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Imaginary Socrates Dialogue

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“Good morning, Socrates. I came to see you, because I seek for the answers only you have”.

“Good morning, my friend. I believe your questions struggle wildly in your mind. You came to see me so early”.

“It is the thing I cannot control. I know I had to come”.

“What do you say? I was not expecting to see you. I have not seen you for a while. I am glad you are here now, but it is no more than just your wish to come”.

“You seem to be amazed. You do not know that everything in life should not come as a surprise.”

“No, it is never so. Tell me, my friend, do you sincerely believe that your life is determined by forces of the fate?”

“Not by the fate, but yes, it is ultimately determined”. 

“How is it so?”

“I am not in power to decide and take control over my life. In the universe I am a guest, who is invited in the specific time and has to go and say “good bye” when his time runs out”.

“It is so sad for me to hear this. What is that you tell me, is it determinism that has spoiled your life?”

“There are no things to spoil, but truth should be embraced. Everything happens for a reason. This is the law of nature and it has to be obeyed. We have no choice, but to admit “that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes” (Determinism, n.d.).

“If it so, than how would you define free will?”

“There is no such thing. It is funny to speak about this with you. Your wisdom must be free from prejudices”.

“It is not about the wisdom of my mind, my friend, but you have to realize that thoughts of yours are covered with lie”.

“I cannot comprehend your words, Socrates. You dispute the laws of nature”.

“I never do so. But even though, the free will can affect the nature with its laws.”

“No”.

“Do you know what happens to a rock that falls?”

“Yes, it falls and hits the earth”.

“Are you sure that if I throw a rock it falls?”

“That is evident. I am sure, because it is the law”.

“Watch this. I have the rock in my hand. I throw it. I catch it in a second with my other hand”.

 “The law of nature did not work…”

“It was my free will, my wish to catch it. Free will is the power of your mind to make its own decisions, to choose what is best for you among the alternatives of good and evil. Determinism means giving up. When you believe that you can change everything any minute, when you know that this is your life and it is in your power to do what you want, than no circumstances can break your free will. You say that something is supposed to be the way it is. You say that your choices are the imposition of previous causes. This is because you do not understand your choices. You have to be conscious of things you do and control your feelings and emotions”.

“Socrates, I understand there are explanatory causes for every event”.

“How do you define an event?”

“Well, it is a specific thing that happens”.

“Why do you say that it is specific?”

“It is specific, because it is important”.

“For whom it is important?”

“For a human being, of course”.

“Judging from your words, I can say that there is such thing as a human event, is it true?”

“Very true”

“Do you know the difference between an event and a human event?”

“No, I think it is the same thing”.

“My dear friend, do you consider everything to be a human event?”

“Yes, I do”.

“Breathing is important for humans. Is it a human event?”

“Yes it is”.

“Does it change anything in life?”

“No, it does not. So, I was wrong”…

“A puddle is dried out somewhere. Is this a human event?”

“No, it is an event we can never get to know about. I see now, an event and a human event are different things”.

“What here can you call a manifestation of free will?”

“Nothing is free will. As I have said, there is no such thing”.

“An event is a minute when you dress your thoughts in an act, when your ideas become a part of real life, when an action is performed”.

“I do not understand a part of free will that you are talking about”.

“Imagine that free will is a crown. One becomes a king with a crown, another turns into an exile. It depends on a human being. When someone bends under the power of circumstances, he says it is determinism. Free will gives hope and helps to win in every situation”.

“Socrates, you think we always have a choice, but I do not agree”.

“A choice is difficult to make, but we always have one. Everything has explanatory causes. It is what you feel. Do you think you can control your life?”

“No, it is impossible. One does not choose to life or to die. You cannot hold your breath and forget about life”.

“Can you see that river?”

“Certainly, I can”.

“I cannot swim, so if I choose, I can go into the water and never come back again. It is my will, my human choice. It is what I make up my mind to”.

“Yes, it is… I have never thought about this”.

“An explanatory cause is what you feel and do – the understanding of why you do so. Is it possible to have external determinism and internal free will?”

“Yes, I guess so”.

“How can one be under the ground and see the sun?”

“There is no way”.

“So is the case with free will and determinism, they do not coexist. Do you understand how it is to be free?”

“Socrates, I think it means to live”.

“Your soul is in chains and is imprisoned. You are the one who takes away your freedom. No one can chain your will, but the shadows of fear in your heart. You choose between the oppositions such as: life and death, light and darkness. Your hope makes you free. When you believe, despise bad things around you, that you can find your happiness, your will is free from determined disasters. When you are free inside, your life is free from the external influence”.

“My soul, my heart and life are betrayed. I have given up”.

“Listen to a story, my friend. They say that the soul is a chariot. A human is a charioteer that metaphorically stands for the reason. The chariot has two winged steeds. One is white. It is brave and means the spiritedness. Another is black. The black horse is the concupiscence. The white and black horses always drive the chariot up or down. It is either too close to the earth or too high in the sky. It is the will of the charioteer to put the chariot on the level of the divine heights”.

“I understand. I have to be brave and have a strong desire to live in order to be free. My will power is as strong as I want it to be in my heart and my mind”.

“You understand this now. What will you do next?”

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