No one chose to exist. “The Son of man goeth…
No one chose to exist.
“The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he HAD NOT BEEN BORN.”
– Matthew 26:24 King James Version (KJV)
None of us chose to exist. If it’s true that God respects our so called “free” will then why did He not ask us first if we wanted to exist or not? How about all the other factors that comprise who we are, such as sex, skin color, height, etc.? Did we get the option to choose any of the factors that comprise who and what we are?
When God created He knew the fate of His creation. Knowing that He still went ahead with it.
Did He have other options?
Or was He bound to create what He foresaw Himself creating and had no other choice?
Could He have created beings that He foresaw never perishing?
As parents if we had the ability to know how our kids would turn out before we conceived them what choices would we make? Would we opt to have sex on a different day?
If you were able to know the future and that by having sex with your husband tonight would result in the birth of a child who would be evil would you choose to proceed? Or would you choose to have sex on a night that you knew would result in the conception of a child who would be good?
I’ve thought about these things very extensively.
God created Lucifer with the foreknowledge that he would become the Devil.
Did God have no choice in the matter? Was He bound to His future actions?
He could have opted to create a different Cherub that would not rebel. But He chose not to.
There is immediate responsibility, and there is ultimate responsibility.
It’s up to us to make decisions, but in the ultimate scheme of things those decisions come to be because the Prime Mover brought us into existence knowing that we would make them.
We don’t originate from a vacuum with no rhyme or reason. There are factors that brought us into being and that comprise who we are as individuals. Those factors did not arise from chance or from a place of non causation. Ultimately we must trace all things, including our choices, decisions, and acts, back to the Prime Mover (Unmoved Mover).
One thing is certain. None of us made the choice to exist. Or did we? If we did then we are indeed free agents with the will to determine our existence and future. But if we didn’t then we have no claim to autonomy.
Are we simply the product of chance and randomness, or were we put into motion by a Prime Mover outside ourselves? A Prime Mover who knew the eventual outcome of our lives before we even existed, and who desired that outcome above any other foreseen possible outcome? For in bringing about our existence was also brought about the outcome of our lives. An outcome which was foreseen as one amongst many other possible outcomes. And yet that one outcome was chosen out of all the others.
If God knew what we would do before He created us, and had the option of creating someone else who would make different choices, who is ultimately responsible for our choices and actions?
If I am contemplating creating a human and I can look into the future at their every decision, I am responsible for the decisions that person makes because by bringing that person into existence I also bring that person’s choices into existence.
I can create Mike. I have looked into the future and Mike will be a good person.
I can create Jim. I have looked into the future and Jim will be a murderer.
In like manner, when God created Lucifer He knew he would become the devil, and when He created Adam He knew he would become a sinner.
Along the same lines God had the choice of creating Mike whom He foresaw making a choice to love Him and as a result go to heaven.
And He had a choice to create Jim whom He foresaw not loving Him and as a result go to hell.
If He creates Mike who makes the choice that he go to heaven?
And if He creates Jim who makes the choice that he go to hell?
Do we really have free will?
“Free-will doctrine-what does it? It magnifies man into God. It declares God’s purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes God’s will a waiting servant to the will of man, and the whole covenant of grace dependent on human action. Denying election on the ground of injustice, it holds God to be a debtor to sinners.”
– Charles Spurgeon
“Man is nothing; he hath a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him” and “you dishonour God by denying election. You plainly make salvation depend, not on God’s ‘free grace’ but on Man’s ‘free will.'”
“Free will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to heaven.”
– Charles Spurgeon
“Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control.”
– Sam Harris, Free Will
“Take a moment to think about the context in which your next decision will occur: You did not pick your parents or the time and place of your birth. You didn’t choose your gender or most of your life experiences. You had no control whatsoever over your genome or the development of your brain. And now your brain is making choices on the basis of preferences and beliefs that have been hammered into it over a lifetime – by your genes, your physical development since the moment you were conceived, and the interactions you have had with other people, events, and ideas. Where is the freedom in this? Yes, you are free to do what you want even now. But where did your desires come from?”
