Stating of various cognitive systems[2] that are entangled within

 

Stating that minds are divine,
unworldly, or celestial doesn’t grant them free will. Thoughts are rarely
random. Most often, there are factors that influence or trigger them, and determines
the choices to be made consequently. There is no doubt that most of these
influencers are often physical – hunger, sexual drives, emotions1,
and etc.  (Biology of Emotion) Without the physical
presence, they make little to no sense. For thoughts to be coherent and
rational, they must follow a clear cause and effect pattern. Therefore, our
minds must follow the logical pattern of cause and effect that epitomizes the
development of thought, and the after-thought initiatives. The causality pattern governs both
the physical and the non-physical minds; if thoughts are uncaused, they are
purposeless, if they are caused, then there is no free will.

I believe that free will is an
illusion. Our brains are composed of various cognitive systems2
that are entangled within themselves, and are responsible on generating our
thoughts, consciousness3,
choices and behaviour. As Albert Einstein have said:

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“I do not at all believe in human freedom in the
philosophical sense. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also
in accordance with inner necessity.”

 

Free Will, Determinism, and Consciousness

 

Free will is the ability to consciously make choices
about what actions to take in the absence of external stimulants, and taking accountability
for one’s actions. (Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy)
When we freely decide on attempting something, or to proceed with an
action, it may seem like we have a free will. Yet, if such decisions are
themselves come as part of a pre-determined pattern, then it cannot be
considered as free will. Breaking the pattern of causality is
by all course breaking the substance of consciousness. I believe consciousness
plays a significant role in decision-making. Yet, the role it plays is beyond
our absolute control. In other words, although I believe consciousness has a
purpose, its purpose is just as deterministic as everything else science has
discovered4. The conscious part5 of us, or the ego6, is an interpreter which
tries to explain our own actions just as it watches and tries to explain other
peoples’ actions too. (Kandel par. 4)

Moreover, besides
the cognitive neurological principles, there is another integral principal of
causality that contradicts the concept of free will. Everything has a cause.
Nothing happens for no reason. Suppose that we have chosen a one course of action
instead of another, then, the causes of our preference are the determining
factors. Moreover, we don’t choose actions for our own reasons.7 Thus, free
will could only exist if it could somehow break the pattern of cause and effect.

The shift in free will perception
is the results of the succession of the intellectual revolution, when Charles
Darwin released “On the Origin of Species”. Soon after Darwin placed his theory of evolution, Sir
Francis Galton started to induce implications such as, intelligence must be
hereditary genius. And we use such hereditary, which some people have it in a
greater degree, to make decisions. So, our ability to choose our fate is not
free will, but rather, depends on our biological inheritance. (ch. 5 pars. 35-42)
Are our actions the augmented results of our genetics? Or are they the reactions
of what has been engraved on us by the environment?” (CAVE)

 

The Illusion of Choice

 

Without giving it much of a thought, it surely feels
like we have a free will. Let’s assume there’s a set of sparking neurones in the
brain, caused by the deluge of previous sparks, and themselves induce another
set of neurones to spark in relative to the governed laws of biochemistry. In
this scenario, do any of the neurones spark due to the free will? It’s obvious
that any altercations to the brain’s chemistry can ultimately result in
correlated changes to the behaviour – otherwise, neither alcohol nor antipsychotics
would manage to have their consequence results. The
same conclusion holds for the anatomy of the brain structure: scenarios of
people being psychological changed into murders or paedophiles after having
developed a brain tumour showcase how reliant we are on the physical
arrangement of the brain structure.

A great part
of our brains’ processing is managed subconsciously. (CAREY) We don’t really know why we tend to prefer
and choose specific actions over others. We are the observers, rather than, our
own conscious agents. We do, definitely, become aware of our thinking, but, we
are not in possess of any free will to alter it. As professor Kaku8 said:

 

This means that, in some sense, free will is a fake.
Decisions are made ahead of time by the brain, without the input of
consciousness, and then later the brain tries to cover this up by claiming that
the decision was conscious. The brain is influenced by thousands of unconscious
factors that predispose us to make certain choices ahead of time, even if we think
we made them ourselves.

 

The classic experiment9 conducted by Benjamin Libet
has granted critical neurological proof that free will doesn’t exist. Libet found that the readiness potential occurred before
the person consciously makes a decision to move.

The conscious initiative of deciding to act, which we
usually tend to associate with free will, appears to be an add-on factor, a
post hoc reformation of affairs that takes place after the brain
has already placed the act in motion.10(Kandle ch.
28 pars 41- 44)

 

Moral Misconduct in the Absence of
Free Will

 

When people start realizing
that they are no longer their own agent of choice, they would cease perceiving
themselves as blameworthy for their behaviours. So, if we don’t have a free
will, and our actions are predetermined, then
should we be held irresponsible for them? Can we dodge penalties for moral
misconducts?

 

Having a determinism doctrine doesn’t weaken the significance
of morality.

Punishments are imposed for the collective good of social
justice11. The major difference
between the determinism and free will doctrine is that the former is established
on the fact that our choices are backed up with billions of influencing factors.
People still consciously own the final call for doing the action, or to veto
it. (Kandle ch. 28 pars 41- 44)

 

So, if we have assumed a deterministic doctrine, does
it mean that we shouldn’t be held responsible for our moral misconducts? How
should we be held accountable? To further elaborate on these questions, we need
to understand that determinism doesn’t imply the cause of the actions, but
rather, they determine the interactions needed between different factors to
reach a certain action.12 Therefore, the causes of
people’s actions are still, the biological processes that takes place in their
brains. The preliminary stages of the brains, as well as external influencers,
are considered the causes of such biological impulses. To follow on the
determinism doctrine, the preliminary stage is, technically, the cause of any
current status in the biological system. Hence, since these preliminary stages are the causes
of people’s actions, then we can still hold people entitled for their actions. The
narrative of the causes of people’s choices under the determinism doctrine is
similar to that of under the free will doctrine. Thus, the groundwork of moral
responsibility is not afflicted nor altered by the determinism doctrine.13