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Is it really free will?

Think about it. Free Will was given to us supposedly and we have the right to choose what we will according to what we feel. Now, we have this thing called free will and no one can force us to make a decision or action yet if we choose wrong we are damned to eternity or it is considered a sin or wrong doing if it goes against the belief of another, group or religion. So how again is this free will or what is the point in having it if we are just puppets? Yes, I know there are consequences for every action be it good or bad but seriously, some actions just are what they are and are only bad according to some like being gay, not believing in god, being pro-choice and so on.


Asked by jujubean1979200 at 8:02 AM on Apr. 19, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (17)
  • It is free will because in life we all have decisions we make that lead us to an ultimate outcome. Those outcomes can be good or bad. It is our choice to believe or not to. There are still consequences to our choices.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:09 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • If your child steals money from your purse, you are going to punish him. He probably knows you are going to punish him. So does he not still have the choice to steal money from your purse just because he knows their will be consequences? Of course he still makes a choice. He has free will over to either follow the rules, or break them and take a gamble that either he won't get caught or you won't follow through with punishment.

    It works the same way with humans and God. We are told what will happen if we don't follow the rules so to speak, but it is left to us to decide whether we will follow or rebel. I am fully aware this isn't going to be a popular answer with quite a few people on here, but you asked for a Christian perspective and I am trying my best to explain it as a Christian =)

    Answer by asmcbride at 9:41 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Well, since I don't believe any strings are attached (no hell or punishment, at least the Divine kind), and because I don't believe God actively interferes or really meddles in this world, yes I do believe we all have free will. :)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:10 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Thanks ladies. I too believe we have free will it was just a view I had

    Comment by jujubean1979200 (original poster) at 8:11 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Even so, though, (even if there were hell, I mean) regardless of the "consequences" people are/would still be free to choose for themselves their actions/path. Sure, the consequences people believe in are extreme, but that doesn't change that people choose for themselves what they will do. Just because I don't believe in a hell doesn't change the concept that we are free to choose our paths and lives and actions for ourselves, even were such a place to exist. I don't believe the existence (or claimed existence) of some form of punishment somehow negates the concept of freedom on the part of the individual to choose what s/he will or will not do, or somehow decide for him/herself the "fate" that consists of the culmination of those choices...

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:17 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I get what you're saying, though - if there is punishment, are we really technically "free" to do as we please; wouldn't "free" will imply a lack of accountability? But I think that's over thinking it a bit (and it's something I can't really answer, especially since I don't believe in such punishment or "accountability") I think the point is that we are able to act of our own volition and make our own choices, regardless of whether there is or may be such a place (even though I DO reject the idea of hell, lol). Whether or not the idea of accountability complicates the idea, it doesn't change that we are acting of our own conviction, of our own free will - and I really think that's what the term is meant to imply...

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:19 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I think i was thinking more along the lines of "If god gave us free will how is HE punishing us" you see what I am saying?

    Comment by jujubean1979200 (original poster) at 8:21 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • haha, ahh. I think a lot of people reconcile that by saying God doesn't technically punish us, since it's something we "choose" for ourselves, relate it to a mere natural cause and effect kind of thing, I guess. I personally don't believe that way, so I may not be the best to answer, though, lol. Maybe someone who does believe that way will be able to explain it better :)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:31 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I don't personally believe in 'God-given free will', because I don't believe in a personal God. As with most things, in Buddhism, there are few absolutes in this world, and the idea of free will is no exception. "Buddhism believes in neither absolute free will, nor determinism. It preaches a middle doctrine called pratitya-samutpada in Sanskrit, which is often translated as "inter-dependent arising." Compatibilism is another term often used as well.

    "In Buddhism it is taught that the idea of absolute freedom of choice (i.e., that any human being could be completely free to make any choice) is foolish, because it denies the reality of one's physical needs and circumstances. Equally incorrect is the idea that we have no choice in life or that our lives are pre-determined. To deny freedom would be to undermine the efforts of Buddhists to make moral progress (through our capacity to freely choose compassionate action)."

    Answer by pam19 at 9:11 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I've often wondered, if we have "free will" then how could the devil "make" us doing anything?

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 11:18 AM on Apr. 19, 2011