The Significance Of Free Will Vs. Determinism

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Free will has always been something that I thought was obvious to be true. However, after learning different perspectives and theories about the matter, I am not so confident in my conclusion. Free will versus determinism has been debated by philosophers for millennia. These major ideas of discussion have a variety of different interpretations. Whether we are deciding between major, life changing paths, or simply, opting to wear a sweater instead of a t-shirt on a given day; the selections we make in life do have a major influence on future events. However, we will never know the true meaning of our random (or planned) existence. But, I am not trying to show or persuade the significance of free will. Rather, whether or not free will is anything …show more content…
Fork in the road situations are comparable to a coin toss. If you toss a coin in the air, it will either be heads, or it will be tails. It is 50/50. But, you do know the possibility of what the end results will be. Regardless, of what side the coin lands on. As decisions get more complicated and the outcomes grow varied and immense, it becomes less apparent that our choices are not in our control. However, these choices are two sides of the same coin. Although we may not know for certain what will happen, we can still, to some extent, predict what the ramifications will be. We make decisions every day, thinking solely on how they will impact our future. Although we may or may not know the specificities of the consequences, we can still decide if they will affect us negatively or positively. So, we usually gravitate towards choices that benefit ourselves or those around us. Therefore, we feel as though the complicated decisions we make are completely attributed to our own actions, rather than our predestined existence. Some might argue that by having the ability to make decisions, it is by default the proof of reality of free will. That by having the capacity to choose shows the truth of free will. In the ‘Challenge of Determinism’ by A.J. Grunthaler writes, “The very act of weighing pros and cons before we act demonstrates that, at least in our own minds, we assume that we are …show more content…
It is an apparent and known fact that computers and machines are programmed. As our lives become more technology oriented, the less we focus on the world around us. They are tools that make our lives simpler and easier, but they may also be what hinder our ability to make conscious decisions. However, while the function of a machine is decided under the discretion of whoever created it, why can’t we be the same way? But, instead of a programmer, our creator is the environment we grew up in and our programming is biological predispositions. So to rein everything in, we may just be programmed to make the decisions we make, much like a computer. The choices we feel we make, are simply inevitable. Computers don’t have an awareness of choice, because they don’t have a choice. But, we humans pride ourselves to be free thinkers, capable of creating our own existence through whatever decisions we please to make. Since we do have an awareness of choice, it may as well be all that free will is. However, some might claim this argument to be invalid because humans are feeling, emotional beings. This is what separates us from artificial intelligence. Computers don’t have the capacity for any means of sentiment. Unless, the programmer deems it appropriate to do so. Our emotions may just as well be programming. ‘Searle and the Chinese Room Experiment’, states, “Beliefs, hopes, fears, and even pains are all mental states. A thing that can

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