Thursday, May 13, 2010

Free Agency: Why Do We Need It?

Why is moral agency/free agency the big issue?  The issue that the War in Heaven was fought over?  Why do we need to be free to make our own decisions?  Without agency, we cannot progress; we cannot be accountable.  If we are not free to choose, then we do not choose, and we do not progress.  It is only when we can choose right or wrong that we have consequences for our actions.  If we are free to choose, and we choose the right, then we progress toward Godhood.  If we are free to choose and we make the wrong choice, we are free to learn from our mistake, repent, and make the right choice the next time.  If we live under a statist government, we are not free to choose and we cannot progress.  This can be seen in Europe.

Mark Steyn is one of my favorite authors and pundits.  He is well traveled, and his personal accounts of life in Canada and Europe are shocking.  He describes walking through the London streets only to step over young British people lying in the street asking for money.  They are not homeless, they just don't have jobs.  A very high percentage of their society is on the dole (welfare).  It is a society of dependence, bred through years of socialism.

The Brits are proud of their heritage of the arts, Mark Steyn continues.  They display this in their world famous museums.  They wanted to open up more time to devote to the arts and philosophies.  They allowed their government, through socialism, to take care of the drudgeries of life so that they could turn to the arts.  They also wanted more time to spend with their families.  But the actual result is a society of delayed adolescence.  They are in school until 34 and take an early retirement at 42.  We need only look to Greece to see that this cannot continue forever.  The government takes care of the rest of their needs, albeit poorly, and they are in turn wards of the state; perpetual children.  With all of their extra time, they are not even having children of their own anymore.  Once they boasted that socialism would leave them free to progress.  Mark Steyn explains that there is no more new art being produced by the Brits.  Children with no accountability, with nothing asked of them, cannot produce.  They don't want to; they don't know how to.

On the health care bill, Nancy Pelosi has said: "Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance."  It is the same old tired argument from the UK: if only we allow the government to take care of us, we will be able to turn more to the arts.  But we know from looking at the UK that this does not work.  Just like we know from looking at the rioting in Greece that it is not sustainable.

“Give people plenty and security, and they will fall into spiritual torpor,” wrote Charles Murray in "In Our Hands". “When life becomes an extended picnic, with nothing of importance to do, ideas of greatness become an irritant. Such is the nature of the Europe syndrome.”

And thus we hit upon the greatest evil of socialism: spiritual torpor (lethargic indifference).  When we are not free to choose, when we have no accountability, when we are not even responsible to provide for ourselves, the result is spiritual torpor.  We do not progress spiritually.  The devil's plan was to take away our agency and guarantee us spiritual security.  But it never would have even worked anyway.  It is not possible.  Spiritual security requires spiritual progression which requires accountability and free agency.  Without our free agency we could never have been guaranteed spiritual progression and godhood.  We would have been ruled over by the devil forever.  The devil, like our socialist leadership, was simply looking for power and would say whatever lies necessary to attain it.  He is, after all, the father of all lies.

Mark Steyn's "Live Free or Die"