Questions tagged [free-will]

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

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6answers
191 views

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 the ...
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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 ...
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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Is there a recognised soteriology that combines selective election for some and general election for everyone else?

Are there any Christian groups or denominations that hold a belief in selective election to salvation, in that some individuals are specifically and irresistibly called (Noah, Moses, 12 desciples, ...
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In Calvinism, why does free will to accept salvation seem to take away from God's glory?

Background: We are unable to accept Christ without His work in us. God gives every man, life, faith, breath, and everything else needed to come to Him. "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in ...
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In Catholicism, in what sense is free will restored by baptism?

The Second Council of Orange, Canon 13 states: Concerning the restoration of free will. The freedom of will that was destroyed in the first man can be restored only by the grace of baptism, for ...
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According to Molinism, what is the meaning of a counterfactual of freedom?

If I understand correctly, Molinists consider it important that counterfactuals of freedom ("If person P experienced circumstances C, she would perform action A") are meaningful. In fact, if I ...
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What is the Calvinist and Hyper-Calvinist understanding of the “whosoever will” from Rev. 22:17?

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev. 22:17 KJV) I've heard that ...
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How does Ravi Zacharias reconcile prayer with free will?

I have been struggling with a question about prayer and free will. For background, please watch this 6 minute youtube clip where Ravi Zacharias answers a question about free will. The question asked ...
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From a Jehovah's Witness perspective, why don't we have the option to choose whether or not to come to this world?

I was one of Jehovah's witnesses and would still be one of them, but a question always disturbs me. Sometimes I think about how life and all the pain and suffering we pass through from childbirth ...
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Does the Catholic Church allow a professor in a Catholic university to support an idea which is seemingly contrary to Catholic teaching?

Is there a Church law or doctrine forbidding professors at Catholic universities from having (or at least declaring) views contrary to Church teaching while employed at the university? The particular ...
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What is the Catholic concept of “freedom to sin”?

This question is inspired by a question posted on ScienceFiction&Fantasy.SE. The central issue (vastly oversimplifying) is whether it's more evil to compel someone to do good than to compel them ...
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If I seek God, does that mean that I MUST be elect, according to Calvinism? [duplicate]

I want to find God, at least I think I do. I struggle with the different interpretations of the path to salvation and even though I don't LIKE the idea of God electing some and giving others ...
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2answers
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According to the Church of England, if humans have free will, why do we ask for things in prayer?

How does the Church of England reconcile these three things, which seem at odds with each other: The bible tells us to ask for things in prayer (ask for what we want / ask for bad things not to ...
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2answers
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What level of will-power do humans have according to Luther?

Luther wrote a very forceful book about original sin and predestination called 'On the Bondage of the will'. In it Luther opposes the idea of free-will, defined as a person's power to do good without ...
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1answer
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What major views are there on the question of whether God shares moral responsibility for our deeds, good and bad?

I am looking for an overview of the major historical approaches to the following question/group of questions: Since God has given us this body to do good or bad, then does he share at all in the ...
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What is considered to be free choice in the context of “choosing to go to hell”?

Let me preface this by stating that I received a Christian education and have seen the idea that individuals choose to go to hell (rather than God sending them there), mostly from a vaguely ...