Monday, November 26, 2007

Freewill

HT: Jollyblogger

In high school I gave a presentation in my geometry class on human decision-making. I basically understood the gospel to be a gospel largely of choice. That is that God has done everything but make your choice for you. I saw that each person had outside influences and then internal aspects of their being that caused them to make the choices they made. I thought that each person was free in their choices. But as I described this, my teacher said that the ideas I described were fatalism. I did not understand what he was saying but the more I thought about it as I studied philosophy the more I saw that I had described a type of physiological, biochemical or Freudian determinism. I had not described what sort of system existed in the individual that governed the decision making process. That each person was who they were and this was the bases of decisions. In essence I described the bad news, that we have a nature and it governs our choices. Whether that nature is built on a biochemical bases or some sort of psychological make up was not my concern. It really does not matter which type of mechanism you choose, pun intended, you ended up with a type of determinism. Mind you, I actually believe in freewill more than ever, but I'm realistic that my choices are limited by my nature, by my environment, by the choices my parents made, by choices I made prior to this current choice, by choices my neighbors have made, and a host of other factors. So what if God comes in to free me from some of these factors?

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