Free will and monotheism: Can’t live with it or without it

Reblogging for future reference.

Philosophy of Religion blog

When it comes to God and suffering, it’s rare that you do not hear the subject of free will come up. It’s common to hear something along the lines of, “If humans don’t have free will, then we’re just puppets. Do you think God wants us to be puppets?” In fact, in some instances, one gets the impression that someone is saying, “Hey man, free will….checkmate atheists”.


By “God” I am, as usual, referring to classical monotheism, which maintains the belief there exists one God who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good.*

The Problem

Although appealing to free will is common in apologetical circles, I think if we dig down further, then we will see that there are indeed some issues.

First off, there are different varieties of free will. The type that is being invoked by certain apologists here is known in the literature as libertarianfree will. Why would…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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