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In Defense Of Free Will Essay

1371 words - 6 pages

In this paper I will present an argument against free will and then I will defend a response to that argument. Free will is defined as having the ability to make our own choices. Some will argue that all of our decisions have already been dictated by our desires therefore we never actually truly make our own choices. The purpose of this paper is to defend the argument that we have free will by attacking the premise that states we have no control over what we desire. I will defeat this premise by showing how one does have control over his/her desires through the idea of self-control. I will then defend my argument against likely rebuttals that state that there is still no way to control ...view middle of the document...

The problem is that Alice would rather eat meat than vegetables any day. When she looks at this argument for free will she would say my greatest desire is to eat meat yet I do not do it. Alice’s strongest desire is not to eat meat but rather to be healthier which is why she decides ultimately to be a vegetarian. So even though the first statement to this argument might seem untrue it is universal and works with all scenarios because there will always be a greater desire behind a persons decision. The second statement also appears to be true because some desires might appear to be uncontrollable. For example let’s say that you are a boy and have been born and raised and you have always liked girls. You can’t have control over the fact that you like girls just because it is innate to you and so you desire girls and you have no control over that because it just happened that way. The second statement is the one that I will try to argue against by showing that we do have control over our desires, which in turn preserves free will.

2. Against The Argument Against Free Will
As shown above in some cases there is no way you can control your desires, as some of your desires are just a part of who you are. You do not have control over them. The problem with the second statement is that it is applying this blanket to all situations, while there are some cases where this statement is not true. My argument is this: Jordan desires to quit smoking. Because Jordan desires to quit he should be able to do so. But if this is his strongest desire then why does he not quit? His greatest desire cannot be to keep smoking and die because that would be irrational. Therefore Jordan does not follow his greatest desire of living by continuing to smoke. So, one can have control over what he desires and not do his greatest desire. Jordan cannot truly desire to smoke greater than he desires to live. It would be irrational for Jordan to desire to do something for a short amount of time that ultimately destroys his lifestyle, as living should be our ultimately greatest desire. The idea of being able to control your desires is not a complex idea; it has been around for a long time. This stems from the idea of self-control. If you want something really bad but you choose not to have it even though you could you are controlling your desires. You can control your desires by suppressing them. Although you might not be able to make them go away completely you can focus all of your attention on a different desire therefore indefinitely allowing yourself to completely forget and suppress about your former desire. This is a form of controlling your desires. By showing that...

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