Is Free Will An Illusion?

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There has been a debate which has brought a lot of controversies concerning free will being an illusion or not. With the concern centering on the function of the brain that is able to correlate with human behavior, investigations and research has been done to focus on the brains role in the experience of free will. The findings that were identified lead to the psychological science and philosophy to find out whether human beings have got the freedom of choice or not. They sought to find out whether the choices that human beings make are just an illusion created by the brain or they have freedom of choice. The paper will consider the perspective that free will is not an illusion.

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A professor of philosophy in the University of Georgia argued that it cannot be acceptable that free will is an illusion out of an MRI show of neurons split seconds before a choice is made. He claimed that the activities of the brain cannot be relied upon for conscious actions. Nahmias argues that the research done by the neuroscience cannot be validated due to the firing of neurons in the brain (Slife & Gantt, 2015). He stated that the technology that is in currently would not be in a position to differentiate between conscious decision making and subconscious thought. Although human beings have less control over the actions it does not mean that human being lack control completely. Free will cannot be created as an illusion in the brain.

Numerous examples have been given and experimentally shown to indicate that there is no free will at all and that the brain makes decision when someone is unconscious. As much as the experiments are concerned, the research does not indicate that all the deliberations and plannings are a by -product of unconscious brain activity with no effect on what is done later (Slife & Gantt, 2015). People who rely on free will being an illusion are not correct. To begin with, the neuroscience does not have the technical sophistication to determine whether neural activity has any impacts of the options that one chooses minutes or seconds later. The researchers only focus on the border between the conscious and the unconscious actions.

In the libet experiment the participant in the study prepares to make a series of repetitive and unplanned actions, but when the experiment begins, they flexed their wrist to show that a desire had arisen. The action indicates that the conscious planning influenced the unconscious movement initiation. Then it means that there is an interaction between the conscious and unconscious activities of the brain. The early brain activity that occurred four seconds before the participant was aware of the choice indicates that unconscious was bias on one choice made. Brain cannot make our choices four seconds before the act since human being can react to change of situations in less than that time (Slife & Gantt, 2015). If that was to happen, then people would all die in the car crashes due to unconscious neural activities. Unconscious neuron activities prepare the actions that one takes by cuing the conscious monitor that our actions can easily adjust when the activity occurs.

A psychologist at Florida University together with his colleagues had a demonstration to prove that reasoning that is conscious tends to improve the performance of the task in logistics and languages. It enables someone to learn from the mistakes of the past and the impulsive behaviors that might override (Slife & Gantt, 2015). Individual make decisions and choices every day according to how they have planned themselves. The brain makes up 2 % of the weight of human body but it is said to consume 20 % of its energy. The imagination made by the brain on how to write the best essay can make the essay to turn out in that manner. Human being can have free will regardless the fact that the activity of the mind is carried out by the brain. If for example, someone is not a dualist, one cannot convince that person that free will is an illusion just because they think that dualism is false.

In an experiment carried out in Georgia State University, where hundreds of students participated, indicated that free will is not an illusion. The participants were given knowledge whereby they read about a woman named Jill. The woman had for months worn a brain-imaging cap. With the information from the brain scanner, the neuroscientists were able to predict the thoughts and the activities she did even the trial of fooling the system (Slife & Gantt,2015).The experiment was able to indicate that all the mental activity of the human are as well as the brains and everything that the human does or think is predicted ahead of the time by the earlier brain activity. It was believed that the scanner only recorded what Jill was reasoning and not the fact that Jills brain made her do what she was doing.

Human choice is both meaningful and also real even if it occurs in the context of the physical reality of the brains and bodies. All the findings indicated help to prove the fact that human being has conscious control. People indeed have free will and the moral basis for the community is to make sure that people know when they are responsible for their action and when they are not.


BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Slife, E. E. (2015). Is Free Will an Illusion? Taking Sides: Psychological Issues , 10.

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