinism e.g.
free will could exist if the world is causally deterministic and that you could
exercise free will in a world that is causally deterministic i.e. Some compatibilists (David Hume, 2011) state
that “Causal determinism is imperative for
free will, arguing that choice involves liking for one course of action over
another, involving an impression of how choices will turn out”.

Other incompatibilists e.g. sceptics,
consider that human beings lack free will i.e. they believe that the human
brain activates your mind in deterministic ways and sceptics utilize this claim
that free will is incompatible with this determinism. And the account of
impossibilism states that free will is altogether impossible for anyone or that
it somehow doesn’t make any intellect.

COMPATIBILISM- THE REQUIREMENTS-

Compatibilism is the interpretation that
free will is compatible with causal determinism. Compatibilists, therefore,
consider that we can exercise free will in a world that is causally
deterministic e.g. we can exercise free will in a world in which everything
that happens past, present or future is causally necessitated by antecedent events “however these actions
which are caused by antecedent events, seeing that those events are the
accurate ones could be considered as an exercise of free will.

The
approaching conditions that compatibilists call for have to be met in command
of an action to be calculated as an exercise of free will:

“The
person who performs the action must be mentally sane and therefore not
suffering from psychological or other internal compulsion or affliction.”

“The
person must be able to understand a reason for acting in a certain way as such-
that is, must be able to understand considerations that speak in favour of, or against,
acting in various ways.” For example, you need to be approachable to reasons in
an assured way meaning that if the reasons have been altered you would have or
might have acted strangely but there would be no possibility that your reasons
could be different because we live in a such a world that is causally
deterministic.

 “The person must not be coerced or otherwise
manipulated by another person that is, must not be subjected to intimidation,
threats, or other forms of pressure from the outside.”

Likewise,
compatibilists usually ask for “a person’s action to be caused by her desires
and her beliefs but not by anyone else. Correspondingly, some compatibilists
lack further that the desires and beliefs that cause her action be desires and
beliefs with which she classifies. If she classifies with a desire of hers if she
has an additional desire to desire that initial desire.

To
exercise free will in a compatibilists interpretation, a person must be
mentally rational, uncompelled, uncoerced, unmanipulated and not influenced by
intimidation, threats etc… and her action must be caused to come to her desires
and beliefs that are of her own and not by anybody else. If all of this comes
about, the compatibilist could state that her choices may be free because they imitate
her desires and beliefs about how to act.

“For
example, (In Closer To Truth-Big Questions in Free Will, 2016) Alfred Mele,
(2016) illustrates free will as “A Gas Station Analogy”. He states “At a gas
station you can get standard gas, mid-grade gas or you can get first-class gas.
The standard way of thinking of free will is like this; if you have free will
then you have the ability to consider, think and act willingly and you are mentally
rational where no internal compulsion, affliction or coercion etc… is involved.
When you go into mid-grade a
person who is acting on the person’s own will at that instant only when it is
the desire of that person to do the act, and also achievable for the person to
be able to do otherwise if the
person had strong-willed too. And when you go into first-class you
track all these conditions so that these can be met as an exercise of free will.”
For some compatibilists, all these conditions can be met as an exercise of free
will but further compatibilists believe this is not enough and really aren’t
imperative for anyone that has exercised free will in a world that is causally
deterministic. This is explained in clause 6.

INCOMPATIBILISM-THE CONSEQUENCE
ARGUMENT-

The Consequence Argument is an
authoritative incompatibilists argument against compatibilism. Incompatibilists
believe that the compatibilist requirements for free will are not enough and
inaccurate and this is where The Consequence Argument comes in.

“If determinism is true, then our acts
are the consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past. But
it is not up to us what went on before we were born, and neither is it up to us
what the laws of nature are. Therefore, the consequences of these things
(including our present acts) are not up to us.”

                                                        (Peter van Inwagen, An Essay
on Free Will (1983), p.56.)

