Questions tagged [free-will]

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

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91
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14answers
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Can there be free will in heaven? [closed]

The most common explanation I heard from Christians for the theodicy is that suffering is caused inevitably by the free will of humans. The argument is essentially that a world without suffering is ...
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If God controls our decisions, does this mean we don't have free will? [closed]

This was originally part of this question However, it's really a separate line of logic (and therefore a different question, imo). If others prefer, I can remerge this into the original. God is ...
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How does free will fit with the doctrine of predestination?

The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination states that God has chosen who will live and who will die. That Christians are unconditionally elected for salvation or damnation. However, how does this ...
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Does God have free will? [closed]

To clarify the question - when I mention God here I am referring to God the Father and by free will, the best non-contradictory definition according to the Bible I have heard is "the ability to act ...
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3answers
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How does the Arminian view of salvation account for God's sovereignty?

The Arminian view of salvation posits that man has free will and the choice to accept salvation is purely on our own free will. The total sovereignty of God (while disputed in some theological ...
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Does Catholic doctrine teach that the Incarnation would have taken place regardless of Adam's decision?

In Catholic doctrine, both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition teach that Jesus Christ died specifically for the expiation of our sins. Historical Christianity professes that God became a man by way ...
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5answers
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Praying for someone's salvation. Is there a point? [closed]

According to I Timothy 2:4 (NIV), God "...wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth". But since we have free will, God cannot make us choose to accept the salvation that is ...
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4answers
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Why are certain non-harmful behaviors considered sins? [closed]

I would like to hear your response on this. In general, there exist a set of behaviors that Christians consider sinful, though these behaviors may not be observed to harm anybody (even the person ...
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Do angels have free will? [closed]

I believe we have free will and that God has free will. It would seem Lucifer also had free will. Do all angels have free will as we do?
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1answer
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Has the impact of a practitioner's theological framework on pastoral counseling methodology been studied?

Do any existing pastoral counseling programs take into effect how the theological framework concerning the doctrine of free will affects the counselor's therapeutic approach? For instance, an ...
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8answers
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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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6answers
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Can you explain this Free Will / Predestination illustration?

I've heard multiple preachers explain Free Will and Predestination with this illustration: Free Will and Predestination are like a door. The side of the door toward us says, "Free Will." Once you ...
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Does John 6:44 imply that there is no free will when it comes to salvation? [closed]

I was struck by reading this verse in John the other night: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him I've heard the term 'predestination', however it is unclear to me how free ...
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What is the Biblical basis for a resistable enabling (prevenient) grace?

I see a few different uses of the term prevenient grace in questions here, so I will define what I meant first: a belief held by traditional Baptists and other non-reformed evangelicals, that though ...
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2answers
520 views

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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How did Martin Luther's views on Free Will differ from those of Erasmus?

I understand that Martin Luther believed in the redemption of the will to serve God as part of God's redemptive work. Can someone clarify how this differed from Erasmus' viewpoint? I know I could ...
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1answer
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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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Do we have free will to choose salvation or is our “choice” an illusion? [closed]

Researching whether angels have free will and whether God has free will, I found myself in the midst of this question. Is free will an illusion? Our "choice" is that we either follow God or we do ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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Did Christ have the freedom to choose to avoid crucifixion? [closed]

Inspired by this answer, Jesus talks about this authority in John 10:18 (NIV): No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it ...
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Did Judas betray Jesus willfully?

Luke 22:3 (NIV) Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. Does this verse imply that Judas had no more control over his own actions as he was possessed by the devil. Judas ...
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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 ...
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Was the fall of man inevitable? [closed]

Given that: Life of man continued in eternity in Eden During this time the tree of knowledge was present At any given point in time, man had the free will to make the choice: I will eat the forbidden ...
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If Jesus was Sinless and had Free Will, how is the rest of creation not a mistake?

If it is possible to create beings like Jesus - or to recreate humans as sinless versions of themselves - Was all of creation a mistake? A mistake that all of History in the Bible attempts to correct?...
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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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What does it mean when God 'hardens' a heart? [closed]

I love the answer in this question regarding God giving us free will saying : "..and without choice, there can be no true obedience, or true love, only mindless followers with no will of their own." ...
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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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How do Arminians reconcile free will with God's omnipotence logically?

I just finished reading Mere Christianity and was blown away by some of the statements Lewis makes. He mentions "even [God] cannot produce [a changed heart] by a mere act of power...It is something ...
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LDS Free Agency viewpoint

I have a question concerning free agency. Mormons believe that men are free to choose but how is it that there are prophets that can see what will happen? So they know what people will do? Like Jesus ...
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1answer
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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 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 biblical basis for the claim that Pilate had no choice?

There is a trend among Christians to put the guilt of killing Jesus on Jews rather than on Romans. Some Christians go as far as to proclaiming Pilate a saint (as did either Ethiopian or Coptic church ...
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Why did God create man with the ability to sin? [closed]

I've read a highly favored answer here on C.SE that when people get to heaven they are no longer capable of sinning yet they still have free will. So my question is simple, why did he ever create us ...
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1answer
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According to Catholic Tradition - Was Jesus' experience on Earth scripted? Or did human actors shape it?

God does not play dice with the universe. - Albert Einstein The Bible gives us reason to believe that God (presumably, God the Father) chose the time of Jesus' arrival on Earth. My Question: ...
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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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Why did God create Adam and Eve so that they would sin? [closed]

According to If Adam and Eve were perfect, why did they choose to sin? the serpent tricked Eve into eating the apple. So either the serpent or humans sinned because of free will. But God is sovereign ...
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1answer
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Prevenient Grace - Negative Responses to Scriptural Examples of It

See what I mean by "Prevenient Grace" in the first question I asked relating to this topic. If your understanding of scripture leads you to believe the doctine of Prevenient Prace is not supported ...
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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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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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1answer
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According to the Catholic Church, do animals have free will?

Do animals have free will or are they already pre-defined in what they do? Also, how does the answer to this question affect humans when we use our free will to interact with animals? I'm looking for ...
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What does giving up free will and giving it to Jesus mean? [closed]

Is there a majority opinion as to what giving up free will and giving it to Jesus means? What does this action look like? Are there any real life examples?
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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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1answer
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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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When the humans' freedom of choice was firstly stated in Christianity?

When and where was it firstly stated in the history of Christianity that a human being has a personal freedom of choice and that God respects it?
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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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0answers
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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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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 is the definition of 'free will' as explained in the Bible? [closed]

Reading a question on this site I suddenly realized that I do not know what 'free will' means. I cannot find a definition in other questions asked and my philosophy books clouded the whole issue. ...
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4answers
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Is ex-nihilo creationism irreconcilable with the concept of individual free will?

Looking on this site in many answers involving the problem of evil I see affirmations of belief in free-will. According to Calvinist Mark Hausam, who presented a paper at a conference on Mormonism, ...