Introduction to Philosophy

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Introductionto Philosophy

Suderarguesin theessay“Free willanddeterminism”thatthere is an apparentfactthatusuallyconflictswith theconceptof freewill. The‘apparentfact’,in thiscase,refersto thecommonbeliefthatalleventshavecauses.Thecausecan bedefinedas an eventthat happenedearlieranditcauseanothereventto occur.Thefactthatscientistshavemanagedto identifytheunderlying causesof variousthingsconfirmsthehumanbeliefthatalleventshavecauses.Conflictarisesfrom thenotionthat,ifallactionsare causedby earlierevents,thenone would askiftoday’sactionsare doneout of freewill orout of theinfluenceofthepreviousevents.Althoughitmay bearguedthatpeoplemay havesomepowerto controltheir actionsanddecisions,eventhealternative choiceswill havesomepreviouscausesassociatedwith them. Thisimpliesthateverythingthat happenstodayis determinedby someantecedentconditionsin conjunctionwith thelawsof nature.Itis, therefore,evidentthatnooneactsfreely.

Softdeterminism orcompatibilist holdsthatactionsoreventscan be bothdeterminedandfree.Theterm‘free’referstoa scenarioin which eventsare causedby somepreviousevents,butthesecausesconstituteone’s choicesandnot externalforces.One’s decisionsare regardedas freewhenan individualmakesrationaldecisionwithout anyexternalinfluence,includingthreats.In mostcases,thesystemsof humanbeliefsanddesiresare based on factsthat appeargenuineandmystical to naïve individuals.Actionsthat are guidedby one’s desiresandbeliefscannot be regardedas freebecausethetwo factors(desiresandbeliefs)are in turninfluencedby externalfactors,suchas themythheldby one’s societyorsomething that one has seenin thesurrounding.

Divinecommandtheory

Devinecommandtheory(DCT) refersto a perspectivethat holdsthatactionscan onlybe consideredto be immoralormoralifGod commandpeopleto dothem orprohibitsthem from doingthem. Thetheoryisbasedon theideathatwhatis wrongorrightis consideredsobecauseGod saysitis wrongorrightandthere is noothermoralstandardthat can be usedto makesimilarjudgments.DCT theoryismainlysupportedby followersof polytheistic andmonotheistic religions,whobelievethatGod’s commandis thecenterof morality.Therefore,DCT holdsthatwhatever that God commandsbecomesthestandardon which themoralityof theactioncan bedetermined,andthere is nomoralvalueexternalto Him that can constrainthetypeof commandthat can be issued.

RussShafer-Landau useda setof three factsto defendtheargumentthat DCT should berejected,evenby thetheists. First,itis difficultforhumanbeingsto discernthewill of God, which makesitdifficultto knowwhatis morallywrongorright.Secondly,ifGod givescommandswith a reason,thenitcan be concludedthatitis thereasonthat makesactionseitherimmoralormoralandnot thecommanditself. Third,ifGod givescommandswithout anyreason,itcan be concludedthatheis capableof givingwrongcommands,includingthosethat can harmotherpeople.ItfollowsthatatheistsupportDCT onthegroundsthatGod has absolutepowerover everything andallcommands(includingthosethat are generallyperceivedby manypeopleto be bad)are givenforagoodpurpose.

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