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
Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."