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Sorin Sabou

Letter to the Romans, Nicomachean Ethics, and more

Free Will and Determinism

Most of the time the issues of free will and determinism are seen as opposites. The free will is understood in terms that are incompatible with determinism. If the will is free it can do whatever it wants even against the natural laws of the universe. For example the law of gravitation will make sure that when I jump up, I always come down, or if I travel in a circle I will arrive, after a while, in the same place. Even so, the free will is a valid concept/fact. There are layers of my life in which I can 'freely' move and think and act according to my will. This is not taking place in a perfect way, but still I have the real possibility of choice. The situation of life, the nature of my body and health, the laws of nature are facts that have a saying in the way I exercise my will.
Physical determinism, social determinism, cultural determinism are ways of explaining the roles played by different factors (body, society, culture) in the way humans exercise their free will. Body, society, culture has a saying is what we, as humans, think, say, and do. The level of this saying depends on the type of personality, courage, initiative, and vision we have.
I am seeing the relationship between free will and determinism as taking place between some flexible parameters. Our bodies, society, culture on the one hand, and our ideals, vision, initiative, potential on the other, have to be seen as interacting, building on one another, and accepting one another. In this way the dynamic given facts (body, society, culture, etc) and the dynamic potential facts are together for the good and advancement of our own lives and achievements.
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