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The Problem of Free Will

January 20, 2011

I have a philosophical quandary for anyone who is, thus far, paying attention to this electronic rag of mine.

It’s not necessarily a new quandary– I’m dealing with Free Will again, and we all know that’s been done before.

However, I’m not out to debate whether it exists, whether we have it, or what kinds of delusions we’re taking on to convince the general population that free will exists. No, my question deals with that ever-so-troublesome quality that an Agent Smith found so enticing: purpose.

In fact, forget those questions. I’m making some assumptions. Assume that there is no free will. Even further, assume that humanity is being baffled by an infallible illusion of free will.

In the case that there is an omnipotent guiding force (you can call it fate, destiny, karma, or a god. Whatever the name, it is all-powerful and has a certain outcome in mind) and humanity has no way to alter even the small details leading to events this force wishes to come into being, what is the purpose of the illusion of free will?

In my opinion (the expression of which is the purpose of a free blog, no?), there would be no purpose to the illusion of free will. As an omnipotent being would be able to force any situation, there could be no question of necessity inherent in the nature of human beings; whether or not they were free-willed and compliant, or otherwise, they would ultimately serve the will of this guiding force. Such absurd situations as the force preserving the sanity of humans who had recognized the lack of free will would even be possible– all things would be possible. Therefore, the illusion of free will becomes useless.

One could propose a corollary to this, by observing human existence. As, in human existence, there is free will–or at least, an illusion of freewill–it is a strong indication that no such omnipotent guiding force exists in this reality.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Your Sister, the good one =) permalink
    January 21, 2011 3:22 pm

    You should take a philosophy class, you would love it. And, I still have all my notes and papers from it because I liked it so much.

    • January 21, 2011 4:46 pm

      Not only am I planning on taking a philosophy class, I’m going to grab a Philosophy double major while I’m at it!

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