Christianity Vs. The Non-believers Idea of Free Will: Who's right?

Elarra

Christianity Vs. The Non-believers Idea of Free Will: Who's right?

I normally do not write articles or Takes that deal with the Christian religion as I know it’s such a touchy topic with so many people, especially non-believers, who some of them tend to believe I'm trying to 'convert' them. I don't try to convert anyone, and that certainly is not the goal of this Take in anyway. Rather, I'm attempting to pass along information as I personally understand it.

I tend to keep my religious beliefs and ideas to myself for two reasons. It’s true that in part, it’s because I know discussing the with the majority of non-believers, not just Atheists, will lead to some sort of argument that will just go nowhere and annoy the heck out of its participants. Then there’s my second reason, and, honestly, this one is the biggie.

I feel most “Christians” will tell me I am wrong in my own beliefs. Why? Well, because they do earnestly believe that I'm wrong. Sometimes I feel Christians argue with one another more than they do with a non-believer about their own religion. And, I’ll admit, growing up as a child who went to church every Sunday with parents who pray over every meal and still advocate for God to this day, I was very misinformed about the Bible, as are most Christians. That doesn’t mean I think it’s hogwash. No, not at all.

I just think what I was told was in the Bible was hogwash. But then I got older and, with age comes wisdom, and the ability to read for oneself. So I did. And in my reading adventures, I found so many misconceptions in the Bible that even most Christians don’t realize, the number one being the concept of free will.

Christianity Vs. The Non-believers Idea of Free Will: Who's right?

I’m sure you know what argument to which I am referring. Do we REALLY have free will if God already knows what we’re going to do? Doesn’t that take free will away? Honestly, I’ll have to give this argument to the non-believers. I have literally never heard a Christian successfully win that argument. Why? Well, because they don’t know what the heck they’re talking about. In order to do that, you'd have to read the Bible, which I think most of us can agree that the majority of Christians do not do anymore.

Yet, here’s what I think. Free will absolutely, one hundred percent, without a doubt exists. I know what you’re thinking. “BUT IF HE ALREADY KNOWS WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO, THEN THERE’S NO FREE WILL!”

Wrong. Remember, I said I’ve never heard a Christian successfully win that argument. Just because I believe most Christians do not know what they are talking about doesn't necessarily mean non-believers are right.

Christianity Vs. The Non-believers Idea of Free Will: Who's right?

Free will means you can do what you like to do, and literally no one can stop you from making a choice by forcing their own free will on you. God isn’t making you do anything. He never has, he never will, and it’s up to you to decide how to live your life. However, just because he knows you’ll ultimately do what you want doesn’t mean he can’t predict what you’ll really do.

See, the Bible actually states that the Lord knows your heart, not that he knows literally what you’ll do next or what's in your future. He knows you on a level you do not even know yourself.

Allow me to use my dog for example. I have an eight-year-old beagle that I love dearly. She’s been mine for almost five years. I know my dog and how she thinks, not necessarily WHAT she thinks. I know that if I put a plate of medium rare diced rib eye in front of her and next to it a Cobb salad, she’s going to pick the rib eye. I didn’t make her do it. She chose it on her own. But I know my dog. I know what she likes. I know what she’s going to do because that’s how close I am to my dog. But that salad is still there. She could pick it if she wanted to, but the option is always there for her to have. I didn’t restrict her option to have a Cobb salad.

Friends are the same. We all have that one friend who keeps saying they’re leaving their husband, wife, or otherwise significant because of how they treat them. Yet, years later, where are they? With their significant other. Guess what? It’s no surprise because we know how our friends are, and we’re usually never surprised by their actions. There are people who know us better than we know ourselves. We need look no further than the story of Jeremiah, the prophet who foretold the destruction of cities, to see that God looks at your heart. It’s literally stated as such in Jeremiah 17:10. He looks at your heart, not into your future.

Christianity Vs. The Non-believers Idea of Free Will: Who's right?

Even my own parents do this. My dad bought a white 1983 Chevy Camaro Z28 back in 1983, and he’s been the only owner of that car. Yet, for the past decade, my parents have been saying they were going to sell that car, which, you know, whatever. They’ve been singing that same song for ten years, yet that car has no “For Sale” sign in it, there’s no ads in the paper, no ads on craigslist, they haven’t told any of their coworkers it’s for sale, and the biggest indicator, it’s been sitting in our garage for ten years. I know they aren’t getting rid of this car because they haven’t put the effort into doing so. That doesn’t mean I won’t wake up one day and see a “For Sale” sign in its window.

