The Cost of Free Will is in its Consequences
What I am really interested is the mechanics of choosing and cost of the Consequence of Free Will. This is not an academic attempt, it is trying to follow a rational argument without particular references to others.
The subject of Free Will has been widely analyzed but mostly in the context of allowing freedom to choose. I put forward the notion that Freedom is political while Free Will is personal. Freedom determines the cost of Free Will if the resultant action has an impact on society or political system. Agents (an awkward term for person) are always in charge of their Free Will.
At any one time something presents itself that requires a decision to act upon or not. Even if it is to do nothing it is still a decision. Predictions are made to forecast what the consequences will be of any particular action or not, then decide accordingly in the expectation that the yes-no decision will turn out for the agent’s benefit, which can be material, moral, everyday management of life or to boost self-worth.
Usually there are multiple choices each of which can be analyzed on the merit of likely success. The analytical process is an amalgam of coping with something new and applying past experience to arrive at what the best course of action would be.
The most important aspect of making choices, the Free Will, is that anything the agent does-or-not has consequences and the agent as the source of the action is responsible whichever way they turn out. The Free Will is entirely within the remit of the person. Agents are always free to face the consequences of their decisions even if they are detrimental and could affect their very existence. A slave could decide to disobey, a Free Will, knowing full well that he will be punished, even thrown to the sharks in a Roman slave owner’s villa…The slave could have decided, in this extreme example, that his self-worth was more important than his existence. Those who display defiance against dictatorships always carry the risk of annihilation. This same principle applied to martyrs who sacrificed themselves for their beliefs. These instances of the Free Will extend Free Will to the extreme.
A democratic political system assumes, by way of the universal franchise, that those who vote are capable of making rational choices; the state confers wisdom on all of the electorate. The state assumes that voters are capable of receiving information, are able to analyze the information to arrive at rational decisions whom to vote for, then, act casting their votes. The voters thus have to accept that whomever they vote for will be ultimately, the system being representative, their responsibility for they chose them. Equally the law assumes that those who acted unlawfully were capable of making rational, Free Will, choices. There is no escape from the sense of responsibility for what the agent does is his/her alone.
The mechanics follow whether we decide to sit down or to marry:
prediction > cum analysis of available choices to accomplish intent > the chosen action
> consequence of action (non-action also has consequence). The consequence is then compared to the prediction.
Intent > I want to sit down at a party
Prediction > there is an armchair but it seems rather low to get up from Prediction > there is a chair but it looks a little rickety
Prediction > sitting down means being out of the conversations with others who keep standing
Action > keep standing, conversation is dull wished to have sat down in armchair
Consequence > feel tired
Experience > stored for future predictions.