Elenkus

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Truth Through Combat

Free Will and Determinism

Are we free to choose our actions? Do humans possess freedom that other creatures do not? Does science determine human actions? Does God determine them? Are the concepts of “freedom” and “determinism” compatible with one another?
 
These and other issues have been discussed over the last several hundred years in the course of the free will debate. The central philosophical problem concerns the fact that physical events appear to be fully deterministic: they are driven by causal laws that never change. On the other hand, humans appear to be free creatures: they choose their behavior. These two apparent facts appear to be at loggerheads.
 
The problem can also be found in theology: if God is omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful), then how can human beings be free to choose their behavior? It would seem that if God is all-knowing, he knows what we will do before we do it. This finding seems to contradict the possibility of freedom.
 
Resources:
Issues: See above.

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