Locke's View On Free Will

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In our society we often hear that we have ultimate control over what happens to us. As humans we can choose the way we want to present ourselves to the world and the choices that we want to make regarding our lives. Our control comes from our free will, which allows us to do as we please. It seems unlikely to me that we have complete power over what occurs in our life, for instance we often see people suffering and usually they did not choose to suffer. I agree with Locke’s view on free will and how liberty and power play a role in the concept. Free will is the concept that as human beings we can make personal choices that are not determined by physical or divine forces. Locke liked the idea of freedom and liberty, but he did not agree with…show more content…
For example a person can choose to speak up for himself, or they can choose to be silent against an offender. Locke discussed free will and liberty, which is what allows us to choose. Although we have the liberty to choose most of our actions, the whole concept of choosing shows us that we are not completely free. We have to choose to either speak up or be silent for example, so we are constantly choosing what to do next. Even if we choose to not do anything, that is still a choice that we are making, so we are not free in that regard. The aspect of will that is free are the random thoughts that we have about doing something. Those random thoughts can lead to actions that are determined and we then have full responsibility over those actions. People are only free if they can act on their wants and desires. Apart from being free there are involuntary actions that we cannot control. Locke depicts the difference between liberty and necessity when he states, “from the consideration of the extent of this power of the mind over the actions of the man, which everyone finds in himself, arise the ideas of liberty and necessity” (John Locke 199.) We cannot choose to make our heart beat, it simply beats because we are alive. Similarly we do not have the liberty under necessity, a person may not be able to choose to not to or do something. An example of a person not having a choice about what happens to them is, if they are falling off a bridge then their will and wants do not
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