I don't believe in predetermined paths or what have you, but I don't believe in free will, in a sense (I find free will a difficult word). Wouldn't free will require absolute knowledge? How can you chose an option that you have no knowledge of, and if you don't know ALL the options available at any given time can you then truly have free will?
As I said though, I have trouble with free will as a concept. I'm not sure I understand it.
I'm doomed to choose a pre-destined route; i'm not even a bus, I'm a tram.
It doesn't even need to be an important issue... say you decide to have chicken and chips for food tonight - did you choose that out of free will or was it always the case that you would have made that choice because of the laws of the universe (or some omnipotent being). Could you have chosen something different?
there are to many social constraints for there to be free will
Oh the humanistic approach is one of the five approachs is psychology. They believe that each person is an individual with unique beliefs, behaviours and thoughts. They also believe that humans have free will and they are the only approach that believe it. They dont think we should create general laws of behaviour because everyone is different. Maslows hierachy of needs was created with the humanistic approach and that has been used for lots of different things its been one of the more successful theories put forward by the humanistic approach. Personally i think the social learning theory speaks the most truth it is a eclectic approach even if it doesnt take into account the biological approach.
You're talking about influencing decision making processes rather than ruling out the ability to make decisions based on free will.
i was thinking about this the other day (looking at the sea).
From birth we have been exposed to various experiences that shake how we will act and think in the future. We have biological template with the addition of experience and natural variance creates our character, personality and identity.
The world and our living spheres are full of people of the same schema. All acting on present decisions based on our past that will shape our future. With all the external stimuli and things that go on it creates a highly unpredictable world with huge variety. But is it deterministic or not?
If you look at the brain as a machine that takes the external, calculates with biological and ascertained knowledge from prior learned information. Then how can we have free will? Surely we are executing a pre-determined path of near-infinite actors in system.
Imagine an ocean with a rampant tide, surely the is mathematical potential to predict where the ocean will move if modeled to the appropriate level of granualisation (atomic, sub-atomic?) and take in all the factors wind, gravity eternal heat from all other systems etc.
We can do it in smaller controlled experiments. It's just the complexity of the systems and volume of data need to do this on a global level is beyond our capacity. However the concept is the same.
Our concept of consciousness give the impression that we are the driver, but could we be actually be the spectator? Obviously seeing, thinking and doing are different things, but what if these are just the different media of the experience?
This is highly dependent on the view of the human brain being an organic machine or processor. The only way you interpretate freewill into this view point is of another factor or force (e.g. spirituality?)