Why does one person choose God and not another?

The Doctrine of Predestination has been debated for many years. Monergism.com makes the argument that no one would choose Salvation except by God’s grace. Others have argued that God does not cause us to sin but merely allows it. I argue that not only can we not choose Salvation apart from an omnipotent God, but we cannot sin apart from an omnipotent God. If there is a God, he invented sin, not man. You cannot break the law if there is no law (Romans 5:13). Who gave us the desire to eat the fruit? Who hung it on the tree within our grasp? If you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient God, then you must believe that God wants you to sin. The Apostle Paul would disagree with me (Romans 6:15), but I believe that Paul would agree that God predestined all events that have happened and will happen.

19 Replies to “Why does one person choose God and not another?”

  1. Belief in God just makes some people feel better.

    Since the belief is so prevalent in the world, there is likely an evolutionary advantage for it. Or maybe it is a residual effect of some other advantageous behavior like respecting the advice of your parents/elders.

    Of course none of these reasons make it true.

    I tend to agree with the hypothesis of predestination. Particles & energy follow specific laws of physics. So everything that happens is a result of those predetermined rules. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we don’t know all the rules, so the fact that things are predetermined is useless for helping guide us through the future.

    Just one point about the post. Your assertion that “If you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient God, then you must believe that God wants you to sin” is a false dichotomy or straw man. One could believe in an omnipotent God and not believe she wants you to sin. We may not be able to understand how it’s possible with our limited brains but our ignorance shouldn’t limit an omniscient being.

  2. DID GOD CREATE EVIL?
    No, no, a thousand times no! God created good, and evil is the absence of good. God created light, and darkness is the absence of light. God created heat, and cold is the absence of heat. They say Einstein was the science student who debated with his professor in college on this subject. It’s really an urban legend, but the principles stated are true. However, he did say, “The mathematical precision of the universe reveals the mathematical mind of God.” “If there is no God,” William James states, “we are like dogs in a library observing the volumes, but unable to read the print.” The absence of God in reality is the absence of goodness, truth, value, meaning, reason, life, and joy. The skeptic who says, “Show me your God!” and demands a scientific proof, is extremely simplistic. The trouble is, many a skeptic rejects God because God won’t fit into his worldview and personal lifestyle. He may not realize it, but the only god he wants is himself.

    E.J. Carnell writes, “God cannot be the author of evil. However He is the author of the author of sin, but He cannot be the author of sin itself, for sin is the result of a rebellion against God. Can God rebel against Himself?”

    Remember when God created, He pronounced everything GOOD? How could He have created evil and called it good?

    God allows Satan to be the prince of this world until the time when his doom will be sealed. However, God will bring good out of whatever Satan throws into the pot. (Romans 8:28)

    FREE WILL
    As created beings of God we have been given a free will. God could have created robots, but to build into us the ability to do only good or evil destroys the reality and sincerity of our actions. A robot could be made to love, but what kind of love is that? As human beings we long to be loved, not because the one loving us can do nothing else, but because they choose to love.

    HEAVEN ON EARTH?
    For a sovereign God to have created a world where there was no possibility of suffering, sickness, sin, or death, would result in a heavenly-like existence, but forced. Instead, He created us with a free will to choose good or evil and their natural consequences will follow. When we choose an action, we are not choosing the consequences. However, He has created a perfect world, but only for those who choose it. It’s called heaven. We’ve often heard it said, “heaven is not here; it’s there.”

    PUPPETS
    The Bible teaches that God is sovereign. For any God not to be sovereign, He would not be God. Since God rules His universe by His sovereign decrees, how is it possible for man to exercise free choice? And if he cannot exercise freedom of choice, how can he be held responsible for his conduct? Is he not a mere puppet whose actions are determined by a ‘behind the scenes God’ who pulls the strings as it pleases Him? He is then no loving God, but a control freak, and not worthy of our love or allegiance. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures.

    FREEDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY
    Illustration: An ocean liner leaves New York bound for Liverpool. Its destination has been determined by proper authorities. Nothing can change it. On board the liner are several scores of passengers. These are not in chains, neither are their activities determined for them by decree. They’re completely free to move about as they will; eat, sleep, play, read, talk, etc, but all the while the great liner is carrying them steadily onward toward a predetermined port. Both freedom and sovereignty are present here and they do not contradict each other. So it is with man’s freedom and the sovereignty of God. The mighty liner of God’s sovereign design keeps its steady course over the sea of history. God moves undisturbed toward the fulfillment of those eternal purposes which He purposed in Christ Jesus before the world began.

