Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Free Choice

A friend recently commented that free  agency is not free, because of the constraints of the consequences.

After consideration I considered that he was right and that the value in agency lies in the constraints that the consequences bring; if there were no constraints, the decision would hardly be worth making.

Consider: If you were not constrained by consequences because you could re-order them at will:
  • You would suffer no disadvantage whatever decisions you made.
  • There would be no need to consider decisions before making them as any error could be corrected later, and the disadvantageous consequences removed.
But what would you be? In avoiding the necessity to learn from experience and do better next time you would remain entirely incapable of re-ordering the consequences to any constructive or permanent advantage, having no proper understanding of the consequences or benefits thereof.

You would often be dissatisfied with the immediate present and never being sure what you would prefer.

You would be little more that a wish-machine in a closed environment unable to form relationships with anything external.

I consider that it is the constraints of free agency that liberate us from our ourselves.

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