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November 02, 2023

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Eric Hodgdon

Free Will always exists, except while sleeping and not dreaming.

Free Will is a quality within a larger thing.
While to be Human in a society requires/demands being influenced by others in order to have order, that very order does reshape a person by putting boundaries on one's actions which instills purpose for a supposed greater return for submitting to the group. ( As defined within our American culture - an Enlightened, Christian, Self-Government society )

I, having Free Will, put Enlightened before Christian because it alone is the reason We have Self-Government. The factors which the Enlightenment thinking brought allowed for Self-Government to be fleshed out. However, without the Christian part, there would be no USA either, nor our true Self-Government, which is and has been under attack for 110 years. Moving to consolidate within the Federal scope has indeed limited our form of government and our society and likewise our ability to exercise Free Will at will.

All life wants to live whether knowing so or not. And, as being a Human, I acknowledge there are greater benefits to acting within a group, so long as the group's aim is mutually beneficial. My return is usually based on my efforts.

However, and more important is that, there's no mechanism whereby a choice is made to enter into the above society, thus there's no Free Will choice. Without free empty land to go and claim for oneself, today's people are lacking in the most basic choice.

tj

"I, having Free Will, put Enlightened before Christian because it alone is the reason We have Self-Government."

This is an interesting article by Selwyn. I also find this comment by Eric Hodgdon intriguing especially the part about the Enlightenment. It inspires me to add an insight of my own about education as enlightenment of the individual: the more education or expertise someone attains, the more that person exercises free will. I qualify this by distinguishing between dogma vs knowledge since some educated people become rigid in their thinking when they believe there are no other perspectives. Ignorance and dogmatism limit possible responses so that emotion or instinct dominate behavior hence less freedom in choosing a response. This can certainly manifest at the societal level depending on the level of expertise the majority have for reacting to various situations or events ranging from the taboo indulgences in sex and drugs to foreigners settling in their midst to criticizing the government.

Basically I view free will as choices that are more adaptive in nature so it doesn't always mean greater permissiveness. Preservation of self and community sometimes require rejecting certain choices.

Selwyn Duke

Dear TJ,

Thank you for responding. Yours is an intellectual comment. The only thing I'll add is that the word "dogma" is often misunderstood. As Chesterton put it, "In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don't know it.”

A dogma is merely a belief one holds with certainty. For example, that we exist and this life isn't just an illusion is a dogma of mine (and probably of yours).

Happy Thanksgiving and God bless,

Selwyn Duke

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