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  • Religious understandings of free will
    • Although in some parts of the Bible say that God has pre-destined events and people, it is very specific in other places that free will has been given to all people.
      • Example: Genesis clearly teaches that Adam and Eve used their free will (God given) in choosing to eat from the "Tree of knowledge," and were in no way compelled to do it by external forces.
    • Aquinas stated that man was free from the beginning because God created them with free will.
      • "Summa Theologica.": "Man chose not of necessity but freely."
    • Christian God is omniscient and must know all things in the past, present and future.
      • Therefore he knows everything before it happens.
      • Could be argued that free will is just an illusion for religious believers who believe in this.
      • Could be argued that a belief in God who knows what choices we will make doesn't have to mean that he causes us to make these choices.
    • If God knows all things in the future, then he can know what choices we will make. This means we can't have free will, because God must have determined our choice in the past.
    • Free will is essential to Christian beliefs about salvation, as humankind has to be able to make free moral choices of whether to obey or disobey God and accept the grace that saves them.


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