Free Will, does the concept of God allow it?

Firstly, do we have free will, regaurdless of whether or not God exists?

Secondly, if God does exist, can we have free will, or are we bound to a predestined fate?

What do you guys think?

Free will exists, meaning that man can subdue himself to something else than mere animalic instinct. Can subdue himself. There stands the whole essence of free will, as I see it.

I found a quote somewhere, “The goal of all behaviour - including the voluntary abdication of freedom - is freedom.”

Only one which has free will can do that.
Of course, if you put an animal in a cage, it tries to escape, but it’s a different kind of freedom it looks for. Freedom to satisfy it’s instincts. Actually, freedom is without value to one which has no free will. It’s already settled what it will choose, or, should I say, what way it will follow.

So freedom is freedom only when faced with a free willed creature.
Would we get to face the concept of freedom, of non-carnal, had we not been free willed?

As for the concept of God, related to free will, I say they imply each other.

Exactly, h2o!

Romans 9:19 - 21 - One of you will say to me, “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Doesn’t the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and and some for common use?

God has free will!

Yes! So, if you do not have free will, why do you continue to search for it?

This I ask of you, Skeptic.
Would we get to face the concept of freedom, of non-carnal, had we not been free willed?


according to the terms of the scriptures.

I, on the other hand, do not see any sort of truth in the scriptures, so the concept has no meaning to me. If you choose to believe the scriptures, you must believe in the lack of free-will. How many times do I have to prove it for it to sink in? You will not believe it because it is against your imagined concept of a loving God. It is against my imagined concept of a loving God as well, but I am not willing to deny the truth. Read your Bible and test it! I guarantee your imagination will not line up with the scriptures.

If I choose to believe in the scriptures, that means I am free willed.
And yes, believing in the scriptures is about renounciation to your own will, you being a creature inclined to sin, in favour of God’s will. This is what Jesus did, and this is what He tells us to do.
Being slaves of freedom is not being slaves at all.

I think there might be a flaw in my logic here but I’m going to post it anyways. Let me know if you guys find anything:

Let me define free will as having control of what one’s self wills (does).

The opposite thereof having no control of what one’s self wills.

If one does not have free will, then one cannot choose for one’s self what to do; one’s will is controlled by another and thus not free.
Free will can be demonstrated by the fact that one does not always do what is commanded.
Ex: A person walks up to you on the street and says “Jump up and down and bark like a dog.” You ignore them and walk away.
One’s free will has thus been demonstrated. Without free will, it wouldn’t matter who does the willing; one would have to go along, not having a free will of one’s own.

Man’s free will independant of God has been shown.

When putting God into the equation, one must remember that to the Judeo-Christian idea of God, all our objective reality is still subjective to God. What one has been given (free will) can be taken away.

Inasmuch as God does not take away from us (man) our free will, free will can once again be shown through the same process.
Ex: God appears to man and commands him to do something, the man refuses and does something else.
Examples of this may even be found in scripture. Granted man often chooses to do God’s work through the circumstances God has put him in (Jonah in the belly of thw whale) but one nonetheless choses do do it.

A simpler way this may be shown. To shown free will of a Judeo-Christian God, simple look to the Torah. The 10 commandemnts are listed, God’s Laws. This is what God commands.
People break the 10 commandments.

It all depends on what your idea of God is. My mom is Catholic so I’ll use that as an example. Her god knows every choice we will make in our lives when we come to metaphorical (or perhaps real) forks in the road. Yet somehow, she says we have free will in spite of it. In this case, there is no opinion about it. She is wrong and it’s undeniable because if we truly have free will, nobody, not even a god, knows what we will choose. This is because if someone/something know FOR SURE what we will choose, then it becomes destiny instead of free will.

Now, if you mean that the supposed god does not know FOR SURE what we will choose, then we have free will. A fortune teller telling you that you will die in a week does not know for sure unless he/she plans to kill you/have you killed. So, if you were to commit suicide because of what the fortune teller said, it would be free will paired with idiocy.

The arguement of free will is one that is overdone and drawn out.
You MUST understand if you are able to type on this keyboard it’s partially because of your free will. No one is making you read these messages with a gun to your head and likewise; God isn’t forcing you with the threat of dying to your bodies.

Eventually you must understand that God does know our future based on the fact that he knows our hearts. The basic thing we have to do is learn that we better fill our eyes with things that are good and healthy or else we will make bad decisions in the future. If we do not act responsible now and at least START, we will never get to the point of destination we have.

So, to say better; free will doesn’t come from a devine revelation from a book, but rather from God himself.

We need to understand that God’s only son, Jesus or Yeshua gave up his free will to die for our sins that we could understand the concept of salvation. Even if you don’t beleive that Jesus was real, the story of what happened to him is proof enough that we have free will.

At no time did God force the people surrounding the events to make the decisions they were going to make, yet he knew every move they would make.

I know this is all very hard to understand, but reveiwing the topic helps me understand more about my free will, kudos to who reopened the topic.


That is rather flimsy as:
A) The bible is very unreliable as a historical source taking into account that it was written over thousands of years and is probably riddled with translation errors.
B) Christ was a danger to the Roman hold on Isreal.
C) There are billions of stories were someone has excerised free will.

On another note, why would a god give us free will?

FREE WILL = A choice made by me and me alone.

Seems simple, but if I am just a puppet, is it really considered free will? There are two different ways of looking at the term and I think this is where disagreements arise.

Perspective # 1 (FOR FREE-WILL)

The phone rings. You can either answer it or not answer it. When you look at the Caller ID, you notice that it is a sales person. You have a choice and you choose not to answer the phone. When you make the choice, most would say that you have exercised FREE WILL.

