If you look carefuly, all the ones that think that Free Will isn’t real base their arguments on the assumptions that we are all identified with our ego. By ego I mean all the physilogical and psychic processes that are occuring right now in our body. When someone is mindful about the ego and is thus not identified with feelings thoughts emotions there is freedom. Freedom from attachment with the ego. And i think that s what freedom truly is
All the “Ego” stuff aside (mainly because I don’t understand it enough to argue with it) – I have absolutely no idea whether it does or does not exist. Also, there is obviously no right or wrong answer to this, it’s just a subjective conclusion one comes to and lives their life with.
You have to determine first if there is such a thing as predestination. Meaning that whatever you do, it was already determined to happen well before you were able to form that will. If predestination/predetermination is the foundation then no, there is no free will.
However, if you do not believe in this, we can take it further from here. And continue with the next question: What is freedom, and are we ever truly free? Are we not influenced by the people that surround us, the culture we grew up in, religion, political beliefs and current norms? We cannot look at ourselves as separate individuals outside of society because we clearly are a part of humanity – therefore there is no complete, untouched independency or freedom of others’ influences.
Also, for there to be a free will, there need to be enough available options upon which we can act. If we assumed that you are a prisoner in someplace where any sort of disruption will be punished, then you don’t really have any free will, as you do not have any options other than obeying the rules (considering, of course, you do not want to be punished).
In a less extreme example, you can execute free will by choosing between fruit loops or an apple. But this is where it gets interesting – your free will can actually “expand”.
By this I mean that the more options you learn to see during a current event, the more freedom you have to choose and act upon it. And most of the times this is achieved through good (self-)education, because it widens your horizons – and this is how a person can eventually empower themselves and others.
Let me make an example. There was once a chinese farmer from a small province. A big company was dumping their toxic waste on farmland and poisoning the groundwater. But because all farmers were poor and uneducated, they could do nothing but submiss – they did not have any “free will”, because there was nothing they could do.
Eventually, the man has had enough and went to the library to study law by himself – for 11 straight years. He figured out a way to sue the firm and won. Now they can all grow healthy crops again.
So. I think free will does exist, but it can be limited or expanded by others and yourself.
Firstly i believe there’s no such things as predestination or stuff like that as time doesn’t really exist. I mean just think about time. What you see as past or the futur is a mere set of thoughts. That’s really what it is. Nothing more than a set of thoughts. Thoughts which are psychic phenomenons are part of your ego. That’s why the notion of ego is such important. Some situation may be desperate but there’s still Free Will because your chose to identify with those thoughts or feelings that a particular situation or stimulus generates. In the case you are identify with your ego which includes stuff like conditionings with normes religion dogmas etc… in this case i think that there s no free will indeed. And in fortunately this is the case of so much people. Bring me whatever situation you want and i’ll show you there’s Free Will somewhere…