Somewhere in my dreams last night I had a thought about free will, which was piggybacked by the thought “You should write about this when you wake up.” It seemed so vivid in its brilliance last night, but like so many dreams upon waking, it has since lost some of its luster. I think, though, that after such an effort to remember this, I owe it to my subconscious to report.
So here. In the dream I was talking to someone (who?) about concepts surrounding God. We came to free will, and I must have explained (although I don’t remember this part) that God created us with free will because he loves us and desires for us to love him back because we want to, not because we have to. The response from this shadowy person was something like, “That’s stupid. If God really loved us he would have omitted free will from our design. Better to be robots who are happy and free from pain and suffering. Better to be robots in tune with their creator than lost and wandering free thinkers.” He went on to explain, “What is the alternative to free will? If we were programmed to obey God and follow his commands we wouldn’t be capable of sin and would never have fallen away from God. We would not need a savior to attain God’s desire for us–eternal fellowship with him–because we would already have it. We might not have chosen it, but everyone would have it and if God really loved us he would want that, he would want to make sure that we were all polished up and neatly put into our places at the end of the day. Instead God has given us the right to choose, putting our salvation at risk, along with our earthly wellbeing: free thinkers dieing of murders, war, cancer, famine, rape, neglect, abuse, disease, poverty, depression, loneliness, suicide–all a result of our choices. This is where our free will ultimately gets us, and maybe some will still choose to seek God through all of that, and to one day spend a perfect, painless eternity with him. And they have chosen to, which pleases God, but isn’t that a rather expensive cost? To turn his eye from so many others, because they wouldn’t tell him what he wanted to hear but he refused to make them tell him? Isn’t this just selfish, on God’s part?”
In my dream I didn’t have an answer, I was more intent on committing the idea to memory. I could come up with a response right now in my wakeful state but it would feel defensive and contrived. My subconscious wanted me to present this side of the argument right now, which is strange because I don’t agree with this side of the argument, and I have never really heard anyone suggest this side of it. The person in my dream genuinely wanted to be a robot! I expect people to say “It’s my life, I can do what I want,” and “If God can turn a blind eye on suffering then I don’t want anything to do with him.” Those are sentiments I can understand, not the desire for programmed response. Who despises their freedom, and the God who gave it to them? Apparently some facet of my subconscious does.
On another day I’ll write my response. I’ll write a love poem about free will–a sonnet, maybe. I think it’s a wonderful thing, although it makes life much more difficult. I think to love someone, you have to let them choose.
It is snowing again. I’ll mention every time it snows, it’s a reflex. You’ll get used to it. I’m trying to get in the habit of using tags, but I think I’ll throw the “weather” tag out the window. I mention the weather a lot, but I don’t want people to get the impression that this is a blog for meteorologists (in case you were starting to wonder). So long weather tag.