Wired Magazine has an interesting article on libertarian freedom: My First Act of Free Will.
The author Jonah Lehrer addresses the problems of scientific determinism – or having a purely mechanical view of freedom.
He notes that:
There’s a certain frivolousness to all these eloquent arguments over free will. The fact is, we are deeply wired to believe in our freedom. We feel like willful creatures, blessed with elbow room and endowed with the capacity to pick our own breakfast cereal.
The question is, why do we feel free? Why are we “deeply wired” to believe in our freedom? Perhaps it is because as creatures created in the image of God we really do have genuine freedom.
The article also referenced a study that correlated libertarian freedom with ethics. People who don’t believe in libertarian freedom are more likely to engage in unethical behavior. In the study “the amount of cheating was directly correlated with the extent to which the subjects rejected free will.”
What we believe about free will actually impacts the decisions we make.