North Cyprus Free Press | Free Will

greeningNorth Cyprus Free Press | Free Will

Readers of NCFP can be divided into four main categories.

  1. British and other English speaking ex-patriots who have purchased or rent a home in Northern Cyprus and live there.
  2. English speakers who visit the country every year or most of them and stay for between two weeks and five months, in a second home, with family or friends, in rented accommodation or at a hotel.
  3. Anglicised Turkish Cypriots, who usually have relatives living in the UK and –
  4. Other English speakers, living on the Greek side of the Island or elsewhere in the world.

There will also be a small fifth category, surfers of the Internet who understand English and have come across this site by chance.

Those of us in the first two categories (I am in the second) may think we ‘decided’ to spend all or part of our year in North Cyprus. Perhaps we fell in love with the place during our first trip here, but why did we come for that initial visit? Was the country recommended to us by acquaintances? Did we read an article in a magazine? Did we see a special offer advertised on the internet? Perhaps we overheard a conversation when standing in a bus queue, or had been posted to the island when a member of the armed forces, or did we just stick a pin in a map? In your case, was the reason one of these suggestions or something quite different?

If we all cast our minds back and are honest enough, most of us should agree that we came here by ‘chance’, but that the chance had a ’cause’. That is not to say our lives are predestined, they are not. This is because in most instances there are a multitude of equal but competing causes and, as on each occasion there can only be one outcome, the element of chance will always play its part. This is not only in the atomic world which we can see, but in the sub-atomic world of particles which we cannot.

Between five and a half and six million years ago, there lived a male and female ape who were the common ancestors to both ourselves and the two existing species of Chimpanzee (Bonobo & Common Chimp). Because of chance we now have only a few things in common with these other animals. As a result of environmental changes, over which our human forebears had no control, their evolution followed a different path to that of the other apes. Because of tiny chance mutations between generations, natural selection made us physically (biologically) different. We then reached a point where cultural (non-biological) evolution kicked in, and that lead us to where we are today. Everything, in the lives of all of us, is the result of causes and chance.

In the past week the British media has been dominated by stories and analysis about the political years of Margaret Thatcher. In almost equal measure she has been praised (for privatisation and going to war in the South Atlantic) and blamed (for destroying old industries and encouraging the bankers). In reality all the commentators are wrong. Mrs Thatcher did not create modern Britain (or break up what Britain used to be). It was the other way round, what the country was and what it became created her. In truth, no politician, no priest, no potentate, no philosopher – or any other person, has ever changed history by one iota. It is people who are changed by events, and events are created by causes and by chance. There are no saints or sinners, those are just characters in stories we have been told.

The idea of Free Will is an illusion our brains formulated, when consciousness started to evolve. Although Bonobos are fairly bright, our lives are light years away from theirs. The causes that served their development were different to ours. It is not possible, in a short article, to fully explain why the concept of Self Determination must always be illogical. If you have read this far you may already be bored. But if the subject engages you try three short articles I wrote for another on-line publication – links below. Alternatively, of course, you can read one of my books. I will return to this subject again.

Michael Greening author of  You Cannot Change The Way You Are

1. ‘Why do most of us believe something that cannot be true’ (Feb 2013)

2. ‘Why it is not possible for us to have free will’ (Aug 2012)

3. ‘Are we in charge of our own lives ?’ (Dec 2011)

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