By: Jennifer J. Lokken
In regards to, the issue with Sam Harris, the fact is we are actually not autonomous creatures, which is where most who are Free Will absolutist are wrong.
We are social creatures, as we have a biological drive to create more of us, to create associations beyond that of individual families, other social organizations are evidence of our need and drive to create a something beyond ourselves.
The question of our autonomy, is what is the source of this bigger thing that determines what gives us our meaning. The two worldveiws that determine how we view this, there is heteronomously, which is the secular in nature and the root of the establishing of governments and states and nations. The other is theonomously or authority of God Himself, which must not supersede the heteronomous system in order for the governance of that system to be moral instead of nothing but the raw pursuit of power of the the individual, but to seek justice.
Justice was most aptly defined by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
“Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.”
In the theological aspect of things, the free Will vs Determinism argument is put in the terms of Free Will(“Arminianism is Pelagian, denying original sin and total depravity – No system of Arminianism founded on Arminius or Wesley denies original sin or total depravity”) vs God’s sovereignty(“Calvinism: the Protestant theological system of John Calvin and his successors, which develops Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone and emphasizes the grace of God and the doctrine of predestination.”
Of these two doctrines, the truth is that our free will can only operate in the parameters of God’s Sovereignty, because the creation can supersede that of it’s creator, put differently, the finite cannot comprehend the infinite.
So, in a sense both you and Harris are right, in so far as, in the battle of ideas, of Free Will vs Determinism, the truth is, your Free Will has been Pre-Determined. Because we cannot go beyond God’s Sovereignty without leaving the physical reality and we would lose all capability to comprehend and reason apart from God.
This is why Atheist must borrow their morality and Ethics from a Christian worldview, they actually are incapable of creating their own. They try to get around this by using Utilitarian approach to ethics and morality, but that is nothing more than heteronomously being ruled by the majority and history is repleat with examples of how bad it is to let the majority decide much of anything. Or they claim that ethnics and morality are autonomously defined, but that is not the case because then claim appeals to authority to put deal with those who don’t fall in line with the ethics established by the majority.
I could go on and on explain how it even if you think morals are relevant, which is what happens if morals get to be established autonomously, but the fact that there are any morals and ethics at all are proof of an absolute moral law giver. But that will have to be another post, for another day.
~ #TheRationalRedhead ~