The Existence of Free Will - Essay Sample

Published: 2021-07-19
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University of California, Santa Barbara
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The world is cumulative of people from different races, culture, and even geographical areas. This just means that we are diverse and every person has a unique personality that is unknown to the other. We do not choose where to belong. Otherwise, most people would not be where they are, or rather we do not choose where to be born, the parents to have, or class to belong to, we are only put into being by fate, and we end up in places we never imagined we could. That is the beauty of life; we belong because a force beyond our control regulates our welfare and so we have no choice but to appreciate where we belong and cohabit with whatever we find within the environment to better our lives. We, therefore, exist by mere chance and not by choice. Nonetheless, in our existence, we shape our lives through the choices we liberally make.

The intriguing puzzle would then be; is free will a matter of chance and not a choice? This concept has traversed across history, and many have come up with conflicting conclusions on its existence. Scientists, psychologists, and, philosophers just to mention a few, have differed for many years on what consummates Free Will." Does it exist? Or is it just some fallacy created out of the moon to confuse the innocent creation of God. Many have the view of Free Will existing and are measurable, but skeptic individuals have brushed it aside as non-issue that should not even be given attention to since its only objective is tying people to the consequences of the choices they make. The adage choices have consequences is very popular amongst the proponents of this concept. Amidst all these mixed reactions towards the existence of "Free Will," some opinions hold water. This paper will dig deep into this long debated concept to show that Free Will actually exists thus not a cliche that nobody should give attention to.

Traditional philosophers in decades have held convergent views on "Free Will." It has been attached to different concepts to shed more light on it. Free Will in simple terms has been related to concepts of praise, guilt, sin, responsibility, and any judgment that directly defines actions that have been freely chosen by an individual. Free Will has been likened to the freedom to make our own choices and live with the consequences. Others have compared it to the power of a supernatural being beyond our control that enables us to make decisions without using the brain. Proponents of this ideology argue that our consciousness is a single unit that regulates our "here and now," which trickles down to our awareness to things and finally make decisions fit for every scenario. The viewpoints held are entirely convincing since we are responsible for our actions whose result may be positive or negative (Gocke 302).

Anti-Free Will individuals have their fair share of the cake to give as well. The idea of Free Will is termed as an act of consciousness that does not depend on the brain leaves more than meets the eye. Many have challenged this, and I concur. The brain controls all activities in the body as it is responsible for transmission of information through different channels, i.e., the neuron system at various body parts. We can, therefore, feel, see, smell, talk, hear, react, etc., due to information transmitted to the brain. Our consciousness is thus tied to the brain because it is the same brain that we become conscious of things around us and make decisions regarding them. We are responsible for the choices we make, but that doesn't mean that these options we make are because of factors beyond our control. Before we make decisions, we must be aware, this is the function of the brain, therefore "Free Will" is not out of chance, if information from external sources are transmitted, and processed in the brain, and the information used to make decisions, then our choices are out individual intuition through the brain.

Despite the heated debates that have emerged over the years. There are several philosophers whose points of view prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Free Will actually exists and is measurable. Philosophers like Thomas Aquinas, Jonathan Edwards believe that Free Will is part of human beings. Free Will enables us to make decisions independently and take responsibility for our actions. According to Rene Descartes and Jonathan Edwards, people make decisions on a daily basis, and this is pegged to the liberty to choose what we want in our lives without force. An individual who decides to pursue his dream goal is intuitively convinced that that is the best path to follow to be successful (Gressis 224). He will, therefore, make sacrifices and take actions that would eventually produce fruitful results. This is out of Free Will and not some coercive force. Rene Descartes, additionally, holds the view that Free Will actually controls us and makes us do the things we do at any given time.

We exist because of Free Will. We become what we envision, and we make decisions that guide us daily. No human being sets on a journey on a path without thinking, envisioning, and finally pursuing it. Our Free Will gives us the liberty to choose how the environment around us shapes us or destroys us. An individual engaging in harmful activities such as theft is well aware of the consequences if caught, but goes ahead to commit to the action solely because he or she had already made the decision to be a thief and is ready to take up the responsibility that comes with his or her actions. Physical and moral laws are intuitive, and every person has specific boundaries they have drawn with regards to their action. Jonathan Edwards terms this as determinism (Haji 139). These rules come naturally since, on a typical occasion, we can comfortably decipher what is wrong from what is right. This according to Harry Frankfurt, is solely dependent on the fundamental rules that are within us, we did not create the rules, but they control us, that is why some people choose to do right others be troublemakers. Regardless of the path taken, we are responsible for the consequences therein.

It may seem quite unfortunate to note that we pay for our sins. The guilt we sometimes hold inside is as a result of the choices we made that reduced us to our bare minimums. If the saying Human is to err is repetitively used in our daily operations, then it means, we have some inner power to make decisions that at times may be erroneous or successful depending on how we execute the choices we make. Free Will, therefore, defines the lanes we follow in our quest to do right or wrong. It is existing, and we can measure the degree to which our choices may affect us positively or negatively. We can tell when we are on the right track or not since it is our conscience that dictates our dos and doesn't. The existence of "Free Will" is thus not a mere creation or an enigma to view lightly, but realism that we must live with (Pulman 234).

Free Will, therefore, exists. We cannot dispute the fact that every individual is responsible for their action. We have silent rules and laws that demarcate what we should do and should not. Whenever we deviate from these silent rules, guilt, regrets, pain, etc. catches up with us. We, therefore, have the freedom to do things our way since the decision to act in a particular manner develops from within. When things go our way, we have ourselves to congratulate for the right decision made, likewise, when we fail, we have ourselves to blame for not doing the right thing (Franklin, 200). All these happenings are out of our decision-making power. There is no single human being who has another person as their "think-tank," we make decisions as individuals and act out of the choices we make. We thus can agree to disagree that we have the freedom to make decisions and choices that pertain to our actions. The only things we have no control over that cannot be attached to Free Will may be our origin, color, and length of our days on earth; however, the rest we determine by the decisions we make. Our destinies are our writings and doings because of the choices we make. Free Will is thus a reality, it controls our lives and shapes us to the individuals we have groomed ourselves to be through the choices we make.

Works Cited

Franklin, Christopher E. "Neo-Frankfurtians and buffer cases: the new challenge to the principle of alternative possibilities." Philosophical Studies, vol. 152, no. 2, 2009, pp. 189-207.

Gressis, Robert. "Free Will," by Joseph Keim Campbell." Teaching Philosophy, vol. 35, no. 2, 2012, pp. 223-226.

Gocke, Benedikt P. "Reviews Personal Agency: The Metaphysics of Mind and Action. By E. J. Lowe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 240, 19.99." Philosophy, vol. 85, no. 02, 2010, p. 302.

Haji, Ishtiyaque. "Active control, agent-causation and free action." Philosophical Explorations, vol. 7, no. 2, 2004, pp. 131-148.

Pulman, C. G. "Personal Agency: The Metaphysics of Mind and Action - By E. J. Lowe." Ratio, vol. 23, no. 2, 2010, pp. 232-236.

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