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On Questions of Free Will and Social Cohesion


Throughout the course of civilization, scientists, philosophers, thinkers, and even ordinary people asked: how to be a real human? What really is the definition of this word? What is its purpose on this earth? Is there really a common purpose for all of us? Are there really universal truths and moral standpoints that we are all subjected to follow and based our actions and decisions for peace and unity on earth? Are there really important matters or problems for us to solve as humanity or should we just let everything about and around us random and spontaneous? Are there really appropriate approaches that we people must obey or everything is just relative? Sometimes, the answer for this is no but most of the time, it is yes.


In some parts of the world, people are very different from what we’ve known as “normal” humans. Usually, and sometimes unintentionally, they cause distraction and anxiety to others because of their actions that are different from the norms. And sometimes, these actions are even considered threatening even though they are not really necessarily bad. That is why one must always remember that society chastises those who disobey; those who don’t cooperate. Though, you can skip or cheat the system but you should really be careful because there are consequences on our every action; this is the law of cause and effect. If not prison, defiance is condemned with social toxicity and assault through words and other non-physical punishments. This game isn’t good. Unless, if you really want to play with it. So at some point, society is evil. So the best thing to do is to really think before taking actions.  

But some postmodern minds will ask, what is normal anyway? Does normality really exist? Is there a need for flexibility and adaptation for us to subsist in a society? Fortunately, there are also people who are sincere and concerned about these questions and indeed provided answers based on the results of their hard work, philosophical thinking, and deep contemplations. And yes, there are things that are necessary to maintain for our species to survive, thrive, and be consistently harmonious. Sometimes, these are called universal moral principles. These are the things that keep us human; meaning, a distinct species that has so many unique characteristics, including physical and mental capabilities to improve not only his or her self but also the things around him/her.  

However, as Homo sapiens we have the choice to break these universal and natural rules and not fulfil our “biological duty” if we wish to. But in general, humans think and act in accordance to these natural roles and rules. So it means we are not totally free but sometimes, we can be free. However, it is important to ask first: what do I want or what will I do with my freedom? Why I’m having this freedom? Who am I really trying to satisfy and serve? In most occasions, we compromise and we follow certain rules for us to fit in and contribute to the harmony that the society is trying to maintain. This is called conformity; a requirement for social cohesion. In other words, conformity is not always bad. So you are not really free. However, you are conforming for your freedom; freedom from chaos, harm, diseases, oppression, disharmony, social unrest, and discomforts.

Featured Photo: aifs.gov.au/cfca/2018/03/28/scanlon-foundation-mapping-social-cohesion-2017