love and heretics

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness

Evangelical christian “free will” and conundrums…

The concept evangelical christian free will and its logical conundrums.

If we were meant to have “free will” so we would not be robots and would actually choose to love him, (which appears to be the usual reason given for the requirement for free will especially when used to justify evil/suffering in the world) then we need to put aside a couple of logical conundrums.

1) If free will is a requirement what about those who do not have such a choice? (children underage and the mentally challenged)
If they are going to heaven to be with god, why is free will needed for anyone?

2) putting number one aside….
We have the heaven /hell issue. Would anyone who is truly capable of believing in such a place choose to go there?
It seems a rhetorical question.

How is offering heaven and hell offering free will?

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12 Comments

  1. Two points on “free will” I wish apologists would address, but never do.

    1) Free from what, exactly?
    2) There is nothing “free” in the relationship as presented by the Christian. In their scenario god created mankind with one purpose: to worship it. If the created creature does not worship it as demanded they WILL BE punished. No ifs or buts. Punishment is guaranteed. This is not a free relationship, rather a description of a slave and master. People, under this scenario, are born into bondage, and the gulags have already been built.

    • I had an interesting response to it on a discussion board…It was that we have laws here with consequences…why do men break these laws? knowing they will be punished?

      • Ah, but the laws were never fixed. They are an evolving social construct, continually readjusted as greater information comes to hand. The “relationship” which the Christian believes exists is that between creator and created, where the created had no say in his/her creation, yet is bound to the single purpose imposed by the creator. Failure to follow this single purpose, to worship it, will result in punishment. That, in no uncertain terms, is bondage.

  2. why do you ask such tough questions?
    This hell and heaven issue is a complex one.
    And what John said

  3. hee….notice I was careful to deal with only the free will concept of evangelical christianity. didn’t want you comin down to lay one on me… 😉

    • Very clever of you. Free will is an interesting debate when you think of it.

  4. I’m with the Aussie bloke

  5. rautakyy

    Perhaps I simply do not understand the concept of free will. However, If that is so, I am told I will be punished (FOR EVER) for my stupidity.

    To me the concept of free will best reflects the fish in the sea and the worm in the ground. Their free will is acted upon when the individual animal makes a choise to turn either left, or right, when that particular choise is not directly influenced by hunger, reproductive instinct, or threat. Hence, when a threat, or a reward is added to the equasion, purest form of free will no longer applies.

    A choise without any influence behind it, is simply random. We humans are “randomizing engines”, with higher calculative abilities than most other animals. Yet, we come to wrong conclusions all the time. Our “technical support” stands in our own experiences, that we remember remarkably well, but not uninfected by our own cultural heritages wich are the “users manual” for each and every one of us. But an entity that alledgedly “sets all things” and has always known everything beforehand, has the direct responsibility of having set all the influences any individual is going to get in a lifetime and otherwise, that entity is simply throwing dice on the eternal fate of every individual human being.

    Do the saved in heaven hold free will? If they are aware of the existance of a god, then does that render their “free will” nonexistant? If it does not, then why does this god not reveal itself to all of us humans? That is if that god is actually interrested in saving anybody? Is the purpose of our so called “free will” here in our earthly lives, to be chosen for eternity by our gullibility, or perhaps simply through our cultural heritage, since that still seems to have the greatest influence on wether we believe in this, or that god.

    If the Satan character in the stories held both “free will” and unquestionable knowledge about the existance of this god character, then why did he rebel? For what ever purpose? Did he actually do that simply to manifest the free will because, if he had not, no “free will” would ever actually have existed? If he had not, then what would have happened? Sin could not have entered the world and no need for salvation would ever have existed? Humans had all been living in the garden of Eden for ever without suffering? So, was Satan merely a patsy for this god to present the concept of free will? Should we be thankfull for the nice concept, that we may choose as we will and on the very limited information we have, but there will be hell to pay, if we happen choose wrong – lets say because of our wrong sort of cultural heritage? Like most people inevitably have and do, regardless if they are selfish, or selfless people.

    The question is not about free will, but why do these people have to come up with such excuses like the supposed “free will” for a god that does not manifest anywhere, nor in any way. The thing is, that it does not even matter wether we are talking about my definition of the free will, or the definition of any aplogetics, all these different versions have nothing to do with the actual question. It is just a silly excuse. Where in the Bibel, does it even speak about the free will? If it is such an important reason for us to believe an otherwise silly suggestion about unnatural forces influencing the world and us personally after our natural lives are over, then why is it not laid out clearly in the alledged one and only actual contact information with humanity? Why is everything in the book so bloody cryptic, that the sincere adherents themselves can not agree on almost anything in it?

    But hey, maybe I could believe in the right god (which ever it is), or at least the one that makes the most horrible threats, just in case, that’d really fool him. Right?

    Sorry for the rant… 😉 This “free will” argument is such a stupid one, it really annoys me.

    • Punished for your stupidity?

      No, you will make your own bed for your negligence. You have never admitted that you were a trespasser on another mans property.

      To ask about the ‘young, under-aged, or maimed,’ is a cowards question.

      What about YOU? This is the correct question.

      • rautakyy

        @Colorstorm, what are you trying to pull here?

        I have not “trespassed on another man’s property”. What is that supposed to mean anyway?

        If heaven and hell are for real, but I simply do not understand that they are – as to the full capacity of my understanding, they are just fables made up to coerce people to hold on a set of values – am I not punished for my lack of understanding, ie. tupidity, if as a result I after all end up in eternal suffering for not accepting as truth something that did not convince me? Is it fair to expect me to auto-suggest myself to believe something I find absurd?

        You can not accuse me of “negligence”, since unlike most people who take such unnatural things as heaven and hell for real, I have actually read the book that is alledgely supposed to be the revelation of these fairytale elements as an actual reality. Can you? But the book did simply not convince me. Honestly, to me it is mere folklore. Is it my fault if the alledged creator of the universe is such a poor writer, that it could not come up with a more compelling written work? Or if I am too stupid to understand the fine elements of the alledged revelation for them to be some sort of revelation from an actual god? Does the stupid deserve an eternal punishment and torment? Who the hell deserves such?

        What do you mean it is a cowards question to ask about the young rather than about oneself? In my experience it is the coward, who only cares about himself and not at all the one who is concerned about others and especially the defenceless. But even the coward has a right to set questions. Right? Especially if it is a good question. Blaming the coward for a character flaw does nothing to answer the question. It is a cowardly evasion of the question, is it not?

        Besides, you did not answer the two very simple questions of the topic post. Why is that? Because you really can’t, perhaps?

  6. Quoting Christopher Hitchens, “Why do we have free will? Because we have no choice.”

  7. You won’t find free will in the Bible. It is merely a more logically-satisfying argument for those who value Western individualism are terrified of fatalism. We are not neutral. We are corrupt at the very roots of our nature. We’ve made our choice.

    “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)

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