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Questions tagged [free-will]

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

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What is the difference between the various perspectives on God's sovereignty/omniscience and man's free will?

I've been studying the topic of Open Theism in comparison to other perspectives on God's sovereignty, omniscience, and man's free will. As I understand it, on a scale spanning from full on ...
tlewis3348's user avatar
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7 answers
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Why do bad things happen to the innocent?

OK, so to start, I searched this topic on the exchange and found no answers that were satisfying. I am not questioning God, I just have a hard time coming to terms with why bad things happen to the ...
Mike Robinson's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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How do "skeptic's prayer" advocates address the objection that the prayer is unnecessary because belief is a decision?

In my prior question, Is there scriptural support for the "skeptic's prayer" as a legitimate plea that God might be open to answering?, several responses concurred that this form of ...
Mark's user avatar
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Is it possible for an unbeliever who is steadfastly unconvinced or skeptical to genuinely embrace a saving faith in Christ?

I often find it helpful to illustrate my point with extreme cases. Let's examine some well-known examples of unbelievers: Graham Oppy, a distinguished atheist philosopher specializing in philosophy of ...
Mark's user avatar
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2 votes
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Is faith a skill that can be developed over time? [closed]

Is faith a skill that can be developed and made stronger through effort, following a method? If such a method exists, can it be tested, and by any human being? In other words, if the most skeptical ...
Mark's user avatar
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Why make an effort to get saved if my life is pre destined by God?

The Bible does state vey many times that God already knows our earthly and eternal destinies. Jesus chose Judas Iscariot because he knew his destiny was to betray him. Jesus knew Paul would try to ...
So Few Against So Many's user avatar
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What scriptural examples exist of people converting to righteousness from overt wickedness on account of a miraculous occurrence (e.g. Paul)?

A brief bit of context (feel free to edit it out if it's not appropriate for the site, but I think it'll help clarify exactly what I'm trying to achieve with this question): I am currently studying ...
Lige's user avatar
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Is there a theological link between the views of Cassian and Pelagius and Arminianism?

During the fifth century, John Cassian claimed that the initial steps to salvation were in the power of each individual, unaided by grace. He reacted against Augustine’s view of the irresistible ...
Lesley's user avatar
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Does the free will rebuttal to the problem of evil still work for those who believe in old earth/evolution?

When asked "If there is an omnipotent and good God, why is there suffering in the world?", the most common response Christians give is something along the lines of "Suffering is a ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
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8 answers
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How does Christianity define "character"?

Recently I've been partaking in multiple discussions regarding the concept of free will on this site (for the curious, see here, here, here, here), mainly because of its relevance in the context of ...
Mark's user avatar
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Latter-day Saint understanding of James 1:13-15, God's omnibenevolence and God's free will?

In my previous question How do proponents of the “free-will defense” against the problem of evil explain that God can be free and immune to moral evil at the same time?, I presented the following ...
Mark's user avatar
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Are there any other agreed-upon definitions of "free will" within mainstream Christianity?

I've frequently engaged in discussions about Christianity that have revolved around free will, particularly with regards to predestination (and recently as of writing this question, sinlessness) and ...
Isaac Middlemiss's user avatar
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2 answers
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What is the basis for the belief "It is possible to have free-will and be incapable of sinning, but it is not possible to be created in that state"?

Some Christians believe that "It is possible to have free-will and at the same time be incapable of sinning, but it is not possible to be created in that state". For example, in my recently ...
Mark's user avatar
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How do Christians that believe in creatio ex nihilo answer the question of why human beings are not created with a perfect character from the outset?

This question is a spin-off of the previous discussion How do proponents of the “free-will defense” against the problem of evil explain that God can be free and immune to moral evil at the same time?. ...
Mark's user avatar
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How do proponents of the “free-will defense” against the problem of evil explain that God can be free and immune to moral evil at the same time?

The free-will defense is an argument commonly attributed to Alvin Plantinga, who developed it as a response to the logical problem of evil. However, in developing this argument Plantinga unwittingly ...
Mark's user avatar
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Is there a name for the belief that some individuals would always freely reject salvation no matter the world in which they are created?