    Certain things have been decreed by God, and one of these is the law of choice and consequences. God has decreed that all who willingly commit themselves to His son, Jesus Christ, in the obedience of faith, shall receive eternal life and become sons of God.

    ANNIHILATION
    He has also decreed that all who love darkness and continue in rebellion against the high authority of heaven shall remain in a state of spiritual alienation and suffer eternal death at last. Some say they will simply pass into nothingness. Absolutely not! First of all, the Bible does not teach it. Second, to be annihilated would mean that God is unjust. Will Hitler, along with all the devilish men of this world, be freed from suffering punishment the same as the old man who procrastinated all his life when it came to his soul’s destiny? There will be degrees of punishment, and annihilation rules that out completely. If there were no degrees, then we have an unjust God. These degrees will be according to His justice. Jesus said of Judas that it would have been good for him not to have been born. This could hardly be said of a man who would be reduced to nothingness. Neither can you always use the word “perish” from Scripture to mean non-existence. If you go to the original Hebrew or Greek, in most instances it does not mean that at all. Death is separation, not extinction. .

    WE CANNOT KNOW?
    We must all choose whether we will obey the Gospel or turn away in unbelief and reject its authority. If God has left us in the dark as to His existence so that “we cannot know whether there is a God or not, then he is capricious, impersonal, and totally out of touch with the wants and needs of His highest form of creation – humankind – and man’s desire and need to know and relate. This would mean that He made creatures with which He wants nothing to do, no interaction, but simply distant blobs on a planet of His choosing. He will watch them suffer and will do nothing. He will observe their joy, but He will not smile. Instead, our God is a personal God. In Romans chapter one we read how He has revealed Himself in creation. Even without the Bible we see and sense His existence. If we want to know more, He will lead us to Himself. He chose to bridge the gap between Himself and His creatures for those who want to know Him and be reconciled to Him by accepting His atonement for their sin.

    God, who has created the rose, a baby’s smile, and a sunset, is not a heartless machine. Instead, He has revealed His love in many ways. Would a loving and powerful God taunt us with only a brief look and fleeting time of pleasure? Did these beautiful displays of God’s handiwork just evolve or explode into existence? Not a chance! When you see a work of art, you know there is an artist. In that same chapter we are told that we are without excuse. Because He is a personal and loving God, He has chosen to make Himself known.

    To hold an agnostic view – we cannot know whether there is a God or not – is an unstable one, and often displays a false humility. It suffers the same spiritual impoverishment as does the atheistic view. It is unsatisfactory also from the intellectual standpoint. The founder of “positivism” (Auguste Comte) decided to accept nothing that couldn’t be observed and this included God. However, Einstein’s theory of relativity shows that we have to reckon with the intangibles, even in the study of the physical world.

    BIBLICAL AUTHORITY
    Those who choose to reject the authority of the Scriptures do so at their own peril. The Bible has been proven throughout the centuries and from every angle with overwhelming evidence to support that proof, to be the word of God. The story of the anvil states this point. succinctly.

    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime:
    Then looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.

    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then, with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”

    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed . . . the hammer’s gone.

    PRIDE AND REBELLION
    Those who reject the Bible’s teachings, most often because of pride and rebellion, and are not willing to submit to its authority, will continue to poke holes and argue against its truth. They will look for cracks, they will argue and debate. Their super-sized ego will someday be their undoing. May God have mercy on them! Some may even say that the Bible only contains the word of God – some is and some isn’t. They then become the judge of the Book written to judge them. The Bible claims to be God’s Word. How dare we pick and choose? Jesus claims to be God. He is either God, a liar, or a lunatic, yet most in this world admit that He was a good man. Historical documents also attest to this. How can a good man be a liar or lunatic?

    Those in rebellion will come to the Bible with their own agenda to make it say what they want it to say, because they will not surrender. They think they can live without God because they are a god unto themselves. Every atheist is his own god and full of pride. Pride is at the root of all sin. It was Lucifer who said “I will be like the most high” who was cast out of heaven and became Satan.

