Against Fatalism Essay

1444 words - 6 pages

It is the opinion of The Author that the most intellectually exhausted debate in the Western European tradition revolves around the existence of free will. This question has been so thoroughly ground to a pulp that if you look up the Wikipedia article on it, one of the first things you will encounter is a simple graphical taxonomy of the possible positions one can take on the issue, which allows one, assuming one believes that their position has not been preordained, to determine where one stands without dragging out the same fatigued arguments for yet another obnoxious ballyhoo. While other traditions have also dealt with this subject extensively, they have, for the most part, either been prescient or blessed enough to find other, less mind-numbingly intractable issues to validate their participation in humanity’s unofficial, though remarkably uncontested universal pastime, namely blowing each other to smithereens, which, despite it’s best efforts, inclusive humanism has roundly failed to supplant, although it may be winning the war while losing all of the battles (Pinker). It may even be possible that the intractability of this debate has contributed to the resounding success of the various and sundry teams that Western Europe has sent to the international league, since, as a central aspect of the schism between Protestant and Catholic dogmas, it may have directly or indirectly provided the ideological justification for the vast majority of European religiopolitical conflict between roughly 1560-1715 CE, which seems to have provided a strenuous training regimen that in turn drove significant advancements in the practice of the sport. On the bright side however, the horrors of this conflict may also have been responsible for the birth of Humanism, which, if Pinker is to be believed, is helping to reduce participation on a global scale.
Similarly, a national fascination with organized bloodsport may also have facilitated the development of Moist philosophy; during its incubation, China was embroiled in what is now known as the Warring States period (500-220 BCE), which may have been one of the most violent and protracted dissolution and subsequent consolidations of national political power the world has ever seen. This conflict in turn gave rise to a number of philosophies that competed for ideological supremacy in an intellectual adjunct known as the Hundred Schools period. While it is not the central tenant of Moist philosophy, the issue of free will is addressed in one of the essays that constitute the ten Moist Doctrines, produced by Mozi’s students, whose title translates roughly as Against Fatalism.
If we accept that this book accurately depicts the teachings of Mozi, his doctrine regarding the issue of free will asserts that denying human agency inhibits the attainment of the practical means that facilitate the ends of the state, namely economic stability, a large population base, and social harmony. Although he does not directly address...

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