Thursday, January 12, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

Over heard on a recent program about the Bible Code: "Even if there's an all-knowing God who knows everything we're going to do doesn't mean we have to do it." Huh???

Leaving aside the whole thorny issue of an omniscient and omnipotent God, free will is a concept that is easy for us to understand, yet so very hard to put into practice. Except for autonomic bodily functions, everything we do is based on choices we make. Everything. This is the hard part.

I choose to eat. I could choose not to. Lots of people have done it in the past. Some have died from it. That was their choice. I could choose not to work, not to pay the bills; I could choose to go on a murder spree 0r run naked through the streets (shudder). We all feel like we are being held hostage by forces beyond our control sometimes, some of us a lot of the time, but that is an illusion we choose to hold on to. It's easier than taking responsibility for ourselves and our choices.

That's really what free will is all about, isn't it? Responsibility. Nobody becomes a serial killer because they were abused as children. That's bullshit. Serial killers choose to do what they do. They could also choose to walk away from their past and be decent people. It's easier for them to choose to follow the downward path and blame somebody else for everything they do.

We all say "I have to write. I don't have any choice." Well, yeah, we do. We could choose not to write and accept our own responsibility for the consequences of that choice. For most of us, it's easier to write. Insanity is hard. Trust me on this.

People who live their lives as victims choose to do so. Even if they never gave the matter a conscious thought, their actions and attitudes are choices. Each and every one of us has the responsibility to ourselves and to the world at large to be aware of our choices, to make the best choices we can, and to accept the consequences. Wake up to the possibilities in your life, choose your path consciously and with malice aforethought, change your mind whenever you want to. That's free will. That's the privilege of being human.


At 8:15 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Then your horoscope says you have no choice. Hmmm. Wonder what your answer to that will be!

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Carter said...

I choose to not believe my horoscope, of course. You ain't gonna catch me that easy!

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Heather Lynne said...

I agree, Carter. We have to have free will or what's the point of living? I may be pissed off at whatever God there may be, but I still made the choices. End of story.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Mama Rose said...

Exactly, Carter.

There's a flip side of free will that a lot of people trip over. It's the part that says that if I can choose for myself, so can you, even if I disagree with your choice. Even if that choice turns out to be a bad one and I saw it coming, I still don't have the right to dictate your choices.

One possible exception: If you're a minor child and I'm your parent, I have an obligation to stop you from hurting yourself or other people. I have an obligation to try to teach you to make good choices. :)


At 1:58 PM, Blogger Carter said...

Hi Linda.

There will always be those who think they know better than anybody else. They are welcome to try to dictate my choices to me, but they have to accept the consequences, if they do. In my case, I will either ignore tham or tell them to get stuffed and THEN ignore them.

Parents have the moral responsibility to make good decisions for their children and to teach them to make their own good choices. On the flip side, your children can choose to follow a different course of action. That's when parenting gets really hard. You can't just chain them to a radiator, no matter how strong the temptation sometimes. :) Like you said, that's the dark side of free will.


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