Volume 14, Issue 1, 2017
A Probabilistic Argument for the Reality of Free Personal Agency
If the influence of libertarian free will on human behaviour is real, the frequency of certain freely chosen actions will differ from the probability of their occurrences deduced from the statistical calculations and neuroscientific observations and laws. According to D. Pereboom, contemporary science does not prove the efficacy of libertarian free will. According to P. van Inwagen, there is always a random element in free decisions, and hence the effect of the free will remains unknown. Swinburne observes that it is not correct to conclude that libertarian free will has no causal effect in the physical world. One can only conclude that these choices are not neurologically real. People sometimes choose to act on abstract principles, and they can do so on a regular and long-term basis. Consequently, human behaviour can be predicted and explained in terms of personal agency and the reasons upon which the people have chosen to act. Probabilistic calculations strengthen the argument that the best way to explain and predict such rational behaviour is to affirm the efficacy of the libertarian free will, which can overcome neurophysiological motivational states of the body and which guarantees a kind of long-term rational determinism.