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Sample First Page (The Wrong Way)

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Author: William Ramsey

Freedom and Determinism

Since the dawn of time, mankind has wondered about his true nature and one of the questions he ponders is his freedom.  There are two very different arguments about free will.  The hard determinist says that freedom requires the ability to do otherwise and that because we are determined, we are therefore not free.  He says that freedom is only an ilusion and that we are like a train going down a pre-determined path. The soft determinists, or compatibilits, claims instead, that we are free because freedom only requires that we do what we want.   The hrad determinist counters this by saying that if freedom really only required us to what we want, then we should say that people who are brainwashed into wanting something they really don’t want would still be free anyhow because they would still be doing what they want.   The main point that both sides disagree about is the true definition of freedom.

Hard determinists say that everything that happens in the universe is pre-determined by hte laws of physics and nothing happens for no reason at all.  Everything is goverend by the laws of physics and this means that someone who knoew the position and velicity of every particle in the universe, and knew all the laws of physics, could, in principal, predict everything that could ever happen.  This is called determinism.  The hard determinist then defines freedom as having the ability to do otherwise.  This means that if everything were exactly the same as when it was just before you made a decision, and you could have chosen differently than you in fact did choose.  Some people say that quantum physics challenges determinism.  But there are three big problems with that.

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