Religion and Freewill Possible?

A while back I got into a small scuffle with a friend of mine about the possibility of freewill with an all knowing, all powerful being. It came down to be a very interesting argument, for the mere fact that I was able to get my point across to my very closed-minded friend. (I say this with no disrespect, my friend is very intelligent but he will admit he is very closed minded.) I have heard for the longest time if you believe in an all powerful, all knowing being then there is no possibility of freewill. Well is this true?

My friend was telling me that he had freewill. I agreed with him I too believe that we have freewill. But then he started explaining his Christian beliefs. He believes that everything has a definite ending. The bible tells us that there is a definite end and there is nothing we can do to change this end. WAIT JUST A MINUTE! If there is a definite end how can you have freewill? He tells me that he can still make his own choices it just will not matter in the end.

OK, I can buy that, but if your choices do not matter do you really have freewill or do you only have the illusion of freewill? The truth is, if you make choices but the end doesn’t change then you really do not have any freewill at all. Only the illusion that your choices are your own and they really matter. If an all knowing Christian God knows what you are going to do, before you do it, then you were never really going to do anything other than what you do; so your choices are predestined. This only solidifies my point when he told me that he believes that everything has a destined ending.

So he walked through his argument with me and found in the end that he might not have freewill after all. I can choose to eat this apple or not to eat this apple. If his God knows the answer to the question already he cannot possible have freewill. The reason this is, is because his God knows everything for all time. And the Christian God is infinite and never changing. Which means that your choice is not yours but is destined to be made already you are just following the path set out in front of you. You were always going to eat that apple even if you thought you might not. Pretty interesting statement. I then proceeded to blow my friend away with another way to look at a God. If we were to look at an all knowing, all powerful being, that knows everything, there is still a way you can have freewill.

Now I personally do not believe that I am walking down a path with the illusion of freewill. What if this god knows everything, but only knows it at one certain point in time. If we think of this God in those terms I still have the possibility of freewill. Take for example the apple in front of me. At this moment in time this God knows that I am going to eat it. I know I am going to eat it. But then a moment later I decide not to eat it and pass the apple up. Does that mean that this God is not all knowing? No it doesn’t. At that next moment not only I knew I wasn’t going to eat the apple but so did this God. Ah-ha, so the God is still all knowing, just that there isn’t a set path in front of me. I have the ability to change the direction I am on thus giving myself freewill with the possibility of there being an all powerful god. The important part here is that we only look at a certain place and time, but we can have an infinite amount of places and times so we can still have an infinitely powerful, all knowing god. The God always knows something just that something can change, and will change.

My friend let me know that this was all well and good but still doesn’t work for the christian belief, and I agreed totally with him. The way Christians believe in there God there is no possible way they can have freewill. It is and always will be an illusion if you are a true christian believer.

Questions, comments, challenges? Let me know,


Published in: on December 26, 2007 at 4:03 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The bible tells us that there is a definite end and there is nothing we can do to change this end. WAIT JUST A MINUTE! If there is a definite end how can you have freewill? He tells me that he can still make his own choices it just will not matter in the end.

    Your friend doesn’t seemed to have articulated a point very clearly, but I think he may be on the right track and that your objection is somewhat illogical. There would be a definite end whether there is a God or not. What I mean to say is that you will, by definition, make the choices that you are going to make. If you can choose between A and B, and you’re going to choose A, then A will result.

    This is true regardless of the veracity of the idea of God. It’s just reality. Although having an omniscient God, who knows everything in advance, sort of drains the meaning out of speculating about “what could have been,” because He knows with absolute certainty what would happen. Speculation is therefore useless, as there’s no conceivable way to get around His foreknowledge.

    Nothing can be changed because if you would have taken the alternate route He would have known in advance. And, then we’d be talking about whether you were forced into making that decision. 😛

    God’s knowledge of the end result didn’t hinder your ability to actually make the choice, or diminish its moral significance, so I’m not sure that your (very common) objection has merit.

  2. […] have free will?” This always seemed like a strange objection to me. So, when I stumbled on it being made in a blog today, I figured I’d respond. I’ve copied a brief snippet of the […]

  3. I appreciate the comment. So what you are trying to tell me (putting god aside) no matter what, if I pick A I was always going to pick A. This has always been a problem for me. The reality of things makes me want to believe that I can have the ability to choose each and every time something comes up, and change my option if I had a chance to do it again.
    I do not see a problem with having an omniscient god and still having the ability to choose any possibility with no set path in front of me.
    You make an extremely clear point. Yet in your point I see no argument why I will choose A and why if I were to choose an alternate option I would have always chosen that option. There is still the possibility of me changing the path I am on without anyone knowing that I changed the path.
    For example I may be on a path right now that has all the answers to all my questions laid out. In two days I will board a plane to Phoenix, and I will have a dinner, and I will land, and so on. The choices are laid out for me, but then suddenly the plane I was suppose to be on is no longer going to Phoenix. Now my path is different, and I re-decide everything again. A freak occurrence that has offset where I was suppose to go and now I have many different paths I can take.
    This gives me the option to set my destiny yet again. Now for argument sake the omniscient being could not have known this was going to happen because if he did know then the path I was on was planed past the plane ride, it had me eating meals and landing, but if the all knowing being had knowledge of this the path should have never made it to the meal and landing. That path is still there and one of the options that I had the ability to take until the freak occurrence.
    The freak occurrence is out of my control thus spinning me onto another path.

  4. Great post. You may be interested in this too:

  5. Everybody has to know that Yehoshua(Jesus) is LORD

  6. в итоге: отлично!

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