I am going to compare and analyze the three theories; Soft, hard and indeterminism. I will demonstrate what consequences they have on freewill as well if the universe entire history is predetermined. Strong determinism is the theory that states that every single thing that happens in the universe is determined and governed by the natural law. For example, how earth moves, what movie you chose to see in the cinema. A strong determinist strictly believes that nothing could influence this behavior, in other words our choice or free will does not exist, not even luck. This theory is the strongest theory that supports determinism; this affects freewill very badly, since hard determinism does not believe in free will. This is problematic since how can we have free will if everything is determined and if it is true, would it not create ethical consequences if we have no free will? One might argue that if determinism was true then how can we blame a person who robs a bank? If the universe determines that he is bound to do that, then he does not have any free will which means we cannot really blame him? There is no right or wrong, nor good or evil if everything is predetermined, this shows the flaws of determinism as a consequence.
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If determinism may be real, then we are no freer than robots, and since there is no evil or good there is no reason to reward or punish someone. Since this theory rejects ethics, morals and completely disagrees with free will a new concept was created, which is called Soft Determinism. This theory states that determinism is correct; however it tries to make determinism and moral and ethics (and free will) compatible. Since soft determinism believes that everything is determined, it does not believe that our actions are acted freely. Soft determinism in contrast to Hard determinism believes that an action can be voluntary, in other words for something to occur it does not necessarily mean that it cannot have any freedom of choice. One argument may say if I was about to give money to a poor person out of good will and freedom (choice) and then he turned on me with a gun, then it would not mean it would be freedom or soft determinism since I will be forced to do it. An argument would be if a robber were to rob a bank, the soft determinist does not think that his action was caused because he was not free, he did it voluntarily. This theory states that free will is voluntary actions. A hard determinist would argue that this act cannot be free, it must occur. But then again why would the robber rob a bank without any reason?
Indeterminism is the theory that states that most events and decisions are occurred by pure chance. In other words, they just happen and have nothing to do with having a determined behavior. They believe that every event is not predictable and this opens a way for us to influence the future and by this we can act freely and have morally responsibilities. The flaw in indeterminism is that if everything happens by chance then free will is unpredictable and happens randomly which cannot hold the person responsible for his choices since he cannot predict when or what will occur.
If determinism was true, then it would have several of consequences for free will. Since if we have a determined cause for every action we imply, then our behavior is much like a robot. Since robots do not have any free will and if determinism was true then we people would not either have free will. So by removing all the responsibilities a person have since he cannot control what he is doing, would mean that if someone committed a crime they cannot be blamed since they did not have any freewill. An incompatibilist would argue that if determinism was true then there is no chance of having a free will. Another argument is that soft determinism states that freewill is voluntarily actions, but then again it cannot be free will if our causes are based upon voluntary actions since you are not the first causer. In order to have free will we need to be the first person that causes the choice he makes, so in other words if determinism was true, then we do not cause our choices but that everything that happens are caused by events and the natural law which he cannot control. Therefore he cannot have freewill since he is not the primary cause of the choices he makes.
Finally we come to the question, can we escape the conclusion that the entire history of the universe follows a predetermined path? Well I believe that we cannot escape the conclusion, since I think that the universe cannot come from nothing, and the path its heading is predetermined. I see that everything consisted in the universe is similar to a giant puzzle; if a puzzle bit would act randomly then the puzzle would break. For example, if the atoms in space would act randomly then the end product would not be produced, so every atom needs to have a determined action in order to create things. Just like we have cells in our bodies the immune system is an example, which is consisted of millions of other cells that interacts in a determined way in order to create end products such as; more white cells. That is how I see the universe that our solar system is one cell that exists in trillions of other universes that make up a small piece of the giant puzzle. For example, if my parents never met I would not have existed, so for something to exist there must have been “something” determine its path. Their genes, education, social life and every factor that have enabled them to meet each other is a direct result of how they met, meaning that the end product is that his was meant to happen. But then, if the future is predetermined then why am I not acting randomly such as deleting everything I’ve written so far, draw a huge smile face and send it to MR Hemingway? Well if I was to change the future of my philosophical grade, it would be a direct result of how I am as a person in other words it was meant to happen anyway. The best way for me to think is comparing the universe is with a song, if I pause the song just in the middle I have just heard the “past” but I know that there is a future that is already determined in that song but it is still unknown, but I can clearly hear that the “future” is based on the past and this is why I believe that the university is predetermined, and I also believe that in the future we will be able to time travel, just because of this.
In conclusion hard determinism denies freedom and believes that everything is determined compared to soft determinism where it still believe that everything is determined however even though our actions are voluntarily. Indeterminism believes that things could happen randomly. All these theories give a consequence to free will, since if determinism was true we would be robots that have no free will at all, we would be people with choices that we cannot decide freely.
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