No idea is more fundamental to who we are than the idea that we are free to choose what we do and who we will become. This idea is known as free will. But are we truly "free" from the forces around us? In what sense are we free? Is it even possible to truly be "free"?
Since ancient times humanity has debated whether or not we have free will. The 5th century BC Greek philosopher Democritus argued that everything was made of indivisible particles called "atoms," setting the stage for what would later become the materialistic view known as determinism. On determinism, every state of affairs was determined by a prior state of the universe, and every future state is determined by the present state. In short, everything that happens was going to happen from the onset of the big bang, and if that's true, there is no free will. Contrast this to the libertarian view which says that human beings are not bound by causally deterministic physical processes and can control their choices free from external constraints. Between them, is a view known as compatibilism, which says we can have free will even if we're fully determined.
Furthermore, many people today think that quantum mechanics falsifies determinism because it shows that the physical world is indeterministic, leaving the door open to free will. But many philosophers and physicists disagree. When you combine this with recent tests in neuroscience that imply our decisions are made by our brains before we become consciously aware of them, it's obvious that the debate over free will isn't over. Free Will Documentary explores all of these topics, and more, in the first ever documentary dedicated exclusively to the topic of whether or not we have free will.
Why make a documentary on free will?
Amazingly, there's never been a major documentary dedicated entirely to the free will debate, despite the importance that the concept has to our sense of identity, and the numerous books written on the topic in recent years. "Free will" seems to be a trending subject that everyone now has an opinion on.
That's where we come in.
Having studied the subject matter for years we will offer what is perhaps a unique perspective. So we're gathering the best minds available on every side of the issue—libertarians, determinists, compatibilists, theists and non-theists alike—to offer the best arguments from each side. The mission will be to educate the viewer on all aspects of free will, the arguments, and the evidence, so that they will be able to approach the subject matter with a level of reasoning far beyond a lay person's understanding. In a sense, we want to change the cultural zeitgeist on its understanding of free will.