|Did You Decide About Breakfast?
The Argument from Free Will
I know that you think you decided what to have for breakfast today. And I'll bet you also believe you decided what to wear. But did you really decide?
Come on! How could you have decided?
Isn't the universe just a long chain of causes and effects? A caused B, which caused C, which caused D which caused a stimulus to make you "decide" what to have for breakfast. Right? And the same thing is true for your decision to wear blue jeans instead of slacks, and for everything else you think you decided.
Ah. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that all sorts of different causes came together to make you decide what to have for breakfast. Okay, but even so, "you" didn't make a "decision;" it just happened because of earlier events.
Ouch, and I've got more bad news. Do you believe you can think logically? Maybe kinda-sorta? Sorry, you can't. Not even kinda-sorta. Why not? For exactly the same reason; your "logical thinking" isn't logical, it's just the result of A which caused B which caused C which caused a bunch of thoughts you think are "logical."
Is that true?
Fortunately, not. It's all baloney. And what is handy about it is that it's baloney on its face. Think about how I "proved" that you can't make decisions and how you cannot think logically. I used logic, right? So I logically proved there is no logic, which is about as absurd as you can get.It's like opening a book and looking up entries to prove there is no such thing as a book.
But the argument seemed reasonable. How could it be wrong?
Because it leaves out something hugely important. There is a supernatural realm outside of this cause-and-effect world to which you also belong.
And this makes a difference because...?
It makes a difference because for the decision-making part of you to exist, you - or rather the decision-making part of you - must be part of a realm outside the cause and effect of this world. If it is just another part of this world then your decisions are merely an effect of an earlier cause.
So, if you do make real decisions, and I feel pretty confident that this is precisely what you believe, then you believe in a realm outside nature to which you are connected.
But don't get cocky. That doesn't make you any better a person, but it does mean you have the power to make real decisions and to think logically. And it does mean you are not just a material being; there is a spiritual part of you and a spiritual realm.
Becoming a Christian
© Copyright 2002, Brad Haugaard.