Am I destined to write this article or was this an individual decision that I made through my own sheer will. Hello fellow earthlings of Gaia, today is another day for philosophical ramblings, as I will be talking about the concepts of free will and destiny. These two concepts are extremely controversial topics ever since the dawn of time. Many believe we do possess a form of free will that enables us to carry out activities that we determine in our daily lives, while on the other side of the argument, destiny is believed to be the reason we all exist and do whatever we do, it dictates that our lives have been ordained to carry out our thoughts and actions already. Free will in simpler terms is the notion that we have the conscious ability to manipulate our future while destiny is a sum total of things that would happen to a person in his or her entire life. Personally I am on the fence in regards to this argument as I believe there is a grey area that links both concepts. I shall digress a little and talk about two other philosophical concepts that have been influenced by the original concepts mentioned prior and that is determinism and compatibilism. The former is of the notion that whatever is taking place right now is directly caused by prior events possibly dating back to the Big Bang while the former states that free will and determinism are compatible ideas. I won’t focus on these other two concepts for this post but will refer to them, for more information on them check out the arguments between Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. The reason I bring these other two concepts up is because of their similarities to the original concepts. Now back to the original argument, do we possess free will or are we destined to our fates.
Firstly its easy to spout that we all possess free will defiantly, that whenever you feel like say, ordering pizza and you change your mind to order Chinese takeout that one has exhibited free will, but then an argument can be made, albeit questionable, that the person was always destined to order the Chinese takeout. The idea of free will is refreshing to us because it makes us feel in control of the situations around us and the very fact that we are self aware enough to think of the idea of free will seems to strengthen the notion. I personally am more of a fan of the idea of free will over destiny and here’s why. The idea of destiny has been bastardized and exploited, for example if a person breaks a valuable glassware, they could easily say ”Oops I guess I was destined to do that”. Now of course I’m not saying that acquits the troublemaker, but that frame of thought could lead to nihilism and apathy, cause I have witnessed people who happened to find themselves in unfortunate circumstances like failing a crucial exam and then simply chucking their failure to destiny. These thought process is very dangerous and damaging. However I understand the appeal to the idea of destiny, the fact that once you are born, your life history has been written out and determined and its up to you to embark on a existential journey to uncover what destiny lies in wait.
Moreover looking back at determinism which is like a reverse form of destiny, we can see how the idea of free will is also negated, for example if a kid is riding his bicycle, trips over and falls and it is then determined that he fell cause he rode his bike over a loose rock which tripped the spokes of his bike causing him to fall over, there we can see the causality which functions like clockwork i.e. because this was here, this happened. Furthermore it could be discovered or determined that the loose rock was placed there due to water erosion from rainfall, and the rainfall was created due to the heavy clouds which manifested due to the high evaporation in the area which is attributed to the heavy domestic activities in that vicinity, we could keep going further backwards. Yah crazy right? I know, that in a nutshell is determinism and the reason why it negates free will is because of its logical pathway, just like I described from the heavy domestic activities to the loose rock. This notion paints the world to be a huge mechanical clockwork with cogs and screws ever turning and yielding various results.
However now that I have set up the ideas behind the concepts,I would like to propose mine, it is a hypothesis a couple of friends and I usually argued on. As I had mentioned before, I believe there is a grey area that connects free will and destiny. Just like levels in video games or chapters in the title menu of a Blu-Ray dvd, I believe that once an individual is born, multiple destined paths open up with multiple different endings(unlike Mass Effect 3). It is then up to the individual to decide which path he would take, now these paths are displayed like tributaries from a large river, where some linked destines collide and separate. For example, during this individual’s course of living, lets say he is trying to decide whether to buy a car or a moped, there at the point of his decision making, I propose that both destines are simultaneously existing at this time and which ever decision he makes collapses the other destiny not chosen much similarly to the Schrodinger’s cat theory. Now this is were the ideas of destiny and free will interact, at the point the man is making the decision, he is walking the path of his destinies, but once he decides on which vehicle to buy, he has exhibited free will, albeit within the realms of his destinies. Furthermore, lets say the man picks a moped and collapses the timeline with the car, that closure is however dormant not lost, cause if the man experiences an accident in the moped, and then decides to buy a car for safety, now his destiny is intertwining with a previous timeline, but bear in mind now that as he decides to buy a car, further timelines and destinies unravel, like a timeline where he goes to buy the original car when he was initially deciding to buy either the car or moped and other timelines that now feature other potential cars he could buy for his needs. This is a wild thought experiment I developed on my own, it has no merit but just simply my own suggestion.
What do you think about this frame of thought. Are you pro-free will or do you believe in destiny or both or some other form of philosophical concept. Sound off in the comment section and don’t forget to like and subscribe for more deep topics like this. Now are you destined to read and like this article or did you do so by your own free will. Ponder on that and till next time. Szia.