Essay about Existence of Free Will

1661 Words7 Pages
Existence of Free Will Existence of free will is often argued from introspection. Freedom means choice. Since I chose to write this paper and I could have chosen otherwise, I am free in writing this paper. However, to establish that I could have chosen otherwise, proving that I felt that I could have chosen otherwise is not enough: One must also prove that my choice is the original cause of my motives to write this paper. According to compatibilists, your action is free if the immediate cause of the action are your thoughts, there is no coercion, no duress (physical or mental), and your thoughts satisfy a certain condition on freedom, which varies depending on the compatibilist. If that is used as definition of freedom, then my…show more content…
Moreover, the only way to show existence of possibilities is through choices and randomness, so if the world is deterministic, there is no evidence that the world can possibly be anything but what it is; deciding what is possible would be a matter of convention and not reality. In a deterministic world, choosing to do otherwise is as impossible as choosing for 2+2 to equal five: Under no circumstance does any person has any choice. Rejection of determinism, however, is insufficient for free will. Mere randomness does not amount to freedom since it is indistinguishable whether the randomness is generated now or one million years ago. Postulating a free agent is not sufficient either, because of the following argument: Suppose that whenever you act, you act a particular way solely because of the way you are except for the external factors or randomness. At this moment, you cannot change what you are at this moment since at any given time you are what you are at that time. The external factors are also what they are--they can change with time, but we are analyzing them at the time you make the choice. If an outcome is random, you cannot choose it either. If you had chosen to act otherwise, then since your choice is based solely on yourself, external factors, and randomness, these factors would be different from what they are. Since you cannot change these factors, you cannot choose to act otherwise. For a choice to be genuine,
Open Document