No where in the Bible will you find a single verse that
says God gave us free will, but ask any Christian why God allows people such
as rapist, murderers and pedophiles to exist, and the most common answer
you will get, is that God gave man free will. They will tell you that
God didn't intend to for us to be robots, that he wants us to freely choose
how we live our lives, and what actions we take, good or bad. But the
claim that God gave man free will poses certain problems.
Christians make the claim that God is omniscient, that he has absolute and complete knowledge of everything. If this god is omniscient, then how would that effect man's free will?
If man has free will, as Christians claim, then God could not know everything. God couldn't possibly know what I was going to do from one day to the next, if I had free will to do whatever I wanted. On the other hand, if God has foreknowledge of what I'm going to do tomorrow, then I can't have free will; there is nothing I can do to keep from doing what God already knows I'm going to do. It is written in stone.
Suppose I get a hankering to go buy some ice cream. I have many choices as to where I could go get some. I could go to Dairy Queen...I could go to Baskin-Robbins...I could go to the local grocery store, or any other place that may happen to sell ice cream. Now if God already knows that I'm going to Dairy Queen; knew this even before he created the first atom, then there is nothing I can do to change that. Could I exercise my freewill and go to Baskin-Robbins instead? If I could, then God's knowledge of where I was going would be wrong, thus he would not be omniscient.
God's divine plan
Christians also claim that God has a divine plan, and everything that happens is part of that plan. This would mean that all of our lives have been predestined, and none of the choices that we make could be our own. If our lives are indeed predestined, and God is the cause of this predestination, then we have no choice in deciding how we are to live our lives, thus, we have no free will.
When does a person obtain free will? At what age does a person become accountable for their actions? Do they have it at birth? Babies can't possibly make rational decisions in order to exercise their free will if they have one. If a 2 year old walks out in front of a bus, does he use his free will to make that choice? I don't think any child from birth on up to the ages 8 or 9, who is not mentally challenged, has the mental capacity to make sound and well thought out decisions. Now that I think about it, neither do a lot of adults.
© 1998 Derrick Miller