The reason God knows what people did in the Bible is because He WATCHED THEM DO IT. He knew Cain killed Abel out of jealousy. Why? He watched him do it. He knew Sarah laughed and didn’t believe He’d give her and Abraham a son within the year. Why? BECAUSE HE WATCHED HER DO IT. He knew Adam ate that fruit and it wasn’t just Eve. Because, here it comes, you ready?

He. Watched. Them. Do. It.

Why do you think God left that tree in the garden anyway? If he was truly trying to restrict Adam and Eve's free will, that tree wouldn't have been put there in the first place. He put it there strictly so they had the option. He didn't have to put it there, but he did. He gave them the choice.

Even God knew which disciple would betray Jesus because he knew their hearts. Judas was not as pure of heart as the other disciples and was a backstabber, which is why he warned Jesus. We all know people who have backed stabbed us at least once, and a lot of the time, they were our friend(s).

Christianity Vs. The Non-believers Idea of Free Will: Who's right?

For instance, I have Bipolar disorder. Three of my coworkers know I have this and have known for three years. Why? Because I know they won’t tell anyone. They’ve known for years and, still, my colleagues don’t know why I am on medical leave even though there are three people in our high school that know I’m on medical leave due to my disability. There people in that building, however, that I know will run their mouths to everyone because that’s what they do, that’s how they are, and they’ve done it time and time again to other people. I know who is a busybody and who isn’t. They’ll say they don’t gossip, but they actually do. How do I know? You ready for this? You sure? Prepare yourself!

I watch them do it. Yes, it’s true, they may keep my secret to themselves, but their actions, their words, and their attitude tell me something else. That doesn’t mean they don’t have the choice not to tell my secret should I choose to share it with them. And it also doesn’t mean that those who already know won’t share it. Yet, the choice is still there.

Remember, omniscient means having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight. It does not mean being able to predict the future. That’s actually a sin, and God warns us to not listen to those who practice divination as it’s associated with witchcraft. Samuel 15:23 tells you that. Why would God practice an act that he himself has deemed sinful?


Christianity Vs. The Non-believers Idea of Free Will: Who's right?

Your actions will usually follow what’s in your heart. You can say what you want or what you believe, but if it’s not in your actions, it’s usually because it’s not in your heart.

Hopefully, this [lengthy] Take clears up your misconception of free will and God’s ‘ability’ to see into the future. IF you’re a Christian and you didn’t know, well, now you know. If you’re a non-believer and didn’t know, now you know.

I didn't write this Take to change anyone's beliefs because I don't think that's possible for me to do. You can believe what you want. God is real, he’s a piece of fiction, the Bible is bull, etc. But at the very least, both sides should understand the topic itself because engaging in the debate.

Christianity Vs. The Non-believers Idea of Free Will: Who's right?
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Most Helpful Girl

  • CHARismatic110
    Pretty much. Everyone's born with a choice. You can choose to believe or not to believe. At the end of the day, everyone will have be responsible for the choice that they made and the actions that followed.
    Is this still revelant?
    • On a human level yes, not on a divine level: an omnipotent god could alter your genetics before you're even born: if he wants to he can make it so no murderers and rapists are ever born, this shifts the responsibility for everything bad that happens in the world to god.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Waffles731
    There's a quote I find interesting, "Talk to a Theologian, and no one is innocent, talk to a neurologist and no one has free will"
    And I find the latter Idea far more terrifying
    Is this still revelant?
    • jacquesvol

      And the neurologist has more solid evidence than theologians.

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What Girls & Guys Said

734
  • ladsin
    We don't have free will, although I'd say we have a "will" of sorts.
  • The_flying_Frenchman
    You used a few analogies in this, but I'd like to highlight this one in particular

    "Suppose I place a diced up ribeye next to a Cobb salad. I know my dog and that she will choose the ribeye but that doesn't mean I know her thoughts exactly."

