The Illusion of Free Will

Published: 2019-07-15 09:00:00
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Morality without freewill would be meaningless because the person would have no option but to adhere to the rules. Without choice man has no power to control his circumstances, his actions are not guided by his principles but by the conditions set for him by other forces. Without freewill, his morality cannot be proved.

a. Interdeterminism is an approach that assumes that all human actions are caused by circumstances in the environment and not choice or free will.

b. He views freewill as the influence ones innate desires and state of the mind of the agent. The agent has a choice to do them or not implement them.

c. Unlike the actions influenced by factors beyond the control of the user, freewill gives the agent the decision to act on them. Freewill is the ability of a person to choose his actions and determine his path.

To define freewill he gives examples of various actions that have different causes. He draws the conclusion that all free actions have a psychological or innate drive that causes actions. The unfree actions lack the psychological choice to determine the conditions. Circumstances force people into such situations. However, his definition fails to explain the aspects of free will whereby the psychological conditions are caused by circumstances beyond the control of the agent, or the agent controls the external circumstances he faces.

In this essay, Stace differentiates the actions as free and unfree, free actions are those that the immediate causes are psychological states while the unfree actions are those caused by external affairs of the agent. His definition lacks credibility as some actions are unfree yet their causes are psychological. For instance, a husband who buys flowers every day because he wants his wife to cook for him. The action of buying flowers is caused by a psychological desire but the reasons are beyond his control. The fear of staying hungry makes the man buy the flowers. Another example would be a person who travels to the desert to help reduce his weight. Although the conditions in the desert that make him lack food are beyond his control, he put himself in that condition willfully. Hos act is therefore willful.

Determinism is a necessary condition that promotes the development of morality and moral responsibility. Determinism helps in the development of character by formulating consequences of various actions in a person. Determinism helps a person relate every action to its consequences and thus develops a moral responsibility of the actions. The ability of a person to determine the consequences of an action would help his decision-making and development of morality.

He offers two main conditions that justify punishments; that is, it will stop a person from committing the same mistake or it will stop others from doing the same mistake. He argued that punishments were important for correctional purposes; the helped enforce determinism and instil moral responsibility in a community. Punishments forcibly instill a motive to do right; they also create fear, which reinforces good behavior.

There are other reasons that justify punishments, for instance, to create a justice system and provide satisfaction to victims of crimes. For instance, a rape victim would feel compensated if his tormentor faced evils equivalent to the crime. The role of punishment would not be to instil fear or character but compensate victims of crimes psychologically with equally painful actions.

sheldon

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