Fate vs Free Will
Predestination, Free Will, or Both?
Are we victims of inescapable fate, or do we really have the power to create our own destiny? That is the age-old question.
The Scientific View
In the 17th Century Isaac Newton formulated his laws of motion and gravitation which gave rise to the concept of a mechanistic "clockwork" universe in which everything proceeded deterministically. Everything that happened was no more than the inevitable consequence of all it followed, including human behavior. God and the soul were redundant.
The clockwork universe was shattered in the 20th century. First Einstein discovered neither time nor space are as we perceive them, but are intertwined in a 4-dimensional continuum. Next Quantum physics found that, far from following principles of cause and effect, reality at its fundamental level is inherently indeterministic.
Yet the prevailing view of science as expounded by the likes of Richard Dawkins is that life (including humanity) is no more that sophisticated machinery. (more…)