Free Will, Determinism and Moral Responsibility

it is significant to keep in mind that mutually, compatibilism and incompatibilism are debates founded on the prospect of possibility. According to the compatibilist, it is possible for an individual to be both entirely determined and yet free. The incompatibilist, on the other hand, maintains that such a status of associations is not possible

Free Will, Determinism and Moral Responsibility

The unique ability that each and every individual possesses that enables him/her to control their actions or choose his or her route of action without coercion is known as free will. Free will is directly connected to two other vital philosophical issues: freedom of action and moral accountability, which is the main reason why the debate on determinism and free will is so vital. Simply stated, a person who has free will refers a person who has free will is able to choose his or her route of action. However, animals also appear to be in possession of the same ability, further adding to the debate because typically only human beings are thought to possess free will (Broad 1990).

Over the years, there has been an ongoing controversial debate as to whether free will truly needs an agent to possess an unobstructed or unlimited ability of will, or whether the term “free will” is simply a term used to describe features enabling people to act out of choice, which leads to the controversy of whether free will really does exist.

If rational human actions are assumed to arise from free will, then that would mean free will is dependent on those events. That leads to the belief that the opportunity of free action depends on the leeway of free will: to state that a person acted freely is simply to say that the individual was victorious in acting out of free choice (Van Inwagen 1983).

Philosopher Thomas Hobbes asserted this theory by stating that all free will actions were based or influenced by external factors compelling a person to act. However, one might dispute this approach because it is conceptualized based on two different types of distinct types of freedom namely: freedom of will versus freedom of action.  This distinction is aggravated by the fact that agents can have free will with no freedom of action (Pereboom 1997). For example, if a person thinks of walking his/her dog, it can be assumed that He chose this action based on his own free will. However, according to Hobbes’ theory, it can also be assumed that an external factor, which in this case could be that the dog needs exercise and hence needs to go for a walk, has influenced the individual and therefore the action taken, because the decision did not arise from that individuals free will. Still, if there is a difference between freedom of will and self-determination, it would appear that the notion free will is essential for the performance of free actions.

A fundamental question propelling this debate is why an individual has to be responsible for his/her action when these actions do not arise out of his/her own free will but from environmental factors which he/she cannot have control over. The simple answer would be that individuals are not responsible for their actions, however unpopular this may be. According to this view, while it may be of immense moral value to hold people liable for their actions, and to utilize systems of rewards and punishment, no one is really deserving of  blame or praise for anything they do (Honderich 2002).

However, an exception to this theory lies in the premise of determinism proposed by the British analytic philosopher Galen Strawson. The premise implies that the future is predetermined, because every event has a cause and the causes stretch back to time immemorial (Strawson 1994). From this school of thought, the theory of incompatibilism arises, where determinism is thought to rule out free will. There are three types of determinism, namely: theological, logical and causal determinism. Theological determinism is the thesis that God exists and has infallible information of all present knowledge as well as those about our upcoming actions. This asserts that free will cannot be exercised if God, who is all knowing and cannot make mistakes knows what is going to happen, or what action that we are ultimately going to take. Religious traditions hold that God has the ultimate responsibility for everything that happens (Anglin 1990).

Logical determinism on the other hand espouses the view that what is going to happen in the future is unavoidably going to happen, and therefore supposes that whatever any individual intends to do in the future, already has a truth value and will inevitably happen. For instance, if an individual intends to go to the park on the weekend, this situation is already true seeing as the action was already intended for a long time ago. However, in the view that the individuals’ actions were already determined a long time ago, it is impossible to say that the individuals’ decision to walk the dog arose from his/her free will (Ekstrom 1999). Causal determinism is the idea that the course of the future is totally determined by the combination of the precedent and the laws of his/her environment.

 Compatibilists believe that individuals can possess free will even if causal determinism is correct because they assert that it is likely for an individual to be strong-minded in all their choices and actions and still make some of their choices freely.

However much determinism may imply that our choices and efforts may be predetermined but this does not mean that we are indecisive or cannot make our own choices (Honderich 2002). Instead, determinists are unswerving in their belief that our thoughts, choices and labors are part of the contributory process whereby we cause further effects in the world. Debates about incompatibilism are based on the premises that:

  • Arguments that preserve the claim that determinism make it not possible for us to cause and manage our actions. 

Those who believe that determinism makes it impossible for us to cause and manage our actions, worry that determinism rules out the kind of causation that we invoke when we attribute actions to people further than ourselves, for example, when we blame another for an action we committed. In short, we do not have the right to judge or even discipline the actions of others because it would be incorrect to imply that they had any choice in the action taken. This is further reinforced by the idea that moral liability requires autonomy of, that is, our actions are completely controlled by ourselves.

  • Arguments that protect the claim that determinism deprives us of the authority to do or choose what we want to do. 

However, proponents of the latter focus on choice. They assert that to have choice, is the avenue to options and alternatives of the different ways we can act, and that the free will we have can only exist if we have a real option about what actions we carry out, which is made possible by having many actions we mean to carry out. For example an individual may be faced with many tasks that he/she must perform at one given time such as, cooking, talking and standing all at the same time. This premise thus states that an individual can choose which action to take based on their ability to perform them.

Ultimately, we can arrive at the conclusion that both of these premises accept that both our ability to cause and manage our actions and consists in the fact that we have the power to do or at least choose to do from an array of actions.

  • Arguments of intuition 

The most common argument that supports incompatibilism is that of our intuitions. According to this debate, if determinism is not a fallacy then we are just like puppets, controlled by our brain into performing actions and we therefore don’t have free will just like animals. However this debate has been inconclusive.

Some incompatibilitists think that determinism is accurate of the real world, and thus no person in the real world possesses free will but other believes that the real world is not deterministic and some of the individuals in the real world actually possess free will.

