Monthly Archives: September 2011

Free will, or just an “illusion”?

Do you ever wonder about the choices you make/made? Did you know what to do, how did you find out? did you have another option?
According to the British philosopher Martin Hollis book ” Models of Man” there are to main based theories about the human, depending on whether the human nature is perceived as passive or active.  If the Human nature is passive, the persons actions tendencies is controlled characterized and formed by the congenital biological or psychological factors, or by environmental impact. On the other hand if the human is perceived as active, they assume that by the help of their own sense, and their own initiative, they have the ability to control their congenital and social delivered inclinations (Hollis 1977).
If we look at how he explain the passive human it gives us the though that we don’d decide what we do.  It shows that to understand the human, you have to look at the society where it belongs. The society you grow up in gives you a certain way of living, it gives you the first norm’s and values that you learn to understand, they are printed in your head from your birth.  Even dough we think and feel like free human beings, maybe its just an illusion? Maybe we don’t make our own decisions, maybe they are already put out for us. It could be that some of the choices we perceive to be free, actually are decided by prior biological, psychological or social causes. Even movies like the Matrix, make us wonder about the world and how it exists, and there is especially one thing i remember. I will always remember when the old lady says something to Neo about breaking the vase, and right after he breaks it. Then she says something similar to, did you break it because i told you about it, or because it was already determined to happen? When you were young and went to the store to by clothes, did you by the jeans you wanted, or the jeans that everybody had? When the miss sixty jeans came or the dr martins, did you ever think about why you bought it? Look at the society today, do you walk around how you want, or how the society wants? Do you wear clothes because you decided to, or because it would be wired if you decided to go nude?  If you look at the human being as a passive creature, it means that our actions not derive from personal priorities, but from the environment and society you are a part of.
Another person that also make you wonder about this is Emile Durkheim.  He has a famous study about suicides. Normally we think of suicides as something individual and something that uttermost is personal, and something you decide on your own. When you read Emile Durkheim’s work you start wondering if this is actually true. In his study he looks at how the integration of the people in the society affects the suicide rates. Why do people commit suicides? How much impact did the society have on this decision? Why do some countries have higher suicides rates than others if its all personal?
So, now you can really wonder, do you make your own choices or not? If you decide to behave a certain way, maybe it was already determined by your biological factors that you would do this.
Well this is of course pulled to the utter limit and can not be looked upon as totally true, but it gives you an idea, that somethings are not always what you perceive them to be, and sometimes you think you have the ability to choose when in your nature there is no choice.
So do we have free Will at all times or maybe just sometime, or is it just and Illusion?

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