Tuesday, 8 August 2017
Free Will or Not Free Will; That is the Question part 2
Last week I went where perhaps fools rush in and began to delve into the question of free will. I want to continue to explore that further this week.
As I noted last week the mathematics which is used to develop Quantum Mechanics apparently leaves no room for free will. All in the universe is apparently predetermined if you have all the variables. At least that is my understanding of what the theoretical physicists are saying. However, the physicists whom I quoted last week, Leonard Mlodinow, did concede that that the universe and human beings are so complex that in effect it appears to us that we do have free will.
The other factor conceded, if not believed by physicists, is that the math does not account for an intervention from God or a god-like force interceding from outside of the structure of the universe. However, as Mlodinow states:
If you believe that there are no exceptions, whether they be big miracles or minor deviations from the laws of physics, whether you look at the quantum laws that are fundamental or Newton’s laws, whichever laws you look at, neither set of laws has room for deviations or choice — let’s say, conscious choice. So if you believe that the brain follows those laws, as everything in the laboratory that we’ve ever looked at does, then it’s not a question for scientists.
So the question is directly in the court of those who believe in a higher power. If God has given us free, will which I believe God has, what does that mean for us as Christians and other believers in a higher power?
As I addressed in this Sunday’s sermon (attached), which wolf of our nature will we feed; the good one or the evil one? This question is based on a Legend of the Cherokee people which is provided at the beginning of my sermon. In effect, we have two wolves inside us; a good one and an evil one. The question posed is which wolf will win? The answer is the one we feed.
Even if we do know which is which we do not always choose good one as St. Paul notes, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate”. If, St. Paul is correct, and I believe anyone who has any level of self-awareness will agree, do we then have free will? The reality is that we have less free will that we like to admit or even than we realize.
There are forces within us, symbolized by those two wolves, that seem to be at war and that at least influence if not control our decisions and our actions. Carl Jung was the great explorer of these forces and developed/discovered the concept of archetypes which are the way that the energy within us is organized and operates to influence us. These are unconscious forces we usually are not even aware which are influencing/controlling us; ergo the cry of St. Paul.
The great gift of Carl Jung was to not only present a psychology which explains a great deal of how we have been created but to understand it in terms of how we can develop and mature into the people that God intends us to be. Jung called it individuation.
The challenge for me as a Christian is to become the person that God intended me to be when God created me. There are many aspects of myself which I do not hold to be admirable and which I struggle to acknowledge; the evil wolf in the legend. Jung has named these forces The Shadow. However, these are a part of who I am and unless I acknowledge them and learn how to relate to them, they will prevent my better wolf from being fed.
Let us feed the wolf of our better nature. Blessings on your journey,