How free are we? Taking notice of different levels of free will, some scholars could argue we haven’t any.
The different levels of free will are referred to the different social constructs we live in. As a starting point, we have basic laws and morals, you can argue with that as a “constant” we could elaborate our own free will taking for granted the ethics & morals, for example, you can’t murder or steal from a store, taking one degree of freedom out. Let’s say we accept this level of freedom, we will encounter another level, where we have personal and social constructs regarding our own identity and behavior, from here there are things that are completely legal but we don’t feel to make them because is not part of us. Another degree is diminished into the real freedom. But still, in terms of this constructs, we can decide right?.
As Sam Harris suggest free will is not possible when we analyze how the brain works. The decision-making process on the brain its’s mainly located in our consciousness. Neuroscientists have shown the decision-making process is made in our unconsciousness before entering into our consciousness. This means we aren’t in full control of what we think we have decided in the first place, our “inner” brain had already make a decision. On top of that and following the same line of thought (also argue by Sam Harris) is the fact that many variables that make our life possible, are given to us. Quintessential examples are genetics, parents and friends*. All these variables we didn’t decide, are inside our unconsciousness as well, generating even more difficult to consciousness for deciding for their own. Lastly, the self-generating process related with free will in real terms it’s in certain way deterministic, reducing or more precisely “killing” the concept of free will.
- Friends in terms of the social environments that generates those friends, rather than deciding who actually is your friend.