Let’s start with the definitions of both “Free Will,” and fate, or “Determinism.” First up to bat is “Free Will.”
Free-Will – a by
Determinism – the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. Some philosophers have taken determinism to imply that individual human beings have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.
I was just talking about this with a coworker today and then was posting something similar to it on Facebook tonight, so I figured “What a great blog topic.”
For the record, I can’t honestly tell you that I fully, 100%, believe in Fate. The idea that, no matter what we do, our lives are already predetermined, and therefore; not under our control. I just feel like if that were the case, then why are we even here? Why are we even playing in the game called “life?” There would be no purpose, and we would be like robots, just along for the ride.
I do however believe that things happen for a reason, and that there is at least a degree of determinism or fate that is kind of intertwined within each and every one of our lives. In days past, many of the more advanced civilizations like the Greeks or Romans held firm beliefs about fate, or The Fates as they called them. They controlled and literally wove the threads of all mortal and even the Immortals lives or existences. Even the Roman Gods themselves feared The Fates. There were three (3) of them, and they’re named below:
- Nona: (Greek equivalent – Clotho), who spun the thread of life from her “distaff” (a tool used for spinning) onto her spindle
- Decima: (Greek equivalent Lachesis), who measured the thread of life with her rod
- Morta: (Greek Atropos), who cut the thread of life and chose the manner of a person’s death
So now we arrive at the concept of us having what we have coined “Free Will.” I Definitely believe in “Free Will;” the concept that we have the ability to make our own choices and based upon those choices or decisions, we then have to deal with the consequences that they bring about. And moreover, I believe that we can change the outcome of our life by simply changing the direction, trajectory, or path that we are travelling on. This is simply done by making new, and hopefully better choices. Choices that better define the person that you say, but most importantly believe, you a truly capable of being or becoming.
So where does that leave me? In a quandary or paradox, obviously and unfortunately. Does it make sense to believe in both? Is that possible without sounding like a hypocrite or an indecisive person? To me personally, I’ve never felt that to be the case. I believe there is truth in both philosophies. Everything in life doesn’t always have to be a “this-or-that” type of situation. Physics aside, sometimes two things can occupy the same space at the same time, both make sense, and therefore both be valid to the believer.
I’d love to hear anyone’s feedback on this and what you think to be true. Which side of the line do you stand on, or are you, like me, literally standing on that line?