Doublethik – Freedom proves determinism

I think philosophically and theologically determinism is a necessary truth. All created agents, causes and events are a result of a preceding agents, causes or events. No agent, cause or event can create itself; and it is logically impossible to have an actual infinite regress of agents, causes, or events, and therefore, there must be a first agent, cause or event. Apart from that first agent, cause, or event, no agent cause or event is free.

While I could argue against all of the reasons for believing in libertarian freedom, I’m not going to spend the time, however, I would like to take a moment to comment on the argument that is, while the most plausible argument for “free will”, also the most implausible. This argument is the argument from deliberation.

While reading the argument from deliberation which in its basic principle states: “I feel myself free, therefore, I am free” (Pojman, 2006, p. 226); I find that not only is this argument an assault on the intellect if one were to think it through, but it also is an excellent example of the reason of fallacy sometimes referred to as “begging the question”. I found my own thoughts being echoed by Spinoza when he said, if a stone that was hurled through the air was to become conscious, it would probably deem itself free (Pojman, 2006, p. 229).

Now, saying all that, while I am a determinist (in fact, you might think me to be a fatalist based on my previous script), I would also have to say that I am a compatibalist. I believe that determinism is a necessary truth, but also believe, that I am free to do what I most desire to do (and therefore must be held morally responsible for my actions).

In fact the truth that I am free to do what I most desire to do, is indeed proof that I am determined to do what I most desire to do, as my freedom to act is limited by only two things, my own desires (which keep me from being free to do all but what I desire the most to do), and my own limits (which keep me from being free to do all except those things which I am incapable of doing).

Therefore, freedom proves determinism.

Works Cited
Pojman, L. (2006). Philosophy : The pursuit of wisdom. Belmont: Holly J. Allen.