Several years ago, I was in a class (don't remember the subject other than it being a German subject), being shown a movie that had the message that you choose your own destiny, it's just a matter of making choices. After the movie, we were told to group ourselves in pairs and discuss the validity of that claim.
Well, I happened to disagree with the movie, because I feel our paths are predestined (more on why I feel like this later in the blog), but because I have social anxiety and because I've basically trained myself since early childhood to obey and never question authority, I was unable to put the full weight into my conviction, because it just lay in the back of my head that "the teacher showed us this movie, because that's his opinion – he's authority, so his views are correct and I'm wrong to be against them".
I was getting better at combating this mental obstruction, but I was still hampered by it. In the discussion with my partner (who supported the movie's message), I was able to overcome my abovementioned handicap enough to voice my opinion, but was unable to present logical arguments because of too much doubt. I remember my partner got pretty upset by my views – her arguments, however, were just variations of "Well, this is how it is! Accept it!"
This is what made me speculate about the purpose of the two differing ideologies – they're intended to change the way people think and act, but in which way and what sort of personalities are subject to follow which ideology?
Let's take a look at me – why do I believe my path to be predestined? Why do I refuse to submit to the other ideology?
Answer: Because if I truly held free will – if the choice truly was mine, then all my defeats in Life, all the unwanted occurrences that took place, my current, miserable state will have all been my fault alone, according to the ideology of "free will". "I did not make the right choices, I destroyed myself! Thus, I deserve the suffering by right!" – to constantly walk around thinking that does not serve me, does not help me and does not improve my situation.
Learning to instead think that things happened that I had no control over, teaches me to accept myself, to even be proud of myself, and that is what I need to heal myself.
After years of self-analysis, years of learning about psychological disorders (primarily those I suffer from myself), talking to my friends about my experiences and hearing their input, this is now my conclusion:
Circumstances, the knowledge I had back then, the views and input I was fed, the anxieties I felt, the rules I was taught etc. – taking all that into consideration, there was no other way I could have conceivably have acted. I acted based on what circumstances compelled me to act. How could I conceivably have made any other choice?
Every choice you make is carefully pre-planned – part of it is hardwired into your personality (what you like, what you don't like and many other factors), part of it is determined by experiences (something bad happens that makes you want to avoid anything resembling that ever again, or something good happens that you want to do everything in your power to experience again). External experiences are often determined by other people, who again act as they do, because of their personalities, experiences etc. And then there are those external happenings that just happen without any kind of human intervention.
In my view, "Free will" figures nowhere into the equation, except as an illusion conjured up by the human mind that fools some of Us to think we are awesome because we "made a lot of great decisions", while it fools some others of Us to think we are failures who made the "wrong decisions".
No – all humans are born equal, but we are not all born equally priveleged. Those who were born privileged often think they're "better" than others, not even beginning to think that their success was basically handed to them on a silver platter. Those who have had circumstances conspire against them end up thinking they did everything wrong, when in truth, they just never got anything served to them.
I do not claim my view is the "correct" view – I am well aware that I could easily have made multiple miscalculations and committed logical errors, but I felt I should share my point of view. Maybe some of you out there hold the opposite view (i.e. "We HAVE free will") and possess knowledge and observations I don't have, and it is then my hope you will share these with me so I can rectify my own thesis.