Free Will, or Free Won’t: Choice Is Still Interdependent

Michael McAlister Blog Leave a Comment

As much as I enjoy philosophical discourse, the whole “Free Will” things get’s old. This, in my view, is because the arguments as to whether or not we have it tend to miss the most fundamental aspect of the debate: free will is an intedependancy. In other words, there is no free will if there is no fresh water or clean air. Any of our choices depends on all sorts of stuff. I once heard it said that the Buddha pointed this out at Deer Park when he exclaimed, “There’s no such thing as independence! All things are interdependent. Got that, Jack?”

Still, in “Your Move: The Maze of Free Will” , GALEN STRAWSON, makes the flawed case… again.

You arrive at a bakery. It’s the evening of a national holiday. You want to buy a cake with your last 10 dollars to round off the preparations you’ve already made. There’s only one thing left in the store — a 10-dollar cake.

On the steps of the store, someone is shaking an Oxfam tin. You stop, and it seems quite clear to you — it surely is quite clear to you — that it is entirely up to you what you do next. You are — it seems — truly, radically, ultimately free to choose what to do, in such a way that you will be ultimately morally responsible for whatever you do choose. Fact: you can put the money in the tin, or you can go in and buy the cake. You’re not only completely, radically free to choose in this situation. You’re not free not to choose (that’s how it feels). You’re “condemned to freedom,” in Jean-Paul Sartre’s phrase. You’re fully and explicitly conscious of what the options are and you can’t escape that consciousness. You can’t somehow slip out of it.

via Your Move: The Maze of Free Will – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

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