Free will pessimists concur with the incompatibility and suppose that free will is not likely if determinism is true. However, unlike the incompatibilists, pessimists do not consider that the indeterminism actually has a role to play. In effect, they maintain that rather than helping maintain free will, indeterminism undermines it. Think of an individual contemplating taking their dog for a walk. According to the pessimist, an individual cannot be free so long as determinism is true. But if determinism is false, then indeterminacy will be present at some point preceding their action. The pessimist argues that it is hard to see how indeterminacy could advance the persons free will, because the event of her reasons is indeterministic, and then it is beyond the power of an individual to possess these reasons. However, if the person were to make a decision on the basis of whatever reasons he/she does have, then her choice is based upon on external influences beyond the person’s control. It is founded instead on probability (Chisholm 1967). Thus, pessimists suppose that the accumulation of indeterminism makes people unable to fully control their actions and thus free will. While pessimism might seem to advocate the same ideology as those that deny that free will exists, it is important to not that they have a very big difference, with pessimists having a stronger claim.

 Those that do not believe in the existence of free will assume that although free will is possible, it just isn’t real: people actually have free will. Pessimists, however, possess a more convincing thought, thinking that free will is not possible (Ekstrom 1999). Not only do people not possess free will, there is no way that they could have it. For the pessimist, the only way to defend moral responsibility is to decline that free will is an imperative state for moral responsibility.

There are two types of incompatibilists. The first type believe that possessing free will is a issue of possessing a number of choices to choose from in terms of our actions, and that possessing an option is a matter of having alternatives of the actions we can choose to take. The second type of incompabilitsts base their argument on the idea that the legitimacy of determinism would mean that we as individuals don’t cause our action. The certainty of determinism would signify that we don’t initiate our actions significantly and our actions are not, ultimately, controlled by us (Murphy 2007).

Arguments for Incompatibilism

Consequence argument

The most well acknowledged and prominent argument for incompatibilism is the Consequence argument which is based on the elementary dissimilarity between the past and the future. However, the past seems to be fixed and unalterable whereas the future seems to be open. This can be illustrated by the fact that we do not deliberate the actions of the past in the same way we deliberate about the future (Fischer 1984). An individual can influence what will occur in the future through their actions but cannot change the actions that have already occurred in the past. An individual can contemplate about their actions in the past and ponder whether it was the best action to be taken whereas the same individual can question what future actions should be taken. In this case, when a person is using their free will, they are in fact choosing from an assortment of diverse options for the future. The Consequence argument argues the future is not open if determinism is involved and the future would be as fixed as the past (Fischer 1984).

Origination argument

The Origination argument is founded on the significance of the starting place of a decision for free will. According to this argument, a person has free will only when his/her decisions come from the person him/herself. Proponents of this argument claim that a person has to be the ultimate source of their actions.  From this argument, the assumption that we are morally responsible for our actions is disputed in the cases of coercion and manipulation because the coerced or manipulated individual is not the originator of his/her actions (Strawson 1994). In the case of walking the dog, for example, we may assume that the individual decided to walk the dog out of their own free will arising from their beliefs and desires. However, we need to put into consideration that these same beliefs are the inevitable products of years of events that are out of the individuals’ control. Thus, a determined person is at most a source, but not the ultimate source for his/her actions. Therefore, the proponents of this argument, the truth for determinism would mean that people are not the ultimate source of their actions in the way needed for free will and therefore if determinism is true, no person has free will.


Arguments for compatibilism are founded on the freedom prerequisite for moral responsibility.  If one can show that moral responsibility is attuned with the accuracy of determinism, and if free will is mandatory for moral responsibility, one will have absolutely shown that free will is itself well-matched with the legitimacy of determinism.

Frankfurt’s Argument against “the Ability to Do Otherwise”

 The initial of these opinions for compatibilism discard the perception of having a choice as concerning the capability to do otherwise. Frankfurt provides an example in which a person commits an action in conditions that pilot us to consider that the person acted freely. Yet, unbeknown to the individual, the situations consist of some method that would convey about the action if the person did not act upon it on their own (Frankfurt 1997). For example, when an individual has a small computer chip that can control their actions. Say, for example, an individual contemplates whether or not to walk their dog. If the person decides that they do not want to walk their dog, the chip is activated and thus influences their decision, and eventually performs that act of walking the dog. In such a case, Frankfurt asserts that the individual would be morally responsible for their actions because the presence of the chip plays no role in the decision. This is because, he asserts, that the individual was morally responsible for taking care of the dog in the first place and the chip was only there to ensure that the moral responsibility is carried out. If Frankfurt is right and his argument that such situations are possible, then even if the reality of determinism is unsuited with a kind of freedom that needs the capacity to do otherwise, it is compatible with the sort of freedom indispensable for moral responsibility (Frankfurt 1997).

Strawson’s Reactive Attitudes

In a prominent article, Peter Strawson asserts that many of the conventional debates between compatibilists and incompatibilists are erroneous. He asserts that the focus should instead be on reactive attitudes, that is, the attitudes that we have toward others based on their attitudes and treatment towards us (Strawson 1994). Reactive attitudes are fundamentally natural human reactions to the good or ill intentions or lack of sympathy of others toward us, as viewed form their attitudes and actions. He argues that these attitudes are vital to the interactions between people, and that they offer the foundation for holding individuals morally responsible. Strawson then argues for two claims. The first of these is that a person’s reactive attitudes would not be exaggerated by a conviction that determinism was not a fallacy. Furthermore, Strawson also argues for a normative assertion that the non-fallacy of determinism shouldn’t challenge our reactive attitudes (Strawson 1994). He further asserts that there are two types of situations where it is fitting to defer our reactive attitudes. One involves people, such as mentally disabled people and young children, who cannot be moral agents and Strawson asserts that we should not have reactive attitudes toward non-moral agents. The second kinds of cases are those in which while the person is a moral agent, his/her action toward us is not associated to their actions in any kind of way. For example, if an individual was to have feelings of resentment toward a person that had cut him off on the highway, and if they were to then find out that the person was forced to do so in a time of a medical emergency, the individual would have no justification to still hold the same resentment. Thus, Strawson thinks, the legitimacy of determinism ought not to weaken our reactive attitudes. Strawson argues that moral responsibility is well-matched with the certainty of determinism since moral responsibility is founded on the reactive attitudes, and if free will is a necessity for moral responsibility, Strawson’s argument offers support to compatibilism (Strawson 1994).

