The Problem of "Free Will"

 

Is "Free Will" a real entity? Can we quantify and measure the idea of "Free Will"? Well, it turns out we actually can. Well, sort of. Between life potentially being a computer simulation, string theory proposing the idea of the infinite machine, and also competing with the multiple versions of higher intelligence, the idea is not one that can easily be explained.

For all intents and purposes, "Free Will" can be defined as our own actions being dictated only by ourselves, without an outside force coercing us to act a certain way. Even if we inherently possess "Free Will", there are still certain factors that can take that from us. In the most obvious of cases, and political in nature, would be the use of force to coerce a person with the threat of harm to themselves or others in order to obtain a desirable outcome from that person.

Could we still call that "Free Will"? Or let's use a less-controversial, yet easily understood, scenario to help define this idea. Let's say there are a certain set of circumstances in which no one person intends harm upon you, yet you know that certain actions could lead to unfavorable outcomes. If it just so happens that only one outcome would end positively for you, yet seems inherently immoral, is that still a "Free Will" scenario? Could we still call that "Free Will"?

This is an argument that has been raging for centuries, and we are still no where closer to answering this question despite our advances in technology, and philosophy. Is the idea of "Free Will" as intangible and unanswerable as the idea of God? Well, we may not be able to answer concretely whether or not "Free Will" exists in that manner, but we can quantify it in certain scenarios.

Like answering whether or not the universe runs on classical physics or quantum mechanics. What difference does it make if it's run by one or the other? Well that has yet to be seen. I can't say for sure if discovering this will profoundly impact how we philosophize about "Free Will", but I can say for sure that it will play a big role in how we understand the universe. For now, perhaps it's best to choose our own paths, and decide for ourselves whether it's our choice or not.