The physical non-living world around us is governed by the laws of nature. Water, due to the force of gravity, will move from a point of higher elevation to a point of lower elevation if it is permitted, but what if humans come along and erect a dam or divert the flow of water to go somewhere else? When we humans do something to our environment, is that action a complex manifestation of the physical and chemical laws of nature or are we separated from the non-living world in the sense that we choose to take a specific course of action through our own volition and free will? Does free will only exist for humans?
“Arbeit macht frei.” Or put in English: “Work will set you free.”
You know, I haven’t appreciated the validity and value of these words until now. When things get a little unpleasant or a little tough, we cope with it by finding something with which to escape, usually something external. This type of coping is the wrong path.
To demonstrate, think of one thing you really want in your life. Think about your dreams. For argument’s sake, you want a late-model red dodge viper convertible. You know how good it would feel to drive down the road showing off a sexy new sports car to your neighbors and elicit envy from them. Shortly after these thoughts, you are faced with the stark and obvious truth: you are presently not living your dream. A vacuum has been created in your mind. How do too many of us deal with such emptiness? Do we pursue what we want with all our vigor and strength? Ashamedly, no. Often, we seek escape to compensate for the ever-daunting reality that is slowly setting in: we may never live our dreams, so why even bother trying to achieve our dreams? Too many of us have given up inside. We compensate by watching TV, watching movies, watching porn, playing video games, taking drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking or eating too much. However, as any drug addict or gluttonous person knows, these things do not provide true escape. True escape can only be found with the attainment of one’s dreams. True escape is innate in the knowledge that with every passing hour that we work, we are one step closer to living our dream.
What if it takes me years of work in order to fulfill my dreams, you ask? What will placate me while I toil, you ask? Unlike the false escapes mentioned earlier which ultimately bring us shame and guilt, with every hour of hard work comes pride, meaning and self-worth. With every hour of work comes a little bit of freedom. Remember Corinthians 10:13: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Often, we can be so unhappy, but what we don’t recognize is that what we seek the most is right in front of our noses. We simply have to choose to get it.
I hate free will. If there is one error god has made in creating mankind, it is the endowment of free will. It is so because free will gives humans the power to make the wrong decision. Other species don’t seem to have free will. Ants don’t get to choose whether they become soldier ants or worker ants. Birds are simply driven by the imperative to survive and reproduce in the best way they know how.
The patients on the show “My 600lb Life” are the perfect example as to what happens when free will is exercised. Most of the patients are failures, degenerates, losers and most of all miserable, destined to die in their fourties due to obesity-related medical problems. Okay, my 600lb life is an extreme example, but in my life, for example, i have made many decisions that have lead to failure and misery, knowing when i made those decisions, that they were the wrong decisions. I’m sure we’ve all done that in our lives.
True, there are the few of us who do make the right decisions consistently and they are, likewise rewarded for it. Have we, those of us who have lost the very imperative to survive and reproduce in the best way we know how? Or perhaps,
Or perhaps, free-will doesn’t exist after all. Perhaps those of us who make bad decisions were never destined to make good decisions and vise versa.