In conclusion it is significant to keep in mind that mutually, compatibilism and incompatibilism are debates founded on the prospect of possibility. According to the compatibilist, it is possible for an individual to be both entirely determined and yet free. The incompatibilist, on the other hand, maintains that such a status of associations is not possible. From this short paper, we can therefore assume that free will touches on important issues in philosophy of human nature, metaphysics, action theory, the philosophy of religion and ethics. Furthermore, it has been noted that there are contending opinions concerning nearly every part of free will including whether there is, or even could be, such a thing. 


Anglin, W. S. Free Will and the Christian Faith. Clarendon Press, 1990.

Baron, Robert A. "The Sweet Smell of... Helping: Effects of Pleasant Ambient Fragrance on Prosocial Behavior in Shopping Malls." Personlaity and Sociology Bulletin, 1997: 498.

Broad, C. D. Determinism, Indeterminism, and Libertarianism. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1990.

Chisholm, Roderick. "He Could Have Done Otherwise." Journal of Philosophy, 1967: 409-417.

Ekstrom, Laura Waddell. Free Will: A Philosophical Study. HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.

Fischer, John Martin. "Power Over the Past." Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 1984: 335-350.

Frankfurt, Harry. "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility." Pereboom, 1997: 156-166.

Honderich, Ted. How Free are You? Oxford University Press, 2002.

Murphy, John M. Doris: Dominic. "From My Lai to Abu Ghraib: The Moral Psychology of Atrocity." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2007: 25-55.

Pereboom, Derk. Free Will. Hacket, 1997.

Strawson, Galen. "The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility." Philosophical Studies (Philosophical Studies), 1994: 5-24.

Van Inwagen, Peter. An Essay on Free Will. Clarendon Press, 1983.

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Related Articles

Which Color Personality Are You: Red, Blue, Green or Yellow?

Most companies use the four color personality test to determine how best to address each personality with the goal of creating a harmonious and productive environment. It is useful for an individual to be able to understand each color personality as well to better equipped in adapting to each personality type

No, I'm not asking about your favorite color. After you a reach a certain age, you probably start to realize that not all of us were created equal. We each have our own nuances and personalities which sometimes make it easier for us to get along with some and have a difficult time with others. Some personalities clash and some get along with perfect ease. Most companies use a color personality test in order to better understand these personality differences and how to make it work for everyone.

Understanding the different personalities is important not just for big companies but for us as individuals as this will make it easier for us to learn how to better deal with colleagues and clients. You might say this could even be useful in understanding your partner when it comes to personal relationships. Understanding gives you a better perspective of a person and how best to react when faced with a stressful situation.

Experts have determined that there are four basic personality types. The four basic colors are, yellow, red, blue and green, and it doesn't have anything to do with a person's favorite color. As an individual, learning our color personality is also important. First, because it helps us to better understand ourselves and why we react to certain situations a certain way. Second, when we understand who we are, it allows us to open ourselves to at least try to understand others as well.

Want to learn what type of personality you have? You may take this simple color personality test. Once you have finished the test you may go back to check out what your color personality means by checking out the rest of this article. If you find that 2 or more colors returned the same result, that is perfectly normal as no one person is just one color. All of us have some bits of each color personality, although some colors may be more predominant than the rest.


The yellow personality is generally regarded as the sunniest personality. Often you will find them the life of the party. They are most of the time the loudest and most vocal of the four types of color personality. Some would regard them as the happy-go-lucky type who seems unable to take anything seriously. The yellow personality treats life as if it's one big, continuous party. If faced with a stressful situation, the yellow person would seek out friends and drink it out. Most yellow personalities fear rejection most.

More interesting facts about the yellow personality include they can be very loyal and great team players, and are personable and friendly. They can be family oriented and animal lovers, plus environmentally conscious and love the outdoors. Yellow personalities do not like conflict and are more adept at being the peace maker. A yellow personality is creative, expressive, intuitive, and makes great volunteers. They dislike phony people.  

Yellow Personality Tendencies

  • Optimism
  • Enthusiasm
  • Makes good impressions
  • Verbally articulate
  • Likes to help others
  • Creates entertaining climate

Yellow Personality Ideal situation

  • Friendly warm environment
  • Freedom from control
  • Public recognition of ability
  • Opportunity to talk
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Enthusiastic response to ideas

Yellow Personality Weaknesses

  • Following through
  • Overestimating results
  • Misjudging capabilities
  • Talks too much
  • Acts impulsively
  • Jumps to conclusions
  • Over commits
  • Acts first, thinks second

Yellow Personality Needs others to provide

  • Follow through on details
  • Focus on tasks
  • Logical approach

Yellow Personality Personal growth area

  • Time awareness
  • Objectivity in decision making


The red personality is generally considered the "dominating personality". These are the types of person who demands that things be done their way and right now. They sometimes have low tolerance for undisciplined and devil-may-care attitude which oftentimes put them at odds with the yellow personality. If faced with a stressful situation the red personality would generally seek out strenuous activities like running or boxing to vent out his or her frustrations. Most reds fear failure.

More interesting fact about the red personality includes their desire to win, competitive, and a confident personality. Even though the red personality is competitive, they can also be insecure which gives a need for approval from others and drives their need to win. They can be selfish, and not a good team player, because they would rather be in the spotlight which makes them sometimes selfish.

