I’m going to spend one final week on this idea of freedom and its proper exercise because I think it is vitally important and inherent to our humanity. I think that we are people created with the capacity to exercise our free will. I do not believe we are just robots responding like a computer program to the environment we find ourselves in. We have the capacity to make decisions and must exercise our judgment appropriately in order to make the kinds of decisions that we want to see reflected in our society.
I began this entire topic with a question. I asked how we can ensure that people use their freedom in the right way and do not abuse it. How do they act responsibly and, rather than through restriction of law but rather through the embrace of the good, do that which is right?
I have suggested first of all that there are good things about the world, and I began with life and freedom. From those goods, we looked at several of the goods, and we want a worldview that embraces those things that are good. When people embrace a belief system that encourages them to work towards things that are good, then that is a worldview worth subscribing to. If a worldview encourages people to drop away from that which is good and actually do that which is bad, then it is not a worldview that is going to move the society in a way that we want to go. After all, obviously we want to move towards that which is good.
I proposed that the worldview that is most consistent with that which is good is Christianity last Wednesday. At the time, I did not really defend that position because I have done so other times on my website, but looking back on it, I think that maybe to wrap up this entire project of talking about freedom, I better demonstrate again how this subscription to Christianity actually develops a kind of society that we want.
Most of the time, when people hear about a Christian society, they think I am advocating for a theocracy. They think that I want to force everyone to be a Christian and go to church on Sunday. I’m not Nebuchadnezzar. I believe in freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. However, I think that Christianity is in a unique position to allow for freedom of religion, and I don’t think it is any coincidence that if you look around the world and look at the countries where religious freedom is most strongly embraced, you will see a Christian heritage. You do not see freedom of religion in Islamic countries for example, but I don’t mean to just challenge Islam. Religious freedom has been championed in countries with Christian populations. I think that the reason you do not see that in other worldviews is because of what I spoke about last week.