Do we have good reason to believe that any form of determinism is true? If so, how does this affect our moral lives? Could we come to know so much about the brain that we would have to conclude that we really have no choice whenever we act?

Currently, there is little consensus regarding whether determinism is absolutely true, but many philosophers and scientists agree heredity and environment significantly impact human decision making. If we assume determinism is absolutely true, then it means we are not responsible for our decisions. This could have a negative impact on our personal lives and society as a whole.

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Do we have good reason to believe that any form of determinism is true? Significant scientific advances in neurobiology and medical advances attempt to answer if heredity and environmental forces conspire to create situations whereby humans no longer have free will or choice. An influential group of respected professionals ascribes to the theory humans are products of their heredity and environment. Several psychologists promote the notion that heredity and environment supersede humans' ability to rationalize choices and make decisions they perceive are in their best interests. Others find a correlation between heredity, environment, and decision making. However, members in this group of experts believe humans have a greater capacity to overcome heredity or environment to make decisions from the position of free will, despite the influence of factors beyond their control. There is no consensus in the fields studying how human biology affects human psychology. It is accurate to say there is enough scientific evidence to suggest heredity and environment play a significant role in influencing decision making.

If so, how does this affect our moral lives? If one assumes determinism as absolute truth, then humans have no responsibility for the decisions they make. An absolute morality does not exist as humans have no control over their actions. Humans are no different from animals in nature, responding instinctively or adapting to their immediate natural environment changes. Rejecting determinism entirely is equally extreme. This position requires humans to adhere to the same moral and ethical standards, thus negating everyday experiences that influence how humans behave (peer pressure, for example). Daily experience and observations of humans interacting with others demonstrate this notion to be inaccurate. There are some universal moral and ethical standards humans adhere.

Compassion, understanding, and human experience require a certain level of empathetic response to situations meaning humans look to find answers to moral dilemmas accepting the idea that while we have free will, factors beyond our direct control lead to violations of moral and ethical standards. One may not condone a person's choice but understand why they chose to respond the way they responded. There is always a "grey area" in the tension between absolute morality and absolute abandonment of moral or ethical values.

Could we come to know so much about the brain that we would have to conclude that we really have no choice whenever we act? Attributing human interaction and responses to automation and completely dismissing free will has no benefit to society. Humans have free will. Society is built upon recognizing sometimes free will leads to poor choices, but free will is a necessary component for humans to survive. Do we want to live in a world where there are no universal standards, and all we choose is the result of heredity or environment? Innovation, aspiration, and creativity all depend upon free will and choice.

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