In this recording of a live video lecture and discussion, Dr Don Cameron (Philosophy Convenor at BRLSI) explores the fascinating and long-debated subject of free will. Can we be the authors of our own fate, or is everything predetermined? It seems that fundamental particles, electromagnetic radiation and the whole of matter behave in a way that follows natural laws. If this is true, a later state will always be a result of an earlier state and nothing else. This will include the activity of the nerve cells in our brains. It would seem that everything is predetermined. Even before a criminal is born, it was inevitable that he was going to commit his crime. All of our life events are predetermined. Does that mean that criminals should not be punished and that there is no point in striving for any kind of success or being careful to avoid accidents? In fact, it does not, and the reason is an apparent paradox, which can be resolved with a little bit of analysis.
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