Posts tagged ‘free-will’
I’ve noticed Christians are really hung up on the concept of free will*. It’s a very useful tool invoked to explain away everything from the Problem of Evil to the need for Jesus to die on the cross to the reason lives aren’t saved and prayers aren’t answered. Christians explain that God gave people free will which he has promised not to violate. He gives us all the freedom to choose between good and evil and thus eternal life and eternal damnation. He is grieved when we don’t choose the “right path,” but he will respect our decision and not intercede in our lives.
Christians really love this idea, and if you talk or debate with one you will surely hear them invoke their beloved God-given gift of “free will” with a twinkle in their eye that betrays their facade of modest humility and lets you know that they’re unbelievably certain of not only their chosen faith, but also of the usefulness of their apologetic “free will” card which will proved a philosophical answer to any of the difficult questions posed by nonbelievers.
Free will is an essential part of God’s salvation plan for the world. We are supposed to come to God freely, of our own volition, and make an informed and personal decision to accept him as our savior. My question is this: if Christians cherish free will so much, and believe that it is central to the process of belief, why do they also practice and praise childhood indoctrination? Doesn’t this seem directly hypocritical?…
Frequently, when I bring up the fact that God never does any revelation, vision, miracle, visitation, etc, to make his existence obvious, I encounter an apologetic for the do-nothing god that goes something like this.
“God can’t reveal himself with total clarity because it would violate our free will. If He revealed himself with total clarity, we could not possibly choose anything else. And God must respect our free will.”
Well this is just a load of rubbish from every angle. Let’s look at some angles.
First off there’s the whole issue of free will. Do we really have free will? That’s debatable, both from the Bible and from secular philosophies. And if you introduce a deity with perfect foreknowledge, then free will is definitely gone. [But despite this, I’ve actually heard Calvinists use the above apologetic. Go figure.] I’m not going to settle the free will issue for anyone, but an apologetic based on such a highly debated issue is hardly a slam-dunk.
Next we have the problem of “God can’t “. That’s a biggie. The all-powerful God “can’t”???…