5 Dec 2013

Free Will

Submitted by Stephen Winters

What do we mean by free will?

Here is a combination of definitions from several sources1234:

the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.
synonyms: self-determination, freedom of choice, autonomy, liberty, independence1

Definition of free will: noun

  • the ability to choose how to act
  •  the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God
  • voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>
  • freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

1. (Philosophy)

  • a.  the apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined
  • b.  the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory Compare determinism
  • c.  (as modifier) a free-will decision

2. the ability to make a choice without coercion he left of his own free will: I did not influence him
Examples of FREE WILL

He argues that all humans have free will.
<all of the workers at the homeless shelter are unpaid and are there of their own free will>

Now, let's look at the word "coerce5"

Defintion: co·erce  (k-ûrs)
tr.v. co·erced, co·erc·ing, co·erc·es
1. To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel.
2. To dominate, restrain, or control forcibly: coerced the strikers into compliance. See Synonyms at force.
3. To bring about by force or threat: efforts to coerce agreement.

Do we have free will?

If, as we are told, God gives us free will to receive him or to reject him, is this free will free from coercion? Is coerced free will actually free will?

Does God give us free will

We are told by (presumably) well meaning Christians that God gives us free will. These same Christians go on to tell us that if we reject God's son, then we will burn and be tortured in hell forever and forever. Now look up to the defefinition of coerce (see above). "To bring about by force or threat: efforts to coerce agreement." Is the threat of hell coercion?

If we have free will, does God honor our free will

 

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