Put simply, purposeful human action is comprised of what one does with their time. Because time is scarce, individuals are continually confronted with the reality that they cannot do everything they want to. The things we end up doing are things that we believe will lead to a more desirable state in near or distant future.
Some argue that human action is not the result of choice; that what people do with their time is dictated by genetics or some predisposition. I often hear people say, I was born to act such-and-such a way – I don’t have a choice – this is just who I am. This is simply untrue. I believe I can prove it in six logical steps.
- For action to occur the possibility to act must exist.
- Absent the possibility to act, no action could possibly occur.
- The fact that man acts cannot be disputed. To argue otherwise requires man to act.
- Therefore, because man acts, it must be the case that, at the very least, a single possibility for man to act upon exists prior to every action.
- If a single possibility exists, logic demands that it’s opposite must also. For instance, to stand one must have forgone the possibility to not stand. To run one must have forgone the possibility to not run. So every action arises from no less than two possibilities; do or don’t do.
- So it can be stated with certainty, that prior to every action a choice must occur. There is no getting around this.
Do we have a say in what we prefer? Absolutely. The individual is the only one capable of determining whether to-do or not-to-do. Preference is revealed in action. One cannot act counter to what is perceived by oneself to be the most advantageous of all possible actions. The choice is made, to-do or not-to-do, based on what condition one prefers and the belief that doing or not doing will get them to where they desire to be. For, if in fact, one genuinely preferred to walk rather than to not walk, they would walk. By doing so, the onlooker could say with certainty, that person prefers to be walking. Similarly, if one genuinely preferred to sit, they must choose to forgo the possibility to not sit. A person who truly has no choice doesn’t have the options to sit or not sit, in which case, they would be essentially unable to do anything at all. The resulting state would be something akin to time stopping. Sitting or not sitting, in such a state, would no longer be possible. Because we all act, we all must have chose what we prefer from all possibilities for action. Therefore, every individual owns their actions, the choices that guide them, and the consequences of them.
Our actions are what differentiate us. There is no additional body part that one could point to or find internally that makes a person, a biker, a mountain climber, a race car driver, a hunter, a pole vaulter or a mechanic. We label each other on the basis of the preferences exhibited in action.
If I were to propose to you that biking is not a choice, or that racing is not a choice – that a biker and racer are born that way – it would sound pretty absurd, right? Of course it would. It’s nonsense. Riding a bike is something anyone can choose to-do or not-to-do. A person who prefers to spend their time riding bikes is called a biker because they choose to ride bikes. We call them a biker because of their actions, but by doing so, we don’t imply that a biker is a different or specific kind of human. The only difference between a biker human and a racer human is what they choose to do. Both are entirely human in their faculties.
Such is the case with sexual preference. To say that no choice exist to prefer the same sex or not, is to say that no action is possible that would reveal that preference. If action is present that indicates the preference of the same sex, then it, without question, must be the case that the choice was made to act that way rather than not. People who have sex with others of the same gender are labeled as homosexuals. They too, just like the biker, are entirely human in their faculties. The label is a result of their actions. People who do gay things are called gay people. People who do not do gay things are called straight people.
The reality is that there is no such thing as a gay person or a straight person – only people who act differently.
The reason people spend their time differently is a result of the different choices we make when presented with the option to-do or not-to-do.
It’s time people stop insisting that no choice is involved in sexual preference.