etoxx006: February 2012 Archives

Free Will-Determinism

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The free will-determinism debate focuses on the question of whether our behaviors are freely selected or caused by factors beyond our control. The book mentions that some psychologists believe in the idea that we all possess free will, yet others, such as B.F. Skinner; believe that we are unaware of all of the environmental influences that are imposed upon us. I'd have to say that from my own personal experiences I believe more in free will than determinism. Although there are many factors that influence the decisions we make, ultimately the decision is ours to make. I believe that too many people try to put blame on society's influences for the actions that they make and refuse to take responsibility for the fact that they could have acted differently. This isn't to say that in extreme cases, such as mental illnesses, people are influenced greatly by a factor beyond their control. However, I believe that since these extreme cases exist people find it okay to essentially extort them and use determinism as an excuse for making a bad decision. To what extent can we blame society for our own actions? At what point is something that we do out of our hands?

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