Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 2

May 08th, 2017 by Vader

The first part of this series of posts proposed a definition of freedom: Freedom is the ability to make meaningful and consequential choices. There I suggested that ability implied a free will, understood as a first cause capable of initiating new causal chains. Meaningful choices are ones which can be made rationally between distinguishable alternatives. Consequential choices are ones that have lasting significance. I further proposed that, in the divine scheme of things, lasting significance implies an eternal Judgment of those choices. Reconciling these attributes of freedom with the omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence of God requires that the causal chains generated by choices exist in a sphere significant to God, but in which He chooses not to exercise His full omnipotence, and which is bounded by His taking the causal chains arising from evil choices into Himself, in the person of the Son, via the Atonement.

In this post, I summarize my understanding of why freedom is a gift from an benevolent God, why it is precious, and  how this understanding informs our approach to liberty, here defined as the social and legal constructs that arise from our understanding of freedom and its worth.


Comments (1)
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill,Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
May 08th, 2017 05:15:20

Notes towards a definition of freedom

May 02nd, 2017 by Vader

A summary of my understanding of freedom and its problems, based in part on things I have long understood and in part on recent insights gained at this blog.


Comments (4)
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill,Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
May 02nd, 2017 13:19:13

Agency is Awesome

February 22nd, 2017 by G.

Image result for painting a wall

If you’ve ever taken on some small project–going to the temple, ticking off a list of chores, reducing your food budget for the month– and seen it through despite friction and your own fatigue, one thing will be obvious: agency is awesome.  It feels great to set your mind to something and then do it. (more…)

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
Tags: ,
February 22nd, 2017 08:18:42

Repentance is the Hero’s Sword, Repentance is the Throne

October 07th, 2016 by G.

Image result for lady of the lake sword

Sister Reeves was so excited about repentance at General Conference.  It was easy to catch her enthusiasm.

She’s right.  Repentance is heady, kick-up-your-heels stuff.  Repentance is awesome.  Repentance is glorious. (more…)

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
October 07th, 2016 09:04:44

Mainstream and Mormon Christianity and Agency – compared

February 05th, 2016 by Bruce Charlton

[Note: The following is from my ‘Notions’ blog, and attempts to explain something to non-Mormon Christians – especially those who try to ‘explain’ Mormon theology in terms of a borrowing and synthesis of various forms of paganism and Christian heresies such as Arianism and Pelagianism… but it may be of interest here… especially since I am trying briefly to summarize some implicit aspects of Mormon theology which are seldom taken much notice of by active members of the CJCLDS – and indeed why should they be?]


When people talk about ‘free will’ they are implicitly referring to an uncaused cause – in other words, the ability to act (e.g. to think a thought) without that act being caused but coming from within. (more…)

Comments (17)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
Tags: ,
February 05th, 2016 05:56:29

Let Him Who is Filthy, Be Filthy Still

June 22nd, 2015 by G.

The tragic vision of Mormon Christianity has four dimensions.

The first tragedy is that growth can only come through suffering and death.

The second tragedy is that free will means people can choose with finality to reject God and damn themselves.

The third tragedy is the tragedy that those we love can only grow through suffering and death and sometimes choose not to grow. Love holds us hostage to them, and it has to, or else it wouldn’t be love.

The fourth tragedy is that people miss out on growth that they are capable of, because they refuse to take the steps that would get them there. And perhaps nothing can be done about this.


That fourth tragedy deserves a little explanation. (more…)

Comments (3)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
June 22nd, 2015 12:00:50

Is Torture Good?

June 09th, 2015 by G.

Comments (22)
Filed under: We transcend your bourgeois categories | Tags: , , , , , ,
June 09th, 2015 11:16:31

Sin is Excommunion

June 04th, 2015 by G.



No vice is ever truly private, but some vices are more private than others. For some vices, the privacy of the vice is a choice. (more…)

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , ,
June 04th, 2015 11:21:22

This is Why There is Mortality

March 09th, 2015 by G.

If we think of agency as “the ability to take action,” boundaries are essential for an entity to have any kind of agency.

-from Gardens Need Walls

Comments Off on This is Why There is Mortality
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags:
March 09th, 2015 14:28:30

Death? Hey, Look, Squirrel!

January 13th, 2015 by G.

Death doesn’t go away when you pretend not to care about it. (more…)

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
January 13th, 2015 11:18:44

Participating in Your Own Life

November 14th, 2014 by G.

I wrote this post in my head, wide awake at 3 AM in an uncomfy bed.

Not the actual bed


Comments (3)
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill,Deseret Review | Tags: , , , ,
November 14th, 2014 13:19:25

Satan’s First Plan

March 07th, 2014 by G.

Council in Heaven

Here is a Mormon model of the pre-existence. Christ presented a plan for us to experience mortality and Satan presented an alternate plan. Christ’s plan allowed full scope for our free agency, so we’d sin, which He would repair by atoning for the sin. Satan’s plan restrained our free agency through repression and tyranny and disinformation/propaganda and who knows, so that we wouldn’t sin. We voted to accept Christ, but Satan and his followers wouldn’t accept the vote, like king-men. Consistent with their plan, like king-men they then went to war to get by force what they had lost by vote. They lost this confrontation too and were thrown out. But the war continues. It has become a bandit resistance campaign of subversion and sabotage.

The model is wrong. (more…)

Comments (26)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
March 07th, 2014 12:47:25

We’re all meat computers, with a little agency thrown in.

January 01st, 2013 by Bookslinger

As I’ve recently written elsewhere:

Sometimes the answers don’t come to us until later in life. I had some major epiphanies (where you finally realize something or encounter the answer to a big question or problem, such as the “why” of something) at ages 42, 45, 46, 50, and 55.


Comments (7)
Filed under: Brilliantly Lit,We transcend your bourgeois categories | Tags: , ,
January 01st, 2013 19:04:56

“Why Would a Loving God Let Someone Be Gay?”

June 08th, 2012 by G.

Same-sex attraction can be very Mormon.


Comments (8)
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill,Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
June 08th, 2012 11:58:17