Do We Have Free Will?
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

Do We Have Free Will?

The concept of free will and the implications of the scientific image.

438
Do We Have Free Will?
@johnhain

Free will is the concept that we make our own decisions. A science-based philosophy (Scientific Image) does not believe in a free will. All things that a person does is driven by something, usually a chemical response within your body.

If you accept that there is no god, no soul and no afterlife, the major pullback of the scientific image is that it seems to "dehumanize" us by making the actions that we make simply controlled by our bodies or deficiencies in the brain.

However, the concept of science "dehumanizing" us is laughable due to the very nature of the scientific image. Its purpose is to recognize what it actually means to be human; fully human: fully animal. To be human is to have a brain, body, intelligence, chemicals that make us work. That is what humans are.

Though with the scientific image, things are not black and white like perennial philosophy teaches free will and involuntary forces of nature. While this is true, I believe the most realistic image is that of a spectrum of the choice your brain (you) makes and the signals that your body, chemicals, or social queues give off.

Suppose you (do not know you) have a potassium deficiency and you get an urge to eat a banana. Is it you that's making the decision to eat a banana, or is it your body's (for lack of a better phrase)?

What if a person gets drunk and starts a fight. The scientific image would say that it wasn't up to a "who" that made the decision but a "what". The "what" is the alcohol. Though one might argue that the decision to drink in the first place is the one at fault. But what if they are genetically predisposed to consumption of alcohol? Can they really help themselves?

This is not to say that that person is not accountable for his or her actions. However, in some situations such as schizophrenia or other severe mental illnesses, this may be the case.

How much is human nature governed by rational agency, or governed by culturally and socially embedded nature over time?

The shortcoming of religion is that it lies to its followers to ease them into comfort. There is no need to lie to people to help them be comfortable with being an animal. There is nothing wrong with being an animal. We still exist on top of the food chain. We still have intelligence and sentience. We are animals; we are complex animals capable of great things.

In an advanced civilization such as the one we exist in now, we need to have accountability for our actions with an understanding that we have at least a little bit of choice in the decisions we make. We need to know that sometimes chemicals will try to make choices for us (obvious personification), but that we often do have a choice to make.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less
Entertainment

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

232507
illustration of the fibonacci sequence
StableDiffusion

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

89223
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments