Freedom and Determinism

Download Report

Transcript Freedom and Determinism

Freedom and Determinism
What can I control?
For what am I responsible?
Is freedom an illusion?
Contingencies for Freedom
Freedom/Determinism Continuum
Assumed Freedom
Passive Self-Determinism:
Soft Determinism
Scientific Determinism
Active Self-Determinism
Hard Determinism
• Scientific Determinism
– Natural Law dictates universal causation.
• Empirical world forbids full freedom.
– Fate and Destiny (Oedipus, Romeo & Juliet)
– Predestination (Calvin: God the Controller)
• But aren’t we free within our limits?
• But can’t we make some choices?
“star-crossed lovers…”
Free Inside of God’s Control?
• Some cases are independent of causes.
– Descartes (infinite free will gift of God)
– James (pure chance proves free will)
– Peirce (chance events prove freedom exists)
– Heisenberg (particles can act contrary to
natural law)
– Quantum mechanics (irrational part of nature)
– Chaos theory (paradoxical reality = freedom)
• Fate
– Why then do we act at all?
• Predestination
– Then how can God judge us?
• Indeterminism
– We live in a cause/effect universe.
• Free will
– We choose in the context of causes.
Moral Freedom: the Problem
• Religious life
– I am free within certain doctrinal limits.
• Secular life
– I am free within the consequences of my
actions on others.
• But how do I judge my ‘subjectivity?’
• Am I doomed to a tainted morality?
Self-Determinism I:
Soft Determinism
• Persons are free causal agents.
– Passive (Hobbes, Locke, Hume)
• Free in the absence of coercion.
• Our personal desires exist inside of the framework
of free choices.
• To the degree to which we express ourselves we
are free.
– Psychological and social conditions limit this.
On Freedom of Expression
Self-Determinism II:
Insightful Awareness
• Persons are free causal agents
– Active (Aquinas, Dewey)
• Unfree in the presence of external controls.
• We can learn to be free as we develop our own
methods of control.
• To the degree that we engage in ‘action toward
ideal ends’ we are free.
– Insight into human behavior may be beyond our full
Freedom as an Assumption
• Since there is no sufficient proof for
determinism exists, I have the right to
assume that I am free.
• For my life to have meaning, I have to
take on the assumption that I am free.
Albert Camus
• “To what extent is human life a conveyor
of meaning?”
“The Myth of Sisyphus”
• What freedom do humans have in a
universe devoid of gods?
• Is Sisyphus a metaphor for us?
• What is the value of accepting one’s fate?
• Choose: mindless suffering or mindful
• What if Sisyphus were a woman?