Choices are free; it is the consequences that we pay for dearly. Or, more dearly, that pay us.
Most things in life are beyond conventional choice. We cannot choose not to breathe and remain living. We cannot choose to cease eating and expect to grow older. Like the color of our eyes, our genes, families, minds, natures, abilities, are mostly ingrained in us and beyond our will to change. True free choice is what we choose to do with these parts that make us who we are and how we choose to live with the elements at our disposal. We cannot choose not to breathe, but we can choose what to do when we do breathe. We cannot choose to cease eating, but we very well can choose what to eat and how to eat it. These are the most freeing choices of all.
How much control do we really have over our actions? So can man be held accountable for his behavior? Is the good we do truly to our credit? Is the evil our fault? Isn’t it all a matter of genes and environment? A discussion of choice vs determinism.Read More
Most people would assume that religion is quite conformist, because it has a set of laws—it’s not moral relativism. That is flawed thinking, based on untrue assumptions about the nature of the self and the nature of G-d. Learn why in this frank discussion with Rabbi Simon Jacobson.Read More
Man does not intrinsically possess the capacity to freely determine his actions; rather, freedom of choice has been granted to man by an omnipotent G-d. “If G-d knows what I’m going to do, how could I have chosen?” is more a difficulty of our time-contexted perception than a true logical paradox.Read More
Over two centuries ago Rabbi Schneur Zalman presented us with an invaluable model of life that can be appreciated now more than ever. Freud and his colleagues may be the fathers of psychology today. But the Alter Rebbe is the true father of the psychology of tomorrow.Read More