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Skip to 0 minutes and 15 seconds To end up all these chapters we are going to talk today on a very social and philosophical problem which is the idea of to which extent knowing that we are living beings, biological, and we have the DNA information that makes the information to make ourselves. To which extent this is the base for what is called determinism, or to which extent free will exists. And in the second part we are going to talk on which is the future of our genome, so how we think nowadays is going to be the future of the humankind looking in the genome, not the human future in general. First of all, the determinism.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 seconds The idea of the determinism is a philosophical theory that (says that) all events, including the moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. If you know something that is in a given moment you can predict everything in next moment meaning that there is determinism. The idea is to which extent the function of something in a given moment is going to tell you exactly how things are going to be in another moment in the future. In general, determinism is usually understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do. This is a philosophical point and we are going to talk (that) just in one of the points of view.

Skip to 2 minutes and 25 seconds We are not going to talk on the theological determinism to which extent God predicts what’s going to happen; psychological, sociological or even environmental in the sense to which extent the conditions of our environment determines what is going to happen in a future. The idea then is to which extent our biological composition, entity and explainability is enough to predict the future. And the other concept that we are going to talk on is free will as the ability to choose between different possible causes of action unimpeded.

Skip to 3 minutes and 16 seconds So, we have free will that is important in the sense that we tied that to the concept of responsibility because if we do not have free will we don’t have responsibility, guilt, sin, and other judgments that have been applied only if it’s possible to have freely, the possibility of choosing. Actions under free will are seen as deserving credit or blame; and this is the key of human acts. So, determinism exists, free will exists and this is what we are going to talk. There is this idea of surface freedom in the sense of being able to do what you want; to which extent this is real, this is possible. Are you doing what you want? Are you free to act?

Skip to 4 minutes and 24 seconds So, we are going to put that into a general context. And the general context, first, is to see whether there is this determinism and second, whether free will is compatible with that.

Social and philosophical issues in genetics. Part 1

To what extent are we free to decide our actions and to what extent are we predetermined products of our genome?

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Why Biology Matters: The Genome and You

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona