Free will at last?

Well, not the kind you’re thinking about. Here’s a picture taken by reader Rory with the attached note,

The advertisement in the attached photo was spotted hanging on the wall of a lawyer’s office in Dublin, Ireland. I immediately thought of you – I’m sure you’ll appreciate an opportunity to obtain free will for a bargain price!

The question is whether you have to mortgage your soul to get it.


  1. GBJames
    Posted June 24, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted June 24, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Our financial planning practice offers the drafting of wills free of charge as part of the financial planning process. So yeah, the evidence supports the notion of free will. Tee, hee!

  3. Janet
    Posted June 24, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    That made my day, thank you Rory and PCC.

  4. yazikus
    Posted June 24, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    And to think I was dumb enough to pay for mine!

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 24, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    One might ask if you get free will with your mortgage purchase, shouldn’t you already have free will in order to legally make the mortgage purchase?

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 24, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I have obtained many mortgages in my time but never went to a lawyer for it. Maybe things are quite different in Ireland.

  7. Posted June 24, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t help to notice that “LICITORS” is an anagram of…

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 25, 2019 at 4:21 am | Permalink



  8. Steve Gerrard
    Posted June 24, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I will pick up two, just in case I lose one. Having a spare free will seems like a good idea to me.

  9. Hugo
    Posted June 24, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    An association just popped up in my head so I’d like to pose the following question to our host and most (I think) readers: how is ‘free’ different associated with ‘speech’ as opposed to ‘will’? I don’t see how we can ‘free speech’ but not ‘free will’, the connotation of ‘free’ is exactly the same in both.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 25, 2019 at 2:20 am | Permalink

      Same connotation, but when you apply an adjective in different contexts its meaning may change slightly.

      This is why ‘free speech’ does not mean exactly the same as ‘free will’. ‘Free speech’ usually means that the ruling regime does not restrict what individuals say. ‘Free will’ (in the meaning usually ascribed to it on this site) means your thoughts or actions are not absolutely predetermined by prior physical influences.

      If ‘free will’ exists then all humans have it, whether they live in an open society or North Korea. They may not have so many opportunities to express it in some places, but that’s not germane to the meaning.

      One could easily have free speech but no free will, or vice versa.


  10. Posted June 24, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Before I purchase your mortgage, can you tell me whether the free will you are offering is libertarian, the phony-baloney compatibilist type?

  11. Posted June 24, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    You only think you decided to get a mortgage. When in fact the laws of physics got a mortgage for you.

  12. Roger
    Posted June 24, 2019 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Thank God almighty, free will at last.

  13. Posted June 25, 2019 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Shortly after the mortgage you may realize that there is a reason it said free. Physics of foundation cracks and water finding ways in will ground you to reality.

  14. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 25, 2019 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    That dual meaning of ‘free’ is something the Free Software movement is always having to explain. ‘Free as in speech, not free as in beer’.

    In the software sense it means you get the source code and you are free to pass it on, use it or alter it in any way you like. This is quite irrespective of whether you paid for it or make a charge for passing it on.

    Many people accustomed to ‘intellectual property’ just can’t get their head around that.


  15. Keith
    Posted June 25, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    What a delightful post! WEIT wins the internet today 🙂

  16. Posted June 25, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    To riff on Dan Dennett: is that free will worth wanting? 🙂

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