Saturday, 25 January 2014

Have Questions~Have Answers? #3- Is free will really free?


We are told that we are born with God's gift of free will and we are free to live our lives how we choose, making our own choices and decisions. The question is, how free is our free will? 

I was talking with a friend recently and commented that parents are very quick to give their children Calpol. This is hardly surprising when it is basically advertised as a mini miracle which removes pain and fever instantly leaving children well and happy. Taking this a step further, many of us rarely question the medication available to us, especially over the counter medication. If people believe in alternative medication such as homeopathic treatments we might think they are a little 'different.' Ultimately perceptions of normal arise from our up-bringing. The same theory applies to all of our preconceived ideas and beliefs leading to the question, how free thinking are we in reality?

Actions stem from our thoughts and it takes a great deal of courage to break away from the culture or traditions we have been born into, yet we all believe we are right! What is right and what is wrong? At what age does a child understand the difference and whose difference are they understanding?

Let's consider morality. Morality is a huge subject, especially sexual morality. In some cultures we are expected to have one life partner whereas other cultures encourage men to take several wives. Who is right? Different religions will answer this question differently and ultimately it is not up to us to judge. Life is a learning journey and you can only digest any facts that you have in-putted. Our knowledge is strictly limited and if we need help understanding things it is good to seek help either through research or discussion. 

Our free will enables us to take or leave God as we choose- in the same way we make other decisions. Nothing is really forced on us and we can choose consciously or subconsciously to accept or reject things. Often we make excuses to ourselves to allow us to remain in unhappy situations- relationships, jobs, geographical areas. This may be because we choose familiarity or fear over courage. We have the free will to change our lives at any time and it is up to us to assess the cost. Sometimes people say that there is always a price to pay for happiness, success or security- but maybe that is simply another comment arising from conditioning. If you expect to pay a price then you probably will have to pay a price but if you believe you deserve the best life has to offer the 'price' might be more of a joy than a burden.

Now is the time to use your mind and examine how you view life: are you thinking for yourself or following the crowd? World leaders are generally people who form their own opinions and stand up to be counted. How about you? Are you living the way you really want to live and exercising your free will or just carrying on as you always have? We were given free will as a gift so don't take it for granted, use it and make changes for the best.

Jaz McKenzie 

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