Free will as described in Wikipedia is as follows ‘ the ability of agents to make choices unimpeded by certain prevailing factors. Such prevailing factors that have been studied in the past have included metaphysical constraints, physical constraints, social constraints and mental constraints. the principal of free will has religious, legal, ethical and scientific implications”.
In fact no one has the power of free will, there will always be factors which we take into account, it is the law of nature, we have options and make the decision based on the most favourable outcome we see at that moment in time. In hindsight, we clearly see where we made wrong decisions, alas it is usually too late. It is all about probability and odds.
Descartes, of course would disagree with me. In his view, a person consists of two ingredients body and soul. He believed the soul was not subject to scientific law. He believed a tiny organ in the centre of the brain called the pineal gland, was the principal seat of the soul. The place where all our thoughts are formed, the seat of our free will.
If this was the case then every mammal, fish and insect would have free will no? As Hawking said, do blue-green algae or bacteria have free will, or is their behaviour automatic and within scientific law? How do we decide who and what has free will? Which would then mean every living thing has a soul too?
Christopher Hitchen’s was once asked “Do you believe in free will” to which he replied “Do I have a choice?”
Sam Harris also wrote a book on Free Will in which he said:-
A belief in free will touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality – as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement – without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion
ROMANS 9:16 – so then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on god, who has mercy
PHILIPPIANS 2:13 – for it is god who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure
EPHESIANS 1:5 – he predestined us for adoption as sons through jesus christ, according to the purpose of his will
JOHN 3:27 – John answered ” a person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven
EPHESIANS 1:11 – in him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will
Stephen Hawking covers free will in his “The Grand Design” he says :-
Do people have free will? Though we feel that we can choose what we do, our understanding of the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets. Recent experiments in neuroscience support the view that it is our physical brain following the known laws of science, that determines our actions, and not some agency that exists outside of those laws. For example, a study of patients undergoing wake brain surgery found that by electrically stimulating the appropriate regions of the brain, one could create in the patient the desire to move the hand, arm or foot, or to move the lips and talk. It is hard to imagine how free will can operate if our behaviour is determined by physical law, so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion.
Saying man has free will is in actual fact the get out clause for religion. Tell me, do you think for example, a woman who kills her children because she heard god tell her to do it, had free will? No, she was indoctrinated and brain washed into believing her faith so much , she was hearing voices in her head, telling her to kill her children….
Do we think the gunmen who committed those atrocities on the Charlie Hebdo offices , were using free will. No they were brainwashed and indoctrinated, into believing that drawing a cartoon picture was worth murdering , men and women for.
Religion will use the excuse of free will to disassociate themselves from the evils done in the name of religion.
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