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When we're born into a family, we did not have the option to pick or chose who we wanted to live with or how to be raised. Many people today would think that we do have free will whenever we view ourselves as the factor of influencing the world in various ways such as choosing your profession. Even though beliefs and desires may cause our actions, those beliefs and desires are not under our control. It is the common sense that we continue to progress that determines otherwise, whereas the initial conditions and laws of nature could potentially predict what happens next. Such undetermined desires from the neurological activity would be considered random to those who think they have free will such as wanting dunkin donuts coffee. We are no freer than a video game on PlayStation because the video game is programmed to do so and cannot act otherwise. If the game could perform freely, then there is that possibility of free will. Our "actions are inevitable consequences of the minds we have"; whether we think we have free will or not (Sober 245). In some cases, I can see how people think we can act freely by moving our arms to grab a donut or to raise our hand. But if you really think about it, the signals that are being sent to our brain are the results of the laws of nature including the initial condition in which is beyond our control, resulting in no free will. A plausible conclusion that has been addressed to this problem of free will is to reconcile what is free will with the causes and effects of determinism. Determinism is "the idea of a complete description of the causal facts, guaranteeing what will happen next" (Sober 248). If I were to blow out a candle, I can predict that the flame will go out. This statement is true based on the laws of nature resulting in that ending product and not by accident. My example of the flame being blown out seems to "give a complete description of the flames present state, meaning that there is only one option as to what will happen next" (Sober 248). However, there is a problem with using determinism to help solve free will. Determinism can sometimes be known for inconsistency with any ideas based on responsibility and self-control that help form our moral and legal stances. Determinism can sometimes be assumed that it is compatible with free will making all actions go only in one direction, when instead, it seems to capture the freedom in free will and make it incoherent. In this case, we have no free will because our internal forces are the determining factor such as knowing that I will blow out the candle. Determinism is compatible with the responsibilities we chose but not with the type of control that can be regulated which is required for free will. I could have decided not to blow out the candle and let the candle go out in other ways. So if determinism does not solve the problem of free will, we then take a look at in-determinism. If in-determinism is false then everything would be considered in-deterministic, meaning that the "causal facts at one time leave open what will happen the next" (Sober 249). This by definition leads to Newton's law of motion. In Newton's law of motion, the law does not claim that you will end up with a certain conclusion. It opens up other possibilities that could result and lead into other conclusions. But what if in-determinism was true? Would we have free will then? Referring back to my PlayStation example; If physical things "do not obey deterministic laws, then our beliefs and desires do not determine what the outcome actions will be" (Sober 250). Whatever family we are going to be born into or raised in, does not determine what our beliefs or thoughts will be as we get older. Since determinism was ruled out in not giving us freedom, we begin to think that we would not be free if in-determinism were to be true either since my examples lead to things being probabilistic rather than deterministic. So whether we chose determinism or indeterminism, they are both incompatible based on our basic definition of free will in which they could be other than what was act upon. Unlike our desires and beliefs, other factors such as what family we're born into is an example of the argument called Distant Causation argument. By being raised in a certain family, this would then shape us into the human beings we are today as well as believing in certain beliefs and have certain desires. The Distant Causality argument, "focuses on the idea that our behaviors are caused by factors such as genes and the environment we grew up in, that are beyond our control" (Sober 245). But what if genes and the environment we are raised in is not the other factor in this argument? What about chance? According to Sober, if "determinism robs you of freedom, chance seems to rob you of freedom as well" (Sober 251). Another argument that is caused by the problem of free will is called the Could-Not-Have-Done-Otherwise. This argument by definition explains the "focus on the claim that is impossible for us to act other than the way our beliefs and desires cause us to act" (Sober 245). If we begin to believe that both our desires and beliefs causes our actions to be considered unfree, then we are still unfree even if our actions were also caused by chance. The similarity that is seen between these two arguments is that they both will show how your actions are being caused and also how all those actions are resulting in unfree will. With the problem of free will, there are two fundamental ways of conceiving ourselves. The first being that, we as human beings are part of a causal network based on how we were raised as well as in our desires. When we desire something such as ice cream, it does not just come from nothing. It is our beliefs and our mental possession that makes us wanting it. When we are born into a family, we cannot control our genes or the environment that we will grow up in. The second plausible conception is the possibility of projecting our own actions at our own will resulting in whatever we want the outcome to be. In this case, most would assume that choosing McDonald's over Sweet Greens is an act of free will when that is simply your desires and beliefs of wanting the fast food. But what is the cause of this event? According to the text, Sober states that "causes are often not necessary for their effects" which leads to the conclusion that in-determinism and determinism are really no different and pose a problem for human freedom (Sober 248). Sober thinks it is causality that is the issue in free will and not determinism. Causality is a "cause needed not to be a sufficient condition for its effect" (Sober 248). As stated previously, there could be other possible solutions for an effect to occur such as me blowing out the candle or getting McDonald's over Sweet Greens. Even though I had the wanting of fast food and to blow out the candle there are other factors that could be involved. If I were to explain why I chose McDonald's over Sweet Greens then I did not chose it based on free will, where as if I said I wanted McDonald's because I did, then I would have free will. The reason why causality could be the issue of free will is because causality can be found in both determinism as well as indeterminism. If causal factors determine our behavior, it is still not essential. Based on Sobers views on what the problem of free will is and how to solve it, it brings in the question of whether he is right or wrong about this. At first, I thought that everyone had free will to a certain extent, whether it was deciding what I wanted to wear for school or choosing coffee over water. But the more I read Sobers views on the problem of free will; I began to realize that Sober might be right that we are robbed of free will. No matter how free we think we are, there are always other factors behind our actions that make it unfree. I chose to get coffee for school because I knew the caffeine will keep me awake for finals. The fact that caffeine was the factor of choosing coffee didn't make it free. If I said I wanted coffee just because, then my actions would be free. I could not have chosen differently because of what little control I had in those beliefs and desires. In my opinion as well as many others, the problem of free will is very difficult to go around especially since little actions could make our actions really free. Since free will still has not been solved today, we can only go about it by saying we do not have free will unless you go about the situation in a different way. Self-control can sort of be a way of claiming free will because it begins with not acting on every impulse and instead acting on what you want, whenever you want it. In my example of choosing coffee, I really do love coffee, not because of the caffeine but the taste is really good. The caffeine just so happens to be a plus of the coffee. I also am not ashamed that I choose McDonalds over Sweet Greens because I really do love fast food even though it is very unhealthy and will probably make me gain 50 pounds. With free will being an everyday problem, I am still satisfied that I can claim some of it with my self-control. In other situations, it's upsetting that I cannot claim what I feel is free to be free will. But if there ever were an outcome or solution to this everyday problem, I sure would love to learn more about it so I can claim my free will.
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Argumentative Essay on Determining Free Will
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Argumentative Essay On Determining Free Will

