The decisions we make in our everyday lives give us a sense of freedom, right? But perhaps this freedom we experience is just an illusion. What if we are ruled by another, unnamed force, one interested in its own needs for survival? How do we, as intelligent human beings, know ourselves if our free will is truly free?
All human behavior is the result of chemical processes within the brain- which all occur in fairly predictable ways. Behavioral genetics reveals that all human behaviors, even ones we believe to control, are heavily influenced by inherited genes. A science known as cognitive neuroscience finds that our thought and emotions can be traced back to electrical and chemical activity within the brain. Furthermore, our personality and behaviors are easily altered by the introduction of drugs into our system.
No one human has any real control over our thoughts, feelings, or behaviors-though our brains are designed to make us believe that we, in fact do. Every decision we have ever made was ultimately the decision of our brains. This is due to the fact that all human decisions are decided by neural impulses within the brain, changed and being changed due to the evolutionary processes of the human race. Furthermore, our cultures—our up-bringing—greatly influences the random neural influences that are our decisions. We do not rule our brains, our brains rule us. The concept of free will is an illusion, one that is out-dated and proven false.
The cosmic “roll of the dice” commonly referred to as free will in western culture, can be more accurately described as something much less ethereal—neuroscience. Every human being has faced temptation-whether it is to consume something known to be unhealthy or smoke a cigarette. These temptations are a direct result of neural impulses in the brain developed for survival during a time much less developed than our own. At the same time, there are other impulses combating this temptation, developed during a time when the mind is focused on image and health. “A new study found activity in a tiny clump of 256 neurons that enabled scientists to predict with 80 percent...