Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Free Will?

Topic: Can people have free will?

Question 1: Who are people?

Question 2: What is free will?

Question 3: If people had free will, would they be able to tell?


Question 1: Who are people?

For all intents and purposes, I’m defining a person as a human.

Definition: a human being, whether an adult or child

-via dictionary.com


Question 2: What is free will?

Definition:  the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.

-via dictionary.com

So it means that there’s nothing controlling your actions and decisions without you knowing. Eg: fate, god… etc


Question 3: If people had free will, would they be able to tell?

No. It’s possible that if everything was predetermined, we could be predetermined to find out that we did or didn’t have free will eventually. If that event eventually comes  we can’t be sure if it’s true or if we’ve been manipulated into that conclusion. Even if the answer was that we didn’t have free will and we found out why, we still can’t be sure if the answer was manipulated to be untrue.


Personal Interest:

I actually started thinking about this because Kyle C. brought it to my attention. He’d heard from others about some discussions going on in class and was talking to me about his thoughts. The topic of free will was one of them. It interested me to think that it wasn’t actually possible to know if people had it, and thinking about it could be fruitless.

There’s also a book I read a few years back called “Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You” by Dan Riskin. It touches a little bit on free will, describing people as ‘meat robots’ and how some of our impulses and emotions are basically controlled by DNA. His reason for writing the book was to explore his love for his son and if it was significant, because love for a child from a parent was also programmed so that genes could be passed on.

Outside Source:

Dan Riskin’s “Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You”

If you scroll up to pg 29 to pg 33, he discusses people’s will to survive and his love for his son boiling down to how his DNA programs him to act.


Where to Next?:

Whether or not people have free will isn’t of great concern to the average Joe. It appears as if we do on the surface, and that’s enough to sustain normal life. People probably don’t think about it much because it wouldn’t affect average life very much.


One Response to Free Will?

  1. Rita says:

    David and Jordan
    -Summarized our topics
    -New idea: Events are the result of past events and aren’t within our control
    -More time: What would be the first event that began everything?

    -Summarized topics, expressed opinion on own topic and some background info, how religions are perceived by religious/non-religious people.
    -New idea: What we’re experiencing right now could be preparation for a next life
    -More time: Where do the notions of what comes after death come from?
    -Questions?: Is it more hopeful to believe in an afterlife? Why did people conceive the idea of afterlife and is there an early record of it?
    -Now did new ideas influence views: Gained new perspective on how people could see what comes after death.


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