Free will is something that most religious people believe in and most non-religious people don't believe in. My position is: I don't believe we have free will, at least in the normal sense that it is looked at. And yes, I do believe in God. Find that strange? Please allow me try to explain myself...
Think about it. Everything that is happening is scientific and is based on physics and matter. Everything that is in existence is represented by matter which has instruction, reason and a purpose. Every atom follows a specific set of rules and can be measured scientifically.
This is a very bold and audacious claim but nevertheless I think it is correct. If we were able to measure and understand every atomic (or even quark or string or however small it goes) movement then we would be able to understand how these relate with every other piece of matter - It is quite breathtaking actually! We would be able to actually understand just what will happen to something else based off its current flux and its reaction to some other piece of matter. With this information we could calculate out as many iterations as needed to find out what would happen however long into the future we needed. This is obviously extremely impracticable for a human mind to even come minutely close to grasping, but God who is all knowing handles this like a piece of cake.
So what about thoughts? That is pretty much what this all comes down to, the ability to choose. To make conscious choices of what is right or wrong, good or bad or whatever else may suit your fancy. From what I have learned thoughts are still part of this world and therefore represented by matter. They are more or less electrical impulses that are sent throughout the brain and interpreted by the brain. Everything is still being calculated in a physical piece of matter composed of atoms and electrons. It's pretty much like a computer but much more advanced. Anyhow, we all know a computer can do millions of calculations per second but nonetheless, does it really have a free will? Just because we can't actually predict or understand every electrical impulse instantly does this imply that the computer takes on a will of its own? Is it making choices? In a sense yes, but on a complete perspective I think not. The computer is simply still being a machine following rules of physics that allow for it to make what appear to be actual choices on its own. The same can be said about a human - it's an advanced computer.
So since everything of this earth is pretty much already understood and calculated your life is almost a computer simulation where it is already known how your program will end. From the instant you are born your input and sensory devices are taking in information and processing it. Your mind is forming a foundation for beliefs and thoughts. Throughout your whole life you are simply making decisions based of every environment and situation which has happened previously to you and you ended up in your now current situation because of a past experience and environment. It goes on and on and on. Yes I know, this sounds very impersonal and just sad and leaves no hope. How could God, who is supposed to be loving and great, allow for something so demeaning and dark like this? Well first of all, God isn't necessarily loving and great in a straight up since. He is fair and correct. This does not always translate to him being loving. Sometimes he may be an dick because you were a dick. God is fair and correct.
It's really not a big deal anyway. Since we can't actually understand any of these complexities of physics that are constantly going around us in real time like God can it actually creates an illusion of free will for us. We actually see things as free will and choices because we don't know how thoughts are going to correlate with the environment or how actions will result in the future because we can't predict the future because we can't measure everything out. They basically are choices from our limited perspective, but not from God's.
It's kind of like comparing a dog to a human. A dog is much more limited in it's thinking when compared to a human. If you were to try to get a dog to do something fairly simple such as measuring the speed of a car and figuring out where it will be 5 seconds from now it would look at you, drool a little bit, and then bark! It hasn't a clue what you're even trying to get it to do! The same can be said about humans when compared to God. It's not a bad thing, it just is what it is. The dog is happy, us humans are happy - but it still doesn't dismiss the fact that just because it wrecks our heads thinking about this it is still weak sauce to God.
Free will from our limited perspective and from a "God testing us" sense, then yes it does make sense - we make choices and we don't know everything that is going to happen. But from an absolute scientific standpoint it makes no sense at all.
And as with more knowledge things always do become much stranger and sometimes scarier than they were before (which is partly why this life is so dumbed down IMO - but that's a whole nother story). But that's not a bad thing, just something new to consider and learn from - you're supposed to be stretched with new things as you move forward. Life isn't about sitting around and stagnating, if it was time would not exist. I am not trying to get anybody to agree or disagree with me. I am simply stating the way I perceive this based of my existing knowledge and want to present it to others to allow for you to take it as you would like. I am always open to any type of comments, feedback or anything. If you think I am wrong please let me know and I will listen with respect to your side and try my hardest to understand your perspective. I have no problem being wrong and finding the truth because of it. I do have a problem never seeking and never finding however.Filed under: Spiritual, Life, God, Science