This, I think, is a brilliant incompatibilists
argument against compatibilism. What Inwagen is trying to say is that if
determinism is true, then all of our choices were causally necessitated to come
by antecedent events which were caused to come by prior events and so on all
the way back before we were alive. This means that if we cannot control what
went on before we were born then it is not up to us for those choices caused
before that are leading up to now and the upcoming. For example, the events or
circumstances in the past guaranteed that we would accomplish all of the
choices that we actually do execute throughout our lives. But if events or
circumstances in the past guaranteed all of our choices, then it is hard to see
how any of those choices can really be up to us. This means that our choices
cannot be free. Therefore incompatibilists state that “If an act was incompatible
with the state of the world before a person’s birth when it comes that the
person must not have carried out the act.”

The trouble of the impending argument
for some compatibilists is that it lies in the statement that it entails that
‘one could have chosen other than one has’. For example, if Oliver is a
compatibilist and he has just sat down on the settee, then he is committed to
the claim that he could have remained to stand if he so desired to. According
to Alternative Possibilities, if Oliver is an incompatibilist then he had
remained to stand and would have generated a contradiction meaning that would
have done otherwise. This is explained below.

 ALTERNATIVE
POSSIBILITIES-

According to incompatibilist’s what is
absent from compatibilist accounts of free will is “Alternative Possibilities”.

Many incompatibilist’s e.g. Frankfurt
(1982) had stated “Alternative
Possibilities is when “A person is morally
responsible for an action only if that person
could have done otherwise.”

 This is an exceptional compatibilist’s argument.
“Frankfurt’s aim was to claim that moral responsibility is compatible with
causal determinism without saying that the ability to do otherwise is compatible
with causal determinism” as it is stated in Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy. Frankfurt’s argument is powerfully influential; however, most
compatibilists were convinced with this statement he had said but
incompatibilists conflict with this. This is because incompatibilists believe
that something remains up to an agent.

In an incompatibilist’s
interpretation having alternative possibilities means having actual options.  If we were given a choice of ours about how to
act is really to count as free, the incompatibilist insists, that we could have
chosen otherwise than we really did. For example, if we choose to eat cereal,
even with everything in the world exactly the same we could have chosen to eat
eggs for breakfast instead.

Causal
determinism is a thesis that tells us that literally
everything that ever happens in the world- past, present or future is causally necessitated by antecedent events and in
contrast to this, genuine alternative possibilities are when you could have
chosen otherwise.  Causal determinism
gives a threat to alternative possibilities because it is impossible to have both
in a world that is causally deterministic. This is because to have a choice is
to have alternatives so that we can act in different ways. The worry is that
causal determinism entails antecedent event being causally necessitated meaning
that the choice is already made for us and we cannot do anything about it and alternative
possibilities allow us to choose to do otherwise. According to this
argument, if determinism is correct, no one has access to alternatives because
it is impossible and if determinism is false we have access to alternatives.

WHY THE ARGUMENT AGAINST INCOMPATIBILISM
(COMPATIBILISM) ISN’T A GOOD ONE AND WHY IT FAILS-

Compatibilists believe that as long as
we are mentally rational,
uncompelled, uncoerced, unmanipulated and not influenced by intimidation,
threats etc… and are able to understand reasons for our actions and are able to
choose our actions with our own desires and beliefs and not by anything/anyone
else, then our choices may be free because they imitate our desires and beliefs
about how to act. On the other hand, I believe that all of this is inaccurate and
I will thoroughly explain why the compatibilist requirements aren’t good enough
and why they fail.  I believe that the
compatibilist requirements listed above are not enough for anyone to exercise
free will in a world that is causally deterministic. Let me give you an
example. If Oliver was to be coerced and manipulated this tells me that even if
Oliver was to act on his beliefs and desires and was coerced and manipulated that
this isn’t enough for the compatibilist requirements e.g.  If Oliver was to do the chores via bribing
then the doing of the chores would be the bribe itself and not in Oliver
himself. This is why the compatibilist’s response fails because the
compatibilist requirement doesn’t meet. How can an agent have free will if
their reason for acting in a certain way is involved in being bribed etc…? I
believe that some of the compatibilist requirements meet but some do not meet.

