Tag Archives: Psychology

Do human beings really have free will?

What is free will to begin with?

Is it having control over our decisions and how we behave in which case people who do not have free will are those many in prison or being held captive somewhere. If we carry on down this path – is our free will stopped by what we really cannoy do such as a baby has less free will before it can walk because even if it wants to walk, it doesn’t have the muscle strength yet to be able to support itself.

However, if free will includes control over our thoughts – yes we all have free will because no-one can control our own thoughts, they are completely internal. We can still challenge this for example when a person says don’t think of a black cat, then the more you try to do that, the more you think of a black cat. You don’t want to, you have no control over it, the mind’s natural impulse when you hear black cat is to think of it.

This led me to decide that maybe free will does not exist. Psychologists who says it does are challenging their own profession. Psychology exists to find out why people think and behave they way they do. All behaviour and everything we do is influenced by something, however strong. Even if you say ‘yes I chose to wear those clothes because I wanted to, no-one else told me what to do’ – we are always affected by other people’s opinions, social rules, our genes. Surely if everything is determined by something then true free will does not exist.

If free will does exist, then what is determinism? If we have free reign over what we do and we chose to do it because of our own internal decisions not strongly influenced by anything around us, then acting completely for other people and none of ourself or our personality is telling us to do this, that makes us puppets. And who is controlling these puppets – if we controlled each other, that must include free will.

Ha ha – hurt your brain now haven’t I?

Taking a module in consciousness is good for the old grey matter I find.