Free Will vs Determination

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Date Submitted: 09/02/2011 09:04 PM

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Free Will vs. Determinism

ZabrynSamar K Data


August 31, 2011

Jimmy Leduc

Free Will vs. Determinism

I chose to write about free will versus determination. There are two beliefs that are both common sense. The first is the behavior of atoms is governed entirely by physical law. The other is that Humans have free will. Most people accept both beliefs. However, they do not get along with each other. The argument is that it is either or, not both. The first belief is that whatever an atom does, it has to do, given the existing circumstances because physical laws determine what each atom does in the existing circumstance. Meaning, if the laws determine that an atom does X in circumstance C, then in circumstance C, atom has to do X.

In the belief of free will, anything that happened as a result of free will did not have to happen. For instance, I chose to study hard and aim for a better grade in my Algebra 1B class. I had not done as well in my Algebra 1A class. I did my work diligently and I ended with a B, as opposed to the D I got previously. Had I chosen to cruise again, I would not have gotten that B.. So, if belief two holds, it is not true that an atom must have done the movement. But if the first belief holds, then it is true.

Basically, free will allows us to choose our outcomes. So we can choose A and outcome will be B, or we can choose C and outcome will be D. Determinism is that we do not have free will to choose what we want. No matter what we do, the outcome is always the same. I do not see these as separate beliefs, I think that one can accept both beliefs. There are things that are not in our control, and there are things that are. I pointed this out in a discussion just the other day. An example of free will and determinism: We have the free will to go after love, to have it, to be happy, to do what we can to have the love returned. Whether or not the love is reciprocated, is not in our control.