This is not a Pro-Choice, Pro-Life thread. Note: Reference to "Plan" in poll concerns an external plan that individuals are guided to by external unknown forces. Some may view this as God's guidance. Do you believe we choose- complete choice, limited, or no choice? Possibly an ambitious thread, presented for discussion. I brought this up in another thread, and thought a dedicated discussion could be interesting. While I’d like to keep this thread from becoming politicized as much as possible, I understand that a discussion of laws and law enforcement will inevitably be part of the discussion. When I was young I was convinced that I’ve made a series of choices, all based on free will. We choose to be good or bad, work hard or be a slacker, be moral or be immoral by whatever standard is used. But as I’ve grown older, I’m now questioning our abilities or at least our complete ability to choose. Recently I was listening to PBS and they interviewed a famous Opera singer, a woman, who as I understand it, grew up poor in the U.S. South, was exposed to music as a child, fell in love with Opera and eventually became a famous Opera Singer. Unfortunately I did not catch her name. Was this 1) her choice in a completely randomized event, 2) her acting upon who she was or what she was destined to be, triggered by this random event, or 3) for lack of a better term, this reveals a divine plan, her predisposition and the opportunity guided her to a preordained vocation. I regard #3 as impossible to verify. Some Examples of Choice 1. You are lost in the woods, following a trail trying to find your way back home. You come to a fork in the trail and can veer to the left or the right. Basic choice. 2. Sally’s Mom offers her peas, carrots, and/or green beans for dinner along with the meat and potatoes. Sally hates peas and green beans so she “chooses” carrots. Was this a choice? I don't think so. Would you choose to eat something that tastes bad? She went with her viable option. 3. But Marry knows her Mom really wants her to eat green beans, so to please her Mother, she agrees to eat them even though she does not like them. Choice or predisposition? 4. Attending college, it’s time Bill declare a major, but he can’t figure out what to do with his life, so declares no major. I say not a choice, but acting on who he was at that moment in time. 5. Biff is a slacker, who never had the money for college, could go get a job, and work in a boring environment, earning money to support himself, but instead he continues his slacker ways, no job, mooching off friends, robbing people on the street, and going to jail. Was this his choice, or who he was? More importantly, why would he choose a life style that will end him up in jail instead of putting out some effort to provide the necessities of life? (This example is not presented as a rationale that poor people are slackers and don’t work hard. I imagine some do and some don’t. ) 6. Bill is attracted to vocational type jobs like auto mechanic, electrician, and carpenter. He can't make up his mind, so he flips a coin. Choice, but would it be a choice for him to choose between a vocation and something like being an accountant? 7. Little Jimmy wants to be a doctor, ever since he was 6 playing the board game “Operation”. Was this his choice? Obviously he is not going to choose a profession that does not attract him. Does he have the free will to pick a profession that does not attract him? Why would he do that? 8. Jeffery Dahmer, did he choose to kill people or is this who he was? I’d argue that something in Dahmer’s personality drove him to it, I don’t claim to know what it is, but do believe that having fun killing people, reflects some form of mental illness. Logically people understand consequences of their actions, but jail and/or execution does not deter them. 9. A robber takes a woman hostage, gets cornered by law enforcement and holds a gun to her head threatening to kill her. He is talked into surrendering. After considering his options he surrenders. Was this his choice? I'll acknowledge that if his emotions get the better of him, that our brains are composed of multiple switches that are flipped by external influences, but are those choices or just reactions? Any critiques welcome.