Analysis of Criticisms and Supporting Views on The Idea of Free Will

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2290 |

Pages: 5|

12 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 2290|Pages: 5|12 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Literature Review
  4. Determinism
  5. Contribution of Freedom of will
  6. Criticism of the Freedom of will
  7. Conclusion


Do we have free will? In this essay, there has been given a brief explanation which is about the Freedom of the will. Analyzing some of the written works associated with Freedom of will, we will sort out the things that have not been covered in any works so far and will explain this theory further. A summary of those articles has been given in our essay. Moreover, the goal of this essay is to look for the gap that has not been revealed or identified or we can term it as a research gap in the subject of the Freedom of the will. Having said that we have exposed some of the research gaps in this report, on the one hand, the theory has many supporting elements, on the other hand, it has some criticisms for a long time. For this reason, we have focused on some of that articulated criticism and supporting factors along with we have put our view on this topic. We have included some of those contributions that seemed to have an impact on this theory that has been made in the philosophical world.

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Freedom of the will is ones’ capability of choosing between different possible courses of action unimpeded. Free will is closely linked to the concepts of moral responsibility, praise, guilt, sin, and other judgments which apply only to actions that are freely chosen. That means that what we the human are doing, it’s based on our own choose. That’s why some people do bad things and some are not. It is vice-versa to good deeds also. It is also connected with the concepts of advice, persuasion, deliberation, and prohibition. Traditionally, only actions that are freely willed are seen as deserving credit or blame. There are numerous different concerns about threats to the possibility of free will, varying by how exactly it is conceived, which is a matter of some debate.

Literature Review

For writing this essay, we read some articles those are related to our topic. But our main concerns which indicate major criticisms in this topics are not cleared by reading those articles. For example, Moghal, A. (July 7, 2015), Free Will, Determinism and the new Fatalism: The freedom of will is not a same thing to all the philosopher. From a scientific, philosophical and theological perspective, free will remains one of the biggest mysteries known to man. French philosopher and mathematician, René Descartes, categorized our world into two kinds of stuff, the mind stuff and the material stuff.

This doctrine denies freedom altogether and emphasizes that the world is perfect causal system in which each future event is strictly pre-determined. But it is not to be understandable. Because we do a work in our own will not by the direct force of god and we also responsible for our own activities. What’s why we are living in a world that has a law and court system that ensures the justice. That means those are transgressed themselves against immoral act, should be punished. This type of philosophical think like the fatalism has some problems.

The controversy between free will and fatalism is still going on in the West and no one has come to any definite conclusion. It is a great pity that the doctrine of Karma is mistaken for fatalism. Fatalism is the doctrine that all events are subject to fate and happen by unavoidable necessity. Here we found out some other philological thinking and will care it with fatalism. First of all we could find out some unscientific problems of fatalism. Now we are bringing the determinism. Determinism on the other, maintains that the law of causality is as true of man as of nature in general.

Determinism is not like the fatalism. The difference between those two is that, determinism is not talking about the only external factors like God but also talking about the internal factor. For example you are going to your university and suppose you have an important class. But in the road while you are on the way to in your university, see that an old man is fall on a pond and he needs help. So at that time you jumped over the pond to save the old man without thinking about your important class. Here the internal factors responsible to do your action. Unlike the fatalism, the determinist allows both external and internal conditions a role in our decisions. But the main problem is that it does not talking about the self-will. It is just focused on the internal and external factor. That’s why it does not agree with the determinism.

There are many terms that we use it freedom of will, don’t match with logical arguments. For example think about the Fatalism. Here it totally denies the human freedom. It says that what we are doing is totally fixed in before. But problem is when we say this, it refer that the both good and bad deeds of human was fixed before that’s why no one should be rewarded or punished. But is it possible in real life? As a rational thinker can’t believe that. And to be honest this believe is very weak to philosophical logics. Freedom of will The free will vs determinism debate rotates around the degree to which extent our behavior has been the outcome of some forces over which we cannot control ourselves or whether people are capable of deciding for themselves to proceed or show behave in a specific manner.


The determinist approach says that all type of behaviors has a reason for which it is expected. Free will is being said an illusion. In fact, over some forces we cannot take our control which is internal and external pressure. So, our behavior is ruled by them.

There are different levels of determinism:

  • Hard Determinism

Hard determinism says about free will as an illusion and accepts that every moment and activity has a basis. In the hard determinism, there are behaviorists who are profound believers. Their most forthright and articulate spokesman has been B. F. Skinner. Concepts like “free will” and “motivation” are voided as illusions that camouflaged the actual reason of human behavior.

  • Soft Determinism

Soft determinism depicts that people do have a choice, and that choice is limited by external or internal forces. For instance, if you are a poor does not mean that it has made you thief, but it drives you to go that track.

Soft determinism expresses that some behaviours are more controlled than others and there is an element of free will in all behavior. However, an issue with determinism is that it is not consistent with society's beliefs on responsibility and self-control that form the base of our moral and legal obligations. Another barrier concerns the facts that psychologists are less like to foresee a person's behavior matching 100% accurately owing to the complex interaction of the variables which have impact on the behavior.