When God created the world, He had to accept the fact that some of His creatures would sin and ultimately fail to repent and be saved (I'm assuming that universalism is false, to be clear). For ...
Mark's user avatar
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Why does God punish us for our will?

This is a huge question. Do let me know if its immensity makes it off-topic for this site. I will start out my question with a quote from Schopenhauer: A man can do what he wills, but not will what ...
user110391's user avatar
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9 answers
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Is praying futile given that God respects our Free Will and is omniscient?

If God respects our free will and doesn't interfere in our decisions, why should we pray for things (petition)? For example, if I pray for my daily bread, God cannot force me to go to the store, buy ...
Jonathan's user avatar
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Is the will of God always fulfilled?

Is the will of God always fulfilled? In Mark 14:36 it reads And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. ...
Dare to ask-I dnt mind punishm's user avatar
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7 answers
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When scripture says, God "knows all things", does that include every action and decision every human will choose to make in the future?

I've often heard of the concept of Omniscience which is based on scripture that states God knows all things. Isaiah 46:10 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not ...
Read Less Pray More's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does Predestination apply to all people or just the major characters God needed for His plans for us to unfold?

Certainly verses like Psalm 139:13-16 and Jeremiah 1:5 are about God and important figures agreeing that God created THEM as individuals with a soul and spirit before they were born (or even before He ...
jKevinBarr's user avatar
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What is the biblical basis for Semi-Pelagianism?

Broadly speaking, Semi-Pelagianism is the idea that while we are born sinners, we are capable of seeking God without a supernatural "override" of our nature, such as that of Calvinism's ...
Isaac Middlemiss's user avatar
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Are there Christian groups or denominations that believe that direct doxastic voluntarism is true (i.e. that atheists can choose to believe in God)?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxastic_voluntarism: Doxastic voluntarism is a philosophical view that people elect their own beliefs.[1] That is, that subjects have a certain amount of control ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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What is the Biblical Basis for saying that people determine for themselves whether they will be saved or not?

In trying to understand what the bible says on the topic of who decides whether we go to heaven, I was reading this page on What determines whether you'll go to heaven or hell. I found it to be a bit ...
quant's user avatar
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1 answer
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Arminianism's Human's Free Will in light of Proverbs 16:4 & Proverbs 16:33 (since said verses strongly suggest support for Calvinism's predestination)

Proverbs 16:4 The Lord has made everything for [c]its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. 16:4 Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex כֹּ֤ל פָּעַ֣ל יְ֭הוָה לַֽמַּעֲנֵ֑הוּ וְגַם־רָ֝שָׁ֗ע ...
user1338998's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
405 views

How can God be loving and just whilest creating people for His wrath? I cannot wrap my head around Calvinism!

I just recently left a church that I attended for nearly a decade that is rooted in Calvinist beliefs. I am really struggling with their conception of the Lord and their understanding of the scripture....
KB86's user avatar
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What was the Early Church's (ante-Nicene period) view of the interplay between free will (or lack thereof) and salvation?

Did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe in libertarian free will? Did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe in determinism? Did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe that ...
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2 votes
2 answers
320 views

According to Arminians, why do they find Calvinism distasteful or inaccurate? [duplicate]

R.C. Sproul, a Reformed thinker said in his book “Chosen by God” that: “Jimmy Swaggart has made it clear that he considers the Reformed view a demonic heresy.” (Page 7) Obviously, disagreements can ...
Cork88's user avatar
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-2 votes
3 answers
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Soteriology: How does God save free moral agents?

Gen. 3:1-7 shows that sin was a choice. How does the freedom of choice intersect with saving faith and the work of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin? This question is for all who believe the Bible ...
David Arias's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
502 views

What is the Biblical basis for Synergism?

From Wikipedia: In Christian theology, synergism is the position of those who hold that salvation involves some form of cooperation between divine grace and human freedom. Synergism is upheld by the ...
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2 votes
3 answers
347 views

What is the Biblical basis for Conditional Election?

From Wikipedia: In Christian theology, conditional election is the belief that God chooses for eternal salvation those whom he foresees will have faith in Christ. This belief emphasizes the ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
150 views

According to Reformed Calvinists, are all of a person's volitional states causally determined by prior causes in time?

From the Wikipedia article on Determinism: Determinism is the philosophical view that all events are determined completely by previously existing causes. Deterministic theories throughout the history ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the biblical basis for NOT believing that everyone has a fair chance to be saved?