    Paraphrased of course but thats irrelevant. What's important is that this is not an accurate analogy for the supposed "relationship" between the Christian god and we humans. You've forgotten the part Christians only like to bring up when they're pissed off

    HELL

    It's the ultimate stick, the sickest torture you could devise. How much of a choice does your God offer you between infinite droning bliss and screaming agony? None. It's only one binary decision.

    Let's go back to your dog. Say you tell your dog that although eating the ribeye is what they crave, is what the flesh desires, that it must gird itself and eat the Cobb salad. If it eats the Cobb salad, and more importantly kisses your ass for its whole life, it will get to stay with you forever.

    But if it disobeys you, then after it dies it will be thrown in a junkyard and be starved, infested with fleas and heart worms, torn to pieces by angry Rottweilers. Give only those two options, does your dog have a choice but to choose you?

    As Frolo said to Esmeralda: choose me... or the fire

    dettoldisney.files.wordpress.com/.../frollo.jpg

    This is your God. an incredibly insecure, megalomaniacal, mass murder and torturer of souls... and also, thank goodness, a work of pure fiction like every other God ever worshipped.

    • Elarra

      It's actually very relevant. Also, your argument makes no sense because dogs don't understand English.

      And why would I bring up Hell in a conversation that has nothing to do with Hell?

    • Because there's a difference between free will and actual freedom. A slave has the free will to disobey thier master, but not the freedom to escape the whip that follows. If your God were to exist, I would have the free will to examine the evidence to the logical conclusion that he does not exist, but not the freedom to escape the whip of hell that lasts for eternity.

      IF god exists, he is a sadistic slave master who deliberately hides himself for the sole purpose of torturing those who don't believe because they lacked the incredible gullibility required to do so. This isn't freedom of choice. It is only free will by the basest of definitions and means nothing. Think on it.

  • JohnDoe3000
    Problem is some parts of the bible do deal with prophecies and with god interfering in the world. This means that god does have an influence on the choices people make.

    Also, and this is the really important part: people discuss the idea of free will because christianity (like islam and many other religions, past or present) has a final judgment. The argument against religions with a final judgement basically goes like this: god is a sadistic asshole for creating people he knows are going to sin and them punishing them for it. To give an example, god created Adam and Eve with a genetic predisposition to violate the tree of knowledge and then punished them for doing just that, and god lets people with a genetic predisposition for stealing be born in poor areas and then he punishes them for stealing. This is why a lot of atheists like myself don't think the god described in christianity deserves to be worshipped, even if we had proof he exists, and ironically we would be genetically/environmentally predisposed to think like that only because that same god made us that way.
    • Elarra

      Well, we're all entitled to our opinions 😂😂😂

    • Elarra

      Also, the prophecies in the Bible is God instructing a person to tell someone else what he will do if they don't follow what he tells them. Like the 7 plagues. Those were prophecies, but in the Bible, prophecies are more warnings or notifications from God of what he will do should you choose to either listen or not listen to him. I mean, he is an omnipotent being after all. It's like a father telling his son that if he takes the car without permission, he's grounded. If he takes the car, he'll be grounded. He was warned but did it anyway.

    • Yes, just gloss over murdering the first borns of the Egyptians. God hardening the heart of the pharaoh several times when he was going to be rid of the Hebrew slaves, and here's a point.

      No archeological records ever found in Egypt mention Hebrew slaves. Or the loss of an entire army in the Red Sea, the death of one of their pharaohs. Seeing as they worshipped the pharaoh as a god, and kept records on everything from astrology to taxes, you'd think there might be a source besides the Bible that corroborates that myth. But there's not.

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  • JRICHARDS1996
    The answer is actually quite simple: knowledge does not equal causation. God may know everything you are going to do before you do it, but it does not mean that he is actually making you do it. You still possess the agency to choose.
    • He doesn't make you do things, he just programs you through your genes and environment (those two things are ultimately what every mind bases all of its decisions on) and then gets mad if the results of that same programming conflict with his commandments. Like wtf, if you don't like what I'm doing then why did you program me to do what I'm doing?

    • Editor

      @JohnDoe3000 You are merely saying that free will doesn't exist because DNA exists. But you have to do more than that to truly convince anyone.

    • @Editor

      DNA and environment determine every decision, there is no way around that (how would you make a decision in the absence of instincts and learned behavior, except by tossing a coin, which isn't free will), since god controls those god can certainly control your decisions.