Ranged against the deterministic psychologies of those who believe that what “is” is unavoidable are consequently those who have faith in that human beings have the capability to regulate their own destinies. Nevertheless, there is also a middle position that goes back to the psychoanalytic psychology of Sigmund Freud. At first sight Freud seems to be a fan of determinism in that he argued that our activities and our views are governed by the unconscious. However, the very goal of treatment was to support the patient to overcome that force. Indeed, without the belief that people can change therapy itself makes no sense. This insight has been taken up by several neo-Freudians. One of the most significant has been Erich Fromm (1941).

In “Fear of Freedom” he claims that all of us have the latent to regulate our own exists but that many of us are too afraid to do so. As a result, we give up our freedom and allow our lives to be governed by circumstance, other people, political ideology or irrational feelings. However, determinism is not unavoidable and in the very choice we all have to do good or evil Fromm sees the essence of human freedom.

Contribution of Freedom of will

First, you can dismiss the challenge, claiming that it is outlandish on the face of it. The experience of free will is so embedded in consciousness that it would be foolish to attempt a demonstration. Trying to demonstrate the capacity of free will would be as bizarre as trying prove that you see the color red when looking at a rose. – This is not a good response. There is no alternative to seeing the rose as red lest you mess with the physical input or the constitution of your perceptual system. There are, however, alternatives to the idea that your behavior is caused by a will that is itself uncaused.

There is necessity (i.e., the totality of the natural causal forces in play) and chance (random variation not reducible to causes). Since we model everything we study as the product of some combination of necessity and chance, we shall approach human experience and behavior in the same way. Necessity and chance are everywhere; they are exhaustive in our efforts to explain phenomena. The doctrine of free will denies this. It claims a special region for human behavior that is not occupied by either necessity or chance. The analogy of seeing the red in the rose and having free will is thus poor. If it were clear that the subjective experience of free will could not possibly be an illusion, then nothing we are subjectively sure of could be an illusion. But illusions are possible, aren’t they?

Indeterminism (or libertarianism) maintains that the true self of a man consists in his will. While his body is subject to causal laws, his will is free. In reflex or habitual actions man behaves rather mechanically. But in voluntary action man’s action is not just a result of conditions inside and outside him. His will is power by which he can transcend these conditions and freely choose between alternative courses of action. So it is not only practically but also theoretically impossible to determine his action in each case. This characteristic of free will is called ‘unpredictability’.

However, there are real chances or real possibilities before him, and in choosing between them he is a truly creative agent. This characteristic is called ‘genuine creativity’.

Criticism of the Freedom of will

From the ancient Epicureans to modern quantum mechanical indeterminists, some thinkers have suggested that chance or randomness was an explanation for freedom, an explanation for the unpredictability of a free and creative act. A truly random event would break the causal chain and nullify determinism, providing room for human freedom. Freedom of human action does require the randomness of absolute unpredictability, but if our actions are the direct consequence of a random event, we cannot feel responsible. That would be mere indeterminism, as unsatisfactory as determinism.

Moreover, indeterminism appears to threaten reason itself, which seems to require certainty and causality to establish truth, knowledge, and the laws of nature. Most philosophers in all ages have been committed to one or more of the dogmas of determinism, refusing to admit any indeterminism or chance. They described the case of 'indeterminism is true' as a disaster for reason. They said chance was 'obscure to human reason.' They found 'no medium betwixt chance and necessity.

Those people who believe in god they think that some is predetermined before but something we have that is changed with our efforts. God does not control our body. He gives us the freewill that follows my command or not it’s your will. It’s clear understandable that god gives us of freedom of will. So this theory is similar to indeterminism. The theory also talks about the internal factor. The internal factors are mainly our habit, our culture and our experiences that’s also force us to do something. So this argument is very realistic to all.

My opinion is that what the fatalistic are believe is not match to my area of thinking. Because it does not make sense that what is happening, it is happening with the will of god. That is not true, because god won’t take the responsible of bad works. Only the person does a sin with a sound mind, he/she will be responsible for this but god is not. On the other hand what Indeterminism says is more realistic. It is saying that Indeterminism (or libertarianism) maintains that the true self of a man consists in his will. While his body is subject to causal laws, his will is free. So by using the theories of philosophy we can prove this belief.


Since the Golden Age of Greek philosophy, an abundant amount of literature has been written on free will. Plato, Leibniz, Hobbes, Hume, and Hegel were important contributors to the advancement of scholarly discourse on this thesis. However, many other philosophers have written extensively on free will including Spinoza, Kant, Descartes, and Schopenhauer. Plato offers two theories on free will. The first supports its validity, and the second offers limited support based on changing moral beliefs.

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In most Greek writings, there are limits to free will based on:  learning morals and ethics,  acquiring knowledge, and  anticipating the rewards of a heavenly afterlife. Similarities between the Greek and Christian theologies are evident as individuals set causes in motion with an expectation of experiencing corresponding effects in the afterlife. Therefore, the “choosing” of specific causes either moves individuals toward “The Good” (or God) or shifts them away from these spiritual ideals.

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Analysis Of Criticisms And Supporting Views On The Idea Of Free Will. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
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