Free Will

By Jamie Mason

Free will. Choice. Some say that's why we got kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had a choice; obey God, or eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They chose wrong, and ruined our chances to stay in paradise. Why did God give us free will then? Wouldn't it have been better to have no free will? To always do the right thing? I say no. Free will is the only way to know between right and wrong, to truly love God, and in short is what makes us human.

What would happen in a world where we always made the right choice automatically? Always lived for others? Never questioned anything our elders said? If we did anything wrong, even accidentally, we'd apologize? Well, that wouldn't turn out as good as it sounds. Look at the book The Giver. The people in there did all those things. Did that mean they were good? No. If someone was too old, born as a twin, caused problems, or broke the major rules three times, they were released, which meant they were euthanized. Was this done out of spite? No. In fact the Giver himself said, they knew nothing. Someone who wrote a essay on this book said that the rules made them more Christlike. I don't believe that. Without choice, they weren't bad but how could they really choose to be good? To be truly good, you need to know what it would be like to choose to be bad. You need to make mistakes and to learn from them. And sometimes you need to fight, to go against what everyone else thinks, to do the right thing, as Jonas did at the end of the book. Christ himself had to be tempted, and fight against temptation. He too had a choice to make and he chose right. He chose to obey and love his father, even when it hurt. Which brings me to the next part of my essay, can we truly love God without choice?

When God created Adam and Eve, he could have made it so they couldn't disobey him. So, that when Satan came and tempted them, they couldn't listen. They could have always done everything he told them to and always worshiped him and sang his praises. So, why didn't he? The answer is because they wouldn't truly love him. They would have simply been mindless drones, incapable of thought or real emotions. While I'm typing my essay, my computer puts every letter I type into the keyboard. And robots and machines obey any command someone puts into their system. Do they do it because they love us and want to help us? I wish, but no. They do it because it is what they are programmed to do. They can't feel anything for us or think. They have to do everything we say. They have no choice. Unlike computers, we think. And we feel. Some of us hate God, question his existence or, like me, just plain question. But, many of us love God. We don't do it because we have to, because it was programmed into us. We do it because we want to, because we are so thankful for everything he's done for us. Without choice, we can't choose to hate, but we also can't choose to love. And without choice, without the ability to feel, we just aren't human. Which brings us to the next part of my essay.

Christopher Pike once said in one of his books, "To be human is to suffer." And many times we suffer from our choices. We create wars over nothing, destroy our enviroment, murder, and do various other sins. We shouldn't do it, so wouldn't it be better to not be able to make the choices that harm us? To not suffer? No. In Christopher Pike's book, people were getting operations to become more robot like, to know everything, and to be able to do anything. They stopped the wars, the epidemics, and could even see into the future. All they wanted was to help everyone, to stop the suffering. So, isn't that a good thing? Not so much. What was in that future they saw, everyone became like them. Robots. The future was free of suffering, but no one was human anymore. No one likes to have pain, but to feel true happiness, we need to know sadness. We need to feel evil's touch in order to be truly good. We need to feel to know we're really alive.

In conclusion, we need free will. We need to be able to choose. We've made bad choices, but as another book, Bless The Child, says, "We may reaching with shaky hands to God, but still we reach. Eventually your(the devil's) evil kingdom will be no more." Every good choice, every hero who risks his life to save someone, all the love we feel for one another, everything we do for each other and for God means another step up towards him. And someday, we'll make it.