"If God exists human beings can have no free will"

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The statement depends on what you mean by God and freewill. According to my definition of both things the statement is wrong.
When I am talking about God I mean the power that we all have around us and inside ourselves. It is the conscience that tells us what is wrong and what is right. It is happiness and love. God knows everything that has ever happened to us and everything that is happening right now. We all have our own way to understand God. Therefore God has to know everything about us so it can find out the best way to help us with what decisions and actions we need to make if we want to live a good life.
What God knows doesn’t affect our free will; it only gives us a clearer choice. E.g. If you have the knowledge of the poverty in Africa you know that is it good to give the people in Africa some of your money. But is it still up to you if you want to give them your money or not.
Our free will is that we can decide if we want to listen to God or not. If God didn’t exist we would not have much of a choice. God represents all the things that we call well and the right way. It is like we have two alternatives: to listen to God or not listen to God. If God does not exist then one of two alternatives disappear and with only one alternative there is no possibility to make any choices at all.

God and freewill from a traditional Christian point of view

I don’t have a traditional Christian belief so to find out what Christians believe I went to meet the vicar Stephanie in Kinoulton. I asked her some questions about God and free will.
She and many other Christian people think that God is the one who created the world and us. He is both one and three. The Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three different shapes of the same and the only God. The Holy Spirit is the way that God inspires. All the information about God can be found in the Bible, both in the old and the New Testament.
Free will is a gift from God. It is the possibility to say yes or no, to believe in God or not and the choice to do right or wrong.
Christians think that if God didn’t exist we would not have free will because the freewill is a part of God’s nature.
Christians don’t believe in determinism. Stephanie explains it like this: “If we had determinism we would be like robots and we are no robots. We must have the ability to make mistakes and that wouldn’t work in a world based on determinism.”

Stephanie and many other Christians with her believe that God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), benevolent (wants the best for his creation), eternal (not effected by time), transcendent (above, beyond and outside) immanent (in the word with us. Christians think in the form of Jesus.) Omnipresent (everywhere at all times. This is the Holy Spirit.), flawless (perfect and without fault.), personal (able to enter into relationships with other beings.) and infinite (this quality underpins all the others.)

I asked her about these abilities like how can God know everything and still give us free will. She tried to answer but she couldn’t really explain. It was like she never really had thought about these problems and learned about God from a book, which she probably also had.

After the interview with the vicar I am both impressed about her way of believing and not. Impressed because she seemed to be so sure about her believes and that she really had found something that she thought was right and real. I was less impressed because she didn’t seemed to have doubt or asked herself about her Christian belief.




My God’s qualities

I don’t have a special religion because I think it’s hard to get like a kit of information and buy the whole idea. I think that every person needs to find his/her own god or something else to believe in. As a member of the Rosicrucian Order I believe that we have two think for ourselves and try to find our answers to the big questions in ourselves. It is not important to have a special God or know all his/hers qualities. These are questions that you can think about in a whole life and still don’t know the answers when you die. The important thing is to think of these questions rather than already have the answers. I don’t know if there is a God. And who this God is. But if I would try to give my God some abilities now (I don’t still have a finished picture of who my God is) I would describe God’s abilities in this way:

God is limited and it is no problem for God and freewill to exist together.

God don’t know what we are going to choose. It is not omniscient (all-knowing) if it knew our choices, that we still haven’t made it wouldn’t be our choices. God is not transcendent (above beyond and outside). It is what our lives revolve around. God is our conscience and our inner master and can therefore not be impersonal. God is not omnipotent (totally powerful). If it was it could create a triangle with four corners or do other logically impossible things. If God can change what we are used to as unchangeable it would not be reliable and therefore not worth worshipping. I don’t believe that God is benevolent (wants the best for his/her creation). It is not like a person with opinions God is more an alternative. But if we choose to listen to God our lives will be easier. God is not omnipresent (everywhere at all times). God is where there are lives and there is no need for God in any other places. God is not eternal (not affected by time). I believe that God is here with us in our lives and when we no longer exist God will either no longer exist. God is immanent (in the world with us). It must be because it is a part of us. It is a flawless (perfect without fault) power. If God weren’t flawless it would not be worth worshipping. God is personal. We all have our own way of understanding what God is. God cannot be infinite (this quality underpins all the others) and I don’t believe in all the others.

The things about God that I wrote in the introduction are the only things that I am quite sure of. That is the picture of God that I have with me from my childhood.


Humanists, atheists and determinists would not agree with me about the connection between God and free will.

Humanists and atheists do no believe in a god. So for them the free will not depend on a god.

Humanism is based on the importance of human affairs in the world. They don’t believe in the Trinity and for them was Jesus not more than a usual human. They believe that we have a power inside ourselves rather than from supernatural elements. That is similar of what I believe, but I think that our inner power is much bigger than ourselves. I believe in supernatural elements but I don’t call them supernatural. For me these things are just normal.

Atheists totally deny an existence of God. But that doesn’t mean they don’t believe in anything at all. Atheists can have other believes. They can believe in the entire thing like I call God like inner light, love and the conscience. The big difference between me and them is that they would never call their believes God.

Determinists believe that every event is the upshot of causes. The state of the world at any moment is the result of its state immediately before. Determinism can easily be explained: The past controls the present and the future. You cannot control the past. Also you cannot control the way the past controls the present and the future. So you cannot control the present and future. In fact you cannot control anything at all. That leads to that you cannot have any freewill.
The dilemma if we believe in determinism is that we cannot believe in random events and that we have any control over our actions. Then we will not have control and responsibility. That would lead to that we all are robots with no possibility to think for ourselves. That is why I do not believe in determinism. I think that a lot of our choices depends on what has happened before and that a lot of events are the sum of the past. But I don’t believe that we cannot choose to affect the future and ourselves.


Many philosophers have taken the view that God can be restricted in various ways to make free will possible without in anyway diminishing the divine nature of God.

Swinburn: “God can do anything/knows everything but chooses to limit his/her powers to allow us free will.”
I don’t agree. How can God limit his/her power? I can understand if Swinburn had said not to use all his/her power but limit. Like I wrote before in this essay. If God knows what is going to happen in the futur...

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Inactive member [2005-02-03]   "If God exists human beings can have no free will"
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=3424 [2019-10-15]

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