Determined and Free Will

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Amrita Bindra
Advanced Topics in Personality Psychology
Assignment #2
1/30/12
At this point in my life I believe there is a balance in how many of our choices are determined and how many are free. The things that are determined for us are factors like what we are born into such as our ethnicity and social status. Also, if your parents are religious, you are raised under the influence of that religion. Most children embrace that faith as their own. These are life factors that you can change eventually, but usually due to societal influences you stay with these predetermined decisions. Certain determined things won’t ever be able to be altered. The color of your skin, and how you are treated because of it, is determined by where we are placed in life. Whether we are born with a medical condition or disorder is something we have no control over. Also, whether we have access to higher education or opportunity to move social classes. Many circumstances we don’t have power over are situational. The free will choices in our lives are day-to-day decisions that we make. However, these choices can have a major impact in our lives. I think there are many influences that can affect your free will, but the final decision lies in your own hands. You decide what social and personal influences infiltrate your decision, and in that is power. Things like your faith and morals shape who you are, so to make a decision with absolutely no influence is not necessarily of your own “free will”. Free will is having a say in your own decisions, it doesn’t matter what influences you unless you feel it limits you. I also believe that people differ in the amount of free will they have. The predetermined factors are generally the same for everyone, but the free choices are different. This is because people choose to let certain factors limit them, and others do not. If someone cares whether others judge him or her, they are less likely to decide to do something they really want if it is...
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