On Free Will, Part 1: Love

This is the beginning of a three-part series on free will. I plan on covering free will as it concerns love, justice, and reason. For this first part, I will be discussing the relation between free will and love, namely that true love, and for that matter real hate, is not possible without libertarian free will.

TRUE LOVE

By love, I mean true love, that is, love that is not merely a feeling. I argue that love is not merely a feeling, because feelings fade. Thus, if the sum of love is in feeling, then love is a wretched thing, leading lovers to a dead end and causing more pain than joy. However, I say this: true love is more than a feeling. True love is an affectionate sacrifice, a commitment bound within the heart, and more besides these. Whoever looks for love but expects no sacrifice, especially from themselves, is searching for something that is ultimately in words only, with no action. And who looks for love without commitment? Love without commitment is deceitful, a love which is given only to later abandon.

ON WHETHER PUPPETS CAN LOVE

If we do not have free will, then from where do our actions and desires come? If they do not come from ourselves, they come from outside us. Now, if they come from outside us, they must be determined. The next question then is: are they controlled, or are they the result of preprogramming? First, I will discuss the former, which I will refer to as puppet-determinism.

To demonstrate what I mean by this, let us look at a puppet and a puppeteer. A man is sitting quietly, minding his own business, when he feels a slap on the back of his head. When he turns around, he sees a puppet. Now let me ask you this, even if the man’s initial reaction is to blame the puppet, is this the right reaction? Of course not! For the puppet is not the doer of the action; but rather, the puppeteer is the doer. Similarly, if our actions are not our own but are the result of a controlling or determining being or force, such as God in divine determinism, then who is to blame for the action? The puppeteer is the culprit, not the puppet, for the puppet has no will of its own.

Now, let us apply this to love. It is not logical to say that a puppet can love in anyway. Again, the puppet has no will: it’s desires and so-called choices are the results of strings being pulled. Therefore, it is wrong to say that a puppet can love. Taking this a step further, it is also incorrect to attribute hate to a puppet, by the same line of reasoning. Free will, then, is necessary for individuals to truly love.

ON WHETHER ROBOTS CAN LOVE

Next, we come upon the second type of determinism, which I will call robot-determinism. In this type of determinism, I am not referring to a robot that is remotely controlled, since that would be essentially the same as a puppet. Rather, I am referring to a robot that can perform actions independent of direct control, but whose actions are nevertheless preprogrammed and, thus, not out of volition.

A similar line of reasoning to that used for puppet-determinism can be applied here. If a robot, say, has the capability to punch someone, is it truly the robot who is to blame or the one who programmed the robot? The answer, of course, is the latter. Although the action may have come from code programmed into it, that is, although the action came from within, it is still, nevertheless, the programmer to blame. The same is true if we, as humans, do not perform actions based on our volition, but rather based on preprogramming, even if it comes from nature rather than an external being.

With that said, just as a puppet does not love, neither does a robot. True love, then, remains an impossibility without free will. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the truest form of love results from the will, that is, as a choice.

CONCLUSION

The existence of true love is dependent on the existence of libertarian free will. If there be no free will, let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that we love or that we are loved by other human beings. However, if there is indeed free will, which I hold there is, then let us rejoice in genuine love!

2 thoughts on “On Free Will, Part 1: Love

  1. Love is not a feeling. I certainly agree. Love is by choice, that is true. And I want to add, LOVE will never sustain a relationship, a knowledge of who God is, will.

    Thanks Makai! Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for commenting and for the encouragement. I appreciate it. However, I am not sure what you mean when you say that “a knowledge of who God is” will sustain a relationship and not love. Love will certainly maintain a relationship between human beings, even without any knowledge of God. Of course, a relationship with God will require at least a minimum amount of knowledge of him.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: