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Free Will is an Illusion (Essay Sample)


It is one thing to come to the philosophical view that there is no such thing as free will and quite another to live one’s life with this conviction. Many philosophers who argue that we lack free will, or even that the very idea of free will is incoherent, nonetheless maintain that we have to live as if we have free will. Susan Blackmore disagrees. She claims that it is perfectly possible and desirable to fully embrace the view that free will is an illusion. Why does she say this? Is her view defensible? Note: The question for this paper isn’t whether we have free will but is instead premised on the supposition that we don’t have free will. Assuming for sake of argument that we don’t, would free will still be an inevitable or useful illusion? Explain. Readings: • Blackmore, “Living without Free Will” • Blackmore, interviews with Greenfield, Pat Churchland, Paul Churchland, and Wegner (Attachment - excerpted from Blackmore’s Conversations on Consciousness). *Use only the reading provided above to establish the claims for this paper. Try not to use any other external sources.

Free Will is an Illusion
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Human beings have the perception that there is free will. Free will by definition is the state of having the freedom and liberty to do what one wishes. Some psychologists are researchers have however refuted the claim of existence of free will. They argue that free will does not exist and that there are certain factors that trigger or cause human beings to act in a particular way. They therefore argue that the belief of existence of free will is a pure illusion which must be dispelled (Blackmore, 2013). This discussion takes it focus on the argument that free will is an illusion. Of great essence in the discussion is whether or not the illusion of free will is inevitable and useful.
Pure Illusion
The debate as of existence of free will appears to getting definite answers. According to Blackmore (2010), the brain of a human being has no ability to consciously decide what to or what not to do. Rather, there are many factors that influence the decisions that the brain makes thereby taking away the aspect of free will. Free will in this case means a hundred percent noninterference of influenced by other factors (Blackmore, 2013). Researcher conducted over time show that human brains are always influenced into taking certain decisions depending on the circumstances of each case.
Inability to Accept
One of the questions that one cannot help but ask is why is it difficult for people to accept free will as an illusion? Even those who are very to the manner in which the human brain works still find it difficult to accept that free will does not exist. Some biologists are heavily opposed to the idea that the human brain is merely a machine that has no control. Having studied biology intensely and understands the central nervous system, a large number of biologists still argue that free will exists. What makes it so difficult for people to accept that what th...
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