17 – On the Concept of Free Will …

The fact that in some circles the controversy between Free Will and Determinism in Nature is still debated, is a clear indication of how dominated we are by irrational arguments. As with Evolution versus Creationism, or Theism versus Atheism, some of us believe that for our claim to be true the opposing must be false.

Determinism is the concept that every event is pre-determined by antecedent causes and natural laws (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Free Will is the concept that we have a choice of a course of action from among various alternatives (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Determinism and Free Will don’t oppose each other; on the contrary, they complement each other.

There is no refuting the facts that all naturally evolving systems (atoms, molecules, human beings, solar systems, galaxies) are components of a multi-dimensional Universe. But when a dimension, like the dimension in which human beings exist, is perceived from other dimensions (the dimension of our solar system, for example) we become indiscernible.

Free Will and Determinism are innate in Nature, but they are relative to the dimensions in which they are experienced and from which they are observed. 

To bring this concept to a level we can easily relate to, let’s try them on you, the person reading these words, as a current inhabitant of the planet we call Earth. You are without doubt or further discussion in possession of a relative degree of freedom to go places, choose from different options or decide what to do about tomorrow. But in a similar way as a neuron in your own brain, extending its tendrils to reach other neurons in the making of your mind, cannot be perceived from the dimension of your daily existence, your existence cannot be perceived from the dimension of the solar system. You are as imperceptible from that dimension, as a neuron is imperceptible from yours. Have you seen the beautiful images of Earth taken from space? … there is no sign of you in them. But there you are! Choosing. Trying to exercise your degree of freedom as best you can, yet at the same time knowing that environmental forces and the laws of Nature determine the color of your skin, the air that you breathe, the relative span of your life.

In the indomitable will to self-perpetuate, in the instinctive drive to bond, in the compelling urge to leave our mark in the world, Free Will is the engine of purpose and transformation, it is the fundamental force that makes us active participants in the unfolding or our own evolution, yet it undeniable that we are pre-determined to return to the ingenious unknown from where Life is created.

Reviewed February 2018

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