A03: Free will and determinsim

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  • A03: Free Will and Determinism
    • For free will
      • Even if we don't have free will, the idea we do may have a positive impact on our behaviour
      • Adolescents with a strong belief in fatalism are at more risk of depression (Roberts et al, 2000)
      • This gives face validity to the idea of free will
    • Against free will
      • Not supported by neurological evidence
      • Brain activity related to an action can occur up to 10 seconds before participants report being consciously aware of their decision (Libet, 1985)
      • Our most basic experiences of free will are determined by our brain before we become aware of them
    • For determinism
      • This shows determinism is consistent with the aims of science
      • Prediction and control of human behaviour had led to development of treatment in Sz, for example
      • The experience of Sz in itself suggests some behaviours are determined, as no one 'chooses' to have Sz
    • Against determinsim
      • Offenders are morally responsible for their own actions in law. This is not true only in extreme circumstances e.g. mental ilness
      • The cause of offending behaviour will always exist, even if it hasn't been found i.e. not falsifiable
      • The idea of determinism may not be as scientific as it first appears

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