Friday, January 4, 2008
Free Will vs. Determinism
Last fall, a friend of mine on myspace blogged about "free will v/s determinism" and then a couple of weeks ago, for a project in my Psych 390 class, I researched Julian Rotter's "locus of control" theory in relation to "free will v/s determinism"....The connection was very interesting and my professor (the legendary Dr. Olson lol) suggested that it would make a wonderful Thesis for graduate study. Rotter's "locus of control" theory stated that we all attribute our fortunes and/or misfortunes to either external or internal factors. Although Rotter was thinking of this concept in scientific terms, I feel that the connection between, for instance, those with an "external locus of control" and "determinism" is very tangible. I have always been a believer in free will as opposed to determinism. This has been debated in philosophical circles for hundreds of years. Personally, I feel that determinism and morality cannot logically coexist....for an immoral act could not possibly be looked upon as immoral if there was an absence of "choice" to begin with. Consequently, there is a mistaken belief that "chance" (or fate) and free will are mutually exclusive; this concept is fundamentally flawed because it presupposes that the mere existence of free will renders "chance" an impossibility....so my "locus of control" is internal, as opposed to external. Proponents of determinism (External l.o.c.) argue that although we may agonize over certain decisions-changing our mind from one minute to the next until we have made a choice-we are mentally oblivious to the fact that there was one, and only one, choice to begin with and that the alternate choices we agonized over were merely "illusions"....that they were not choices at all....they were nothing more than a perceived surrogate. The mind is a beautiful labyrinth....there is nothing on this planet as complex, and misunderstood, as the human mind; it is impossible for me to believe that something so wonderfully abstract is nothing but a "puppet".