 Red personality Tendencies

  • Getting immediate results
  • Making quick decisions
  • Persistence
  • Solving problems
  • Taking charge
  • Looking self reliant
  • Accepting challenges

Red Personality Ideal situation

  • New varied activities
  • Opportunity to really get things done
  • Continual challenges, multi-tasker
  • Difficult assignments
  • Freedom to act from their instinct
  • Control over the situations
  • Direct answers from others, no innuendoes

Red Personality Weaknesses

  • Insensitivity towards others
  • Impatient
  • Overlook risks
  • Inflexibility, demanding of others
  • Talks too much
  • Inattentive to details at times
  • Resenting of restrictions

Red Personality Needs others to provide

  • Attention to routine tasks
  • Caution
  • Focus on details and facts

Red Personality Personal growth area

  • Greater patience
  • Sensitivity to others' needs
  • Flexibility


The green personality is generally referred to as the calm personality. They don't easily get frazzled and are the epitome of calmness even in most stressful situations. To them also falls the role of mediator when faced with sticky situations. When stressed, the green's approach is to sleep it off. The green personality tries his/her best to maintain harmony in all types of situation. Because of the green's inability to say no, people oftentimes take advantage of them.

The green personality also has the following traits. They are known to be very calculating and logical in their thinking which also means they do not make snap decisions and think everything through because of their love of analyzing every question and every situation. They are more scientific in their thinking, preferring facts over intuition of faith based answers. This can make the green personality rather skeptical of people and those with ulterior motives. They need a precise plan to follow, and they are not spontaneous, and do not like surprises. They can also be perfectionist and sometimes end up being emotionally detached.

Green Personality Tendencies

  • Supportive
  • Agreeable
  • Loyal
  • Self control
  • Consistent
  • Good listener
  • Opportunity to develop personal relationships

Green Personality Ideal situation

  • Sincere appreciation by others
  • Minimal conflict between people
  • Security
  • Acknowledgement of work by others
  • Limited territory
  • Traditional procedures
  • Opportunity to develop personal relationships

Green Personality Weaknesses

  • Resist change
  • Trouble making deadlines
  • Overly lenient with people
  • Procrastinates
  • Indecisive
  • Holds grudges
  • Overly possessive
  • Lacks initiative

Green Personality Needs others to provide

  • Push to try new challenges
  • Help in solving difficult problems
  • Initiative and accepting change

Green Personality Personal growth area

  • Facing confrontation and dealing with it
  • Moving at a faster pace and initiating


The blue personality type is seen as the perfectionists. They are the ones who would generally examine the smallest details of every situation and fret about each one of them. The blue personality oftentimes appears unemotional and doesn't want to be touched. The greatest fear of a blue person is to be criticized.

Interestingly, other studies show that the blue personalities can be aloof, forgetful and fun loving. They live for the moment and are the exact opposite of the green personality.

Blue PersonalityTendencies

  • Orderliness
  • Conscientious
  • Disciplined
  • Precise
  • Thorough
  • Diplomatic with people
  • Analytical

Blue Personality Ideal situation

  • Being able to concentrate on detail
  • Opportunities to critique
  • Stable surroundings and procedures
  • Exact job description, expectations
  • Opportunities for "careful" planning
  • Sufficient time to do things right
  • Opportunities for reassurance from authority

Blue Personality Weaknesses

  • Indecisive (looking at all data)
  • Get bogged down in details
  • Rigid on the how-to's
  • Avoids controversy
  • Low self esteem
  • Hesitant to try new things
  • Sensitive to criticism
  • Can be pessimistic

Blue Personality Needs others to provide

  • Quick decision making
  • Optimism
  • Help in persuading others

Blue Personality Personal growth area

  • Be more open with their feelings
  • Be more optimistic

Color Personality Conclusion

This is not an exact science and many people can be different than what their color personality describes. Though some people are really described well with their color personalities, other people do not resemble their color personalities. Check out the following sources for more information, because this type of personality test can be very interesting. If you find you are someone that identifies with a certain color, these tests can be very helpful.


Phone Calls in Dreams - Interpretations and Meanings

Learn about the interpretations and meanings of phone calls in dreams.

Communication comes in many forms whether it's a verbal conversation, telepathic thought "sharing" or transference, and even through physical gestures such as hand signals or facial expressions. Noted, many subtleties pertain to the forms of communication and dreams are very much a part of the equation.

With phone calls, the big picture reveals there is a message for the dreamer to be revealed.

Receiving a Phone Call

To receive a phone call in a dream can mean many things, directly and indirectly and can be taken as a sign or message about something the dreamer is currently experiencing in their life. However, on a deeper level, when the dreamer receives a phone call, it may also be a direct form of communication from other realms or even people who are no longer in direct contact with them on a regular basis.

Often, when there are lingering emotional or mental attachments to another person, living or deceased, it is not uncommon to dream of them phoning us to let us know they are okay. Or in other circumstances, they have something urgent that needs to be shared and that urgency is made manifest in the dream state.

Let's say a dreamer is at home and answers the phone in their dream but there is nobody on the other line. This presents a mystery. One scenario is that the person who is intending to reach out feels unable or is unable. Perhaps the caller is an ex and wants to reach out in real life, but does not. Because the intention and desire is there, it creates a string of attachment through projection and subconsciously in the dream state, the dreamer receives that intention. Because the dreamer is at home, this shows that the caller is personally connected, as houses and homes represent something of a firsthand personal nature. The caller is known to the dreamer, but the identity remains a mystery.

Now let's say that the dreamer receives a phone call at a pay phone while out in public. This reveals that the caller is making public whatever message he or she wants to share. If the caller happens to be someone from the dreamers past whom they had a falling out with, then I would interpret this as rumors being spread publicly. Or, let's say this is a friend or family member who is connected to the dreamer in a positive way but they have had little to no interaction with the dreamer in real life; this would tell me that the caller wants to communicate and connect, that there are positive memories and reasons to connect and being that it's received in a public place tells me the dreamer can locate or find communication with the caller through a public forum such as a social network. This would tell me that a reunion is coming.

Now let's say the dreamer receives a call on their cell phone but they cannot take it at that time, this would tell me that the caller knows the dreamer but the dreamer is ignoring the caller in real life. Perhaps this is not intentional, but the energy of not being able to connect is present. If the dreamer wants to take the call but something else gets in the way such as a low battery, static or even weather while driving etc, this would tell me that the dreamer in real life is yearning for a stronger connection with the caller but finds themselves unable to because of outer influences. This can be seen in situations with friendships that are fading away or even people who want to take their friendship to the next level but are hindered due to outer influences such as distance of location or even bad reviews given by family and friends.

