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Methodology Paper

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Critical Thinking
Essay 1: Methodology This essay shall examine physical determinism and its most famous proponent Sir Isaac Newton. The basic framework of the theory states that due to natural laws of the universe that everything obeys, there can be no such thing as freedom. Sir Isaac Newton is incorrect in his theory, physical determinism does not indicate whether or not freedom is possible in our reality. Like many other scientists, Sir Isaac Newton believed in the concept of universal causation. Universal causation means simply that there is a cause for everything that occurs in the universe, and that one event leads to another event. In Ethics: Theory and Practice by Jacques P. Thiroux and Keith W. Krasemann, they point out that most scientists believe in this for one main reason. In their search for reasoning and acuity for predictions freedom is physically not possible. Thiroux and Krasemann tell us Sir Isaac Newton was a firm believer that, “…our entire realm of nature and the universe is governed by natural laws…” (4). Many of the laws that he speaks of are the ones that he discovered himself, such as his famous three laws and the law of gravity. Sir Newton reasoned that, because humans are also physical beings, they controlled by these laws. There are some issues that arise from this theory however. Thiroux and Krasemann go on to point out that if all of these laws are completely true then there is no true freedom for anyone.(4) If there is truly no freedom then we are all bound just by the laws that Sir Newton talks about. Humans are no more or less than any other being. This would also mean that they are no more than our physical bodies. It completely disregards the notion that people have minds of their own, are spiritual beings, or have any sort of soul. This is a complete negligence in terms of humans as being different from one another. Besides the idea that their mind is separate from their body, there is still the brain. The brain is made up like the rest of the body, and can be broken down to the smallest units of life. “Furthermore, the discoveries of modern physics, exemplified most pertinently by Werner Heisenberg’s (1901-1976) quantum theory of physics, have raised serious doubts about Newtonian views of nature and the universe. The door has been left open for the possibility of freedom even for nonconscious entities such as atoms and molecules” (Thiroux and Krasemann 4). If something as basic as the atoms that humans are made of are unpredictable, then it is hard to imagine a way in which people are not. This is through examination Sir Newton’s theory is invalid. Something that is inescapable with this argument however is that there is a clear assumption that this mental or spiritual part of people is as real as their physical bodies. There is no proof or evidence that one would have to support if this actually exists. If it does not, then for people, “…freedom is simply an illusion” (4). While people may have the feeling of freedom it is not actually there, and they are just doing what the event prior forced them to do in essence. At least this is the perception that other physical determinists would have. However for a group that bases its thoughts, ideas, and theories on experiments and evidence, scientists also have none of this. There is absolutely no proof to show that humans do not have a spiritual part to them. There have never been any experiments that have ended with the conclusion of there being no soul or freedom of mind. If physical determinists are basing on entire theory on the idea that we have no freedom on the basis there are universal laws, then one should firmly demand a much better explanation then the disregard for possibility of a spiritual being. One would also expect evidence of this, not simply lack of proof. It is for these reasons in the essay that prove physical determinism and its views on freedom are invalid.
Works Cited
Thiroux, Jacques P., and Keith W. Krasemann. "Freedom Versus Determinism." Ethics: Theory and Practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009. N. pag. Print.…...

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