Free Will And Determinism

Published: 2021-07-06 06:41:27
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IntroductionTo differentiate between what we choose as an option to base our actions on can be very difficult. Both the options of free will and determinism exist and are used by people who commit to these beliefs. The free will is the ability to choose an alternative by our analysis of outcomes. The process gives the person opportunity to decide his action on the available options by his choice and using any measure to evaluate these outcomes. In contrast, the determinism concepts argue that choices people made are affected by antecedent causes. In this process, choices are not made by free will but are governed by how such a decision was made in history and what outcomes are linked to it. This concept takes help from the factor of rationality and uses it to made decisions. The determinism concept involves external forces to affect our choices, and the person is no longer held responsible for their actions. This contrasting view about both psychological positions has its positives and negatives, and arguments by various studies support both. This paper will discuss two studies based on each concept and will provide a critical analysis of author’s arguments that are linked to morality.DiscussionThe first study we have chosen is about free will and moral aspects of holding others responsible and punishing other members of the society. This research compiles five studies to analyze the involvement of free will in various decisions. The author’s discussion about the concept of free will and how it is linked with morality is based on their combined analysis of 5 studies. According to their analysis, the people who accept free will as an option in making decisions are not guilty of their actions (Clark et al., 501). They hold firm beliefs about their concepts on why they consider free will as an option. The free will beliefs if affected by the prior knowledge of the issue gives responsibility to the person. Certain factors enforce these beliefs.The relation of free will with morality shifts the burden of decisions to the free will. The person is the responsibility of actions and their nature to be moral or immoral are transferred to the person. It means that if a person chooses an action of the available options, he is responsible for them to be moral or immoral. Free will allows a person’s punishment towards himself as the effects are the property of the person if he chooses them by free will. The person is held responsible for his actions and will be subject to punishment if he is found guilty.The motivated free belief suggests that person will be held responsible only if there are no driving forces to motivate them to these actions. These decisions are not always based on rational factors and may result in adverse outcomes. However, to decide which actions are linked by motivation are decided by the person himself. This factors also argues that desires and behaviours were both controllable by the actor and his intention for any decision as well as his actions make him responsible for any consequences (Clark et al., 502).The moral responsibility of any person decides his position in the society. If he is given free will to participate in a social activity he may choose any option like; attending positively, participating negatively and against the social change, or not act at all. The free will in such cases may be hurting someone’s feelings. It can also be against the combined decision of the society and may result in uncooperative activities. It gives an idea that free will is dependent on the situation and the person can choose to decide which path to follow.The second study discusses that determinism is necessary to explain moral responsibility. This study focuses on three parts but only the second part is arguing about moral responsibility and determinism. This study arguments that if a person makes a decision based on determinism, he should not be responsible for the moral value of the choice or the consequences.Determinism gives a personal safety from negative consequences of the outcome. As the person’s own will was not involved in the process of decision making, he is relieved from the accusation of the act (Vincent, pp. 2). The person is then not punishable for his decisions as his free will was not involved in the process. This argument is given in the courts is a person is proved not to have the intent of an action. The author provides examples of Western judicial systems which do not hold the suspect accountable for having lack of intent (Vincent, pp. 3).The second argument given by the author in support of determinism is the relation of decisions with other events and conditions. It provides arguments that actions are affected by agent’s character and laws of nature. This argument is backed by the support of Professor Peter van Inwagen who argues that whatever is set to happen in future is already decided the fate and this fate is inevitable and cannot be changed (Vincent., pp. 3). This argument is similar to the concept of “Butterfly Effect.” This concept explains every outcome in the universe as a result of a cause. And no effect takes place without some action that makes it happen (Blake).The argument in this study about morality in determinism frees us the actor of the blame for his actions. According to this study if a man is not in control of what will happen next how can he made responsible for his actions then. This argument is directed against the process of the judiciary to the extent that agreeing to this would shatter existence of every human-made law.The author also arguments that human actions are not just based on determinism rather the factor of conditioning and disposition also plays a part in decision making (Vincent, pp. 7). By this argument, a child born in terrorists should not be accountable if he becomes a terrorist as wrong people conditioned him.The arguments provided in the first study are more realistic and agreeable. The arguments about free regarding morality make a person responsible for his actions and their moral nature. Vincent’s argument, in this case, is that several factors affect decisions and contribute to the decision-making process. The argument of Vincent is weak as it removes the burden of responsibility on everyone. This argument has a false basis because human beings are born with decision power, and it’s only because of this ability they will be judged in the afterlife. Relieving person of his burden is, therefore, unnatural.The dependency of human actions on his conditioning, disposition, laws of nature and fate also is against the fact that human beings are responsible for their actions no matter what other factors involved in it. Using disposition and conditioning as an argument to justify that person is innocent is against the administrative laws and the whole structure of judiciary is based on it.ConclusionIt is true that not all actions of humans are their free will choices or deterministic actions, and justifying that only one of them is correct is difficult. Both studies provide a strong argument in favour of their philosophical concept of morality and punishment. However, based on the argumentation and factual basis, the first study is more acceptable. The author of this study provides more agreeable arguments, and the reader can easily understand their validity. The arguments are more factual, and they are justified by real-life examples.Works CitedBlake, Mike. “Universal charge diffusion and the butterfly effect in holographic theories.” Physical review letters 117.9 (2016): 091601.Clark, Cory J., et al. “Free to punish: A motivated account of free will belief.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106.4 (2014): 501.Shariff, Azim F., et al. “Free will and punishment: A mechanistic view of human nature reduces retribution.” Psychological science 25.8 (2014): 1563-1570.Vincent, Adrian. “The Convenient Truth of Hard Determinism and the Pursuit of the Ethical Nobility.” (2017).

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