There are two schools of thought on this matter: one describes that a widespread belief in determinism will ensure that people will always excuse their selfishness as “not my fault”, and cause them to act immorally. Professor Kathleen Vohs, then at the University of Utah, ran studies that showed that people with a stronger belief in determinism were more likely to cheat, steal, or become lazy on the job. They simply deviated from their long-held morals, feeling that they couldn’t be held accountable for their actions.
But in reality this freedom is an illusion. We all feel like we’re free, and feel like we are a unique self, but science says otherwise. From our studies of the brain, psychology, and human cognition, we’ve concluded that the brain itself is just another piece of organic matter run by biochemical processes. And the self? As the British philosopher Alan Watts points out in The Wisdom of Insecurity, there is no true self: just a stream of consciousness always changing and in flux, with nothing rooted to a physical “self.” In this case, the self is the static, unique “I” that we refer to.