    ATHEISTS MUST…
    1. Prove there is no God.
    2. Refute all the evidence for the existence of God.
    3. Explain away the reality of Christ.
    4. Remove the evidence for the resurrection of Christ.
    5. Disprove all the prophecies in the Bible.
    6. Demonstrate that the Bible is a fraud.
    7. Establish the credibility of atheism.

    Atheism and agnosticism are journeys without a destiny, bodies without souls, religions without reason, lives without meaning, faiths without hope, and they exist in a universe without God. The truth of atheism and agnosticism is the death of truth.

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn spoke before a group of students at Harvard University and stated the cause of all the evil in the world. “Men have forgotten God.”

    WORSHIP AND WORKS
    God has built into all of us the need to worship something. We will either worship Him, ourselves, or things in the world. Why do the heathen in pagan lands, and some in our own country, appease their so-called gods by offering the sacrifice of works? Those in the darkest lands sacrifice their babies. Others torture themselves physically. Some believe that by abstaining from the pleasures of this world it will somehow appease their god. Some members of various eastern religions will even sacrifice themselves in death in order to gain merit and eternal bliss. Our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, sacrificed Himself for us instead. Of all the religions in the world, there is no god called a Saviour, except the one true God, Jesus Christ. No other god has risen from the dead, an event proven to have taken place in history. All religions are based upon works. Some even speak and teach the language of God’s love, even His death on the cross, but they mix in the matter of works . This includes one of the most powerful and wealthy religions in the world – Roman Catholicism. It incorporates works into salvation. According to the pride in man’s heart, faith is not enough. Yet can we ever do enough good works to please a holy God? Never! Pride is seen in this very effort. Every man has a religion of sorts, even if he, himself, is the focus of it.

    HOW MANY GODS?
    Is there more than one God? Hardly! For God to be God, He must be the only God. He will have no peers. He will not share His power and glory with any other god. Could there be two presidents of the U.S? Two kings or queens of England? No. He is no god who shares his godhead with another. Since there can be only one God, then He has the first and the last word. We don’t argue with the president or the king. Someone has said that, since God made Heaven, it’s His Heaven, so He has the right to make the rules as to who enters. Jesus made a very exclusive statement when He said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by Me.” Elsewhere he said “I and the Father are one.” The Bible declares with certainty that Jesus is God. So we can’t come up with our own way and hope He approves.”

    Did He create all the other gods? Foolish thinking. Why, for heaven’s sake? Is He not capable of being the head of all things? Does He need help? He has no needs. He is complete in Himself. He created angels to do His bidding, but they are not gods. They are servants and messengers; not other gods.

    FREEDOM TO CHOOSE OUR DESTINY
    It is inherent in the nature of man that his will must be free to choose God or reject Him. Made in the image of God who is completely free, man must enjoy a measure of freedom. For God to override man’s freedom and force him to act contrary to His own will, would be to make a mockery of freedom. Example: the rich young ruler. Jesus did not attempt to coerce him. The dignity of the young man’s humanity forbade that his choices should be made for him by another. To remain a man he must make his own moral choices. If his human choice took him at last to hell, at least he went there a man; and it is better for the moral universe that he should do so than that he should be forced to a heaven he did not choose, but blasphemed the God who created it.

    STRANGE RATIONALE
    Why would any man want to spend life after death in a place inhabited by God’s children and the God he rejected or relegated to the “unknowable”? Some say “I’ll take my chances on eternity.” Do they want heaven? Do they want hell? They would be idiots to want punishment. Do they want annihilation? They won’t have it, because there is no justice there. Is their destiny so unimportant they will go with the roll of the dice? Is there a greater gambler? To gamble is utter stupidity, especially when it’s the last chance they will ever take, and it will last throughout a never-ending eternity.

    God will take nine steps toward us, but He will not take the tenth. He will incline us to repent, but He will not do our repenting for us. It is of the essence of repentance that it can only be done by the one who committed the act to be repented of. Where there is no freedom of choice there can be neither sin nor righteousness, because it is of the nature of both that they be voluntary. However good an act may be, it is not good if it is imposed from without. The act of imposition destroys the moral content of the act and renders it null and void.

    GOD’S GIFT
    The true saint – the child of God by faith – is one who acknowledges that he possesses from God the gift of freedom. He knows that he will never be forced into obedience nor wheedled like a petulant child into doing the will of God; he knows that these methods are unworthy both of God and of his own soul. He knows he is free to make any choice he will, and with that knowledge he chooses forever the blessed will of God.

