I had a chat with a relaxed atheist the other day. He essentially believes that life has no ultimate meaning and we should just try and enjoy our days while we have them. He did concede that if there is only the physical universe, and we are products of it, then free will is an illusion. That was refreshing to have that understood.
But the idea that I can actually choose to act willfully, and that I should be responsible for doing anything kind or cruel as if there is a ‘me’ that is more than just stuff in motion is too essential. I just know that I really do act willfully, and do act willfully, instead of to play things out necessarily, implies that there is something acting on the physical self. What is that? Whatever it is, it is the most meaningful part of me and I should not neglect it or take it for granted. I should be grateful and intentional.
Proverbs 19:8 Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.