Free will vs fate: The ancient debate

One of the oldest questions in philosophy, still endlessly renewed and yet never resolved, is the debate of free will versus fate.
Do we choose what happens to us, or is it something that is done to us that is determined ahead of time, that’s something that we cannot change, and something that we just live out, like the script of a story? And not only do I not know the answer to this question, I don’t think it even can be answered, because there’s no way to prove one way or the other.
There’s nothing that could happen that can tell us whether it’s one or the other.
You could live an entire life full of so many things happening, and so many apparent decisions you’ve made, and also things done to you, and you could say this is the result of my free will and the free will of others, and they have created this life and everything in it.
And you could live exactly the same life, with exactly the same things happening, and you could say that this was all fated, and there was nothing that could have been done to make it any different.
So it’s one of those things that is just unprovable.
It’s a meta question.
It’s meta, beyond.
It’s beyond anything that we can experience to give us the answer.
It’s like the theory that, you know, we could all be inside an alien computer simulation.
That’s a popular one.
Well, we’re all part of a computer simulation that’s being run by an alien.
Well, I can’t prove that that’s not true or that it is true.
Nothing would change based on that information.
It doesn’t actually change anything in this existence.
But just like the case of free will versus fate, it could change how I behave.
This idea of what the universe is like, even though I can’t find evidence of it either way, the one I choose to believe could affect how I choose to live my life.
If I really felt like I was a character in a simulation, would it change how I behave? And I’m not sure.
That would be- it’s an interesting thought experiment to think, if you change your theory about the universe, does it actually change how to live in this life, in this universe? I think mostly no.
I think mostly, this universe is what it is, and you could say it’s inside a simulation or not, but I’m still going to live my life the best I can, or try.
But I wonder about, for fate and free will, for that idea, could it possibly change? It may influence how I live this life, based on that choice.
If I believe that I have free will, I get this feeling that I can choose my life.
I have this active authority over myself.
I have an authority over my own decisions.
I have the power to control what I do.
It’s a very powerful position, to have this free will.
If I believe in the fate interpretation, that everything that happens is already decided, and there’s nothing I can do to change it, that puts me in a passive position, where I simply let fate happen to me, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
So, what do I think is the best? Well, based on those two descriptions, you maybe can guess that I’m partial to the free will view of the universe, because it lets us actually make choices, to have this individual sovereignty over ourselves.
The ability to make a choice.
I love to have that freedom.
Having free will is part of freedom, the ability to freely make choices.
If everything I do is kind of automatically decided, and I’m just fated to make certain decisions, then I don’t have that same feeling of freedom and personal authority over myself.
Instead, I’m just a victim of fate, a victim just letting the universe happen to me.
But on the other hand, the fate view of the universe can also be helpful at times, because clearly, we don’t have control over everything.
We don’t have total control over our lives.
Even if we can have self-mastery and control our own decision-making and feel like we have free will and free decisions, we are still influenced by everything else that’s happening in the universe, and so we are passive as well, and ultimately, we have to die, and we don’t want to, but we do.
So the idea of fate and fatal and fatalistic: it’s all for the same idea, that of submitting to the universe.
And ultimately, we have to do that, too.
So it seems to me like the best way to interpret it is that for everything that I can control, I believe in free will.
And so it’s up to me to do the best I can to maintain and develop what I can control.
That would be myself, my own decision-making, to some degree my own mind, although none of us has total control of our minds, but we can have some degree.
These things that are within my control, I believe in free will, that I choose what to do.
And I believe that’s very powerful for being able to feel the freedom and personal authority to choose how I want to live my life.
But for everything that is outside my control […]

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