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Free Will By Jeffrey Shamberger Analyzing our individual free will can be very intriguing and can almost reach the point of being paradoxical Ultimately free will determines the level of responsibility we claim for our actions Obviously if outside forces determine our choices we cannot be held responsible for our actions However if our choices are made with total freedom than certainly we must claim responsibility for our choices and actions The readings I chose offered two quite opposite theories on individual human freedom determinism vs existentialism In comparing these two theories the contrasts are quite outstanding Evidently some philosophers felt that human beings did not really have a free will This view defined as determinism held that certain casual laws rule what occurs in the universe There are two major forms of determinism including hard determinism and soft determinism Hard determinism taught that each of our actions is determined by factors be yond our control such as heredity and environment From this point of view there can be no real moral responsibility for our actions if our actions were determined by factors beyond our control There is a complete denial of personal free will in hard determinism Soft determinism however appears to combine determinism and free will It teaches that all human actions are determined by such things as early childhood experiences thus relinquishing us from total responsibility for our actions caused by such determining factors However if my actions were the result of my own reasoning exclusive of outside factors than I must take responsibility for my choices In total contrast with determinism existentialism professes the complete freedom of the human being The particular reading I read dealt with atheistic existentialism this view of personal freedom rejected a belief in God feeling that it would be incompatible with the uncertainty and harsh reality of life during the t ime of two wars This view shared that a person was not ruled by heredity
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