Human Beings Are Biological Machines Essay

1581 Words Nov 4th, 2016 7 Pages
Richard Dawkins has referred to humans as “lumbering robots,” and Stephen Hawking has stated “human beings are biological machines… nothing but a collection of organized chemicals that run physical brains in a deterministic machine-like way” (The Grand Design, 31; The Selfish Gene, 19). Both statements come from two of the greatest minds in science and entirely reject the idea of free will. Dawkins and Hawking, along with many other modern day scientists, assume humans do not make choices on their own capacity but rather choices that are predetermined by many different circumstances (Nichols). Most people tend to disagree with this argument, though, stating humans have complete control over everything they do; every decision is a choice made by the individual with no predetermined outcome. However, many of the people who disagree with Dawkins and Hawking would be surprised to learn just how many of our choices are predetermined by a plethora of different circumstances we have absolutely no control over. Free will is simply one’s ability to make conscious decisions with no outer influence establishing the results in advance (O’Conner). Free will is usually thought to be a gift given to humans in our basic design. Our brain is similar to a computer in the way it controls every bodily function along with all our decision making (Smithstein). Humans, then, are thought to be the “programmer,” in the sense that we tell our brains what to do. However, many scientists disagree.…

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