About half a year ago I was at a summer camp. We were in Bible study and the topic of free will came up. And so some of my friends didn’t quite understand it and so I tried to explain it to them. My counselor started playing devils advocate trying to get me to argue better. Well this continued all week and I went home still struggling with the issue. Finally I resolved the issue and my faith has been stronger for it. The reason this can be such a big stumbling block in someone’s faith is this. Picture this: You have no choice, everything you do is just by habit or already chosen for you by God. Therefore do you even need to put an effort in? If you just let yourself go it wasn’t your fault or even your choice, God must have wanted it. Suddenly the world changes. You have no control over anything. Your choices are not your own and they suddenly don’t seem to affect anything anyway.
But there can be good arguments against free will. The greatest being this. God in Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnibenevolant. In this case being Omniscient he knows all in any time meaning he know everything we will do in our lifetime. But wait a second… if he knows everything were going to do how can we have a choice? The choice is already known and in theory then already happened. We’re back to not having any choice in anything and now I will look upon our argument for free will. The main argument for free will is the human language. Our entire language is based on the idea of choice. If we had no choice our entire human language would make no sense at all. Almost every sentence we say is based off the assumption that we have choice. One of the dividing points between humans and other animals is a functional language. That is because we unlike animals have free will and choice.
Another very good argument for free will goes upon our belief that God is Omnibenevolant. Which means he wants to love all, and to love is wanting the best for the other with no thought of anything in return. And so he would want the best for us which would be to be with him and to be able to love him and each other. But to love we must have a choice. Love cannot be forced we must choose it fully ourselves. But now wait a second! If we have complete choice what was the point of Jesus dying for our sins? Because it would all be up to us to choose whether we go to heaven or not anyway right? Well this is where our Catholic belief inserts a little bit of “Destiny”.
According to the Catholic church we are destined for heaven. Jesus died for our sins and opened the gates of heaven for us. God wants to be with us so bad he wants to live with us forever but he can’t make us love him. We sinned and fell away so he sent Jesus to open the door for us but we still need to make the choice to choose God or to choose ourselves. In response to that one argument that God knows it before it happens. God is outside of time and therefore makes it slightly impossible for us to understand how it works. But really God can see every single possible choice and the consequences that will happen from them.
And so in conclusion: We have free will and we are destined for heaven. Let us remember this and live a holy life for God that we may choose him in the end on the final day!