Free will is a problematic concept that has been highly debated among philosophers for centuries. It deals with the notion that the decisions that humans make on a daily basis, both those that are done consciously and unconsciously, are done so completely through our own free choosing with no influence from any external factors.
The problem with free will is the fact that it is impossible to prove that our decisions are made solely through our own free choosing rather than being predetermined by past events or other external factors. Opposite to free will is the philosophical theory of determinism, this approach deals with the belief that all choices and events have been previously determined by past causes, a sort of causal chains. So are all decisions predetermined by external factors, making free will an illusion, or are the moral decisions we make done so completely through our own free choosing? Philosophers have spent much time analyzing these ideas and have come up with many different approaches to try to find an answer to this highly problematic question. There are five significant positions that shape the debate between determinism and free will; incompatibilism, hard determinism, libertarianism, compatibilism, and hard incompatibilism. The position of believing determinism is incompatible with free will is called incompatibilism.
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Hard determinists reject free will and keep determinism, while libertarians keep free will and reject determinism. Compatibilism argues that free will and determinism can coexist and hard incompatibilism follows the notion that free will is incompatible with both determinism and indeterminism.The position that I support is that of compatibilism, which does not reject free will nor determinism.
Compatibilism is one of many solutions philosophers have created in order to solve this problem of free will. It argues that both free will and determinism can actually coexist in our world. In other words this theory provides the suggestion that free will and determinism are actually compatible with one another. Compatibilists follow the belief that all of our wants and desires are determined, but as long as;P1: We have the ability to do what we desire P2: Nothing is stopping us from doing what we desire C: Our acts can still be considered to be done freely in coordination with determinism (cite textbook). For moral responsibility and free will to be justified there must be other viable options or choices, a sort of alternative possibility for the course of action. A free action is one in which the course of action we choose is one of multiple different possibilities.
Having more than one option to choose from enables you the moral responsibility to select your own course of action. We have to have the option to do otherwise than what we actually do, if there is only one choice available for us with all other possibilities unavailable, then our actions are not up to us as they fall into the category of determinism (cite textbook).