Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is There Free Will

Christians argue over free will a lot. Some say free will is absolute because we make our own choices, but others say God already knows what choices we'll make in life so free will is really an illusion. The answer is a matter of perspective and time.



Free will exists in a universe ruled by linear time. We make a decision at point A, at point B, we act on that decision and at point C, we experience the consequences of the decision. Free will exists because these things must happen in their correct sequence. You can't have the consequences of a decision before you make the decision. There are divergent paths at each point A decision, and our free will is a matter of choosing which path we'll follow and God doesn't make the decision for us.

Suppose God doesn't experience time the way we do though. Suppose God exists beyond the restraints of linear time. This is logical if you believe God made the universe. Time is an element of space and it's part of the universe God made, therefore God is beyond time.

From God's perspective, he can see points A,B and C all at once. He doesn't have to experience A then B then C as we do. From our perspective, God sees our decisions and the consequences before we make them, but the concept of "before" and "after" only exist in our perspective, from God's perspective, outside of linear time, it's all the same.

So, yes, there is free will, but also, from our perspective, God already knows what we'll do before we do it.

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