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Do People Really Have Free Will Essay

What exactly is free will? Speaker notes: It is the ability for a person to determine some or all of his actions. Some consider free will to be its own cause. Some consider free will to be independent of any other causation, predestination, or predetermination by any other person, event, or stimulus. Of course, this does not make sense since a person is free to do as he/she wants but what he/she wants can only be consistent with his own nature. I propose that free will involves four aspects: Conception, Desire, Choice, and Accomplishment.

Conception leads to desire which leads to choice which leads to accomplishing that choice. Slide 3 Who determines who has free will? Speaker notes: According to the Bible, God has predestined and foreordained all that happens. If God’s responsibility is overemphasized and predestination is seen as supreme, Christianity turns into fatalism, and people feel that whatever they do or whatever happens it must be God’s will. I feel that God does reign supreme, and that humans are given a measure of freedom within the construct of God’s will for their lives, so long as that measure stays within God’s will for their lives.

I do feel that we as people have a good deal of responsibility for the occurrences in our daily lives, and must strive to do what’s right and good in all things, and I freely acknowledge that it’s a struggle sometimes to do that. Slide 4 Is free will giving or earned? Speaker notes:We have free will. Some people think every decision we make is based on some part of previous experiences, and that our decisions would be different if our experiences were different. So it is believed that we really do not have free will. Some people feel as though we are like robots and puppets on strings doing what others expect of us not what we want.

Biologically, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that free will and consciousness are both an illusion. I don’t think that the evidence to the contrary is quite as strong. Obviously this flies in the face of what we want to believe about ourselves. This is a currently expanding area of psychology, biology and philosophy so I don’t think all of the best evidence is in yet – give it 50 years and we should know more. Slide 5 Misconceptions of free will. Speaker notes: The question concerning a free will shouldn’t be whether we have one, it should be whether such a thing is possible. We must ask ourselves, “Free from what?

” A mind free from all motivating factors would have nothing to base decisions upon. There is just no such thing as an uncaused choice. Many people, religious and secular alike, wonder if cause and effect ultimately means that everything in the universe including human behavior is predestined, bound to happen, or predetermined. We are not made to do things by cause and effect — we are PART of cause and effect — we make ourselves do things. The cause and effect that goes on in our minds is what constitutes self, and our particular cause-effect process is manifestly different from what we normally think of cause and effect.

We remember our past, and direct our actions to bring about specific results to satisfy feelings of need and desire — something random causality cannot do. Slide 6 Is freedom of speech part of free will? Slide 7 How much free will do we need? Speaker notes: With so many choices in our world to choose from I would say that we have as much free will as we will need. We get to choose from what brand of coffee we want to drink in the morning, what paper we want to read with our coffee, as well as what to eat in the morning.

You have some places where that is all ready decided for them and that is it, they do not get to choose. I think we have too much free will in this area, I think we have become greedy and expect too much sometimes because we have the ability to say yes or no to something. When I was a kid growing up we had to eat what our mother made us or we did not eat at all, it made us mad but that is when I did not have free will to say what I wanted whereas today I do have free will and I use it for a number of things.

Slide 8 Marcus Tullius Cicero Speaker notes: This roman philosopher had strong views on the whole free will issue, he believed that If there is free will, all things do not happen according to fate, as well as if all things do not happen according to fate, there is not a certain order of causes; and if there is not a certain order of causes, neither is there a certain order of things foreknown by God. Slide 9 William James Slide 10 Benedictus de Spinoza Slide 11 Conclusion Slide 12 References:


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