The main question asked by psychologists surrounding human beings having control over behaviour is ‘Does our behaviour result from forces over which we have no control or do we have free choice to behave as we wish?’ Determinism is the view that internal or external forces of which they have no control over control an individual’s behaviour. An example of an external force would be parents raising their offspring with certain rewards and punishments. An example of an internal force would be hormones within the body. Determinism is an extremely controversial view and has many arguments surrounding it both for and against. The universal determinism theory suggests that causal laws govern everything and therefore if you knew all of the properties of the universe then you could predict future events including human behaviour.
In the philosophical view of determinism with respect to free will, it focuses more on the circumstances surrounding the agent instead of just the individual agent. A strength to determinism is that there is a cause for everything, therefore nothing is left to chance and that there is always a reason to be traced back to. On the other hand, the same theory states that agents are not responsible for their own actions because previous events dictated their behavior, and that is considered by many to be a weakness of determinism. Critics of determinism claim that having a universal view of determinism will lead to moral irresponsibility and moral decay (Nichols and Knobe 664). Compatibilism, also referred to as soft determinism, is “the view that all events, including human actions, are caused.
Anaxagoras’ ideas are in many ways similar to that of Heraclitus; however, there are some deviations that I will highlight in contrasting each philosopher’s theory on the nature of what is. Heraclitus’s main motivation in his philosophical endeavors revolved around his desire to know what is and the organization or order of all things that exist. Heraclitus's central claim in his attempt to answer his curiosities was that the world (and universe for that matter), is ordered, guided, and unified by a rational structure, which he called the LOGOS. This rational structure of the cosmos orders and controls the universe. Thus the LOGOS, in Heraclitus's view, is the unifier in nature.
It is necessary for the two terms ‘Absolutist’ and ‘Relativist’ to be defined with morality before I start. Absolutism means any theory, in which there are rules that are unchanging and universal, in other words fixed moral rules. Relativism means any theory in which each person can decide what is right and wrong for them, there are no universal moral rules. From this we can already see that both absolute and Relative hold complete different views of how a person should act to situations. Absolutism are laws that come with fixed moral rules.
Darwins dangerous idea was that he asked the question who created life, and his response was that no one did which in it's nature denies the supernatural explanation of the universe. Darwin focused on the idea of natural selection which presents the theory of evolution. the danger of his ideas were that they defied common sense, previously held religious beliefs and contradicted the bible.
The roles of the PM are linked to the roles of god but the 2 must not be confused. As the PM is transcendent he cannot interact with the human world as he is the greater entity. Aristotle’s concept of the Prime Mover found its way into the medieval theology of Thomas Aquinas and his cosmological proof for the existence of God. Likewise, Aristotle’s teleological arguments found their way into Aquinas’ Natural Law. An accidental universe is as likely as a caused one There are many modern scientific theories that attempt to grasp why the universe is here, who put it here and who created everything in it.
Explain what is meant when people say that “we are not free to make moral decisions”. (30 marks) To believe in the statement of “we are not free to make moral decisions; one must acquire the understanding of determinism and to some extent, predestination. Rousseau summed this belief as a ‘man is free but everywhere he is in chains’. Determinism is the belief that choices are influenced by factors other than the will of the individual. A hard determinist believes that one does not have the free will to act morally and that all moral decisions have uncontrollable prior causes.
If all my actions, my beliefs and my desires are determined by preceding conditions, how can I ever be free? This is the conflict presented by traditional theories of determinism and freewill. But analysis of such a concept of freewill shows it be incoherent. In this case, we must either reject the thesis that we have freewill, or reformulate our concept of freewill so that it is coherent. I will argue that such a reformulation is not only compatible with determinism but also necessary, if we are to maintain that we have any kind of freewill.
The two dominant theories of morality are relativism and absolutism. The former is the position which states that moral propositions do not reflect objective or universal moral truths but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or circumstantial conditions. The latter is the ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged. The theory claims that certain actions are right or wrong regardless of the context of the act. Therefore, actions are inherently moral or immoral, regardless of the beliefs and goals of the individual, society or culture that engages in the action.
Aquinas’ 3 ways make far too many leaps and assumptions. For Example, in the 2nd way – from Cause, the argument clearly states that everything has a cause, that cause must too have a cause, there cannot be an infinite number of causes therefore there must be an uncaused cause. The logic in this argument is sound however, when Aquinas makes the leap from there being an uncaused cause to that uncaused cause being God this is where I feel it falls. This leap is unjustified and therefore I don’t feel it is sufficient to be convincing as proof to the existence of God. Bertrand Russell would argue against the 2nd way with fallacy of composition.