Do you ever really have a choice in what you do? Your development as a person is out of your hands.
You don’t get to pick the country you’re born in. If you were born in another country, there’s no way you’d be the same person you are today. If you were born in a different town in your state, it’d change your development as well.
You don’t get to pick your parents. You don’t get to pick your social class. You don’t get to pick your elementary school. You most likely don’t get to pick where you sit. You’re not a good judge of character as a child so any friends you pick are based on something outside of your own control.
Your parents make decisions for you. They dress you and they teach how to go through life. They shape you into the person they want you to be. You don’t have a choice in any of it. You may resist and say that you want to wear the red shoes and not the green ones. Is that a choice? Or is red just more aesthetically pleasing to your brain? You can’t choose what colors look good to your brain. You don’t get to choose how your taste buds react to foods. You’re at the whims of how your body reacts to things and your temperament. We’ve all seen kids that are hyper. We’ve seen kids that are shy. They don’t choose to act that way. Even if they did, they’re children. They don’t understand the consequences of their choices.
Eventually you come to the time when you believe you can make decisions for yourself. You don’t need mommy and daddy anymore to tell you what to do. But they’re still right there. Their lessons linger in your brain. Your choices are affected by their past teachings. Is it really your choice when so many other factors are present taking the choice out of your hands?
For example, let’s look at the choice to murder or not to murder someone.
Do you make a choice when you murder someone? Like let’s say you find your lover in bed with someone else when you come home from work and you kill them both in your anger right there.
Is that a choice? Or were you blinded by anger? Maybe something happened in your childhood that made you do this. Can you be held responsible for this? Should you be? Was there anything you could have done? Was it inevitable? Can we only say you had a choice? Is the choice there? Or do we just like to pretend that there’s a choice so it makes us feel better?
Let’s go back to this scenario and change it up. What if you found out from a friend that your lover was having an affair? Then you poisoned your lover’s food and they died. It seems like a choice. You could weigh the consequences more than coming home and having the affair sprung on you. But again how much say do you really have if you still ended up murdering them? There must not be something right with you if you weighed the consequences and came up with that result. So do we consider every murderer to be mentally ill in some way since they can’t follow the rules of our society?
Is it within human capacity to ignore social norms, ignore your teachings, and to put yourself in a vacuum and make a choice?
It makes me feel better if there is. But is there really ever a choice? I can’t say I can ever know for sure.