Many of us would agree that free will is a conscious and voluntary ability to choose between different courses of action. When we make decisions by our own free will, they are generated by our internal conscious self, without any kind of external influences. Even when we make a decision alone in the wilderness, the Mother Nature won’t hold a gun to our head. Based on our knowledge, moral values and experiences, we would know whether a choice is right or wrong.
What we are experiencing in this world is a reality, not just a simple illusion. With our own free will, we can take the proper course of action that benefits us most. When making decision, we may need to shift our perspective between different options. We even have the free will to not choose any of the option, because they could bring unfavourable results. We probably all believe that we have the free will, since we are essentially our brain.
Our brain is what really makes us. Our brain believes that it has the free will to do so many things. Although it is physically just a soft lump of synapses, neurons and water; there are complex neurochemistry and biochemistry actions that produce mind.
Obviously, the chemical reactions in our brains involve electrons, atoms and molecules. So how the free will manages to emerge from these chemical correlations? Obviously, there are many things about our body that we can’t control. We don’t decide to have sudden heart attack; but such an illness may eventually occur. It has been verified by some experts that our decision-making process really stems from our subconscious mind.
We may have deep perceptions on a number of things; even they are just our mental illusions. In this case, they argue that conscious free will doesn’t really occur.
The moment we open our eyes and wake up – to the moment when our brain enters the sleep phase, we are bombarded with so many sensory inputs, including touch, smell, taste, sound and sight. However, we experience the sensory isolation when we go to sleep. Unless there’s a violent vibration or really loud bang, we will always sleep soundly. This is the moment where we start to have uncontrolled dreams.
Our dreams are also places where we may have free will. Some people manage to enter the lucid dream phase, where they are able to have much more control on elements in their dreams.
Some of us may wonder whether free will involves an unlimited number of different choices. It is probably true that our brain may come with dozens of new alternatives; but people could have different intellectual capability to come up with more alternatives. This is especially true if our options are limited. There are cases where we have absolutely no say in multiple situations, where more dominant forces could have control on our actions.
This could occur around us, especially in families. Many children are dictated by multiple rules in the family and parents regularly enforce proper actions that children need to do.
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