Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Will Choose the Path That's Clear. I will Choose Free Will

    I just finished reading a book  that used Peanuts cartoons to illustrate Bible points.  I'm not going to compare the too, for the most part I found the strips chosen to illustrate Robert Shorts' points to be completely unrelated to the topic he was trying to discuss.

    But his idea of Free Agency as the Mormon church used to call it is rather curious.  He believed we only have free agency to choose our salvation or not.  Perhaps I didn't quite understand his point, although it may itself have been somewhat confused.  It seemed to me he was saying if we choose to be Christian we obey God and do his will, but if we choose to sin, we do so on our own.

    I'm a Deist and not a Christian, but it seems to me that God gave us free will whether we wanted it or not.  We get to choose the actions we take through the course of our life.  I don't believe God has anything to do with it whether were doing His will or not.   While He may serve as a guide, we are, as William Ernest Henley put it, the master of our fates and the captains of our souls.

     I think this has to do with the reason the creator -- if he exists -- gave us brains.  He expected us to use them.   I suppose this is just one of the many problems I have with the blind obedience expected in most religions.   He gave us this wonderful intelligence, which we are led to believe is a glorious gift, and those in power do their best to get people not to use it.  I don't see the logic behind this.   Why tell people that God gave them the power to think for themselves, but if they do, they'll be damned to some insufferable Hell for not doing as the leadership tells them? (Or in the case of my former religion, not achieving the Celestial Kingdom.)

    Is it so wrong to tell people, like the hero of The Life of Brian tries so successfully to do, that they need to work it out for themselves?   If religions really were a one-size fits all proposition, there wouldn't be a multiplicity of religions still extant on the planet. Even in the one true religions like Mormonism and Islam there are variations.

    The best I can say for Shorts' argument is that he does not believe in a literal Hell, and see it rather as separation from God.  (I see Hell as a mental state personality which may or may not have anything to do with the divine.)  Still, although I disagreed with him, it was an interesting read.   It has also given me something to think about and may give me ideas for two further blog posts.

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At Sat Aug 19, 12:07:00 AM 2006 , Blogger Eight Hour Lunch said...

Rush fan, eh?

At Sat Aug 19, 08:21:00 AM 2006 , Blogger The Sinister Porpoise said...

I've used lyrics from Irish Folk Songs, Ella Fitzgerald, Save Ferris, the Mighty, Mighty Bosttones, Blind Guardian, the Beatles, and I think I may have even used old Blue Eyes himself one or two times. But to answer the question, Yes, I'm a fan of Rush. Both the band and the talk show host.


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