Various Perspectives on Free Will Essay

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Free will defines the role we play in our own lives. Whether we have it or not maybe the key in linking our world to forces and dimensions beyond what we can see. But, if we do really have free will, it may leave us a solitary species. A scary thought in the realm of the 46 billion lightyear universe in which we are left to make choices on our tiny speck of dirt planet. Defined by Timothy O’Conner in The Stanford Encyclopedia free will is “a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives.” O’Conner suggests that the freedom of will is associated with rationality. From this, the question becomes, where does rationality originate? The originator,…show more content…
However, determinism has received criticism because it lacks a role for beings to play a part in their own lives.
Appealing to those who believe in the ability of one to make free choices, indeterminism is a concept that opposes the notion of any external determining factors. Evidence for indeterminism comes from principles of existentialism, theories of chaos and randomness. The indeterminist belief that we do have free will and it is absolute, resonates in the work of philosopher John Paul Sartre. In his 1946 lecture, Sartre presented his distinguishing idea of “Existence precedes essence.” This leading existentialist argument supports an indeterminist perspective on the freedom of will. He elaborates on his principle saying, “Man first of all exists… and defines himself afterwards...Man simply is.. Not that he is simply what he conceives himself to be, but he is what he wills… after already existing.” We are born a clean slate, without plans or any preset ideas, from there our choices, based off our will, create who we are. In terms of a free will extent scale, Sartre’s philosophy lies at a 10, believing that choices are made solely by man himself. Those choices define who the individual is, evident in his claim, “Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself.” Therefore, the freedom of choice is all an individual is, and is a necessary aspect of being. Sartre criticizes determinism as an
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