Some people claim that free will is non-existent. Some believe that it is an illusion, and that we are the end result of an endless progression of causes and effects. Proponents of this idea will cite how the mind is under the direct control of the chemical processes that led up this moment.
The creation of a specific thought, behavior, feeling, or combination thereof is considered the end of a domino effect, with each cause the precursor to its effect. If we believe this idea we become imprisoned, much like a marionette on stage, only moving because of the external forces of the puppeteer.
This is an insubstantial and superficial perspective and it holds no weight when we stop, think, and investigate. Let me explain. An Infinite number of events influence something as simple as a water molecules mere existence. The amount of information which has affected our cognition- within this moment, this body, this space and in time, is so far beyond human intellect that we cannot know how sovereign we are or if our wills truly are free.
Declarative statements like, “free will is non-existent”, are great for philosophical debate but complete bunk in real world discussion.
Personally, I think free will does exist, but that our understanding of the linear and traceable quality of cause and effect, especially physiologically, has deepened and changed our understanding of just how ‘free’ we are.
We are subject to the causal factors in this life, but their effectiveness is variable. We can become a product of our environment or we can remove ourselves or reshape the environment if we so choose. We can distance ourselves from certain causes, or place ourselves closer to a desired effect. Sometimes ‘free will’ is as simple as walking away.
Neurochemistry is the study of the chemical composition and processes of the nervous system and the effects of chemicals on it. Just because we can answer the why of how this current moment came to be as it is, chemically, does not mean we did not have any influence on the outcomes that led us here. Or that we have a complete and total understanding of every causal factor that can produce the effect we observe.
I see this kind of reasoning often. Some will reason according to limited information and arrogantly make declarative statements, at the expense of an understanding that could have deepened as new information is acquired and calculated into the equation. It always goes deeper, and the questions are reborn.
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