  3. oh brother. So many logical fallacies, so little time.

    I’ll simply point out that cold is not the absence of heat. It’s just slower moving molecules.

    For the rest, it was clearly not written by someone open to dialog so I won’t bother to respond.

  4. MRM, you quoted E.J. Carnell saying, “Can God rebel against Himself?” I agree that he cannot. But don’t Christians teach that man’s sin is part of God’s plan? If we had not sinned we would not need a saviour in Jesus.

    You say that man is free to make any choice he will. Are we free to be righteous? If we were it would seem that at least once in a while there would be someone who could be holy by his or her own effort. But Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Why is it that we have all chosen to sin? Why would anyone choose to sin if it meant subjecting yourself to God’s judgement.

  5. My response is very simple compared to Bobmo’s. My faith is very simple. I can understand what he is saying, but I can’t express it as well as he can. I’m not an intellectual, but the Bible says we must come to God as children. (Matthew 18:2-4; Mark 10:15) A child’s faith is uncomplicated. In pride, men will complicate spiritual truth. Salvation is available to all – the simple and the intellectual.

    DIALOG AND DEBATE: Perry says I am not open to dialog. I am, but debate is not where it’s at. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” No one can be argued or coerced into God’s kingdom. It is solely by faith. It’s interesting to note how we live by faith in all of life, faith in things we cannot see, and in things for which there is no concrete evidence. Yet when it comes to having faith in God, men say “no way.” They probably will not admit it, but for them it’s not a matter of disbelief because it sounds illogical or without evidence. It’s because they will not surrender their pride and bow before a holy God, their Creator, and the One who died for them to make them whole.

    GOD MAKES US SIN? Consider the matter of God’s foreknowledge. An omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) God cannot help but know what is going to happen. The matter of God’s sovereignty and our free will in salvation is a mystery our finite minds cannot comprehend. The more we know about God from His Word, the more we can believe and accept by faith even those things we cannot fully understand. Because of who He is, we trust Him, similar to trusting a surgeon who cuts us and removes whatever is necessary. Can we trust ourselves to remove our own appendix? Then how can a man possibly think he knows more than God about spiritual matters and life in general? It’s because of pure pride, and pride will send people to hell.

    However, saying that God makes us sin almost sounds like they are looking for an excuse to sin. Instead of saying “the devil made me do it,” they might say “God made me do it.” That is nonsense.

    (GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND CALVINISM: The truths of God’s Word reveal the extremes of God choosing us and our having free will. These are called Calvinism and Arminianism – named after the men who began teaching these two schools of thought in recent years. Both are partly true and both are partly false. Election and predestination are Biblical doctrines. God knows everything and therefore He cannot learn anything or be surprised by anything. He knows, and has known from eternity past, who will exercise their free will to accept Him and who will reject Him. The former are the elect, the latter are non-elect. As D.L. Moody once said, the “whosoever wills are the elect, and the whosoever wont’s are the non-elect.” Every person who is not saved will have only himself to blame; God will not send anyone to hell, but many people will choose to go there by exercising their free will to reject Christ. An illustration describes this mystery. As the sinner, saved by grace, enters heaven’s door, on the outside it says, “Whosoever will may come,” and on the inside after he has entered he reads, “Chosen from the foundation of the world.”)

    FREE TO BE RIGHTEOUS? When you speak of being free to be righteous, it depends on what you mean by “righteous.” Do you mean doing right things? If you ask – are Christians (believers in Christ as Saviour, and possessors of eternal life) free to obey God, to live a life that is pleasing and honoring to Him, the answer is ‘yes.’ Actually, the Christian has more freedom than the sinner. The sinner’s master is his own sinful flesh and Satan. Satan is a cruel taskmaster. The Christian’s master is a loving and all-wise God, albeit holy and just. However, as Christians we will never reach perfection in this life because we are still in the flesh. (Some believe in sinless perfection. That is a prideful delusion.) We, who have accepted Christ as our Saviour, have a new nature, Christ’s Spirit living within us, who gives us the motivation, strength, and ability to live a good Christian life. The Apostle Paul often wrote about looking forward to the day when he would be freed from this mortal body.

