In class, we discussed the issues involved in the compatibility of free will and determinism. In thoughts about these subjects, most people tend to have two intuitions:
1) People have the ability to make free choices, and
2) The choices we make are influenced or determined by our previous experiences.
Clearly, these intuitions contradict. It seems that the most rational way to mediate this intuitions is to acknowledge that they are both true, but how is this possible?
Simply, there are hard choices and easy choices, as Ruth Chang explains in her Ted Talk “How to Make Hard Choices.” The easy choices are determined by our previous experiences, and clearly have one option being better than another, like the choice between receiving one million dollars or one. Some choices, however, are not so easily decided. Imagine if you had to, say, murder an innocent animal for one million dollars or save an animal from inhumane testing and receive one dollar. Now, the decision has become hard, for most people.
I think it is very important to remember that what may be a hard choice for one person may not be a hard choice for someone else, since each person has their own individual set of values. Using my example from above, if the animal was, perhaps, a fly, then the choice may become easier. Even the choice between a piece of chocolate cake and a peach may be one of the hardest decision someone will ever make.