My *heartfelt* response to the notion that Free Will and the existence of a Divine Plan can coexist. :)

This is more of a description of my thought process than an actual 'essay' or whatever. So here goes:

1. Christians believe God is infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.

2. Christians believe God has a ‘perfect plan’ for his Creation.

3. HOWEVER, Christians also claim that God endowed mankind with Free Will. Keep this in mind - it will come into play later.

4. Christians believe in a concept called ‘sin’:

Definition of Sin (from allaboutgod.com): doing what is wrong or not doing what is right according to God's rules (1 John 3:4). If God says "Do not lie" and you lie, then you have sinned. If God says "Do not steal" and you steal, then you have sinned. According to God, sin separates you from Him (Isaiah 59:2).

5. However, since God is infinite, omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing), he must know in advance who will commit sins, when they will be committed, and for what reasons. He must know the circumstances under which they will be committed and he must know all this BEFORE the sin is committed, by his very definition. Otherwise, he is not God.

6. Accepting that God knows beforehand all the sins that mankind will ever commit, these sins must have already been factored into his Plan. So, how can they be wrong if they are in line with God’s Plan? And furthermore, how can Free Will exist if God has already foreseen all of our thoughts and actions?

6.1. Christians at this point will most likely argue that, because of Free Will, it is possible to go against God’s Divine Plan. They will argue that this is, indeed, the definition of Sin itself.

HOWEVER, by admitting that it is possible for a human being to differ from God’s Plan, they are admitting that either:

6.1.1. God is not omnibenevolent, since an all-loving God would, by definition, not allow his Creation to suffer in eternal torment as a result of ‘Free Will’, something endowed to them by Him in the first place; OR

6.1.2. God is not omniscient, since an all-knowing God would have foreseen all possible outcomes of Free Will and planned accordingly; OR

6.1.3. God does not have a Divine Plan, since the existence of such a plan (one created by an infinite, omniscient, omnibenevolent being) contradicts the existence of Free Will; OR

6.1.4. God does not exist.

Tags: atheism, atheist, christian, christianity, exist, free, god, hell, logic, mind, More…not, omniscient, will

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6.1 > I am no christian know-it-all, but it was never my understanding that Sin was defined as going against God's plan. It is actually just going against his desire for us and His path. His 'path' is different than His 'plan.' God's 'path' is the where we follow his word. However, we cannot avoid His plan.

Going back...

6 > making a wrong choice does not make it any more right just because someone knew you were going to make it. Sometimes, even the right choice is the wrong one in our existence, but it does not make it the unnecessary choice in regards to the divine plan.

6.1.1 > Now, i do have some quarrels about omnibenevolence..... does 'all-loving' necessarily mean 'all-saving'? I would suppose not. Otherwise, no child would ever be harmed and no murder would ever occur. So, he is not all-saving, but that does not mean not all-loving. I love all of my kids, but I do let them make their own mistakes. Tough love as they say....

so, it really begs the question if all of our choices are already known, then we must all be predestined for salvation or damnation, right? So, we really have no free will? I recently read an analogy that if someone put a bowl of ice cream and a bowl of cauliflower in front of a child, you already know which one they will pick. Does that mean the child had no free will?
so, it really begs the question if all of our choices are already known, then we must all be predestined for salvation or damnation, right? So, we really have no free will? I recently read an analogy that if someone put a bowl of ice cream and a bowl of cauliflower in front of a child, you already know which one they will pick. Does that mean the child had no free will?

Depending on the age of the child and their level of mental development - they may not actually have "free will" in that scenario. If we can define "free will" as the ability to make a decision to engage in complex behaviour, and accept that decision-making processes occur entirely within our brain (as opposed to any kind of spiritual influence) then we can say that individuals who do not have a fully functioning decision making process in their brain (either from lack of development, damage, chemical imbalance, etc) do not have "free will". They are simply following their baser instincts that are the result of conditioning and evolutionary processes.

Of course, I'm not a neuroscientist but this is my understanding of it to date.

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