Perspective # 2 (AGAINST FREE-WILL)

This perspective takes a much broader look at the concept. It looks at the roots of the decision. The phone rings, same scenario, and you choose not to answer. This perspective asks why? Although I am an atheist this topic is related to God and free-will, so I will outline why God would ultimately be the puppeteer and we, the puppets. Why did you choose not to answer the phone? Because the caller ID let you know that it was a salesperson, and you are severely annoyed by people trying to call you at your home and sell you junk that you don’t need. Did you choose to be annoyed by these kinds of things? No, it’s due to your personality. Did you design your personality? No, God did when he “created” you. God designed you and every trait that you have, so you are no more than a machine reacting to a world that God has presented you. You are a puppet therefore you have no true FREE WILL.

There is, however, an illusion of free-will that makes us think that we are actually the one who makes the choices. Make sense?

Yes Skeptic it does, but I honestly think a god would not give us free will.

I agree, but only because I see the Free Will concept as impossible, God or no God.

Why do you feel that God would not give us free will? Just curious to hear your reasoning.

Well, Skep I honestly think that a (perfect being) God would not do anything at all. But if God did create people he would make us perfect and slaves to his will. Therefore we would lack any will of our own. But some might say “God gave us free will because he wanted to be loved”. Perfect Being? Want to be loved? Free will would allow us to reject God and live without him.
See my reason?

So, would you say that no matter what, a person cannot change their personality ? A naturally violent person can’t become a loving person or vice a versa? Would you say a person’s personality is based purely on genetics and thus they have no control over it ? Or do you think a child’s environment and things that happen to them also play a part in how their personality develops ? I personally believe that both environment (trauma) and genetics shape how a person will become in the future. What that ratio is i dunno. Maybe 30/70 ?

Define “Perfect” Being. Our definition of perfection is not the same as the Bible’s definition. God has a wide variety of emotion: love, hate, jealousy, etc. I’m sure if a 1yr old had the mental capability, it would ask itself why mommy spends so much time, money and energy taking care of such an insignificant being that can’t do anything for repay it other than show appreciation and love. Or why mommy even had me to begin with, when logically she doesn’t need a baby to live a happy life. It’s a want not a need.

I believe there are 2 things needed in life. Logic and love. Logic to keep from becoming extinct. And love to make that life enjoyable. And yet they are opposite qualities. Logic isn’t loving. And love isn’t logical.
It’s interesting how (in general) a man’s most dominant quality is logic (thinking) and a woman’s is love (feeling). The perfect balance.

“Nature / Nurture”. I agree completely. Maybe 50/50?

However, a machine reacts to its environment just the same.

the way my rabbi teaches it is simple, imagine a train junction, with various different tracks to choose from, at the end of every track there is a final destination.

He says, that we have a limited form of free choice, We are led up to this junction, we have these various different options to choose from when we get there but no matter what path we take, God knows the end result.

Obviously, your rabbi never took physics. You really need to look at the concept of free will and determinism at a deeper level. I have never heard a free will argument that disputes determinism. The most basic rule of physics is “cause and effect” and until that theory can be disproven, true free will is no more than wishful thinking. I just ask that, you take a deeper look into the subject.

Free will can exist with the existence of a god. But it depends on what is the nature of the god. If you were to go with the traditional definition of god as omniscient, omnipotent and immortal, then there could not be free will. If god is all-knowing then he knows everything that has happened, everything that has happened and everything that is going to happen. So if he knows everything that is going to happen then the outcome is already predetermined. God knew that Adam and Eve were to be banished, he knew that Socrates was going to be executed, he knew that Hitler would be responsible for the lives of millions of Jews and he knows that when I run out of toilet paper that the first thing I will reach for is my bible. But of course there is the paradox that God doesn’t have free will because he already knows everything that he is going to do and he can’t change that. And if he did change that, he’d already know that he was going to change it. And this would make him a little less omnipotent (slight side point).

But if God is defined as the underachiever that he so obviously is, then free will may be possible. In the eyes (or mind) of a Deist, god is merely the creator of the universe and takes no part in the daily life of a human being (or any other being for that matter). God is the builder of a complex perpetual motion machine that he started X millennia ago. He may also be defined as Aristotle’s “un-moved mover” or “first mover.” But this leads to the of cause and effect. I am writing this because I have something to say in response to these posts. And you all wrote these posts for…(I’m not going to pretend to know). Each of these effects are caused by something and all this can be traced back to the first cause which is creation. But it can’t really stop there because the question may be asked, “What caused god to create the universe?” and even before that, “What caused god to exist?” There is an infinite regression causes and effects. Now what does this say about free will. I have no idea. It seems that free will does not exist because the natural order of the universe has brought me to this point and caused me to write this. And all these causes determined my choice to write this. Does anyone have a problem with this endless stream?

Now to my personal belief. First of all god does not exist (if you could tell by the sarcastic comments). And my life is the only thing I have control over. I can do whatever I want. There are things happening all around me that I have no control over, but I can control my reaction to them (this is Stoicism). I make all the choices that are best for me (a little existentialism too) and everything that happens around me, I try to control any extreme emotion that I may have to it. Something caused my birth, but then I take over (maybe even a little before birth). I have brought myself to where I am now and I control over everything that is in my little sphere of existence. So to answer the question, yes, free will does exist. Sorry I was so brief.

I don’t see why free will and fate can’t exist together.

If you think of a future event, endure the event, and then look back at the event, you realise that whatever is going to happen will soon be only in the past and done with, and also that it only happened in one particular way. If you look back at all that has happened that you know of and notice that it only happened one way, you can assume that if u were at the ‘end of time’ things would similarly have only happened in one way and if everything only happened one way, it was a fate that could not be escaped. Destiny that you had control over.

So essentially, you have the choice/free will to live the event how you want it, yet at the same time it was fate that it only happened in one particular way.

Am I missing something here?