Essay about Is Free Will Possible?

781 Words Dec 15th, 2014 4 Pages
Is free-will possible? The concept of free will has formed the basis of Judeo-Christian morality and its successor, our present modern secular morality. It refers to the “ability of a rational agent to choose a course of action among various alternatives” (O 'Connor). The rational agent can then be held morally responsible for his choice and its consequences. This key idea pervades our entire ethical and legal system allowing us to reward, punish and judge persons holding them responsible for their actions. However, philosophers have struggled with the question of validity of the free will. In other words, does free will truly exist? The detractors of the free will argue that all actions are but consequence of some previous action or circumstance. Therefore, the choice made by the agent had already been determined even before he made the choice. This paper will examine a particular case that attempts to disprove the idea of free will. Using the arguments by AJ Ayer, I would point the flaws in the criticism of the free will and prove that it does exist in this particular case. A hypothetical case negating free will can be this: Smith is working at a convenience store. When Smith tells the cashier that he cannot find the toilet papers, the cashier gets distracted and leaves for the backroom. Using this opportunity, Smith quickly steals ten dollars from the cashier. On being caught, Smith’s lawyer justifies Smith in front of the jury by invoking his lack of free will while…

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