“We’re a government that believes in everybody having the illusion of free will.”
– Anthony Burgess, The Wanting Seed
I came across this sentence, in an article by Benjamin P. Hardy, as a reference to the movie The Adjustment Bureau, a romantic sci-fi thriller ( That was when Movie Directors in their prime started going ham on all the available genres.) –
“The moment you realise you have complete responsibility for every aspect of your life is the exact moment you are completely FREE!”
As mentioned in the PhilosophyNews, Free will is the apparent capacity at least human beings possess to choose a course of action among alternatives. The most vigorous debates throughout history involving free will have attempted to answer two questions: 1) Do humans have free will? and 2) Are humans morally responsible for what we do and appear to choose?
Humans have exercised “free-will” before, and more often than not the negatives have highly overshadowed the positives. Since the Dark Ages (Middle Ages), where a drastic demographic, cultural, and economic deterioration occurred in Western Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire, we’ve had a period of proper human brilliance & intelligence with the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution. For six hundred years after the Dark Ages we had steadily learned to control our impulses with reason. Then in 1910, within a span of just 50 years, we went berserk with the World War I, the Great Depression, Fascism, the Holocaust and finally topped it off by brining the entire planet onto a brink of destruction with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The thing is, the extent to which we have this urge and an insatiable need to satisfy our endless greed and materialistic pleasures. We seldom temper our wants with reason. And exercising free will just like a 10 year old would go through his Halloween candy isn’t what the human mind was supposed to do.
Yes, there’ll always be limitations, rules & regulations because of which we’d want to act the truant child, act rebel against the “system”. But thinking free, acting free, and doing things freely are all different. These subtle differences must be taught to the budding youth, and to the middle-aged, callous & corporate-minded individuals.
If an external entity or an external factor is governing your health or affecting it in any way, then you won’t do everything in your power to be healthy.
If someone of something outside of you is responsible for you and yours truly, you won’t do everything in your power to provide for your family.
If someone or something external is dictating your future, then like most people running endlessly in the rat-race of an in-differentiable personal-corporate life, you will be the product of external circumstances.
“Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.”
– Jim Rohn
In the next article I shall throw further light on the concept of Free will and the extent to which it is a necessary freedom.
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