This column might best be classified as philosophy or opinion but since the word God is used in the LDS definition of Free Agency I'll place the column under religion.
I have covered the subject of Will and Free Will in a previous column admitting being able to see "will" as relatively but not absolutely free.
When the term agency is substituted I have found the LDS description to cover some of the objections I have with seeing will as being totally free.
The LDS folk mention that God has imparted the ability in humans to know right from wrong. As a mystic I make the same claim. Mystics know that answers can can come from within as we realize that a part of us is eternal and connected to the Greater Principle others call God even though my definition of that word , the Soul, and the whole concept of spirituality differs markedly from organized religion including the Roman Catholicism I was raised in and the LDS Church adherents I have become acquainted with on this site and elsewhere.
Much of the subject I Am attempting to cover is in the area of speculative spirituality where it is preferable to treat our knowledge as opinion regardless of how much "proof" we might seem able to produce. I feel the phrase "reason to believe" covers it well.
Some however have a sense of and feel they must think in absolutes despite proofs to the contrary. With them I have a real issue.
I would much prefer to not be struggling to find absolute value to achieve a common agreement but rather to derive the relative value that both factions (me and others holding contrary opinion ) could agree on.
I still recall broaching the subject of the Resurrection around a past Easter here on WOTL.
I asked the professed Christian believers if they could see value in their faith independent of whether or not the Resurrection were true and most replied "No"
I have difficulty seeing how one could be so dependant on that type of absolutist philosophy however I do realize the "Christians" I asked were sincere in their answer.
I see much value in the relative aspects of organized religions and have learned that some of the seemingly less relative aspects have been subsequently proven true by eventual scientific or historical discovery.
However I have also seen how history has been distorted and interpreted either naturally, or even deliberately in the advancing of the agendas of individuals and religious philosophies they are invplved with.
A Zealot or idealist will often deliberately avoid truth if it threatens to weaken an agenda.
Fortunately our God given, and I do use the term God here, intellects, have been evolving while the ability of discernment has been evolving concurrently.
Speculation is a good beginning as is living by the derived conclusions, however when fact can supplant speculative opinion no matter how true that opinion once seemed, it is time to change if one wants their thought processes and subsequent lives to be as accurately reflective of truth as possible.
Much of my own path has involved a working hypothesis which always has allowed for change when truth is recognized as leading the change. I do no not discount the value of what may have been past error and retain the experience of realizing error as part of my past that can be learned from..
© 2010 Albert 1 - 6/10/10