Rafed English

Material Philosophy and Destiny

Some people are under the impression that this dilemma presents itself only to those who believe in religion, and the materialists are not faced with any such problem.

This is a false impression. The people having the material way of thinking are also faced with this problem, though with a little difference.

According to the law of causation every event and every phenomenon is the product of one or more causes, and that cause (or causes) in turn is the product of some other cause or causes. It is an indisputable corollary of this law that in the presence of the relevant cause the effect must appear and in the absence of it, the appearance of the effect is impossible.

The materialists accept this relationship between a cause and its effect and consider it to be the basis of their material philosophy. Now obviously the human acts like all other phenomena must be governed by this law. They cannot be an exception to it. If that is so where can theory of free will and human liberty stand?

This is why we see that in all old and new philosophical systems the problem of compulsion and free will exists quite well. As we will explain later, some variation in the nature of the problem makes no substantial difference In fact the belief in fate and destiny has certain advantages that are missing in the belief in physical compulsion.

Adapted from the book: "Man and Destiny" by: "Shahid Mutahhari"

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