Freedom, or the concept of free will seems to be an elusive theory, yet many of us believe in it implicitly. On the opposite end of the spectrum of philosophical theories regarding freedom is determinism, which poses a direct threat to human free will. If outside forces of which I have no control over influence everything I do throughout my life, I cannot say I am a free agent and the author of my own actions. Since I have neither the power to change the laws of nature, nor to change the past, I am unable to attribute freedom of choice to myself. However, understanding the meaning of free will is necessary in order to decide whether or not it exists (Orloff, 2002).
The concept of free will has developed slowly, though ancient philosophers did address the subject when trying to reconcile intentional action with religious concerns about human and divine freedom. It wasn’t until the end of medieval times that the modern-day understanding of freedom as a completely undetermined choice between alternatives was introduced. However, it is unclear how to reconcile contemporary science that acknowledges the in...
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Gill, P. (2005). Determinism: An essay. Retrieved July 26, 2011, from http://www.determinism.com/essay.shtml
Orloff, G. M. (2002). Where's the free will? Retrieved July 26, 2011, from http://www.determinism.com/05042002.shtml
Science.jrank.org (2011). Determinism free will and predestination. Retrieved July 26, 2011, from http://science.jrank.org/pages/7709/Free-will-Determinism-Predestination.html
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