• As Christopher Hitchens so eloquently put it...

    A religious person would say 'of course we have free will, the boss says we do'. An atheist would say 'of course we have free will, we have no choice'.

    The reality is that we can't even really define free will. We know that, for whatever reasons, we actively engage with decisions, we change our minds, we consider implications, and from a first hand experience choose the way forward. Once a choice is made, it cannot truly be unmade, so much as we make a new choice that alters the effect of the previous one. In that way, we could definitely make an argument that these choices are all predicated on our experience, that we are all cosmic pinball machines that are bound by cause and effect, having no real impact on the ultimate outcome of the universe.

    At the same time, there is no objective way to tell the difference at this point. So I consider us to have free will in the simplest sense, but am open to speculation to the contrary. When you really look at it, the system may simply be too complex to predict with our current level of knowledge. As our knowledge grows, we may end up in an infinite loop where the complexity of the system also grows, further preventing us from fully examining this question at any point in time.

  • Yes, we do.

    I believe we have free will. We make our own decisions at times pay the price for them, other times get something amazing out of it. Each person chooses and thinks differently which is what makes the world so incredible. Every single person has free will and expresses it in their personality.

  • Humans Absolutely Have Free Will

    In all honesty, humans do have free will and can do whatever they'd like. Society places restrictions and regulations on free will, but a person can still do whatever they want, if they're willing to pay the consequences. Absolute free will in civilized society can be a dangerous thing, but personal freedom is alive and well in the United States in most facets of life.

  • No yes no

    New "threats" to the possibility of free will have come from fields such as neuroscience and genetics. Many neuroscientists, armed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other brain scanning tools, argue that, now that we can peer into the brain, we can see that there is no "agent" there making choices. John Searle (1997) approaches consciousness from a biological perspective and argues that the brain is no more free than is the liver or the stomach. Geneticists are discovering that many psychological experiences are linked with gene-environment interactions, such that people with a specific gene are more likely to react in a certain way. For example, van Roekel et al. (2013) found that girls with a specific oxytocin receptor gene felt more lonely in the presence of judgmental friends than did girls without this gene. These results suggest that at least some of what we perceive as "free" responses are really determined by our biology, our environment, or both.

  • What is free will?

    We are free to choose within the perimeters of what is presented, the illusion of free will is what we truly posses. Why is it in our nature to seek repetition? It's safe, finding a routine that works gives a sense of security. Why are we satisfied in this loop, playing the same track over and over? I don't think we are. Why do we try kidding ourselves, thinking what we do is worth while? We bombard our existence with petty dillusions of self worth, ultimately creating for ourselves, a false sense of purpose. Do we do this out of fear? Fear of what? The unknown? Who wouldn't be afraid? Facing the unknown is an intimidating task, and perhaps this fear is what trumps our urge to push the bounds of our own limitations. Now that these questions have been asked are you still satisfied with your plight? If so, perhaps you don't deserve free will. The fact that we can acknowledge these troubling circumstances and go about our pathetic existence proves just that.

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