Questions tagged [free-will]

The ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints

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Is there a way to prove that God’s foreknowledge is incompatible with genuine human freedom?

Here are two statements that I have always considered self-evident: God’s total foreknowledge is not compatible with genuine human freedom. God is with us at all times but does not know in advance ...
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Do Protestants accept the doctrine of free-will?

Protestants accept the doctrine of faith alone. If they accept the doctrine of free-will, how do they reconcile James 2:20-24 faith is dead without works, since works to do good is a free- will of man....
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How did Erasmus reply to the free will arguments made by Luther in his “On the Bondage of the Will” book?

The 1524-1526 debate between Erasmus and Martin Luther on free will (plus related issues) conducted in print has been regarded as "one of the most famous exchanges in Western intellectual history&...
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Predestination and Freewill

Is predestination a Catholic doctrine? If so, how does the Catholic Church harmonise the doctrine of predestination against freewill? The Catechism of the The Catholic Church states: "Not only ...
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What is the biblical basis for Open Theism?

Open theism, in a nutshell, asserts that the future free choices of agents endowed with free will are unknowable, and therefore that God, though omniscient, is not capable of knowing in advance what ...
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Did Judas have the free will (in the libertarian sense) to not have betrayed Jesus, and if so, what would've happened had he chosen not to? [closed]

Did Judas have libertarian free will? If so, what would've happened to the salvation plan had he chosen not to betray Jesus? Would there have been no crucifixion, and therefore, no atonement, no ...
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According to Biblical Unitarians, is it theoretically possible for God to incarnate as a human and live a holy and humble life?

For Biblical Unitarians, and from a theoretical standpoint, can God make use of His omnipotence and free will to take on human form and teach us by way of example what it is to live a holy and humble ...
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Catholic view on Mary's free will

In Luke's gospel, we read about Mary's consent to become mother of Jesus. The question:was it a free decision? If so, what is the authoritative statement of the Church. What council or pope addressed ...
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When people say “I am waiting on God.” Are they afraid to take action in their own lives? [closed]

When people say "I am waiting on God." Are they afraid to take action in their own lives? I have heard so many people in the church claim that they know the will of God, and what God's will ...
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How do Christians that advocate libertarian free will interpret Romans 9:14-24?

Romans 9:14-24 (ESV): 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I ...
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Why is God knowingly and intentionally allowing the majority of people to go to hell without intervening? [closed]

God knows the past, present, and future, so why is He allowing the majority of people go to hell? It disgusts me. He knew all this was going to happen, yet did nothing about it. He could have stopped ...
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What if Jesus choose not to be crucified? [closed]

Matthew 26:53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? John 10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own ...
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What do non-Calvinists believe about Proverbs 21:1

Proverbs 21:1 says The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. This seems to imply that kings (and perhaps everyone else too) don't have ...
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If an individual sins because God “hardened their heart”, does that make God the direct responsible of the sin (i.e. a sinner)? [closed]

In the Bible we find passages such as: Exodus 7:3-4 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Exodus 11:9-10 9 The Lord ...
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According to Jacobus Arminius's definition of free will, did Pharaoh have free will?

Through the first chapters of Exodus up to the literal exodus, God kept telling Moses that he would harden Pharaoh's heart. Does this mean that Pharaoh didn't have (Jacobus Arminius definition of) ...
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Is there a consensus among early Christians on Romans 9?

How did the early church interpret St. Paul in Romans 9? Is there a consensus in early Christianity regarding the relation between predestination and free will?
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If God created us with the capacity of free will. I choose to leave this life and be up there and watch the world beside him, why is it not happening? [closed]

If God created us with the capacity to love and thereby giving us the ability of free will, the ability too choose. He has given us the choise to be a decent human beings but also the choise to commit ...
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The Epitome of the Formula of Concord- Free will in Lutheranism

On "Free Will" The Epitome of the Formula of Concord, on negative (rejected) doctrines, first paragraph states: The delirium [insane dogma] of philosophers who are called Stoics, as also of ...
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Romans 9:14 to 9:24 and free will

Do all Christians believe in predestination? If not, for those who don't, how do they explain Romans 9:14 - 9:24? 14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! ...
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In what manner does the Father draw men to Jesus Christ? John 6:44

This question is for Evangelicals who do not hold a Calvinist view Jesus Christ states that the Father alone draws men to Himself. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” ...
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Does God intend or call some people to live alone forever in their life?

No. I am not talking about taking the sacrament of priesthood or brotherhood or being a nun who is called to live a holy life only for Christ. I mean if a man tries hard to find a partner but it ...
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Contradiction between God's mercy being greater than ours and Jesus' harsh words about who will end up in hell

We believe that God is supremely good and merciful, far more than we are. At the same time, I see in myself that I would not condemn anyone to hell, even villains like Hitler and Stalin. Perhaps I’d ...
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If it is better that we have free will than not, then why suggest it is preferable to not? [closed]

God quite obviously created man with the ability to disobey him. While the reasons that God did this are not entirely clear, it might be argued that God did this because as regrettable as sin is, it ...
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What was St. Robert Bellarmine teaching on human cooperation with grace?

What did St. Robert teach on grace and cooperation with it? Did he accept the Thomistic doctrine of grace? Did he agree with Báñez or did he side with Molina?
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If Lucifer was top perfect creature, how could he fall? [Catholicism]

Since God's creation is good/perfect, how could a creature as good/perfect as a top angel actually fall, according to Catholicism? What is the mechanism of corruption that can corrupt a perfect being? ...
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Do Southern Baptist traditionalists agree with the Arminian view of prevenient grace?

