Memoirs of a Heathen (red_oak_za) wrote,
Memoirs of a Heathen

Fate and Free-Will

This is one of those topics that are often greatly debated with everyone having their own personal opinion and sliding on the degree scale between the two extremes. If however we were to pull it all together into three divisions, we would have the Hard Fatalist, the Free-Willer and those that move between the two which bring more of a balance to the equation.

Hard Fatalist
These are those that believe that our lives are completely predetermined and fated. Every step we take has already been decided by the Primal Source or Force that is Everything and No-Thing. Although to many this concept seems a little debased because we get to decide what we do in life, it has many a good argument. For instance, in order to make a decision we first need to decide to make that decision, and subsequently, that decision needs to be decided upon, so on and so forth to a never ending string of decisions that need to be made in order to make a decision. This in itself would seem impossible if you were to follow this thread of decision making, and therefore it is believed that whatever choices or decisions we make in life are made for us. In other words the path that is woven before us is woven with Intent, but not our Intent, we merely step on that path and follow it.

On the other extreme side of the scale we have the person who believes that they have complete autonomy over what we do in life. All decisions are made by ourselves and nothing, no force whatsoever has a say in the matter. In this argument a lot of self proclaimed Free-Willers will say that some form of Force or Source, God perhaps, directs their life, and then in the same breath will turn around and say that they make all choices. This is an obvious contradiction that is not well thought out. If a God of some sort is directing their life, then they do not have complete say over their life, for obvious reasons.

Most people in reality will follow a balance between these two extremes. Even the Free-Willer as seen above has a balanced aspect, although they wish to believe they are on the extreme of the Free-Will side. One example that I like to use, and which I have discussed quite indepth in my book The Reality of Things, is that of floating down a river in a boat. Whilst in the boat, we flow with the current of the river, and we sit there, travelling down stream. The Current is the force of life that directs our path, however, we can alter the general direction, but not to any extreme. We can take hold of the rudder and move it so that the boat is directed either right or left, but we still move with the general flow of the current. What we can't do is go from the position in the river that we find ourselves at any present moment, to the riverbank, moving in a straight line at a 90 degree angle. Some people try to do this, and they find themselves tumbling through the water being forcibly thrown with the current, no longer in the boat.

Another example would be a crowd of people moving in the same direction. Some people will walk faster than others toward the goal or the Centre, and so they will move to the left or right to pass people, but still moving in the same general direction of the crowd. Try and turn around or move in a severe angle through the crowd and you will be bumped and beaten and forced to move backwards or sideways, always in the direction the crowd is moving.

Of course my personal opinion is exactly that, and we all have our own way of looking at this subject.

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