Free Agency is a Chimera

Free Agency is a Chimera

[Position Paper #2] "Free Agency is a Chimera" Based on the irrational behavior exhibited during the of human endeavor, it is obvious that man lacks the ability and is in fact devoid of the capability to make free choices. Our desire to believe in a soul, or willingness to imagine that we possess a mind with powers and dimensions outside the body does not hold up to well reasoned thought. Without the non-material attributes necessary to achieve free thought it is apparent that free agency is a chimera.
The misdeeds we commit are a collection of contradictions that relegate free agency to the realm of wishful thinking. If we possessed free will we would not be prone to addiction, greed, and the myriad of distasteful arenas we find ourselves in. No loving mother ever set out to become an alcoholic of her own free will. Free will would dictate otherwise. Yet, she is driven down the road of addiction by forces outside herself and nudged along, not by free will, but by motives dictated by complex situations and self-serving self-defense.
The drive toward self-defense can be demonstrated in man’s overriding will of self-preservation. The belief in a soul serves to give hope that a part of us will survive our own death. Yet, man will go to the depths of human depravity in an attempt to insure self-preservation of the human body. Cannibalism, betrayal, and murder have all been witnessed when men have been faced with the death of their own body. If free agency existed, it would alter our actions in these cases and result in more acceptable behavior. Our actions are not driven by free agency but are the result of self-defense and the desire to gain advantage.
We obey the law because it is to our advantage, not because we make a free choice to do so. In the complexity of decisions we are confronted with, the action we take is based on the force that pushes us down a path of maximum gain and minimum harm. Even the apparently selfless action of giving to charity is taken to provide the self with satisfaction. We act and react to maintain social status, proper etiquette, and the desire to be seen as doing the right thing by others because it serves our immediate purpose. If free will existed, it would dramatically change the way we live our lives, treat our health, and the way we act towards others.
Based on the fact that we are unable to control our impulses when subtle compulsions send us down a road that we otherwise would choose not to go down is only the most apparent evidence that no free agency exists. Free will, in fact, is a contradiction to the ways we live our lives and the actions we take when faced with difficult decisions that may threaten our well being or our life. It has been shown that we are driven by influences outside ourselves to preserve the biological body and to maintain an acceptable appearance while we act in unacceptable ways. The fact that free agency is a multi-faceted rationalization of our hopes is the only logical conclusion.

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