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  • ObscuredBeyond
    All freedom must exist within a context of something. For a physical realm as we understand it to exist, it needs an "outer wall of truth," one which curves in on itself such that there is no such thing as "shooting past the wall," as that one guy mentioned in the pilot to "Cosmos" theorized.

    I like to refer back to the PS2 for this. "Ghost Recon" could only work on that platform because maps were limited. Thus, while the maps appeared to be infinite to the player, the invisible walls that prevented fatal memory leak made all too clear this wasn't true whenever a player tried to Rambo-charge the village enemies across the bridge: their spawn point was simply off limits, even when it visually made no sense!

    As such, there is no such thing as "absolute" free will. Everything happens within a higher context.

    There is Volition Dilemma, and there is Vocational Destiny. What you are meant to do, and what you have to have the ability to do to the contrary in order for the decision you do make to matter.

    So long as this exists, there will always be temptation. However, as I've heard it explained: liberty is the freedom to do as God's law permits. License is the ability to make excuses for what it normally does not permit - or to limit the liberty of others.

    Richard Maybury further points out that, all fine points of revealed truth via Scripture aside, the human social contract can be boiled down to two commandments:

    1. Do, within reason, what you have agreed to do.
    2. Do not encroach on another's person or property in the process.

    The danger in any government system, is that someone will always seek license to violate one of those two commandments, for whatever reason.

    Concerning the hot topic of sexual "rights": some argue that the restrictions and prohibitions on pursuit of sexual curiosity in Christianity are a bit much. However, trying to be of faith sincerely while ignoring those prohibitions becomes near-impossible.

    Add to that: when the sexual "liberation" crowd is in control, they quickly deprive others of the right to dissent. And rape culture grows exponentially.
  • Pink934
    I'm a Christian who believes wholly in free will. I get what you're saying, but free will definitely exists. Yes, God knows what we'll do in future, he knows the mistakes we will choose to make, he knows the good deeds we'll choose to perfom. But you know what? That does not mean got us restricting/controlling our free will, by any means. We still choose. And because God believes in us having that choice and free will, he might watch and be displeased by our actions, but he still lets us have that free will. Which I think is fair, he forces nobody's hand to believe in Him. He gives us that choice. He knows our hearts from before we're even born and he knows everything that we'll do from that day forward, He even knows the number of hairs on our head! And although He wants us to love Him and it may sadden God to know that we will choose to rebel against Him, He still gives us that choice.

    Just because He can predetermine our future doesn't mean that our own free will is not truly ours is what I'm trying to say. It's still our own in the sense that we can make our own life decisions. God's will for us envelopes decisions that we are humanly unable to make.

    So, I reckon I know what I'm talking about and could explain this to a non-believer. Definitely not the trickiest issue to explain, that's for sure.
  • Tanuron
    When people speak of free will, I dont think they really mean it like that at least I dont when I think of free will. I think its more about if everything is an illusion of free will. Like if "God" Designed man, he basically created everything that makes you you. How you think, what you think and so on, not to mention faith and destiny. Like jesus was desitned to do what he did, that he would follow that path God had put forth for him. Like that jesus was designed to do what he did. If that is the case then there is no free will. If everything is planned out and if humans are designed by God, like we would design a computer program, we would know how it would behave, if done correctly anyway and when considring God is supposed to be perfect, humans would be pretty predictable.

    Its not about knowing what we are going to do and letting us do it, but that he would have designed us to follow the path we do. That when we think we have free will, we will always think and choose what he has been decided for us. Even if say you are an atheist or what not. That again you are created to think, act, behave and say exactly you are supposed to. He wouldn't need to do anything in that case, cause everything would be according to his plan and will.

    Free will would be that you are able to choose what you want as an individual cause of your own thoughts, without having it decided through faith, destiny or by God on beforehand, like that he would program you to think, act and feel the way he wanted you to.

    In either case though, when it comes to God, he dosent give much choice anyway, its either "follow me" or "burn in hell" attitude, at least in christianity. Thats just cohersion and manipulation, which im pretty sure if there was any genuine god or if there was a real god, he would never need to say or even imply anything like that. Any "God" who do is just plain and simply evil.

