How can we have free will if out future is predetermined by God?

For the sake of argument, let's assume that there is a God and that he is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Creating in the way he did, he knew everything about out temporal and eternal lives (yes, I am also assuming an immortal soul exists).

How can be given free will if things are predetermined by this being?


mg© - anti VT™ MG AM© Fundi4Life: that is not free will, that is a choice between two options, both of which has severe consequences. That is called an ultimatum.

Update 2:

prophet: so we don't have free will?

Update 3:

MnM: You believe that he created you in a way in which he knew what would happen to you. That is no free will... at best, he gave us a choice (not the same thing).

Update 4:

No Chance Without Jesus: you have not answered by question. Please read the question prior to answering it.

Update 5:

Jman: your sentence contains a logical contradiction. Please correct it in order to allow me to determine the validity of your statement.

Update 6:

Mythos: that's what I'm wondering... but people claim it's free will, so I am trying to clarify how this modern concept crept into Christian beliefs and whether it fits in.

Update 7:

LOL: creating something knowing what will happen to it makes one responsible for the outcome. If I create a bomb and press on the button knowing it will detonate, I am responsible for that.

Update 8:

Grapefruit Goose: please answer the question or avoid wasting my time.

Update 9:

Alfred: no, he doesn't allow us to do what we want, he gives us an ultimatum to do what we want or burn in hell. That is called black mail.

Update 10:

Lily S: I'm confused, how does this answer my question?

Update 11:

Sweet Suzy 777!: you are contradicting yourself. Please clarify your statement.

Update 12:

Tina: if I press on a button with full knowledge that it will detonate, I am responsible for the detonation. In the same way, God is fully responsible for my going to hell (ergo, I have no free will).

Update 13:

Karema Midnight: is that sarcasm I detect?

Update 14:

deadeye: if I press on a button with full knowledge that it will detonate, I am responsible for the detonation. In the same way, God is fully responsible for my going to hell (ergo, I have no free will).

Update 15:

Thomas H: you are contradicting youself. We cannot be destined to something without predetermination.

Update 16:

Someone who cares: God created us with full knowledge of what would come to be, no? He therefore gave me no free will as he made the choice.

If I press a button and detonate a bomb with full knowledge that it will kill others, I am responsible for it.

Update 17:

No, I am not. God's omnipotence in our creation makes it impossible to have free will, read the comments above.

Update 18:

Impossile?: Interesting points, but God created me knowing that my life would have only one outcome. The choices I believe I am making are illusory and free will cannot exist without real choices.

Am I missing something here?

Update 19:

B.P.: and my argument is that free will cannot exist without real choices. God created us knowing the final outcome of our life, ergo, we are predestined to end in only one type of situation.

If I press a button knowing it will detonate a bomb, I am responsible for killing the people who died in the explosion. Same logic applies.

31 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ah ha you have stumbled upon the question of the ages. You have managed to defunct religion at last. God what will they do now that they realize their beliefs are a shambles when they cant answer this question.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you are taking two views of God and putting them into one idea that is not compatible.

    I'll break them down for you

    Free will ideals state for every choice you make God knows where it will lead but he will not push you in any one direction you choose your own path through life but God knows how each an every path you might decides leads too

    Example when you roll a dice you do not know what will come out but you know it will be a number 1-6 not a great example but you get the idea

    Now add an infinite amount of die and God is the one being that knows how all end up but lets them fall as they may.

    Predestination on the other hand states not matter what you do or say you are bound to end up in the same place through no effort on your own.

    And before you say they are the same thing, they are not.

    Knowing every out come but not forcing you into one does not in any way deny God's omnipotence or omniscient nature.

    Actually he created you with an infinte outcomes.. only one of whcih will you end up at and that is your choice. you are trying to use human linear logic on a being that does not work in simple lines but multiple lines. there is no way you can possibly comprehend that.. so that is why you don't get it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The age old metaphor is that God is watching a movie. The events are determined, and yet God doesn't control the outcome of individual choices. In my mind that still doesn't correct the problem. I say that God is not omnipotent in that he gave up his power so we can have free will, and he is not omniscient in that he can know what we will likely do, but we have yet to make the choices. In other words He doesn't absolutely know the future. He knows the future as he has set certain events into motion that cannot be stopped, but other things are unknown because they are dependent on us.

  • 1 decade ago

    Is time linear? Do we really know? Can someone outside of our time looking in see it as a whole (past, present and future).

    To know what is going to happen in the future does not imply that you caused what will happen. Free will still exists regardless of someone knowing what you will do.

    Addition - I see your position abt no free will existing, but I do not agree. I do not think that knowledge of the future and what some will do removes the possibility that the person has free will to act...just that He knows what you are going to do. As a father, I experience a very small level of this all the time with my 7 yr old daughter (knowing that she will do something in a given situation) but I usually let her do it (provided that there is no safety issue) so she will learn from it. I could have prevented it, yes...but I let her.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You can't, but the premise that your future is predetermined is false.

    If I knew you were going to post this question does that mean I did it?

    Foreknowledge does not equal predetermination.

    You have free will.

    Suppose you did not have free will and everything was predetermined. Could you make any mistakes? Could you do any good? or bad? No, because you would not be responsible for anything you did because you would not be doing it, someone else would.

  • 1 decade ago

    There is a difference in knowing what is going to happen and stepping in to change it. Just because he can see the future doesnt mean that he does. God can be selective about what he chooses to see. God gives us 2 roads to take. And he knows the destination of each road. Just because a road is the best road for you to take doesnt mean that he is going to make you take it.

    That made no sense. You ask about free will. You have the right to push or not push the button. If you push the button and die, God didnt kill you. He told you what would happen. That is free will. If you push it, its on you for pushing it, not God~!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Are you speaking of Christianity?

    I believe what you are referring to is the Calvinist doctrine, which emphasizes predestination. The idea that God has ALREADY planned who will go to Hell and who will be saved. This is often referred to as "God's plan".

    It is also usually applied to real life, example, if a girl gets raped then it is God's plan for her.

    Calvinism is a denomination of Christianity, however all Christians don't believe this.

  • A1
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    God allows us to do whatever we want, make the choices we want etc. Although we have all freedom, He knows what choices we are going to make and such. He will not do anything to go against a will. Even if we picked the wrong choice, God knows that sooner or later you will go back to the other choice.

  • 1 decade ago

    here is a rock that God made that He can't move... it's your will

    Just because God can do anything doesn't mean he WILL

    Knowing the future doesn't effect the future unless you act against it.

    God doesn't create "bombs", but you could say he creates things knowing they will choose to become "bombs". At least they'll know they had many chances to repent in their life time before they are wiped from existence.

  • 1 decade ago

    We are not predestine we have a freedom of choice but God who is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient does know what our choice will be before we make it. God does not interfere with our choice he just know what we are going to chose!

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