Well, the assumption in your question is that "mind" is physical...or as you say, it's like "cogs." And determinism is baked into your question, too...it says that we are made to "make decisions" by "workings" of these "metaphorical cogs that turn." But that's erroneous: mind is not a physical entity. You cannot divide it into pieces, or weigh it in scales, or measure it with calipers, and it doesn't have parts, like a machine has. Moreoever it's clearly not deterministically controlled; for if it were, we would have no genuine identity, freedom or thoughts of our own.Harbal wrote: ↑Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:37 pmI'm not talking about souls; I don't believe in souls. I'm talking about the workings of the mind; the metaphorical cogs that turn when we think, and make decisions.Immanuel Can wrote: ↑Wed Dec 06, 2023 4:24 pmThe soul isn't a "mechanism," so we mustn't fool ourselves with a false analogy there.
Well, in a manner of speaking, you did. It was you and your wife who were involved, no? And the child bore your resemblances, your habits, and so on, even from a young age. But they weren't machines.I've participated in the creation of two children, neither of which I was give the opportunity to design.A more apt analogys is the one I suggested: creating a child.
That's not actually how it is, of course. What God prescribes to us is precisely what's best for us and what is also what is most natural and good for us. It's not "arbitrary" at all.It all seems so senseless and pointless. We soon learn that our actions have consequences, but the consequences in this case are not natural, or even logical, they are purely a result of the arbitrary disposition of God.
What you have to understand, H., is that a human being is a creature whose ideal destiny is to become a friend of God. There's nothing higher, healthier, better or more satisfying to the soul than to realize that potential. It's only when we fail to understand that, and start to think that our actual good consists in something lower -- like money, or fame, or having something we desire, or impressing people, or getting plaudits, or arranging our own security, or establishing a legacy on our own terms -- that we find we are frustrated and unfulfilled.
But that is precisely because we have not responded to our own best destiny. We are not what we imagine we are; and that fact is due to our fallenness: we have forgotten what we are really here for, and so we find nothing satisfying.
I think it was Pascal who said that "every man has a God-shaped hole in him." Even when we don't acknowledge that, we will never be satisfied until that void is filled.