There is no such thing as real free will

Vickie Collins By Vickie Collins, 26th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>General Non-Fiction

The statements in this post may not be agreed with. In fact, they may irritate some because so often we are taught just the opposite, either religiously or politically. I think both parties are wrong to some extent and will state why.

The neighborhood and envirnment

Every day we get hit by many messages that tell us that we are totally free and can do anything. How many of us have heard that "any young person can be president" in the United States. Or that we can do anything we want to do.

Really? I don't see that as really being true. Yes, we all have the free will to make choices but they are limited by the variety of options that we are shown. I really believe that a child raised in the slums surrounded by people who are thieves, drug dealers or prostitutes is going to have a different list of choices than someone raised in a middle class neighborhood with doctors and lawyers - or even factory workers of the old school.

This is why I feel that it is imperative that those children be exposed to other options because if they aren't presented those options, they can't choose those options.

People will often point out that such and such person was born in the worst slum in Detroit (or wherever) and went on to be a well respected lawyer. I understand, but maintain that in all likelihood, that person was presented with a role model for that behavior. Or, at least was presented a role model who had a different set of values.

No body chooses an option they haven't been introduced to.

And then there is talent

Some of us have talents for different things, which is another way of saying that we don't all have the same talent. Take me as an example, there is no way I could work as a translator at the UN for example as I am seemingly incapable of learning new languages.

And the language thing was not for lack of trying. I took a years worth of French in Hight School and struggled to make Cs and Ds. In fact I think most of the grades were D's. Then in college, knowing French was not my thing, I took German to the same result. And that, kind readers, was after getting tutors and all the special help that they could give me.

Now if I don't have the ability to learn foreign languages, there is reason to believe that others can't learn certain things. That precludes them going into certain fields and therefore is not total free will.

And from the viewpoint of religion

While there is a school of thought that says that we possess total Free Will, to choice for or against anything (usually defined as salvation vs condemnation in christianity), there is another school that says that certain things are out of our control.

Although I don't consider myself a total Calvinist and get highly offended when people seem to negate my pain by quoting trite sayings like she had a long life, I do believe that some things do happen that we have no control over.

What we can do

So, if I believe that we don't have total carte blanche to do anything, and be anything, what do I believe? I believe that we are all free to choice the best alternative that we are aware of.

I have the option of punching a person that annoys me in the face, or telling them to leave me alone. If I choose the right option it will be to tell them to leave me alone rather than immediately punching them in the face. That is what I think "free will" really comes down to.

Having read my article from the top, you will also realize that I believe that it behooves us as a society to give our less advantaged youth more options. We can do that by good education and presenting them with what we as a society know to be healthier options. To the kid that is surrounded by drug dealers, thieves and prostitutes, that might mean showing them a happy secretary or clerk in a store.

Remember, we can only choose between the options we are given.


Free, Free Will, Politics, Religion, Will

Meet the author

author avatar Vickie Collins
I am a gay crossdresser who writes under my non-de-plume. I have a variety of interests, science fiction, religion, psychology. I recently moved from Nashville Tn to New Orleans.

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author avatar GenkiWorld
26th Jan 2015 (#)

hard to accept, but often times very true.

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author avatar Harris Mungai
26th Jan 2015 (#)

Yes we can't do everything we want to do but we can do anything we are capable of doing.This is a good post.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
27th Jan 2015 (#)

i agree...we have free choices but no free will...or else we could fly...ha!
free will is only before we re-embody...thank you

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author avatar pohtiongho
27th Jan 2015 (#)

The joke is those evil people camouflaged themselves themselves as good people and they are mingling with the normal people in clubs, writers' societies etc. Many of them even successfully act as office bearers. !

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author avatar Carol Roach
27th Jan 2015 (#)

yes I agree free will depends on what context you are using it in, is a society such as ours a place of free will ,not at all, try to do anything if you don't get a social security card, I think that is what you call it in America, but in canada it is a social insurance card.

Enivornomentally speaking does a poor poor have free will he can't even get into the university of his choice but we have free will to choose between right an wrong from from a religious point of view I am having trouble posting

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author avatar Retired
1st Mar 2015 (#)

A complicated, fascinating topic. You might be interested in reading my "The United States and False Freedom" article published this month at wikinut. The article opens by comparing the freedom an inner-city youth supposedly has to the true freedom a military brat has living in the safety and security of a well-organized and structured environment.

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author avatar Vickie Collins
1st Mar 2015 (#)

I think I may have already read one of your articles, but I will certainly try to find that particular one. Of course "freedom" is different for the military brat than it is for inner city youth.

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