Determinism Fin.

Determinism Fin. - Richard Sines and Zach Tschida Prof....

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Richard Sines and Zach Tschida Prof. Turnbull ENG123 Argument – Paper 1; Determinism Despite the increasing threat of the AIDS epidemic, nuclear proliferation in anti-Western nations, and the imminence of global climate change, a poll taken in the European Union has illuminated that EU citizens view the United States as the most significant threat to international stability. International politics are in a confusing state; the US public is divided on issues of involvement abroad. Above all other motives behind our most engaging foreign affairs issue, the War on Terror, is the immaculate and insatiable desire for freedom. Freedom has been the foremost American value since the birth of our nation. Our Declaration of Independence enumerates liberty as one of the three fundamental and inherent human rights. Throughout our history, conflicts have shaped our understanding of what it means to be free in an American context. Issues of sovereignty and slavery, capitalism and corporate corruption, and religion have defined what it means to be free. However, since September 11th, 2001, freedom has been defined in terms of security and protection from terrorism. In order to understand how our freedom is best ensured, it is imperative that we examine our current definition of freedom and how that is applied in a social context. As a democracy, our freedom relies on individualism as its central tenet. Our appreciation of the individual is manifest in universal suffrage, privacy rights, and a slew of other policies that defend civil liberties. Underlying the concepts of democracy and individualism is free will, or autonomy. But what if humans are not autonomous; does this destabilize our understanding of freedom? The debate over autonomy is complicated by the theory of determinism, which suggests that all actions and phenomena are predetermined by causal relationships. Delving further into this philosophical dilemma provides us with a new context to understand freedom, and in turn understand our American identity. Richard: Determinism, or the philosophical reasoning that everything occurs as a direct result of any number of variables, is implausible and denies the idea of free-choice and human autonomy. Over time, Determinists have argued that the existence of freedom is a possibility with the simultaneous existence of Determinism. This contradicts any logical reasoning, due to the fact that Determinism states humans are confined to the behaviors of their past. If this were so, how could one perform an act that was “random?” How could chaos and unprecedented events take place? Determinism proposes that we are incapable of changing what is, or will be, but what the world
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is , is what we believe. Doesn’t the alteration of human belief directly contest this idea? Doesn’t this mean that what is , is constantly changing? When an atheist becomes a Christian, isn’t the present altered? Hasn’t the perception of the world changed in this person’s eyes? And what is the world, aside from human perception and discernment?
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course ENGL 205 taught by Professor Turnbull during the Spring '08 term at Puget Sound.

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Determinism Fin. - Richard Sines and Zach Tschida Prof....

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