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Why Appealing To Free Will Isn't A Good Argument

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Posted by S.H. Le on October 3, 1999 21:16:11 UTC

: Hello again, I just wanted to separate the two arguments.

I don't believe in free will because of the following. You clearly admit there is causual order to all things. I'll now use a classic philosopy mock debate.

Note- forgive me if this example sounds patronizing. I've just always wanted to employ an example using batman and robin. Indulge me if you can.

Batman: You have virtually no control over your life, free will is but an illusion. Robin: Holy cow Language Removed Batman! Of course we have free will. Think of all the random choices you make everyday. Batman: Yes, but then think of all the factors that control and manipulate you, even the ones that have fashioned you into the loyal side kick you are today. Robin: Gee, I admit that many things influence my decisions, but that's not to say that my decisions ultimately aren't mine! Batman: Pick up the bat phone. Robin: What? Batman: I can prove that I can manipulate you to do my bidding, much as I would a puppet. C'mon, I'm just proving a point. Now that you've picked up the phone, I'll give you two options: you can keep the phone in your hand, or drop it. I will contend that because you are very much a logical sidekick you'll keep the phone in your hand. Clunk (the sound of the bat phone dropping) Batman: Aha, you see?! You are the result of your genes and your environment. The choices you had were clearly 50/50. But you dropped the phone because of your need to prove me wrong. Your past has seen to it that, because you are the type of person that has to prove me wrong, you would be more inclined to choose one option over another. Much as a criminal who has been brought up to embrace crime, will certainly be inclined to choose crime over law, you are more inclined to make certain decisions. However, decisions are rarely as clear cut as I have shown you just now with the phone example. Often there are so many incalculable factors involved in your decision, that it seems like you made the decision up all on your own, when infact your being controled by your genes and your history. Now, if you are the result of your genes and your environment (which of both you have no control over), then how can you say that you have free will?

Free will implies that we make decisions that come solely from us, because we desire them. But our desires are not uncaused. They are caused by things that are outside your control. You admitted before that the universe is perfectly ordered, if so, then how can you explain the random definition of free will? If you accept this idea of free will, then we are but mere puppets that God controls.

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