Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

epeck01's picture

I agree...

I agree with Erin.  I simply do not see what is so terrible about being a "piano key."  In biology, psychology, and other sciences we are taught (although perhaps we are not questioning it enough) that so many aspects of our lives are controlled.  Although this may be a simplified view - the world is controlled by biology, chemistry and physics.  Our own bodies exist within this world and are just as controlled.  The only variable that could lead us to believe in free will is our thought.  However, the more that I learn about the biological role in thought and action, the more I find myself accepting my existance as a "piano key."  I also agree with the idea that was brought up in my small group about the feeling of free will.  Most people in most situations feel as if they have a choice - they have the sensation of free will.  So, although I am leaning towards being a "piano key," I also feel my own free will and cannot truly apply the "piano key" theory to everyday life.  If there is no free will, the logical next step is how/if people can be held accountable for anything.  My shaky answer for this is that of course people must be held accountable.  This is an extension of our lack of free will - we are somehow programmed (whether biologically, socially, or by some other means) to judge our own thoughts and actions and those of other people as well.  Our minds are locked in the moral state that helps our species and populations survive.  Simply having "morals" and holding people accountable in no way denies the possibility of being a "piano key."

Reply

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
6 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.