Here is a question to think about: Do we exercise free will in our thoughts and feelings, or are we only free in our actions?
I’ve provided a link to a website about “The Unmoved Mover” below this paragraph. Although I believe that the author stating that “Time has always existed” is a little too much of a stretch, he explains Aristotle’s theory of the Unmoved Mover in a way that can prevent our brains from wandering off. This is good, because our minds can wander easily while trying to wrap them around all of this.
The article says, “We cannot say that fire or air move upwards by their own agency, that is to say that fire and air did not decide to travel upwards…” our thoughts, feelings, inspirations, and even our current beliefs don’t seem to move from our own agencies, but they do seem to move, and transform just like these elements. But in-turn, our actions can affect our thoughts and feelings. For example, if you ate the last piece of cranberry upside-down cake, and then learned that your friend was saving it for later because he or she hasn’t had any yet, you’d probably feel bad. You didn’t choose to feel bad, this feeling just came from outside of your own will. You could have chosen, however, to ask your friend if he or she has had any cake yet. If you did ask, and refrained from eating the cake, you would have been exercising free will just like when you chose to eat it.
So to answer my question from the beginning, it seems like we are free in our own actions to make decisions, but our thoughts are as much from our own free will as breathing, and our feelings are as self-controlled as our heartbeat. I believe that these things come from a living unmoved mover who gives us incorrect thoughts and feelings to move us towards what is correct throughout our lives. Logically we’re puzzled by why He would intentionally give us false thoughts and feelings and won’t just make them prophetically align with the truth all the time so that nothing ever goes wrong, but He doesn’t—that would be boring. What would a story be like without conflicts and character growth? You’ve guessed it; boring. Who likes coffee with too much sugar and not enough bitterness? I don’t. In this life too much sugar can make us feel sick, and bitterness helps us to appreciate sweetness even more.
I’m going to leave you with this post for now until the new year. I wanted to end 2018 off with these thoughts because my plan is to talk more about Christianity next year, and the ‘Unmoved Mover’ theory seems to work as a great bridge between philosophy, and theology. This year I have noticed how open-minded people can be. A few people have taken my writing into consideration while being justly critical at the same time. I believe that constructive criticism is a sign that people care because they want to help me to see different perspectives. Nobody was ever dismissive of me just because they disagreed. I have tested the waters of the online community and have determined that people are strong enough to handle what’s coming next. It’s not likely to go well with the kind of people who don’t question their own thoughts and feelings, but those who do will hopefully gain access to new intellectual terrain that’s yet to be explored.
I wish you all a merry Christmas, and happy 2019. 🙂