    And honestly though, if God can't even predict the future, I gotta lol at that, cause hell even I can predict the future in so many ways too, and im just tiny me. But I think thats probably the worst thing in either case, certainly with christianity. Its fine if people wanna believe in a God, cause hell logically, you can't dismiss it either, but to do so out of fear of hell and follow a god who is honestly so cruel and evil and hide behind "Good", its just insane. It adds more evil to the world, in an unaware way, which is what evil would do in the first place, convince you that you are good.
  • Peskyn3gr0
    There is no free will, I'm too lazy right now to discuss all of this... Here is some material to read. Your explanation is full of anecdotes and not grounded in any hard evidence... you are a product of your environment and genetics. I recommend you have seriously look into the arguments of determinism, neuroscience has produced a strong base of evidence that our actions are already determined before we even become consciously aware of making our decisions, it may sound counterintuitive, but if everything else in the universe is influenced by the laws of universe, why would human beings be the exception? Everything you think and do is influenced by the inputs and outputs of the environment around you and the processes occurring based on genes and mechanical structures of your brain. You merely have an illusion of "free will".

    web.csulb.edu/.../arguments_for_determinism.html
    www.theatlantic.com/.../

    io9.gizmodo.com/.../scientific-evidence-that-you-probably-dont-have-free-will

    • Editor

      You will have to use a word other than "illusion," since illusions depend upon choosing one of several interpretations of reality, which is impossible if we have no free will.

    • Peskyn3gr0

      @Editor No, the external stimuli of being exposed to the evidence of determinism has constructed my mind to see that free will is an illusion. It is with that "input" which influences my interpretation. See how that works? Prior to that it seems that free will seems to be real based on my experiences throughout life and not examining the mechanisms of everything happening in my body. For instance, you be aware of reading this, but you're likely not considering the electrochemical events occurring at each of the trillions of synapses in your brain.

    • Editor

      Throughout your explanation, you repeatedly refer to "interpretation," "consideration," "awareness," etc. These all require that I make some sort of choice. Explain how I cannot choose anything without resorting to forcing me to choose something.

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  • Intraluminal
    You have made a fascinating argument, and raised an interesting, if often argued question. However, your central premise is mistaken.

    "Remember, omniscient means having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight. It does not mean being able to predict the future. That’s actually a sin, and God warns us to not listen to those who practice divination as it’s associated with witchcraft. Samuel 15:23 tells you that. Why would God practice an act that he himself has deemed sinful?"

    Omniscience DOES mean knowing the future. You are halfway to realizing this when you consider your dog. The problem is that you are not taking into consideration that differences of *degree* are very different from infinite differences.

    I like to use a pool player as an example of this. To a bad pool player the movement of the balls is almost random. To a decent player, the movement is no longer random but the future is uncertain. For example she can hit the cue ball and cause it to strike her desired ball and have that ball go where she wants, but her next shots are largely unknown.

    Now consider ba champion pool player. Not only does she know where the information ball is going, but she knows how far the cue ball will bounce back, and her next shot is known. She hits the cue ball just hard enough that *after* it does it's job of hitting the first ball, it will rebound into position to hit the next ball, and so on. On fact, if her control of her muscles were perfect, and that balls, table, and edges of the table were perfect, she would be able to play a perfect game every time.

    Now imagine a God. *INFINITELY* better than that pool player. This omniscient God knows where every atom is going to go. How far it will bounce and where it will stop. And this is true through the *entire universe*and for all time. Therefore, that God knows all of the future. All acts, all choices, all outcomes are known.
  • RedThread
    I don't quite believe in free will. That has nothing to do with my lack of belief in any form of divinity though. If we had a will that was free of influence then why are children far more likely to smoke if their parents smoke? Why are kids far more likely to be alcoholics if they're parents are alcoholics? You'd think free will and logic would dictate that people would want nothing to do with these things throughout all the misery it probably brought them in their childhood. If we had free will then we wouldn't have a statistical probability towards any action based on our environment. I would argue that humans have a type of limited will based on our environment, upbringing, and genetics. We are all incredibly easily brainwashed and manipulated toward different political, religious or racial ideologies. Hell, if I was raised in a heavily Christian environment in a small conservative town, I'd probably be singing a completely different tune right now. If I was raised in a heavily conservative Hindu area of India I would also be singing a different tune about how my perception of will is right based on my understanding of my religion and reality. The concept of free will is incredibly lacking in my opinion. Our ideas don't exist in a vacuum. We are all pushed and prodded into different directions by our own experiences and ideologies most of which we don't develop on our own.

