I hold firmly to free will as an absolute and defining aspect of human kind. Each of us is a free moral agent, responsible and accountable.

Recent study results and other data have led some to assert that free will and decision-making is illusory, that our choices are simply response to stimuli and our perception that we acted intentionally and independently is just an illusion. Philosopher Eddy Nahmias calls proponents of this thinking “willusionists.”

BioLogos (a worthy blog) has presented an article by Dr. Tim O’Connor where he argues effectively that the new science in this regard is a work in progress, hardly worth more than evidence of things to come, and that the arguments are entirely inadequate for denial of free will.

http://biologos.org/blog/human-moral-responsibility-and-the-sciences-of-the-mind

While I don’t see willusionist thinking altering anything practical in the near future, I do see it as another tool for self-serving progressives to use for justifying their actions and the ever-present unintended consequences, which invariably result in more hardship and suffering than the idealistic well-intended programs were to solve.

The human conscience is problematic for most of us because it makes us feel guilty when we fail to live up to our own standards, even the perceived standards of others, especially when morality is involved.

Sometimes the guilt floods us, and sometimes we think we just can’t swim after forty days, or worse. It is problematic.

In response, most of us turn inward and to religion. This is good. This is history.

Scoffers point to religion and claim it is at the root of the conflicts throughout history, but they miss the obvious. The conflicts are a result of free will and the ever-present drive in us all to control our surroundings and secure our well-being. One can control most aspects of life by planning, hard work, and good-faith effort. One can even build up defenses and plan contingencies against the forces of nature. However, one cannot plan for and control the actions of free moral agents. If someone will not act in good faith, nor in good will, there is a problem.

The only way to control us humans is by coercion with adequate force of power and arms to back it up. The fact that such immoral actions have been draped in religious trappings from time to time is sad all around.

The short version of the willisionist thinking is that there are no morals and no justification for guilt. When we start saying that, we have totally lost the bubble.

The reality is, we have free will. We can choose anything we will. We can choose well or poorly. We can choose right or wrong. It is all on only one, me, the chooser. I am liable once I do it. I will reap accordingly sooner or later. God doesn’t set it. Heisenberg doesn’t set it. I do. You do. It is what we are. I am the choices I make.

Own up to it, and do better. Move forward, and trust God to fulfill His promise to eventually perfect you. (I happen to think that will be long into the next life, whatever long might mean in that context.)

 

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