– Sam Harris
“The men and women on death row have some combination of bad genes, bad parents, bad environments, and bad ideas (and the innocent, of course, have supremely bad luck). Which of these quantities, exactly, were they responsible for? No human being is responsible for his genes or his upbringing, yet we have every reason to believe that these factors determine his character. Our system of justice should reflect an understanding that any of us could have been dealt a very different hand in life. In fact, it seems immoral not to recognize just how much luck is involved in morality itself.”
– Sam Harris
“Liberals tend to understand that a person can be lucky or unlucky in all matters relevant to his success. Conservatives, however, often make a religious fetish of individualism.
Many seem to have absolutely no awareness of how fortunate one must be to succeed at anything in life, no matter how hard one works. One must be lucky to be able to work. One must be lucky to be intelligent, physically healthy, and not bankrupted in middle age by the illness of a spouse.”
– Sam Harris
“Nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed. Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory.”
– Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God
“Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans; nothing can thwart His purposes; and nothing is beyond His control. His sovereignty is absolute. Everything that happens is uniquely ordained by God. Sovereignty is a weighty thing to ascribe to the nature and character of God. Yet if He were not sovereign, He would not be God. The Bible is clear that God is in control of everything that happens.”
– Joni Eareckson Tada
“Psychologists need to comprehend that the logic of the physical universe – indeed, any possible universe – rules out free choice, and irrespective of the indeterminism of quantum theory. Why? Well, because who a person happens to be from a moral point of view cannot possibly be under his or her control. To be responsible for how they act they would have to be responsible for how they are, and to be responsible for how they are they would have had to have created themselves, and no one can be the causa sui, the ultimate ‘cause of oneself’, because in order to do so, he or she would have to be in every sense his or her own parent, his or her own author. If you try to argue that a person has created himself or herself then you have to posit an earlier self that creates the later self, but then you note that the earlier self could not have created itself but must have been created by an earlier self, and you end up with an infinite regress of selves needed (Strawson, 1994). Yet, ultimately for libertarian free will you need an initial creator self, a ‘prime mover’ self, which is impossible to get to because how would it have come into existence?”
– Excerpt from an essay on free will
“Present-day libertarians tend to pin their hopes for free will on quantum mechanics, but the random chance of quantum theory has no connection whatsoever to the concept of ethical freedom; the freedom to choose, the freedom to will. Doing something because (hypothetically) a subatomic particle randomly moves inside your skull offers no more freedom than doing something because genes or culture dictate it. The quantum event may be uncaused, but your (hypothetical) resulting action would itself be caused by the quantum event. The action is therefore not uncaused, and it is most certainly not chosen or willed. Indeterminism cannot save free will for humankind, because if the mind is, at least in part, undetermined, then some things ‘just happen’ in it outside the laws of causation for which, by definition, nobody and nothing is responsible. An individual is not responsible if their actions are caused, because those actions were ultimately set in motion before they were even born. But an individual is also not responsible if some of their actions are uncaused, because those actions just came out of nowhere. To be freely choosing an individual would have to be free from both deterministic effects and indeterministic effects. Free from both A and not-A, as a logician would put it. To be freely choosing you cannot have A, but you cannot have not-A either; free choice requires something that cannot logically exist in this or any possible universe.”
– Excerpt from an essay on free will
No choice or decision is ever made in a vacuum “free” of all internal and external factors that influence and determine that choice or decision. And sovereign over all those factors is God’s rule. By command or permission every factor is always where, when, and how God wills it to be.
The true definition of “free” will is that you can make choices and decisions free of any internal and external influencing factors. That is not possible. Only if you existed in a vacuum free from all such factors could you really make a free choice or decision. But if you did exist in such a state you would not exist at all.
9 For God had promised, “I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
10 This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins. 11 But BEFORE THEY WERE BORN, BEFORE THEY HAD DONE ANYTHING GOOD OR BAD, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; 12 he calls people, but NOT ACCORDING TO THEIR GOOD OR BAD WORKS.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” 13 In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”
14 Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! 15 For God said to Moses,
“I will show mercy to anyone I CHOOSE,
and I will show compassion to anyone I CHOOSE.”
– Romans 9:9-15 New Living Translation (NLT)