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Featured Does Freewill Exist in the Bible?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Nakosis, Jan 22, 2022.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    I see people claim freewill is implied by the bible or that freewill is a theological necessity but is it really?

    Of course I see the concept of choice in the Bible but the ability to choose doesn't not by itself freewill.
    When we make a choice, are we not compelled by external factors into the choice me made?

    For example, I made a choice not to have a belief about God, but there existed many external factors which caused me to make this choice.

    Is it possible to show conclusively that freewill is a biblical concept?
     
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  2. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    The real biblical concept is disharmony. People call this disharmony as freewill.
     
  3. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Yes.
    Everywhere in the Bible.
    Abraham was about to sacrifice his own son.
    He used his free will.
     
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  4. Vee

    Vee Well-Known Member
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    To a certain degree. Christians are supposed to make choices based on God's principles, but they're still personal choices.
    For example, it says we should dress modestly, but it doesn't come with a list of fabrics or patterns. That's a choice based on culture, weather, budget and of course, taste. Same applies to many other aspects of life.
     
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  5. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    I'm generally limited to what is on the rack at Walmart, how much money I have, what colors I happen to like, what sizes are available, my need for a specific garment type.
    I need pants, I didn't choose to need pants, I like blue, I didn't choose to like blue, there is only one pair of pants in my size in a color I like. My choice was made by factors I did not choose.

    Most of the time what we choose is predetermined by factors we did not choose.

    God's principles, just another external factor.
    I choose not to steal, because? Because of the potential consequences I don't want to deal with. I did not choose there to exist these potential consequences.
    However because they do, because I am aware of them, because I don't want to deal with them, there is only one choice I could make. My choice was entirely the result of external causes.
    Where is the freewill?
     
  6. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Did not a messenger from God stop Abraham?
    It is said his fear of God caused Abraham to make the choice to sacrifice his son.
    Do we choose what we fear?
     
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  7. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Do you think having free will means not facing repercussions from our choices?

    We all ‘reap what we sow.’ Galatians 6:7
    And we all face the results, good or bad, of other people’s choices. Right? Politics is an example.

    But we still are free to make choices. For example, to be law-abiding or a criminal. And all shades in between.
     
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  8. Sgt. Pepper

    Sgt. Pepper RF's resident Beatlemaniac. ☮ and ❤

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    No, I don't believe that freewill exists in the Bible. First, I'll explain my position by re-posting a couple of paragraphs of my OP in a thread I started awhile back. And secondly, I'll post a few scriptures about God predestining certain people to be saved.

    According to the Bible, God is omniscient (Psalm 139:1-6; Isaiah 46:9-10; 1 John 3:20), omnipotent (Psalm 147:5; Job 42:2; Daniel 2:21), and omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:12; Colossians 1:17). If God has infinite knowledge and wisdom (omniscient) and infinite power (omnipotent), and he is present everywhere simultaneously (omnipresent), then he knew ahead of time that Adam and Eve would fall into temptation with the apple, and they would disobey him. IOW, the fall of humanity was foreknown by God.

    If the bible is correct about God's attributes of omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence, then it stands to reason that he knows everything that happened in the past, what happens in the present, and what will happen in the future. The Bible also says that God knows our innermost being, and he knew us before we were born (Psalm 139:13-16). Furthermore, if God is all-knowing, then he also knows our every thought and every decision that we have ever made, and the decisions we will make in the future.

    According to the Bible, God predestines certain people to be saved. These people are the Elect and are chosen by God before the foundation of the world (Matthew 22:14; John 6:44; John 15:16; John 15:19; Acts 2:23; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28-30; Galatians 1:15; Ephesians 1:4-5; Ephesians 1:11-12; Colossians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 1:10; Revelation 13:8).

    Proverbs 16:4 "The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster."
     
    #8 Sgt. Pepper, Jan 22, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  9. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Absolutely, as God states throughout the scriptures that we need to make choices-- hopefully wise & moral ones.
     
  10. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    My view on Free Will:
    Only God has "Free Will". Humans who are not free, meaning who are still bound by their desires, so who still act out of their ego desires, are bound by
    the Laws of "action and reaction". Totally not Free (Will)

    When Jesus declared "I and my Father are One" Jesus reached the state of Free Will

    Free Will is not equal to Free Choice in this context
     
  11. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    I'd say it's implied in the doctrine of salvation verses perdition. How is it just to punish a soul for its choices if they were not freely made?

    Isn't that why the faithful so strongly insist that despite God having perfect knowledge of the future, that future is not preordained, that people still have free will to make choices even if the future when is known. What else can they say given the doctrine of sin and its consequences? It's not a position that anybody would want to defend. They do so because they feel they must defend it.

