Do You Have Free Will or Are You Hamstrung?

In a previous post, I made this statement:

I’m hamstrong by genes and biology. I don’t have free will at all. I can’t do what I want.

In terms of yourselves, do you agree or disagree with that statement? Can you do anything you want or are you hamstrung by, let’s say biology or possibly genes?

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One thought on “Do You Have Free Will or Are You Hamstrung?”

  1. We are free when we can act according to our own will, not free when we have to obey someone else’s will. We can choose to do what we want, but we can’t choose to want what we want.

    If we could choose what we want, by what wants can we want what we want? Then by what wants can we want what we want to want. And so on. We have to start with wants. Suppose that a boy really wants to become a musician. If his want is frustrated, he feels unfree; if he can pursue his want, he feels free. This is true regardless of how his want to become a musician arose.

    Freedom is not an illusion, but it is something negative, an absence of coercion, restriction, hindrance, obstacle, impediment. Freedom of the will is an illusion if by that we mean that we can will what we will, but that is not at all desirable. Let’s increase freedom where there is little freedom, without being distracted by the fallacy that freedom is illusory because there is no freedom of the will in the sense that we can will what we will.

    We are creatures and cannot create ourselves, but we can be free creatures. God can create the world, but God can’t create God.

    A knife can cut a lot, but it can’t cut itself. A force can impel a lot, but it can’t impel itself. Likewise, we can will a lot, but we can’t will our will.

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