Authors: Joseph Ivin Thomas
In this paper, an attempt is made to lay a systematic framework that helps answer a deeply perplexing philosophical question: “Can blind obedience to a set of immutable laws of nature pose a sufficient explanation for all phenomena in the world?” From the perspective of the human person, this question can be re-phrased as follows: “Do the events in a person’s life happen because they are pre-determined to do so, or is there some role for free-will to operate?” More succinctly stated, “Is the principle of determinism or the faculty for free-will responsible for the occurrence of an event?” An acceptable answer to these difficult questions must first require a better understanding of what precisely the terms determinism and free-will mean. In religion and mythology, the doctrine of determinism is embodied in an equivalent notion called destiny, which may be defined as a pre-ordained, inescapable, inevitable event. An accident, on the other hand, is a purely random and unpredictable event with neither intent nor design backing its occurrence. Religion holds that there are no such things as accidents and that every event is infused with divine purpose. Paradoxically, religion (Christianity, in particular) holds dear man’s capacity for free-will, which is in direct contradiction to the idea of destiny. How can free-will be truly free, if everything is already determined? Science too, is in a similar muddle on the problem of free-will, because it is still unsure whether the universe, the human mind included, runs on a deterministic or an indeterministic basis. After exploring the opinions gathered from diverse fragments of human knowledge (Philosophy, Physics, Neuroscience, Literature, Religion), two novel frameworks that are grounded in mathematical rigor are forwarded which fits both determinism and free-will into a single, indivisible philosophical paradigm.
Comments: 14 Pages. Published in International Journal of Philosophy
[v1] 2019-07-23 08:51:00
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