    BEING HOLY BY SELF EFFORT? Men and women can reject God and live without Him while still living good, moral lives – by their own effort. (By the way, where did the concept of morality and God come from? Certainly not from a microscopic organism described in the tall tale of evolution.) When you use the word ‘holy,’ that can never describe men – even Christians. Only God is holy. The Bible says “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saves us…….” We must have Christ’s righteousness. “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” I’m afraid many have a very low view of God who alone is holy. Living a good, moral life will never get anyone to heaven. Who does man think he is that he can meet the requirements of a holy, perfect God? It is by pure grace (unmerited favor – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense) that we get there. “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8, 9)

    SIN A PART OF GOD’S PLAN: What if Adam and Eve had not sinned? Then there would have been no need for a Saviour. But God knew they would sin; He did not make them sin. Because of His foreknowledge, the coming of a Saviour was already in the plan. There’s a big difference between knowing something is going to happen and making it happen.

    WE HAVE ALL CHOSEN TO SIN: Why? Because we were born with a sin nature. We inherited that sin nature from Adam and Eve. (“For as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so death passed upon all men. For that all have sinned.” Rom. 5:12)

    WHY DO MEN CHOOSE SIN AND THEN GOD’S JUDGMENT? A few adjectives are in order here – because they’re stupid, egotistical, idiots. They would rather sin than submit to God. The atheist will decide there is no God. “The fool hath said there is no God.” The agnostic will say they can’t know if there is a God or not, or they fashion their own kind of god. (We all worship something. God has built that into us.) That supposedly gives them a little time, but it’s a gamble. To gamble for money or pleasure or fame is stupid enough, but to gamble one’s eternal destiny is the height of egotism and willful ignorance. Many debate and argue and philosophize. It has been said that “men’s arms are too short to box with God.” Some get drunk or dull their senses with drugs so they don’t have to think about it. Or they get “high” on their own pride. The pleasures of sin last only for a season.

    The clock of life is wound but once,
    And no man has the power
    To tell just when the hands will stop
    At late or early hour.
    To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
    To lose one’s health is more.
    To lose one’s soul is such a loss
    That no man can restore.

  6. If people are stupid, egotistical, idiots then why would they ever choose to submit to God? Are there some who are not stupid, egotistical, idiots? Do only stupid, egotistical, idiots go to Hell? If people who choose to sin are stupid, egotistical, idiots, then what do you call people who have accepted salvation yet continue to sin, repent, sin, repent.

  7. Change “stupid, egotistical, idiot” to drug addict. Why would a drug addict seek help? Well, the first step is to admit you are a drug addict. In fact, no one gets help unless they admit they need it.

    Are there some who are not drug addicts? No. For the purposes of this conversation, everyone is either a current, or a former drug addict.

    Do only drug addicts reap the results of being a drug addict? Yes.

    What do you call the person who gets help, then goes back to drugs, then gets help, then goes back to drugs? A drug addict.

  8. @MRM – IMO, morality did come from evolution. The Bible and all other manifestations of morality are projection of human, evolved notions. It is people that created God, not the other way around. Of course, if you don’t understand evolution it’s reasonable that you don’t understand how this is possible.

    @Bobmo – I disagree that no one gets helps unless they admit they need it. Plenty of people are forced into drug programs by the judicial system. And how do you know that no one has ever kicked the drug habit even if they didn’t want to?

    Also, I’d disagree with only drug addicts reaping the benefits of their addiction. There is an entire drug industry that benefits as do the legions of therapists that are there to help them beat it.

  9. Perry, if morality came from evolution, then nothing is *really* wrong. There are personal opinions about right and wrong (like yours about the death penalty), but since it’s just your opinion, there is no reason to think that it should apply to anyone else.

    Rape, incest, torture, and other things (which in some cases confer a survival advantage, by the way) are not morally wrong, they’re just things that we as a society try to prevent because we don’t like them.

    Well, so what? What if our society *did* like them? What if we thought killing Jews was good?

    Is right and wrong just a matter of public opinion?

    Is there anything that is *inherently* wrong? If you are a materialist, the answer is a resounding “No.”

    (This is really the wrong thread for this discussion, so I think I’ll make some of these same comments at http://dedwarmo.com/2005/03/08/was-hitler-evil)

  10. Bombo,

    Your initial conclusion is erroneous. It makes no sense that if morals came from evolution than nothing is wrong. Please explain.

