Friday, September 05, 2008

The Freedom Paradox

I have just been reading (bits of) Clive Hamilton's The Freedom Paradox 2008 (see the online link for a lecture which is also worth listening to) where he observes that many think freedom is about having the opportunity to "author our own lives", but in fact this has produced devastating results:
The very openness of modern life-the demand for independence that has left us with the freedom and the obligation to ‘author’ our own lives-entails forms of risk to which we were previously immune. For if we must take responsibility for our own lives we are confronted daily with the possibility that we will take the wrong path: what was once in the hands of the gods, the landlord and the boss is now a personal gamble. More choice is accompanied by more stress and making mistakes and ending up a ‘loser’; more money means more anxiety about our wealth; more personal freedom imparts more insecurity in our relationships; and our longer life spans still do not afford enough time to achieve all the goals we set for ourselves. The spectre of personal failure haunts us at every turn.
In contrast, for the Christan, true freedom is found in the humility of letting God be the author of our lives.
29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30
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