Session 18

Discussion Questions on Free Will:

 1. If everything has been predetermined by God, would that make Him a dictator?  How would this view affect our definition of love?

2. Which view is the most complete in your opinion? (Determinism, Indeterminism, Theological Determinism (strong), Theological Determinism (weak), Free Will).

3. How can you reconcile the existence of free will with outside influences such as brain chemistry and biological impulses?

4. 1 Timothy 2:4 says God wants all people to be saved.  What can we draw from this verse about free will?

5. How would our stance on free will affect how we handle criminals as a society?

Views on Free Will:
Determinism:   The doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. Some philosophers have taken determinism to imply that individual human beings have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.

Indeterminism (nondeterminism) or randomness.: The view that not all events are determined by forces outside of our control.  Accounts for both determined events and some freedom of choice.

Theological Determinism (strong):  All events that happen are pe-ordained or destined to happen, by one or more divine beings.

Theological Determinism (weak):  Events are predetermined based on God’s knowledge of the future.  This view accounts for free-will because God knows what we would choose.  Example:  Einstein stated “Events do not happen.  They already exist and are seen on the Time Machine.”

Free Will (in theology):  Humans have the ability to make free choices, including whether or not to have a relationship with God.  They may still be influenced by outside factors/biological impulses to some degree.  In this view, free will is necessary in order for love to exist.