Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Nazlie Najafi – Metaphysics Phils Day Off

For my metaphysics post I chose the topic of freewill vs determinism. I concluded that that people have freewill, but there are factors that constrain our free will and can even impair it. For my phils off, I wanted to see how far I could push the constraints that were holding me back. I planned on leaving my comfort zone at an event and putting myself in a stressful situation to see how far I can push myself!

For me, this constraint is my social anxiety. I struggle with making friends/speaking to new people because of it. I went to a show on friday with a goal of ‘making new friends’ to see how far I can push myself and how much control I have over my illness in a social situation. I ended up being pretty successful.

I usually stay around the same group of people when I leave my house, whether it be to hangout or at a public event. Although it’s important (and there’s nothing wrong with) having a core group of friends who support you and spend time with you, as an aspiring artist it’s important for me to learn how to communicate (and make connections) with people outside of my inner circle. This is usually difficult for me because I am awkward.

For this show I made a goal of stepping outside of my inner circle. I had some old friends (acquaintances) from salt spring island who were coming out for this show. Usually, I would’ve stayed with my friends, and I’d be way too shy to reach out and say hi or have a timely conversation with anyone. I practiced my ~free will~ and went out of my way to be a little more bubbly and approachable than usual. I ended up spending the entire night dancing and talking to my friend Indigo. She introduced me to her friend Ocea, who lives in Vancouver and also makes art.

This wasn’t easy, and it didn’t feel natural either. Maybe to a “normal” person these interactions would be completely normal. For me they are a bit of a struggle. I’d have to admit that it’s probably not something I’d practice every time I leave my house. But does it mean that every time I leave my house I am doomed to hanging out with the same people, for the rest of my life? Does it mean this is my destiny? No, it doesn’t. I proved that I am capable of going out of my comfort zone and making a choice (although it’s ultimately an uncomfortable and painful choice) that interferes with this “destiny”.

Although environmental and health circumstances usually do determine our behaviour in situations, I proved that I was capable of pushing my boundaries and doing something that I’d never imagine would be possible, which is another reason why I overall believe we have freewill, and that our behaviours don’t abide to a predetermined destiny or law, we are in control (even though health problems and morals do impair us to an extent.)


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