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Angels and Free Will
Terro
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Post: #1
Angels and Free Will
Alright, I know what you're all thinking... this never ends well...

I am of the mind that it is an important topic for debate. So the question is this, "Do Angels have Free Will?"

On the side of "no," the bible states that Humans are special because they have Free Will, that differentiates man from... everything else apparently. There is also the idea that Angels serve the Creator, and therefore they do not have will, they are servants and creations for a specific job that they do.

On the side of "yes," Angels can disagree, if they couldn't they would not be able to Fall. The Bible states that only man has Free Will, in this case, do Elves, Dragons, Demons, Fallen, and all the critters that crawl the Earth would also be devoid of Free Will. Logically it would be that the Bible is wrong and likely to be so as it was written by man.

So what do you all think on the topic?

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2008-04-26 15:38
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Post: #2
Re: Angels and Free Will
I beleive everything has free will...

but this topic seems to have a lot to do with what the bible says, while I do beleive the bible was divinely inspired (hehe however you want to define divine) it was still written by humans and humans make mistakes and have personal agendas.. whatever they may be.

Everyone is the hero of their own story.
2008-04-26 17:33
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Post: #3
Re: Angels and Free Will
I think the question is so wide is to be largely meaningless, mainly because "angel" is of itself so wide as to be meaningless. If you're referring to Biblical angels then to me that's a bit like asking "Do the Bajoran Prophets have free will?" - sure to a Star Trek fan it might be interesting, but while I personally love Star Trek I can't say as the Bible ever did much for me.

On the other hand if the question is "Can an entity created by a deity/god/higher being for its service have free will in the same way that humans can?", to me the answer is a resounding yes. Do all? Probably not - there are probably a good few entities out there that were created to perform service for higher beings that simply didn't get the option of choices programmed into them, but there were also probably a good few who did get that add-on.

So to me, rather than "Can angels have free will?" - a question which I personally think is either too narrow or too wide to be interesting, I would rather talk about laws.

There are laws humans abide by. Some are things like "Don't drive about 30 mph in a built up area" - people break laws like this all the time. There are some things like "Don't kill someone unless you have justifiable reason" - people break these, but not very often. And then there are laws like "be affected by gravity" . . . and everyone always follows those laws.

I'm acquainted with a number of angel-like entities - in other words, sentient and intelligent constructs, energy beings, semi anthropomorphic concepts. I wouldn't call them angels and they certainly wouldn't call themselves angels, but if you define "angel" as "a being created in service to god" and you give "god" a nice wide definition, then yeah, the term angel could certainly apply.

Now, like anyone else, these entities have laws that they follow. On a very basic level, they could probably be distilled down into "don't go against your creator's will", but there are a few - and I do mean a few - specifics.

I have asked them, on occassion, what kind of laws they are. Is it like a speed limit law (something you're not meant to break but do), a murder law (something you can break, but choose not to), or the law of gravity (something it is impossible to break, even if you want to).

They didn't understand the question. As far as they were concerned, if the creator said "don't fly", there is no difference between not being able to fly because you aren't allowed, and not being able to fly because you don't have wings. It's just the Law. It's not a case of "I want to do this, but I won't" (murder) vs "I want to do this, but I can't" (gravity) - it simply can't be done, a Law can't be broken. Whether they choose to follow it or follow it from "physics", they neither understand nor care.

You could argue, then, that it's an example of limited free will - but the flip side of the coin is no matter how much I in a human body want to fly, no matter how much I will it, lacking wings I just can't. I simply don't have the biological machinery to fly; does that take away my free will? Does it take away an angel's free will if it lacks the psychological machinery to break the law?

At the end of the day - every entity is limited; I'm not sure that questioning what does and doesn't have free will is even especially relevant.

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

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2008-04-26 18:07
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Seraphyna
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Post: #4
Re: Angels and Free Will
Well, as a celestial I never served a deity, so I have free will. Can't speak for angels, though.

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2008-04-26 20:15
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Veritas
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Post: #5
Re: Angels and Free Will
I believe it is not 'no free will' as we think but its no free will in the sence that its limited. Angels do not have free will per say, they can disagree and they can disobey so that makes it limited... I'm talking in circles but I think you catch my meaning.

So I'm going to err on no.

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2008-04-26 23:11
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RKCoon
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Post: #6
Re: Angels and Free Will
Personally, ive heard this arguement before - often, the angelics ive spoken to have stated clearly that regardless of what they felt of any orders from thier deity(ies)m theyd follow it. myself, i personaly beleive that anyone in a human body has, by what is built into our bodies, the ability to choose freely for themselves. they may feel compelled emotionally or psychologicly to obey, but i do beleive that a human body gives its, er, inhabitant, the ability and freedom of free will. most simply choose to not utilise it.
2008-04-26 23:33
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Post: #7
Re: Angels and Free Will
I think angels have free will, but choose not to use it -- because in many cases, the fate of the universe rides on their obedience to the Creator's Will.

Samael is the one who immediately comes to mind as an example. He could have chosen not to follow what Father had in store for him, certainly. However, his love for Father, as well as the knowledge that Father's Will couldn't possibly be carried out by anyone else -- for no one else was created with the capacity to do so -- was what compelled him to obey. At least, that's how I understand it.

~ Ashaiel

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2008-04-27 0:59
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Post: #8
Re: Angels and Free Will
RKCoon Wrote:Personally, ive heard this arguement before - often, the angelics ive spoken to have stated clearly that regardless of what they felt of any orders from thier deity(ies)m theyd follow it.

This issue gets raised a lot (that an angel would probably, even if it thought an order was bunk, carry it out anyway) but I think it might be somewhat of a red herring.

If you are truly connected with your Creator, then it's not a case of "Well I disagree but I'll do what he wills . . ." - it's a case of your own will being in tune with the Creator's will. What the Creator wants and desires is Good, because the Creator built the servant to define "good" as "what daddy wants".

As such I imagine disobeying orders/falling isn't a case of "You are wrong, screw you, I'll do my own thing!" so much as it is a sickening sensation of existential angst in which your entire identity and moral sense are thrown into doubt.

Quote:myself, i personaly beleive that anyone in a human body has, by what is built into our bodies, the ability to choose freely for themselves. they may feel compelled emotionally or psychologicly to obey, but i do beleive that a human body gives its, er, inhabitant, the ability and freedom of free will. most simply choose to not utilise it.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that physical humans lack free will. "Do angels have free will?" is IMO a completely different question from "Do angel otherkin have free will?"

Shadows can walk through walls, but I, as an otherkin shadow, obviously need to use the door. Same thing.

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

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2008-04-27 4:34
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Post: #9
Re: Angels and Free Will
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2008-04-27 7:58
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Xanthus
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Post: #10
Re: Angels and Free Will
If you believe in a god with omniptoence and omniprescence and omniscence, then no. In that circumstance free-will is an illusion regardless of who or what you are. Everything you have done, are doing or will do has all been predetermined.

But, either way, it's basically a philosophical debate. You can't tell if you have free will or not, unless you don't and the thing that's controlling you lets you know - which as far as I know, it hasn't...so you may as well assume you do for the time being, especially if it makes you feel better about the whole situation.

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2008-04-27 18:49
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