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Are You Truly Free, Or Penned In By The Past?


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Are you truly free or penned in by the past?

The closer we look and the more we understand human cell metabolism, the clearer it becomes that we are looking at simply biochemical machinery. Scientifically, there can be no place in that machinery for any uncaused effects. Hence our physical construction cannot result in freewill. The ability to choose is not physically possible in a human body controlling itself, any more than it is physically possible in a light switch controlling itself.

Many scientists have reached the conclusion that we do not in fact ever freely choose, and that is a logical position to take, since clearly no event can be uncaused. For every ball that rolls, there is someone who previously pushed it, or previously placed it on a slope. For every raindrop that falls, there is some heat that previously evaporated some water into the clouds.

But if humans are not able to exercise free choice, but are always inevitably pushed by some set of previous influences, then everything we value is shown to be an illusion. Morality, kindness, compassion, justice, faithfulness are all meaningless if they are simply the unavoidable result of history and context.

And it certainly feels like we are free! So I can only conclude that we do in fact truly freely choose sometimes. And this can only be true if something or someone who is outside this physical cosmological framework is making us, maybe only momentarily, more than just physical.

Some of those moments involve big choices, some apparently trivial choices. But at any one of those moments, the choice is made for self or for laying down of self - leading (the Bible tells us) respectively to freedom or slavery.

If slavery, I think the ability to choose declines, the individuality diminishes, as the person is swallowed up by addiction and insensitivity.

Jesus parables tell us how God responds to those who continually choose slavery. Rather than inheriting the life of the next age, they are forced to carry and confront the consequences of their choices into the next age. Those driven there are, we are told, weeping, wailing, and grinding teeth.

They are still choosing what to think and how to respond. We are told in the Book of Revelation, that they are confronted with the Lamb of God. They are still making choices.

Making choices in continuing moments of God-given miraculous freedom. Perhaps those who continually choose slavery, eventually lose all individuality, instead becoming just a part of the new universe, a sequence of insensate reactions.

Who is to say that those choosing aright cannot yet be brought out to complete freedom, albeit as vastly smaller people than they would have been, since so much of them has been destroyed.

What we do know is that the Bible repeatedly says in hundreds of ways that God has compassion on all that he has made. And look around at all that he has made. He's pretty smart, you know!

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