    But does the Bible use the term? I don't know.
     
  12. MyM

    MyM Well-Known Member

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    God already knows the outcome of your choices :) It's on you to believe or not. Hence, heaven and hellfire.
     
  13. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    I think so...

    IMV, Adam and Eve showed free will. Additionally:
    Joshua 24:15
    And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

    Exodus 17:9
    So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”

    Numbers 14:4
    And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

    And so many more...

    It would seem to me that if one can choose, there is free will.
     
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  14. Neuropteron

    Neuropteron Active Member

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    Hi,
    The Bible clearly states that Jehovah does not use force but permits a choice to believe and even act as we please.

    This of course does not imply that our choices are not accompanied by consequesences.

    For instance the prophet Isaiah recommends"
    ...reject the bad and choose the good" (Isa 7:16)
    He could hardly recommend this course if no choice existed.
     
  15. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    It isnt even in the dictionary
     
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  16. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Freewill is just a silly made up concept by religious.

    I would therefore say it's exclusive with the Bible alone
     
  17. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    I guess its like how they say
    "used OF God" instead of "by".

    Sounds so, you know. Transcendent.
     
  18. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity The Real Men in Black
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    Yes it is possible for some books in the bible though not for all. In Genesis it is easy, but then Christ makes a reinterpretation of the Genesis story. Then it is more difficult to interpret what Christ means. But the original Genesis story is one in which gods do not like the progress of humankind. It is the gods who don't like that Adam has eaten the fruit, and it is the gods who don't like the tower at Babel. In both cases they move against humanity to stop us from progressing. Humans have power to name, which is a divine power in the mythologies of neighbor land Egypt, politically and culturally dominant everywhere. Humans seize the power of morality by choosing to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, situated in the garden, which the both the tabernacle and the temple imitate. Adam's choice is to die in exchange for the power of the gods. It parallels the choice of the righteous man to give up war in exchange for peace, a lesson repeated in other stories about the patriarchs such as in the story of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who is raped). Rather than take revenge Jacob prescribes forgiveness. In other words to eat the Torah is to eat of that tree and is to seize the power of the gods by force of will, making the choice to become a new kind of person. A citizen of Egypt could not go to Israel and become a Jewish person without trampling upon the political rhetoric of the pharoahs, offending the Egyptian gods. It would be a difficult choice like stealing fire from the gods. So in Genesis, at least, the presence of freewill is fragrant.

    It is reinterpreted in Christian stories. They don't counter the Genesis story. They are in a different genre from it. They are like overlays. That doesn't mean the original intent of the story is lost or unknown, but it is not explained in the NT. It is presumed that we already know how to eat. In Christian stories Adam errs by eating the fruit. This is a way of looking at the story, as if the gods were right to stop human progress and to deny us eternal life. In Christianity humankind stands accused of being human but is reprieved, so the gods are not at fault for accusing us but are incorrect as we can deserve eternal life...or something like this. Whether that is counter to the original story or is a different genre or headspace I leave as a topic for another day. The main thing is, free will is assumed both in Genesis plain text and in the reimagination of it.
     
    #18 Brickjectivity, Jan 22, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  19. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    If God had asked me to sacrifice my own son, I would have told Him : " sure...in your dreams".

    Because we are all different.
    We choose different things.
    Free will is free because it changes according the person. It is not something predetermined.

    You said you are an atheist. You chose.
    Nobody forced you to be an atheist.
     
  20. Vee

    Vee Well-Known Member
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    What type of free will would you like to have, that you don't have at the moment? And what would God have to do with it?

    Personally, I like having standards and choice is great, but if there's too much I just get confused and tired. For example, in the big super markets there are 20 brands of pasta, and there I am looking at all the packages with different colors and sizes and prices, with gluten, without gluten, fast cooking, long cooking with all kinds of shapes and, it's pasta for crying out loud! What do I want all that for? Just get me a package of good old spaghetti. Sometimes having a lot of choices is not necessarily a good thing, and since most of those pasta brands come from the same companies who happen to own different brands, you're ne being give free will, they just sell you that illusion.
    I've diverted a bit here. Like someone else pointed out, we need to deal with the consequences of our choices. Having free will is great, but used wrong the consequences can be very negative. That's why I find it useful to have guidelines. I don't steal because I know it's wrong, but I also don't want to go to jail. I don't drive at 75 mph in the city center because I'd get fined and lose my license, but also because it's very dangerous.
    Having limits to our so called freedom can be a very good thing.
     
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