Do electrons have free will?

No, electrons don’t possess free will.

It must possess conscious agency in order to be able to show ‘will’, whether it is ‘free’ or not.

All we know about consciousness is that it emerges from complex living organisms with high cognitive sophistication, nervous systems and consciousness. These things are essential for consciousness to exist. An electron is not conscious in the same way a rock is, so it can’t be conscious. It is not clear whether an electron can have free will.

Concerning the comments made in this thread regarding randomness in electron’s behavior, I believe that clarification is necessary. In everyday language, and in some contexts in physics as well, the term “random” refers to behaviour we can’t predict due to a lack of sufficient information about its previous causes. However, it would be possible to predict if we had complete and accurate knowledge of these prior causes. Also, “random” can be translated as “difficult predictable but still deterministic”. According to quantum mechanics’ standard interpretation, individual quantum entities (e.g. However, the behaviour of individual quantum entities (e.g. electrons) cannot be predicted in principle. It is impossible to predict their behavior even if we have as much knowledge as possible.

As other posters mentioned, it is not yet known if human beings have ‘free will’. It is highly likely (in my opinion) that the whole concept of ‘free will’ is simply obsolete philosophical baggage inherited from religions, which invented it in a rather desperate attempt to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering with belief in an all-loving, all-powerful god (See Theodicy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodicy ); it was only by conferring on human beings the mysterious attribute of ‘free will’, and giving us the ability to disobey divine law, that evil and suffering could be ‘explained’ as things entirely man-made, thereby letting a putative all-loving, all-powerful god off the hook.

There is no mechanism that human beings can think or act without the influence of their physiology. Furthermore, substantial experimental evidence suggests that our perception of free will is not real. Our behaviour may appear unpredictable and complex, but it is nonetheless deterministic. If we had complete knowledge of our physiological and neurological state from one moment, we could predict our thoughts and actions in response to external stimuli and contexts.

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