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Sunday, July 22, 2018

What is free will?


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Ion Chibzii

Photo license: CC BY-SA 2.0


What is free will? Here is my definition:


Free will is the faculty that enables a being to make independent choices


I believe in free will because my choices feel independent. For example, when I have to make a decision, I will generate a sequence of thoughts related to the choice. For big decisions, I will normally generate a larger amount of thoughts. Sometimes this process can be difficult and take a long time. At a certain point, I will make a final decision after I evaluate these thoughts. This process feels like an independent choice instead of auto-pilot.


The second reason I believe in free will because consciousness would be pointless in a 100% deterministic human body. In that situation, the human body would be a giant agglomeration of chemical reactions and all behavior would be automatic. The deterministic body would have no need for a powerless spectator. In this regard, I believe that consciousness is evidence that we have free will.



License: CC BY-SA 4.0