I have seen often how Christian s specifically try and use this as a 'qualifier" for religion. Basically explaining that this is where sin has its origin. In my view its just that.. A qualifier for saying that "I am so screwed" but hey I can say sorry later, hell I don't even have to say sorry to the person. Just to the fairy in the sky, at least I will feel better. Never mind the person whom I wronged. perhaps he has to worry about his own problems that my actions caused?

The futility of the whole argument is what gets me though. Even when Christians go as far as saying that Lucifer had his own free will and therefore rebelled against God. 

The whole All Knowing, All might, versus free will just gets my back up time and time again.

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As I understand it, the definition of sin is not following God's will. 

If god wills something, can it possibly NOT come to pass, if he is all powerful?  Or, if your will can be thwarted, can you really be considered all powerful?

Makes the concept of 'sin' sorta murky, if you ask me...

It depends if we're talking about the Creator God, if there is such a thing, or God's love.  If sin means acting against God's love, then it makes sense. 

Actually, Claire, check Gen 18, where Abraham convinces god to change his criteria several times.

It's not following God's precepts, is it not? If God wills something, a Christian would say, it cannot but come to pass. By not willing specific human choices, he gives us free will.

Of course, though, free will seems contrary to what science teaches us, which is that everything has a cause, at least on the level of reality above the quantum level. Below this level, randomness seems to prevail, but it doesn't seem a randomized behavior is any more "free" than a determined one since then one's behavior is determined by something random.

If you ask me, it comes down to how you define "free will". 

Attempted proof by redefinition. And it will likely turn out to be a rather watered down and disappointing thing once that is done.

Probably.  I'm not trying to prove anything though.  It's true that we're biological machines built by natural selection which can only operate in certain ways, but within that, it seems obvious that we have a certain freedom of choice at any given moment, depending on the circumstances. Of course, we can work to increase this freedom of choice by psychological, spiritual, social, material and other means. 

As far as God goes - it's like asking, is love all-powerful?  Of course not.  But if we act according to it, we win, and if we act against it, we lose.  That's how we've been programmed, and if it means that occasionally we throw ourselves on a grenade - then that's just the extreme logical conclusion of a group-oriented survival mechanism. 

Can will be called, free, if there's a reward/punishment system in place regarding the use of it?

You could say that if we're prepared to take the consequences then we're free to act.  But if we genuinely believe that we could burn in hell for all eternity, that's not much of a choice. 

And yet people make very hard choices. Think about the person jumping out of a Trade Towers window on 9/11, choosing a few very exciting but horrific seconds of life in free fall to certain death vs. burning to death in flames. 

Now, if that's actually a "choice" at all is an open question,.

Actually, the free-fall might be fun until that messy part there at the end, and a worthy last experience. The secret to not burning to death lies in inhaling as much smoke as possible and dying from smoke inhalation, which, though likely unpleasant, would have to be preferable to being barbecued.


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