The Free Will Controversy

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Philosophy ・MLA ・1 Sources

Free Will is a metaphysical term of art that refers to an agent's ability to select a course of action from a variety of options. The definition of "Free Will" has sparked debate among philosophers. The majority of philosophers' arguments indicate that the principle of free will and moral obligation are inextricably linked (Richards). The first justification for “Free Will” is the determinism argument, in which Isaac Bashevis argues that every person must have thought about a decision before making it, and that decisions are entirely made after personal thought. The universe cannot be a deterministic system in our lives as per the Newtonian physics because our actions output are based on probabilities. Libertarianism gives a point about “Free Will” by arguing that no one can predict his or her decisions based on the reason that if we could have been predicting everything, then we could have been not getting into troubles or risks at all. Compatibilism argument is a point in the chapter that contradicts those people who are not familiar with the literature of philosophical since free will and determinism are not easily compatible (Richards). Another point in the chapter is the relationship between ethics and free will because most philosophers advocate that human ethics are the key factors that distinguish human from animals.
Determine argument is discussed in the chapter to enlighten the audience in relation to the free will as per the advocacy made by Isaac Bashevis among other arguments such as the argument from experience, The argument that the universe is not a deterministic system, the argument on about how one cannot predicts his/her decisions and accountability argument (Richards). In this chapter, most of the philosophers argue that nature cannot determine the will and the results of the actions made by a person because of the probabilities or uncertainties that happen in real life. The compatibilist response in this chapter argues that an act can be a fee and determined at the same time considering the advocacy made by Hobbes, Hume, Kant and Mill. The compatibilism provides the real live examples of the situation where the action can be both free and determined; the specific example of a situation where action is deliberate is, an individual handing over a wallet because a robber points the gun on his or her head and the point where action is free is when a person makes contribution to charity because an individual is benevolent and believes in supporting others. However, there are problems in the compatibilism because it is compatible with the law of nature, which most of the philosophers argue against it. Ethics and free well relate according to the philosophers and theologians because out freedom are necessary for our dignity as moral beings; thus in this chapter (Chapter 9) the attributes of robots, fatalism, and deliberation are discussed to make people understand the connection between ethics and free will (Richards). People cannot do what they did not intend to do either in good faith or bad spirit thus it is important to evaluate the people as good or bad.
The argument from experience advocates that we can start the idea that we are free to act on (Richards). However, how about the idea given by other person and it is supposed to be done or implemented? It is true every action and impacts of an action are based on some probabilities for example in the case of decay and the number of atoms decaying in within a month. But does the argument on probabilities surpass the input and output facts of data and information entered and released by computer respectively? We cannot predict out decision because there are untimely events, but how out the risk measures that are applied by various individuals and organizations? The compatibilist response demonstrates both situations when the action can be free and determined, but the question about the response is; between free and determined, which situation is more common in real life? Ethics and free will are important as far as the concept “free will” is concerned. The free will can be either good or bad based on the ethics but what about the situation where someone is insane or has no consent about his or her action?
Isaac Bashevis said “I believe in free will. I have no choice” (Richards). The comment made by Isaac Bashevis is true as and when more perspective about the causes of actions and behaviors are considered. Having no choice in life implies that someone is driven by nature, which is not true because we make choices based on what favors us as far as ethic are concerned. “This is what it means to do something of your free will” is a quote in chapter 9.3 which has a good basis because, in life, people make decisions depending on the past events and what is in mind. “No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being”; the quote is correct thus it applies in real life because human being have brains to think and act accordingly unlike cars that are programmed.
All the three major points in the chapter are meaningful because every point demonstrates what is happening in real life. For instance in chapter 9.1, the point on various perspectives such as actions based on experience, universe, prediction (Richards). The arguments are realistic because of experience as much effect on personal decisions, uncertainties matters on action and impacts and the fact that some actions suddenly without any particular prior sign. In real life, some actions are based on free will and some are based on the circumstances just as how Hobbes, Hume, Kant and Mill argued. Finally, ethics and free will relate because our decision can either be good or bad based on our intentions; for example, an unethical person make harmful decisions, and the good person believes in benefiting decisions.
In conclusion, the reading was good because it has enlightened me regarding knowledge and wisdom. I have learned the essence of good will in real life thus after the reading I can now make my decision wisely to benefit the society. Moreover, the arguments in the reading have given me the adequate basis for arguing on matters about free will concept.

Work Cited

James, Richards. Problems with philosophy: The Debate over Free Will, 3rd edition. Print

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