Friday, June 10, 2016

Determinism


I wonder if my moral decisions are actually decisions.

I remember learning about determinism in mechina, through the imagery of a ball flying through the air. The landing point is known, by physical calculations, but to the ball- it is soaring freely through space.

I wonder what actually determines what brings moral people to moral decisions and immoral people to immoral decisions.

A moral decision seems to me more like a moral duty, which by not obeying I am actually fighting my conscience and I therefore actually have no decision to make but to do the moral option.

Veganism, for instance. Once I was exposed to the atrocities in the animal industries, I did not sit down with myself and debate whether veganism was the right thing to do. But rather, as soon as those truths were known to me, it was in fact the only decision my conscience would let me take.
Likewise with other things like helping a person in distress or a helpless being, when it does not contradict my own well-being.

I am not saying this to gain a pat on the back, "oh, you're so wonderful." No. I'm saying this because I want to get to the root and source of our decision-making, of our actions in a world where bad and good are separated. I am trying to understand what leads us to "good" or to "bad", to "moral" or to "immoral", and if it is something already determined the minute we are born, or perhaps in the way we are brought up. And then in that sense, I'd like to understand if a person truly can change his or her ways.

And I'd like to say that I cannot take credit for any morality, for any goodness I do. I really do not feel responsible for it, as it is the only path I can take. It requires no courage or bravery whatsoever.
It would be hard for me to choose otherwise.

To me it seems there is something in my conscience that doesn't allow me to do certain things, and urges me to do others. It's hard to say if that "conscience" developed over years, by my parents and other social frameworks, or is part of my genetic DNA.

I do have this strange sense that everything is determined ahead of time, from the smallest things like the breaths we take, all the way to social change and revolutions, just like that ball, whose path through space is scientifically absolute.

In any case, I of course won't be idle and I will still advocate social change, even though all the change that is and that will be is already determined.

And may good prevail :)




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might like: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/illusion-conscious-will