Rafed English

Objections on the Theory of Necessity

Adapted from: "Casuality and Freedom" by: "Ayatullah Mohsen Araki"

This theory is against our intuitive feeling that both sides of the act even after the completion of all prerequisites are still equal to us as voluntary agents. We feel no necessity. This can be replied by saying that it is indeed an essential feature of ikhtiyar that at no stage the agent feels compelled or forced from outside, but this does not mean that his decisions are made arbitrarily and are not subject to any rational rules.

If our will and decision and all prerequisites are subject to the principle of cause-effect necessity how can we justify Divine reward and punishment. The answer to this is that in any case our acts are voluntary and this is rationally enough to make Divine reward and punishment just. There is no evidence for our reason or conscience that demands ikhtiyar it self must be voluntary. The other way to answer is to say that volunatriness of acts depend on their emergence from a voluntary agent (an agent that has ikhtiyar), but the voluntariness of ikhtiyar is essential and cannot be removed. Even if a superior cause originates ikhtiyar cannot remove its voluntariness. Thus, ikhtiyar is ikhtiyar, even if it is necessarily brought into existence by its cause. The essence of ikhtiyar (like any other thing) neither can be given to it nor can be negated.

Therefore, a voluntary act is voluntary, though all its prerequisites are governed by the principle of causal necessity, and has all the characteristics of voluntary acts, such as appropriateness of reckoning and punishment.


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