03 August 2007

discussion quote

"We all think we can choose when a choice comes, but our choice is really made not at the moment, but by our life hitherto. You choose according to that which you have chosen a hundred times before. Your destiny is not that which you will do, but that which you have done. Your future is behind you, in your past."

any thoughts?
i decided that since i am stuck on the sofa for a few weeks, i would go back to university. thanks to itunes and some free courses, i am simultaneously at MIT and berkely. this quote is from my first lecture, a refresher course in psych. how true do you rank this comment? any examples to proove or disproove it? what role does God play? ;-)


At 08:41, Blogger Kelly said...

It would be foolish to say that any choice we make is NOT based on our accumulated knowledge and experience (the past), but I think it is equally foolish to think that the past dictates our choices in the present.

The part of this quote though that is designed to anger people is at the beginning. "We all think we can choose..." This guy is using science and philosophy to take away or assault our culturally imbued freedom of choice. Whether intentional in order to get the attention of the listener/reader/student or subconsciously, it is a statement to which the mind and soul instinctively says "Whoa! That's not right!"

Ultimately, I feel that, in this life, we have to realize to fundamental things about freewill:

1.) No matter what your opinion is, you still have to make the choice whether or not to get up each day, etc.

2.) Whether God makes our choices for us in his sovereign will (think Calvanism) or they are dictated by our past, etc., there will always exist the same responsibility that comes from #1 and, with it, the same level of accountability.

My boss once opinioned that, if the future was already known, that would be the same as if it was already written, and that, therefore, we would have no freedom of choice because it would have already been set in stone. Of course, even he admitted item #1. There's a degree of logic there, but it still doesn't change what I would consider a simple fact:
At some point in time, the choice is made...


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