(Solution) - 6-1 Discussion: Free Will, and replies to students

Imagine it is true that humans do not have free will and are not capable of choosing which actions they do and which actions they do not do. Could we continue punishing people who do bad things? Consider the way you last responded to someone who wronged you and determine how you would have reacted differently if you knew that person had no free will.

reply one : That’s quite a question, the idea that there is no free will which means every action we take, every thought we have is determined by someone or something outside of ourselves.  If free will did not exist and people were not able to choose their own thoughts or actions, I think there would be no need to punish people who did anything bad since no rational decision would allow for anyone to do anything bad.  After all, without free will all actions would be predetermined, and if they’re predetermined, how do you judge someone for their actions if the actions were not their own?  You can’t.  You can hold the person or entity that forced their will on someone else accountable, but you can’t hold the person who carried out the act responsible if they truly had no choice.  

Trust is a big deal with me so if I share something with someone in confidence I expect them to keep it.  I had a friend who betrayed such confidence and when confronted said she was sorry.  While she may have been remorseful I felt she had a choice and had chosen to breach my trust.  If there were no free will and I knew the breach had been through no fault of her own, I would be more apt to forgive her.  

reply 2 : First of all, it is hard for me to imagine humans without free will. I believe that every person is born with a free will and have a right to exercise their choices good or bad. Now, if I had to believe that all humans have no free will and had made bad choices, I would have to say that they cannot be punished. My way of thinking would get in conflict with Islam religion. According to Islam, Allah is the all-knowing, all-powerful God who controls, knows, and determines all things that are going happen to every person. An individual has a free choice but still can be punished by Allah for his/her wrongdoing (MindEdge, 6.05, 2017). 

I like Molonism explanations of free will. This doctrine looks to unite God's authority with an individual free will (MindEdge, 6.21, 2017). It says that God already knows how an individual is going to act in any circumstances because he has a "contingent knowledge" (MindEdge, 6.04, 2017).  

Recently I caught my nephew on a lie. I was quite upset when I found out about it because it was very important to me. I have been taught all my life not to lie, and I expect that my family members do the same. Now to test the theory that humans have not free will, I say that I would not get so upset at my nephew if I knew that he had no free will. If he acted this way because of how God had pre-decided, I would redirect my anger at God (Allah). 


MindEdge, 6.04, 6.05, 6.21, 2017. Retrieved from https://snhu.mindedgeonline.com/content.php?cid=115832


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