Thomas Aquinas gave this compelling argument in support of free will; "Moral language becomes meaningless if it does not exist". If there was no freedom of will, then our moral practice of praising, rewarding, blaming, punishing, counseling and commanding would be meaningless. That's a practical argument. We have rational minds, so we are capable of choosing between two goods or between good and evil.
Potentially, humans could have in incredibly strong free will. However, society has taught us to submit to authorities that may or may not be morally wrong. We have the ability and flaw to believe what we are told, as well as to deny it. However, society conditions us to believe certain things; to have certain opinions. This could apply to something as innocent as a movie or as serious as religion. We are easily influenced. Peer pressure is also a factor, whether positive or negative.
Humans are capable of expressing strong free will, but we have been conditioned not to. We are told to blend in, to follow the leader, etc. We are told that the ones who don't fit this mold of obediency are oddballs, loners, losers, and just plain unacceptable. Without outside pressure, in a natural environment, humans do have free will. In society, sadly... Not so much...
If having free will means I have the the ability to make a decision and act on what I want to do, then of course I have free will. If I am hungry and have a choice of eating chocolate or an apple, then I decide to eat the apple, because I know it is healthy for me, I have used my free will. It's simple common sense.
This topic has been around philosophy quite sometime, but I'm going to give a simply reply. If human behavior was determined (no free will) then the whole concept of personal responsibility for our own actions would be invalidated. Obviously we live in a world where people are held accountable for their actions. People are praised, exhorted, punished, reprimanded, rewarded, complimented etc. We do this to each other because we all know that we make free choices about our actions. Otherwise it wouldn't make sense to ever confront another (either positively or negatively) regarding their deeds and behaviors if we truly determined.
If you didn't have free will, there wouldn't be a point in choosing between KFC or McDonalds for dinner? Or what is the point of moralities that asks for our undivided attention to good? What is the point of voting? Without freedom of will, our actions, whether good or bad, will hold no weight.
If having free will means I have the the ability to make a decision and act on what i want to do, then of course I have free will. If I am hungry and have a choice of eating chocolate or an apple, then I decide to eat the apple, because I know it is healthy for me, I have used my free will. It's simple common sense.
The human race does in fact have free will but this free will is only used if the person wishes to have it. In most cases this is so but sometimes some people prefer to follow an ideal as it simplifies there life and existence. In this case we may choose our own destinies if we wish to do so or we may follow the flock yet still following the flock is a self made choice.
Where we've been taught destiny, we've been taught to "write our own destiny", either that or we're just.. Here...No reason and if that's true then the only purpose in life would be helping other people and furthering the success of the human race and future generations. In my opinion .
Using the definition "freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention" we do not have free will. This is because every action we take is because of a prior cause. I like to use a crossroads as an example.
Your on your way to work when you reach a crossroads. It appears like you have choices to choose from, but seeing that there is only one road that will get you there, you were never going to take those other roads. If you were never going to take those roads, does it matter if they are there? No. Clearly every choice we make is determined by prior cause, so free will does not exist.
Every decision we make is based on our brain structure. Our brain structure also has been formed by genes and environment that we did not choose them. Neuroscience proves every decision we make is taken approximately seven second before. I am not sure what it means, but I think when I take a decision (When I am thinking that I take a decision), It already has been taken. Unfortunately, it is a fact and human beings must remove death penalty law in around the world.
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Many point toward quantum mechanics, and its standard interpretation's theory of probabilism as support for the idea of free will; that just because a cause is not predetermined means we have some form of control over our own thoughts and actions.
But causality is still king, even in quantum mechanics! Though causes themselves may not be predetermined, said causes still determine their effects utterly and absolutely. To use an analogy, dice cannot influence their own rolls. Or for a more literal example, random number generators cannot influence their own results.
To horrifically oversimplify something that would probably take thousands of pages of text to describe accurately, thought is essentially made of electricity. The structure of the brain allows electricity to take on the patterns known as thought.
But electricity is subject to causality just as much as dice and random number generators are. And like dice and random number generators, it cannot exert any form of self-determination. Causality, whether deterministic or random, controls it.
The brain is a powerful calculator which creates virtual scenarios to help determine the most beneficial path to take. These virtual constructs of the mind are however not truly choices as there can only be one most beneficial path. Although our goals can and do change with time, at any given moment our priorities are fixed. Therefore the choice at any given moment is fixed as well.