I can never remember anything verbatim, but I once heard a definition of philosophy where philosophy was defined as a study of how to live, or achieve, “The Good Life”. I suppose that’s pretty broad but there’s something I like about the idea. I’m not much of a philosopher, (thinking makes my head hurt), but wondering and discussing about who and what we are, and what defines good and evil is a really pleasant way to pass the time.
On an unexamined basis, my viewpoint on free will is we have just a little bit of it. The degree to which we can control our minds and bodies is miniscule, and I can understand the idea that even when we think we’re making decisions we’re making them based on a host of factors, psychological, biological, and circumstantial, which we have no ability to recognize. But, probably on a purely irrational basis, this is just too grim for me. It leaves whatever this voice in my head is utterly powerless. So, I cultivate the idea that I have some tiny amount of free will that I get to exercise. Life is a lot more fun for me if I feel I have a modicum of control. I get to give myself credit for little things that work out, and, in a funny way, get to enjoy the responsibility of messing up. “Wow, what a mess, but at least it’s my mess.”