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holbach4 for August 28 - 4'52 PART FOUR DETEM-iINIShi FILEE...

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Unformatted text preview: 4'52 PART FOUR: DETEM-iINIShi, FILEE “FILL, FIND KtiSPUNSIfliIJTY base assignments of praise and blame on intentions alone, the intentions one iotms and i I tinn acts on are themselves matters ofluck. What we intend to do is partly a fiinction of'l-mw ' will. we are raised, What circumstances we find ourselves in, and 1n-‘hat genetic inheritancc We . : or I: find ourselves with. All ofthese are in the relevant sense “matters of luclt,“ because is: ' the I cannot be said to have controlled or determined their presence. Hegel’s article seems to - d": expose a deep problem for our ordinary notions of how responsibility and L'omml are to hit is lateci. It Forces our attention right back to the initial concern that defines the classic cle- :_ 1-1,}. h hate: how {or whether} it is possible to he El fi'i—‘Cs morally responsible person “'hil‘l it the _ eiiiht same time recognizing the ineliminable role that genetics, upbringing, circumstance, and I dici socialization have played in making you the person you are. his ,- impi 30mi- _ _ i ‘ his l: Hard Determinism: The Case for Determinism and Its impl Incompatibility With on}; Important Sense of Free 1Will 3:: The Illusion of Free Will" :3: -——— "_—' ' PU“? PAUL HULEACH his l' profit This reast Paul Henri Thirir, baron d‘Hoibach i: l?23—l?39i. a French philosopher, was one of the " ei‘m Encyclopedisrs. His book, Sgt-item of Nature, was called by his enemies “the Bible of - have atheists.” him alwaj he II: If Mortt’esANfl THE DETERJIJINISM cut me WILL. to contract them; he is unceasingly modified by “1'35 In whatever manner man is considered, he is eon- causes, whether visible or concealed, over which “I“: nected to universal nature, and submitted to the he has no control, which necessarily regulate his “'1‘“ necessary and immutable laws that she imposes on mode of existence, gis‘e the hue to his was: of “'3": i all the beings she contains, according to their pe- thinking, and determine his manner oi'scting. He “Vi-iii culiar essences or to the respective properties with is good or bad, happilir or miserable, 1.s'ise or Fool- i5 ii“ which, Without consulting them, she endowseach ish, reasonable or irrational, n'ifl'iout his 1-'i'ill being iti b1 particular species. Man‘s life is a line that nature for anything in these various states. Nevertheless 31‘3“" commands him to describe upon the surface ofthe in spite of the shackles by which he is bound, it is sires earth, without his ever being able to swerve from pretended he is a Free agent, or that independent "i“: it, even for an instant. He is born without his even of the causes by which he is moved, he determines has,i consent; his organization does in nowise depend his own 1trill, and regulates his own condition. . . - if“ '* upon himself; his ideas come to him involuntarily: The will, as we have elsewhere said, is s Inodiii' 1” Cit his habits are in the power ofthose who cause him cation of the brain, by which it is disposed to ac" hail-Eli rtn upon ___ ___ not i ‘Prem System oFNature s3! Enron Pest! ti’HeihrIc-it, pews-third its 137$. Ti'nmhtred Elji' H. D. Refinish. till“ is one forms he or prepared to give play to die organs. This function of .3 f»,- I is necessarily determined by the qualities, good ic inheritance-g bi'adi agreeable or painfill, of the object or refit,” beeauss F; 2'; motive that acts upon his senses, or of which 3 article .--. ..;.j idea remains with him, and is resuscitated id control are j hjs memory. In consequence, he acts necessar— es die Classic-m... his action is die result of'the impulse he receives rson while at i_'-t|1cr from die motive, from the object, or from ircumstance, .uf idea which has modified his brain, or disposed : will. When he does not act according to an: else, it is because there comes some new cause, infill new motive, some new idea, which modifies . "-_ 5 brain in a different manner, gives him a new [I and Its 'i 'i_ uise, determines his will in another way, by hlch the action of the former impulse is sus- 5'--i- ded: thus, the sight of an agreeable object, or idea, determines his will to set him in action to in acute it', but if'a new object or a new idea more .1: I erfially attracts him, it gives a new direction to 2-. 