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Freewill

10 Apr 2017Other Essays

Freewill accounts that we, as humans, are free to think and decide. It is the ability to choose freely and decide the outcome of which is unknown and to act according to the dictates of our own desire. Our choices must be the original cause of our action. Compared to any animals, we can be in total control of our choices. Yet our choices can be influenced by our peers and families, affected by our upbringing and the pressures or demands put upon us.

Freewill should not be subjected to any of these influences. Beyond our intuition there is another justification for assuming the possibility of acausal processes and it perhaps points the way to the physical origin of a very causal phenomenon such as free will. Consciousness is our only means of knowing of all physical events which exists as they are reported by our consciousness. The matter of freewill had aroused many issues and arguments. A problem, as in the past, is if ever we are in such a situation: when can we say that our choice was freely made? What makes a decision free from biases? Who and what dictates our freewill? Is freewill really possible? The argument of subjective appearances which questions the authenticity of freewill based on physiological studies of the brain which contends that there are human behaviors that we have no conscious control or that we cannot decide upon on.

There is also an argument based on morality which asserts that freewill is the basis of morality because a person could only be responsible for an action if he acted on freewill and not influenced by other factors. In addition, whether one grants meaning or not to statements regarding free willed choice, one can see from this arguments that no indisputable proof of freewill could ever be offered since one could never prove that one could have acted differently than one did. If the brain making the decision would be carefully monitored, and it is found that there is no scientific explanation for the process, one cannot prove that it is freewill - instead it may well be just a phenomenon other than free will. If a free willed choice is caused by anything, then it is not free, whereas if it is not caused by prior thoughts and events then it is random and not reasoned. Many issues on freewill and moral responsibility have been discussed and debated. In the past, people try to relate and apply the viewpoint of the subject of freewill, like in criminal cases and law circumstances. As technology became more advanced, the idea of freewill was weakened as new physiological and environmental discoveries were made.

The humans have the control to choose from alternatives unrepressed by predetermined factors is the principle of freewill. Determinism, on the other hand, is the belief in the predictable consequences of a previous cause. With this, freewill contradicts determinism. This incompatibility led to many discussions of which of the two are of existence. If determinists stand by their belief that the universe and human behavior and actions are deterministic, then it threatens the main core of freewill, which is to choose freely and regardless of the nature of our kind. And as determinism’s outlook in the moral responsibility of a person’s action or behavior, they believe that no one could be apprehended as morally responsible for his behavior for no one can change or alter his actions. The incompatibility of freewill and determinisms extends to the passage of time to be tied up with consciousness. If the idea that the past is fixed and perfectly deterministic, then the future is unknowable. If the forthcoming is already preordained, as determinists believe, then it is impossible that freewill is of existence.

Even if one makes measurements of the same type of event and finds that each time it occurs differently, nevertheless there is no way to prove about an individual event that it could have happened otherwise than it actually did. If it is shown that the results form a random pattern, then one still cannot say that any individual event could have occurred differently than it did.
Each event may well have only one way of occurring, the next time it occurs there is also only one way it could occur, and so on, and altogether the pattern is random. That is, all the events are determined, and they are correlated in such a way as to guarantee a random distribution.

Instead of the continuous argument on the subject of freewill’s existence, I think it is permissible for me to just assume that human’s rationality is the reason for the human behavior. We choose to act in a certain ways because of our assessment of the circumstances or situations in which we find ourselves and also by what we believe. Unless there is an independence of mental events from physical events, then even for choosing freely, the brain processes should be indeterminist.

The crucial issue from the free will and determinism debate is the issue of responsibility and accountability for one's actions. Human control and understanding are the two important components of moral responsibility. And as young children and those who are mentally incapacitated can either lack or both lack these two components, they are not subjected to freewill. They are either incapable to control their behavior or they cannot the possible consequences of an action.

Our ability to control our behavior is not reason enough to make a person responsible for his every behavior.
When we say that we are choosing by our freewill, it is not just because we are not subjected to the law of and cause and effect. It is not the reason of the premise of freewill. A person who made the action had also chosen freely if he had no idea of his next thought and action.

The cause and effect principle limits the ability of human being to freely choose from alternatives. The unbreakable chains of causes constitute all events in the universe and in our lives where human beings are not able to interrupt and have no power to change the course of events by his will. This strict causality makes robs us our freedom to think for ourselves.

One can only approximately say that he had made a choice by freewill if he thinks that he was truly free of influences and baseness that would have led him to choose from his will. Our mind decides and chooses our actions.

Freewill is when we act by our own command, when we decide our own course of action, and then past events do not fully explain the course chosen.

If we do not have free will, but instead the choices we make are based interactions, then one would expect that in the otherwise identical universes, as an expression of the inherent randomness of the process underlying the choices, all possible choices will be represented.

One form of the interaction of consciousness with the physical universe is through the mechanism of free will. It is free will which crosses the barrier between physical and non-physical, allowing the non-physical consciousness to affect the physical universe in a manner that would cause it to develop to a direction which it would not have followed had it been affected only by the causes present in the physical universe by itself.

Without freewill, humans are just basically conscious robots. Without free-willed type interactions, no matter what complex thoughts and deep emotions may arise in consciousness, the only effects of a person on the universe are due to the body, including the brain state - the mind state is essentially extraneous to the course of events, and there is no effect of consciousness on the physical world. Ascribing the type of moral responsibility to human activity which most of us intuit, there must be by free will, which is be based on non-causal processes.

I, personally, am very interested with the subject of freewill. It is important for us to know the nature of our control and direct our own lives. We should not dispel our freewill by restraining ourselves in with some irrational beliefs, peer pressure, and unreasonable emotions.

We should think freely and follow our own volition. I feel we all should appreciate and practice it for it is one of the things that separate us from the other animals. it is a freedom that classifies us as humans.

REFERENCES

  • William Thomas. What Is the Objectivist View of Free Will? 
  • Peter Voss. Freewill and determinism. 
  • Peter Voss. The Nature of Freewill. 
  • Howard Peel. The Mind Zone. 

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