Do We Really Have a Free Will or Are Our Actions Predetermined?

//Do We Really Have a Free Will or Are Our Actions Predetermined?

free will

Have you ever wondered whether our actions and thoughts are a representation of random happening events or if we are truly free in making decisions of our own free will?

Numerous times, we had the chance spoken to us by our closest relatives to hear about our similarities with our parents in the way we look, act and make decisions. If we dig a little deeper, there are not many counterarguments for our own defense, when it comes to that topic. It is true –  we are inherently defined by our ancestors and the genes they transferred to us. It will be so with our own children and the children of their children and so on throughout each and everyone’s family tree. Forever. No exceptions.

So now that we have the clear picture of the inevitable basis for every being that ever existed and ever will exist – we can try to interpret the delicate question of the term free will – the evidence or the possible lack of it. Our DNA strand, in each and every cell in our body, acts as a base for our formation into a living being. Recent studies reveal that the DNA strand can be manipulated and changed by the outside influence. Basically, it acts as a receiver so we can speculate that among various factors of influence – even our actions can affect the changes in our DNA structure.

Thus, we are faced with the consequences of our actions and even our very thoughts, that drive our passing days, created by our own free will. How does it affect us? How does it change us?

How can it possibly transform our inner being? Our essence.

Are our actions and thoughts, for that matter, a representation of random happening events or are we truly free in making decisions of our own free will? Many have questioned and have been obsessed with this dilemma.

If our decision making is indeed influenced by predetermined events, then it is true and we do not have free will. This is known as determinism. Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event, including human interactions, there exist conditions that could cause no other event.

However, if the exact opposite is correct, then our actions are indeed random – which is defined as indeterminism. Indeterminism is the concept that events (certain events, or events of certain types) are not caused, or not caused deterministically (cf. causality) by prior events.

So we find ourselves in a bind. How are we to draw conclusions and at what point could we provide a solution that would benefit us in the best way possible?

We could approach this problem from various perspectives in order to understand it the best way possible. Many religions point out that all our actions are predetermined and that it is for the best not to try to control those future events that have not yet happened. I can colorfully call this “go with the flow” way of going through life. Ever heard of “Que Sera, Sera” – Whatever will be, will be? A vivid example of this point of view.

If we are indeed of control, then we must raise a question. Who is truly in control and to what reasons and benefits. Ego comes to mind as an answer.

Another view is based on quantum mechanics. This scientific theory suggests that we live in a universe based on probability and thus explains that every action represents the impossibility of determinism.

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Nikola Fragerotorio

Nikola is a passionate writer that enjoys art, writing poetry and pondering about thought-provoking topics. Interested about many things, but most of all occupied by expanding his knowledge and venturing into new experiences. With thought-provoking questions and by contemplating the very essence of existence, he ventures into books in search for answers.

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By | 2017-01-13T21:49:09+00:00 January 14th, 2016|Categories: Food for thought|Tags: , , |5 Comments


  1. David Winsland January 14, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    After pondering this issue for a lengthy period of time I reluctantly came to the conclusion that we do not have free will and that our choices are limited to the mundane. We are born with a unique set of tendencies inherited from our parents and our experiences in the womb. These tendencies become modified through our various life experiences; rapidly at first until our personal world view is formed by mid-teens, then slower throughout life. This world view determines our nature and at no time can we act in discord with that nature except maybe in situations of extreme provocation.
    In turn this leads us to be able to better understand the actions of others as we realise we do not know the circumstance they have encountered to make them what they appear to be.

  2. Santhosh January 15, 2016 at 12:15 am - Reply

    We humans are not just random beings.We have a free will.We are responsible for everything that’s happening on the earth at present time.Carbon dating could date only a few thousand years of existence.Do not let the mind wander.Sickness is the end result.Thanks.

  3. Santhosh January 15, 2016 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Carbon dating is the only way we could measure past time.Thanks.

  4. e crosser January 15, 2016 at 6:33 am - Reply

    where do you suppose synchronicity figures into this question?

  5. PETERS January 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    I have my own theory – we have LIMITED free will. We cannot avoid causality, there are things we can’t change and we’re predetermined by several things. But at some point, when you raise your self-consciousness and stop behaving automatically (like bio-computer), you may CHOOSE YOUR REACTION to the event. And that’s our free will.

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Do We Really Have a Free Will or Are Our Actions Predetermined?