Sunday, April 01, 2007

Free Won't

Recent experiments, such as this one, have brought the subject of free will up again. As always, it is a slippery concept, but let us assume, for the sake of argument, that free will does not exist, that behavior, had we enough knowledge of background causality, is entirely predictable.

While I might be entering into heresy, let me argue that our free will is not unlimited. 2 Peter 2:19 states, "They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him." The analogy of being enslaved to sin is common throughout the New Testament: Galatians 5:1, 7; 1 Corinthians 9:1, 21; and the mother lode in Roman's 6. However, that chapter of Roman's also describes us as being slaves to righteousness.

A slave is, by definition, one whose freedom is constrained. If we are slaves to sin, can we then not sin? Is not sin our master? We are therefore helpless in our sin--one does not have to be conscious, as we understand it, to sin (since the penalty of sin is death, and the unborn can quite apparently die, they must, consequently, be sinners). Therefore, we do not have free will not to sin. We are free to sin as much as we want, but sin stops us from not sinning.

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