Free Will

If estimates of future happiness are the same for multiple courses of action, within the margin of error for such estimates, then we have free will and choice of a particular course of action must be made randomly. Whereas if the estimate for future happiness for one course of action exceeeds estimates for all other possible courses of action, within the margin of error for such estimates, then we lack free will and are fated to choose that course of action.

In modern society, margin of error tends to swamp differences of future happiness estimates, so that free will is the norm. That is, though estimates of future happiness may differ between eating an orange versus an apple, marrying A versus B, career X versus Y, margin of error is greater than these estimate differences, and thus there is free will.

An example of a situation where free will is absent is closing the mouth and pinching the nostrils so as to hold the breath. Free will diminishes as the minutes tick by and eventually disappears entirely, as the decision to release the breath becomes inevitable.

Overall happiness is a blend of bodily and spiritual happiness. Because spirit is so malleable, spiritual happiness can be made equal for all courses of action, implying perfect free will for spirit. Thus issue of free will versus determinism only applies to bodily happiness (composite of bodily pleasure and bodily pain). Corrollary is that the higher the level of spiritual development, and thus the more overall happiness is determined by spiritual happiness versus bodily happiness, the greater the free will. That is, people who live mostly in their minds have tremendous free will. People who are more closely attuned to body and soul have little free will. Astrologers say "the stars impel, they do not compel". That is, matter (which is difficult to change) and soul (which is impossible to change) together create destiny. However, destiny can be overridden to a limited extent by spirit. As spirit develops, so does our capacity for free will.