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Free Will vs. Determinism

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Avery Suazo
Free Will VS. Determinism
Though it can be loosely traced back to modern arguments, which mainly revolve around religion, free will versus determinism has been a staple of debate for over a millennia. The side of free will argues that there is nothing inhibiting us, as humans, from making the choices we choose to make. I think that determinism, the other side of the argument, is incredibly vague and ambiguous; while free will is much more viable in every way. First, I will articulate the definitions and intricacies of both ideas; then, I will elaborate as to why free will is the winning choice in this debate; and finally, I will conclude with my final thoughts.
Let’s start off with free will. The theory states that it is the ability to choose without constraint from any outside source of interference (e.g. social pressures, religion, law). By this theory, one can assume that any action is done by the will of the individual, which in turn proves that every action done has a sole agent responsible for said action.
For example: Tommy goes to the store, he buys bananas. His mom calls and asks him to pick up some juice while he’s there.
Note that Tommy may be naturally inclined to fulfill his mom’s request, but in no way is he out of control what choice he makes. Notice: inclined. He would likely choose to buy the juice as well as his bananas, because he is a good son and doesn’t mind spending the money for juice. He could also completely ignore what his mom says because he wanted to. He has control of what he chooses because he has free will. He will also be responsible for the wrath from his mom if he chooses not to pick up the juice. Next we will discuss determinism. A simple definition of the theory states that all events are caused. Simple enough right? Wrong! The debate over this theory is over what or who is causing the events. Some say fate; some say god, or gods; some say doge; some say cause-and-effect. By the definition of this theory, we can conclude that if all events are caused, then we as humans are living a life that has already been planned out for us by some divine power or powers. By that conclusion, we can derive that no one individual is responsible for his or her own actions.
For example: Tommy goes to the store, he buys bananas. His mom calls and asks him to pick up some juice while he‘s there. He does not pick up the juice and blames it on a series of events that lead up to him being unable to buy the juice.
This form of determinism is called “simple” determinism. This cause-and-effect postulation represents a butterfly effect type of scenario. “The bus boy at a restaurant bumped into the guy who stocks shelves at the store so he didn’t come into work, therefore there was no juice stocked and Tommy could not buy any”.
Another form of determinism: Tommy goes to the store, he buys bananas. His mom calls and asks him to pick up some juice while he‘s there. (God/Karma/Destiny/Allah) made it so that Tommy wouldn’t be able to buy the juice.

This form of determinism is called fatalism, which is when a cosmic force is responsible for the events leading up to the event in question. The power involved had already made the actions to make the event that occurred, happen. Now, to begin my elaboration as to why free will is the superior choice in this debate. Anyone who claims determinism as the more logical one may do anything he pleases and claim it to be the will of the greater power and that he holds no responsibility. Serial killers and rapists alike can claim their deeds be the path of the cosmic power involved and feel no inner conflict. While on the other hand, those who believe in free will shall hold themselves and everyone reasonably responsible for their own actions, for, they are in control of every single move they make.
Most laws are based off of the concept of free will when it comes to liability and choice. For example: Tommy goes to the store, he buys bananas. His mom calls and asks him to pick up some juice while he‘s there. Tommy steals the juice instead of buying it. He is caught and claims that it was God’s will that he steal the juice.
The court will side on the fact that he chose to steal the juice, whether or not he was compelled to by any power. Responsibility lies within those who make the action.
Some counter point could be that there may be a greater plan and we have free will to move parallel that plan or not. However convenient a concept that may be, “moving parallel” to said plan could have potentially disastrous results. It just isn’t logical for the greater good of society to not be held to the standards of responsibility that free will exudes. The battle between free will and determinism will be a standing brawl until one side is sorely disproven; which is a thing that logic is unable to do, unfortunately. Free will shall determine the lives of all who inhabit this planet and any other planet; I only hope people can reasonably see past the flaws that lay upon every belief before one too many rash decisions are made on the behalf of determinism.…...

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