Our Free Will Essay

This essay has a total of 1035 words and 5 pages.

Our Free Will

Our Free Will


We ought then regard the present state of the universe as the effect of
its previous state and the cause of the one which is to follow. An intelligence
knowing at a given instant of time all the forces operating in nature, as well
as the position at that instant of all things of which the universe consists,
would be able to comprehend the motions of the largest bodies in the universe
and those of the smallest atoms in a single formula - provided that it was
sufficiently powerful to submit all these data analysis. To it nothing would
be uncertain and the future would be present to its eyes as much as the past.
This passage comes from P.S. de Laplace's "Philosophical Essay on
Probabilities." If such determinism is true, then everyone's every thought and
action must be inevitable; that no one really has any choice about anything,
because we are all helpless products of blind forces which have made us what we
are. In this paper concerning the free will and determinism debate I will
argue that determinism is not plausible, I shall do this by giving reasons for
determining how determinism is false, give arguments for determinism, and then
refute those arguments.
There are those who think that our behavior is a result of free choice,
but there are others who presume "we are servants of cosmic destiny or that
behavior is nothing but a reflex of heredity and environment." The position
of determinism is that every event is the necessary outcome of a cause or set
of causes. That everything is a consequence of external forces, and such
forces produce all that happens. Man is not free. If we accept the
determinist argument and assume human behavior as a consequence of external
factors rather than of free choice, then we must realize that our explanation
of human behavior leaves no room for morality. If people do not choose their
actions, then they are not really responsible for them, and there is no need
for praising or blaming them. If determinism were true, then there would be no
basis for human effort, for why should a person make an effort if what he or
she does doesn't make a difference? If what will be will be, then one has an
excuse for doing nothing. Life would not be so meaningful for people on
deterministic grounds. "The nature of human life may be such that man must
understand himself as being free, for human life as we know it would not make
much sense without the concept of freedom." The challenge and struggle
usually emerge from situations, such as helping to recycle or reaching out to
youths in inner city projects, in which individuals feel that their effort can
make a difference.
In our everyday lives, there are many times when we have to make
decisions; what we are going to eat for breakfast, or where we are going to
walk. When we talk or write, we are deciding on the arrangement of our
thoughts, and we have to search for the right expressions. Our life, while we
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