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The Freedom of Habituation

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Throughout our lives, many of us are presented with difficulties and experiences that shape who we are and what we believe in. Eventually, these characteristics solidify, becoming the guiding force in our decision making. Many may argue that this conditioning to a certain behavior takes away the freedom of choice; all decisions are a direct cause of our habituation. This assumption is false; every choice we make with regard to the characteristics we take upon ourselves, or rather personal virtues, is a free choice. We choose our responses to stimuli, and eventually this habituation allows us to act within a set of bounds conforming to our identity and gives us even greater freedom by releasing us from the pain of indecision. By acting in accordance with our set of personal virtues, not only is one free through their choices, but they are also happy.
If these compiled virtues are the ultimate freedom, the main goal of a person should be to develop their character. “The good for man is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, or if there are more kinds of virtue than one, in accordance with the best and most perfect kind.” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1.7) These virtues are achieved by constant interaction with society and any obstacles that present themselves. This interaction must be an activity of the mind; only through internal activity can one hope to further an internal change. “The expectations of life depend upon diligence the mechanic that would perfect his work
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