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The Essence of Free Will

  • Category(s): Religion Essays
  • Created on : 17 February 2014
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  • Author: Richard Michael Lamb


By our freewill we achieve our objectives. By that same free will we attain the utmost sanctity in our lives.

1. Opening

This is the centre of our lives. God leaves us free to act as we decide; right or wrong. He is omnipotent and omnipresent but He grants us this ultimate privilege and freedom. You might say a contradiction in terms but not the way God the creator of the world planned His work of creation. He permits us this freedom and we pray His Will be done on earth as in Heaven. As Christians we eagerly aspire to doing his Will, - as non-Christians the same applies to the Judaist and Islamist believers. We have the freedom to defy God’s Will and repudiate His role with His son’s in our lives and that of the Holy Spirit the Advocate. Without free will we would be automatons and ciphers.

2. The concept of providence (divine)

We may not defy the waves and forces of nature King Canute – like. This law of nature exemplifies the abiding truth God’s Will shall ultimately prevail in the affairs of men. We would do well to remember this truth: e.g. the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, the defeat of the Third Reich and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Will everything work out well in the end thanks to the benevolence and omnipotence of God’s Will? I would say unhesitatingly yes and that finally we progress to the return of Christ to this World from the unseen one. Divine providence will be the victor in Christ’s Second Coming. Does this take away our free will? In one sense yes but in another no because we all long for that return of Christ by our very heart beating inside us and our existence, thus our longing for this Coming may never be taken away in our lives on earth nor indeed after death. It may be underlined after death with certain persons who are misguided and evil thinking on earth eg: serial killers, Stalin and Hitler and his cronies. You may not eradicate God in your life however hard you try – that is God’s Will for his created persons. You may repress God in life but the divine love will come bubbling up in the next world.

3. Examples of Significance of Freewill

This lies in individual character and choice despite the hostility and animosity of others who seek to run down the record of those who have exercised proper selection and judgement. The problem lies not with the decision maker at the time of decision but ex post facto when all is done and dusted and those others are determined to criticise that decision maker often for the wrong reasons and unjustly. Thus the lesson is lost. The decision maker exercised discretion (free will) correctly on my model e.g. Stephen Merritt: the Lloyds Underwriter of asbestosis risks between 1950-1990. This is thought presently with hindsight to be reckless underwriting and also reinsurance of this class of risk putting “names” who were passive “partners” in the underwriting syndicates at grave risk of unnecessary financial loss. What do I say? The lead underwriter e.g.: Stephen Merritt himself was simply using free choice to ensure;

The market of insurance functioned and was not given ill-repute by turning away business smoothly and,
The world of insured commerce was not left uninsured and forced to contract or retract or to close.

This way the businesses of the insured would flourish and they would return to the Lloyds Insurance market in the times to come and that market would benefit. It was a long term policy but insurance is a long term business as any broker will tell you or underwriter. Those who go against Merritt forget he was a highly experience Underwriter and his syndicates had great prestige started by his father before him Roy. His (Stephen’s) exercise of freewill was more than justifiable and a lot of the criticism of him is generated by those who begrudge him his exercise of freewill and Judgement commercial. Free Will is far more important than economic profit. Merritt demonstrates the truth of this powerful religious tenet. Merritt will be judged in the long term on his gravity and seriousness and his ability to weigh the risks. He was a past master at that task. I met him once and I will vouch for his application to his profession. Sometimes the accurate story never emerges as with the Supreme exercise of freewill by an individual such as Stephen Merritt. The same applies in many fields of life we may be sure. You have to respect another man’s Judgement and free choice or you will crush the very freedom we have been given by our Creator, so generously.


This choice of options will not drive us in to the ground but truly enable us to raise our standard as we make the right decision. In any part of life the choices are ours to take however bleak and difficult the position may appear to us. It is a matter of acceptance and mental outlook based on the optimistic not the pessimistic. That does not mean unrealistic – it means looking at the “landscape” with the trained and observant eye e.g.: Even the mercenary Simon Mann caught cack - handed was released from prison in Equatorial Guinea. Life simply throws up chance after chance but never the same. Even captivity and death are not the end of the road. There is always another turn in the path to take. Yes we have our chums as the harassed German soldiers had in the Balkans in 1943 – 44 and it is by our chums we make the proper choices and what is more stick to them. With free will anything is possible and life is very interesting. We may ask for no more – God has given us everything for which we may legitimately ask. God is the greatest. How great thou art.