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Are we free or determined - Research Paper Example

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Are we free or determined

On the contrary, when people talk about freedom to do something, it is constructive freedom (Fromm 12). It is, therefore, reasonable to argue that freedom can as well be determined by the objective of the people at a particular time. On the other hand, to be determined is the opposite of being free. Being determined primarily means that the people cannot act out of free will since they are controlled by some socio-political systems. This paper seeks to address the question on freedom and human determination in light of the views of Descartes Rene, Erich Fromm, and James Rachels and Stuart Rachels. In his 1994 book, German-born psychologist and prominent sociologist Erich Fromm looks into the dynamic link between man and the concept of freedom. Fromm addresses the concept of freedom from both the positive and negative side. The sociologist gives the relationship between man and freedom a psycho-sociological approach. His point of reference is the promotion of Nazism in German and Europe at large. According to the psychologist, the negative sense of freedom refers to any freewill associated with emancipation. Emancipation involves struggles by a nation to overcome undesirable management by some government or social organization. The struggle colonies were involved in during the freedom struggle is the most apt illustration of this freedom. According to Fromm, this freedom can be disastrous if it does not contain significant aspect of the positive sense of freedom (Fromm 21). In his opinion, Fromm thinks that fighting for emancipation is not a way of running away from trouble but rather a way of moving from one trouble to another. This way, human beings are said to be running away from freedom because doing away with an unwanted government will lead to the creation of another rule that is the same as the former. The sociologist explains that the manner in which Adolf Hitler rose to power can be explained by the struggle for emancipation, without bearing in mind what exactly is suitable for a country (Fromm 34). By Hitler rising to power, the Germans had not solved a problem. In any case, they had left a terrible situation and plunged their country into more serious problems. The rise of capitalism made human beings realize that they could work independently to determine their futures. They realized that they were being transformed into slaves whose work was to meet socio-economical duties. At this point, people stopped thinking of the idea of going to a state office, which was characterized by unnecessary red tape management, as being viable. It is at this point that human beings began focusing on self employment and identity management. According to Fromm, it is during this time that people realized the need for open and liberalized thinking. Employing such individualized ideas affected people’s perceptions of religion (Fromm 56). People began to develop individuated thoughts about the Supreme Being. It is for this simple reason that up to this day, some people still question the existence of God. Still, the churches and other religious institutions influence people’s thoughts on the existence of God and various religious doctrines. Fromm explains that the human race is not free. Like Rachels and Rachels in their book Problem Form Philosophy, he argues that the human race is influenced and determined by various socio-political structures and systems. The sociologist ...Show more

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Insert Date Human Freedom and determinism Whether we are free or determined has been a matter of debate in the fields of philosophy and critical thinking for a considerably long time. The concept of freedom has been described differently by various scholars and think-tanks in ancient and modern philosophy…
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