Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's My Choice

I've recently received a lot of comments regarding the Problem of Evil, namely the theist's attempt to solve said problem. Many theists will claim the reason bad things happen to good people is because "God can't (or doesn't want to) interfere with our free will to be able to choose to love Him on our own. Otherwise, we'd all be robots", etc, etc, ad nauseum. Let's take a look at why free will fails as a defense.

The Greater Good
Free will is assumed to be a greater good than the evil that it causes. If a young girl is raped and murdered, is this because God needed to preserve the rapists free will so that his actions could result in greater good or so that the rapist could freely love God? Or is it so that the young girl would pray to God and beg him to make her attacker stop?

What about natural disasters (if you want to call them "evil")? God -- being omnipotent -- could have devised a way to remove all the evil in the world, and still give us free choices. What does shingles or hypospadias have to do with choice or the absolute knowledge of God?

Take Me To Your Leader
"We'd all be robots" is a conjecture based on what, exactly? You're claiming that God would destroy our free will to worship him simply by giving us evidence of his existence. Not to do your own theology for you, but according to the bible there have been several individuals who had first-hand knowledge of God's existence and still managed to have the free will to choose or not choose him: Adam, Eve, Moses, Satan, just to name a few. These beings had repeated conversations and interactions with God -- did they loose their free will? And what about Heaven? Will you lose your free will there?

The idea that we would have no choice to love/worship a deity who revealed itself unquestionably is preposterous. You'd still have a choice in the matter. You know for certain of the President's existence, correct? Did you lose the free will to disagree with his policies? If the God of the bible convincingly revealed himself to me, I would still not get down on my hands and knees and grovel at his feet. Such a tyrant, hiding or otherwise, deserves no worship.

Free will is not an excuse for why bad things happen to good people. Knowledge of God still affords us a choice in the matter, except we'd have better evidence to base our opinions on. Besides, you can't truly love someone without an absolute knowledge on them.


No comments: