An insight designed to create awareness when freedom can reign and when the unavoidable physical cascade of cause and effect creates boundaries to our freedom and hence to the choices we can make. This distinction is vital for our survival.
Our definition of free choice.
We will define free choice, for the sake of this article, as every step, we can take or every thought we can have that is not a direct consequence of the physical and biological laws.
We are all aware this freedom is limited by a multitude of factors and circumstances and most strikingly by others in a position of power but our aim here is not so much to create awareness of the practical problems to act on our free will like more to sharpen our senses to see what is, though difficult, possible and what is truly impossible; when things would go against natural laws.
It seems to us that we are conditioned to view impossibilities, not only because they go against physical laws as we have established in our painstaking scientific research for facts, but also when we are confronted with deliberate choices taken by some and then imposed on others.
Following social laws; is the problematic routine of daily life.
Our institutionalized life seems to suffer from a rigidity that resembles the unavoidable causes and effects we were taught during math, physics, chemistry, and even biology education. We have a deeply seated awareness, not so much about the details of this knowledge, but about the absoluteness of its mechanics and the “laws” from which some of us can still recite a few by heart. It seems whatever other acquired conviction, like religiously or spiritually inspired views on the world, we are all aware of the bottom line character that science and its unbendable conclusions give us as facts.
The consequence of this awareness about the trueness of science shapes us as subjects to these scientific facts. Although the majority of us will not get deep into the subtleties of science we are rational enough to know that there are inescapable truths hidden there that do not require our personal understanding or checking to be what they are; the reflection of the physical reality of our life.
It seems to us that in daily life this conviction of the inescapable reality has stretched beyond the scientific endeavor. It is as if we as a community perceive and accept more laws and cause-and-effect relations than science revealed to us. Though these perceived laws bear a resemblance with the scientific laws. And appears to be as persistent as e.g. the law of gravity, in reality, these laws, e.g., as we know in a legal system or cause and effect events as seen in economics and corporate life are in fact not at all unavoidable conclusions as to the ones from scientific research. They are consequences of our free will. They are, in other words, choices we made or others made for us.
The difference between laws in science and laws in humanities.
Striking is the magnitude the word science has taken in modern-day society. The ample accommodation given to the scientific method seems a good excuse to impose all kinds of social rules and restrictions. First I do want to clarify that it is not the aim of this article to determine whether there is a scientific method or not, that will lead to the same solid results as the past empirical search that gave us; the valuable undeniable facts you were taught in school.
First, if all scientific facts were by any method other than just observation over a very long period of time, and every now and then a genius mind that formulated what we observed without being able to pin it down. Second, the findings are worth remaining as true facts, true cause and effect relations, are scarce and take huge chunks of our time to arrive at their final goal; a sure fact.
Now in the actual ample accommodation given to what we now all consider science, we include observations about human behavior in society, psychology and sociology, history; anthropology, and last but not least we count and count leading to cherished statistics from which we also deduce “facts”.
But all these sciences are rightly called humanities do not lead to laws like the physical laws. They are rich and fascinating reflections on our cultural inheritance but they did and do not follow any laws that are to be compared with the physical laws. They are bound to choices that have and are made and hence belong to the domain of free will, with all restrictions implied.
What stands between the fulfillment of free will and the acceptance of physical limitations?
To bring you without any detour to the right answer; education.
The limit we put to this article permits me to be very direct. The first and foremost aim of education is to experience the joy of understanding which is the only way known to man to create a society with respect for others. Because however happy we are, the basic needs for human life are only available for a minority and the obstacle is in the choices we have made. That is the only rational conclusion if we become aware that we only have to deal with natural laws that impose possibilities and limitations, all other laws are our own responsibility, collectively or individually.
A small step for each of us is a great step for humanity.
We hope to have given a glimpse of the realization that our freedom is really limited (by true physical laws) and that the possibilities for human behavior are greater than what we are creating and living now. The way to improve is the propagation of knowledge about what is really possible and what is really not. Education for all is the tool par excellence to step up.
The Three Fates Spinning the Web of Human Destiny, sculpture by Gottfried Schadow, 1790, part of the tombstone for Count Alexander von der Mark; in the Old National Gallery, Berlin. Photo; Andreas Praefcke.
Fate, Greek Moira, plural Moirai, Latin Parca, plural Parcae, in Greek and Roman mythology, is any of three goddesses who determined human destinies, and in particular the span of a person’s life and his allotment of misery and suffering. Homer speaks of Fate (Moira) in the singular as an impersonal power and sometimes makes its functions interchangeable with those of the Olympian gods. From the time of the poet Hesiod (8th century BC) on, however, the Fates were personified as three very old women who spin the threads of human destiny. Their names were Clotho (Spinner), Lachesis (Allotter), and Atropos (Inflexible). Clotho spun the “thread” of human fate, Lachesis dispensed it, and Atropos cut the thread (thus determining the individual’s moment of death). The Romans identified the Parcae, originally personifications of childbirth, with the three Greek Fates. The Roman goddesses were named Nona, Decuma, and Morta. Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Fate-Greek-and-Roman-mythology