God and Free Will

In: Philosophy and Psychology

God’s Freedom

In Morris’ articles “Omnipotence and Omniscience” and Swinburne’s “God,” the philosophers list and examine what they find to be the essential properties of God. In the articles, Morris and Swinburne agrees that an essential property of God must be that he must be perfectly free or at least have some type of freedom. Morris and Swinburne contend that where humans have free will, which might be just a marginal amount of freedom, God has the maximum amount possible of freedom that is logically possible limited by the other characteristics of God. However, it seems when closely examined, many of God’s essential characteristics strip him of any kind of freedom believers might attribute to him.
Defining God’s freedom seems to be a very abstract and difficult task. As humans, we feel as though we have free will. There are many different ways to define human free will, but a common characteristic is the ability to have done otherwise in a situation. Meaning, if I were placed in the same exact situation where I had to make a decision multiple times, I could make a different decision each time. However, it seems that given the same exact circumstances, I would have no reason to make a different decision; I would always make the same choice, unless there was an element of randomness introduced. This doesn’t seem like a good way to define free will; God’s intentions never should seem random. A different interpretation would have free will as simply the ability to decide and act given different choices. In this interpretation, I would always make the same decision given the same circumstances. This type of free will seems to hold more merit in terms of human affairs. We can easily see how our decisions are bounded by our desires, needs, and rationality. However, when we think of a perfect being like God, it seems that his freedom should be greater than this...

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