For many years, many great scientists and philosophers have often pondered as to the true meaning of free will and whether or not it exists. Various theories have been proposed in this regard and the credibility of any or all of these if absolutely open to interpretation.
A Deterministic Universe?
One of many theories is that of a ‘Deterministic Universe’ which states that the realms of space-time are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. It’s repercussion? Well it essentially means that your actions can be determined over a period of time owing to the fact that they have already be ‘fixed’ in space-time. However there are various paradoxes in this theory, one being that if an individual is being trialed for murder, does one judge him guilty or does this model of a deterministic universe work in that scenario too? Science agrees to a certain extent to the eligibility of this statement, which in the later years to come were completely disregarded by a scientist named Heisenberg.
Uncertainty In Reality?
According to his theory of uncertainty, he proposed that it is impossible to locate the position of an electron due to the constraints provided by certain parameters, namely, velocity and coordinates. Thus, there always existed an uncertainty in this deterministic model; the proposition being criticized by Einstein who famously said, ‘God does not like to play dice with the universe’. In this sense, there is a certain amount of free will that exists and one cannot determine the course of future events based on the past.
Libertarian Free Will?
This term is coined for an ideology that states that humans have absolute control over the decisions they make and have an absolute free will in that regard. To state an example according to this model essentially means that your decision to eat something does not necessarily depend on the chain of events leading to you eating your breakfast and could simply be that caused by certain non-physical events, say a craving.
However this theory too has its drawback in the sense that if one makes such random decisions, what is the source of it’s origin and whether or not there is some sort of logic behind it. If this is accounted for, it simply turns into a case of a deterministic approach, a counter argument to that of this theory.
One would like to believe in the concept of free will because it feels more intuitively liberating and makes the individual in control of the situation. But, there have not been enough arguments to support its cause and thus is not considered as a fact.
What model do you think best governs our universe and the psyche of humans? Do share your thoughts.
The chain of events that lead you to commenting or reading this article may not be a result of free will, it may be a predetermined chain of events. Or was it?
To know venture deeper into this thought, do check out this TED talk.