Fate, limited choice or freedom?

February 24, 2006

Some people think that genetics control 100% of our lives. They point to twins separated at birth who look and dress alike and have similar occupations and even marry women who have the same name. One could argue that people impact each other’s lives to a genetic script and what seems like random behavior is forecast by the double helix. The truly cynical might call this fate. A criminal is genetically destined to commit his crime and his victim is genetically doomed to be the one who suffers.

But even if genetics dictate all of our daily activity and free will truly is an illusion, the environment is still a factor. Hurricanes happen. Our bodies have to react to nature. Maybe that’s the definition of someone who is truly lost: a genetically programmed soul who cannot act upon its programming because Mother Nature has wiped out his playground. Maybe that, too, is what we mean by adaptation. When we are driven from our traditional environments by natural catastrophe, perhaps our adapting genes merely pick up with our programming somewhere else and humanity continues with only a blip in the pre-written story.

Or, maybe not. Maybe genes only play a 50% or 75% roll in life and there is a little wiggle room for a margin of free will. You can choose, for example, a Decaff Venti Carmel Latte or one day, you may get a Decaff Venti Carmel Mocha by accident. It could be more like the movie Run Lola Run. You have a couple of different outcomes in every choice in every day. The choices aren’t huge because much of life is scripted, but there are still multiple endings based on the few choices you have.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Fate, limited choice or freedom?”

  1. Mikey Says:

    Sort of on the right track maybe…
    Take the thought a step further and wonder why we believe in a God that knows how the criminals life will end before he is born, yet still condemns him for it. Our lives are scripted fate giving us the illusion of ‘choices’. Not many will give this much thought, because it sounds negative in nature…besides, we are all too buried in our own individualism to see the big picture anyway.

  2. mikey Says:

    Turns out I was right.


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