    This is why I'm not confident in any of my assertions or beliefs. I don't know if they're hypocritical or even if they're of my own making. I try to refine myself by being introspective. All my convictions are open to skepticism. Hell, sometimes I have a lot of inner battles over different ideas of moral philosophy or the intricacies of rationalism versus empiricism when it comes to the field of epistemology. Deep down I know that I can be absolutely, hilariously, and pathetically wrong about EVERY SINGLE BELIEF I HAVE. That gives me confidence in a bizarre way because I know I'm open to refinement like a consistently tempered sword. I care about the cold truth whether it makes me feel good or not.

    www.azquotes.com/.../...hing-socrates-86-90-42.jpg
    • RedThread

      This is without me even delving into the scientific thoughts about free will too. I was talking more about philosophical thoughts towards free will. Neurologists have found that we actually make decisions without our conscious minds even being aware of the choice. Rather, we make a choice then our conscious mind debates the choice then we choose what we subconsciously decided upon. You see this effect in Ouija Boards.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=221lInw7Wj0

    • RedThread

      Another thing that makes me skeptical of free will is the idea of confirmation bias. We are drawn to things that confirm our own beliefs and ignore ideas that counter our beliefs. You can see this in politics. Liberals will read news that confirms their beliefs whereas conservatives will read conservatives news sources to escape the "liberal media".

    • these that you describe are "tendencies" and "influences" to do something. the final choice is ours.

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  • Other_Tommy_Wiseau
    Nice attempt, but you neglected the other half of the argument, which is the other problem with the concept of god to atheist and other non believers. It's the fact that he is omnipotent and the Bible and he claims and his followers claim to be so. There's evidence of him intervening. There's evidence in the Bible stating that he can basically control humans, tell humans what to do and claims to know everything that has happen, is happen and will ever happen

    So the problem isn't whether or not he can or does interviene for the sake of free will, it's a question of, if he is real, why doesn't he? Why does an omnipotent God allow for the suffering of humans and to give people free will? The common argument is because he just wants to give us the choice. Moreover, if he created us in his image, to be like him, why didn't he make us perfect in the first place instead of allowing Adam and Eve to be succumbed to eating the forbidden fruit? Surely an omnipotent God would have known the result. Moreso, if he did have the power to make us perfect and he is perfect, why didn't he get it right to begin with and avoid this debate over free will any why sin exists?

    Again, it's not so much the idea of whether or not we have free will, to me. The argument would be for an all powerful, all knowing God, devoid of mistakes, would make such a fundamental mistake to begin with and condemn the rest of humanity for thousands upon thousands of years for said mistake? Especially when that mistake was made by 2 humans... he could've just as easily scrapped them and started over, made them perfect the 1st time or simply just fix them (and us)

    What I would also like to get into is with this idea of the bicameral mind. I'll concede that I don't know much about it as I would like to for a lengthy discussion, but it's an interesting topic
    • Elarra

      First, I never said he couldn't control humans. I said he doesn't. There's a difference. Omnipotent means all powerful and having the ability to do anything. That doesn't mean he has to do it. I have the power to pass all of my students in my class even if they never do any work, and no one would ever know. Doesn't mean I'm going to. Having the ability to do something is not synonymous with actually doing it. If he did this, then free will would not exist because he would decide our life paths for us. He's just the judge.

      Also, the Bible says that Satan is the ruler of this world, which is also why God only blesses those who follow his word. He doesn't expect us to be perfect as Adam is the whole reason sin and Satan are in control anyway, but he does expect repentance. It says that sin is passed through man to his offspring. It's just like genes. My mother and father have brown eyes, so I inherited that trait from them. That's why people are sinful in nature. It's inherited.

    • Elarra

      Also, he allowed Adam and Eve to succumb to the tree because it was their choice. If he didn't want them to have free will, the tree never would have been there. I'm not understanding your argument as it has too many holes. His omnipotence doesn't mean he has to make us do things and he should do things for us. He's not our slave. And God did know what the result would be haha. Where does it say in the Bible he didn't?

