Saturday, 11 August 2012

Conceptualizing free will

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To understand free will, it must be distinguished from choice.

Will is always free, but choices are constrained.

Our will, therefore, is conceptualised precisely as that which is free. The will is that which is under our control.

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For Christianity, it is the will that is primary - to be a Christian involves willed faith, willing that Christ is accepted as Lord, willing love of Christ and neighbour - and so on.

Indeed, it may be clearest to suppose that this is the full scope of will - it is that which constitutes a person's primary orientation  - and perhaps that is all that it does.

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Will is therefore dichotomous: for Christ or for oneself, for Love or for Pride.

All the rest is choices, and constrained by circumstances - but the will is free to point ourselves in one direction, or its opposite.

We may label the directions variously, but perhaps that is on the one hand all that will does, but what it necessarily does.

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Will thus is free, and points in one direction, or the other.

Determining which direction is our primary task, upon which all else depends.

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