- Dec 7, 2014
Oh, I absolutely think that this is part of the reason that the concept of free will has survived all these centuries! The very act of treating people as if they have free will can create a deterministic cause, which may then push them toward one effect or another.I hope for free-will, but I interact with others based on the greater possibility of determinism driving their choices and behavior. Sometimes I'll even encourage myself or others with the theory of free-will because perhaps it introduces an element into the deterministic system that makes it easier to make a choice outside of previous determined possibilities. It means introducing the idea of a choice going against nature and environment into a system where aligning choices with genetics and environment will only get you a bad result.
For example, take a parent telling a teen "I won't allow you to smoke. If you choose to smoke and I catch you, I'll ground you for a week." The teen now has a cause (reason) to avoid smoking that she didn't have before. Whether this cause will be enough to counteract possible opposing causes -- peer pressure, the impulse to rebel, sheer teenage supidity, etc. -- is of course another matter.