Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
…if you don’t, you are caught with the dilema of having to decide what things have purpose and what things don’t.
Cause & effect is an interesting topic, and runs much deeper than most people are willing to consider. For example, the impact this comment may have on anyone reading it can be considered minimal, but the time it takes me to write it may affect when I do & if I do other things in my day…therefore affecting other people. So, in a larger view of happening, the ‘reason’ for this comment could be slow my pace down 5 minutes enabling me to avoid that car wreck I pass on the way home.
Whoa. That was a pretty high dive, dude.
Nice response, Jeff.
absolutely, without a doubt, of course, yes things happen for a reason…the reason being simply the cuase due to the effects of past causes…if that makes sense.
I’m a religious man, so I’ll respond with a verse from the Bible: “For we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
No, but there’s a reason why everything happens. 🙂
If everything happens for a reason and there’s an ultimate purpose behind everything, then free will is an illusion, and we are all merely meaningless puppets.
On the flip side, if nothing happens for a reason, then we are still meaningless puppets, tossed on the waves of cause and effect.
There’s no way to know which one it is for sure (hindsight is 20/20, after all), so I will simply say that I don’t know the answer but I will continue living life to the best of my abilities.
Free will is only an illusion if you put the ultimate purpose in the box of physical time, Thomas.
what do you mean, mark?
What if your free will (and the choices you make) is the vehicle that carries purpose? We all have free will, this can be proven by our ability to choose. Purpose however seems to be relative to the choices we make, and in effect, the “reasons” for them. Your free will enables you to give someone the finger as they cut you off on the way home, or it allows you to give your extra apple from lunch to the hungry man on the corner of the freeway exit. Both of these situations can help to feed unique purposes, or a single purpose alone…you still make a choice, and your free will is still intact.
Purpose can change or remain constant (and in theory, not even be there :-P). Your free will (the ability to choose) does not diminish because of it.
What is a choice, but a decision made based upon prior observations and learnings?
One could argue that there is no such thing as free choice and that, in fact, all we have is the illusion of such.
the good ones usually are 🙂
…but sometimes decisions are made because of things like a drug addiction, or a hormone imbalance, or your life is threatened and the survival instinct kicks in. You are talking about reasons again, which don’t limit choice, just influence it.
We could run this topic into the ground I suppose, but what would be the point. (jk 😛 – heh I crack myself up)
Without getting too deep Thomas, I’m going to assume God where you refer to “ultimate purpose”. Personally, I believe God is outside the constraints of time. As a 3rd person, omniscient (if you will) we are seen the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The end game for our lives is known already, not because it is pre-planned (as in meaningless puppets), but because it is foreknown.
As far as free will, puppet strings and reasons, I guess the closest analogy I can make is running a statistical analysis on any given thing. Given enough data, anyone can figure out probabilities, next steps, future strategy…without having pulled one string at all.
I guess to equate it to my example, I see God as being the ultimate data warehouse that can predict future behavior / likelihoods.*
*This is not how I actually believe, just drawing an example — just in case my pastor reads this blog. 😉
I read something a while back that described our free will in relationship to an author and their characters. In summary, authors create characters that take on lives of their own — the characters have a personality and make decisions that are consistent with their personailty. But it is the author that’s responsible for everything.
I hope that wasn’t confusing. It’s late.
cause? definitely. purpose? probably. destiny? maybe.
I love this blog!
Anyway, yes. Everything happens for a reason even when it’s a bad happenstance. We wouldn’t learn cause and effect or consequences without the variable of “if you do this, then this happens”.
Having said that, regarding something like a Tsunami happening in your hometown, you may not have done anything to cause it, but it happen for a reason (namely plates shifting on the ocean floor). While I am religious, I am careful not to say, “God did this or allowed this to happen because so an so…”
Oh, for Pete’s sake.. I have a headache…
Everything that happens in your life is created by you through thought. What you focus your thoughts on regularly you create thereby making you (and every other individual on this planet) the ultimate expression of quantum physics. Thoughts are energy, so every thought you have gets released to the universe, and the universe responds by giving you exactly what you were thinking about. Example: if you’re driving to an appointment and you’re speeding a bit because you’re late, and the whole time you’re thinking, “Please don’t let me get a speeding ticket, please don’t let me get a speeding ticket” and then you get pulled over for speeding, well, guess what. You created that. Even though you were praying not to get a ticket, your thoughts were focused on “speeding ticket” so the universe gave you exactly that.
If you focus on “I need to work hard at getting out of debt” you’re still focusing on the idea of “debt” and that’s what the universe will continue to give you. But, if you focus on “building wealth” then that’s what you’ll get. Wealth.
And free will is always in play, because you will always have the power to choose what you focus your thoughts on. So each one of us creates his or her own life to the very last detail every day. Most of us do it subconsciously, which is why we seem to get crap regardless of what we think we want. It’s only when we create our lives consciously – that is, focusing intently every day on exactly what we want and not focusing on what we do not want – that we start to get the really good stuff.
Either way, what this means is that we are all, each one of us, a creator. That is to say, we are all god. And this makes us all interconnected each one to every other one, and the sooner we realize this the sooner this planet will start to really rock. So the next time you flip someone off on the freeway, remember, you’re flipping off god.
If you haven’t seen the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know” then I highly suggest it. http://www.whatthebleep.com/synopsis/
Oh, and good question Chris. That really got a few balls rolling.
hahaha I saw what the bleep. hehe. All I can say is don’t take it seriously– I don’t know how they managed to find those scientists!!
I will admit that one or two of the scientists were a bit eccentric, but the science behind it is very compelling.
I saw “What the Bleep” as well, and found some of it’s insights interersting and compelling, but found a few other parts hard to agree with.
What you speak of sort of boils down to a ‘New Age’ worldview idea(Hindi, buddah, etc) re-packaged in scientific Western thought & culture. There are elements of ‘truth'(a whole other topic) mixed in to an Eastern Panthiestic Worldview (‘All is one’ mentality :))
Rather than discuss it via commenting, I’d recommend looking into Ravi Zacharias and some of his teaching on the problems/barriers with ‘thinking’ your way into reality 🙂
Here are some links to related podcasts. There are some other ones I can’t quite remember that more directly address the what you think is real idea, so if you have a chance to poke around.
…interestingly enough, I heard of another story where we were told we could be god’s (or like God)….knowing good and evil or something like that 😉
Jeff, thanks for the links. I’ll check them out.
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