خانه en In the spectrum of determinism free-will

In the spectrum of determinism free-will

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جبر و اختیار

In the spectrum of determinism / free-will, there is a place for those who believe in delegation.

The proponents of this latter school contended that God has entrusted us with everything since our creation and He is absolutely not responsible for our actions; therefore, we are completely free to do anything we desire. Nobody can interfere with our work.

No doubt, this way of thinking is incompatible with the principle of Monotheism, which has taught us that everything belongs to God and nothing lies beyond His domain. Even our deeds, while we enjoy free will, are not outside His sovereignty, or else it would be blasphemy.

In other words: we must not believe in two Gods:

one the Almighty God, the major God Who has created the universe, the other one the minor God, i.e., man, who is absolutely independent in his actions and autonomous in his deeds, so independent and autonomous that even Almighty God could not interfere in them.

This is blasphemy; it is worshipping two Gods. The crucial point for us is to recognize man to be a free entity that enjoys freedom of will and to acknowledge God as the real dominant entity who dominates all our actions.

THE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL

The important issue here is these two positions do not in contradict each other. The crucial point is for us to believe in both God’s justice and in man’s freedom and responsibility on the one hand and in monotheism and God’s sovereignty and dominance over the whole universe, on the other. This is what we mean by the intermediate school (A school which lies between two extreme ideologies).

Now, due to the complicated nature of the issue, let us illustrate it with a clear example:

Suppose you are a train operator and a strong cable of electricity lies along the rails from which the locomotive receives its energy to move. Any time there is a lack of electricity this would force the train to stop.

No doubt, you are free to move around during the entire time of your journey. You are even free to stop the train, to add to, or to decrease the speed of the train.

However, despite all this freedom of action, the man who is responsible for the electricity could stop you at any moment since the key to power lies in his hands.

When we observe the situation in the above example, we will see that while this man has freedom of action, he is under the domination of another power and these two situations are not contradictory.

Another Example

Suppose the nerves of someone’s hand have become paralyzed due to a certain disease or a disaster and he cannot move his hand. Also imagine that such a person could move his hand if he received electricity from some source.

If such a person, under such conditions, commits a crime, slaps somebody’s face or stabs an innocent person, he would be considered guilty by law since he was physically capable of the atrocity and was free to do so; capable and free man, according to law is responsible for his own acts.

However, the man who provides him with power to  move dominates him despite the fact that he is free.

Now, let us return to our main topic: The Almighty God has provided us with strength, power, wisdom and intelligence. We receive these endowments every minute, and if we are disconnected from God, even for the slightest instance, we will be destroyed.

We owe our strength to Him, even our freedom of will stems from Him; this means that He has desired for us to be free and to stay on the road of perfection and progress.

Thus, we are constantly under God’s domination despite the fact that we are free to act and this domination is continual. We are nothing without His domination and this is the true meaning of an intermediate path: through the adoption of this option, we have neither posited any associate for God nor do we consider God’s servants as being forced to carry out their routine tasks, the result of which would be injustice.

We have learned this lesson from the Infallible Ones(s): Whenever they were asked if there was any road between determinism and delegation, they used to answer, yes, but this road is wider than the distance between the earth and the sky.

DETERMINISM AND FREE WILL IN THE HOLY QUR’ªN

The Holy Qur’¡n explains this issue explicitly. It proves that man enjoys the principle of free will. There are hundreds of sacred verses in the Holy Qur’¡n which vividly prove this topic.

All the verses which deal with commands and prohibitions assume man’s free will. This is because if man were not free, the above three issues would be irrelevant.

All those verses which blame the evil doers and praise the well-wishers are related to man’s freedom to act or else blame and praise would be irrelevant.

All those verses which deal with the Day of Judgment and the Resurrection on the one hand, and

reward and chastisement on the other, are related to man’s freedom of action. This is because if such freedom did not exist, the issues of chastisement and reward would be irrelevant, and the trial of the evildoers would be pure injustice.

All those verses which stress the fact that men are responsible for what they do, such as the following:

Every soul is held in pledge for what it earns.[Qur’¡n 74:38]

Every man is responsible for what he shall have wrought. [Qur’¡n 52:21]

And the like, vividly prove man’s free will.

Verses of the Holy Qur’¡n such as the following are also clear reasons for man’s free will:

Surely, we have shown him the way: He may be thankful or unthankful. [Qur’¡n 76:3]

There are, however, some explanations on some verses of the Holy Qur’¡n which support the question of “the intermediate affair,” which have been interpreted by ignorant individuals as an argument for the belief in determinism. One such verse is the following:

And you do not please except that Allah pleases; surely Allah is All-knowing, Wise.[Qur’¡n 76:30]

It is evident that this verse and others like it do not want to deprive man of his free will; rather, they show that while man is free in his will, he is under God’s domination at the same time.

THINK AND ANSWER

What is meant by “delegated”? What kind of shortcomings does it imply?

Describe through examples learned from the Infallible Ones(s) the view of the intermediate school.

What do the sacred verses of the Holy Qur’¡n have to say concerning the issue determinism and free will?

If we accepted the issue of determinism, what would happen to the topics of resurrection, Paradise, Hell and the questions asked on the Day of Judgment?

Are verses such as:

Taken to be proof for the validity of the issue of determinism?



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