(Completed on November 24 2016, edited over the past week)
TOPIC : FREEWILL VS DETERMINISM
Scientists often argue that free will is nothing but an illusion we use to trick ourselves into believing we’re in control. Could it be possible that the feeling of having free will is so strong that we can never really determine whether or not we’re truly autonomous? People form their identities and passions off of their belief in individuality, bravery, and autonomous decision making. It’s important for me to push the limits of my knowledge of free will and discover as much as I can through this unit.
QUESTION: ARE WE FREE? DO WE HAVE FREE WILL?
Q1: WHAT IS FREEWILL?
“Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action. It is closely linked to the concepts of responsibility, praise, guilt, sin, and other judgments which apply only to actions that are freely chosen.” ~ Wikipedia
Free will = we have choices, we can choose our path in life and ultimately have control in the ‘end result’ of our lives.
Q2: IS IT POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT WE HAVE A FATE? OR FREE WILL?
No. We will never be able to determine whether or not there is a destiny or if we really have control over our choices. I feel like it is mostly subjective, the feeling of free will or the feeling of believing in a destiny can be so strong that it can make the entire argument seem redundant. Of course there are people who are religious and believe in destiny, but all in all we tend to believe that we have control over our actions to an extent.
We will never be able to
Q3: IS THERE SUCH THING AS ‘FATE’? TO WHAT EXTENT?
Determinism is the idea that all events and choices we make are determined by a fate. It implies that people have no free will. Determinists are the biggest advocates for fate. To a determinist, all choice and all feelings of freedom are illusions. They do not believe in multiple outcomes, there is one fate and that is the only path. Many religious and spiritual groups are determinists. It is the idea that a preexisting destiny determines all of our choices for us.
After reading around, I’ve come to the conclusion that to an extent, preexisting conditions (race, class, gender, disability status, mental illness) do have control over our paths. However, these conditions do not impair our ability to make choices that will help us towards our goasl, but they create obstacles that block our way to our goals. Sometimes we might not even be able to achieve our goals due to these obstacles. And although environmental and health circumstances do have control over our situations, we are still capable of making choices within these restraints. I do not believe in faith.