Meaning of Free Will
What is Free Will:
Free will is the power that human beings have to act as they consider and choose. This means that people are naturally free to make their own decisions, without being subject to pressures, needs or limitations, or to divine predetermination.
Free will means, in short, that human beings have freedom both to do good and to do evil. And this, of course, has its ethical and moral implications, since the individual who acts according to his free will is also responsible for his actions, whether they count as successes or errors.
Hence, free will extends to other areas of human life, such as religion, philosophy or law.
Free will in the Bible
According to the Bible, God gave man the power to act as he wishes, regardless of whether his decisions are good or bad.
In this sense, biblical passages abound that point to the freedom of men to choose the path they have to take: if the right one, which is - from the point of view of Christian doctrine - God's, or the wrong one, which it means deviating from God.
Hence this statement found in Joshua: "Choose today whom to serve" (XXIV: 15).
Free will in philosophy
Saint Augustine of Hippo held that free will supposes the possibility that man has to choose between good and evil.
In this sense, it is a concept applied to the freedom of the human being to do good or bad. However, he distinguishes that what is considered as free will is the good use of this freedom.
On the other hand, according to determinism, all human behavior or choice is rooted in a cause, so that our decisions would be indefinitely determined by all the causes that pre-exist them, which would mean that there is no possible choice and that free will in reality does not exist.
However, there is also the opposite position, wielded by liberals, who do not recognize the thesis of determinists and, therefore, affirm that free will does exist.
Free will in law
According to Criminal Law, free will serves as the legal basis for the punishment of offenders. This means that if an individual, by committing a crime, has had the freedom to decide to do wrong, then he has also chosen or accepted, accordingly, the penalty or punishment applied for said crime. This, of course, in case impunity is frustrated.