Thoughts for No One in Particular

A determined free will

Are all actions that we take determined by what happened in the past, or do we have free will to choose what actions we will take in the future?

 

This is a philosophical debate that has been going on since mankind began philosophizing, and to this date, no definitive conclusion has been reached. If anything, the debate has delved continuously deeper and wider as new theories and truths arise about ourselves – how our brain thinks and body moves, and what our hearts feel – and the world we live in – how matters come to exist and what effects they have on us, and how we perceive these effects.

 

I know I am a compatibilist (believing that determinism and free will can co-exist), but I am not a philosopher who can argue rationally about this stance… I am just an emotional lay person who has learned from experience, who hates to think that we cannot change our future because of the past, especially if we did not cause that past ourselves, but understands that sometimes we have little choice over what we can actually do.

 

I believe that the world works in a largely deterministic, cause-and-effect way. I believe that any action put into effect will have consequence(s), and it (they) will become the cause(s) of subsequent action(s)… But I also believe that free will resides in the parentheses. Maybe we do not always know it is there, and maybe it is extremely difficult or almost impossible to find, but I believe it is there.

 

And because I believe so, I think that when we make mistakes by choosing the wrong action out of free will, we can also make amends by choosing the right subsequent actions out of free will. I think that when things do not seem to be going right, we can stop perpetuating and escalating our conventional way of doing, and explore other options to find game-changers totally beyond our conventional way of thinking.

 

Maybe I cannot substantiate my belief with rational arguments, but I like to think that determinism and free will co-exist in the minds determined to will freely.

 

Here is the last batch of tatted cherry blossoms. I traced my lines of thoughts by placement – some turned out rather well (I really like the line leading to the cheerful-looking blossom at the top!), others turned out to be bad choices (the one at the bottom no longer looks like a blossom, but just a mutant shamrock with five leaves…).

 

Celtic_Knot_Cherry_Blossoms_lastbatch

 

In each blossom, one colour choice led to another, but there were always more than one I could choose. I tried to explore as many as possible, but I am quite sure I have not exhausted my choices, and I am certain I have not yet discovered every colour beyond my conventional image of cherry blossoms. I still have so much blank space to fill!

 

Not all will be “right,” but I have a determined free will that tells me not to be afraid of making mistakes – I am hopeful that I, and mankind in general, can will to free ourselves from actions that chain us to irreversibly determined futures.

 

What will the future hold for these tatted blossoms? I will find out soon where my determined free will takes them… I will keep you posted.

 

Celtic_Knot_Cherry_Blossoms_all

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4 thoughts on “A determined free will

  1. Pattern: “Celtic 4 leaf Clover” by R.P. arranged to have a fifth leaf
    Thread: [from top and clockwise] Kingstar Multi-color by Fujix (polyester quilting thread, size #50, colour #13 – variegated fluorescent yellow, pink, orange, and green) – doubled for tatting; Daruma Home Thread by Yokota (cotton hand sewing thread, size #30, colours #6 – persimmon orange, on its own and combined with #42 – pale salmon pink on inner round); Fine by Fujix (polyester hand sewing thread, size #40, colours #324 – pink combined with #20 – light yellow on inner round, or with #146 – coral pink and #178 – dark pink on outer round, and #249 – dark red on its own) – doubled for tatting; Daruma Home Thread by Yokota (cotton hand sewing thread, size #30, colour #39 – dark violet); Kingstar Multi-color by Fujix (polyester quilting thread, size #50, colour #12 – variegated red, light and dark purple) – doubled for tatting; Lizbeth by Handy Hands (cotton lace thread, size #80, colour #107 “Tropical Fruit” – variegated dark seagreen, light mint, medium and light melon); Daruma Home Thread by Yokota (cotton hand sewing thread, size #30, colours #21 – olive green on outer round and #22 – moss green on inner round, and moss green on outer round and #16 – mint green on inner round); Lizbeth by Handy Hands (cotton lace thread, size #80, colours #161 “Sea Island Citrus” – variegated light yellow, very light ocean turquoise, light lime green, and pale ocean teal, #164 “Blue River Glades” – variegated dark, medium and light fern green, dark, medium and light river blue); “Lamé Stitch Pearl: Pearl” (polyester sewing thread, white, with glitters) and “Lamé Stitch Pearl: Cloud” (polyester sewing thread, pale blue-grey, with glitters) by Kanagawa – doubled for tatting
    Size: all about 2.5 centimetres or roughly 1 inch

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  2. I sincerely hope this is true: “And because I believe so, I think that when we make mistakes by choosing the wrong action out of free will, we can also make amends by choosing the right subsequent actions out of free will.” Your blossoms are blossoming into something quite lovely but I have to say that I think their fate is determined by you!

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    1. Let’s keep hoping, Susanne – I’m sure that’ll get us a step closer to realizing it. As for the tatted blossoms, I have entrusted their fate with a certain charming person today… hopefully, she can give new meaning to their lives on a special day next week. I’ve got my fingers crossed in Celtic knots!

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