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Marina's picture

what the free will

On Thursday Prof Dalke brought up the notion that "we are more than our histories" this made sense to me because in many cases people are not defined by their ancestry. For example, I come from a strict catholic family, but I myself do not practice the catholic religion. I cannot be defined simply by my ancestry because my ancestry does not define me as how I am now. Another point that was brought to light was the notion that we are more than our histories because we have the capacity to imagine worlds that we haven't experience. I thought this was an interesting point because that is such an important component of humanity in terms of creativity and the experience of life.

Free will was another topic we covered. The concept of free will was discussed with regard to compatibilism and non-compatibilism. Compatibilism defines the world as governed by scientific laws but we still have free will in the absence of external constraints to respond to our desires. In regards to incompatibilism libertarians argue that the world is not deterministic in any way while the hard determinists argue that there is no such thing as free will. Personally, I find myself more at ease with the compatibilists as I believe that certain things in the world are determined by the natural laws but humans, if physically able, can act on their desires and harness the concept of free will. If nothing is stopping us why wouldn't we be able to do something we desired? Given that the person in question has no handicaps or inability to do the thing they want to partake in, it seems that free will would be possible.

I disagree with the idea of piano keys. Yes, we are piano keys to an extent but I don't believe human life is fully pre-determined with no chance at free will. I think that we have free will given we have the pre-requisites. For example, if someone wanted to go running- fine you have the free will to do this BUT first do you meet all the pre-requisites of running? are you in good shape? do you have any health problems? etc... so I believe we have free will so long as we meet the requirements of what we wish to pursue.

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