    We are all humans and we have a sense of conscious. This evolved because the human organisms that had it did better than the ones without it.

    Our own inner conscious tells us what is inherently right and wrong. Ergo things like rape, incest, and torture (despite what our current administration might think) are wrong.

    A sense of what is right is part of the human condition. In fact, in research done by Dr. Georg Lind, he demonstrated that on average humans will make the same moral choices no matter whether they believe in God or not. Morality is human & cultural but not God dependent.

    http://www.uni-konstanz.de/ag-moral/mut/mjt-engl.htm

  11. Bobmo, when a person is “born again” do they stop sinning? If not why? Don’t they have Free Will? I’m not asking why an individual might choose to sin. I’m asking why everyone without exception “chooses” to sin. Maybe it is because we don’t have a choice.

  12. Some people believe that when a person is born again, they do stop sinning, though I think there are problems with this view. I believe that when one is born again, he or she receives a new nature, but the old nature doesn’t go away. This sets up a struggle that will not be complete until the sin nature is entirely eradicated.

    However, saying that there is a standard of perfection that I cannot reach on my own is very different from saying that God’s existence eliminates free will. I may not be able to jump across the Grand Canyon, but that fact has no bearing on my ability to choose whether or not to jump.

    However, do you believe that there is free will without God? If so, I’d like to hear your arguments. It seems that your world view requires you to conclude that there is no free will in any case. And that’s a tough argument to make. It leads to illogical conclusions (such as Perry’s comment where he chooses to believe the illusion that all choice is an illusion — http://dedwarmo.com/2008/05/06/gods-will-or-gods-permissive-will/#comment-2336)

    However, you have already agreed that you do have free will. You said, “In life we seem to have some choices,” (http://dedwarmo.com/2008/05/14/the-chessmaster). And that is an argument against strict materialism, not for it.

  13. Do I have free will? That’s a tough one. Sometimes a computer makes the decision when I apply for a loan. Does the computer have free will? Of course the computer is only doing what a human told it to. Just because I can choose between chocolate or peanut butter does that mean I have free will? Animals appear to choose the location of their nest. Do they have free will? How does one know if they really have free will? If someone’s behavior is unpredictable is that evidence for free will? Similar people in similar situations sometimes make different decisions. This demonstrates the complexity of human behavior.

  14. I see no evidence for free will.

    I don’t understand how that is a “tough argument to make”.

    In fact, I would be curious to hear someone make a rational argument that Free Will exists. (This would exclude such lines of reasoning as “Because God said so” and “Because I feel like I have one”)

  15. Dedwarmo, assuming for the moment that Perry’s materialist world view is correct, he is right about free will. In fact, it seems that determinism is the only view that is logically consistent with materialism. If everything is matter and energy, your brain is the result of a unguided material processes, and therefore your thoughts and actions are controlled by those processes.

    If I mix NaOCl and NH3 in the right proportions, the chemicals don’t decide whether or not to release chlorine gas. They just do it. Why should your brain be any different?

    So, to answer your questions (again given Perry’s assumptions), a computer does not have free will, neither do animals, and neither do you. Your choice of chocolate or peanut butter was forced upon you by evolution, and unless you have a brain-altering procedure, you’re stuck with it.

    Hey, I better stop before I choose to believe this! :-)

  16. I think I’ll choose to believe that my choice not to believe is really up to me. Or I could choose to believe that my choice is an illusion. But, of course, if it really is an illusion, it would be better to choose to believe that it is not an illusion.

    Of course, according to the materialist, I believe in free will because I have no choice.

    By the way, I was only partly right when I said that determinism is the only view that is logically consistent with materialism. Not all processes are deterministic. Some of them are random. Determinism or randomness. Take your choice.

  17. While things may appear random to our feeble minds, it’s also possible that they aren’t. Maybe we just don’t understand the rules that a system is following so there is the illusion of randomness.

    Incidentally, I heard an excellent interview with Stuart Kauffman on Technation. (http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/series/technation.html) He wrote a book called Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion.

    He essentially disputes the entire approach scientists take to explain the world. He suggests that things are much too complicated to be broken down to simple rules and that even if you knew all the rules, you still aren’t able to predict/anticipate the development of pretty much anything. He makes a compelling argument that has shaken my paradigm.

    Although, I still see no need to answer unknowns in the universe with Deistic explanations.

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