Autonomy and Decision Making

25 Oct

If anyone knows me (or has no idea who I am and just reads what I write occasionally), he knows that I am abundantly grateful to be in the United States of America.  This country is fantastic, and one of the things I love the most is that it is unapologetically capitalistic.  Capitalism is a great form of government, in my opinion, because it allows people to be rewarded based on their own merits.  I like that.  Unfortunately, my belief system also tells me that if I were rewarded based on my merits, I would be achieving eternal damnation, so sometimes I like to buttress my enthusiasm for capitalism.:)

At any rate, every humanly good system is not without flaws, and one of the flaws about rewarding people based on their own achievement only is that we create a system whereby worrying about the dead weight of another is not rewarded.  In the postmodern world in which we live, it seems that autonomy is the mantra that makes people delight.  The fact is they seem to like having the freedom to make their own decision and create their own path.  While it is true that we have the ability to choose which sin we want to perform on any given day, it seems very odd to take such pride in that ability.

While the average, moderately-intelligent human can spot the person who lives without accountability, I think we must also look at the bigger picture.  We can spot the individual whack-jobs, but often we find ourselves in groups who function that way also.  Unfortunately, I have had the misfortune of dealing with a group or two recently who completely deny the need for accountability.  They want to use their freedom to make a decision that others question.  They try to use a cry of freedom, even Christian liberty, as something that they have and can take advantage of.  You should “never confuse your right to do something with doing the right thing.”

Whether an individual or a group, there is often the belief that they should have the right to make a decision about their life.  While some of my other posts may rain on that parade later, the fact is that your right to make that decision does not justify the content of the decision.  Many teenagers becoming adults make decisions that will affect the rest of their life greatly. Their belief is that they should have the right to make those decisions and, often, they can.  Nonetheless, that right should not interfere with the concept that those older than you who care about you probably can see the totality of the situation and consequences better than you.  Don’t neglect their wisdom just because you can!

Similarly, even the well-educated or seemingly wise may tout their self-governance.  We, however, were not created to be without checks and balances.  Even the great capitalistic country in which we live, in its forming, knew that we needed those checks.  We have three branches of government, each with its own tasks.  These protect us from the aforementioned whack-jobs.  I advise anyone dealing with a group that purposefully separates itself to the extent that they answer to noone, be careful.  They are purposefully acting with the wisdom of a teenager who never listens to his parents.


2 Responses to “Autonomy and Decision Making”

  1. Jenni November 1, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    It took me a little while to get where you were going with this one, Matty, but I totally agree with your words of caution. In fact, the reason I read your blog is so that you are not out there in the nether regions with nobody holding you accountable as to what you say!

  2. Jennifer Rebekah November 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    It took me a moment to see your point too, but well worth it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: