Here I am with yet another blog book tour from our friends at Women on Writing. This tour’s featured author is Larry Kilham, author the The Free Will Odyssey. In this guest post Mr. Kilham discusses “Predestination vs Free Will” and makes comparisons between the two concepts. Enjoy this post and feel free to share your thoughts. Mr. Kilham will be stopping through to share his thoughts as well. If you’re here when he does, feel free to engage him.
PREDESTINATION VS FREE WILL
by Larry Kilham
Free Will is a concept or phenomenon that appears through all literature and common discourse since civilization began. In some sense, it definitely exists, but it means different things to different people. It is a semantic construct, not a defined constant like the physical law of gravity. With this latitude for interpretation, free will has become a favorite subject for philosophers.
Does free will conflict with predestination? The orthodoxy of some religions views that to be the case. Many scientists, perhaps particularly physicists, would agree for different reasons. But there is also the point of view that free will in some significant form can coexist with religious predestination and scientific determinism.
The more traditional thinkers—often religious philosophers—maintain that God or some other supernatural force or being controls our destiny, so free will, if we even have it, does the individual little or no good. The forces of predestination encompass great time and distance, so the tiny human’s free will, such as it may be, is not significant. The counter to that school of thought is we must have significant free will to choose to follow God and that, in any case, God wants us to use our free will to our best advantage in our daily lives.
Noting that sin is a central tenet of many religions, logicians say if we have no free will, we cannot sin when we do a sinful act, such as murder, because we have no choice. We do whatever our neurons tell us to do. This could be called neural predestination.
Often questioning or even dismissing free will are the determinists—usually scientists—who claim that we are totally driven by our cerebral computer. Our every action is the outcome of a series of logical interactions of our neurons from our birth to the present instant. If you were to replay any piece of your history, you would always make the same decision. You are, in effect, a DNA-driven robot, according to this school.
On the other hand, some scientists, particularly neurologists, believe that the prefrontal cortex in the human brain gives humans the unique ability to foresee the future and plan within a complex social environment. It gives humans the sense of responsibility toward the self and others. This allows humans to manage their destiny at the command of their free will.
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
“Free Will Odyssey”
Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification.
Paperback: 158 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: FutureBooks.info (August 27, 2017)
Amazon Link: click here
ABOUT FREE WILL ODYSSEY
Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification. Peter’s star client is the U.S. president. Along the way, Peter is tried for the mysterious death of a girlfriend and struggles with the machinations of a secretive industrialist.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme.
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