Argumentative Essays: Give me Liberty or Give me Death – Part II
Edwards’s core premise in argument against Arminian free will
Edwards’ reasoning depends on a premise: that the faculty or power of will determines an act of volition. If such a premise is accepted, the consequence Edwards points out seems more or less unavoidable. In other words, determining choice requires something like an act of will. Thus the only way to avoid this consequence is to find some flaw in the premise. Now the precise wording of the premise indicates that the faculty or power of will determines an act of choice (Golf, 1998).
Examples of non plagiarized essays can be found at our website.
Affirming that the will determines acts of choice makes such acts clearly distinct from the will. After all, if they did not already exist, they would not even have the capacity to be determined. In fact, though, acts of volition occur only through being willed by the will. Thus they do not exist before the will itself acts. For this reason, it makes no sense to speak of them as determined by the will.
What Edwards says next is meant to deal with another aspect of his argument against Arminian free will: that willing is equivalent to choosing.
Thus he asserts that “in every act of will, there is choice, and a power of willing is a power of choosing” (Edwards, 1997, p. 178).
Yet, it is not clear whether the statement that a power of willing is a power of choosing forms a consequence of the statement that there is choice in every act of will or whether the two statements are merely conjunctive. In any case, the statement that a power of willing is a power of choosing does not necessarily follow from the existence of choice in every act of will. With some individuals, for instance, acts of will might mean anxiety or doubt. Yet one would not identify the act of willing for those individuals with either of these emotions (De Prospo, 1999). Similarly, the presence of choice in every act of will might simply be associated with acts of will. However, the possibility of the two statements being similar in meaning poses some questions. A resemblance between the two statements implies that both statements be either true or false. Yet it is difficult to determine whether each of the above statements always holds true (Fiering, 1981).
HINT: buy argumentative essays if ever in doubt
After his discussion of a possible Arminian objection to his argument against free will, Edwards turns to a modified form of the same objection. He imagines the Armenians conceding that to determine an act of choice requires a distinct act, but qualifying their concession by the proviso that the will determines its own volition in the volitional process or even in the very act of volition itself.
Our writers do know the meaning of the phrase essay writing made easy
Briefly summarized, Edwards’ reasoning in arguing against Arminianism and promoting his own views of free will can be presented as follows:
- An act of choice is equivalent to a selection among concrete objects of choice.
- But the selection of a particular object of choice cannot be the same as that by which this act of choice itself is determined.
- Thus the determination by which an act of choice is determined requires a preceding act, which Arminians do not recognize (Fiering, 1981).
Refuting himself: the failure to prove the argument against Arminianism
Since an act of choice represents a selection among various concrete choices, any determination of the act of choice itself would have to mean a determination of this selection. But obviously the determination of an act of selection cannot be identical to the act of selection. At the same time, to determine an act of selection distinctly implies an act of some kind. Consequently, if the act of selection or choice is itself determined, the process by which it gets to be determined requires an antecedent act (Golf, 1998)
In one respect, however, the argument Edwards puts forward here is seriously defective. Its problem is one of circularity: Edwards assumes precisely what he needs to prove. His discussion of the difference between selection of a concrete choice and determination of the act of choice itself implies that the act of choice is invariably determined.
The later portion of his discussion confirms this explicitly: “The question is, what influences, directs, or determines the mind or will to come to such a conclusion or choice as it does? or what is the cause, ground, or reason, why it concludes thus, and not otherwise?” (Edwards, 1997, p. 190)
But in asking how a particular choice is determined, Edwards virtually assumes what he is supposed to prove. If the act of choice is determined, a determining act becomes logically unavoidable. And since this act determines the act of choice, it must be antecedent to such an act. Yet what allows us to assume an act of choice can be determined? (Golf, 1998).
Non plagiarized term papers can be purchased by following this link.
In fact, acts of choice should not be determined by anything. At first glance, this may seem somewhat surprising. One of the basic rationalist assumptions, after all, had been that every act has some sort of cause. Similarly, Edwards had assumed that acts of choice necessarily imply some specific reason or cause. But the reason we choose a particular thing is, quite simply, that we prefer or desire it. Of course, various circumstances inevitably affect our choices. Nevertheless, they do not determine them.
On the contrary, if it were possible to explain our choices by means of external influences, any selection we make would no longer represent an act of choice. A genuine act of choice allows us to select something other than what we ultimately choose. Thus if our choice is determined by some antecedent influence or cause, the possibility of other choices does not, in fact, exist.
Conversely, the impossibility of any such determination confirms the proposition Edwards sets out to disprove: that “the exertion of the act [of choice] is the determination of the act,” or that “for the soul to exert a particular volition, is for it to cause and determine that act of volition” (Edwards, 1997, p. 193).
Buy own essays– is all you need.
The fact that Edwards puts such care on whether acts of choice are determined by antecedent acts of choice underscores the significance of (e). Without (e), an infinite regress is impossible. Instead, what we have in (d) would merely be a special situation. Although the will determines acts of choice by antecedent acts of the same kind, determination of these antecedent acts need not involve still-prior volitional acts. Thus the regress Edwards hopes to create cannot be initiated solely on the basis of (d). Having (e), on the other hand, permits him to formulate something like a general principle. If acts of choice are invariably determined by antecedent acts of the same kind, (d) no longer amounts to a special case. Moreover, if (e) enunciates a general principle, it must apply even to those acts of choice by which other acts of choice are determined.