In my previous question If everyone has a fair chance to be saved, then how is this reconciled with Romans 10:11-17 & John 6:44?, I laid out two conditions for scoping purposes: This question is ...
user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
563 views

If everyone has a fair chance to be saved, then how is this reconciled with Romans 10:11-17 & John 6:44?

This question is scoped to Christians who believe that: humans have libertarian free will (or at least are given temporarily some form of genuine freedom of the will through divine grace in specific ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
60 views

According to Roman Catholicism, Mary loved God of her own free will. Does her love mean less to God because grace protected her from sin?

The Immaculate Conception shows that God could, in theory, protect each person from the contracting the taint of original sin. An argument as to why God allows His children to contract original sin is ...
Stuart's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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From a Roman Catholic view, after God creates a soul, does He let the soul to choose if they want to enter a body? Can a soul refuse to be embodied?

The Catholic Catechism says this: 366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not "produced" by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does ...
Stuart's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Could God allow all people to be born without the stain of original sin, as He did with Mary? [duplicate]

God was able to prevent Mary from being born with the stain original sin. If God can do this with one person, He can do this with everyone. This suggests that God forces everyone but Mary, against ...
Stuart's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
103 views

According to the Catholic Church, Does God create each new individual with original sin?

According to the Catholic Catechism, every spiritual soul is directly created by God. At the moment the individual is created by God, does it have original sin? Or is original sin added later?
Stuart's user avatar
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3 answers
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Why did God create people who would reject him? [closed]

God created people with free will, and some of these people will freely choose salvation, while some others will freely choose to reject salvation. God could have chosen to create only the subset of ...
user7348's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Romans 9 from an Arminian Perspective

Arminians, how do you interpret Romans 9 from an Arminian perspective? Specifically, verses 13-23. Specifically, the traditional Calvinistic understanding of Romans 9 is that it teaches predestination ...
Julian Moore's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
152 views

According to believers in libertarian free will, do all human beings have a genuine chance to freely choose to live a perfect sinless life?

Premise of this question: first of all, I'm basing this question on my common sense understanding that moral responsibility and judgement presuppose that human beings have the capacity to make free ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do Open Theists respond to Bible verses claiming God knows the future?

These questions pretty clearly show that God knows the future: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:...
Luke Hill's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
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Why did Jesus raise people from the dead, when they would have been in heaven?

The way I understand it from the bible is that you can live well you entire life, but if you lose your faith and then you die you won't go to heaven. So I'm sure that Satan would love the ability to ...
YBStolker's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

Are there theological explanations for why God would condition his divine intervention and mercy on intercessory prayer?

Ezekiel 22:29-31 (ESV): 29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. 30 And ...
user avatar
2 votes
6 answers
2k views

Genesis 2:17 and free will

One of the most flexible Christian answers to the Problem of evil (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil) is that God must allow the possibility of evil for Men to be free (although I would ...
Barbaud Julien's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
311 views

Do any denominations teach that angels have, or do not have, free will?

With minor variations, most Christian denominations generally believe that: Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, the Serpent, etc. are all the same being. Lucifer rebelled against God. One third of the angels ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
78 views

Is God beholden to the definition of free will?

I have heard repeatedly that the reason God doesn't use His omnipotence to prevent people from doing evil is that He wants people to freely choose not to. This doesn't make sense to me though, ...
Ryan_L's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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From a Protestant perspective, do we really have free will if sin nature is passed on from Adam and Eve to us?

If we are born with a sinful nature from Adam, does that really mean we have free will, since the sin nature makes us more likely to choose to sin?
exodus's user avatar
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1 answer
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because this one is closed posted another of the same question (do we really have free will) [closed]

If we are born with a sinful nature (an inclination to sin) from Adam, does that really mean we have free will, since the sin nature makes us more likely to choose to sin?
exodus's user avatar
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5 votes
9 answers
729 views

How do Christians who believe in libertarian free will explain the large imbalance in the ratio of people saved vs. condemned?

In principle, the decisions made by an agent endowed with freedom of the will (in the libertarian sense) are not determined. That is, a free agent's decisions cannot be the result of a sequence of ...
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