By Abida Ali (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
All humans have free will and it is upon them to decide what they do now that shall represent them in the future. However, due to the improvement in scientific technology, science is able to establish laws of the human behavior. In contradiction to this statement, it is also said that because humans have a free will, science is unable to predict the human behavior. Is this true? How can it be possible that laws can be established but not be able to predict the human behavior?
Human sciences study the social, biological and cultural values of the human behavior. This clearly signifies that the scientific study of human behavior does not interpret what decisions a person will take, rather it gives an assumption on how a person may react to a particular action depending on their personal emotional behavior and cultural aspects.
It is upon each human being according to his/her principles to react the way they wish to and that is why they have a free will. Humans have been given the free will so that they can make their decisions which suits them best. Hence, human sciences study the different cultures and different emotions of human beings and it comes up with a conclusion. This conclusion is categorized in particular groups according to the cultural and social aspect. However, this conclusion doesn’t indicate 100% on how humans will respond to a certain action. It gives possible ways in which humans may respond to a specific action.
For example, in the Islamic culture, according to Islamic principles, the law states that “drinking alcohol intoxicates the mind and makes humans lose their consciousness, therefore, it is forbidden to drink alcohol under any circumstances.” In addition to that, it is also scientifically proven that drinking alcohol not only intoxicates a person’s mind but it also damages other parts of the body for example, the liver.
Being a Muslim, I, personally, will fully agree with my religious principles not only because I have to, but because I want to. The reason for that is because I have seen the consequences others have faced due to drinking alcohol. I have also studied what alcohol does to a person’s body and according to my intellectual sense, I feel that, it is logically proven that drinking, is harmful for the body in many ways. However, I have the freewill to follow my values or go against them. Let us say, a person with different opinions to mine approaches me and tells me that it doesn’t matter to drink a little, what harm will it cause? Based on a psychological study, drinking a little also can tempt someone to drink more. Thus, this shall form a habit of drinking daily until it reaches to a certain point where this habit becomes uncontrollable.
According to scientific studies, it will surely initiate the fact that due to Muslims’ belief, all Muslims will follow their Islamic principles and refuse to accept that drinking a little is okay. But what if I say no? What if I agree to what the other person says and I become influenced? Yes, I am a Muslim but I also have a freewill and I can choose to go against my principles. So, human sciences can undoubtedly establish their laws and give the most possible ways on how a person with certain values may respond, but it cannot predict or interpret what the person will respond.