(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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- better than you
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swoosh wrote:Please be constructively harsh, thanks!
Girls, beer, and football are the usual topics that command the conversation of the fraternity dinner table. But it is the rarer, more tangential subjects that captivate my attention, those that seem to randomly arise from an errant comment or preoccupied mind, and spur vigorous debate. One such discussion that profoundly impacted me was focused on the concept of free will. While free will is tacitly accepted by most, one of my brothers vehemently held that it simply did not exist. Instead, our actions are merely the result of others' behaviors and genetics; both nature and nurture. In nearly every case, the argument can be made that any decision was not made in a truly free capacity. Perhaps the first action in the universe truly was an act of free will, but ultimately every other decision has not been freely made, but was rather a reaction to someone or something else. However, in coming to this conclusion, a new host of realizations and dilemmas manifest. The most troubling of which is that society rests upon a fundamental belief in free will. Without such belief, nearly every social institution would collapse – the legal system, morality, religion, and even basic interactions crumble without the notion of strict responsibility. The only plausible counterargument rests on faith in the abstract power of the divine, which begs the question, has every great secular mind arrived at a similar conclusion? And if so, are we simply trapped in a society predicated upon a false notion?
Decent, although if I were you I'd hope that the professors who read this aren't familiar with the philosophical literature on free will or that they don't mind this rather shallow take. Not to be pedantic, but there's a vast body of academic papers out there on this topic, and your account--e.g., saying "[t]he only plausible counterargument"--ignores/challenges just about all of them without even acknowledgement.
It's not a huge issue, but it does call into question just how much the free will debate, in your words, captivated your attention or profoundly impacted you (also, I'd use affected or influenced here instead; impacted has a physical connotation and some don't think it should be a verb).
Also, be more precise as to whether faith is a counterargument to 'strict determinism' or to the collapsing of "nearly every social institution"; it's slightly ambiguous.
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Can you take a stand instead? I don't hear any of your own voice here except for your flawed assumption that faith is the only possible counter-argument. Also, I find what you wrote very cliche. If you took the time to give your own take on it, from your own beliefs and research, I feel it would be a more personal reflection of how you think and how you view the world. Right now, the message of the bulk of your 250, that there is an unresolved controversy about free-will, is not even your own unique idea. It's an issue that has been established by scholars for years. Why are you wasting your PS literally narrating other people's ideas?
Last edited by stuckinthemiddle on Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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stuckinthemiddle wrote:Can you take a stand instead? I don't hear any of your own voice here except for your flawed assumption that faith is the only possible counter-argument. Also, I find what you wrote very cliche. If you took the time to give your own take on it, from your own beliefs and research, I feel it would be a more personal reflection of how you think and how you view the world.
Yeah either take a stand that expresses your unique way of thinking, or find another topic.
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