's will, anniliilates flit effect of the former, and i I vents die action by which it was to be procured. [This is die mode in which reflection, experience, reason, necessarily arrests ot suspends the action ofman's will: without this he would ofnecessiry have followed the anterior impulse which carried ".him towards a then desirable object. In all this he ahvays acts according to necessary laws from which -_.' he has no means of emancipating himself. : Ifwhen tormented with violent thirst, he lig- "- tires to himselfin idea, or really perceive: a foun- .tain, whose limpid streams might cool his feverish -_' want, is he sufficient master of himself to desire or not to desire the object competent to satisfy so :. lively a want? It will no doubt be conceded, that it I is impossible he should not be desirous to satisfy 3? it; but it will be said—if at this moment it is an- -=- nouneed to him diat die water he so ardently de- _ sires is poisoned, he will, notwithstanding his vthement thirst, abstain from drinking it: and it 3 has, therefore, been falsely concluded that he is a tree agent. The fact, however, is, that die motive in eidier case is exactly the same: his own conser- ration. The same necessity that determined him to drink before he knew the water was deleterious upon dais new discovery equally determined him not to drink; the desire of conserving himself r1: either annihilates or suspends me former impulse, Free Will: I... was one of .. a; es “the Bible .l giy modified hy-' lied, over which] rily regulate his ' : to his way of : .er of aetii't g. He- -E le, Wise or fool- or his will being _. :5. Nevermeless, _' 1e is bound, it is lat independent ;' i, he determines _-; a condition. . . . Said, is a modifi- disposed to ac- Ptaisi Hamish: The flirtation ufFres Wilt ass the second motive becomes stronger than the pre- ceding, that is, the fear of death, or the desire of preserving himself, necessarily prevails over the painful sensation caused by his eagerness to drink: but, it will be said, if the diirst is very patching, an inconsiderate man without regarding the danger will risk swallowing the water. Nothing is gained by this remark; in diis case, the anterior impulse only regains me ascendency; he is persuaded that life may possibly be longer preserved, or that he shall derive a greater good by drinking the pol- soned water than by enduring die torment, which, to his mind, threatens instant dissolution; thus die first becomes the strongest and necessarily urges him on to action. Nevertheless, in. either case, whether he partahes of the water, or whether he does not, flat: two actions will be equally necessary; they will he the effect of that motive which finds itselfrnost puissant; which consequendy acts in the most coercive manner upon his will. This example will serve to explain the whole phenomena of die human will. This will, or rad-let the brain, finds itself in the same situation as a bowl, which, although it has received an impulse that drives it forward in a straight line, is deranged in its course whenever a force superior to die first , obliges it to change its direction. The man who drinks the poisoned water appears a madman; but the actions of fools are as necessary as those of die most prudent individuals. The motives that deter- mine the Tvoi'up'tuary and the debauchee to risk dieir health, are as powerful, and dieir actions are as necessary, as fliose which decide the wise man to manage his. But, it Will be insisted, die debauchee may be prevailed on to change his conduct: fliis does not imply fliat he is a free agent; but diat mo- tives may be found sufficiently powerful to annihi- late fllc effect of those that previously acted upon him; then diese new motives determine his will to die new mode of conduct he may adopt as neces- sarily as the former did to die old mode. . . . The errors of philosophers on the free agency of man, have arisen from their regarding his will as the primrose straddle, the original motive of his ac- tions; for want of recurring baclt, they have not perceived the multiplied, the complicated causes which, independently of him, give motion to die 46rd- I’PLRT FCIUR: DFI'ERLIINLSM, FREE ‘WILL, AND RESPDNSIHELIT‘I will itself; or which dispose and modifi.r his brain, while he himself is purely passive in the motion he receives. Is he the master ofdesiring or not desir- ing an object that appears desirable to him? With— out doubt it will be answered, no: but he is the master of resisting his desire, if he reflects on the consequences. But, I ask, is he .capable of reflect- ing on these consequences, when his soul is hur- ried along by a very lively passion, which entirely depends upon his natural organization, and the causes by which he is modified? Is it in his power to add to these consequences all the weight neces- sary to counterbalance his desire? Is he the master of preventing die qualifies which render an object desirable from residing in it? I shall be told: he ought to have learned to resist his passions; to con- tract a habit of putting a curb on his desires. I agree to it without any difficulty. But in reply, I again ask, is his nature susceptible ofthis modifica- tion? Does his boiling blood, his unruly imagina- tion, the igneous fluid that circulates in his veins, permit him to make, enable hitn to apply true eit- perience in die moment when it is wanted? find even when his temperament has capacitated him, has his education, die examples set before him, the ideas wid'i which he has been inspired in early life, been suitable to make him contract this habit of repressing his desires? Have not all these things rather