Our writers will teach you how to copy and paste without plagiarizing
Hence Edwards can describe a situation in which acts of will determine other acts of will that are themselves determined by still-prior volitional acts as true by these principles. If acts of choice are determined by antecedent acts of choice as a general rule, there is no need for him to prove specifically that acts of choice determined by antecedent acts of choice necessitate still-prior acts similarly determined. The universal scope of (e) ensures its relevance to all such acts. Thus a regress becomes possible.
The act of choice by which another act of choice is determined need not have the same objective as the act that is determined. Instead, the prior act must specifically have the determination of an act of choice as its objective. On the other hand, the act of choice being determined will presumably have its own enactment as its objective. But if the two acts are not identical, there is no reason to believe they necessarily share the same sort of cause. Free non plagiarized essays is not a solution. Buy argumentative essays if you need real help.
Daniel, Stephen H. (1994), The Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards: A Study in Divine Semiotics, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
De Prospo C. (1999), Theism in the Discourse of Jonathan Edwards, Newark: University of Delaware Press.
Edwards, Jonathan (1997), Freedom of the Will, (ed.) Paul Ramsey. New Haven: Yale University Press – revised edition.
Faust, Clarence and Thomas Johnson (1998), Jonathan Edwards: Representative Selections, New York: American Book Co. – revised edition.
Fiering, Norman (1981), Jonathan Edwards’s Moral Thought and Its British Context, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Goff, Philip (1998), “Revivals and Revolution: Historiographic Turns Since Alan Heimert’s Religion and the American Mind”, Church History 67, 1-12.
Guelzo, Allen C. (1996), Edwards on the Will: A Century of American Theological Debate, Wesleyan University Press.
Hoopes, James (1990), From Puritanism and Ideas to Psychoanalysis and Semiotic, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Locke, John (1997), An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Roger Woolhouse (ed.), New York: Penguin Classics – reprinted edition.
Miller, Perry and Donald Weber (introduction) (1981), Jonathan Edwards, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Our company offers 100% authentic work, composed in accordance with your instructions. High quality custom essay or term papers are written by native English speaking writers with 3 years + of relevant experience. You receive 24/7 personal assistance and customer support. Also, we provide free unlimited revisions if your paper does not meet your requirements.
We approach deadlines honestly and realistically. How long it will take us to write your essay depends on the writer level of your choice, urgency level of your essay and your instructions. Our experience is that we can complete the majority of orders in 24 hours. But we suggest you make your order as soon as you can to allow us additional time in case we needed to do additional research. If we experience delays in meeting your deadline or if we need additional time, we will get in touch with you to discuss the order. Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to complete your order in time.
Once you have placed your order, you can track its progress. We will email you the completed paper in the MS Word format.
Our writer team is made up of full-time and part-time writers (many of whom work in academia) who go through a tough screening process before joining our team. Our Quality Assurance Department supervises and evaluates their performance to provide you with quality writing services.
Our team consists of over seven hundred researchers, editors and writers. Most of our employees hold graduate degrees in their fields and take interest in taking on challenging tasks. Our employees self-select for the assignments: they pick an assignment of interest, and we allocate the assignment to whoever of them is best equipped to fulfill it. We therefore guarantee that your order goes to the person having both the desire and professional qualifications to do the work.
After the order is placed and a writer assigned, you and your writer can communicate by email round-the-clock. Our average response time is one hour for regular orders (3 to 5 days) and half an hour for expedited orders (9-24 hours).
Yes, we can. There are a number of professional researchers on our team skilled in a great variety of scientific areas. We have the capacity to deliver top-level academic writing. Years of research experience enable our professionals to create outstanding texts of any difficulty level, including Master’s and PhD.
When you order term paper, custom essay, research paper, or book report from OwnEssays, your standard page will contain approximately 285 words of text, written in 12 point Arial font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins on all sides.
We offer our customers a plagiarism-free guarantee. If you find signs of plagiarism in your term paper, custom essay, research paper, or book report, we will issue a complete refund, no questions asked. You may be 100% confident that your work is written from scratch by your writer. We use sophisticated scanning and plagiarism detection software similar to that designed by Turnitin.com. This plagiarism detection software gives you peace of mind, while ensuring the highest quality book report, term paper, research paper, or custom essay.
We aim to meet or exceed our clients’ expectations through understanding their needs. Most of our writers either work or have worked in academia and have necessary knowledge and real-world experience. If our work is not to your satisfaction and if there is nothing we can do to improve it, we will refund your money.
Our support team works round-the-clock to help you make any amendments. In the unlikely case of our failure to precisely fulfill your instructions, we will revise the work free of charge upon your request. We will send you the revised work within three days of your request.
The confidentiality and security of our clients are on top of our priority list. We guarantee complete privacy of your information. Your personal information will never be disclosed to anyone under any circumstances.
All of our payments are processed by 2Checkout.com – a leader in security business processing. We do not have access to your credit card information and will never, under any circumstances, share the details available to OwnEssays (your name and email) with any third party. OwnEssays does not store your credit card data.
We offer the following savings to our returning customers on all subsequent orders: 30-45 pages: you save 5% 46-90 pages: you save 10% 91 pages+: you save 15%
We guarantee 100% satisfaction. In the unlikely case of our failure to precisely fulfill your instructions, we will revise the work free of charge upon your request, which you have to submit within 15 days. If the revised paper still does not meet your requirements, you can request a refund in writing within three days of your order’s completion. As a matter of fact, we have the highest rate of client satisfaction in the industry.
We are an officially registered business entity under US law. Our headquarters are located in Dallas, TX. We have years of successful experience operating in the industry.