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Metaphysical Problem of Free-will and Determinism


Ever read any case study about metaphysical problem of free will and determinism? This article relates to a practical experience of metaphysical problem, directly from the Christian Bible.

Philosophy of the Biblical Isaac

Whose action and final decision prevailed? Isaac or God? Obviously not Abraham's choice as it appears that he is naturally submissive to God. He walked with Him from the onset so no debate about him here.

It marvels, how Isaac would submit himself on that alter anyway. Now let's justify the claim with respect to the choice made.

What are the factors that influence that choice of action and final decision. Before that, we have to delve into some study by philosophizing out the metaphysical problems of freewill and determinism with much regard to the choice of this decision.

 Taking a considerable look at the Biblical doctrine and adapting the David Boonin's method of 'reflective equilibrium' which simply means that we are only to juxtapose and not to ascertain the correctness of any answer here as well as still holding unto our skepticism. Yes, skepticism! Critiques are welcomed too.


- PROBLEM 1: Free will

Was Isaac so gullible to have allowed or surrendered himself to his father Abraham to be slain and used as a sacrifice or offering to the Lord God?

Naturally, there is a tendency for humans to think rationally  and also logical in decision making. Most of the time they can be emotional too. Did Isaac not think about the submissiveness which is death? This question can often recur within one's mind. 

So how did he made that choice if he actually acted on his free will? Did he just simply decide to act that way without the emotions that may possibly accompany that decision. In the Bible, the scene of that alter was no much of time is it summarized it though Isaac asked a question about the ram suppose of the offering when it was lacking even in the face of the availability of woods and stone altogether with the whole lot of preparation without a ram.

 Was Isaac not mentally capable enough to reason that way out when Abraham answer him 'God will provide'? Anyway, maybe his tender age is responsible for that.

PROBLEM 2: determinism

Was Isaac so gullible to have allowed himself to be slain as a sacrifice by his father, Abraham?

If he was gullible to that extent, did he chose it? If he had chosen it then there must be an underlying or foundational factors or forces behind that choice so it becomes less crude to think he is determined by those forces be it physical or metaphysical, natural or supernatural which is beyond human's control or influence.

If he was determined by these powerful forces (God and the supernatural entity) to have a submissive mind then the choice is no choice at all. It is simply a choice without choice.

INTEGRATION OF JUXTAPOSITION: FREE WILL AND DETERMINISM IN THIS VERY PHILOSOPHY.

It is OK to think we choose whatever we want to happen to us but the question is, 'how many people would prefer to choose death even in the face of a life-threatening disease worthy of euthanasia?

 Well some people but few has broken this law of nature that humans tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain evident in the Sigmund Freud's pleasure principle of the Id and in the Jeremy Bentham hedonistic philosophy. 

These people may choose death but depending on the situation they find themselves. 'Often it is not so much the kind of person an individual is but the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determine how he will act (Milgram, 1965.).

This I believe again to be the power of motivation [Beyond Pleasure and Pain. (Higgins, 1997)]. I am not in that class. I love life even though I still owe death my life just like everyone does. This is the debt everyone must pay but I am not sure about a life after life or a life after death as acclaimed by many religion folks. It's OK to think i whatever way suit you.

We have the tendency to act upon our free will. We also have the tendency to act in accordance with the forces unknown and external to us. Maybe science will soon unravel those unknowns. Yes I believe science is heading to a place where mysteries yet to be De-mystified will soon be De-mystified.

The choice made by Isaac or God now depends on which ever way a thinker choose to rationalize.
What do you think?


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