First of all:
The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
In other words, the world doesn’t just appear to be random because we can’t measure everything perfectly, it really is random, as JThunder pointed out.
If we take “free will” to mean that our choices are neither predetermined nor random, it is clearly false. It has to be one or the other, which should be obvious. I cut and pasted the following paragraph from something I wrote a few years back in high school. I don’t really think it requires any changes, so I’m sticking it in as is:
One can easily define the term “determined” to mean, “brought about by preceding circumstances.” One can also define “chance” to refer to events that are not completely determined. This seems to be a fair and simple distinction to make. Therefore, for free will to influence our actions, it must be either a part of preceding circumstances or a chance occurrence. There is nothing else that it possibly can be. If free will is a force that determines our actions, then there is no conflict between the concepts of free will and determinism. If free will means that our actions are not determined by circumstances, including all conditions both ethereal and physical, then it means simply that the decisions we make are, in part, random, again with “random” meaning by definition “not completely determined.” QED.
To summarize, “free will” is a contradiction in terms if the term “will” refers to a force that determines our actions and the term “free” denies any such determination.
When I was a child, I understood the concept of free will simply to mean that the mind controls the body, which seems self-evident enough. But people seem to use it to mean that our choices are somehow not subject to causality, which makes no sense to me whatsoever. Is it just me?
If we take “free will” to simply mean that our actions are not determined, then quantum mechanics would seem to imply free will. But I don’t see how the randomness of our choices makes us any more “free”.
Did that make any sense? :dubious: