Is There Free Will Or Is Everything Really Predestined?
It was 5 am in the morning when I came across a request to write about free will or predestination. I thought that it's an interesting topic to mull about and accepted the request without even thinking.
I sat down in my easy chair, gazed out into the night and pondered about the different approaches I could take.
I thought about identical twins. There have been documented cases of such twins separated at birth and reunited decades later. When their lives were compared, there were uncanny similarities, down to even the names of their wives.
I can argue that this is predestination at work, with the whole course of their lives already charted out at the time of their birth. But I can also argue that identical twins seem to have a psychic connection, and that it is through this connection that they can lead near identical lives, although they might be physically apart and might not even know of the existence of the other twin.
I can be scientific about it and start off with Newton's classical universe. Every particle in Newton's universe is 100% predictable, and since we are made up of those exact same particles, it follows that every single thing we do have been predestined from the very moment of creation.
But I will continue with the discovery of the quantum properties of microscopic particles, which effectively gives "free will" to those particles - and we are in control once again.
I thought about God. If he created this world such that every single thing is predestined, then won't it be a fruitless exercise, since the outcome is already known right at the beginning?
And I fell asleep.
I dreamt of wild billy goats roaming the streets. There are people on the streets who risk being attacked and go about their business as usual. There are others who stay behind their fences. And there was even one guy who has a special metal casket-like container that he can hide inside.
Not sure how this dream relates to free will or destiny, but it certainly is about the difference between living your life and merely existing, and is definitely worth a mention in a hub about free will. I mean, even with all the free will in the world, if you choose to merely exist, then it would really be such a supreme waste of free will. :)
Anyway, back to free will and predestination.
Nobody can prove free will or predestination conclusively. It is a great mental exercise to consider the possibilities, but at the end of the day, all such inquiry will end with a question mark.
If everything is predestined, then nothing matters. Every single thought in your head, every one of your actions, is not you but predestination. You have absolutely no control.
If you have free will, then you and only you are responsible for the mess or distinction you make out of your life. And at the end of it, there might be somebody holding you accountable.
Kinda makes you want to get up and get going, doesn't it?
Maybe the request should be renamed, "If there is free will, what should you be doing with your life?"