reason because neccessary is nothing

There is in me a potential, a freedom to be exercised. In the name of this freedom, itself a sign of the utter unconstrained freedom of my maker, I always have the option to reject, in at least my own mind or heart, a thing or deny it my assent. This option to reject, to say no, becomes all the more attractive when a thing is presented to me as somehow necessary and something i ‘have to’ say yes to. But necessary is nothing, by degault, from the perspective of freedom. everything for me is a choice insofar as it comes within the purview of freedom. What is outside of my freedom to assent or deny, in my own view, is necessary in a different way, which does not cocnern me here. It is not something I take to be a claim that awaits my assent or dissent. And all claims to necessity that are subject to my assent or dissent are relevant to my potential to reject them as neccesary: I ask, “is it really necessary?” I look for ways to be sure of this. I try to explore how a thing may not be as necessary or not in the way presented.

At the same time, what I choose to do or think in a given situation of choice, when I choose x over y, x attains the appearance of a necessary. But it is not necessary for something different can be chosen at another time. What makes something rational to choose is better than something that one feels one has to necessarily do. It is because necessity harms freedom that rationality and reasoning about choices is so important. The force of neccessity weakens as grounds for my assent as the force of freedom manifests more fully. Freedom responds to claims of neccessity be seeking out rejection and moving towards it. The only One who is necessary makes all claims to neccessity of all other things suspect and debatable. Even the rising of the sun every day, if deemed necessary, invites one to realize that it is not truly necessary but only appears to be so because it has what has happened regularly so far. But there is not necessary, rationally, that it must happen.

One reasons about ideas and choices so that one can see something as rational and desirable to do or think and so that one does not slip into a way of thinking that makes certain things appear necessary (even if not rational). Presenting contingent claims, i.e. claims subject to understanding and then affirmation or rejection by human beings, as necessary may appear to make those claims stronger (by claiming for them necessity) but they weaken them because they activate human freedom to question necessity in the name of freedom. All beings other than a necessarily existent one who is the source of all being are contingent in the view of reason. It is thus reasonable to question the necessity of all things. Even the claim that there is a maker who must be a ncessarily existing being is not a neccessary claim but only a reasonable or unreasonable one.

As a free being or being capable of freedom, I should reason about what to do and think and not imagine that something I do or think is necessary for me to do or think. Necessity is the appearance a thing has when I have chosen it over another. But I am to choose something again not because it is necessary to do so but because it continues to be more reasonable or rational compared to alternatives. Reasoning about the truth of a claim or idea or practice, contrary to appearance, is not to make it weaker and subject to disputation/doubt/argument and “arbitrary” choice but to save it from being rejected on account of its contingency quite apart from considerations of reason.

Published by Faraz Sheikh

Faraz Sheikh

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