In previous posts, I alluded to human beings having free will. Some readers have questioned whether we have free will at all. Let me discuss free will here, and please make comments related to your views on free will. I view free will as being an important concept in human affairs. Life surely involves changes and choices. Free will is having the freedom and the capacity to make choices, and how we handle the changes coming from chance. I understand the beginning of our life was not our choice, however I ask, “How much freedom do we have in making choices related to its ending?” I view freedom and free will as emanating from natural laws and natural human rights. However, in my reading of human history, freedom for the common man has only been supported and advanced over the last 200-250 years. And, pointedly for most of those 200-250 years it was the rights of men (often white men). I consider much of the headway in our right for freedom as being a byproduct of the American and French Revolutions. Preceding these two immensely important insurrections, freedoms for/of the common person was limited and controlled by monarchies, autocracies, and major ecclesiastical sects. There is an everlasting need to be on-guard to defend and protect the freedoms associated with our human natural rights. In the modern era there are parts of the world controlled by powerful autocractic regimes where certain human rights and freedoms are forbidden and curtailed. Communist China alone limits the rights of its 1,400,000,000 citizens.
I aggressively support the notion that all of us have the latitude and facility to make well-thought out clear choices. Freedom and free will overlaps with our ability to change, be free-spirited, to self-evolve and to make our own moral decisions. I see free will within the locus-of-control concept I referred to in an earlier post. I associate an internal locus-of-control with freedom and free will to make decisions. I have pondered on the questions: “How much freedom do cultures have in a world of natural laws?,” “How much freedom do individuals have in a world of cultural norms?,” and, “How much freedom do I have in making choices in my life?” In my life there are times when inner and outer forces coalesce so fast that sometimes it seems like I have little freedom to control them. If we live in a classical-deterministic absolute Universe can there be freedom for cultural and personal choices (post to come)? If we live in a quantum-relativistic random Universe, what would be the reason to make moral choices (post to come)? Nicholas Fearn proposed that, “if determinism is true, there is no role for free will in our behavior and we need a new concept for responsibility.” (2005) In posts to come I discuss three models related to our ability to make free moral choices and decisions. What do you think of Sigmund Freud saying, “most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”