(1) If God grants us free will . . . then He has a domain for which he has no control over. (2) [And,] if God is all powerful and ever present according to their own beliefs, then, he is all-knowing. (3) But [then], God would know your every move and actions before they occur; (4) which means that your behavior is fated or destined to be. This is determinism.
If God answers your prayers, is He not demeaning the idea of “free will”?
And, if God did give “free will”, because it is beyond his control, could it be possible that his intentions may be to extend reality beyond which He himself could contain? In other words, would He not favor will that goes beyond merely favoring Him but rather beyond Him?
The argument is really affective on believers.
One Christian’s Replies:
To the first objection:
Statement (1) is ambiguous, for God may put our freedom to believe or act beyond His control *by His own choice*, and still have the power to negate it. Nothing that can be done is beyond His Will, is the posit, and it seems obvious that He can make our freedoms cease. Statement (3) does not follow from (2), under at least three different interpretations:
For first, statement (2) as it stands says nothing whatever about what God knows in the future - only the present. I at least am quite comfortable with God not seeing into the future, for I am one of those who believe the future has no existence - only the present exists. Thus there may well be *nothing whatever* that God, or anyone else, can know ‘observationally’ about the future. No-one, not even God, can observe what does not exist.
But suppose a more common view, that God somehow knows the future ‘observationally’, it still would be false that this knowledge entails that our wills are not free. That God knows *what* we shall choose is distinct from the fact *that* we choose freely. For say His knowledge of past, present and future is like a man on a hill-top, who can see all at once a large stretch of train-track. The conductors make their choices, and suppose those choices mean that there will be a smash-up. The man on the hill knows all this because of his vantage-point, but his knowledge makes the conductors’ decisions no less free as decisions.
Then there is the opinion that God knows the future like a very intelligent man knows the future: he knows observationally only the past and present, but can infallibly extrapolate into the future. But this scenario is even weaker than the previous one, for now there is not even future events ‘out there’ - there is just a certain kind of knowledge, which of itself has no causal effectiveness over another’s actions.
To the Second objection:
I assume the objection refers not to prayers for understanding or insight, but prayers that God perform some miracle, or intervene in some such way. To this can be replied that the Christian is not to suppose that prayer is a mechanical process - it is not putting quarters into a candy-machine. God’s will to reply is as free as is mine to ask; humility and mercy in the face of bad consequences do not seem demeaning. Moreover, it is doubtful that asking for deliverance from the bad consequences of one’s actions is demeaning to someone with free will, to say nothing of being demeaning to free will itself (whatever that might mean).
To the Conclusion: I reply that effectiveness can be effective toward particular individuals, and still be incorrect.