X posted a ridiculous remark on my last essay about how much God seems to enjoy killing kids, Easter. Invoking freewill as their faith-fixer, claiming more or less that God wasn’t responsible for the people he kills—it’s the people’s fault for sinning. An argument that begins with victim blaming isn’t normally something I bother with, but I can’t pass up an opportunity challenge freewill.
It’s not fair to discuss this without bringing up fate. Arguments about “fate vs. freewill” have always itched under my skin, yet for the longest time I lacked the words to articulate what really bothered me and now I think I finally have them.
Would anyone be miserable or suffering, hungry, poor, sick, lonely, tired, overworked, if they could just not be so? Pull themselves up by the bootstraps, as the overused idiom goes. Do we freewill our way into welfare, war, hospital beds and heart transplants, prison, Ohio? No, we’re born into nuanced circumstances which largely dictate the short time we get to experience on this planet.
Fate is just a lazy excuse, it’s useless otherwise. “That’s just the way it is,” “we’re all gonna die anyway,” “why try?” The only people who can say that and mean it happen to be dying quite a bit quicker than a lot of us, and they usually don’t have that attitude about it. But there’s more to fate than just our ultimate one. Let’s say I win the lottery, was I destined to win $500 from a scratch-it? If yes, this implies that there is some meaning or purpose behind my luck though in truth it there is absolutely none.
Any morsel of truth or usefulness is found between the two, the “vs.”. It is the deep dreadful waters of chaos, whose waves lead us in dance to phantom music, dead space clicks, electrons bouncing off a satellite receiver. Vs. rouses us from binary constructs, comfort, ease, and offers us a lens through which we can enjoy the symphony of ideas at odds, bloodying each other’s faces for as long as we persist.