On Predestination, Fate and Freedom of Choice

© 2017, Curtis Manwaring

A discussion of predestination needs to address the issue of identity because if one is one with the stars, then it's motions are merely the choice to move one's self. If the boundary to your identity ends with your skin, then freedom is curtailed because you will not perceive much choice. Decartes is responsible in part for this idea (aka mechanistic materialism) in which inanimate objects could not act of their own volition, borrowing from earlier ideas of the prime mover (what moves the unmoved?). When one has the view that all objects in the concrete particular have consciousness, freedom of choice becomes perceptible. The mere fact that their motions are regular cannot be made as an assumption that predictability = fatedness. When consciousness exists, then you have to ask the entity if they perceive control.

It is perhaps good that our control is limited, because if we had too much freedom we would very likely, with our lack of consciousness, hang ourselves with it. But in becoming aware of something outside ourself (which Buddists say is nothing more than a changing collection of attributes over time bound together in an idea of what one is supposed to be) we might realize that a part of ourself is split off to prevent this "hanging" by a superior power (or perhaps the higher self).

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