Do I have free will or not?
Does life have a purpose or not?
Can my actions make a difference or not?
These types of questions are deep enough, but they are not answerable in a way that is philosophically or scientifically verifiable and testable. There needs to be some environmental matrix postulated before we can even begin to make sense of those questions. Unfortunately, the environment and the assumptions based upon it are subject to endless interpretations and quibbles.
Thus an individual before he can take any action is compelled to take an infinity of complex things and compress them into a few useful thoughts. In the immediate moment a philosopher or scientist will probably not come up with any better solution to a problem than an alert person, and a living person is always compelled to act right now. For a present problem, there is rarely time for intellectual debate or scientific experiment to offer help and most of the time an experienced companion will be a better guide. So, what should we do? There is an obvious answer to the questions above.
We must act as if the answers to all those questions are yes and we must act immediately as if we do have free will, that our lives do have a purpose, and that our actions do make a difference. When it comes to the big questions we must step forward and participate with what we’ve got. We can, in quiet times when there is nothing important that needs doing, think about those philosophical questions, and similar ones too. But, when action is needed and needed immediately, all the philosophical argument and all the scientific experiments and even the best advice of an experienced friend must be ignored.
Often we are compelled to participate in life’s problems promptly or perish.