What do you call those little wooden figures with movable arms and legs that are controlled by strings from above (like Pinocchio)? It’s a puppet, right? Actually, no, that’s a marionette. I learned that from reading an article which featured a prominent psychiatrist referring to people who
described themselves as marionettes of helplessness.
Sadly, too many people see themselves (or others) as marionettes—controlled by strings that direct their actions. They can’t help themselves. If they stole your property, it’s your fault for not locking it up. This is a very old idea, but in philosophy, it has a name.
Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. Determinism may also be defined as the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future. Why is determinism attractive? Consider the day when Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments…