the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.
The Answer: “No, there is no free will”
1.A random event would imply there is an effect without a cause. So we can conclude, based on evidence, that there is no effect without a cause, therefore there cannot be Random events.
Free will could be re-defined as the option of making random decisions , decisions that are free of other causes. But there are no random events, therefore there is no possibility of having “free will”.
2.Let’s assume for now that we do have a “free will”. Given the fact that we do not have all the information and all possible options available, my free decision will be forced into a set of very limited options, non of the options representing my free will. So even if we would have a free will we would not have a way of using it.
3.Let’s disregard, point 1 and 2 for now. How do we make decisions ? We receive some data (either external source or internal source like a memory), analyses it through the Conscious mind, based on available facts, at the same time the Subconscious mind makes an analysis through various neural networks and presents an answer in the form feeling good or feeling bad about that possible decision. The final decision will be a combination of the two, so all our decisions are in fact emotional decisions to some degree. If we have to decide on a short problem with known answers the response will be mostly logical (Conscious mind), if the problem is vague, the Subconscious mind will take into account past event or information and the decision will be mostly emotional.
With this in mind, is not clear, how “free will” would play a role. To have free would be to be able to ignore both Conscious and Subconscious analysis and decide contrary or unrelated to both conscious and subconscious analysis.
- Free will is useful for society because it is linked to responsibilities. If one is not responsible for its actions because there is no free will, society doesn’t really have a justification for punishment. If a cat wrongs us, the cat is not going to jail because it does not know better. We, humans, without free will, will have to be judged like a cat, or like a “mentally ill”.
- Because one has free will, one can make different choices, making him solely responsible for its own faith. The rich use the argument “I have made better choices” to justify their wealth, while the poor is kept in check by the same argument: you are poor because of the choices you made.
- Free will argument is used to counter inequalities. Remember if you are at the wrong end of an unequal system, your influence, therefore you happiness is diminished, your chances of reproduction and seeing your off-springs developed, are diminished. Therefore we, as a species, don’t like social inequalities or an unfair society. If it can be proven that through your own actions you deserve to be less influent (let’s say poor), then you can’t use the argument of fairness in your favor. It will actually be used against you.
- Meritocracy also claims equal opportunities, followed by a segregation based on merit. But merit, can also be reduced only to better choices in life which only matter if we have free will.