Hey, if you haven’t heard about the free will debate in philosophy, this article may blow your mind.
Briefly, let me explain the free will debate:
1. Argument 1: Human will is free. That means we have the power on our thoughts, and hence we are responsible for our actions. Therefore, we deserve the credit and the blame. We earn our happiness, and our pain.
2. Argument 2: The human will is not free. That means nature/God is in charge of everything-including your thoughts. This means we own nothing in this life, and we are as much a part of nature as vegetables, or birds, or mountains. We are no different than anything natural that exists in nature. Human life that way, is not special.
My name is Amar. I am an author and stand-up comedian. One of the books I have written is about the lack of free will in human beings, which consequently establishes the deterministic thought, introduced by, several philosophers and thinkers including Albert Einstein.
The book has not been published. I wrote that book to explain life and my own choices to myself, and didn’t even care of approach publishers. If someone reading this article is interested, please feel free to reach out to me.
Let’s get started.
Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper
- Albert Einstein
Have you ever questioned yourself, when you were at a crossroad in life and had a bunch of choices, why did you choose A and not B/C/D/E etc.?
Try questioning yourself and keep asking why?
You had a bunch of choices and you chose one while disregarding the other. You chose this one because this appealed to you, at the point.
Why did that choice appeal to you?
That’s because you are a certain kind of a person with a certain set of attitudes, habits and temperament.
Why do you have those certain set of behaviors?
You have no idea, but you can speculate. That’s because you grew up in a certain kind of a household, also because you had a talent or a few that was gifted to you by nature and you happened to go through a certain set of experiences.
Please go and read the thought by Albert Einstein once again.
Everything is determined, means, supposed to happen, and we are all dancing to the tune of the invisible piper, who is the God, or nature
At no point, as human beings we have had any power.
I know you would think, who the hell is this guy to tell me that I haven’t earned my life, and that it was given to me by nature?
Therefore, in my book, I have cited scores of philosophers and scientists and thought leaders who assert that our lives are fatalistic and predetermined.
Let me give you a simple example.
How on earth did you reach this article?
What were you doing when you found it? Did someone send it to you?
Think about the circumstances under which you happen to be reading this article by a writer based in India, you have no clue about. Think about it.
I have been meaning to write this for the last few days, but because of the corona lock down, my motivation has been quite low, and I couldn’t sit down to write it.
Today, I managed, somehow, or nature guided me to write it.
Similarly, nature has guided you to read it too.
Check out this thought, by French Philosopher Baron D’Holbach, who wrote 2 volumes of The System of Nature, to explain that everything is meant to be exactly the way it is:
Man’s life is a line which Nature commands him to draw upon the surface of the earth without him ever being able to swerve from it, even for an instant. He is born without his own consent; his organization does in nowise depend upon himself; his ideas come to him involuntarily; his habits are in the power of those who cause him to contract them; he is unceasingly modified by causes, whether visible or concealed, over which he has no control, which necessarily regulate his mode of existence, give the hue to his way of thinking, and determine his manner of acting. He is good or bad, happy or miserable, wise or foolish, reasonable or irrational, without his will being for anything in these various states
Man’s life is a line that he is meant to describe on earth and he cannot move from it even for an instant.
Ever since this has dawned on me, I have reminded myself of this quote every time I have failed to understand the reasons for my actions, results be damned. Many a time, I have taken actions which have caused others, or me pain, instead of the intended happiness.
I do not understand why. Nature knows, I can’t go and ask nature. But, it knows.
I know, I am only a puppet in the hands of nature. Voltaire would agree.
Think about Corona virus. Did we plan this as human society? Most of the world is in lock-down right now and there is no way we could have foreseen that. Nature has brought this upon us, through China, through a bat eating woman, or through whatever the origin has been. The virus has shaken the world, like nothing before. We didn’t budget for this, in time or in money.
We did not.
Your actions during this time are predetermined. The results are predetermined. Nature created the virus and it will handle it. For good or for bad, some of us will live and some of us will not.
Whatever is, is. We don’t know why. Like we don’t know how the world began, and how it will end. We don’t know. We won’t know. Whatever is, is.
I know. You might say, if we believe in fatalism, we won’t do anything. But that doesn’t mean anything, because right after writing this, I am going for a run.
Does that mean nature intends me to go for a run?
My book is titled Free will-the essential illusion.That’s what it is, an essential illusion.
I and people like me, who believe that the human will is not free, live with clarity at the end of the day, knowing fully well, that we have zero control, even on our own thoughts.
Have you heard the serenity prayer?
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference
Well, there is no difference, philosophically. Since, our will is not free, and nature is in charge, we can change nothing.
Nature changes what it wills, through us.
Thank you for reading.
Please do let me know in comments what you think, and clap if you found value. Whatever you will end up doing, nature intends you to.