by Tom Plonski
Every thing we do
The animals make their decisions based only on their instincts. What do the instincts tell them to do? The instincts tell them, "If it feels good, do it." The animals make their decisions based on their feelings at the moment and in the circumstance. We say the animals do not have free will.
The real difference between animals and man is that man has free will. Man can decide to do something or not do it regardless of his instincts. It is true that man can decide to do something because it feels good. But man can also decide to refrain from doing something even though his instincts are telling him it would feel good to do it. Man can decide to do something even though it does not feel good. Man can decide to do something even though he knows that it will be painful. This is what free will is all about. Free will is about making decisions regardless of instincts.
Animals make their decisions based only on instincts but man can make decisions based on his understanding of right and wrong. If we make decisions based only on feelings, then we are behaving as the animals do. People who advocate, "If it feels good, do it." are encouraging you to behave like an animal. If you want to become more than a mere animal then you must make your decisions based first on right or wrong.
We can see the things a person does.
We can hear the words a person says.
We cannot read the thoughts a person thinks.
But Jesus said, "By their fruit you shall know them." Is it possible then to gain an insight into a person's mindset?
It is true that Jesus said, "Judge not." but it is also true that Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them." When Jesus said, "Judge not." he did not mean we should never make judgments about other people. He said, "By their fruits you shall know them." to make it easier for us to judge other people correctly. When Jesus said, "Judge not." he was speaking against idle gossip. When Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them." Jesus was giving us advice to judge people so we could protect ourselves from the influence of persons who are evil, ignorant, or confused.
Before we decide to take another person's advice, we must judge the advice on the basis of right and wrong.
If you have a choice before you that contains several options, you must first seek out those options that are not wrong. If then you find several options which are not wrong, you may choose from these on the basis of your preference. If the options before you only contain things that are wrong, you must first try to abstain. If abstinence is not possible, then you must choose the least wrong.
I invite you to read the other pages of my Happiness Essays. I hope they will help you to become the happiest person you can be.