Nothing happens in this world without some kind of energy to power it, to make it manifest. That being the case, what powers the human psyche where so much of what is important in this world occurs? The most obvious candidates are the powerful urges of urges of emotion and the more precise logical functions of reason. Most often, opinion divides between these two options while a minority (trying to be moderate and sophisticated) take the middle ground and say that both reason and emotion power the psyche in a sort of psychic balancing act. This, they claim, yields the proverbial well-balanced person.
Does reason or emotion rule the mental roost? Or is there another factor? (Image: public domain.)
In this post, I want to take a brief look at one of the oldest philosophical questions: Do we humans enjoy free will or are we subject to what the ancients referred to as Fate? The West has long believed that free will prevails. Although confusion is growing – as this post will reveal – by and large both Western philosophical thought and the Christian religion have upheld the notion of humankind’s inherent right to self-determination. The philosophers do not believe in any limiting supernatural forces and, in the case of the religious, God can only judge.
In the ongoing explosion of irrationality, some modern thinkers are trying to deny the power of human wilfulness and restore the old notion of Fate. The ancient Greeks personified the belief as three goddesses called The Three Fates. (Image: public domain.)