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Diterminism and Freedom

Updated on July 30, 2015

Short Essay about Determinism Vs Freedom

“In ‘Introduction to Ethical Reasoning’ course Nishu a student of Asian University for Women has a presentation on ‘Determinism Vs Freedom’. She wanted to show some wired action to make explicable about freedom. She wishes to fire a cigarette sitting on the table in front of the whole class to vigorously arise the question, “What are you doing?” or “Why are you doing this here?”. Before doing in front class, she went to get permission to that course’s professor. The professor heard her verbal communication and he realized that. Therefore, he agreed to put the cigarette on the mouth but he didn’t give the permission to fire the cigarette in front of the class.”

Professor is the person who has the highest power for the course. But why couldn’t he give Nishu the permission firing cigarette in front of the class though he is personally much liberal and open minder person? The answer is he is somehow determined with the university or something else. In the same way we all human are determined by any means. I am going to write a short essay about what the determinism and freedom is defined, according to the book “Ethics Theory and Practice” written by Jacques P. Thiroux and Keith W. Krasemann, and how the human life become determined and the reflection of practicing freedom.

Determinism and ‘Universal causation’ has the same meaning. They want to prove that every effect, event or occurrence has certain cause. They don’t admit that any occurrence can be happened without any cause or reason. However, determinism conflict with Psychological Egoism. Psychological Egoism says that, “…people always act in their own self interest- that they are psychologically constructed to do so…” (31). If people always do everything what they want to do how their life formerly determined. Furthermore, another moral problem of determinism is that if people are programmed how can be defined what they should or ought to do or how can be they praised, blamed, rewarded or punished?

Billions years ago when human struggle with nature for survival. From then they started to maintain some rules to live together in a group and introduced determinism. The more institute has been created to live together the more increase the type of determinism. Nowadays, a child has to countenance difference kind of determinism what exist in their society. According to the book “Ethics Theory and the Practice”, the writers explains 5 type if determinism.

The five type of determinism along with human endeavor and concern are:

- Religious Determinism or Predestination – The human must have predestined for their action.

- Scientific Determinism – arose from Physical science and Natural Science.

- Historical, or Cultural Determinism – arose from the theories of Georg Hegel.

- Economic, or Social Determinism – arose from the theories of Karl Marx.

- Psychological Determinism – arose out of the work of Freud and Behaviorism.

The writer has been discuss and argued about the determinism what human endeavor in previous section but what actually philosopher defined the Determinism is and how it involves with morality?

Philosophers ascertain that Determinism is the same thing as universal causation but this definition will be strappingly disclosed with Fatalism, Soft Determinism and Hard Determinism.

Fatalism: “What will be, will be” is the rule of conduct of fatalism and human cannot change them any way. The argument of Fatalism is that, Fatalism is an impractical theory and soft determinist says that “everything has a cause is not the same as to say that every single thing that happens is completely and irrevocably outside of human control.” (97)

Hard Determinism: Hard Determinist illustrates that human beings are programmed by born with genetic makeup, early environmental physical event and human action. Thus they cannot say that they are free. The hard determinist says that, “If you keep pushing back far enough in analyzing any human action or choice, you will eventually arrive at a cause that is outside the control of the person who is choosing or acting.” (98). William James disagree the Hard Determinism and argue that human has novelty and spontaneity of their desire that shows their freedom and creativity. James added that our motivation for doing good over bad or regrets over bad action shows human are not entirely determined. Further, hard determinism does not explain about the human complexity; human mind and consciousness.

Soft Determinism: Soft Determinism demonstrates that all events have a cause but some event and cause originated with human being. Hard Determinist criticized the Soft Determinism and argues that when a series of cause guide an event how a cause is originated by human being.

In the conclusion, if everything is determined by any means then ‘where the freedom is?’ Mahatma Gandhi states that, “Freedom and slavery are mental states.” Human cannot be entirely free from the beginning. Their freedom is limited. From above analysis we came to know that, the action what human act is determined but they can choose to do or not to do, they can desire or not to desire. Again the consequence is also determined what they chose.


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