I've been told that it is my choice to "deny Jesus". But it's not. Not only can I not choose to believe something without evidence, I believe neuroscience demonstrates our perception of free will is just that. What would happen if Christians read Sam Harris' new book? Is a concept of free will essential to Christianity? Alternatively, wouldn't an omnipotent/ omniscient God and his plan lead to a deterministic view anyway even within the Christian perspective?
This seems to be another nail in the coffin for Christian apologetics, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has thought of this... any resources out there?
Most Christians appear to believe in an omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful) deity and yet claim to believe in free will. An all-knowing and all-powerful deity precludes even the illusion of free-will. If god is all-knowing, then he or she knew long before you were born that you would not believe in his or her existence. Yet, in spite of his or her unlimited power, he or she chooses not to rescue from this supposed folly. You, on the other hand, are just as god supposedly made you and you are wired to be skeptical.
If god is all-knowing and all-powerful, the only entity in the universe with free will is god. You are just as god intends you to be. (After all, Christians believe that god, in his Jesus form, revealed himself to Paul and rescued Paul from his non-belief so, if god wanted you to believe, he could do the same for you).
I've read Sam Harris' latest and it's discussion of free will doesn't really involve free will in the sense that Christians describe it. It does, however, negate the existence of free will on other grounds.
Philosophers have long known that we don't have the contra-causal, libertarian free will that Christian theism assumes. Apologetics hasn't skipped a beat.
Alternatively, wouldn't an omnipotent/ omniscient God and his plan lead to a deterministic view anyway even within the Christian perspective?
God's omniscience is taken by many (the position is called Molinism) to mean only that he sees all possible choices that we could make, and the consequences of each of them, not which choices we will make. Only Calvinism is truly deterministic it would seem.