“You must believe in free will; there is no other choice.”
Vlatko Vedral on free will
“Free will lies somewhere between randomness and determinism which seem to be at the opposite extremes in reality. It’s clear that neither pure randomness or pure determinism would leave any room for free will. If the world is completely random, then by definition we have no control over what will happen, and if the world is completely deterministic we also similarly have no control over what will happen as it would all be pre-scripted. So you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.”
Albert Einstein on free will
“If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.”
John Locke on free will
“For, the mind having in most cases, as is evident in experience, a power to suspend the execution and satisfaction of any of its desires; and so all, one after another; is at liberty to consider the objects of them, examine them on all sides, and weigh them with others. In this lies the liberty of mistakes, errors, and faults which we run into in the conduct of our lives, and our endeavours after happiness; whilst we precipitate the determination of our wills, and engage too soon, before due examination.
To prevent this, we have a power to suspend the prosecution of this or that desire; as every one daily may experiment in himself. This seems to me the source of all liberty; in this seems to consist that which is (as I think improperly) called free-will.
For, during this suspension of any desire… we have opportunity to examine, view, and judge of the good or evil of what we are going to do; and when, upon due examination, we have judged, we have done our duty, all that we can, or ought to do, in pursuit of our happiness; and it is not a fault, but a perfection of our nature, to desire, will, and act according to the last result of a fair examination.”
— John Locke
, Essay, II, XXI, 48
, cited in Daniel Clement Dennett
, Elbow room: the varieties of free will worth wanting
, VIP Garamond, Achorn Graphic Service, 1997, p. 36