Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 10 years ago

How are "God has a plan" and "Free will" NOT mutually exclusive?

So if God has a plan, and all that happens is part of that would the concept of Free Will factor in to that plan? Here's an example...

Let's say God's plan is for me to get a job I have an interview with. But I decide that morning to skip that interview.

That's the thing though, I would not have decided to skip the interview if it were part of God's plan, right?

So if God's plan is based on his knowledge of what we will decide (since he knows the future), and we are free to decide what we will, how is that a "plan"?

How can any one logically conclude that their god has a plan AND that we have Free Will?


If I can decide to be a part of God's plan, how is it that he has a plan at all? Wouldn't his plan always be constantly changing?

And if it is always changing, how is that different from "just winging it" as opposed to a "plan"?

Update 2:

You are all saying we choose to be a part of the I've said though, that's not a plan at all!

Let's say I have a plan to move on Saturday with the help of my brother. My brother chooses not to be a part of that plan. Then, by definition, my plan is not the same anymore.

Now, let's say I KNEW my brother would bail on my original plan was to move without him. Then he is not part of it and cannot choose to be so. Then my plan has negated his free will to be a part of my plan.

Update 3:

Just me: That is not a plan! A plan is a specific set of events in succession with one another, and the things needed to ensure those events go as expected.

If I plan to get a job, there must be parts of that plan to make it a plan. I must lay out each step, what I will do.

You are saying god has NO plan, that the world floats on with god simply watching it. I'm fine with that, it fixes the problem at hand...but it doesn't at all suggest that there is any sort of plan to it.

13 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    I confess there is an apparent paradox here. But removing God doesn't solve the problem. No choice we ever make is "free" in the absolute sense. Our past choices, and the universe itself, constrain us. So either free will is an illusion (which itself creates paradox) or else we need a more nuanced understanding of the concept. What this all means is that free will doesn't really tell us anything conclusive about either God's sovereignty or the material world. Like many other questions concerning our minds, this one cannot (yet at least) be answered conclusively.

  • Lynn
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Perhaps, but to be more logical about this, it was the minds of the great scientists who made all these discovaries. Give them some credit FFS... Some spent YEARS studying & performing experiments to discover & explain unknown theories NOT even spoke of in the Bible! EDIT- Ask a "science loving Christian" why their perfect book says that the photosynthesising plants were around BEFORE the freakin Sun (It's all there- Genesis, not a good start huh?)

  • 10 years ago

    If god were incapable of enforcing his plan, then free will would be possible.

    It's just omnipotence and prescience that are mutually exclusive. If it's claimed that a god has both, then the claim is fallacious.

    If free will is let run its course, then the resultant path of all the oucomes would not follow any predetermined plan.

    So the plan is meaningless.

  • 10 years ago

    God has a plan and we have free will. If God's plan is for you to take the job and you don't go on the interview all you've done is exercised your free will to not be a part of that plan. God does not know the future. He knows what the plan is, but it's up to YOU to fulfill it. One plan can contain many options and outcomes. ANY one plan, not just a plan of God.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    It's like when parents "plan" for their child to graduate college, and they make this possible by "preparing" the means for their child to do so. The child goes to college and parties every night, neglects his studies, spending all the money he was given for school, and crashes the car his parents gave him from DUI. The parents had a plan for their child, and prepared the way and opportunity, but the child "chose" to do his own thing, and "neglect" what had been planned for him.The parents still love their child, but now he has to face the consequences of his actions.

  • 10 years ago

    i'm gonna take a shot at this: So God has a plan for us, a perfect plan. we have Free Will or choice on whether or not we want to follow his plan. Just Because God knows the future doesn't mean we have to follow it. That's the Free Will part.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Religious mind: Uh oh. Uh, well, you see, uh blah, blah, blah...

    Most likely the religious mind will say something like "the plan" is more general in accomplish certain desireable traits in you. Therefore, the detailed events that get one to the point of achieving those desireable traits are not important.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    You can plan on having pancakes for breakfast, but your kids can refuse to eat them.

    Same thing with GOD(YHVH). HE can plan on you winning the lotto, so you can give $100,000 to you church to open a youth center, but if you spend the ticket money on a beer, then you missed HIS plan.

    HE had a plan, you had free will.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    God has a plan, which we can frustrate with out free will

    Of course it helps that He knows ahead of time every boneheaded move we will make and can adjust His plan accordingly.

    He sets the course, we still have to follow it

  • 10 years ago

    God does have a plan but we have the free will to cooperate with his plan or rebel against it

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