Ten o’clock PM.
I’ve awoken to the sound of the rain pelting the house and patio cover, like the rhythm of very cause and effect. I can remember as a child in the back car seat watching the droplets trickle down, one joining another and rolling down to gel with yet another, while more kept hitting the window from the sky. It was the same as observing necessity, the chain reaction we call determinism, and seriously analyzed by David Hume, in turn firing the imagination of Charles Darwin until biology is what it is today. Into this domino effect it’s difficult to conceive a free will being introduced, so Immanuel Kant tried to save it with a revamped dualism of the noumena and phenomena, holding that free will and determinism were both true at once. But this model would be awfully hard to prove. You can watch it operating in an old Greek play like Oedipus the King, thus what the old professor wrote on my exam was true: “Fate and free will are not opposites.” His words in pencil always puzzled me for years to come, but if he supposed the existence of the nous, the dwelling place of the gods, then I can see his meaning. We are free to choose what we do, yet what we choose to do is also pre decided and happens by necessity.
Still, David Hume was saying something different. Determinism and fate are not the same thing. Fate is teleological; it acts for an end purpose brainstormed by a god or some intelligence. But determinism is simply the string of causes and effects, a linear progression or sequence; again like the rain trickling down the car window, bead after bead of water attracted to each other, merging and running ever down. It seems to have no beginning or end. It just is.