Words: 1712    Pages: 6    Paragraphs: 6    Sentences: 76    Read Time: 06:13
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              When we're born into a family, we did not have the option to pick or chose who we wanted to live with or how to be raised. Many people today would think that we do have free will whenever we view ourselves as the factor of influencing the world in various ways such as choosing your profession. Even though beliefs and desires may cause our actions, those beliefs and desires are not under our control. It is the common sense that we continue to progress that determines otherwise, whereas the initial conditions and laws of nature could potentially predict what happens next. Such undetermined desires from the neurological activity would be considered random to those who think they have free will such as wanting dunkin donuts coffee. We are no freer than a video game on PlayStation because the video game is programmed to do so and cannot act otherwise. If the game could perform freely, then there is that possibility of free will. Our "actions are inevitable consequences of the minds we have"; whether we think we have free will or not (Sober 245). In some cases, I can see how people think we can act freely by moving our arms to grab a donut or to raise our hand. But if you really think about it, the signals that are being sent to our brain are the results of the laws of nature including the initial condition in which is beyond our control, resulting in no free will.
             
              A plausible conclusion that has been addressed to this problem of free will is to reconcile what is free will with the causes and effects of determinism. Determinism is "the idea of a complete description of the causal facts, guaranteeing what will happen next" (Sober 248). If I were to blow out a candle, I can predict that the flame will go out. This statement is true based on the laws of nature resulting in that ending product and not by accident. My example of the flame being blown out seems to "give a complete description of the flames present state, meaning that there is only one option as to what will happen next" (Sober 248). However, there is a problem with using determinism to help solve free will. Determinism can sometimes be known for inconsistency with any ideas based on responsibility and self-control that help form our moral and legal stances. Determinism can sometimes be assumed that it is compatible with free will making all actions go only in one direction, when instead, it seems to capture the freedom in free will and make it incoherent. In this case, we have no free will because our internal forces are the determining factor such as knowing that I will blow out the candle. Determinism is compatible with the responsibilities we chose but not with the type of control that can be regulated which is required for free will. I could have decided not to blow out the candle and let the candle go out in other ways. So if determinism does not solve the problem of free will, we then take a look at in-determinism.
             