In other dreams, sometimes the dreamer is actually being phoned by an archetypal being such as an angel, spirit guide or even God presence. With this scenario, I would interpret this as an answer to a prayer, an intention to connect stronger to the divine or being given a strong message of faith, protection and hope from the source of creation.

With some dreams in which the caller is aggressive or presents an element of danger to the dreamer, this could be interpreted as the dreamer feeling threatened in real life, or pursued by something or someone who is a threat. So the message would be to stay ever watchful for whatever surprises are lurking around the corner.


Making a Phone Call

If the dreamer is the actual caller in the dream, this can mean many things. Similar to the interpretations offered above, the roles in this situation are simply reversed, although there can be much more to be understood from this end of it. As the caller, the dreamer reveals he or she is in control of the timing of the message and whatever situation he or she finds themselves in.

For example, some dreamers call out for help to either a friend or family member if they are in trouble. Or, they call out to an authority figure that could answer to their emergency such as a Police Officer or Ambulance Driver. In this situation, I would be curious of what type of emergency the dreamer is experiencing in real life. Many times through post traumatic stress, dreamers will experience this type of phone call, to show their sense of panic and urgency, and their cry for help. This can be stronger in cases where the dreamer is very quiet in real life about their sense of loss, trauma or feeling controlled by a negative situation without a way to resolve it.

In dreams where the caller is reaching out to a loved one whom they have a great relationship with, I would see this as a blessing that is soon to come. A message is about to be delivered that is of a happy nature that can enhance the intimacy and connection between partners.

In dreams where the caller is shouting, yelling or causing arguments on the phone, I would see this as an emotional release dream that reveals they need to resolve whatever conflict they are experiencing with that caller in real life.

Color and Condition of Phone

As in every dream, color represents many things so depending on what type of phone the dreamer is holding on to, it can reveal an even stronger energy which reveals a deeper message.

  •  White Phone- White can mean a couple things. White phones represent simplicity, a simple message that doesn't need deeper interpretation, but it can also represent a lack of emotion. It's just white, like a blank slate.
  • Silver Phone- Silver can represent a person on the go and yet it can even represent timing, schedules and appointments. A phone call with a silver phone can mean either the dreamer or caller is trying to do too much in a short period of time and is mismanaging their schedule.
  • Black Phone- A Black phone represents someone whose getting right down to business and who wants things cut and dry, to tell it like it is. It can also represent discretion. Messages are direct but are also discreet. I would take note of the importance of the call and to recognize it is meant to be kept to themselves.
  • Pink Phone- Pink phones often represent teenage or young girls and women. It can also represent a message of love.
  • Blue Phone- Blue phones represent men or masculine energy. Light blue would represent a young male, even boy, and the darker the shade, the older or more mature the man. It can also represent peaceful and calming energy.
  • Red Phone- Red phones can mean a couple things. Emergencies come to mind first. I think of the private emergency line for the President. It also represents passion and sometimes aggression.


If a phone is glittered up with bling or accessories, I would see the nature of the people in the dream or message being one of clutter and disorganization. It also represents someone or something that needs to be recognized as important which is of a personal nature. I think of personalization, feeling special and important but it also reveals that the person wants recognition for it too.

If a phone is old and in disarray in any form, I would interpret this as neglect whether it represents it physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally. The tone of the call should reveal which form of neglect it is.

If a phone is sleek, new and fully charged, I would see it as the person being completely ready to take on anything, and that they take care of themselves and are healthy.

As always, with every dream, it's important to write down what you dream so that you train your subconscious to pay closer attention to these important details.

Other dream interpretation articles I've written about on Factoidz which can be accessed through my profile are:

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Being Shot in a Dream: Methods, Meanings and Interpretations

Learn the different interpretations and scenarios of what it means to be shot or be a shooter in a dream.

What Dreams Can Mean

Being shot in a dream can provoke anger, fear and a lot of confusion but there are practical ways to understanding and interpreting exactly what it means, especially if these types of scenarios are recurring.

As the dreamer, we often feel victimized, or hurt by the hands of another. Sometimes in these dreams we actually experience death but most often, it is the impact that is strongest component.

How we are shot, by what, and by who can give us different meanings.


Being shot with an arrow or multiple arrows often leads us to question challenges, conflicts and difficulties with matters of the heart. Many traditional images portray a heart with an arrow drawn through it, or even picture the romantic notion of Robin Hood shooting an arrow into a bulls-eye for his honor and to win the love of his Maid Marion. However, some dreams portray very different scenarios such as those with a historical context of axes, arrows, and stones.

If someone is shot with a single arrow and can see the assailant, the interpretation would lead to a competition or rivalry, including undertones of jealousy when it comes to a relationship or partner. Who is it that is trying to attach to their already taken loved one? Or how about having to fight for the attention of another who has not yet become a partner to them? What is it about love that has such an impact that it could spark rivalry?

If the dreamer is shot with multiple arrows, this would indicate feeling bombarded by matters of the heart. This could be jealousy but often, this would indicate harsh words or judgments by friends and family members that pertain to a chosen mate. For example, a daughter-in-law that his family dislikes and makes verbal jabs against her to him. In a sense, this is a battle of words but can be overwhelming and cause emotional "bleeding" or even death to the relationship.

If the dreamer is the one who is shooting arrows, he or she needs to ask themselves who it is they are trying to compete with. Where is there a need for such a battle? What emotions are they suppressing that could be "shot" out one day when they lose their temper? What do they have to fight so hard for when it comes to love or companionship?


Guns have a similar context in the fact there is some form of conflict but guns represent something different. Instead of matters of the heart, guns represent dominance or a fight for survival and usually this pertains to lifestyle, social status or even career. Guns represent quick-to-action responses and defenses and depending on the type of gun or how many gunmen there are, the dreamer can determine the seriousness of the fight.

