Author: mr. liao
Date: 11-27-07 08:58
Once we recognise that none of us has free will, yet each of us loves, and hurts, communicates, feels and reasons according to predetermined patterns, perhaps we will be more willing to accept each other, forgive and excuse, and if necessary, exact punishments as may be necessary to satisfy our impulse for vengeance - for the sole reason that our happiness depends on the suffering of the transgressor. Could it have been otherwise? Let each man act as his highest lights and his happiness dictate.
None of is truly free, and it is the recognition of this that provides the ultimate satisfaction to the intelligent soul. Could your mother have chosen to act otherwise - given the historical circumstances that shaped her psyche? Could your daughter have chosen to feel otherwise? We are all shaped by forces beyond our control.
We do not choose how we choose. And if we choose to choose how we choose, then how did we choose to choose what we chose to choose?
Free will is an eidolon - a mirage, something that recedes farther into the horizon of impossibility the closer we attempt to approach it.
Slippery, it eludes our grasp. There is no true exercise of the Will that was not already predetermined by conditions beyond the direct influence of that self-same Will. It can be argued that only God has free will. To the extent we cannot determine our Natures, we cannot have free will. What being could be so unconstrained by physical, deterministic laws, save the Divine?
We are but a medley of disparate impulses and thoughts, each forming according to patterns beyond our ultimate control. Each instance of deliberate will presupposes an awareness and a preference already determined outside the exertion of our free will. Free acts are therefore not really free.
We are free, yet not free. This is life's most tremendous paradox. Our awareness of each moment occurs only after that moment has transpired. You cannot really perceive the NOW - by the time your neurons form a representation of that state of events, it has already passed. Our consciousness plays catch-up with reality, and our choices were already made before we were aware of them.
Who could have truly chosen anything than what he has already chosen? And who can change the choices he will make in the future?