Man is especially proud of having free will – that which gives him the ability to make conscious choices without being limited by any form of constraint. Whether this is true or not has been the subject of various contentions between philosophers. Some view free will as an illusion created by man to attribute to himself a certain control over his destiny when in fact all his actions are but natural results of the process of cause and effect.
Going into the inner intricacies of personal philosophies about free will necessitate understanding about what freedom means to each mind. When given a choice between good and bad, a person can choose the good and claim that he chooses to do so. Others can contradict that the choice for the good is only a predisposition for something that has been decided in the past, meaning that the choice was made because it was pre-determined that it was the good thing to do. This is then countered by the proponents of free will as a clear exercise of such ability since the person can always choose the bad and yet he doesn’t. And so the circle of reasoning continues with each having a point against each other and yet being unable to fully convince people of their absoluteness.
Many religions point to a greater power who determines the destiny of each individual. Science attributes genetics and biochemistry for predispositions. Free will enters the picture when a decision is made in spite of such determinants and predispositions specially where there are no physical restraints that can affect the outcome.
There is a question of free will when in spite of absence of any constraint; a decision is arrived at due to necessity. How much freedom does that represent when there is no other recourse aside from the chosen one? Men bereft of the idea that they have free will turn out more fatalistic in nature being resigned to whatever life has in store for them.
Errors on ‘comfort women’ issue in US textbook must be corrected
Originally posted on June 11, 2012 @ 4:51 pm