contributed to induce him to seek with avid- ity, to make him actually desire those objects which you say he ought to resisti . . . In short, the actions ofman are never free; theyr are always the necessary consequence of his tem- perament, of the received ideas, and of the no- tions, either true or false, which he has formed to himself of happiness; ofhis opinions, strengthened by example, by education, and by daily experience. So many crimes are witnessed on the earth only because every diing conspires to render man vi- cious and criminal; die religion he has adopted, his government, his education, die examples set be- fore him, irresistibly drive him on. to evil: tinder drese circumstances, morality preaches virtue to him in vain. in those societies where vice is es- teemed, wl'tcre crime is crowned, where venaljty is constandy recompensed, where me most dreadful disorders are punished only in dtose who are too weait to enjoy the privilege of committing them with impunity, the practice of virtue is considered nothing more than a paintirl sacrifice ofliappines, Such societies chastise, in the lower orders, thfig: excesses which they respect in the higher ranks; _ and Frequently have the injustice to condemn those in the penalty ofdeath, whom public ptejtt dices, maintained by constant example, have ten. dered criminal. Man, then, is not a free agent in any one instant of his life; he is necessarily guided in each step by those advantages, whether real or fictitious, that he attaches to the objects by which his passions are roused: these passions themselves are necessaryin a being who unceasingly tends towards his own happiness; their energy is necessary, since that de- pends on his temperament; his temperament is necessary, because it depends on the physical ele- mems which enter into his composition, the mod- ilication of this temperament is necessary, as it is the infallible and inevitable consequence ofdae im- pulse he receive's from the incessant action of moral and physical beings. Chairs Dues Nut Prove Freedom. In spite oftltesi: proofs of the want of free agency in man, so clear to nuprejudieed minds, it will, perhaps he insisted upon with no small feeling ofrriurnph, that if it be proposed to any one, to move or not to move his hand, an action in the number of those called in- different, he evidendy appears to be the master of choosing; from which it is concluded that evidence has been offered of free agency. The reply is, this example is perfectly simple; man in performing some action which he is resolved on doing, does not by any means prove his free agency; the very desire ofdispiaying this quality, excited by the dis- pute, becomes a necessary motive, which decides his will either tor the one or the other of these ac- tions: What deludes him in this instance, or that which persuades him he is a free agent at this mo- ment, is, that he does not discern the true motive which sets him in action, namely, the desire ofcon- vincing his opponent: ifin the heat of the dispute he insists and asks, “Am I not the master ofthrow- ing myselfout ofthe window?” I shall answer him, no', that whilst he preserves his reason there is no probability that the desire of proving his free agency, will become a motive sufficiendy powerful to make him sacrifice his life to the attempt: if, notwil he sh: windo conclu yiolem to this [he he or a h phlegr Tht me ITIE and th d1at L'l' diately the fat own F cause i hand i influel that uI had bl. desire and ar ible cl The it like m tliems Colan eqttall escitir Iti obstac action is pret ing us has pt ing, it depen stacles tit-e tl power wheth itiachi ofthe tetmir [RINSE To agcnc _:.pntwithstanding this, to prove he is a free agent, . hf- should actually precipitate himself from the Ewindow, it would not be a sufficient warranty to ”gonclude he acted freely, but rather that it was the -' fiolcnce of his temperament which spurred him on virtue” is consider: . :' icrifice of happi lower orders, d1 tt die high‘er tan. istice to cundcm". whom public prej - - example, have 11h: heat ofdie blood, not upon the will. A lhIiatIC ' _.'nr a hero, braves death as necessarily as a more phlegmatic man or coward flies from it. , There is, in point offset, no difference between I d": man that is cast out of the viindow by anod'ier, and the man who throws himself out of it, except '_3 that the impulse in me first instance comes imme- If diately from without whilst mat which determines '- the fall in the second case, springs front within his . own peculiar machine, having its more remote '_ cause also exterior. When Mutius Scaevola held his '. hand in the fire, he was as much acting under the . influence of necessity {caused by interior motives) that urged him to dris strange action, as if his arm had been held by strong men: pride, desPair', the ._ desire of braving his enemy, a wish to astonish him, _' and anxiety to intimidate him, etc., were the invis- ' ible chains that held his hand bound to die lire. _'_. The love of glory, cnd'tusiasm for their