I love the topic of free will. I love it so much because everyone thinks they know all about it, yet few really do. It is a difficult topic about which to be confident because it is so complicated. But since most tend to embrace a libertarian notion of the will (the will is as free as can be), I have found an odd enjoyment in arguing for a more constrained version of the will. "Love Shackled" explores some of the main constraints of the human will, though it doesn't even begin scratch the surface - and it's a very early rendition of the arguments I was just beginning to encounter. As I studied more, I ended up writing a 100+ page compilation of arguments against libertarian free will - for fun. I have come to understand that the whole argument largely centers around a definition of the term “freedom”. As one friend explained to me, some of the Church Fathers viewed the freedom of the will not as the ability to choose anything. Rather, the will was free in proportion to the ability to choose the best things - to order one’s preferences where they should be. That makes sense to me. I'm not free simply because I have a choice present – a notion to which the addict can attest. The addict is most free when the choice to do drugs isn't even on the table either because of its absence or because they have an absolute aversion to them. Freedom doesn't come from the ability to choose apart from our preferences, but rather from appropriate ordering of our preferences. We are most free when we can only desire to choose the good - that for which we were made. We are most free when we can no longer say, as the Apostle Paul did, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” The day we will be most free is the day most libertarians would have to say we are most constrained - when we are with God and can no longer choose sin because our natures are as such that we want nothing to do with it.
Love Shackled (#22)
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