Free Will

This guy, professor and certified genius, says Free Will is an illusion. Not an entirely new thought, but he couldn't control himself.

"In Determined, Sapolsky maintains that all beliefs, values, and behavior (“the way you became you”) result from the complex, uniquely individualized interactions of genes, brain chemistry, fetal, infant, and childhood nurture, and the social and cultural environment, over which human beings have no control. Thus, while we can will what they choose (open a door, pull a trigger), we cannot choose what we choose. And just as it makes no sense to blame a tornado for destroying your house, no one deserves to be treated better or worse than anyone else."

Basically, you are but a passenger riding in a meat robot that gives you constant "choose-your-own-adventure" style options for how to react to the stimuli in front of you. These options are programmed by your biology, genes, upbringing, etc., to guide you according to the sum of those experiences.

What do you make of this? Does free will exist? If not, is it a burden knowing your life is, uh, not predetermined, but pre-programmed as a set of responses? Or is it freeing to know you may not have control, meaning you don't have to control?

An Attack on Free Will | Psychology Today

  • FREE WILL exists.  

  • Free Will is the freedom to make your own choices. We are not pre-programmed! Just as I chose to respond to this post and end it here without further explanation!

  • I believe free will always exists, just you are limited by the laws of society and financial freedom. Hence that's why usually there's an illusion of free will. 

  • This is a great philosophical question! I've actually thought about this a lot and I do tend to think that it could be an illusion. I think this ties into the idea of "god" as a watchmaker, or an intelligent designer. The universe was wound up and just keeps ticking. When the universe began, matter and all expressions of matter have a seemingly infinite amount of possibilities. I say seemingly infinite but I do mean a finite amount of possibilities. I don't think we're capable of truly understanding the complexity of the series of events that led two expressions of matter (you and I) into having this conversation. The more I think of questions like these the more I realize that there's much we don't know and I think there's a lot we can't know.

  • Nothing is certain, nothing is absolute, including free will

  • I do believe in free will.  I also agree that much of our life is determined by the environment we live in and the people around us.  I have free will to choose certain things, but my choices would be very different if I were living in an other city, country, continent, etc. and surrounded by different people.  Not everything is predetermined and could change as we go through our lives.  So I guess I both agree and disagree with what he is saying.  Or maybe I just don't really understand at all what he is saying, lol.

  • I believe in free will in that we make our own choices which determine our own outcomes.

  • Absolutely, however everyone is subject to persuasion and manipulation. A sound basis in logic and reason is needed for all so they can evaluate and act on things presented to them.

  • It depends on if the individual is under the influence of another person.