country, in ._ like manner caused Codrus and Decius to devote -_ themselves for their fellow-citizens. The Indian Colanus and die philosopher Peregrinus were equally obliged to burn dremselves, by desire of 3- exciting the astonishment of the Grecian assembly. It is said that free agency is fire absence of d'tose obstacles competent to oppose themselves to die actions of man, or to die exercise of his faculties: it is pretended that he is a free agent whenever, malt- ing use of these faculties, he produces the effect he has proposed to himself. in reply to diis reason- ing, it is sufficient to consider that it in nowise depends upon himself to place or remove the ob- stacles that eid'ier determine or resist him; the mo- tive that causes his action is no more in his own power than the obstacle that impedes him, whether this obstacle or motive be within his own machine or exterior of his person: he is not master of the thought presented to his mind, which de- terniines his will;I this thought is excited by some cause independent ofhimself. To be undeceivccl on the system of his free agency, man has simply to recur to tlte motive by It in any one instant ded in each step .1- 1| or fictitious, hich his passions ves are necessary ' i is towards his o ssary, since that d -I; 1is temperament on the physical ele'-' aposition; d'te mods; is necessary, as it is, sequence of due ital ucessant action of‘ no. In spite of these icy in man, so clear '- pcrhaps he insisted ' riumph, mat ifit be -. or not to move his :: ' ofthose called in- to be die master of luded that evidence y. The reply is, dais -: nan in performing I red on doing, docs _" :e agency, the very , excited by the dis- _"r rive, which decides e od'ter ofdrese at- is instance, or that :e agent at this mo- :rn the true mouve 5’. the desire of con- heat of the dispute 1e master of dirow- I shall answer him, i reason diere is no f proving his free _tflieiendy powerful to the attempt: if, ".10 this folly. Madness is a state, first depends upon _ Pearl Halitosis: The Illusion sfFree Will $65 which his will is determined; he will always find this motive is out of his own control. It is said: that in consequence of an idea to which the mind gives birdi, man acts freely ifhe encounters no obstacle. But die queslion is, what gives birth to d'iis idea in his brain? 1Was he die master eid'ter to prevent it from presenting itself, or from renewing itself in his brain? Does not this idea depend either upon objects that strike him exteriorly and in despite of himself, or upon causes, that without his knowl- edge, act widiin himself and modify his brain? Can he prevent his eyes, cast without design upon any object whatever, from giving him an idea of this object, and from moving his brain? He is not more master ofthc obstacles; they are the necessary ef- fects ofeid'ier interior or exterior causes, which al- ways act according .to dieir given properties. A man insults a coward; this necessarily irritates him against his insulter; but his wi[1 cannot vanquish die obstacle drat cowardice places to the object of his desire, because his natural conformation, which does not depend upon himself, prevents his hav- ing courage. In d'tis case, die coward is insulted in spite of himself, and against his will is obliged pa— tiently to brook die insult he has received. dismiss afflertmlnr ls Nat Assent; sf Necessity. The partisans of die system offree agency appear ever to have confounded constraint wid'i necessity. Man believes he acts as a free agent, every time he does not see any thing that places obstacles to his actions; he does not perceive first the motive which causes him to will, is al'livays necessary and independent of himself. h prisoner loaded with chains is compelled to remain in prison; but he is not a free agent in the desire to cmancipate him- self, his chains prevent him from acting, but diey do not prevettt him from willing; he would save himself if they would loose his fetters; but he would not save himselfas a free agent; fear or die idea of punishment would be sufficient motives for his action. Man may, therefore, cease to be restrained, without, for diat reason, becoming a free agent: in whatever manner he acts, he will act necessarily, ac- cording to motives by which he shall be deter- mined. He may be compared to a heavy body diat finds itself arrested in its descent by any obstacle whatever: take away dais obstacle, it will gravitate ass east" room DETERMINISM, FREE WILL, awn [LESPUNertrLITy or continue to fall; but who shall say this dense . body is free to fall or not? Is not its descent the necessary effect of its own specific gratityi The vir- tuous Socrates submitted to the laws of his coun- try, although they were unjust; and though the doors of his jail were left open to him, he would not save himself; but in diis he did not act as a free agent; the invisible chains of opinion, the secret love of decorum, the inward respect for die laws, even when di...
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