Part of the "Arminian" position (as I understand it) is essentially as follows: Fallen people are of such a morally corrupted nature that, when hearing the gospel of how they can and must be saved by ...
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Was Saint Augustine a Calvinist on divine foreknowledge?

It is my understanding that Calvinism conflates God's passive will with His active will—i.e., the fact that He knows something will occur due to His divine foreknowledge and allows said thing to occur ...
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Is compatibilism compatible with the doctrine of the Catholic Church?

My usual reasoning was that it was not on the basis that: Determinism would entail predestination, which is rejected by the Catholic Church; The alternative - quantum mind - is trickier, but: To my ...
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Why don't many Christians follow this: “ For all the law is fulfilled in one word… Love thy neighbour as thyself.” - Galatians 5:14 [closed]

The Whole Law is fulfilled in One Commandment but they still promote religious traditions and call homosexuality a sin. There have been wars in Christianity, judgments, persecutions. How many ...
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Is there a Christian philosopher who has published a book challenging compatibilism from the point of view of hard determinism?

A.W Pink in "The sovereignty of God" says in the introduction- "Two things are beyond dispute: God is sovereign, man is responsible". That compatibilist point of view is compared to Libertarian ...
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Why did God create us so that it is in our nature to sin?

There are many questions that circle around the following question but the exact wording is important - therefore it is, to the best of my knowledge, not a duplicate! In many of the answers given to ...
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How is free-will formally defined as distinct from determinism, randomness and determinism-randomness hybrid to support moral responsibility? [closed]

Usually free-will is assumed by most faith traditions as a prerequisite for moral responsibility in order to justify eternal punishment. The argument goes as "you are truly responsible for your ...
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Election, Gods Sovereignty and Is Cain Saved?

Does Calvinism (and those who believe in Unconditional Election) teach that Cain was elected to Salvation? This is my source for defining Unconditional Election. Unconditional Election: God does ...
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What is the Eastern-Orthodox interpetation of Romans 3:10-20?

In his book, "On the Bondage of the Will", Martin Luther cites St. Paul in section 151, to back his view that free-will is actually in bondage, specifically Romans 3:10-20, how do Eastern-Orthodox ...
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According to the Catholic Church, is there any supernatural (non-physical, non-mathematical, non-scientific) part of a human being?

My previous understanding of the Catholic Church's teaching was that a human being is of two conjoined natures: physical and spiritual. Also, my previous reasoning was that things like consciousness, ...
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What does the 'will' of St. Paul mean? [closed]

In Rom. 7:18 is stated: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." Does this mean that ...
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How do monergists respond to Bible verses that support the doctrine of synergism?

How do Lutherans, Calvinists and other protestants that believe in monergism respond to biblical passages that seem to support synergism such as these? For example: "Be perfect, therefore, as ...
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Did Calvin and Luther believe in free will?

According to the Roman Catholic Church, man’s will is in no way determined but that man has the self-power to will good or evil toward God. Now it seems that Calvin and Luther didn't agree with that....
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According to Reformed Theology, how is Compatibilism different than Hard Determinism?

This question is related to What is the difference between hard determinism and compatibilism, under the assumption of physicalism?, but I'm looking for the Reformed/Calvinism understanding of this ...
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According to Reformed Theology, why do unbelievers deserve punishment?

I read this quote from John Calvin on some website: "...we allow that man has choice and that it is self-determined, so that if he does anything evil, it should be imputed to him and to his own ...
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Source of the view that the human will is necessitated but not coerced

Consider this excerpt from Aquinas: Some have held that the human will is necessarily moved to choose things. But they did not hold that the will is coerced, since only something from an external ...
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How do molinists justify a world where not everyone freely chooses salvation?

Assuming not all humans on earth will become Christians. Many have lived and died that have not. The Bible is clear that many will fall away and perish. If Molinism is true, Then either: A. There ...
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What is the Calvinist view of Christians with different levels of loving God?

A) Scripture says no force or power can separate us from the Love of God. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor ...
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What is the difference between Irresistible Grace and the Immaculate Conception?

So, there's a Calvinist dogma called "Irresistible grace" which I take to mean that some people are unable to resist the call of God and will do the "Godly thing" against their freewill (or instead of ...
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What is the biblical basis for free will?

I have seen several responses to theodicy questions revolving around the concept of "free will." I am not familiar with any self-contained biblical basis for this belief (that is, no extra-biblical ...
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Is Jonathan Edwards's view of “philosophical necessity” compatible with the Westminster Standards?

Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) was a major 18th century theologian who, though rooted in Reformed theology, innovated in some important ways. According to J. V. Fesko, in The Theology of the ...
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According to Augustine, what's the difference between regenerate life and that before the fall?

In Augustine's four stages of the Christian life, is the Reborn Man in the same state as the Pre-Fall Man? In which state was Christ the man while on earth?
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What Bible passages do Jehovah’s Witnesses use to support their view on free will?

I’m given to understand Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to something similar to libertarian free will, the belief that a person’s choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and ...
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What scriptural support do Latter-day Saints find for their moral agency doctrine?

My understanding is Mormons hold to something similar to libertarian free will, the belief that a person’s choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any ...
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What biblical support do Arminians and open theists find for libertarian free will?

Libertarian free will is the position that a person’s choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God. Libertarians generally argue ...