Advocates of determinism cannot escape this fundamental contradiction. They want to claim knowledge, but this requires them to make the choices needed to gain knowledge—yet determinism asserts that they cannot make actual choices. Determinists have to assume that they themselves are outside the deterministic nexus when reaching any conclusions; that they were free to make choices and reach conclusions based on their thinking rather than simply being pre-programmed. — Edwin A. Locke, The Illusion of Determinism: Why Free Will Is Real and Causal, 2018, s. 80.
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Most people correctly believe in both free will and reliable cause and effect (determinism). Free will is when we decide for ourselves what we ”will” do, when ”free” of coercion or other undue influence. Since reliable cause and effect is neither coercive nor undue, it poses no threat to free will. And since our decisions are deterministically caused by our own purpose and our own reasons, free will poses no threat to determinism.
The paradox arises from viewing reliable causation as an external entity that forces us to act against our will. But that’s an illusion produced by letting our metaphors get out of hand. Causation doesn’t cause anything. It is just a concept we use to describe how the actual objects and forces that make up the physical universe interact to bring about events. Determinism asserts the reliable behavior of these objects and forces, but it is not one of them. It is descriptive, not causative.