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Free will is a concept in traditional philosophy used to refer to the belief that human behavior is not absolutely determined by external causes but is the result of choices made by an act of will by the agent Such choices are themselves not determined by external causes but are determined by the motives and intentions of the agent which themselves are not absolutely determined by external causes Traditionally those who deny the existence of free will look to fate supernatural powers or material causes as the determinants of human behavior Free will advocates or libertarians as they are sometimes called believe that while everything else in the universe may be the inevitable consequence of external forces human behavior is unique and is determined by the agent not by God or the stars or the laws of nature The traditional concept of free will enters the mainstream of Western Philosophy in metaphysical questions about human responsibility for moral behavior Many modern debates about free will are often couched in terms of responsibility for moral and criminal behavior In the Christian tradition which has framed the issues surrounding free will the belief hinges on a metaphysical belief in non-physical reality The will is seen as a faculty of the soul or mind which is understood as standing outside of the physical world and its governing laws Hence for many a belief in materialism is taken to imply a denial of free will The modern view of determinism and free will does not see the two concepts as mutually exclusive This view began to take shape with arguments such as those offered by Thomas Hobbes Leviathan XXI God is the ultimate cause of every action argued Hobbes but as long as a person is not physically forced to do an act the act is free Hobbes couched the argument in terms of liberty vs necessity rather than free vs externally determined will The sequence
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