One of the questions that keeps coming to my mind is whether I, as a member of the human race, have free will. I am asking from a theological perspective but it is also an issue in philosophy, psychology and the hard sciences. It is one of the big questions of life.
In its quest for understanding one of the questions of philosophy has to do with the meaning of life. In that dialogue between different scholars one of the famous quotes comes from Rene Descartes, “I think, therefore, I am.” This is based on a self-awareness that generates ideas that are not programed but generated by the individual.
In psychology you have the behaviorists. The name I associate with that is B.F. Skinner. They teach that you have no free will. Everything is a result of heredity or environment. In their thinking, if you had enough information and a big enough computer, every action you take could be predicted ahead of time.
In science we have the physicists delving into the inner workings of matter. For a long time the prevailing theory was that everything could be determined by set laws. Then came quantum mechanics. They are discovering that evidence that everything can’t be predicted. Even on the molecular level there is a sort of free will.
In the dark of a Texas morning I was meditating on free will and how that is effected by the Imago Dei.
(Gen 1:27 KJV) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.God made us in His image. What does that mean? Since He said it about nothing else He made it must mean that man is different than any of the animals or plants.
Free will is an attribute of God. The more theological term is Free Agency. It means being aware of personhood and making choices that are not the result of coercion or robotic action. It means not being a tool of heredity and environment.
We make choices and deal with the results, good or bad. We are really good at blaming others for our failures and problems. It often seems to me that much of the work of psychology and sociology is identifying the forces that force us to make the wrong choices. The current woke default of victimhood is a result of this. The comedian Flip Wilson could have answered all of that with his line, “The devil made me do it.” One of the reason that modern thinking rejects man as created in the image of God is that it would force them to accept they are moral creatures responsible for their actions.
It is much more fun playing the victim.
So make you choice. God gave you a chance to do that. At least that is my understanding. Of course I could just be programed to say that.
homo unius libri