By Robert B. Young
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Extra resources for Freedom, Responsibility and God
Hence everything that is or will be is inevitable and unpreventable. 4 This argument clearly leads to fatalism because there can be no events which are possible but not necessary. This is, according to fatalists, not to be construed as a denial of a distinction between possible and necessary events, but as an assertion that the class of all simply possible events is empty. g. , 1963), Richard Taylor has updated these fatalistic arguments of Aristotle and Diodorus Cronus. He argues as follows: Let 0 denote that a naval commander issues a certain order at time t 1 , and Q that a sea-battle takes place at time t 2 • Assume that 0 is sufficient for Q, that is, that the issuing of the order at t 1 is a sufficient condition for the occurrence of the battle at t 2 (and further that -0 is sufficient for -Q).
2 1 It will be recalled that no problem was found with this latter claim for it was pointed out that even though we do not so act that future situations are other than they are, it does not follow from this that we lack the power so to act that they would be other than they are. Consider the following situation. Suppose that at t 1 I decide to make a phone call at t 2 rather than make myself a milk-shake. Suppose further that conditions are 'normal' at t 1 and t 2 in that there are present no defeating conditions (such as being coerced at gun-point, being hypnotised and so on) and suppose too that I have the ability (know-how and resources), to make either the call or the milk-shake.
According to this proposal the 'becoming present' of events is a matter of becoming real in acquiring either kind of determinacy. However, to say that something has temporal determinacy is simply to say it is present or past, ·hence cannot explain why things and events become present. At that rate causal determinacy must bear the brunt of the explanation. If it is recalled that halfway theorists agree that some events are already causally determined while yet future, it becomes clear that causal determinacy is not a sufficient condition of an event's being or becoming present.
Freedom, Responsibility and God by Robert B. Young