29 thoughts on “Question of the Day – 9/20/16

  1. Not sure. There events in my life that certainly seem to be predestined, but if certain choices weren’t made by exercising free will at those forks in the road, that destiny may have been missed. But, are the choices we make actually predetermined, even though we convince ourselves “we made a good choice? So, to make short answer a long one, I think maybe life is a bit of both.

    1. I wonder how much free will we actually have. Especially the more I realize life always seems to come full-circle. There is a quote I love…”You usually find your destiny on the road you’ve taken to avoid it.”

  2. I believe we all have the freedom to choose our attitude at any moment in time, to be positive or negative. The path of my life may or may not depend on a predestined course, I don’t really know, but I can choose how I react and grow from each experience. The USA was founded on hope and the ideal of choice, and we need more of that in this world right now.

  3. I do believe that most of what happens in our lives (or in my life) is predetermined. We can exhibit free will and go against what has been planned for us, but, as in my case, we will be nudged back on the right path, no matter how long or how many times, it takes. I came in contact with my current hubby around the same time three years in a row. On the third occasion, I had just married someone else – a decision I regretted on the third day of marriage when current hubby called asking if I could do an update on the manual I wrote for him a year before (not because he called, but because my ex started showing his true colors). Three years later (around the same time of the year) I was in touch with my current hubby looking for a job to make ends meet. We worked together another four years before my divorce was final. I told him I would never remarry but had a car accident that led to him proposing and me accepting. He told me that he had been attracted to me from the first time he saw me! So, I exercised free will but predestination won out! (sorry for the long explanation!)

  4. If, by predestination one means something like the theological doctrine that the saved are ore-determined by God, as are the damned, then I say a resounding “No”. Nor can I accept any form of divine or supernatural plan in which our choices are inevitable. Still, our inclinations and biases in making decisions are much shaped by both our genetics and life experience, as well as immediate circumstances, so much of what we may think are unconstrained choices is likely some degree of an illusion. In any event, we are responsible for our choices and claims of predestination often function to avoid that responsibility, as well as to avoid contemplating how much a part is played by chance and the decisions of others over which we have no control.

    1. I can understand where you are coming from. I have spent many hours of my life reading and contemplating this topic. I am one who emphatically wants to say NO to predestination. But then part of me reasons that events in life sometimes appear to be more than simple coincidence or chance. With that said, I am not sure what it points toward

      1. Greater minds than ours have been pondering the questions for at least as long as we have records, or even legends and myths. It helps to remember that the Greeks pictured The Fates as both unavoidable and capricious.

      2. Yes they have. I will say I look forward to your comments. They are well constructed and never come across as argumentative even when you offer a counterpoint. That takes skill to get across in writing.

      3. Then there is the speculation that we live in a Matrix type VR (probably created by some n-dimension adolescent hacker), or, that our entire universe is a higher dimensional petrel dish in a middle school biology class. Whatever the case, like the two dimensional Flatlanders, we can’t see those other spatial dimensions and will never know. So, we still end up dealing with our apparent reality and get to make up stories about it and how it came to be.

  5. Free will only exists when one asks oneself: Why am I doing this? Why I’m thinking this? Why I’m behaving in this way? And then chooses what is best or more natural unconditioned by external factors. Most people have no free will because they are conditioned to think, act and behave by society, their upbringing, their desires, their religion, financial circumstances, political ideology and so on. Some people may have free will but they are as rare as pink elephants. I think that I’m turning into a pink elephant with flappy ears, tusks, tail and trunk but it took me a lifetime to change colour.

    1. If I understand you correctly, you are putting forth the idea that societal influences have much more power of people’s thinking and that they become conditioned to certain responses which negate authentic free expression?

      1. Yes this is what I meant. However they can decondition themselves and become people of free will. Socrates for instance I believe that was a person of free will because he questioned everything. But I think that is a very rare ability. Most humans are just operating cogs in a big machinery which is the human society. In one of my books I make the figurative comparison between the dog and the cat: the dog has no free will while the cat has it or at least it has more of it. In a nutshell humans because they are a social species are like dogs.

  6. I looked at this question early today and kept looking at it over and over again. Good one, Danny… I believe that things, although not set in stone, are meant to happen. Through our free will decisions we decide on how and when in our life it will happen. I believe that if we get to a crossroad we decide on free will which way we choose. But I also think that the paths will lead us eventually to the same end, just over a different amount of time, passing different obstacles and with different encounters. So both, predestination and free will play into our lives. Does that make sense?

  7. I think God has the plan but it’s our choice whether we do it the easy way or the hard way. Think Isrealites wandering the desert for 40 years after they were too scared to enter the promise land initially. For some, He just allows them to reap the fruit that they sow (natural consequences, gotta love em!!)

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