Type: Controversial Essays
Sample donated: Kenny Swanson
Last updated: June 14, 2019
Free will is the concept that decisions we make are our own,and haven’t been chosen by anyone else.
Free will an exist in everyone, butarguments have been made against this, with possible suggestions that somethingbigger is making all the decisions. Do we really have free will, or are wecontrolled, trapped?There are 3 main ways in which free will is viewed,socially, physically, and religiously. Physically, our brains allow us to makeour own decisions, and chemical changes in the brain also change our thoughts.Some people argue that brains could be connected through certain psychologicalbonds, for example with a couple, and when they may sometimes think of the sameor very similar thing. Scientists however think that this is just to do withchanging thought patterns as partners start to understand each other and howboth think. The scientists’ argument is much more reliable, as tests have beendone to prove this and through simple questions thought patterns were found tobe very similar in people who knew each other well. Free will can also be describedin relation to the body.Most people think that we physically choose a large numberof things, but also agree that there are some things that, even if people tryas hard as possible, they just can’t control, for example being able to stopour heart from beating without a knife or noose, or holding our breathintentionally until we suffocate and die.
A modern day Philosopher named MikeHuemer wrote: “A choice is something one does,whereas the involuntary is something that happens to one.” Regarding thethings people do have control over,people choose their own beliefs and, where appropriate, our own religions, withthe exception of a few religious groups. Additionally, people have full controlover and choose many of their own body movements, like waving to someone,making expressions or talking. Finally, people have control over and are ableto choose almost all of their mental processes, such as calculating equationsfrom numbers in our heads, recalling memories or just thinking about differentthings. Some people argue however that even these rules do have exceptions, thatsome people can control their heartbeat to a certain extent with training, and occasionallythoughts may spring into our minds involuntarily with no proper reason, howeverthat is not a valid enough argument to prove against this, at least at themoment.In the modern day, people subconsciously rely on free willto function properly in society. If people did not believe in free will,society could be a much more negative place, and people would neglect manythings in life.
However, modern politics helps support free will with democracyin the form of election polls or other forms of voting, through social freewill to decide who runs the country in a certain way. People often argue thatthe people whose votes didn’t get the winning party or option have lost theirfree will in that particular topic. Despite the fact that we can do most thingsthat we want to within the modern world, there are also laws that restrictcertain things you can do, so that may also not be true free will. Going backinto the ancient years of politics, princes and princesses were often forced tomarry each other, sometimes against their own will, for political gains,especially in war when if one country needs more power, the prince marrying theprincess will often mean that the countries will help each other and providesupplies and troops when necessary. Some people however have recently thoughtthat free will itself is the foundation that is built on by politics.
Forexample, free will isn’t truly free will, just free decisions within certainrestrictions that are set by certain parties. These different opinions aboutfree will and other aspects of live drive certain people into voting for’parties’, political groups that have one main aim.Within religion, free will is a controversial topic. Notmany people actually realise that, within Christianity, the bible is againstfree will, calling it a sin and comparing it to the scene where Adam and Eve,of their own volition, took an apple from the tree of knowledge. It is assumedthat this is where the idea of ‘Natural Freedom’ and ‘Acquired Freedom’ cameinto existence, which means that any person has the freedom to make their owndecisions, and the freedom to live according to society. Through these ideasthat is enough to satisfy some people, however other religions can be verycontrasting.
Within the religion of Islam, in certain places once you enterIslam you are not allowed to leave, and also in certain areas women are forcedto marry a man that is chosen for them.Another argument is linked with free will and randomness, despitehow they don’t seem to link whatsoever, called the Quantum Entanglement of FreeWill. The argument is moderately straightforward, an example could be thatsomeone’s action is determined by the roll of a dice. If the dice rolls a six, thatperson has to do a certain action. However, all six faces turn to have a six onthem, making it clear that in this case they have no free will.
Often religiouspeople argue that if the different sides each became a unique action notrelating to each other in any way, would they be freer than before? Accordingto the main rules of the Quantum argument, this is not true or hasn’t beenproven yet, as it would be practically impossible to test if it was true ornot. After all, if this truly was the case, then everybody in the world wouldall be like pieces on a ‘game of life’ board, where all our actions are being decidedby somebody by simply rolling a dice. To summarise, if anything we say or anythingwe do is influenced by any outside process, then we are as ‘unfree’ as we couldbe either way, if it was a predetermined process or the even the slightest random process.