Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Will/Free Will

  • Amitabh Vikram DwivediEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_200119


Much dust of controversy has been raised round the question whether free will is an illusion, a delusion, or a reality. Darwin was of an opinion that everything that exists in nature is the result of fixed laws, and since human beings cannot do away with nature, therefore human actions are also the consequences of the natural laws and not of individual free will. Einstein argues that human beings do not have control over natural forces, and our beginning and end are predetermined. He does not believe in human freedom in the philosophical sense. Hawking, until recently, opined that the earliest configuration of the universe may have been determined by God or by the laws of science, and therefore it is difficult to claim that human beings are the masters of their fates. And Dawkins, rather notoriously, described human beings as survival machines – a type of robot which has been programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. Sam Harris, a neuroscientist, also...

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  1. Baggini, J. (2016). Freedom regained: The possibility of free will. London: Granta Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Dilman, I. (2009). Free will: An historical and philosophical introduction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Languages and LiteratureShri Mata Vaishno Devi UniversityKatraIndia