• Yes we possess free will

    Yes, I think that humans all possess free will and make decisions that are our own. I think that we have the power to change the course of history, and all decisions are made by humans and humans alone. Free will cannot be taken from us and will always guide our lives'.

  • No free will

    Humans do not have free will. There is no reason to believe we are any different than a computer. We are created from the same elements. When a computer does something unexpected, we do not attribute what it does to free will, we have an explanation, such as that the hardware failed or there is a bug in the program. Same for us.

  • Humans are subject to the influences of society.

    What is free choice? I believe that free choice is defined as the ability of individuals to make decisions unconstrained by external factors. This would inherently be impossible, however, as there are so many factors in play in society that to disjoint oneself from these factors would involve a complete removal from society itself.
    As humans, we depend on language. And is language not a form of persuasion? We are persuaded - usually unknowingly - a multitude of times throughout our everyday lives. That advertisement about that new restaurant, perhaps, or maybe that movie trailer about the new premiere 'coming soon to theaters'? All of these factors are influencing our choices, subconsciously guiding our decisions in a commercial manner.
    Beyond just this though, 'free will' is also limited by an individual's personal cognitive perceptions and experiences, which can influence and alter the decisions that individual makes. An exemplary portrayal of this concept is religion. Various religions have their own beliefs, and those who are not religious have their own disjoint beliefs as well. An individual who has been born and raised in a religious community is much more likely to make decisions befitting that particular religion than someone who belongs to a different religion or perhaps no religion at all.
    Going off of the previous example, an individual's upbringing also plays a monumental role in his/her decisions. A child will often, if not always, derive certain beliefs and attitudes from his/her parents or any role models in his/her life. For example, a young boy may hear his father denouncing that presidential candidate, or that girl may develop a love for books after she reads that fantastic novel her teacher recommended to her. We are all subject to the influence of those around us - parents, siblings, teachers, friends, anyone and everyone we come in contact with impart a little bit of themselves - their thoughts, their mannerisms, their ideals - into us.
    If so many factors are in play when we make decisions, then, can we say that we, as a species, really possess 'free will'? I am not questioning human rationality - we are evidently able to make decisions, but the point is that these decisions are shaped by the infinite number of factors that are in play in our lives. As such, I believe that humans beings do not possess 'free will'.

  • Without the semantics...

    Yes I believe we do not have free will in its more individual sense. I do not believe our decisions are garnered from choices that aren't affected by a plethora of other factors. I conscribe to a more Buddhist view here, but only in the sense that everything is connected. Events, situations, people, places, beliefs, groups, scenarios, ideals etc.

    If we cannot separate ourselves from the million factors that influence our thoughts, identity and behaviour - then no, it is unlikely that free will in its truest sense of definition, exists and that we possess it.

    We take ideas, and we construct ideas from other ideas we've already known. Thus our decision making is a list of variables that are somewhat predetermined. Technically we have a choice as to which variable to select in any given set of options, however, there is always a reason to choose one variable over another, and thus we are always connected to the reason that brought us there.

    If free will were truly possible, I would say that you could be anyone or anything at any time, simply by wanting it so. Your body could not constrain you, because there are no limitations. If it is truly free then it can be done. If you don't see it that way, then you have to argue that there my be free will but there are significant limitations to the freeness. But then you have to ask yourself... How free is it then?

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