c. 1953

The one inexorable law that can be discerned in life is the Law of Cause and Effect.

arious antecedent conditions are the cause.

They include the manifold capacities of the objects involved. These capacities have limits of operation which are determined on the one hand by heredity or inherent properties, and on the other by habit through internal conditioning or modified function through external conditioning. However, the performance of any of the objects is a random variable and may not reach the limit of its capacity nor any portion of it which may be predetermined by some external object.

These capacities are further dependent upon instantaneous quanta of energy; generally speaking, what is called electro-magnetic or mechanical energy; biologically speaking, chemical or physical energy; and psychologically speaking emotional or intellectual energy. They are dependent on the "free will" of the object (the measure of the randomness of its performance), its total capacities, and the degree of their integration in order to achieve a unified result.

The conditions include the manifold stimuli acting on the objects involved. These are all interwoven with each other and with the capacities of the objects; they or others have acted to develop the capacities of the objects; and objects which are the source of stimuli to another object in turn receive stimuli from the object stimulated.

The capacities will limit the result of the interactions in the phenomena which we call "success", "medlocrity", or "failure"; the stimuli will limit the end result in the interaction which we call "opportunity".

The interactions will either be random or will be according to some design. If we call this design "omniscience" it will not determine the result unless we call it "omnipotence" as well. In either case unpredictable behavior of the objects will be observed.

he effects will be of two types.

Changes may occur in the objects or in the objects' activity. The change may involve the nature or character of the object, its activity or its "motive" or "purpose".

A   "choice" may be made; that is, of two or more possible avenues of. continuation one w1ll constitute the effect. Avenues of continuation are never what we may call precisely "equal" since this would necessitate a precise equivalence in the capacities and the stimuli; hence we might say that no true "choice' can ever be made, except in limited cases where the results will probably be unimportant, and the avenue of continuation will be the one of the greatest tendency. But regardless of whether or not they make a "choice" certain objects, which we call "life forms", form intentions and make and carry through decisions.

This then is the point. Whether or not free w1ll exists iS irrelevant to the quest1on of action; one has free will proportionately to his belief in it. Somewhere beyond the ultimate stimuli there may be forces over which a person has no control but if he acts vigorously and with determination and knowledge, and certainty or faith in his free will, then he "has" it, whereas if he doubts it he will act vacillatingly, indefinitely, or not at all, and we may say that he "hasn't" it.

(originally published under the name of John Fitz)