What is Free Will and Do I Have it?

Free-will. God gave us free-will to choose our own destinies. The Holy Bible, Rom 3: 24, (NIV) states, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, There is no difference for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

I prescribe to the humanistic approach reinforced by cognitive behavioral theory. God gave us freedom and what we do with that freedom impacts ourselves and others. The question, “Why does bad things happen to good people?”

Allot of negative things are a direct correlation of someone exercising their freedom of autonomy, and thereby limit another persons free-will. An example would be a pediphile. The child does not ask for the misabuse to occur, they do nothing to deserve it, yet their freedom to choose is stripped from them through the actions of the pediphile.

God is disappointed and saddened by poor choice exercises in free will. We can make up excuses to try and justify one’s behavior choices, an example; “He/she couldn’t help themselves, they were abused as children,” or “He/she doesn’t know what healthy boundaries are,” or “They are sick minded individuals,” or finally, “It’s a family tradition.”

“The ends do not justify the means.” You have heard this quote many times. Usually it is said with regards to money. But it can also be said of freewill. See the utilitarianism philosophy.

Is it ethical to exercise free will under this context? God wants us to have relationships with each other based upon mutual respect and dignity. A healthy relationship allows others to be fallible while maturring into their self actuating and autonomous self.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: “1756 It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.”

“In philosophy, what does ‘the ends justify the means’ mean? Utilitarianism is the “philosophy” or brand of ethics you are looking for. This philosophy says that the right decision, the moral and rational one, in each situation is the one that is best for the general good of humanity and not any single person.” (Quora, 2019)

“Cognitive-behavioral theory emphasizes the cognitions or thoughts a person has as an explanation as to how people develop and how they sometimes get a mental disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, in a nutshell, seeks to change a person’s irrational or faulty thinking and behaviors by educating the person and reinforcing positive experiences that will lead to fundamental changes in the way that person copes.” (Hope, 2019)

Reinforcers can be praise or censure, or tangible items, instant or prolonged gratification. Teachers use cognitive techniques often to shape a students cognition of self.

Even when I had Dissociative Identity Disorder aka., multiple personalities, on some level I new I was responsible and accountable for the choices my other selves made. I may not have been aware of events in allot of circumstances that were told to me by counselors and psychiatrist when I became the main voice for all of us. In this humanistic approach, I would have been found guilty and liable for any misdeeds that occured while in a different persona. I don’t subscribe to the innocent due to insanity theory, that people use to get out of serving justice.

This theory views human beings as basically good and positively, with the freedom to choose all of their actions and behaviors in their lives. What motivates behavior is “self-actualization,” of the desire to always seek out to become something more of oneself in the future. Because an individual can be conscious of his or her own existence under this theory, that person is also fully responsible for the choices they make to further (or diminish) that existence. Responsibility is a key ingredient of this theory, for all humans are responsible for the choices they make in their lives, with regards to their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. (Hope, 2019)

Hope Ministry, Types of Therapies: Theoretical Orientations and Practices of Therapists, March 26, 2019

Quora, March 2019. (www.quora.com/)What-does-the-ends-justify-the means.

The Holy Bible, New International Version, Book Romans, Chapter 3, verse 24.

Published by Kat Challis

Kathy Ann (Hughes) Challis Married in 1977 to Robert Challis-Oklahoma - still together Two daughters ages 44y and 40y and six beautiful grandchildren. Live in Texas. I love GOD and live life to its fullest. I am blessed beyond measure. I have family pets that give me a sense of devotion. Writing this blog has been an adventure of internal growth and I hope of interest to you.

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