I lean more toward determinism. In my opinion, cause and effect applies to everything and to prove that to some, takes some critical thinking on their behalf for them to see that. Our behavior is shaped by either our environments and/or genetics. For example, I do not have a very good job, I go to college, and secure a better job. The reason I will have a better job is because I went to college. It goes back to that popular saying, “There is a reason for everything.” or “Get out of your own way.” Though we may not even know the reason for some things. Either way, a like or dislike leads to the thought on how to accomplish a task, maybe change a situation, and then it has an outcome.
I do not see free will as being contrary to scientific progress either. We are put in so many different situations where we are required to make choices daily whether good or bad, and our choices lead us to the outcome good or bad. Everything we say and do leads to a final outcome. Some people say, “Well, I didn’t have a choice in the matter.” Yes we do. We just mostly choose what is more favorable to us based on our own circumstances. “To support a feeling of will, the thought of turning on the light must also occur prior to the action to maximize the experience of will…..”(Wegner p 228). The thought about an action must take place, whether consciously or subconsciously, in order to complete a task.
Although I think both free will and determinism play a role in our decision making skills, I lean more towards determinism. When we have to make crucial decisions, majority of the time we feel a strong gut urge towards one specific side. “If reasons are not action-guiding, they do not require alternative possibilities, and are therefore compatible with determinism” (Jeppsson, 2016). I do believe there is a scientific side to determinism. Often times I struggle to make decisions, but feel a sense of attraction to one specific side. Upon making a decision, I might not feel the best about it or understand why I chose it, but there is a reason I gravitated towards it. It could take weeks, months, or even years to understand why something happened, but understanding will come. Therefore, that form of understanding will be determinism.
“Most people believe in free will. Whether this belief is warranted or not, free will beliefs (FWB) are foundational for many legal systems and reducing FWB has effects on behavior from the motor to the social level” (Wisniewski, D. et al, 2019). Although free will belief is common among us, as we are humans, I do not see it being scientific. I think free will is more our creative and self controlled qualities we empower. Free will can come from experiences, traumas, expressions, etc. Therefore, it does not contribute to scientific progress.
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