May 31, 2004

How determinedly we resist any suggestion that a given choice might be in any way constricted! How doggedly we demand the illusion of free will to give our lives meaning! (For some reason, our personal construct of what constitutes "meaning" is in most cases important to us.) How frequently we demand that it must come down to a choice: to deny free will, or to deny faith!

Faith denies all which does not flow from the source of that faith ... but the existence of pattern does not abrogate free will. (To accept another's interpretation of that pattern into, say, absolute right and wrong, however is to abrogate free will, by voluntarily limiting perception. What practical difference, then, from determinism?) To recognise that things exist and interact with each other, which I would name pattern and another perhaps Tao, is not a negation of free will. To accept an observation does not abrogate free will.

Atheism (whether determinedly faith-based or not) co-exists quite comfortably with other faith-based constructs on a day-to-day basis: either way we are, either way we perceive ourselves to make choices, either way there will be consequences. All that changes is the weight of factors we use to make those choices, and thus the consequences we perceive as arising therefrom. (Is faith any different in quality where it is placed in God, or lack of God, or ultimate freedom of self, or a greater Self?) Ultimately, in any faith-based construct, there can only be one relevant factor, and thus only one valid choice -- which must invariably deny all choices, all consequences, all conclusions which cannot co-exist with the source of faith.

In the end, free will exists solely for the purpose of choosing to whom or what one wishes to sublimate that free will. What function has free will ever had but the freedom to make a single, right choice?

Smile of the day:

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Immanuel Kant: The chicken, being an autonomous being, chose to cross the road of its own free will.

Grandpa: In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

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