      Also, "why didn't he get it right to begin with and avoid this debate over free will any why sin exists" is worded weird and doesn't make any sense.

      It's not a mistake to condemn humanity for the sins of the father of mankind. It's a consequence. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it wasn't a mistake. That's really what it is. You just don't like that you don't have a say in what God does with his power, which I think is the root problem for many non-believers who don't follow God. I'm sure they'd be just as mad if he forced them to follow him.

    • Elarra

      Basically, you can't satisfy someone who doesn't want to be satisfied, which many non-believers don't want to be satisfied. You bring up omnipotence which has zilch to do with free will. Now, if you were asking about how come you don't get certain things in life that others get, that would deal with omnipotence. But free will and his omnipotence don't really go together.

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  • jacquesvol

    How much free will do you have when looking in the barrel of a loaded gun?
    Matt 10:15: www.biblehub.com/matthew/10-15.htm
    Luke10:12: www.biblehub.com/luke/10-12.htm

    Facing that, how much free will is left to Christians?
    • each human understands a message at his spiritual level. others need fear mongering, others the message of love.

    • jacquesvol

      @levantine99 Not much love in Matt 10:15 or Luke 10:12

    • studying the Bilbe without prayer and spiritual life is useless if not harmful. the bible has been from a divine tool of salvation, to a flag waved by all heresies and deadly campaigns. depending of who was using it. it needs repented illuminated people to interpret it. and i repeat there are messages for all levels and types of humans.

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  • Kuraj
    Free will doesn't exist, your brain is just a sophisticated machine, it takes inputs and calculates the output depending on its processing power and said inputs.
    If you give it the same inputs it will always calculate the same results.

    You can tell yourself that there is free will, but there really isn't because you were always going to decide that way and no other way.
  • levantine99
    In the Hercules mythos, Hercules faced two paths. One lead to virtue, one to vice. Each moment for us humans is such a choice. Free will exists cause each instant we choose to react in a good or a bad manner in some situation.
    • what neurologists deny is not that choice, its things like where will you seat in a conference room. which has to do with your master eye, and which half of the brain is dominant. how you'll react when you are hungry infront of food. things like that. the limitations of our neurology and physiology. but not our actual choice between good and evil.

  • TripleAce
    Christianity, no... simply because Christianity is not alone... so doesn't work

    Free will, no... we are given a brain with certain contraints, most of the times we can't over ride those

    For example - if we actually had free will... everyone would be able to exercise the right choice, no one would become victims of their thoughts...

    Did you really choose to write this question? Or did the thought pop up and then you decided to write it?
    • Editor

      Could you clarify, please?

    • Elarra

      @Editor I know because that didn't really make much sense.

    • TripleAce

      @Editor which part? Lol
      Asker... which part?

  • capturemyheartnow
    There is no free will. All our thinking is dependent on something or other. When you have faith , you have trust , you have an attitude , you are grateful that God is there for you. God may actually be there or he may not be there but you believe in God. When you believe in God , you grow from inside out. Non can teach you. None can make you spiritual Your only teacher is your own soul. If you believe in God , you believe in miracles. If you don't believe in God , you don't believe in miracles. That is how powerful your belief system is. Your belief system is because of your own free will. But free will is not actually free. It is depended on your thoughts and experiences. If your thoughts and experiences change , your belief systems too will change. So your belief system is a flexible system. It can change any time.
    • Elarra

      That... doesn't make any sense.

    • Editor

      You're kinda arguing *for* free will there.

  • DiegoO
    The definition of "non-beleivers" is bullshit, we all believe in something or someone, call it God, gods, phillosophy or science. If we stick to the fact that we are conscious beings and that our past doesn´t shape our future, it´s posibble to say that the decisions we make "now" in the moment give us the free will to be who we choose to be.
  • castratedwhiteguy
    I'm a Christian but I have problems with parts of the Bible. Personally, I don't think that the Old Testament has anything to do with Christianity.

    In summation, you need to live your life buy the Ten Commandments, you need to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, and you need to understand and accept the fact that Revelations is happening right before your eyes. Do those three things and you'll have a one way ticket into Heaven...
  • blackchocolatelove
    I believe concerning the advances of neurology and social science most people no longer believe in total free will at least. Everything we think and do is influenced by historical gain.
  • tyber1
    There is no such thing as God or Free Will, we're products of our environments and we react to our environments.
  • SovereignessofVamps
    I agree you always choose what you do and your future.
  • I-am-a-nobody
    @Elarra
    Thanks for bringing up this subject.

