Free will is the ability of someone to decide freely what they will do. The general belief is that human effort can influence events, that are not prearranged in advance by God, or as Halstaff says in the Merry Wives of Windsor :”The world’s my oyster”, meaning that you can do or achieve anything you want. Free will also has a religious and a historical meaning which are very important for us in order to better understand the concept of it.
Among all the forms of life we souls may take, Human life is the best because it offers us the higher intelligence with which to achieve spiritual progress. In plant or animal bodies, our consciousness is too undeveloped. With the higher awareness of human life comes greater responsibility. Animal life comprises only four activities : eating, sleeping, procreation and defending. Human beings are no better than animals if they spend their lives in similar pursuits and don’t attempt self-realization. Free will also appears to be a condition for one’s accomplishments of the autonomy and dignity of persons and of the value we confer to love and friendship. It is the ability to select a course of action as a mean of fulfilling some desire.
Thomas of Aquinas once said that: “Man is endowed with free will, or else the advice, the urge, the commandments, the forbiddingness, the reward and the punishment would be in vain”. That is why we sometimes think we are doomed and sometimes blessed by the law of free will.