I think I already mentioned that freedom has no value in religion, but I’m here to elaborate on the Christian (or should that be Abrahamic) position of free will with regards to the God of the Bible. The Bible tends to contradict itself many times, and I think free will is an example of a topic that suffers this.
One example is in the Book of Exodus, where Moses beseeches the Pharaoh many times to let his people go and the Pharaoh says no. You would think that Pharaoh said no of his own free will, but you’d be wrong. The God of Moses hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he would not listen Pharaoh’s commands.
“But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses” – Exodus 9:12
There is no good reason why a God who would grant free will and let humans behave on their own accord would alter the state of the Pharaoh’s heart so as to deliberately make him remain stubborn on his position on slavery, as if he is trying to justify the carrying out the ten plagues.
One could also say the Garden of Eden is an example too. Think: the God of the Bible creates humans in complete ignorance, as stupid yet naturally curious creatures, and supposedly allowing their free will but commanding them not to use it, especially considering the apple is of the tree of knowledge, so it’s like he’s actively preventing humans from being anything other than stupid creatures who obey this will and punishing the whole species, all generations, for not only rebelling against what amounts to oppression, but also for inadvertedly going along with something God himself set up. I mean think, he created humans to be weak, stupid, and supremely ignorant, yet curious, and their curiosity would inevitably lead them to go against God’s will and eat the fruit, as though he either takes pleasure in punishing people (unjustly) or he has some kind of plan involved, or both.
But let’s go into this in general. The Bible tries to tell us that God grants free will and brings freedom to humans.
“…where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17
How can God give freedom when (1) he creates us and programs us to be horrible and stupid creatures, yet also curious enough to eat the tree of knowledge to identify God and learn good on their own, (2) he watches over us and sees all of what we do, hence knows what we do, (3) apparently knows not just everything he have done but also everything we will do, (4) gives us instincts and desires and supposedly free will while expressly forbids us from using it and gets pissed whenever we don’t act a certain way or worship any god other than him, and (5) from the beginnings sets all humans beings on a course to hell as their default afterlife, with the only remedy to their condition being the belief in the blood sacrifice of his son, Jesus, and receiving him as Lord and Saviour, and to top it all off he has us choose between accepting Jesus and spending eternity after death praising God’s name or spend an eternity getting fucked up the ass by trident prongs in hellfire. All of that seems like he has some kind of indescribable plan involving the suffering of millions of human beings.
Considering that, do you honestly believe free will exist in the Biblical universe, or that God grants free will? Considering this, do Christians really believe in free will?