Destiny and Human Distinction
- :Shahid Mutahhari
Human acts are among the events which have no definite and irrecocable destiny. They depend on thousand and one causes, including man's own will and choice. All the possibilities which exist in the case of inorganic material, plants and the instinctive acts of the animals, are valid in the case of man also. In addition he has intellect, will and choosing power.
Man for his own reasons and of his own will can abstain from doing a thing which is fully in keeping with his natural and animal instinct. Similarly without being compelled by any external forces he can do a thing which is totally against his nature, if he thinks that it is advisable to do that. Man like animals is influenced by his instinctive motives and emotional desires, but he is not tied to them. Even in the presence of all the factors which compel an animal to act instinctively, man is free to use his will power and to decide whether he should or should not take a particular action. His performance of an act depends on like an executive authority. That is why man influences his destiny as a free agent. He is always at liberty to do or not to do a thing.
Anyhow, his liberty does not mean that he is not subject to the law of causation, or he can evade it. In fact human liberty does not mean man's freedom from the law of causation. In contrast such a freedom will actually amount to compulsion, for practically there is no difference between man's being forced by a particular factor to act against his will, and the act itself not being dependent on has liberty and freedom, we mean that his acts emanate from his will with the approval of his power of discrimination and no-external factor, whether it is destiny or anything else, forces him to do a thing against his desire.
In short all causes are manifestations of the divinely ordained fate and destiny. The number of imaginable destines in respect of an event will be corresponding with the number of the causes and the alternatives which can be imagined. The particular course which an event takes will be in accordance with a divinely ordained destiny, and the course which it does not take will also be in accordance with a divinely ordained destiny.
Adapted from the book: "Man and Destiny" by: "Shahid Mutahhari"
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