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Montana Freemason                                         August 2017                                     Volume 93   Number 2
                                               Free Will

                                               Marian Mihaila
                       Assistant to the Grand Master, National Grand Lodge of Romania

     “At  the  beginning  there  was  the  action,”  Goethe  often the promotion of tolerance takes the form of a
    said.  Word  could  serve  as  an  epigraph  to  the  moral  demagogical  discourse  in  the  sense  that  intolerance
    philosophy because man is made to act, and he cannot  is a forbidden word. If the individual bears tolerance
    be uninterested in the very quality of his action.  within, they do it without being its actual source.

     Existence is an act that does not cease reflecting in the  Violence is not the only manifestation of intolerance,
    mirror of his conscience. Nonetheless, human action is  in the name of a false morale it lends, with ability, to
    not reflected in the classical meaning of the term, as  values and ideas, a role that is not theirs. It disguises the
    we often act instinctively, in an automatic, impulsive  virtues and generates alibis, under honest appearances,
    manner, and a part of our activity is beyond the control  it finds supporters and, worse, it dictates a collective
    of intelligence. But at the same time, we are no less  conscience.  Slavery  thus  triumphs  over  intolerance.
    capable to act in a voluntary and free manner.     Slavery lasted thousands of years and was only rarely
                                                       the  object  of  contestation.  We  had  to  wait  for  many
     This is the richest and most humane part of our action.  centuries to see it abolished.
    Human action does not have the nature of the inferior
    automatism;  it  is  that  involving  both  the  conscience  Nonetheless,  it  still  exists,  at  the  end  of  the  second
    of  its  own  finality,  the  voluntary  achievements,  the  millennium, in some countries in the Middle East and
    possibility  of  endorse  this  finality  as  being  the  best  it is still practiced nowadays. But did someone want to
    possible one, and chooses between possible acts base on  abolish slavery?
    intrinsic values or the value we admit to give meaning
    to life.                                            Maybe  Christianity,  but  it  tolerated  slavery  for  15
                                                       centuries. Maybe socialism, but it only came to power
     So, free will is not arbitrary, but it is identical to will.  after slavery was abolished. Christianity, humanitarian
    Will and freedom cannot be dissociated. The will does  ideas, socialism, slavery abolishment have all followed
    not exist unless it is free and freedom does not have a  one  another,  as  they  have  a  common  source:  natural
    concrete reality unless it is personified in will.  evolution  of  the  cultural,  political  and  technical
                                                       conditions.
     Bossuet defines free will as being “The power of doing
    or  not  doing  something.”  But  this  freedom  implies  We  could  dwell  a  great  deal  about  what  we  could
    obligations, at the same time, while duty complements  generally call the “The Great Intolerances,” wounds that
    the idea of good.                                  had never healed such as the Nazi regime, apartheid,
                                                       racism, or intolerance on a daily basis, such as religion,
     The moral which targets the will may seem estimable  politics, economy, lack of dialogue...
    with  regards  to  justice,  desirable  with  regards  to  the
    heart or both ways at the same time. Nonetheless, moral  Nothing extraordinary about this classical cliche, if it
    takes  the  form  of  a  value  or  set  of  values.  Freedom,  were not for the legend which we invoke in our rituals
    duty and conscience are sets of values which open the  under the form of planches, in the profane talks as part
    gate to tolerance. Tolerance cannot be anything else but  of  our  general  culture  or  we  use  as  a  model  for  our
    an ephemeral wish, a spur of the moment idea. It is a  growth in most cases, but also for our decadence, even
    natural and permanent inclination to wish well.    when we wouldn’t like to admit it.

     But isn’t this the archetype of the ideal man?     Regardless of how we look at things, for those who
     We are too often the witnesses of a constant failure:  believe  in  the  Architect  of  the  Universe,  Tolerance
    Tolerance - virtue among most admirable.           would deserve to represent a shield which should never
                                                       be deactivated, not even when we take a step, through
     If  democracy  gives  birth  to  free  and  equal  people,  Brotherhood, towards the irreversible Eternal Orient.
    through a purely intellectual process, it is up to each
    individual’s  conscience  to  make  him  tolerant  or
    intolerant. It would not be out of place to say that too
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