Free will. We are taught God gave us all free will. Yet every choice we make has its own set of consequences, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden apple and thus kicked out of Eden…yet true free will would have allowed for Adam and Eve to eat that apple without consequence. We have the choice to get educated and get a nice job, and a nice house, and a nice family, and nice things, but if we don’t do what the plan is to get those things we don’t end up with those rewards.
If you think of free will in that since then, no I don’t’ think we have free will. But then I look at countries like North Korea, you have to have a certain job, you have to mourn the death of leaders (even if you personally didn’t like them), you have to join the army for a certain amount of time….and even in North Korea they have “State-approved” hairstyles for men, and women…even more limited based on your marital status. Then I think yes, we have free will. In America if I don’t want to fight for the army, I don’t have to. I have the right to protest (peacefully) the things I’m against. I have the right to go to school past a certain grade.
I wonder if we’re mistaking free will for consequences to the actions we choose. Do you choose to follow a decent life path, or do you choose to run the streets and do bad things? In some countries you may not get the opportunity to freely decide what you want for your life, but I know in America we do.
Of course, finding that free will if you are mentally unstable is extremely hard…they want to put you in a hospital, pump you full of drugs to make sure you’re not a threat to yourself, or those around you. Yet you can choose to fight the treatment, but you won’t get better. You won’t have the life they think everyone wants…free will I think simply comes down to being able to choose which set of consequences for your actions you get. Am