Another
interpretation is that even if we are mentally rational, not compelled, coerced,
manipulated and influenced by intimidation, threats all of this is not unavoidable
e.g. our choices make no difference to anything that happens
because earlier causes have pre-determined or “fixed” our entire future
(Nahmias 2011). Nahmias is trying to say that if we cannot control
whatever happened before we were alive this means that we cannot control what
is going to happen now and in the upcoming even if we are mentally rational
etc… because it wouldn’t make a change in any matter. We wouldn’t have reasons
for our actions and we wouldn’t be able to choose our actions with our own
desires and beliefs because as I have explained we cannot compel or control the
past, present or future and our actions would not be free.  The choice is already made for us. The
compatibilist’s fail because they had no answer to the incompatibilists argument
(THE CONSEQUENCE ARGUMENT). Incompatibilist can claim that determinism would
make it impossible for us to cause and control our actions in an exact way.

Compatibilists,
however, can give their own account of ability to do otherwise.  For them, to say Oliver could have done
otherwise is to say that Oliver would have done otherwise if he willed or chosen
to do so means that he must have a reason for acting in a certain way i.e. it
may be achievable for him to alter or do otherwise if he desires to though. Compatibilists,
therefore, believe that Oliver has the ability to do something such that, had
he done it, either the past, now or future would have been different than they
actually are.

However,
according to incompatibilists, the ability to do otherwise is to say that free
will needs alternative possibilities which we would lack if our choices were
caused to appear by prior events. Causal determinism is a threat to alternative
possibilities. This is because determinism would not allow us the power or
ability to choose or do otherwise as it is impossible. An agent can be free if
determinism is false. If determinism is false, e.g. Oliver did choose to sit on
the settee, he could have done otherwise than sit on the settee. If determinism
is true, Oliver did choose to sit on the settee but could have altered if he
acted in a certain way.

LIBERTARIANISM- FURTHER INCOMPATIILIST REQUIREMENTS-WHY
THE LUCK PROBLEM ISN’T-

Libertarians are incompatibilists though
libertarians assert that agents do act freely some of the time. Libertarians
assert that agents really do have what it takes to exercise free will.  Libertarians, such
as Thomas Reid (1786) had stated that “I
am one of those incompatibilists who accept free will and contradict
determinism, holding the inspection that some appearance of indeterminism is accurate.”

Many incompatibilists and compatibilists
state “If the world is not causally deterministic then our choices themselves
are not causally determined i.e. not guaranteed to happen by prior events. And
if this is so, then it would seem that our choices are, therefore at least a
call for luck- and so are not free and not up to us.”

Some libertarians insist that, contrary
to the ‘luck’, we ourselves can establish our choices, even if the world is not
causally deterministic meaning that even if the world is not causally
deterministic we do not need the luck to aid us for our choices. This is to
withhold that there is really anything ‘lucky’ about such choices. This is why
libertarians believe that the luck problem isn’t really a problem for them at
all.

CONCLUSION-

In conclusion, I, therefore, believe
that nobody could exercise free will in a world that is causally deterministic
and whether or not agents have free will is whether or not determinism is
false. There are many reasons above of why you cannot exercise free will e.g.
The Consequence Argument, Alternative Possibilities and why the compatibilist
requirements are a failure etc…I cannot say that incompatibilism is the exact
answer of if anyone could exercise free will in a world that is causally
deterministic because we do not know. But I believe that science will one day
arrive at us with convincing reasons for believing in whether we have free will
or whether anyone can exercise free will in a world that is causally
deterministic and these reasons will be backed up by controlling answers.

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