Flaws Of Compatibilism

1134 words, 5 pages

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To begin with, in accordance to compatibilist views, free will (which rests upon internal beliefs and desires) is the perception that one makes choices without being coerced to. Nonetheless, there are instances in which an individual forces themselves to do something that they wish not to do. One such example is that of an addict. A compatibilist would testify that under these circumstances, the addict can still exercise free will since the alternative, not taking the drugs, remains a possibility. However, if an individual is unwillingly driven to do something by themselves, such as take substances that they find irresistible yet detrimental, self-governance is taken out of the equation. Though the addict would like to act upon the other option of not taking the substances, they can’t because that option does not exist to them; their only choice is to feed the rampant hunger of their addiction.

Next, if we examine the meaning of determinism, we can see that in fact compatibilism is contradictory in nature to its ideals. Determinism is the notion that every event is caused by a previous event and that every event is determined to happen given the previous state of the universe; thus, we are not morally responsible for our actions. How can one believe that everything is predetermined and yet still feel that we are morally responsible for what we do regardless of the fact that we were made to do it? Indubitably so, compatibilists would strike back with the argument of free will and that as long as we are not forced to do something by another person, as Hume contends, and also not by environmental factors, then we should be held accountable for the things we do. This argument is cyclic and inefficient because the order of the universe and the actions that we were made to make in it are beyond our control. Environmental factors, which compatibilists discredit for affecting our free will, View More »

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