If the dream takes on an urban appeal with gang members or a type of gang mentality with assailants shooting to kill the dreamer, the tone of the dream comes across as the dreamer feeling overwhelmed by the majority and gives in to the imaginings of his or her biggest fears. The dreamer in life is being overwhelmed, overworked and feels weaker against the majority. Urban areas represent something manmade rather than natural so this can be more of a fight for survival of a financial status, social status or position of some kind that competes with the fellow man.

In a natural setting such as field, mountain, or park area, the dreamer is stepping into an environment that is cognitively very natural and familiar. For example, they are on familiar territory, even though in the dream they may be navigating through scenes they don't recognize. Nature and the outdoors reveal who the dreamer is in a natural setting. So if the dreamer is the one being shot but cannot see the gunman, this shows that it is natural for them to feel stricken, shot, or hurt by others words.

It is natural for them to be on the defense, watching every move that others make and keeping others at arm's length. If the dreamer is the shooter and cannot see the target, it shows a similar defensiveness but they feel they are the one in control of the situation.

If the dreamer is a shooter but is hunting an animal in a dream, this shows a need to survive, and the instinct to do whatever it takes to survive. If the dreamer is watching an animal get shot, it shows in real life they are surrounded by others who are willing to do whatever it takes to survive. Depending on the reaction the dreamer has to the animal being shot, he or she will know whether or not this is an ally or adversary.


Tanks or Bombs

This would represent a conflict with political power, political or governmental organizations or policies. If the dreamer is the victim, then it would be interpreted that the dreamer feels victimized by these organizations and it's come down to a fight for survival. Or, if the dreamer is riding in a tank or operating a bombing system on a large scale, it would be interpreted that the dreamer in real life is willing to wage war against a nation, government or policy for a moral victory, or to stand up for a noble cause.

In a Car

If the dreamer is in a car and is being shot at, then it shows they are moving through a situation that is a really close call with someone or something they are in a conflict with. Depending on if they get away determines the outcome or projected outcome in real life. It's a narrow escape. Or, if the person is in a parked car and is shooting at a target who cannot see them, this shows in real life they want to confront someone or something but haven't done so yet. This is more of an emotional release dream to release frustration over a situation they are conflicted by.

In a War

Sometimes, on occasion, people will dream of being shot in a war. Depending on the nature of the dream, this can potentially be a deep soul recall memory of a past life experience. Sometimes however, this can represent an individual feeling at war with an agency, an ideal, a country, a policy and so on. It represents something much bigger than they are, but they are not alone in the fight.


For those who dream of being shot and dying from it often experience a conclusion, possibly finality to whatever conflict they have been at war with. If the dreamer is the shooter and the target is killed by their shot, it shows they are the ones who are ending whatever conflict has been experienced.

Dream Interpretations Conclusion

As you can see, there are many way to interpret a dream. Sometimes we can wake up in a cold sweat, shaking, and scared because of a dream we had. Other times we wake up feeling great because of the dreams we had. Interpreting dreams is of course not an exact science, but there is plenty of evidence that suggests that dreams are all about issues that worry us in life. Our subconscious and dreams can tell us a great deal about what concerns all of us in life.

Other dream interpretation articles I've written about on Knoji which can be accessed through my profile are:

Drowning in Dreams: Meanings and Interpretations

Drowning in your dreams can represent many things that the subconscious is trying to relay to the dreamer. Listed below are common interpretations to what it means to dream of drowning from discovering underlying emotions of fear, being overwhelmed, trapped or the need to express one's self more clearly. Discover new and simple ways to understand what your dreams of drowning are trying to tell you.

Drowning in your dreams can represent many things that the subconscious is trying to relay to the dreamer. Listed below are common interpretations to what it means to dream of drowning.

In the Ocean

Drowning in the ocean is a common theme but there are variations to it that can reveal a lot to the dreamer about his or her daily life.

To drown while swimming out into the ocean can represent that the person usually has a good grasp on their emotions, and swims along with the ebb and flow of life. However, once out the ocean, if the dreamer tires and goes under, where he is no longer able to stay above water, this is an indication that outer influences have just become too burdensome and the person is emotionally succumbing to the pressures and stresses. The buoyancy and balance has become off center and it means it's time to lighten the load in order to float the surface again. So, if this is a relationship that has gone awry, or a job that has become too stressful, it's time to rethink the situation and let go of what's pulling him down.

If the dreamer drowns in the ocean by suddenly being swept under a wave or tide they cannot fight against, this would indicate that the dreamer has been hit by a sudden situation in life that is difficult to process or emotionally handle. If the wave throws the dreamer into the rocks or runs them aground, this can represent deliberate intent from others to "bash" him with hurtful words or actions and they are left in an emotional undertow by it. In this situation, the dreamer is either receiving a warning to what's coming, or, he may have just experienced this in his life and it's his subconscious way of processing what has happened.

If the dreamer dreams he or she is left behind either by a sinking vessel or by someone else and ends up drowning, this can be an indication that the dreamer has a root fear of being abandoned and suffers loss or grief from it. In this case, it's healthy for the dreamer to express his concerns to those he is in fear of being abandoned by, or feels abandoned by, so that it can be resolved by receiving clarity and truthful intention. If this is a general fear that the dreamer has had for a long period of time, it can be helpful for the dreamer to experience a regression either through meditation or hypnotherapy so that he can learn of and remember the impacting experience he went through that caused that. Experiencing divorce, death or sudden loss at a young age can create the subconscious manifestation of this fear that outwardly blankets most relationships in which the dreamer continually feels at risk of abandonment and loss. This can result in clingy behavior, jealousy or feeling the need to hang on extra tight to others so that they are not left alone or abandoned.  

Ocean Waves / Pixabay

In a Pool

To drown while in a pool is a very different scenario than mentioned above. A pool is manmade. It is not a natural body of water. It is artificially kept blue, clear and clean within a constructed foundation that has been intentionally manufactured.  So the question for the dreamer, is, what in his life has become manufactured that looks great on the outside, has all the working parts, but is not a natural representation? This could be a career, a spouse, a lifestyle etc.