    You seem to be implying that God doesn't know the future, which is unbiblical (see Isaiah 46:10). God knows everything, but foreknowledge doesn't mean He's taking away the free will of those who do things. On the contrary, God uses evil men in His purposes...

    Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, but God used it...

    Gen 50:20
    "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

    Also, Jesus...

    Acts 2:22a-23
    Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

    God also used Babylon and Assyria to deal with Israel.

    That's what makes God's plans all the more awesome.
  • skeptic002
    IM HERE TO CONVERT
    LOL TEAM JESUS WOOTS!!!
    www.fggam.org/.../Go_team_Jesus_by_jaimeabarca.jpg
  • Kelfuma
    We have a limited free will. If God gave us absolute free will, there would be total chaos because there would be no constraints. This is why you can't do anything harmful to others or even to yourself without facing the consequences.
  • Skadouchebag
    I don't understand how atheists can get mad at someone for trying to convert them. Isn't that the exact same thing they do when they argue about politics?
    • I can't really say anything regarding politics, as I have no interest in it. The political world continuously just depresses me. But, as an agnostic, especially raised within the bible belt. I can say that the majority of religious people consistently try to convert non-believers very rudely. I don't get offended if someone starts preaching the word to me, it is annoying though. Which I usually politely tell them I'm not interested & excuse myself. To which, most of the ones I've said that to react aggressively. By saying I'm doomed & choosing a life of sin & other forms of hate speech.

    • @KibbityKabbit Those are fundamentalists; they're actually the minority (or more specifically, they're the loud extremists of Christianity).

    • Well, I have to consistently deal with the fundamentalist christians & it's becoming more difficult every day not to think that behavior is the entire religion's fault. I try not to judge a whole group over a selection of others, because I don't like that being done to groups I'm affiliated with. It's just hard. It's an annoyance I deal with every day.

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  • Stevan7
    This is so far most enjoyable mytake i have ever read. Your ideas and opinion on free will seems reasonable, and i agree with it. Regardless of god existence we have free will. Wish it was longer!
  • Derpyy
    @JohnDoe3000 This is exactly how I've come to see certain religions actually. I was raised as a "strong Christian". However, I just went along with whatever my family told me to do until I got tired of faking it. I read the Bible when I was about 8, 12, and again at 16. I'm debating giving it another go actually. However, that final time I finally gave up. I was old enough to confirm what I had always felt: That God isn't worth worshipping. That I was just a pawn for amusement, a creation destined for failure. Even though I always had a hunch, that realization shattered me. After that, I decided I would never lie again, especially about anything relating to a higher power just to fit in.

    Interesting take, by the way.
  • Djaaaay
    God is right... freedom of choice was given from God to man , so man could choose either God or other.
  • Bandit74
    I think genetics, upbringing, and early life experiences play a massive role on who you become and what kind of potential you have.
    That being said I do think we have free will in the sense that we can think things through and choose how we want to act, but I think we end up making the choice that we were predetermined to make based on all preexisting conditions.

    At that specific moment in time, you choose to act a certian way based on everything around you (external variables that you perceive through you senses, the knowledge/life experiences in your brain, and your emotional state. You make a choice, but given those -exact same- variables, there is no other result that could have taken place. Some definitions of free will say that in a scenario with the exact same variables you could have chosen something to do something different, but I don't believe in that definition of free will.

  • lumberman9
    It's all a philosophy it's impossible to have a factual answer that cannot be refuted when it comes to something like this
  • Noxifer626
    You're basically arguing about the superpowers of some grand imaginary friend, you know that, right?
  • Thrifty
    I have experience in all three stages. Let me know if you wanna know the truth.
  • Sabretooth
    there are many preachers who don't even read the bible-hence, why most continue to preach about hell and the trinity.
  • Luci92
    I really enjoyed this a lot.
  • bruce3
    ı thing we have free will
  • Adigelunar
    nice take
  • MissSakura
    nice job
  • AaronJP
    Christianity
  • SuicidalTeen
    I'm agnostic. Just Google it lol
  • lowellkane
    whatever
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