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we look into the intriguing question as to whether we humans really have free will - that is, are we really free to make any choice, to do whatever we will, in a way that is NOT predetermined? Or, was the story of our lives already decided at the beginning of time, and we only have the illusion that we are running the show

Discussion question:

Describe D'Holbach's argument for why we do not have free will, even though it might appear to us that we do. Is he right? (Please use the attached documents to do this discussions and your knowledge. no plagiarism please!)

[Excerpt  from  article  on  the  Stanford  Encyclopedia  of  Philosophy]:   Compatibilism   First  published  Mon  Apr  26,  2004;  substantive  revision  Wed  Feb  25,  2015   McKenna,  Michael  and  Coates,  D.  Justin,  "Compatibilism",  The  Stanford  Encyclopedia  of   Philosophy  (Summer  2015  Edition),  Edward  N.  Zalta  (ed.),  URL  =   .     Compatibilism  offers  a  solution  to  the  free  will  problem,  which  concerns  a  disputed   incompatibility  between  free  will  and  determinism.  Compatibilism  is  the  thesis  that  free   will  is  compatible  with  determinism.  Because  free  will  is  typically  taken  to  be  a   necessary  condition  of  moral  responsibility,  compatibilism  is  sometimes  expressed  as  a   thesis  about  the  compatibility  between  moral  responsibility  and  determinism.     Terminology  and  One  Formulation  of  the  Free  Will  Problem   Free  Will   It  would  be  misleading  to  specify  a  strict  definition  of  free  will  since  in  the  philosophical   work  devoted  to  this  notion  there  is  probably  no  single  concept  of  it.  For  the  most  part,   what  philosophers  working  on  this  issue  have  been  hunting  for  is  a  feature  of  agency   that  is  necessary  for  persons  to  be  morally  responsible  for  their  conduct.[1]  Different   attempts  to  articulate  the  conditions  for  moral  responsibility  will  yield  different   accounts  of  the  sort  of  agency  required  to  satisfy  those  conditions.  What  we  need  as  a   starting  point  is  a  malleable  notion  that  focuses  upon  special  features  of  persons  as   agents.  As  a  theory-­‐neutral  point  of  departure,  then,  free  will  can  be  defined  as  the   unique  ability  of  persons  to  exercise  control  over  their  conduct  in  the  manner  necessary   for  moral  responsibility.[2]  Clearly,  this  definition  is  too  lean  when  taken  as  an  endpoint;   the  hard  philosophical  work  is  about  how  best  to  develop  this  special  kind  of  control.   Moral  Responsibility   A  person  who  is  a  morally  responsible  agent  is  not  merely  a  person  who  is  able  to  do   moral  right  or  wrong.  Beyond  this,  she  is  accountable  for  her  morally  significant   conduct.  Hence,  she  is,  when  fitting,  an  apt  target  of  moral  praise  or  blame,  as  well  as   reward  or  punishment.  And  typically,  free  will  is  understood  as  a  necessary  condition  of   moral  responsibility  since  it  would  seem  unreasonable  to  say  of  a  person  that  she   deserves  blame  and  punishment  for  her  conduct  if  it  turned  out  that  she  was  not  at  any   point  in  time  in  control  of  it.  (Similar  things  can  be  said  about  praise  and  reward.)  It  is   primarily,  though  not  exclusively,  because  of  the  intimate  connection  between  free  will   and  moral  responsibility  that  the  free  will  problem  is  seen  as  an  important  one.[3]   Determinism   A  common  characterization  of  determinism  states  that  every  event  (except  the  first,  if   there  is  one)  is  causally  necessitated  by  antecedent  events.[4]  Within  this  essay,  we  shall   define  determinism  as  the  metaphysical  thesis  that  the  facts  of  the  past,  in  conjunction   with  the  laws  of  nature,  entail  every  truth  about  the  future.  According  to  this   characterization,  if  determinism  is  true,  then,  given  the  actual  past,  and  holding  fixed   the  laws  of  nature,  only  one  future  is  possible  at  any  moment  in  time.  Notice  that  an   implication  of  determinism  as  it  applies  to  a  person's  conduct  is  that,  if  determinism  is   true,  there  are  (causal)  conditions  for  that  person's  actions  located  in  the  remote  past,   prior  to  her  birth,  that  are  sufficient  for  each  of  her  actions.   Compatibilism's  Competitors   The  compatibilists'  main  adversaries  are  incompatibilists,  who  deny  the  compatibility  of   free  will  and  determinism.  Neither  compatibilism  nor  incompatibilism  as  such  is   committed  to  the  further  claim  that  any  human  persons  ever  do,  in  fact,  have  free  will.   However,  many  (but  by  no  means  all)  compatibilists  do  think  that  we  are  sometimes   free.  And  though  some  incompatibilists  remain  agnostic  as  to  whether  persons  have   free  will,  most  take  a  further  stand  regarding  the  reality  or  unreality  of  free  will.  These   incompatibilists,  who  are  known  as  libertarians,  hold  that  at  least  some  persons  have   free  will  and  that,  therefore,  determinism  is  false.  Other  incompatibilists,  hard   determinists,  have  a  less  optimistic  view,  holding  that  determinism  is  true  and  that  no   persons  have  free  will.  In  recent  times,  hard  determinism  has  fallen  out  of  fashion,   largely  because  our  best  sciences  suggest  that  determinism  is  probably  false.  But  the   spirit  of  the  hard  determinist  position  is  sustained  by  hard  incompatibilists,  who  hold   that  there  is  no  free  will  if  determinism  is  true,  but  also,  that  there  is  no  free  will  if   determinism  is  false.  A  salient  element  of  the  hard  incompatibilist  view  is  that  the   manner  in  which  indeterminism  is  true  (for  instance,  due  to  quantum  indeterminacies),   if  it  is,  poses  just  as  much  of  a  threat  to  the  presumption  of  free  will  as  determinism   would.    

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