Assuming that the word 'god' refers to the 'creator of everything' and is 'perfect' (the majority of definitions) then the existence of 'free will' (if it does, indeed, exist) precludes the existence of such a god.

If I have free will, it stands to reason that I am able to apply it to creating something that did not exist before as a direct result of the unfettered choices I have made within the non-confines of that free will (In other words, a god would not have had any control of those choices and, therefore, also have no authorship of the creative result.)

Therefore, I would have created something that was not created by god.

Therefore, everything would not have been created by god.

Therefore, god would not exist as defined, i.e. creator of everything.

Therefore, god can only exist if there is no free will.

Therefore, if there were a god, there could be no sin (imperfection), since everything would be his doing.

**** addendum

This is a fascinating discussion of 'free will' - but much misses the irony of my point - in that it poses an argument in favor of atheism based on a standard argument used by Abrahamic believers - that god created everything - except he didn't. Actually, they are stuck with a tremendous paradox we, as atheists, are not. Because, if god created free will - he made it possible and, therefore, certain, that some things are NOT of his creation - but if he didn't create free will, then he is pre-damning many people to hell (which JW's and Calvinists sort of agree on.)

Of course, as an atheist, if there is no real random number (a no-cause cause), we also have a problem because that suggests (albeit on a chaos theory level) that everything is still pretermined by a hyper-complex multi-chain of causality and, in a way, suggests a 'Master Plan' of sorts (albeit it without an actual 'Master' behind it.).

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Art, poetry, music also explain love.

Religious tombs aren't the only place to find love.

I was trying to think of a way to express love directed at ideas instead of people. Ideas, abstractions, art . . . can manifest love but I'm not poetic enough to express it properly.
Ideas, new ways of thinking is beautiful.

Adherence to ancient tombs prevent new thought.
Free Will is always brought up as the defense for the Problem of Evil. I always like to wonder at Christians whether there is free will in heaven. If Evil is a result of man's Free Will, and Heaven is perfect, then Heaven must have no Free Will.

But these are all just flights of fancy. As noted, there is no free will. Our perception of free will is amazing, but at it's core, it's simply an emergent property of the entirely natural interactions of the particles the make up our bodies and brains.

Best to stick to the facts rather than getting lost in religious mythology.
Hi Jason,

If you're going to stick to the facts, then you should acknowledge that the determinism/freewill debate is far from resolved. There are many scenarios under which free will would be possible.

When I hear pronouncements such as, "there is no free will", I wonder what makes the pronouncer think the controversy is resolved. Solving that one should earn the solver a place in the pantheon of great minds.

Many questions aren't answerable by reductive reasoning. Freewill, consciousness and intelligence are among them. Given the obvious physical incompatibilities between the 2 current scientific paradigms (relativity and quantum theory) certainty is a dogmatic indulgence.
I'm saying there's no free will because there's nothing separate from natural interactions that could constitute free will. It's easy to say that what we perceive as free will could be some separate thing other than natural interactions, but there's nothing that supports that other than our perception of consciousness. Everything observable at the micro level about the nerve centers in our brains indicate that those activities follow the same natural properties as any other, indicating that our thoughts are just as deterministic as the activities of a microprocessor. The microprocessor in our heads is too difficult for us to predict but that doesn't mean there's a magical additional "free will" component floating around.
Our consciousness and perception of free will is amazing and interesting, but pending further information, it's an entirely natural and deterministic process.
There are plenty of neuroscientists who have offered new theories of consciousness supporting free will. It doesn't take much to educate yourself on these theories. The 2 areas showing the most promise and interest both involve feedback processes. One set of theories (Susan Pockett, Johnjoe McFadden and E. Roy John) say the brain's EM field integrates the disparate regions of brain activity and provides a unified feedback. Visit Johnjoe McFadden's CEMI Theory for details (the page outlines his theory in layman's terms -- for technical details, see the links to his scientific papers near the bottom of that web page). The other set of theories describe consciousness in terms of quantum processes (David Bohm, David Chalmers, Gustav Bernroider and Henry Stapp) such as "Quantum Brain Dynamics" at the brain's smallest scales. Some of these theories support free will, others don't.

Perhaps you should contact these neuroscientists and let them know exactly how free will is not possible. I'm sure they'll thank you profusely for making them realize how they've been wasting their time.
Synergy is a demonstrable phenomena. Often, two minds working together can arrive at a better solution than either could have separately. But this is never true if they have dogmatically agreed on the value of all facts in evidence.

I originally put this post up to show that 'free will' and 'god' were incompatible and, therefore, the ideas could not coexist. You seem to be arguing that, just because free will is used a certain way (nonsensically at that) it should not be explored within an entirely different context.
Hey Howard,

Are you speaking of a deist God or theist God . . . a disinterested Creator or personal meddler?

The deist God is most often seen as a Cosmic Creator. If such a God sparked the Big Bang, then wandered off to create other universes, never to be seen again, then free will (if it exists) would be a natural, albeit mysterious, phenomenon.

On the other hand, a God who meddles in human affairs -- performing miracles and answering prayers -- is inconsistent with free will. Divine intervention contradicts free will.

Assuming our universe is either the only one or the final one, then I have a theory to explain God's absence. When God sparked the Big Bang, he forgot to remove himself to a safe distance from the explosion . . . and was annihilated with his fingers still in his ears.
I love that image. Certainly a slapstick view of god would explain a lot.

I am speaking of the god that is interjected into the culture wars - a personal, meddling monster that plays favorites and dooms the vast majority of his 'children'. There are over 4,200 formal definitions - and I have said it over and over - I think the word is nearly useless. So, to be clear, I speak of the bronze-age leader of sheep. And these sheep, very often, give their god all the credit and none of the blame via a strange version of free will.
How about plants grow, clouds form, bugs grow, universes expand and contract, molecules burst combine and recombine, people fall in love.

Stuff happens.
I'm unclear why an "emergent property" makes it not real.


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