Throughout a day we make many decisions in which we must choose between what is right or wrong, between what we feel like and what is good for us. Given this reality, we can ask ourselves the following question: is our ability to choose totally free or, on the contrary, are there factors that determine our decisions? This question is known as the problem of free will.
The human being does not have a definitive answer on the question of free will but it is a problem that we have all asked ourselves on some occasion
This idea is normally used to refer to our ability to choose between good and evil. Sometimes it alludes to the idea of personal freedom in a general sense. In any case, there are basically two possible approaches:
1) the human being believes himself free because he can choose between different options, but in reality there are all kinds of determining factors that determine our will and
2) although it is evident that certain determining factors exist, our individual will can be imposed on them and, therefore, we are free.
If we start from the idea that everything works from a cause and effect relationship, our personal decisions are largely conditioned and, consequently, we are not free to choose between different options, but the chosen path is the logical consequence of a series of determinants (psychological, social, economic or of any other nature).
In short , there is a semblance of free will because we constantly decisions, but basically the circumstances around us we “forced” to take one path or another. In other words , we are not free because there is always a prior cause that determines our ability to choose.
Arguments in favor
An animal cannot decide that it wants to go against its instincts and a plant cannot stop photosynthesis . However, the human being always has a certain capacity for choice.
It is true that there are very powerful constraints that limit our freedom, but those constraints are not absolute. We could say that we have a conditional freedom.
These approaches do not mean that we can do or not do what we feel like at all times. On the contrary, it implies that despite the limitations and impositions that surround us, we always have a margin of freedom that no one can take from us.
If I am a slave, this implies that I am obliged to obey, but only I decide how I obey. The example of the slave reminds us that there are always rules and impositions that limit our free will and, nevertheless, the margins of action that we have are the definitive proof of our freedom as individuals