Tea with Socrates: a Discussion About Choices

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Tea with Socrates: A Discussion about Choices Philosophy 201 Beth AIU Online E. G. Barnett Tea with Socrates: A Discussion about Choices One day I found myself sitting down to tea with my imaginary friend, Socrates. We discussed whether human beings had free will or whether all things were predetermined. I would like to share our conversation with you. What is Free Will? Beth: According to Solomon & Higgins (2010), free will is the ability to make choices or act on one’s own without any outside influences. Socrates: Does free will exist? Beth: I do not think someone can make choices without some kind of outside influence. Socrates: What kind of influences would affect choices? Beth: Taste, emotions, temperature, mood, basics needs, etc. Socrates: Do you think all choices affect one’s life? Beth: No. Not all of them. Socrates: What choices do not determine or change one’s life? Beth: Whether to get a donut with filling or without or whether to wear the blue shoes or the red ones. Socrates: Would those choices not be free choices without influence? Beth: I do not think so. We may be choosing something based on the mood we are in. Socrates: So you do not think free will exists even though we can choose one thing or another? Beth: Based on textbook definitions of free will, no I do not. But I do not agree with the textbook definition of free will. Socrates: What do you think the definition of free will should be? Beth: I think the definition should read that free will is the ability to choose between two or more options, no matter what the influences are. What is determinism? Beth: According to Solomon & Higgins (2010), determinism is basically
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