Belief in free will is a concept practiced throughout history amongst many societies worldwide (Sarkissian et al., 2010 as cited in Baumeister & Monroe, 2014). Nahmias, Morris, Nadelhoffer and Turner (2005) define free will as the ability to control your actions independent of fate or external factors. Recently, many studies have been performed investigating how levels of free will beliefs shape how we act, think and view the world.
Over the past thirty years, there has been a general increase in support for homosexuals (Loftus, 2001; Treas, 2002 as cited in Lewis, 2009), as well as a rise in recognition of same sex relationships exemplified through President Barack Obama’s legalization of same sex marriage across the US in 2015 (Brewer &…show more content… According to Shariff et al’s (2013) findings Baumeister and Monroe (2014) postulates that believing in free will is supposed to progress society and judgement of others occurs when they do not conform to the society’s norms (being heterosexual). Believing in free will and that we have control over our actions arises from the need to regulate what we do and don’t do; and to pass moral judgement when others stray from societal norms (Baumeister & Monroe, 2014).
Carey and Paulhus (2011) found that high free will belief individuals possess a traditional conservative moral set of principles and are inflexible in allowing them or others behavioural leeway. Furthermore, when compared to low free will believers, these individuals believed homosexuals contained less moral standards (Brewer, 2013).
Another interesting find highlighted by Baumeister and Monroe, (2014) from the Crescioni et al (2013) study was that religious people had greater belief in free will (also supported by Carey & Paulhus, 2011) and that the decisions/actions they make are based upon their personal, religious values. Throughout history Western communities have functioned on the basis of Christian doctrine and used “free will as means to provide a justification for God punishing sinful behaviour” (Baumeister & Monroe, 2014). That being said, it is implied that homosexuality is a sin which goes against the gender and marriage foundations preached within many