Many people who criticize the idea of free will, will say that it implies randomness or chance as the phenomenon of choice. William James embraced this in his essay on the dilemma of determinism. Now, as I am embarking on my own personal leap of faith (which for me seems like a head first dive into the unknown), I find my thoughts wanting to return to this idea. And I think I see some converging parallels between faith and my sense of what free will might be.
I have suggested before that free will may be the desire to take action in spite of a lack of an objective evaluation of what course is best. If we objectively know what was best, we would surely do it. Yet, how often do we really know what action is objectively best? Ever? Even deciding on what criteria to use in our evaluation seems difficult, and then to accurately measure all alternatives seems speculative if not impossible. Yet, we desire to act anyway. So, perhaps we arbitrarily pick some criteria, assume some measures, assign some weights, fake analysis, and act. This may not be much better than randomness or chance, but it appears to be what we do most of the time. We act on partial information based on arbitrary criteria.
Is faith so different? Faith is somewhat subjective. If faith were fully objective it would no longer be faith. A desire to act based on partial information seems like a possible definition for either faith or free will. Are the two so different?