I want to consider determinism, a position which I'm adopting as devil's advocate. I’m a theist and I wholeheartedly believe in free
will. However, for the purpose of our debate, I shall momentarily consider it to be true. As part of my devil’s advocate play, I want to offer free will
arguments only as means to point out their flaws.
For some moving principles can
only cause movement in one direction, while others can reverse the direction of
their action: thus fire can heat but cannot chill, whereas it seems that one
and the same mental skill may act in opposite directions.
I would not imagine solving the question of man’s freedom
through an oversimplified event that merely considers agency (i.e. my ability
to say yes or no) without natural inclination (i.e. having a set of desires and needs).
Nevertheless, free will believers would have me believe that if I wanted a
stone to move by the swing of my hand, I could do so. In addition, If I wanted
to rebel against the prediction that I will move the stone, I could simply act in what Aristotle would call the "opposite direction". Free will enthusiasts would urge me to believe that my own movements are of my own volition.
This conception of freedom is problematic. The challenge I
have in my disposal is that freedom is false and the charge of determinism is
true even if I have the ability to say yes or no. A caged raccoon with a mad
disease (pick anything that’s contagious) still has the ability to move itself but
it cannot will itself to break out of the cage. It has no control over the
events that falls on it. My own freedom is also part of this “cage”. Events are
predetermined for me. There is no sole arbiter of natural laws, I have them
because events have predetermined them for me. There is no sole arbiter of
morality, I have feelings to discourage me from committing evil things because
events have dictated me to have feelings. I have no control over the events; I
merely follow them.
For the sake of this world, I hold that determinism is true and that we are not ultimately responsible for our actions.