Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The Freedom Of The Will
- Poul Anderson, "Wildcat" IN Anderson, Past Times (New York, 1984), pp. 7-57 AT p. 32.
I agree so far although, since the speaker is a chaplain, he and I would probably disagree if we discussed free will further.
Determinism is the belief that every event is caused. Fatalism is the belief that every human effort is futile. (Futilism?) I can only know whether my efforts are futile by making an effort and making an effort makes a difference. It may be that some people are caused to make an effort and that others are not but those who do make an effort do make a difference. Otherwise, we would not have a civilization.
Determinism and "...fixed-time..." are not necessarily identical. We explain an event in three ways. It is:
(i) caused, an effect of an earlier event;
(ii) uncaused or random;
(iii) a free act.
However, I suggest that "free" means "unconstrained" but not "uncaused." And, if a free act were uncaused, then it could be classified as random. Thus, (i) and (ii) are sufficient to explain all events, including free acts.