Hume Essay

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y2622655 Dr. Frykholm 10:00 am Monday 11/3/11 Compatibilists do not deny determinism or free will; Incompatibilists simply believe that the two cannot be compatible. Determinists believe that there is a scientific cause and effect in any action, thus we have no free will. The problem is that if we do not have free will, then we should not be held accountable for our actions. Hume reconciles the two theories of determinism and free will (or liberty) to prove human responsibility. Hume defines our liberty as the power of acting or not acting according to determinations of will. It should be obvious to every human being that neither complete determinism nor complete free will is practical in itself. Hume’s compatibilist approach was the most compelling view for a person to believe during the eighteenth century; and has been further proven today, thru human reasoning and the physical realm. The deterministic and free will views are fairly vague. Determinism expresses that everything has been scientifically predetermined to happen. External forces and stimuli determine all behavior, whether they are genetic or cultural. Determinists’ values hold that behavior can be programmed or controlled, just like a machine. Complete free will is generally suggesting that we are born absolutely free and can make any decisions we would like, throughout life. Freedom is the only thing that creates our identity. In the view of complete free will there seems to be no limitations. Hume accepts that human behavior can often be manipulated, but is not programmed as if it is a machine. He suggests that we observe human nature by constant conjunctions, but not directly observed through necessary connection. History has proven that common motives result in common actions, but there is no complete control of them. The key word is common. Human behavior can often be

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