To dream of drowning in a pool while alone can indicate that the life the person has built for themselves is no longer sustainable. It is time to downsize and liquidate what no longer serves his or her happiness. This is something the dreamer must choose for themselves, and take responsibility for. Change is a good thing and when one thing dies, another is born.

To dream of drowning in a pool while there are many other people present, this can also mean the same thing as above, but in this scenario, the dreamer may be going through this in a public way. Other people are seeing this and watching what is happening. Now whether or not they are trying to assist the person or just let them drown can be very telling as well.  This will indicate whether or not other people are willing to come to the persons rescue. If there are other people present and they too are drowning in the pool, this can represent a group situation such as a whole family or a company, or even a community that is in a particular situation that needs to be changed. Water of course represents emotion so there is an emotional sadness or loss with this type of dream. However, with all loss, as in all deaths, birth and renewal are just as much a part of the experience.

In a Natural Disaster or Storm

Many people dream of drowning in a flood, tsunami or storm in which water rises fast and they become swept up or under the force of the rushing water or waves.

In this type of dream, we are going to touch on a couple of things; one being precognition and memories from past life experiences. Some people who have actually drowned in past lives will experience it in the dream state as a way for the subconscious to bring it to the surface so that it can be healed and resolved. Unresolved fears and traumas stay with us until we are able to heal them and move forward. So, the dream state is one way in which these experiences try to surface.

In another form, these dreams can be precognitive and the dreamer may be tapping in to a global impact such as a natural disaster that claims the lives of others or affects people in the world in a large way.

In the case where either of these scenarios is not the root cause to the dream, it can traditionally mean how we handle an emotional impact that is a natural part of life and it can be a heads up that something emotionally impacting is about to hit by surprise. This can be a financial loss, emotional loss or even death of a loved one. This can also represent to the dreamer how he is moving through an emotional impact that he has gone through recently, especially if he has not been able to properly cope with life's stresses.

Being that it is a natural disaster or storm of nature, this reminds the dreamer that many things that are difficult emotionally are a natural part of life and how we handle the situation is up to us. Proper coping skills and stress management skills are vital to healing from grief and loss.


As with all dream interpretations, outer lying circumstances can give us many clues to the intricacies and details surrounding the root message. For example, if the person who drowns in the dream is heavily intoxicated, it can represent that they have been in denial or using unhealthy methods to cope with emotional stresses and loss. Or let's say a person is driving a bus or car and it veers off the road, plunging into a lake or river, and the dreamer drowns, this can be a warning to slow down in life, and that they are taking too big of risks that can compromise their health or well being.  Another example would be being trapped or having one's hands tied and movement is compromised which causes the dreamer to not be able to fight for his breath or life. This can indicate that outer influences have forced the dreamer into circumstances that has made him feel victimized or at risk of failure, even if it's failure of a relationship or being able to stay afloat financially.  This can also represent that the dreamer is feeling suffocated and unable to have the proper "breathing room" in a relationship or other position that is having a negative impact on him.

This is just a reminder to the dreamer to take charge and take hold of his present situation and alter the circumstances so that he no longer has to feel victimized or suffocated by things that appear outside of his control.

So there are many circumstances that can change the nature of the message and help us further understand what it means.

As with all dreams, they are messages and the further we are able to interpret and understand our dreams, the better we are able to understand the ebb and flow of life which can give us great tools for healing, growth, and forgiveness.

Drowning in Your Dreams Conclusion

As you can see, there are several types of drowning dreams and each dream can have a different meaning, depending on each person’s circumstances. Dreams can tell us all a lot about our daily life fears and concerns. Learning how to interpret dreams can help us understand our deeper fears and possibly learn to handle our problems.  

Ex-Girlfriend, Ex-Boyfriend in Dreams- Meanings and Interpretations

Dreams with an Ex-Girlfriend or Ex-Boyfriend can represent many things from them thinking of the dreamer, or needing to reconcile and find closure. Discover the many common interpretations.

Breakups can linger with us, even for years and there usually is a period of time in which we have residual emotional release dreams about it that can help us transition through the pain or confusion. For this article, the dreams I'd like to focus on are the ones in which an ex has appeared in dream unannounced or by surprise when in waking life, resolution for the most part has already been made. So, listed below are some condensed interpretations in what it means to dream of an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend.

They're Thinking of You

Many people reach the conclusion of a break up differently and it is common for one partner to experience a longer time of healing and closure than the other. Assuming it is the dreamer who has reached conclusion earlier, it would take them by surprise to experience a dream of their ex but it isn't necessarily for no reason.

Just experiencing the ex's presence can pose the question of "why". Simply, the ex is still seeking an answer of some kind and the dreamer is picking up on it subconsciously. They are in search of closure although depending on the nature of the dream, it can also represent the ex's desire to reconnect and reconcile.

Overly Hostile

In a dream in which we experience backlash or hostility from our ex, it can represent that they are still angry and are working through lingering emotions that are being projected on to the dreamer. In this situation, through simple prayer or meditation, the dreamer can also project an energy of release and ask that the ex find clarity and release from the emotional turbulence so that it can be released.

If the dreamer is being pursued by an angry or aggressive ex, it can also represent the need for the ex to confront whatever emotional imprints they still have from the break up. If the ex in real life were especially an angry or volatile person, this can denote a desire of revenge from the ex. So dreamer beware.

If the dreamer finds they are the ones who are overly hostile in a dream with their ex, it can represent emotional energies that were not fully dealt with at the time of the break up and it alerts the dreamer to confront their own experience of feeling victimized or betrayed so that they can receive healing and release.

Passionate or Sexual

To engage in sexual or passionate activities in a dream with an ex, especially if the dreamer is currently content can represent a couple things. One, the subconscious self is reflecting on the chemistry they have previously experienced with their ex that was pleasurable which doesn't necessarily mean anything except that it is a sexual release dream. However, with a dream in which there is not only passion, but intense emotion, it can also represent a subconscious desire to reconnect to their ex even though they have moved on.

