Humans have never and will never completely have free will, it is just a figment of our imagination. Our perceptions can never truly be ours due to the fact that as humans we simply inherit them from the environments and societies we live in. How can our views truly be ours if we are molded by those who raise us and the society that we live in. Our identity and characteristics are made through interactions and environment that we are engaged in.
Throughout an individual’s life, they meet certain people who they connect with through common beliefs and values; values which were previously bestowed upon them by the people they interacted and associated with. At young ages humans are innocent and vulnerable, we believe whatever we are taught, and form our morals from those beliefs. Individuals whom are unable to receive such attention are those whom form the radical and unthinkable ideas in the overton window.
Through evolution, humanities ideals become neutralized, we created an echochamber which allows only the fittest ideas for the time period to be voiced. This echo chamber diminishes the capability of people to have the freedom of receiving all viable and possible information due to the substantial power imbalance between those who are seen as capable and those whom are not. This raises the question of whether humanity will ever have the capability to come together for a common cause, or are we too selfish and not have enough control over how much this selfishness controls our behaviour?
Furthermore genetics and DNA, more specifically mental illnesses, appear to completely undermine the concept of freewill. The neurological process of conscious decision making, there is a distinct lack of evidence for free will.“If we could map a person’s brain in its entirety and know their complete genetic makeup, we’d be able to predict with 100% accuracy, in theory, their response to any given situation. “ As brain chemistry can alter behaviour, so can health conditions such as tumors causing ordinary adults to turn in to murderers or pedophiles.
The predictable laws of cause and effect explain all human behaviour, all future events are already logically determined by previous events, our choices are either determined or are outcomes of the events that have happened in the past, or they are random, they are not truly choices that we make. “In 1999, psychologists Dan Wegner and Thalia Wheatley conducted a series of experiments to see how the brain made decisions. They found that there is a quarter-of-a-second lag between the time we make a choice and when our conscious mind becomes aware of it.” This shows that our brain makes decisions before we are even consciously aware of it
Quantum mechanics defines probabilities to predict the way atoms and particles behave, these are the same particles that make up the brain their behavior is governed by the laws of nature.
Through culture, religion, beliefs and our codes of ethics, we are able to choose between what we believe is right and wrong, known as ‘moral liberty’; the liberty of choice that is essential to moral responsibility. Civilization depends on its belief in free will for survival, and we disguise moral liberty as free will due to the lack of. Perhaps we don’t rely on this idea or encourage believing in it because once we do, people will no longer feel they are to blame for their actions.
Psychoanalytic theory is prevalent here because consciously we choose to believe that we have complete control over our behaviour and our lives, however, unconsciously we have realized that we don’t have as much liberty over ourselves as we believe we do.
Classical conditioning is prevalent in this topic because as children we are taught to distinguish between right and wrong and make our own decisions by ourselves, creating a false hope that we have the free will to completely control our lives.