I've posted previous entries here about free will. Here is what I posted to a message board yesterday in reponse to someone asking if we have free will:
Most people will probably say that they believe in free will. But have they ever given serious thought to what it is? I've done some thinking about it over the years, and the more I think about it, the more convinced I become that it's an illusion. Why? Because it seems to me that free will means the capacity to choose otherwise. That is, if we look at any choice a person has made, we see that he could have made a different choice under the same exact circumstances and with the same conscious and unconscious motivations. I don't see how this can be the case.
A simplified example I've often used to illustrate this is as follows. Suppose it's a very hot day and you have a craving for ice cream when you happen upon an ice cream stand that offers only two flavors--chocolate and vanilla. You love chocolate ice cream and hate vanilla. You have no motivation not to fulfill your craving for ice cream or to forsake your love for chocolate and choose the vanilla ice cream you hate instead. It seems obvious to me that in this situation and with these motivations, you're going to choose chocolate ice cream and not vanilla, that there's no way you could choose otherwise under those circumstances, and, therefore, you are NOT free to chose or will otherwise.
To my way of thinking, every choice we make is a more or less complex variation of this scenario, and all our choices are equally unfree.
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