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Do We Really Have Free Will?

 

freewillAre we creatures with free will?

Every choice, every decision that anyone makes can be known in advance, IF, and that is a big if, we know all the factors going into the decision.

To illustrate, let me start small. There is a perfect sphere on a perfectly flat surface the is exactly level. That ball will remain stationary until an unbalanced force is applied. If we know exactly what forces are applied to that ball we will know exactly what the ball will do.

Now imagine a grain of sand on the beach. One among millions. Again, if we know every force applied to that grain of sand we can track it’s movement. The motions of that grain of sand are not random, the are the result of all the applied forces. In fact there is no such thing as random. Everything in the Universe is exactly where it must be because of the forces applied. That does not mean we understand all of those forces, but those forces exist and do not require our understanding to apply.

A human is a very complex grain of sand. Not only are there forces such as wind, gravity ocean tides and seemingly random animal activities, but because he is a thinking grain of sand there are the forces of his knowledge, beliefs, and the pressures from other grains of sand. The only difference is the nature of those forces. Just as with that first grain of sand, if we know all of the “forces” at work we can predict with certainty every choice, every decision. Based upon what he believes he knows, his belief system, his experiences and the information available to him at that moment he can only make the one decision. He has the freedom to make the only decision he can.

That does not mean he is condemned to make the same decision every time. His information base is constantly changing. What he “knows” now may not be the same thing he “knows” tomorrow. At every point in time a human will always make the “only” decision he can.