CHAPTER II
THE PROBLEM OF FREEDOM

1. Definitions of Freedom to Be Rejected.

It is essential to settle at the outset what specific group of facts we intend to discuss. This can best be done by eliminating the kinds of freedom which do not belong intrinsically to the problem of conduct. Thus, moral freedom has nothing to do with the formidable doctrine of predestination. The conflict between the will of man and the sovereign purposes of the Deity has long been a favorite subject of theological debate. Richard Hooker, in his "Ecclesiastical Polity," argues that the "general and perpetual voice of man is the sentence of God," implying that the decisions of the human mind are the direct and irresistible decisions of a higher Power, even though in conscious experience we seem to exercise a controlling share in determining them. Such a definition of free choice cannot aid us in shaping the course of moral action.

No less significant is the attitude of physical science towards the same problem. The world is the seat of inflexible laws expressed in the play of electric and magnetic forces. Every event is the union of these forces in a moment of time and is therefore inexorably caused. The "Necessity" which Plato in the "Timæus" saw operating in the combination of raw matter with individual forms has now been skillfully measured and stated in mathematical formulas. Man has his place in the mechanical order of nature and cannot be exempt from obedience to its laws. His freedom is of the same sort as that of the solar mass or the floating speck of dust. The light of distant stars is free to bend its rays when it passes a gravitational field like

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