Compatibilism

As an agent who makes a choice on my own will, (unconscious thought processes however illusory they may be deemed), then the choice ought to be attributed to “me”. I am a vessel that causal determinism flows through, however I affect it. I am the unconscious biological processes that aren’t necessarily at the forefront of my consciousness. I change it. My choice is influenced by this flow of determinism, but ultimately the choice is mine. It is not the “choice” or direct causation of things that preceded me, that influenced my choice, that led to the effects of my choice. This is compatibilism, this attributes moral responsibility on us all for our actions. 

Just as when a ball falls into a pool of water, the ball is attributed with making the ripples. Perhaps the wind blew the ball into the pool, but the wind doesn’t get attributed with making the ripples. The wind couldn’t, the ripples are a product of the weight and form of the ball. The wind influenced the ball, the wind attributed to the force of the ball hitting the pool, at a certain angle at a certain speed. The pool itself and the condition it is in is also a factor of how it would be affected by the ball that was blown in by the wind, but the ball itself can be attributed with causation, just like us. 

Free will has been inappropriately deemed being able to act without the influence of deterministic cause and effect, somehow. An old magical definition it seems, that doesn’t make much sense, that isn’t needed. Free will was never completely free, we are confined to our capabilities in making choices. We are confined to our conscious and unconscious capabilities, what can we even perceive as options. We all have our different abilities, different knowledge of what we can and can’t do in certain situations. We are also confined to physics and the things around us in our choices. We can’t simply just have the will to fly up into the sky on our own will. We can “will” only what is possible, and free will is essentially being able to choose between different options. As conscious human beings, we have that ability. We have the power to choose between going outside, or not going outside. If one determines our choice to be a matter of fate because it is the culmination of all of our biological and environmental conditions that “forced” us to choose, well, that isn’t really appropriate considering we are “our biological conditions”. As such, we are making the choice.

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