Determinism and Freedom

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Since ancient Greece, thinkers have been able to engage in a number of thoughts on equality and determinism. It is possible, on the one hand, to consider ourselves as separate and free beings accountable for the actions we carry out. However, this understanding proves to be in contrast with contradictory attitudes regarding the eventual functioning of the environment or the world around us. Some people, for example, believe in the influence of rigid, as well as general, rules of nature in ruling the universe. In the other hand, there is a view of the presence of an omnipotent Deity that serves as the sole source of all things.These global perspectives highlight that each specific event, inclusive of human action, undergoes causal necessitation, thus, conflicting with the essence of freedom of human beings. From this perspective, the issue of freedom and determinism proves to concern reconciliation of the attitudes human beings have towards themselves against the general thoughts on the universe.

In the course of discussing the essence of freedom, philosophers have focused on the integration of the theoretical contexts regarding the nature or attribute of the moral responsibility. Based on the basic assumption, philosophers tend to refer to this element as the moral freedom. From a definitional perspective, freedom is a necessary precondition in which human beings are accountable for their actions. Evidently, the issue of freedom tends to play a critical role in the beliefs of individuals concerning moral praise or blame. For instance, it is normally absurd for an individual to blame a rock, which happens to crash through his or her living room window, but accept to blame the person who did engage in the act of throwing the rock. It is appropriate for the individuals to legitimize this blame.

The objective of freedom and determinism relates to who controls the actions of the individuals in questions. Like in the case of the puppets for the Tbilisi Marionette Theatre under the influence of the forces hidden from the public view, the essence of freedom and determinism aims at assessment of the application of this metaphor in our lives, as well as the choices we make within the society. In the daily encounters, individuals have the tendency to encounter the mystery of their actions. For instance, one person might commit an armed robbery while killing the guard in the process. In another case, there might be a firefighter risking his or her life with the objective of saving the life of an infant from the burning building. Similarly, a peaceful protest might get out of control, thus, turning into destructive, as well as violent encounter. In these instances and other countless encounters, it is challenging to understand why people engage in what they do. The answers to such questions depend on the deepest beliefs concerning the nature or attributes of the human self.

For example, certain individuals believe on the genuine freedom of choice. Nonetheless, this is not always possible because our beliefs, decisions, and actions depend on various factors beyond the control of humanity. This reflects on the aspect of determinism, thus, the concept of hard determinism. According to hard determinists, it is possible to trace each behavior to a specific cause in spite of potential disagreement with the emerging causes. From this perspective, determinism refers to the philosophical approach in which practitioners relate human actions to the previous events about the universal causal laws governing the world. Based on this perception, human freedom proves to be an illusion rather than a reality. Determinists have the tendency to adopt and implement different explanations regarding human behavior.

For instance, determinists conceptualize human nature through documenting the fact that people are born with specific instincts, which are basic attributes influencing, as well as determining how they behave within the society. Based on this perspective, the actions mentioned above, good or evil, demonstrate the natural expression of the universal characteristic regarding each individual. Notably, there is no possibility of free choice since actions follow from the inborn nature of each individual making it impossible for individuals to be who they are not within the society (Chaffee 158). Determinists believe that the tendency to do good or evil actions is beyond our control as human beings, thus, the inability of an individual to alter his or her central character regarding essential attributes or characteristics.

Other than the influence of human nature, it is ideal to note that we are not free because of the environmental influences. Based on this argument, determinists believe that environment plays a critical role in shaping the actions and behaviors of individuals within the society. From this perspective, the environment associates with the attributes conditioning experiences of the individuals to be who they are. This highlights the lack of freedom in the actions and behaviors of the individuals in the society. Lack of freedom also associates with the psychological forces. In illustrating this argument, determinists perceive the enormous influence of psychological factors or forces, which might be unconscious in determining how individuals think, feel, and behave in certain manners (Chaffee 160).

Determinists also elaborate on the lack of human freedom based on the social dynamics. In this aspect, human beings come out as social beings or creatures. Being such social creatures, individuals have to tend with the influences of social forces determining how they think, feel, and act within the society. Additionally, determinists have been able to integrate the concept of free will in the expression and analysis of human behavior (Chaffee 160). In this context, people have the tendency to make ideal free choices with the ability to reflect while shaping their selves; thus, such individuals are responsible for the consequences or implications of their actions.

Based on the above discussion, determinist perceptions of human freedom relate to the scientific model of the physical world or universe, thus, enormous influence of the causal laws governing the universe. The determinists focus on the utilization of such causal laws in explaining or illustrating the concept of personal freedom. According to this philosophical perception, the physical universe tends to have consistent causal links or connections accepted to the human beings across the world. These specific events exist in the biological or natural sphere, thus, the platform to display logical causal connections. Nonetheless, the complexities and intimacy between the body and mind contribute to the complication of the situation. Notably, human beings are components of the physical universe, as well as the biological sphere. Eventually, it is reasonable for the practitioners to assume at human actions, as well as choices as causally determined. This eliminates the possibility of the free will or free choice among human beings.

In spite of these overwhelming arguments on the determinist perspective on human behavior, philosophers believe that individuals have the tendency to experience the personal freedom, which highlights the moral responsibility of the actions. Based on this, people do not live their lives on the assumptions that their choices, thoughts, and actions undergo determination, thus, unfree within the society (Mills 119). In most cases, individuals engage in behaviors demonstrating a certain degree of the personal freedom as an attribute making sense in interactions within the society. For instance, people engage in the expression of the personal freedom concerning choices and thoughts to improve who they are within the community. Personal freedom is also appropriate in enabling people to demonstrate moral responsibility while educating others for more enlightenment (Chaffee 165).

There is also substantive freedom in the process, actions, and choices pursuing spiritual enlightenment and transformation. Personal freedom is critical in elaborating the decisions, thoughts, and choices of people to facilitate the creation of a better world. In certain instances, people express this aspect of freedom through raising children to become rational beings within the society, thus, the platform for accepting responsibility and consequences of their actions (Chaffee 165). The degree of personal freedom is valuable in the illustration of the operations of the criminal justice system in holding wrongdoers responsible for their actions.

In such instances, it is possible to make punishment or rehabilitation decisions while holding such individuals responsible for their actions and behaviors within the society. Conclusively, it is possible to incorporate determinism and freedom perspectives in the illustration of the human behavior. For instance, from the freedom perspective, individuals have an obligation to depict moral responsibility concerning their actions and behaviors. Alternatively, determinists perceive psychological factors, human nature, and environmental implications in explaining human behaviors, choices, and actions.

Works Cited

Chaffee, John. “The Philosopher’s Way: A Text with Readings: Thinking Critically about Profound Ideas,” 5th Edition, Pearson, 2016, Print. 9780133867541, 0133867544, pp 157-228.

Mills, Jon, “Freedom and determinism,” The Humanistic Psychologist 41.2 (2013): 101-118.

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