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11/0 glass beads, venetian lampwork glass

Free Will vs. Determinism

  • Divine predestination, foreknowledge, karma, fate, determinism, indeterminism, free will.


    When I try to have a discussion with someone about this question, responses often imply that, unlike the stock market, for example, it has no real bearing on our lives.


    This question is at the heart of every decision we make, every bite of chocolate cake, every prison system and every church service hymn,

    and changes how we understand the actions of others and how we will rationalize our own.


    Determinism is so compelling, so logical- a set of different decisions all arranged in a pre-destined pattern.


    But free will is so alluring, comforting, and useful - each decision giving rise to an unknowable plethora of new pathways - non-conforming and unique.


    I wound up writing my thesis on free will as applied to Dante and Shakespeare. And I have a theory to reconcile the two.

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