Christianity as well as any other form of theism heavily rely on the existence of free will. Christians and others often use free will as a “get out of jail Free card” in order to solve the problem of evil, in order to excuse God from sending people to hell and various other things.
In my opinion though, the free will card is completely futile, when it comes to the modern version of monotheism. Since I know most about Christianity, I will talk about the Christian God here.
The first obvious objection, why the free will card fails to convince me is, that it would’ve been completely possible for God to give us free will but only give us the desire not to sin and only choose between non-sinful acts, instead of sinful and non-sinful acts. This would mean, that we exercise our free will in a manner that we only get to choose between good acts and that we’re unable to do evil. As far as Christianity is concerned this evidently is possible, since Jesus is claimed to have been a man without sin. Therefore it’s possible to be a human and sin-free, unless of course Jesus didn’t have free will, which would raise even more issues.
Now even if, for whatever reason, this argument doesn’t hold up, then there is still another problem that plagues the free will excuse and this goes for all abrahamic religions. This problem comes in the form of heaven, a supposedly perfect world just like it used to be before the fall of man, when sin entered the world.
So is there or is there not free will in heaven? If the answer is Yes, then again it was evidently possible for God to create us in a way in which we have free will but we can’t sin. So why didn’t he? The only possible answer I see is because wanted to give us the free will to sin. But he doesn’t want us to have the free will to sin in heaven. The last option is clearly superior, so God intentionally put us into a sin plagued world, instead of the perfect one. This means ultimately God is responsible.
In fact, this is even backed up by scripture in Isaiah 45: 7:
I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.
Another problem, that is I think the most devastating for Christianity at least is, that as far I am aware, nowhere in scripture does it say that we have free will.
Sure Christians may find me verses, where it says that we can make choices. Well so do all other animals and so machines. Machines make choices every day. Being able to make choices does not equal our choices being free and undetermined. Where exactly does it speak of free will? If free will isn’t mentioned anywhere, then the Christian has no basis for asserting it, since it could be an illusion.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation