Most people believe that they have free will. This is both true and false.
Humans potentially have free will. Practically, they don't.
Consider this example:
Jim lives in a hotel. He choses his daily breakfast from the hotel’s breakfast buffet. For a hot beverage Jim can choose from the following options: coffee, black tea, green tea, and hot chocolate.
It’s the morning of his ninetieth day in the hotel and he chooses coffee. Was this a free choice? Did Jim use his freedom of will to choose coffee for breakfast?
This question is not easily answered. Jim’s ability to use his motor system (e.g. arms, hands) to execute this or any other choice is actually freedom of doing. The important question is: What made Jim choose coffee?
To answer this question, we need to look at Jim’s past breakfast beverage choice behavior. And we find that Jim chose coffee almost all of the previous 89 days.
This suggests that Jim follows a pattern. This pattern can be pure chance, a habit, or an addiction. With a probability bordering on certainty, this pattern is either a habit or an addiction, which has made Jim choose coffee this morning. Therefore, Jim was on autopilot when he chose his breakfast beverage, which means that he did not use his free will.
It’s the same for any pattern including social behaviors. A pattern also can be to not do something, such as to not eat a certain type of food or to avoid certain social situations.
"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
"Man can do what he wills, but he cannot will what he wills." (Arthur Schopenhauer)
As part of my exploration into consciousness, I researched my own desires and behaviors meticulously for four years. I found their source to be an autopilot that I named the human program, and I saw that every human has such a program. People are conditioned - and permanently continue to be conditioned - to want what they want, to behave how they behave, and even to think what they think. My research showed that humans are controlled by their human program 99.x %.
But there is a way out of the human program. During four years I performed - and continue to perform - a method for exiting from the human program and, as a result, I have reclaimed my free will. The experience has been completely liberating.
(c) Bernhard Kutzler 2016-2018 (12.17)