A dream like this can indicate a heads up that the dreamer could possibly experience an opportunity to reconcile or reconnect with the ex under positive circumstances that could lead to reconnecting sexually.

Depending on what kept the relationship together in the first place, this can be an indication that the relationship had chemistry, but potentially lacked intimacy in other areas. Sex was a strong point of the relationship.

If the passion is expressed on both sides in the dream and it has a strong vivid context to it, it could actually represent both people reflecting on this at the same time in their own private lives.

Eye Contact

In a dream in which an ex appears but from afar, and is not making eye contact, this signals to the dreamer that the other person has moved on and they are no longer visible in an emotional or psychological way for the ex. How the ex behaves can be a strong message on where they currently stand in their life on the perspective of the relationship.

In a dream in which the dreamer and ex are face to face but the ex still doesn't make eye contact, this would indicate that the ex still won't face the situation as it is. Denial is strongly present. In a situation in which they look down more than look away, it shows they are looking down on the situation or relationship as it was. How they view it is negative. However, if they look up above the dreamer more than away, and still don't make eye contact, this can represent the ex seeking counsel or advice through prayer and still looking for a way to see what's right before their eyes. In a dream where the ex looks away side to side and rests their eyes on someone else, especially of the opposite sex, this can simply show the dreamer that their ex has their eye on someone else. Now, if this dream under this situation takes place during a time in which they were still together, it can indicate that the ex already had their eye on someone else and it's a way for that to be made visible.

If there is direct eye contact without speaking, then the ex is ready to see or face things as they are.

In Distress

At times, a dream will come in which an ex is in trouble and is crying out for help. Depending on the circumstances, it may actually be true in the present moment. Considering there used to be a strong connection and tie to that person, it wouldn't be unheard of to still be connected enough to pick up on the distress signal of an ex if they are in current need of help.

if the dreamer is the one in distress in the dream and the ex is there to witness it, the same can be said from the previous paragraph, and can be interpreted in reverse.

Small Details

With a dream such as this, it's important to pay attention to the small little details surrounding the bigger picture because often, they will be random things that will happen in our waking life as a way to mark a time period or location and by doing so, those little things validate the stronger message. It can also represent that both the dreamer and ex are on the same wavelength in their life and are able to feel each other still.

Everything means something; all things sensory such as colors, sounds, temperatures, and even times of season that bring the dreamer to pay attention to whether or not it is a precognitive message or takes place in the present or past.

As always, write everything down and pay attention to the surroundings. Are there other people? Where does it take place? Is there something else you need to see or be made aware of?

In Life and Death

If the dreamer dreams of an ex who has passed away, this can be a very special reunion in which the ex has returned in a dream to reconnect and let the dreamer know that he or she is okay. The more emotional or distressing the dream is, the more likely it is an emotional release dream. However, the more positive and visual the dream is, the more likely it is to be an actual visit from the other side.

Other dream interpretation articles I've written about on which can be accessed through my profile are:

Dreams About Lions or Tigers Meaning

Dreaming about lions and tigers can be interpreted in several ways, depending on what you personally associate with them, and universal symbolism.

Sometimes you may have dreams which you suspect have a hidden message. Dreams about lions or tigers can be particularly perplexing if you don't understand what they mean. Your subconscious could be attempting to tell you something that's trapped in the deep recesses of your mind.

According to the psychoanalyst Freud, things which are painful for us to access consciously can become trapped in our unconscious life. A follower of Freud's, Jung, believed that thoughts from our subconscious, and the collective unconscious, can rise into our dreams, and that these dreams can be interpreted if we examine dream imagery and symbols.

According to Jung, the collective unconscious is a universal pool of knowledge we can tap into while dreaming. Animals such as lions or tigers in a dream, would represent common factors we all know about them, and relate to something happening in our personal life.

If you dream about lions or tigers, the first place to begin if you want to practice the art of dream interpretation, is to list facts you know already about the animals, along with any sayings, thoughts, feelings and traits you believe them to have. For example lions are known for:

  • Being proud
  • strong
  • Brave

There are stories pertaining to lions you may have heard of also which could influence your dreams meaning, such as Born Free, and the tale of the lion who had a thorn removed from his paw by St Jerome.

If the two examples pertain to your brain store of information regarding lions, you could add to your list:

  • Wildness
  • Gratitude

If you dreamed about tigers you would build a list about what you associate with tigers, in the same way you compiled the lion list. For example, you may think of tigers as being:

  • Frightening
  • Beautiful
  • Rare

Tigers are associated in films, books and sayings with being both fearsome, and friendly. The way you interpret your dream with them in, will depend upon the circumstances in which the tiger presented itself, and the type of character form the tiger projected. A cartoon tiger, such as Tigger from Winnie the Pooh in a dream may have something to do with childhood, or your inner child. However, a tiger which comes across as vicious and wild, bearing teeth and flashing his claws, is more likely to have something to do with primitive feelings, such as aggression or shock.

The next step to interpreting the meaning of dreams about lions or tigers is to think closely about what happened to you the day before your dream. Perhaps you had a shocking or frightening encounter with someone? In which case the wild animal could represent the person who upset you, and your deepest feelings about the experience.

If you were angry or aggressive the day before your dream, the lion or tiger may represent you. In which case your subconscious may be showing you how aggressive you were, or how angry you felt about something, or towards someone.

Jung also believed that each individual has a shadow side, which goes along with the theory that where there is good there is bad, and where there's dark there's also light. In order to fit in with society and behave properly, we may repress our shadow side. This happens when a person is excessively nice all the time, but secretly feels angry now and then while hiding their true feelings from the outside world.

Feelings which are suppressed, as in willfully withheld, can become repressed, as in pushed into our subconscious out of sight, even from ourselves. Wild, or scary creatures in dreams, such as lions, tigers, sharks, wolves and snakes, sometimes represent our shadow side, which is desperate to resurface because we haven't paid it any attention.