Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Does having choice suggest free will?

Recently, I heard these phrases again: “I did not have a choice!!” and “We all have a choice.” I have said latter myself as well when people claim that they did not have a choice in a given situation. Perhaps, I was wrong. Last Wednesday, this thought entered my mind: Does having choice suggest free will?

Once you consciously monitor what you’re doing at any given moment then it seems that we are functioning on (semi) automatic pilot. We seem predisposed at what we do, when and even how. Could the never-ending debate on “free will” imply that “free will” is only a hypothetical concept?

The combination of Chinese and Western zodiac (eg, gotohoroscope.com) gives a very high (c.80-90%) match with nearly any personality. Mathematically, this could well make sense as it combines 12 x (12×5) = 720 personalities. Still, a “free will” would be inconsistent with any astrology.

Hence, I have argued before that some 80% of our personality might well be predisposed and that only 20% may constitute “free will”. In my view, dualism (ie, either/or) seldom offers valid explanations.

Moreover, my concept of Faith, Beliefs & Willpower would be inconsistent with “free will”. Belief systems are rigid and would always limit “free will” to a (very) large extent. Our willpower is determined by our beliefs and powered by our faith in our beliefs.

The fact that we have choice (eg, restaurant menu) does not imply that we will make a random pick following our “free will”. Our taste is (largely) predisposed. Hence, nearly all of our menu choices are predisposed, unless we override our taste to broaden our horizon. Perhaps that may qualify as 20% “free will”.

The (hypothetical) concept of “free will” should result from the notion that we have choice. However, what if this phrase is true: “I did not have any choice!!”. If true then “free will” cannot even exist.

In my view, our choices are based upon our priorities in life, while our priorities are a derivative of our beliefs. Often, our beliefs do not allow for “free will” because “free will” would result in a betrayal of our beliefs.

Our answer (“We all have a choice” ) only implies that we would have made a different choice based on our priorities in life. That answer does not evidence “free will”.

Free (1976) by Deniece Williams
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

Free, free, I just got to be me, me, whoa, free
That’s why we want to be free
Free

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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