Years of reading (and introspection) has led me to believe “free will” is an illusion. Scott Adams makes the most compelling case for free-will-is-an-illusion that I’ve come across:
“I could ignore any advice coming from my technology, but why would I? My human-made plans work out great about 75% of the time. But a computer-made plan that knows all of my preferences, and everyone else’s too, could make decisions that pay off for me more like 90% of the time.”
“As the trend toward machine-made decisions accelerates, your sensation of free will is going to erode to zero. You will have no sense of making decisions in your life. All you will be doing is agreeing with the excellent decisions made by machines. A baby born today will probably never drive a car or make navigation decisions because cars will handle that on their own. We will come to trust the machines more than we trust our friends or our own bad judgement.”
The idea that we are not completely “in control” of our lives is very frightening to most people. As I’ve grown more comfortable with the notion I’ve found it liberating.