Determinists believe that our actions are caused by preceding influences. Even if there are seemingly two or more possible outcomes in a situation, there is really only one, which is determined by everything that came before it. Simply put, everything we do is a result of what we did before, not a result of free will. Everything that will happen in the future is unalterable, and so are all the things that have happened in the past. Although this may sound outrageous, it is quite logical. If you knocked down the first domino in the picture below, would the rest fall as well? If you answered yes then you are correct. You also admitted that the first domino determined what happened to the following dominoes. So how can we have free will when the rest of the world is deterministic? Psychologists argue that our sense of free will stems from the fact that we aren't consciously aware of the thousands of environmental influences that determine our behavior.
The Great Debate: Free Will and Determinism
One of the great debates of psychology is the free will and determinism debate. This debate presents the following question: To what extent are our behaviors freely selected rather than caused by factors outside of our control? Freedom of choice is one of the most important of human rights, especially in a country like America. But are we really choosing our actions or is everything already determined for us? There are psychologists that agree everyone has free will, but many others maintain that our free will is just an illusion.
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