Free Will And Homicide


The question of whether free will actually exists is a difficult one to answer. There does not seem to be a definitive answer as to whether free will exists or whether it is just a belief. One idea of free will is that it could be a belief that stems from a need to be able to punish others for behaviours that are seen to be anti-social. Therefore where there is a society that acts to punish criminals this is a society where people believe in free will. This theory coincides with the fact that were societies that believe in self-will, there tends to be a high homicide rate.


Countries who believe strongly in free will tend to be the industrialised western countries such as European countries, Australia and America. In each of these countries, the rate of homicide tends to be far greater than in countries were free will is either taken away from citizens or where people simply do not believe they have free will.

The United States has laws in place that prohibit the killing of another human being and yet still the rate of homicide is large. It is believed that there are approximately 5 homicides per 100,000 people. The idea of free will suggests that we must punish those who use their free will in order to carry out crimes such as homicide.


There is a need to suggest that people need to believe in free will. It is just as important as other issues such as believing there to be a soul or believing that you have freedom of speech. Take away the belief of free will, and you will be taking a way a freedom that is believed in. Therefore to stop believing in free will does not appear to be the answer in cutting down the amount of crime including homicide.

There is however another way of looking at punishment. Most punishment today is aimed to punish the individual and take away their freedom. However should you replace punishment with rehabilitation, an individual can learn to use their free will in a much safer way.


A society that believes in free will is more likely to commit crimes such as homicide. However taking away the free will does not appear to be the answer in solving this issue. Instead a fresh look at the way a society punishes their criminals could provide answers for people to live in harmony with one another.