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Have you ever had a college dorm room conversation with friends-possibly under the influence of alcohol and other substances-discussing ‘reality’? I can almost guarantee that if you had one of these talks, the conversation will eventually find its way to the ‘brain in a chemical jar’ hypothesis. According to this view, there is no free will because reality itself is the product of chemicals our brains are exposed to. Reality is an illusion.

In fact, a lot of people— and I’m talking about high IQ individuals here, with dozens of years of graduate school experience and accreditation— are convinced that there is no such thing as freewill. They think that it’s some sort of illusion.

Well, I can understand why people think this way. After all, the whole idea of “causation” has been proven by David Hume, the famous Scottish philosopher, to be an illusion.

Usually when you see two cars that slammed into each other and people come out all messed up, you would think that it was caused by those two cars slamming into each other. David Hume famously described that this is not the case.

It may look like it. We may perceive it that way and that’s how our mind puts everything together. However, from using pure logic— I’m talking about hard-core, unadulterated, crystal forms of philosophy— causation doesn’t exist.

From this, a lot of people are under the impression that free choice and responsibility do not exist. They’re just illusions.

Here’s the problem. If you negate choice, then what do you have? You basically have a cosmologic puppet show. Somehow, someway, somebody’s pulling your strings and feeding thoughts into your head.

I know that sounds crazy and preposterous and it is. That’s why you have to believe that you have a choice. You’re thinking what you’re thinking. You’re analyzing this the way you’re analyzing it because of your choice.

It may not jump out at you and it may not be obvious, but it is a choice. It’s something that you have control over. It’s something that you can take ownership of. It’s something that is part of who you are.

Celebrate it. Don’t be embarrassed by it. Definitely, don’t run away from it. Take dull ownership of it and you’d be able to live a fuller life. At the very least, take ownership of it to the extent that you can change your space which can lead to a change in culture.