Free Will Vs. Determinism Essay

Free Will Vs. Determinism Essay

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The concept that the future is already foretold is described in philosophical terms as determinism. This idea is problematic for the concept of free will: how can one make a free decision if their actions have already been decided by their previous actions and the laws of nature? A similar question to this issue is how can anyone be held morally responsible for their actions if they have no free will? Consequences such as these are not reason enough to fully disregard determinism. However, these undesirable repercussions can act as an incentive to fix the clash between the two exclusive concepts of free will and determinism. John Searle, a contemporary philosopher, believes that this philosophical and scientific debate between Free Will and Determinism has not yet been resolved – even after two centuries of constant contradictions and disagreements (). Ordinary people who do not fall into the category of philosopher or scientists instinctually assume that they have absolute free will, and are more likely to choose it when faced with this dilemma. Scientists, who think in terms of causes and effects, seem to lean towards the opposing deterministic side. In this essay, I intend to argue that there is in fact a solution to this dilemma – one that does not include choosing either side. This theory is called either compatibilism, soft determinism or self - determinism. It is the idea that both sides are compatible to one another, “When we ourselves are the cause of actions, our actions are free”. ()
Free Will is described as the notion that one is in control of one’s behavior, and therefore does not act in response to any external or internal factors. There are four different conditions for Free Will, in which at least two must be met....


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...ected – it has both limited freedom, as well as limited determinism. In this inevitably connected but non determined universe, there are many possible futures that co-exist. Man cannot learn to choose more wisely, but they can be taught through recognizing when someone makes a particularly good or bad choice. Man reacts in the manner that they do because at their core, they are ultimately learning machines, and that is how this particular kind of learning machine learns – through others by observing and learning from their mistakes. Freedom may be limited and programmed- but Man has the ability to program themselves- and this is where our freedom comes from. Limited freedom exists in harmony with Darwin’s Theory of Evolution; that humans learn and memorize different behaviors based upon their different interactions with environment; this explains the human evolution.

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