Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Will, Freedom and Values

I am "just thinking" today, as I have no "scholarly wisdom" from scholars, but I am analyzing my own behavior and thinking about what drives it.

The will of man is the seat of choice, goals and determination. But, if the will is not "enlightened", it will be misguided or controlled by others or limited by oneself. The more information that is available to us at a given time or throughout our life is of value in "enlightening" ourselves against foolishness and superstition, as well as making us responsible citizens. This is one reason why Americans are to be informed of their representative's goals or commitments and their government's "process" of discussing the issues regarding legislation.

The individual's will chooses what is of ultimate value and commits to what is of most importance. No one can do this "work" for another, unless one wants to engage in "social engineering" that limits and manipulates information. Propaganda does "control", but it does not free, or "enlighten" the individual to fulfill his highest potential or help the individual to develop critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills are important in determining goals and ultimate values and commitments.

Whenever one encounters situations, circumstances or "systems" that "attack" values that are of ultimate importance, then, one's will becomes engaged in a "battle" of sorts. The battle is for what is of ultimate concern for that individual. One cannot deny what he finds most important and will forsake other values, for his ultimate one.I have found that an ultimate value for me is liberty.

Liberty is of ultimate concern because without it, people cannot seek their own lives, but live for another's values or ultimate concerns. This is enslavement to another and it is something modern minds abhor. Freedom of choice is what we uphold in free societies because we value individuality. "Social concerns" become secondary to the individual, because the individual or the particular is the epitome of "truth". Human rights and our Bill of Rights are protective of the individual.

Some Christians would think that one's "ultimate concern" should be what is written within the text of scripture. The "ulitmate goal" is to "love God and love neighbor". But, can we love others when we deny our own values and "ultimate concerns"? Some would think that this is what love is and does. But, love does not demand of another that kind of sacrifice to "prove" love. One can only "do" and "commit" to what one "knows" to be of value. This is why becoming informed is of most importance, otherwise, one might think they are "doing good", when in actuality, they are "doing evil" by imposing their views on another.

These Christians believe that Scripture reveals what "God's will" is about "the Kingdom" and what we should desire in being "one". We, as individuals should "submit" to "corporate" identification, so that "God's Kingdom" will "come on earth. But where in the "oneness" is diversity? Something is lost without diversity. I stand on the side of diversity and individuality.

Why is "the Church" of more importance than the individual, himself/herself? "The Church" is only one means of "doing good" and is never the end, itself. Isn't the development of an individual child, student, or young adult of more importance than an institutional sturcture that "speaks for God"?

I don't think I am really any different than a "secular humanist" and some atheists, or agnostics, I have read. I believe in the individual's right of "free speech", "free thought", etc. I probably appear to be "rebellious" to the "faithful" because I resist and resent "groupism" that is found in Christian circles. And I probably don't "fit" well with those who are commited to "social responsibility", as the "liberal", because even as I am committed to individual freedom, I cannot be committed to that radical kind of liberty, if I am not committed to it for myself, as well.

So, my will resists "teams" that play without all players "on board", informed and engaged. This is the problem with the "healthcare program". And when we see people fighting for their right to be heard, we are seeing the downfall of one of our countries' greatest values, Liberty. Without liberty, there will be no justice.

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