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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Hey Howard,

In regard to your reply about the Eden myth, you skipped over the most salient point directed at your premise (if God created free will). That point is that free will wasn't yet a concept available to the Genesis authors. The notion of free will didn't yet exist, so how could the Biblical God have created free will? This assumes, of course, that Bible authors aren't really divinely inspired . . .
Freethinker (this end of branch reply procedure is getting unwieldy) - We are speaking of two things. If man created god (as you suggest and I fully buy) then free will was also 'created' (in this sense) by man. (It may actually exist in another sense - but that is another discussion .... I think.)

But if you (as Abrahamic and other religions do) ascribe free will as the creation of a creator being, separate from its creation - it is contradicted if this creator being is either omnipotent or omniscient or both. Because, if we can do something that the creator being had no 'hand' in - it is not omnipotent. And if we can do something that it could not foresee, it is not omniscient.

Please rephrase your postulate.
God is a human manifestation of psychosis.
Hmmmm - perhaps. I think of it more like an insightful story from an oral tradition that was once a means of passing on useful knowledge that, later, became less useful as the context changed and more dangerous as it began to be used to manipulate the masses.

Religion has become the most successful example of political marketing ever invented.
Religion has become the most successful example of political marketing ever invented.

Please make a new discussion with that title.
I'm not sure the 'what if' in your question is required. Probably the most valuable aspect of atheism as a world view to me is that, no matter what is actually happening, today is all I really have.

The what if was in rebuttal to the Free will argument.
Does a deity intervene in your every decision - do you have a discussion with a god to decide what to do with your every move and thought?

This is about Howard Dunn and his question :'Free will' is proof of 'no god'.

I know you get it.
As I have sprinkled in replies throughout this thread and even in my addendum - the original premise here was not so much about free will as it was about the fact that a 'sacred tenet' of many forms of Christianity and other mystical philosophies is th mutually exclusive idea that a Master Plan and Free Will coexist. Because, if you have an almighty god figure, separate from creation - he is either responsible for everything that happens or absolved from his responsibility via the concept of free will. But how can an almighty being be absolved from the evil in his Master Plan? And yet, without free will, how can his creatures bear any of the blame for their actions? It is an unresolvable paradox. A Master Plan means we are not to blame for anything we do. Free Will means that there is no Master Plan and, therefore, there is no Almighty.

Now, the clincher is, there can be no love without free will - if it is not a choice, it holds no virtue. So, if there is love, again there is no almighty.
Hey Howard,

Some of your wording seems imprecise to me. For instance, "Master Plan". If, by the term "Master Plan", you're saying God has eternity all mapped out and everything is predetermined, then yes, that would pretty much rule out free will and love. However, I believe the assertion that God has predetermined everything is an opinion or conclusion derived from speculation about God's omniscience and omnipotence.

It's not certain whether supernatural foreknowledge (omniscience) of the future means the same as making that future happen accordingly -- even if you have the supernatural power (omnipotence) to make that future happen if you choose.

In a way, you appear to be begging the question by assuming a Master Plan that will, of course, make free will and love impossible.
Correct. However, a god that is both separate from creation and allows us to be co-creators soon loses control and, eventually, relevance over the original creation. See what I mean?

I think that free will could exist in a certain Buddhist or pantheist model where the separation of 'god' and 'creation' does not exist - that everything is god interacting with itself. Frankly, for me, the difference between that type of god and no god at all is fairly moot. Either case could allow for a type of free will that would allow for real responsibility and love.


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