I know that Sartre does not believe in God, I think his reasoning behind this comes from the fact that if God made us then we can only do what God programmed us to do. We would not have free will because we were programmed by some other being. From what I heard in class Sartre would not think robots and AI do not have free will because they were programmed by us. I do not think that created beings would not have free will though. I think that free will and the idea of someone creating us are not mutually exclusive. For example if God did not exist then that would mean that man would have been programmed by nature and the environment. It would mean that nature created man and gave us everything we have; it would have programmed us to follow survival of the fittest. It would mean that nature and the events around us encoded our genes and us to a certain destiny. This would mean that there is no free will. Nature and our environment would therefore be the only thing that governs us.
If this is the case and we were programmed by something else, then we do not have freewill. So either people can have freewill despite being initially programmed by God or nature or whatever, or freewill does not exist at all. Things like A.I. would therefore have freewill. So the super computer in the Terminator movies would be a rational being.
On a slightly different note why do people assume genetics take away peoples freewill? Like people with a genetic disposition to alcoholism do not have the freewill not to be an alcoholic. They make the choice every time they pick up a drink, and at anytime they can put it down if they really wanted too. They can choose not to drink. It seems to me that genetics are merely blueprints to the body, and that it merely guides people to survival. Instincts are merely tools to help people survive. If Sartre is right though and people are a blank slate when they are born, then people shouldn’t be influenced at all by genetics. But it seems true that genetics will greatly influence people’s decisions. Does Sartre take genetic disposition into account, does he think it matters in terms of freewill and how we choose, or are people truly blank slates that can only be influenced through our choices.