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Has free will been overextended?

The phrase itself doesn't appear in any text. It is inferred from assorted passages that state you must choose to believe or not believe, and can't be compelled to believe. But that's it. You have free will to believe, and free will not to believe.

It doesn't show up anywhere in the context that you have free will to choose to ignore a rule (in other words, sin) or a condition. However, that seems to get stretched and stretched until it encompasses everything from smoking and drinking to going back for 4ths on Thanksgiving.

Is this a back-door insult, saying that people have "free will" when discussing their personal vices, but really saying they have chosen to not believe at all, or has it been distorted, and people think free will really applies to any decision, and it's ok, so long as eventually you mention you believe before you die?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 4:45 PM on Jun. 9, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (69)
  • Are you asking whether or not you have free will in your beliefs or if you have free will in your personal actions?

    I'm asking why free will in belief is used to justify free will in action.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 4:51 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Do you not believe that people have "free will" or the power to choose their actions?

    Doesn't matter what I believe - it's not my book. I'm asking specifically how "whosoever believeth in me" has been transformed into "it's ok to eat 5 Big Macs if you want"?

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 4:54 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • When I think of free will, I think that God isn't sitting up there judging us or planning to punish us for our mistakes. We have autonomy over ourselves, are responsible for ourselves. I don't believe in a God of judgment, because I don't believe that the point of this life is to pass some test or believe "right". I believe the point of this life is the potential inherent in it, and in ourselves. So I think the only punishment we'll get for not striving towards that potential is a life less lived, if you get what I mean. Our lives are their own reward or punishment, and I don't believe that what we do or believe really effects where we end up, since I believe we all go to the same Place. I believe that when our lives are over and we come to a better understanding we'll realize where we could have done better (though this is possible at any point in life). But I don't believe what we believe has anything to do with that. (cont)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 4:55 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • These are 2 completely diff. things....I believe, but yes I sin...we all do even the best of Christian sin and to say otherwise your lying. No where does it say you do not believe if you sin.


    Answer by happymama02 at 4:59 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

    “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)




    Answer by Anonymous at 4:59 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Ah, in my beliefs free will is a half concept. To complete it, you have to add on "and accountability."

    Answer by Dkhilly at 5:00 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • I don't believe one way of belief is more or less valid than any other, and I don't even really believe there is much choice in what resonates with us, what path we feel as though we're called to. So I definitely don't believe that our paths effect our final destination, and the only way they can really harm us is if we're on the wrong path for us - meaning if you're not on a path that fulfills you and helps you be the best you can be.

    So when I think of free will, that's what I mean - that we're completely free to make our own decisions, without some sort of threat or fear of hell. God doesn't interfere or meddle in our lives, our ability to choose for ourselves what we will or will not do/say/think/etc. We have complete autonomy over ourselves, and God is allowing us to figure things out, to strive for that potential or not. In the end, I believe, we all realize that potential and fulfill it, whether in this life or after..

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 5:01 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Of course it is an all encompassing free will. Without free will, there is only predestination.

    Answer by adnilm at 5:15 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • and it's ok, so long as eventually you mention you believe before you die?--

    ah, but there's the one knows when they will die. boy scout rule of thumb: always be prepared! as that tall-blonde-model-married-to-Seal says on ProjectRunway, ''either you're IN or you're OUT!"
    (i am having all sorts of problems recalling names today, particularly female blonde celebrities...)

    Answer by dullscissors at 5:18 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Are you a Calvinist NP, or just googling again?

    Answer by adnilm at 5:22 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

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