One of the most popular philosophical debates is the question of “free will” vs. “determinism.”
Free will is the belief that you have free choice over your actions, while determinism is the belief that your actions are influenced by your biology and environment.
As with most philosophical questions, I find the answer to be somewhere in the middle. It’s true that our biology and environment play a large role in how we choose to act, but I believe it’s also true that we have some degree of choice within these circumstances.
Most psychologists and neuroscientists seem to take a similar compatibilist approach, which seeks to find a healthy middle ground between both “free will” and “determinism.”
Recent studies show that some belief in free will is very important for our psychology and mental health. Here are 5 scientific reasons you should believe in free will.
- It gives you more self-control – One study found that weakening an individual’s belief in free will led to a decrease in self-control and willpower.
- It makes you more pro-social – Another study found that disbelief in free will can also lead to an increase in aggression and reduction in helpfulness toward others.
- It improves job performance – A recent study also shows that a belief in free will predicts better career attitudes and overall job performance.
- It makes you more honest – Another study shows that weakening a belief in free will leads to more dishonesty and cheating.
- It makes your brain less automatic – One interesting study reveals that a belief in free will makes our brains less automatic.
These are just a few examples of how not believing in free will can negatively influence your behavior. Whether you want to debate about the existence of free will or not, there are definitely some practical benefits to holding this belief.
Think about it: if you believe you have no real control over your circumstances then there’s nothing motivating you to try to do something positive. You just sit back and passively watch life happen.
Overall, a belief in free will is very important in taking more responsibility, power, and control over your behaviors, and the results you get in life.
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