Free Will Essay

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Many people in the western world hold very dear the idea of independence, that they can think freely, choose freely, and express themselves freely. This all is connected to the idea of free will that many believe is what makes us human. Many people cannot, however, define free will. There is always the feeling that one can do whatever he/she wants. That is probably why this idea is such a pleasing concept. There is just one serious flaw in the free will concept. People cannot determine everything; there are some things, even before one is born, that determines who he will be in the future. Since people do not choose their parents, or the nationality of their family this creates a serious flaw in the free will concept. Now if people were able to choose these sorts of things they would be gods. It is not up to people to choose their skin colour, nationality etc. When one looks at this issue the concept of soft determinism is probably the safest solution to answer this problem. Since in this concept there are things determined for people, if one knows what he is doing, and the choice is not, in any way, forced by the circumstances the action that he is performing is free. (Roberts 2012) It means that even though one does not have full control over his life, meaning that one does not determine anything before he is born, people are still able to make conscious choices given that the circumstances allow it, fore example, like I am going to do this tonight, or I am visiting this person tomorrow, but these are simple choices, while there are others that you can't choose freely, like external forces have control over it than your own free will. On a smaller scale, who one person might become is really decided by the governments, society, and religions. Religions restrict the activities and freedom of those who follow it and live under its rules, just like in other countries, people are slaves to their political system. On a similar note and this is a very rare and cruel case, in countries ruled by dictators the rulers determine whether people live or not. Next comes the laws created by the governments, usually they restrict certain activities that people have to do. Also, governments make rules, regulations and legislation that determine what people will have to do. Lastly, societies impact the freedom and choices of the person who lives and interact within that society, because his choices are limited. There are many factors that would prove that free will doesn’t exist; religion is the most undecided one of them all. In the Bible particularly, many sources suggest that everybody that believes in God already has his faith determined. Various quotations, starting in the Old Testament, state that people already have their paths determined for them. In the letter to Ephesians St. Paul writes "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" (Ephesians 1:11, Jerusalem Bible). It clearly says that if one believes in God and Jesus Christ has his life determined. In another letter to Thessalonians Paul writes that from the beginning “Because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). This clearly emphasizes the previous point that everyone who believes in God will has his life determined as one of the chosen people who will be saved by God. This is true for every religion, however it relates to salvation only, not man’s ability to choose his own path. In the very first book of the Old Testament one can interpret the fact that we are created in God’s image, therefore we posses God’s ability to be free (Genesis 1: 26, Jerusalem Bible). Staying with the Bible, in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve, against God’s will ate the fruit of knowing good and evil. This in itself is a proof that humans can see what is right and wrong and therefore choose for themselves whether they want to be on one side or the other....
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