The question of free will is whether or not such freedom and responsibility truly exists in our universe has been a controversial issue, which has sparked arduous debates amongst philosophers. There is an assortment of positions that one can consider on whether all events are pre-determined or not. Determinism represents the theory that every single event will always have a cause versus indeterminism, which states that only some events have a cause to them, while others happen due to free will. These two opposing concepts both sustain a different argument, but both conclude that there is no such thing as a free will for determinism is based on cause and effect while indeterminism is more about being unpredictable rather than having free will. Take a case of a minor with a criminal record for random acts of violence, he once prospered in an environment, which was embellished with violence, illegal use of substances, and poverty. A determinist would state that the delinquents' bad up bringing is the origin that is accountable for his criminal actions; it is society's fault, not his. On the other hand, let us scrutinize a scenario in which you were to strike me for no apparent reason - in this case, the hit does not imply that you have free will, it simply entails that the action was merely unpredictable and I just happened to be a victim to a merely strange and arbitrary event. Thus, an infamous question must arise and be thoroughly examined by some of the best philosophers known to man, "Am I really free to choose what I want to do?"
Ancient Greeks once accepted that people often find themselves caught in the middle of horrible conflicts from which there was no escape, which is also known as a tragedy. Aristotle's passage, Voluntary and Involuntary Action, depicts that though some acts may seem voluntary when in reality they are mere results of careful deliberation between two alternatives. For instance, the case of a mans cargo being discarded into a storm, if there were no complications with the weather, he would have never voluntarily throw it away but due to the preservation of life, he is left to deliberate on which outcome will cost more in the end, some lost property of the loss of lives. This is a case where the cause is responsible for a decision and therefore it clearly proclaims that it does not satisfy the needs for free will. Another situation that Aristotle points out is that in the case of you being tied down and physically abused until you say whatever it is the criminal wants to gain from you and if any means your life is put into danger and the only thing left to do is to submit to the commands of the fugitive. Through you choose to submit and let them know or have whatever it is they seek. Does not mean you have the free will to do so. Suppose you are put under the gun, than by all means you have fallen victim to a cause and effect scenario, in which you had no other choice but to do as you were told. Ultimately, we can conclude that if an action is instigated, then that action was not chosen freely and that person who executed it is not morally accountable for what they have done. Thus, we are clearly not responsible for what we do and lack the privilege of free will.
Baron d'holbach, another very important philosopher of his time, believes that human beings are a part of Universal nature, in which they are powerless to when it comes to the circle of life because since the very beginning, we are forced into involuntary actions because we [are] born without [our] own consent and [we] are unceasingly modified by causes nevertheless, it is pretended he is a free agent, or that independent of the causes by which he was moved,he determines his own will, and regulates his own condition."
As we expand on the idea of d'Holbach's words, we can find ourselves once again starring from the outside into the window of our lives and comparing the powerful words that are being said to what we seem to have known as reality. Accordingly to his passage, it is obvious that humanity is part of the circle of life and therefore it is only natural for us to believe that we have a free will, but in reality, we are only fulfilling out duty as creatures on this planet. We, just any other animal or plant are manipulated into the so called system in which there is no getting out for it is a room with no doors or windows; no escape. Our actions are only valid as much as the impulses that we receive through the cause. In short, "the actions of man are never free" for we live in a world where we the pawns to the sources all around us, we do not act on free will, but on impulses that drive our daily experience. The existences of a man's free will is fictitious for we live in a world that revolves a very simple process: a domino effect. This domino effect explains how we process the information that is being given to us; we are influenced by everything that is going on environmentally, or even in the society itself. We are bound to fall prey to the uncontrollable truth of lacking a free will, the one essence that proved humanity as superior at once, has been stripped away, for it is no longer a valid statement.
In the midst of all the chaos that is being created by some of the smartest people known to humanity, we find ourselves questioning our own personal freedom and thinking back to all of the causes to your decisions at a given time. As doubt begins to infect your mind, you are found to be paralyzed in the infectious realm of books, truth, and opinions. Fredrich Nietzsche is another one of the brilliant minds that will continue to expand on the idea of free will being a complete waste of both time and energy, for there is no possible way for it to be logically correct. "Men were thought to be free so that they could become guilty: every action had to be thought of as willed no one is accountable for existing at all." Every single rule that was ever a guideline to bliss and happiness is a fake, there is no such thing in the real world, and those guidelines by which we are given to follow have a sole purpose of containing our free will in a jar. We subdued from thinking any otherwise and must follow the ideal way society want us to because of the pressure that is put on the shoulders of people. We crumble in the presence of something that we believe to be true never realizing the lies that are created in order to keep us in line and tamed to certain standards.
After pages of information that limits our freedom, it is hard to believe there is such freedom out there in our universe. Our existences are summed up into a game of chess in which we are mere pawns of the laws and regulations of our surroundings. We are not generally free under the pressures of compulsions, which seem to have caused a voluntary action, but in reality that action is disguised involuntary for there are reasons to why one must submit to another persons wishes whether it be life threatening or there are just no other possible choices to choose from at the given scenario. John Hospers explores this idea of free will and the thoughts of his collogues as he tackles the focuses of other philosophers who are unwilling to give humanity one gift; the gift of thinking that we might have some kind of free will running through our minds. G.E. Moore states that "we are free to do an act if we can do it if we want to." To expand a little bit more on the thought we are thought to be free because of our bodily movements for example, we are free to move our legs versus paralytics who do not have the privilege of saying the same thing. "A person is free in respect of a given action if he can do it if he wants to, and in this case his act is free." Free chances to freedom of will are given with alternatives as things to ponder about for deliberation where the actual conscious plays a role. Deliberation is a key factor to how some people decide what free will is and why we have it. Some may argue that the sole purpose of our so called free will' is to make decisions when put in a situation where it is hard just to decide. The conscious is the basis of our freedom and responsibility for it is the factor that allows us to make a decision based on whatever the situation may be. So in order to understand free will in its contexts we must all have a similar definition of what it means to have freedom of choice and thought because different understandings of such a broad argument can only lead to misunderstandings and fierce competition to be awarded with being correct about one of the most controversial issues that have been thrown out there.
All this talk about free will and having to read off the meanings of various definitions and understanding the concepts behind them at 5 a.m. before the paper is due can be hectic. But it also gives an advantage because not many can sit there and realize the answer to this puzzling question that has been answered in so many given ways. As I sit here staring at my paper with a blank look on my face, I can do only one thing and that is to ponder why is it I' m doing this? Is it because I have the will to do it and I happen to fancy philosophy so much that my blood is simply on fire every time I begin to philosophize and ponder about the things that coexist with us and our ideas. Or am I merely trying to finish my paper a few hours before class because I have no other choice? Is determinism the only way of thinking now? Must I feel like a caged bird whose actions will always be predetermined? Whatever it may be, I still stand strong with the one subject I did not truly discuss until now and that is compatabilism, where both free will and determinism go in hand. There just has to be more to life than to live day by day knowing that everything that you have done or you will do has already been predetermined by an action or past experience. It makes it impossible for me to understand that I have no control over what kind of person I have become or the person I will become because my existence is based on factors such as society and the nurture that I attain from my parents. So as I finish up my last few sentences I must ask you, do you think you have free will reading my paper right now? Are you really enjoying the badgering of philosopher who haven't been around for centuries or are you just trying to finish our given assignment and comment my analysis? Which ever it may be I must come to my last few words which will most likely throw you off guard. Though our freedom may be limited it is still present in one way or another for if we had no free will, then there could be no such thing as morality. Now you decide what it is that you believe.