Truth of Determinism Essay

Published: 2020-01-19 17:22:06
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In the arguments for the truth of determinism, the primary issue that always surfaced is its relation to free will. Determinism basically states that everything that happens is determined by antecedent conditions together with natural laws.[1] Determinism is a theory postulating that every event, including human cognition, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences, such that free will has no place in the said concept.[2]

The problem of free will has two basic philosophical questions, such as (1) is determinism true and (2) does free will exist?[3]

The principle of free will has three implications: (1) religious, (2) ethical, and (3) scientific. In the religious sphere, free will mean that there is an Omnipotent being that does not assert its power over an individuals will and choices. In ethics, it may mean that people can be held liable and morally accountable for their actions. In the scientific realm, it may imply that the actions of the body are not fully determined by physical causality.[4]

Out of this theory, the Incompatibilism philosophical thesis came up wherein it postulates that if determinism is true, then people have no free will. The incapacity to have independent choice (free will) will result in not having a rational basis for morality.

This will impact negatively on some aspects of criminal and civil jurisprudence and legislation will appear irrational and unjust. Since free will constitute consciousness and voluntary action on the part of the person, the acceptance of determinism as truth will mean that the person whether he/she did a good or bad job will be considered as having acted involuntarily, thus, liberating him/her from previous jobs or tasks done.

The defense attorneys may invoke the theory of hard determinism to plead for Phil Spectors innocence by agreeing with the existence of determinism and disregarding the concept of free will.

To maintain the integrity of social institutions, particularly those that deal with the justice system, people must be held liable for their actions and inactions. If the truth of determinism is uphold by the Court, Phil Spectors attorneys will definitely save the client and get an acquittal. By virtue of having acted involuntarily, the person can argue that he/she was not in his/her proper mind and that any crime committed by the said person were done without his being aware or conscious of doing the deed.

This concept of determinism is being contested by the theory of Compatibilism wherein it is being argued that free will and determinism both exists and are in fact compatible. People who believes in this theory assumes that free will is not the ability to decide as a person independent of previous causes but rather, as a person who is not forced to make choices and implement it.

A Compatibilist believes that an act done by a person is out of his free will unless he/she was compelled or forced by another person to do a task. If this theory sits well with the people, jury and judge, the act committed by Phil Spector will be proven as a voluntary and conscious act, such that it can be evaluated based on the moral and ethical effects of his actions.

It is then to the advantage of the prosecutor if they deny the truth of determinism so as to make the accused accountable for the things that he has done in the past. The primary goal of the prosecutor that is, to punish the person who committed a crime against another person or establishment, will compel him/her not to accept the theory of determinism. By doing so, he/she will also be able to prevent future recurrence of such behavior or crime.


Arguments for Incompatibilism. 14 October 2003. Retrieved 22 May 2007 from

Determinism. Retrieved 22 May 2007 from>.

Free Will. Retrieved 22 May 2007 from

[1] Arguments for Incompatibilism. 14 October 2003. Retrieved 22 May 2007 from

[2] Determinism. Retrieved 22 May 2007 from>.

[3] Free Will. Retrieved 22 May 2007 from

[4] Ibid.

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