I am going to use an unlikely tool to show the philosophical
veracity of determinism – the belief that we have no free will. The evidence I
am going to bring to the stand is / are Jedward. For those who don’t know them,
they were X-Factor sensations from Ireland – identical twins who are
so similar you just can’t tell them apart. And they do EVERYTHING together.
So, let’s look at free will. I do not want to get into the
intricacies of free will here (you can read my book for that) but I do want to
look at the outcome for a human if free will is true. Or more importantly, two
humans. Identical twins are superb because we can control one variable – the genetic
blueprint. However, better than that, the environment is also incredibly similar.
Thus we have, as near as damn it, a really good scientific experiment with a
Looking at two humans with identical genetic make up and,
for the sake of argument, identical environments and upbringing, what would we
expect? Well, on free will, we would expect them, though most would understand
them as being heavily influenced, to make freely willed decisions which
influence their lives uniquely, which give them control over their own futures.
In effect, they would end up in
different places. On determinism, we would expect them to make identical
decisions and to have identical personalities. In effect, they would end up in
the same place, doing the same thing.
So, what do we have? We have two people with the same genes,
the same environment and the same upbringing ending up having identical
personalities and doing exactly the same thing. They finish their sentences,
they are indistinguishable physically and mentally and their decisions have
resulted in them ending up in exactly the same places.
In short, Jedward are a very good piece of evidence to
support the philosophy of determinism and to bring against the case for free
will. If free will existed, we simply would not expect Jedward to be a viable
outcome. They are, and free will is not a viable mechanism.