Fate vs. Free Will

Fate vs. Free Will. The ever long debate on whether we are controlled by fate or we have free will. I will divulge my opinion in this essay, but I must tell you now: I’m not entirely happy where I end up.

Proponents of fate will argue that free will is an illusion, and unfortunately, I agree with that. Free will is the idea that all of the actions and conditions that we end up in are due solely to our own decisions and have nothing to do with the “course of the universe”. Those who argue for free will feel as if we have the freedom to will what happens to us. Proponents of fate believe that the universe will take its course and we are just pieces of a much bigger idea. Now let’s look at this a little more scientifically. (Those of you who don’t believe in the big bang theory should be aware that you will not be able to relate here.)

The big bang. What was it? It was a reaction between two points of mass that caused today’s universe to exist. The planets in the solar system and the earth that we live in today come from this reaction. It came to be through a chain of reactions, in fact, that follow the rules of physics (yet another idea that will be discussed in another paper). If we agree with the current rules of physics, these chemical chain reactions just continued to create the earth, the microorganisms, and eventually what we are today. Evolution is nothing but a continuation in that chain reaction that started in the big bang. Therefore, all that we have evolved today and the way we feel and think, are products of that chain reaction which continues infinitely, or at least as long as energy exists. Therefore, even our thought that free will exists emerges from this complicated, but logical chain reaction. Free will is a thought that emerges and is hence nothing but a byproduct of this chain reaction that can otherwise be known as fate. Therefore, I argue that free will doesn’t exist.

Now given this, I nonetheless feel disappointed. It isn’t fun to know that wherever this chain reaction will go, that is where the universe will be, and that we can’t change anything. However, under the illusion of free will, we can attempt change and allow fate to progress. Free will may be an illusion but fate causes the idea of free will to exist, which pushes us forward with our inventions and cause us to attempt to change and be more comfortable. When we look at it at a meta level, it is still all fate that runs this progression of events.

We still need the illusion of free will to continue along as fate wills, because without it, fate would be in another path. Fate allows free will to exist, which allows fate to progress as intended. A confusing little paradox.