“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul” – W. Ernest Henley

Questions posed? “Are we able to make authentically free choices, or are our actions determined by factors beyond our control? Given exactly the same conditions or circumstances, could we have chosen otherwise than we did? Are we responsible for the choices we make and their outcomes, or should we be excused from responsibility?”

From the text book- The Philosopher’s Way, Fourth Edition, Author John Chaffee

I believe that most of our choices we make are based on our emotions. Our emotions drive us so strongly sometimes that we aren’t able to see rationally or logically. When we are faced with decisions and our emotions end up being the force behind the decision we have a shot at ruining our life, bettering our life or not creating much of a difference at all.

This is the reason behind the fact that I hate the following quote, “Follow your heart…”

Our hearts and what we feel with our emotions can lie to us. What is the driving force behind the strong emotion that is so powerful we can actually ruin our lives by following it? Well that is a matter of circumstance; and opinion. Are you excruciatingly lonely? When faced with the option to have sex with someone who you shouldn’t is probably going to over take your senses and you will make a choice you will probably regret. It is especially difficult to deny yourself this chance if you have had feelings for this person that you have been fighting for a while now. Say your best friend already told you that they like this person and plan to ask them on a date. Your friend finds out what happened, and now and forever there is a stain on the relationship between the two of you. If you relationship between the two lovers goes into something deeper then the innocent party could be offended by your choice in the matter.

But what is the right thing to do in this situation? No one will ever actually know for certain. What’s done is done and can’t be undone. I think that a person of high morals and integrity would answer, “You should not choose the option to have sex with the person that your friend likes.” When you make a choice that you know will more than likely end up hurting someone who trusts you, you can count on that trust flying out the window and watching it as it bounces off the pavement, struggling to come to a stop and then watch it as it is run over by passing cars until in vanishes into the weeds on the side of the road or until it is torn apart and disintegrated into nothing, smothered into the blacktop. Now, people can continue a relationship with the lack of complete trust but how happy and fulfilling is that relationship going to be? Probably not as good as it could have been. Now, this situation is different than people making mistakes and they didn’t know they were making them. A conscious decision to make the choice that you know could hurt someone is different than someone ~~~)  Remember that since you are friends you probably have a lot in common, therefore you are going to be interested in a lot of the same things.

What do you think would be more forgivable? Someone sleeping with the love of your life, or someone accepting a job offer that their friend has tried to attain for a year? Although I’m sure some would disagree, I think most people would say it would be harder to forgive the first one. Then there is another group who would say well both are pretty hard to forgive on the same level and insisting that a person who would do either one is not a good friend and cannot be trusted. For me I would be in the third group. I feel that anyone who would do either, doesn’t value me as a person who has feelings, let alone value my friendship.

Now, considering the question, would you make the same choice if you had the chance to do it all over again? Knowing then what you know now, would you make the same decision? As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. But then there are those of us who have analyzed this question with a certain situation in our lives and we honestly don’t know what we would do. Let’s say that you made a decision and you now have a child out of that decision with another person who is less than just desirable, but has made your life a living hell. A person who poses a threat to your safety and your hands are tied as far as eliminating the situation. If you could go back and change that decision, knowing what you know now, would you still have that child? If the situation meant that you or your child would not be in harms way or fearful every day because you would go back and change that decision? Would you, for the love of your child either decide against it or go ahead with it? Both of these answers can mean that you love your child and by choosing one or the other doesn’t mean that you love your child any less. For example it’s like someone giving their child up for adoption. On one hand, a person loves that child so much that they are willing to let someone (hopefully) more capable raise that child in hopes that the child will have a better life. And on the other hand you want to keep your child and love it and take care of it the best you can. Neither says that one loves their child more than the other. I personally could not give my child up for adoption but I don’t condemn those who do, for the right reasons.

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