This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

What Is Free Will? Essay

806 words - 4 pages

The notion of free will has long plagued the human mind in its quest for answers. Does one have free will, or does he not? What is free will to begin with? Many sources have different opinions on this subject. Some believe that free will is an available addition of the human experience. Others believe that free will is every bit an illusion, as the universe has created a constant line of events preceding a false assumption of choice that influence one’s decision. Yet, there is an intermediate between both the extremes of the idea of free will, which significantly acknowledges both the events that precede the moment of making a decision and that the notion of free will is still possible even with these preceding events.

Free will is a hard notion to define, even by most philosophical standards. For the sake of argument, the definition that going to be used for free will is the following: “The ability to make a decision based one’s desires, despite what events that have occurred prior to the point of making such a decision". Many philosophers would recognize this form of the definition as belonging to the compatibilist view on free will. Compatibilists are unique group of philosophical minds when it comes the possibility, or lack thereof, of free will as a part of the universe. Compatibilists accept the probability that both the notion of free will and ideology of determinism are compatible (hence their name) with one another. Determinism, as explained by authors James and Stuart Rachels of Problems with Philosophy, is "to say that a system is deterministic means that every that happens stems from a prior cause" (pg 97). To put it simply, a determinist believes that an event that will occur in the present time was in itself influenced by a series of events in past, much like a long row of domino that were set off the moment that time began. Now the compatibilist seems like he is contradictory with his belief system, accepting to both the hypothetical "temporal dominoes" of determinism and the ability to have free will. However, the compatibility nonetheless has found a theory that makes both work. The compatibilist theory, again described by Rachels, states that "to act freely, [one] must act according to [one's own] desires" (pg 116). In short, the theory can be summarized as the following argument:
If...

Find Another Essay On What is Free Will?

Saint Augustine's Deduction that Free Will is a Good Gift from God

1204 words - 5 pages Saint Augustine's Deduction that Free Will is a Good Gift from God Before the central theme of this essay is analytically summarized, it is important to note a few propositions already established in the conversations between Saint Augustine and Evodius. Firstly, Saint Augustine has already ascertained that God gave human beings free choice of

Free Will vs. Determinism: Do you create your own destiny, or is it predetermined?

1367 words - 6 pages . Following I will clearly define the opposing arguments, explain why I agree with Libertarianism and not determinism. Because in spite of the strong arguments made by determinists, I believe that according to the Scripture every man has the free will to make his own choices. To understand why I believe the Libertarian view, it is important to understand what exactly it claims. Libertarians believe that each man controls his own destiny. Man has the

Do the characters in Macbeth have free will? What role do destiny or fate have in the play?

2049 words - 8 pages Do the characters in Macbeth have free will? What role do destiny or fate have in the play?Everyone has control over something. All people have freewill and can do what they want. Freewill is the ability or power of making free choices. Destiny means that something has already been decided and nothing is in one's absolute control, which played a very important role in the play. When Shakespeare wrote this play, people were very religious and he

Pain and Misery: Sorry of the Free Will Delimma. This is an essay I birthed for my management class

704 words - 3 pages Pain and Misery: Sorrowsof the Free Will DilemmaEric DickMay 19, 2004David MainorMGT-350"You have to soak up this weather while you can," she quietly muttered to herself as she stepped outside of her recently purchased Eclipse Spyder (as everything that belongs to her had to be new, though this was a repressed, unconscious instinct). "At any moment it could easily change to the instantaneous heat that Houston is quite famous for. No, it's not

What is Free Trade?

1354 words - 6 pages What is free trade? Free trade is international trade of goods and services without tariffs or other trade barriers. Krugman (1987) in Is Free Trade Passé looking for a real free trade which is depend on perfect competition and constant returns. Nowadays, countries are more likely to follow Strategic Trade Policy that give domestic firms, households or factors of production an advantage over foreign ones. Comparative advantage theory has many

What Is Free Running?

