Except for having my balls squeezed in a vice, there is little I find more excruciatingly painful than reading meandering diatribes on free will. I’m continually amazed at the masturbatory essays I come across online, usually written by TruChristians, that boldly proclaim how free each of us is to act as we want, when we want, simply by exercising our all-powerful will. There is not a shred of empirical evidence to prove such a ridiculous hypothesis, nor will there ever be. In fact, all evidence points to the contrary. We are not free. We do not control our destiny. We did not choose to be born. We did not choose when we were born nor to whom. We did not choose which country to be born in nor in which century. We did not choose our race, our gender, our sexual orientation nor our eye and hair color. We also did not choose whether or not to be born with or without genetic defects. We did not choose whether we were born into poverty or wealth or into an Islamic, atheist, or Catholic family. We did not choose whether we were loved, or neglected and abused, by our parents and/or primary care givers as children. As infants we can choose nothing. Everything we are and need comes from outside us. Everything. We are not free. We are an accumulation of all our external experiences. These form our thoughts, our values, and the beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us. The few choices in life we have are not ones of our own choosing. I can not be an African-American woman judge on the Supreme Court, no matter how free my will is, as I’m neither a woman, an African-American, nor a judge. I could choose to torture myself and find a way through law school and, maybe, become some sort of judge, but, still, I can never become an African-American woman no matter how hard I tried. My choice of choices in life are not mine to choose. They were given to me by the world I was born into and by my parents’ DNA.
I’ve searched high and low to find signs of free will recently. “Maybe I’m wrong,” I told myself. “Maybe free will does exist, and I’ve just not found it yet.” So, I got myself a shopping cart and went looking for free will in stores all throughout Chicago, my home town. I went to Goodwill stores, Sears, Wal-Mart, JC Penny, and even a place called Used Wills ‘R Us, but I could find no will that was free; none cost less than $7.98. But, then, serendipity struck, and I found one on Ebay for $7.94. So, I bought it. It wasn’t free, but I figured, “WTF, it’s still pretty cheap, and if a cheap will is even remotely close to a free one, then maybe I can use it to will myself into being reborn into a family of kind, loving multi-billionaires and live my life over in a much more comfy fashion.” However, true to form, all my $7.94 will helped me become was $7.94 poorer than I was before I bought it. I’m still me. My new/used will has made me no freer than my last one, and I’m now more convinced than ever that free will simply does not exist. I suppose I could steal a will from someone more situated in life than I, and see if it made me freer, but, even if it did, a stolen will is still not a free one. Thus, I must strongly reiterate my point: free will is a myth. It simply does not exist. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go check on Ebay’s return policy for used wills.