Friday, April 22, 2011

Just Another Friday

Mmm...the possibility of sleeping in, but it's never a reality. As usual, I rose before six and started my morning coffee. Facebooked for awhile, and looked around at the eventual mess that I would have to clean. Thinking to myself, just another half hour of sipping coffee before I tackle the day's work.

Annie had a couple of friends sleep over. They're still asleep, some on the floor, others on the couch and her in her big overstuffed Lazy Boy chair. As hard as she tries, she never manages to stay up and is most often the first to slip off into slumber. I tell her that it's better to not have to do the day sleep deprived, that's not much fun.

I find myself on the verge of completing a lot of small goals. Some I have been attempting for quite a while and others I have just started. I tend to have too many "things" going and never seem to get them completely accomplished, but I fear that's going to have to change.

Today's agenda, although not exciting, is one that must be adhered to. Oh, just simple stuff, such as cleaning out a closet or two, clearing out the carport and cutting a bit of hard West Texas grass. See, obviously, not exciting.

My son is working on his English research paper. Being an English teacher, I don't often come across student writing that knocks me off my feet. You may think that I'm going to be a bit biased, but then you wouldn't know me very well, if you actually thought that. I don't fill my kids' head with unworthy praise. In my opinion, giving them proper praise and encouragement, let's them know that when I really like something they have done...then it means it's really great.

My son has taken on the big question of Free Will vs Determinism. Quite a task, I know and a question that's been around for eons. His approach to writing this paper is rather unique, or maybe it's not, but I've not read a junior research paper ever done like how he has decided to write. I'll let you be the judge and jury and share his first page:

Your alarm goes off, you groggily hit the snooze, at exactly 3 minutes after, it goes off again, and you turn it off, remove the covers and stagger out of bed. You then begrudgingly drag yourself to the kitchen for your morning cup of Joe. Water is poured into the glass pot, the filter is then added along with the coffee grounds and now you patiently wait for your coffee to brew.

As you silently watch your coffee being dripped into existence, you can't help but go back to when you were a child watching the rain and how it would drip from the swing set to the brown patch of dirt beneath it. A soft gurgle brings your mind back into reality. The coffees done, you grasp the pot and pour it into your superman coffee cup. 2 teaspoons of sugar and just a dab of milk, you slowly then ease the cup to your mouth and take a small rewarding sip followed by a much greater one after that.

You look at the clock that's centered on the coffee maker (6:17), you still have a few minutes before you need to get ready for work. So now, you're left alone with your thoughts, you start to remember the argument you got into last night with your girlfriend, about missing dinner that makes you feel like crap. She swears she can't breathe without you, when sometimes you feel you can't seem to breathe with her.

You finish the last of your coffee and start getting ready for work.

Take shower, the steamy water assaults at your body as if attacking an unsuspecting prey, it feels good, a quick and easy way to wake up and deal with the day to day routines of life. That's when you're struck with the thought, is everything we're doing being controlled by a higher power? Do you have a say in what happens to you?

Before you let yourself wonder too far, you grab yourself back into what you perceive as reality.

Brush teeth, the minty paste on the white wire like bristles from your toothbrush enters your mouth and clean and polish your teeth. Is it maybe God that oversees you and governs your every action? You remember back to a time when you were taking a philosophy class at the University of Texas in Austin. Professor David Sosa, you believe his name was. "In a way, in our contemporary world view, it's easy to think science has come to take the place of God. But some philosophical problem remain as troubling as ever. Take the problem of free will. This problem has been around for a long time. Since before Aristotle in 350 B.C., St. Augustive, St. Thomas...these guys all worried about how we can be free if God already knows in advance what you're going to do."

Before you can ponder on this any further, you quickly rinse your mouth out and begin getting dressed for work.

You head to your car, but you can't help but wonder about what else Professor David Sosa said. "So now you might be tempted to just ignore the question, ignore the mystery of free will. Say, Oh, well, it's just an historical anecdote. It's sophomoric. It's a question with no answer. Just forget about it. But the question keeps staring you right in the face. You think about individuality for example, who you are. Who you are is mostly a matter of the free choices that you make. Or take responsibility. You can only be held responsible, you can only be found guilty, or you can only be admired or respected for things you did of your own free will. So, the question keeps coming back, and we don't really have a solution to it. It starts to look like all our decision are really just a charade."

To be continued...

No comments: