Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny
Mankind, or humankind for the more politically inclined, is unique in the animal kingdom. Man has developed the ability to reason. Being creatures of volitional consciousness man can think. Or, choose not to think. Either is an act of free will.
Free will as defined in The Ayn Rand Lexicon... "That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call "free will" is your minds freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character."
There are some who believe that a individual is merely the product of the total of their experiences. That a person's "free will" has little, if anything to do with how ones life turns out. For them life is determined by external forces that are largely responsible for shaping and determining a individuals choices and therefore the path their life takes.
Few people of intelligence would make the statement individuals are not in some degree influenced by their experiences and by events around them. In fact thinking people observe existence as it is, consider many possibilities for what they are observing, and make logical determinations as to how to respond to a given event or circumstance.
In the process of observing, thinking, and making decisions for ones life a individual is exercising "free will" or free choice. To deny a person has "free will", like some on the left hold to be true , is to acquiesce one has ceased to think and therefore has accepted that events and others determine the course of their existence.
In summation, from The Ayn Rand Lexicon...
"To think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call "human nature," the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connection of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs, or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival-so that for you, who are a human being, the question "to be or not to be" is the question "to think or not to think." A being of volitional consciousness has no automatic course of behavior. He needs a code of values to guide his actions.
Merely scratching the surface of a subject all free men and women should think about and understand thoroughly. The opposite of exercising "free will" sometimes results in the submission to tyranny and force.