I have been reading the encyclical ”Veritatis Splendor” (“The Splendor of Truth”) from Blessed John Paul, II. He speaks at length about freedom and makes the point that true freedom is not unlimited freedom. While our freedom is far reaching (Adam and Eve could eat of any trees in the Garden except one) it is subject to adherence to God’s laws. He states that the power to decide what is good and what is evil does not belong to man, but to God alone. He further states as follows:
”Certain tendencies in contemporary moral theology, under the influence of the currents of subjectivism and individualism… involve novel interpretations of the relationship of freedom to the moral law, human nature and conscience, and propose novel criteria for the moral evaluation of acts. Despite their variety, these tendencies are at one in lessening or even denying the dependence of freedom on truth.”
So the simple question is, how do you define “freedom”? Does being free mean that we can do whatever we wish? If not, then are we truly free? Blessed John Paul, II states that man is only free inasmuch as he “can understand and accept God’s commands”. Do you agree?
I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this.