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Free Will - Does it Exist?

Def'n : Free Will - The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will. So does Free Will exist? That is to say, do human beings indeed have the power of making choices free of any agency similar to fate or divine will? To discover the answer to this, I believe that we must examine what is involved in making any given decision. How are an individual's choices made? Any given choice would be influenced by a combination of an individual's past experiences and to a lesser extend an individual's genetic predisposition. How would an individual make any given choice? They would surely weigh what they perceive to be the pros and cons of each available option and "choose" the option with the most overall merit - however that individual defines merit at that juncture in time. So then how does one define merit? Merit would be determined by previous experiences that individual in some way finds relevent to the current situation. As such, it is actually the experiences an individual has which determines any given perceived choice. One can thus surmise that and individuals course is already set even before an individual arrives at any given perceived choice. An individual certainly has no control over their genetic predisposition. In early life, as a baby, an individual's experiences will be determined by their genetic predisposition (often expressed as instincts) and choices made by their care givers. This results in an individual who did not control the elements that they will call upon to make future choices. A human being is thus confined within any given choice to making a decision based on their perception of the past (experiences). Thusly, the decision is controlled by these factors and not by that individual. So then, what is controling the decisions that a human being makes (and thusly the experiences a human being has)? Def'n: Fate - The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events. Thusly it is my belief that the past is solely in control of the future. The very begining of the universe and all of creation - be creation divine or otherwise, has ever since dictated the course and choices of all that is contained within it. While choices remain subjectively important, no one can be said to have a truly Free Will. I hope I have been able to communicate my idea effectively.
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