Choice and Responsibility
To those who say:
"You can't," "You won't."
"I can," and "I will."
In considering the multitude of forces that act on human beings— selective pressures over the course of evolution, heredity, genetics, biochemical fluctuations, how our parents raised us, and the cultural biases that we are all subject to—it may well seem that all our behavior is determined by causal factors set in motion so long ago that we are helpless to alter their course. Certainly order exists in the universe, we are affected by our environment, and forces such as fate, God, or even our astrological sign (if we wish to believe in such things) may exert some influences on our behavior. Nevertheless, we are not completely at the mercy of forces over which we have absolutely no control. We are still capable of making choices.
Admittedly a person is capable of choosing only what he is able to conceive. One cannot explore a road he does not know exists. If a person is brought up in an environment where mom and dad are alcoholics, drug addicts, or thieves who are on welfare or frequently in jail; in an environment where people are shot to death for merely being on the street; in a society that worships sex, violence, and easy money and that mocks those who strive for something better, such an individual may be incapable of choosing to live his life any differently. It simply would not