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Free Will in the 21st Century, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 646

Essay

Aaron

In the case of Aaron, he clearly acts freely. (6 out of 7). Aaron’s actions, relative to the conditions around him, are done with free will as he is well aware of his intent in performing such actions and their consequences. Aaron has been provided for the ideal environment, materially, to ensure his success and growth. However, he opted to get into drugs and adopt unruly behavioural patterns by free will. He had the choice to make better decisions and use his environment to his advantage. In his actions, Aaron was never under duress to force him. It is however important to consider that there may be numerous underlying emotional problems that may have not been highlighted.

Aaron always had the option of making different choices. He had been provided for all the material things that he required to ensure a successful life. He had the choice to use these material resources to his advantage. He had the choice to avoid drugs and say “no” to peer pressure. He had the choice to not kill his father. At every given point in time, Aaron always had either two or more options. Overall, he had the option to talk to someone about his intimate problems and channelled his emotions appropriately. Aaron is partially morally responsible for his actions. (4 out of 7). At every given point, he had several alternatives to the decisions he picked. He opted to take a difficult path. His actions are a reflection of his true identity as he had the opportunity to make different decisions, but he didn’t. It is important to consider that at most of the time, he was under the influence of drugs. He had slipped into dementia which can also be attributed to his drug use. It is therefore possibly that his actions were instigated by the effects of the drugs in his system. He is therefore not fully morally responsible for his actions.

Bernie

Bernie’s case specifically invokes a distinct involvement of both genes and personal desire. Although she had been noted to have been specifically examined and diagnosed to have a gene that is strongly related to the possibility of developing alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, this does not mean that she does not have any choice but to plunge into the challenge. Relatively, being a person who has been given different options of dealing with matters, given her backgrounds and her opportunities of growth, it is clear that she has learned much from life. Somehow, these lessons are bound to show her what was right and what was not. Considerably, from such realization, she had the choice to either give in to the temptation of indulging into alcohol abuse or seek to face the different stresses of life in a more positive manner. As it could be noted in the case discussion, she had the chance to do something better, to act intellectually than impulsively towards her boyfriend and the argument that they have been involved in before the accident. With friends and therapists protecting her from going back to her old self [which is basically an alcoholic], she basically had the chance to understand more of what is to come if she chose maters differently. Relatively, the desire to simply run away from her problems and plummet into alcohol abuse is something that made it much easier for her to act differently than the normal way that she could have behaved towards the people around her and towards her boyfriend during the night of the accident. In a way, it was her free will to run away from her problems that placed her where she was situated in the first place.

Reference

Gazzaniga, M. & Steven, M.S. (2004) Free Will in the 21st Century: A Discussion of Neuroscience and Law, in Garland, B. (ed.) Neuroscience and the Law: Brain, Mind and the Scales of Justice, New York: Dana Press.

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