              If in-determinism is false then everything would be considered in-deterministic, meaning that the "causal facts at one time leave open what will happen the next" (Sober 249). This by definition leads to Newton's law of motion. In Newton's law of motion, the law does not claim that you will end up with a certain conclusion. It opens up other possibilities that could result and lead into other conclusions. But what if in-determinism was true? Would we have free will then? Referring back to my PlayStation example; If physical things "do not obey deterministic laws, then our beliefs and desires do not determine what the outcome actions will be" (Sober 250). Whatever family we are going to be born into or raised in, does not determine what our beliefs or thoughts will be as we get older. Since determinism was ruled out in not giving us freedom, we begin to think that we would not be free if in-determinism were to be true either since my examples lead to things being probabilistic rather than deterministic. So whether we chose determinism or indeterminism, they are both incompatible based on our basic definition of free will in which they could be other than what was act upon.
             
              Unlike our desires and beliefs, other factors such as what family we're born into is an example of the argument called Distant Causation argument. By being raised in a certain family, this would then shape us into the human beings we are today as well as believing in certain beliefs and have certain desires. The Distant Causality argument, "focuses on the idea that our behaviors are caused by factors such as genes and the environment we grew up in, that are beyond our control" (Sober 245). But what if genes and the environment we are raised in is not the other factor in this argument? What about chance? According to Sober, if "determinism robs you of freedom, chance seems to rob you of freedom as well" (Sober 251). Another argument that is caused by the problem of free will is called the Could-Not-Have-Done-Otherwise. This argument by definition explains the "focus on the claim that is impossible for us to act other than the way our beliefs and desires cause us to act" (Sober 245). If we begin to believe that both our desires and beliefs causes our actions to be considered unfree, then we are still unfree even if our actions were also caused by chance. The similarity that is seen between these two arguments is that they both will show how your actions are being caused and also how all those actions are resulting in unfree will.
             
              With the problem of free will, there are two fundamental ways of conceiving ourselves. The first being that, we as human beings are part of a causal network based on how we were raised as well as in our desires. When we desire something such as ice cream, it does not just come from nothing. It is our beliefs and our mental possession that makes us wanting it. When we are born into a family, we cannot control our genes or the environment that we will grow up in. The second plausible conception is the possibility of projecting our own actions at our own will resulting in whatever we want the outcome to be. In this case, most would assume that choosing McDonald's over Sweet Greens is an act of free will when that is simply your desires and beliefs of wanting the fast food. But what is the cause of this event? According to the text, Sober states that "causes are often not necessary for their effects" which leads to the conclusion that in-determinism and determinism are really no different and pose a problem for human freedom (Sober 248). Sober thinks it is causality that is the issue in free will and not determinism. Causality is a "cause needed not to be a sufficient condition for its effect" (Sober 248). As stated previously, there could be other possible solutions for an effect to occur such as me blowing out the candle or getting McDonald's over Sweet Greens. Even though I had the wanting of fast food and to blow out the candle there are other factors that could be involved. If I were to explain why I chose McDonald's over Sweet Greens then I did not chose it based on free will, where as if I said I wanted McDonald's because I did, then I would have free will. The reason why causality could be the issue of free will is because causality can be found in both determinism as well as indeterminism. If causal factors determine our behavior, it is still not essential.
             
              Based on Sobers views on what the problem of free will is and how to solve it, it brings in the question of whether he is right or wrong about this. At first, I thought that everyone had free will to a certain extent, whether it was deciding what I wanted to wear for school or choosing coffee over water. But the more I read Sobers views on the problem of free will; I began to realize that Sober might be right that we are robbed of free will. No matter how free we think we are, there are always other factors behind our actions that make it unfree. I chose to get coffee for school because I knew the caffeine will keep me awake for finals. The fact that caffeine was the factor of choosing coffee didn't make it free. If I said I wanted coffee just because, then my actions would be free. I could not have chosen differently because of what little control I had in those beliefs and desires. In my opinion as well as many others, the problem of free will is very difficult to go around especially since little actions could make our actions really free. Since free will still has not been solved today, we can only go about it by saying we do not have free will unless you go about the situation in a different way. Self-control can sort of be a way of claiming free will because it begins with not acting on every impulse and instead acting on what you want, whenever you want it. In my example of choosing coffee, I really do love coffee, not because of the caffeine but the taste is really good. The caffeine just so happens to be a plus of the coffee. I also am not ashamed that I choose McDonalds over Sweet Greens because I really do love fast food even though it is very unhealthy and will probably make me gain 50 pounds. With free will being an everyday problem, I am still satisfied that I can claim some of it with my self-control. In other situations, it's upsetting that I cannot claim what I feel is free to be free will. But if there ever were an outcome or solution to this everyday problem, I sure would love to learn more about it so I can claim my free will.
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