852 words - 4 pages Tim Shieff, also known as "Livewire" is the world’s leading free runner from Derby, England. He is best known for his electrifying performance style and eye catching YouTube videos. He won 2009 Barclaycard World Free Run Championship and participated in MTV’s Ultimate Parkour Challenge. He is currently one of the most successful free runners in the world, and has also won the Red Bull Art of Motion competition twice. What Is Free Running

Will your grandchildren know what keyboard and mice is?

1477 words - 6 pages First electronic computers were developed around year 1940 [1].Since that time we we have witnessed surprising development of computer technology. In that short period of time between the day first computer was developed and now computerization has gone into every area of our life. But the computers we have now are significantly different from the early electronic computers. So the question is How much does modern computers will change in 40

What We Give to the Earth Is What We will Get in Return

1008 words - 5 pages The ecosystem is a huge controversial topic all over the United States. Talk of the ecosystem can be heard everywhere, from news to commercials to the radio. In actuality, not many people understand how important the ecosystem is to humans. Every action has the potential to impact the ecosystem. The environment and how people treat mother earth is a strong topic for many people. The quote, “what you give out to the earth, is what you’ll get out

"Money" -What is money, how is it changing, and what do you think it will be in the future?

776 words - 3 pages Whenever someone uses money, it seldom enters their mind that money is something other than what they use to trade for things they need or want, including services. To be honest, money is actually useless within itself. However, people believe that money has value. It's all in a promise. In earlier times people used to barter, or trade one item for another, but they needed something durable, something that would last a long time. It also needed

all I Know Is What I Read In The Papers - Will Rogers

1664 words - 7 pages "All I Know Is What I Read In The Papers" - Will Rogers      There have been many criteria over the past few centuries that measured one's political clout and influence: divine right, property, money, and acquaintances. In the twentieth century, particularly the past two decades, the political power to influence others resides in information: the more information you have and the more you know how to use it

Climate change in australia What is climate change? How will it affect life in Australia?

1343 words - 5 pages Honours Programme Principal's Essay 2007Topic: What is climate change? How will it affect life in Australia?StudentMentor teacherHonours Programme Principal's Essay 2007What is climate change? How will it affect life in Australia?World wide, we are facing a severe problem known as climate change, climate change is caused by global warming, this doesn't mean that the whole earth will become hotter, in some areas the climate will become colder

Similar Essays

What Is Frankfurt's Account Of Free Will? Is It Successful?

954 words - 4 pages ? Can the person who only acts on their strongest first order desire be said to have free will? Accepting that they do would be the same as accepting that automata have free will which, consequently, makes free will trivial. It seems, therefore, that the brainwashed agent cannot truly be said to have a free will since what he wants to be his will is what someone else has decided he wants. So there are situations where we do not want to credit an

How Free Is The Will In Society

789 words - 4 pages Free will does not exist in today’s society. Can we love who we want and not be judge because of the race or gender? Can we commit a crime and not have to face the possibility of capital punishment? Can we work and not pay taxes? These are the things we question in our society. In some way, shape or form, we have free will, but in overall we do not. Our free will is ultimately controlled by our religious beliefs and our government. Our

Compatibilism Vs. Imcompatibilism: Is There Really Free Will

1225 words - 5 pages actions because with certain conditions there can only be one possible outcome. Another problem it poses towards the idea of free will is that since there are infinite possibilities of what actions one takes, this means we do not have control over our actions according to determinism. Compatibilists say free will coexists with the idea of determinism and that they are compatible. They claim the possibility that there is true determinism and free

Free Will: Are We Free Or Is Our Life Pre Determined?

1504 words - 6 pages the state of affairs at that moment. Fatalists believe that whatever happens is unavoidable because events that occur are inevitable by the causal conditions that precede it (Taylor 55). These two doctrines seem to stem from the same belief: our actions are not free due to some past, fixed condition. Because of this, a fatalist can be considered a type of determinist. This way of thinking poses a threat on what we call free will. If our actions are