Here is my step-by-step explanation on why free will cannot exist if the universe was created by an omnipotent and omniscient god. Despite the title's name, this isn't exclusive to Christianity. It is applicable to any religion that assumes the universe was created by a totally omniscient and omnipotent deity.
1. God is omniscient. This means there cannot be anything that he does not know. He knows all.
2. God is omnipotent. This means there cannot be anything he cannot do. He is all powerful. However, we must assume his omnipotence is bounded by logic. Reason being, if his power isn't bounded by logic, we cannot deduce anything about him because our method of deduction is "restricted" by logic. Since religion inherently deduces characteristics of god, religious people must believe god is restricted by logic. Otherwise, they contradict their own beliefs.
3. God created life and the universe. This means god existed before life and the universe existed.
4. God could have created life and the universe in any way that is logically consistent because he is omnipotent.
5. God knows the entire future of every potential design for life/universe. There is nothing within each potential design he does not know, nor is there anything that will result of each potential design that he does not know. Otherwise he is not omniscient.
6. By choosing one design over others, he is not just choosing what the design is. He is inherently choosing what the future will entail.
7. God chose one design over all the others, knowing in advance the entire future that will result of this design. He chose this design AND this future over other potential designs and corresponding futures.
8. By choosing the future, it follows necessarily that the future will unfold as he foresaw it. Otherwise, he did not chose the future.
9. Free will, by definition, is the philosophical doctrine stating that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not determined by physical or divine forces (source). Consequently, free will requires that our choices cannot be predestined by anything. Our choices are free, independent, voluntary, and not dictated by any outside source.
10. Humans are part of the creation that god chose.
11. The future of humans must unfold exactly as god foresaw it, which was foreseen before this universe was even created.
12. Humans cannot make a decision that defies this "future". Every decision, thought, and action, and anything else that exists within the universe/life must happen exactly according to what he foresaw.
13. The conduct of humans is determined by the future that god choose before we even existed.
14. God is a divine source, thus human conduct was already determined by a divine source long before we even existed.
15. Free will, by definition, cannot exist within such a god's creation because it is a logical contradiction with god's characteristics. God cannot do anything contradictory because his omnipotence is bounded by logic.
Here is a simpler one that someone else wrote:
1. You have a choice between A and B.
2. God knows what decision you will make.
3. God had the power to create a universe in which he knew you would choose A.
4. God had the power to create a universe in which he knew you would choose B.
5. God is never wrong.
6. God created the current universe in which he knows you will choose A.
7. You cannot make a decision that would violate God's perfect knowledge.
8. Therefore, you cannot choose B. Your decision was predetermined by God's creation of this universe.
Did you by chance see The Adjustment Bureau? It's eerily similiar to this thread. But Anyway...
I purpose we have both free will and predestined choices. i.e We were meant to be with this certain person for the rest of our lives but that would only occur if we chose to do option A instead of option B. Option A you decide to drink your coffee and wait for the next bus coincidentally missing your opportunity to meet your future wife on that bus. Option B you take the first bus, meet the woman, get married, have kids, social security parties, etc. etc.
Here's the standard argument for omniscience negating free will:
Let T abbreviate the proposition that you will answer the phone tomorrow at 9, and let us suppose that T is true. (If not-T is true instead, simply substitute not-T in the argument below).
(1) Yesterday God infallibly believed T. [Supposition of infallible foreknowledge]
(2) If E occurred in the past, it is now-necessary that E occurred then. [Principle of the Necessity of the Past]
(3) It is now-necessary that yesterday God believed T. [1, 2]
(4) Necessarily, if yesterday God believed T, then T. [Definition of “infallibility”]
(5) If p is now-necessary, and necessarily (p → q), then q is now-necessary. [Transfer of Necessity Principle]
(6) So it is now-necessary that T. [3,4,5]
(7) If it is now-necessary that T, then you cannot do otherwise than answer the telephone tomorrow at 9 am. [Definition of “necessary”]
(8) Therefore, you cannot do otherwise than answer the telephone tomorrow at 9 am. [6, 7]
(9) If you cannot do otherwise when you do an act, you do not act freely. [Principle of Alternate Possibilities]
(10) Therefore, when you answer the telephone tomorrow at 9 am, you will not do it freely. [8, 9]
This problem applies to determinism as well, though. The Frankfurt counterexamples kind of make free will irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned, by untethering free will from responsibility.
Last edited by davobrosia; 03-26-2011 at 04:39 PM.