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Free Agency is a Chimera - Essay Example
Based on the irrational behavior exhibited during the course of human endeavor, it is obvious that man lacks the ability and is in fact devoid of the capability to make free choices. Our desire to believe in a soul, or willingness to imagine that we possess a mind with powers and dimensions outside the body does not hold up to well reasoned thought…
No loving mother ever set out to become an alcoholic of her own free will. Free will would dictate otherwise. Yet, she is driven down the road of addiction by forces outside herself and nudged along, not by free will, but by motives dictated by complex situations and self-serving self-defense.
The drive toward self-defense can be demonstrated in man's overriding will of self-preservation. The belief in a soul serves to give hope that a part of us will survive our own death. Yet, man will go to the depths of human depravity in an attempt to insure self-preservation of the human body. Cannibalism, betrayal, and murder have all been witnessed when men have been faced with the death of their own body. If free agency existed, it would alter our actions in these cases and result in more acceptable behavior. Our actions are not driven by free agency but are the result of self-defense and the desire to gain advantage.
We obey the law because it is to our advantage, not because we make a free choice to do so. In the complexity of decisions we are confronted with, the action we take is based on the force that pushes us down a path of maximum gain and minimum harm. Even the apparently selfless action of giving to charity is taken to provide the self with satisfaction. ...