World Science Scholars

1.6 Defining Free Will

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    • How do you define free will for yourself? Do you believe that humans really have free will? If we don’t, do you think this presents a challenge to human notions of morality and ethics? Explain your answer.

    • I consider free will to be an act of team work with our base reality. Considering all factors in the way the probability theory works and the basic definition of what is to be considered free will, i would suggest that both are interrelated. I believe that humans do have free will to a certain extent. Everything has a predetermined route to follow assigned to the universe and our decisions cause a chain of reactions to them.

    • It seems evident that absolute free will does not exist.Rather our free will lies in range of actions that we are capable of compared to non living matter.From a reductionist point of view, we are made up of particles that abide by the laws of physics and that leaves little to no possibility for free will.Still it is our identities that are responsible for our particles and free will or not, it doesnt justify our wrong deeds.I would like to add that behavioral conditioning plays an important part in our actions.

    • Every living human beings’ decision making is based on past information that has been assimilated by the brain. The responses come from the brain based on the perceived situation. The physical body just completes the response as ordered. There never is an either/or choice by the physical body in real-time. The brain has already made the choice and passed it on to the body.

    • Humans often have the perception of free will about some of their actions and areas of their lives. This perception may be more or less accurate on a case by case basis, depending on how the universe works. It may also be more or less useful on a case by case basis depending on pragmatic considerations.

    • How do you define free will for yourself? Do you believe that humans really have free will? If we don’t, do you think this presents a challenge to human notions of morality and ethics? Explain your answer.
      Free Will: Ability to consciously and independently take any decision without any outside interference or influence. Humans having free will depends largely on what kind of decisions is being taken. Yes, one can argue that whatever we are doing is not our own decision so it doesn’t matter what we end up doing.

    • Thanks for this

    • Super

    • I believe that people do have free will. Unfortunately most people fall victim to reactionary responses. If a person is yelled at as a child, and that child runs and hides and in turn feels safe, I predict that in the future they will also run and hide when faced with fear, without much thought at all. The body has learned that when faced with frequency of aggression the reaction is to hide. Our power of free will comes in when we resist the urge to react and hide, and choose to respond differently. What separates man from machine is our power to function outside of our programming, and break free from our own negative algorithms.

      • I agree with Sheli that people fall victim to reactionary responses. Human brains works through association, most of our learning is through outside influences showing us different associations to make but the curiosity lies within what associations end up sticking with us or repeating in our minds. Consider two siblings with two parents; parent 1 makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a knife (slathering jelly on one side, peanut butter on the other) while parent 2 makes the same sandwich with a spoon. Which parent will the siblings copy? will they go for the knife? the spoon? Will they both want the same way or each their own way? In this situation it comes down to convenience (more ingredients vs a smoother application), favoritism (which parent do they take after more), and quantity (do they feel more comfortable doing something if they’ve seen it done more times one way?). Of course there could be other factors but it’s up to whatever associations they’re making in their head, and this can also change with time.
        I believe free will is the decisions you make based upon the associations you believe are correct paired with the ability to change those associations at will once one realizes a fault in their process. Free will is based upon associations you have made because over time one has decided that is the way their world should work. If it is an association made out of fear I believe that is less of a free will response and more of a reactionary response like Sheli mentioned.
        I do believe that people have free will because people can change with the right mentoring, but if we did not have free will as far as ethics and morals go there would be a more confusing aspect into play as if there was something else controlling what people end up doing. Akin to the cells in a body unconsciously acting as one to operate a life, we could unknowingly operate for some kind of force that seeks to play out another version of life.
        Overall I believe that the ability of free will guides people into discovering what works best for them, what they’re willing to put up with, and what they want to bring into the world with the way that they know how to operate (through those learned associations).

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