The topic to discuss in this essay I know is not one with a specific right or wrong answer, but merely something that I wish to take a stab at and throw my hat in the ring with my views on the concepts of Free will vs Determinism. It really is that age-old question of are we truly free or is everything pre-determined for us from the day we are born. Many others have attempted to answer this one before, so now time for my go at it.
So, what are my views on the subject ahead of us. I want to do my best to give as concrete an answer as to my views as possible without having this go on and on for pages. I think personally, and maybe these are my Wiccan views peeking through a little bit, but I think it is a combination of the two that govern our lives. Let me explain.
Freewill is all about whether or not we are “free” to choose our own path in life with every, single thing that we do, that there is nothing that is pre-determined, whereas determinism removes that illusion, and those who solely believe in that one, believe that all things have been pre-determined for us before birth and the life that we are leading was already mapped out by some divine creator. I would like to argue a few different points in favour of my double theory. The first of those being that I think we all have freewill TO AN EXTENT, I feel that we all have some universally chosen destiny of some sort that it is our job at the end of the day to figure out and strive towards, but I think the universe also has better things to do than determine every second, of every day of your life. I think the universe will throw in major events and certain major people in your life in order to lead you down that road, but how you get there, whether you take the high road or the low road (metaphorically) or whether you have tomato soup or a sandwich for lunch (literally) does not matter. The universe doesn’t care about the “how” so long as you get there, and within the confines of the moral makeup of the destiny.
As a Witch, we are all taught a certain deeper understanding of freewill, and in essence how it is that we can mess with it, and then told “don’t do that if you do not want to pay the consequences”, but in essence it helps to build the understanding of how we can succeed in our own lives, by realizing the same thing that I just wrote above; that the universe doesn’t care about everything you do, just what your end goal is. I feel that end goal is pre-determined, but the route to get there, not so much.
This can be a bit of a sticky wicket as a topic when you think about it, because there are many people that believe of course that there is no influence whatsoever, and then there are people who believe that they are completely not in control of anything going on in their lives, and that it is all up to God or the Universe or something. In a way, much like with Nature vs Nurture, they are both right. At least in my views anyway.