Thursday, 25 June 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Choices. Is a choice really a free choice if it is in any way influenced? Can a choice ever be made that is not in any way externally influenced? And if not, does that mean we are not free and have no real control over our own destiny?

Take a man who marries for love. We would all agree that he has made a good choice And we would probably want to argue that it was his own, free choice - that he wasn't forced into marriage nor did he make his choice out of some inner sense of obligation.

No he did it for love. He was swept away by the charm and grace of his future wife. Does this imply that his choice wasn't free and unaffected? There was no obligation. He didn't have to marry this woman. But in another sense he couldn't do anything but marry this woman. The force of love made him a happier man than the ability to make a wholly independent decision.

What do you think?


Werewolf Dude said...

Intresting point, why though do differnt people react differntly to the same external infulenes (sic)?

Taking your example lets say there are two brothers raised in the same family, so they have the same cultural background, who both fall in love, with differnt women.

Anyway their family wants both brothers to marry other women, to benefit the family, why would one brother marry out duty and the other marry the women he loves?

It might be that they have differnt inate personilites, but what do you think?

Keith said...

Well God certainly put up with a lot from the Israelites who kept complaining after seeing Yahweh deliver them from Egypt. ... But eventaully there was some heavenly discipline after the people were persauded by the evil reports of the 10 spies which was contradicted by those of caleb & joshua .. so whatever the influences in their rebellion & lack of faith ... they were held responsible ... while those 20 & under whom they claimed would be at risk from the canaanites would go on to be trained by 40 years of exposure to God's leading & the ones to enter canaan. In the NT Stephen said of the people that "in their hearts they turned back to egypt". In Romans 8 paul presents a choice ... mind on the things of the spirit or the things of the flesh ... in peter & in James ... we are told that there is a decision to humble oneself before God that he might lift us up ... in Ephesians & colosians ... a choice to put off the old man ... to change direction of our minds ... & to put on the new man.

I guess only God can know all the permutations of what people do & why ... but Jesus in Johns gospel said it was only having seen him & his works & rejected him ... that made the leaders commit SIN with a capital s rather than just sin. To fully reject what you have fully encountered is quite different from rejecting a bad or incomplete witness. The bad choices of Sodom, Tyre & Sidon that resulted in their judgement would apparently have been different had they seen Jesus' miracles as had capernaum which had seen but had not repented. He plainly states tyre & sidon would have repented ... & that Sodom would have remained .... It is good to know that God takes into account not just what one did but what one would have done in different circumstances & with a clearer view of the truth.