View Full Version : Fate v. Free Will

June 15th, 2001, 10:59 PM
Some people who have not examined astrology oppose it because they think it limits our capacity for choice in life.

This is far from true.

Astrology does provide a perspective, a frame of reference, which reflects the capacities of an individual. But, it is up to each of us to choose how we use these capacities.

Astrology's ability to provide meaningful information about our potentials can be used to make productive choices, not to limit them. Without some awareness of who we really are we are not choosing, we are simply reacting. An intelligent use of astrology also includes all other sources of information (and inspiration) in making life choices.

July 8th, 2001, 04:24 PM
Personally I don't believe in Free Will anyway. I think of everything as a series of cause and effect events, including human decisions, which are based on prior events.

July 22nd, 2001, 10:54 PM
Ah, so you are one of the 'hard determinists'? They agree that since determinism is true, free will is an illusion. These include, notably, Baruch Spinoza, who argues that there is no such thing as free will because "all things have been predetermined by God, not from his free will or absolute pleasure, but from the absolute nature of God"; and Arthur Schopenhauer, who argues more secularly directly from the law of identity:
[E]very thing-in-being must be something, must have a definite nature. It cannot exist and yet be nothing, it cannot be something like the ens metaphysicum, that is, a thing which simply is and no more than is, without any definitions and properties, and consequently, without a definite way of acting which flows from them. . . . But all this is just as true of man and his will as of all other beings in nature. . . . Freedom of the will, when carefully analyzed, means an existence without an essence, which means that something is and at the same time is nothing, which in turn means is not, and consequently is a self-contradiction.
Those who have rejected free will have generally done so because they assumed, as Schopenhauer demonstrates, that free will requires indeterminism -- i.e., that man act without cause -- and have considered this idea irrational.
Their position is hard to believe, however. Throughout his life, every normal person deliberates, imputes responsibility, and recommends or proscribes courses of action. In each of these activities, he presupposes that alternatives are available to himself and others -- for it would make no sense to deliberate over what one had no choice about, or to recommend to a person what he either could not do or could not help doing, etc. So a second school of philosophers have held that, since man certainly does have freedom -- that is, he often has multiple alternatives available to him -- indeterminism must be true. Mankind, according to this view, constitute the sole exception to the law of causality.