Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Free Will" Makes Us Robots

This is counter intuitive, but it's true: If you hold to "free will" (the way most people think it means), then you are making people "robots". Of course, most people think it works the other way, i.e. people who believe in election or "Calvinism" makes people robots. This is because people assert, "If God decides who gets saved, then we have not a choice. We're just robots." As we shall see. In fact, it works the other way.

Everyone agrees that the human will makes decisions. That's not the controversial part. Those who want to protect "free will" typically mean that people do or should have the ability to equally choose either of two choices, A or B, for example, to follow Jesus or not follow Jesus. Reformed theology (Calvinists) say all people are enslaved to the sinful desires, thus no one has a "free will". Free-willers say human nature is not "totally depraved".

Free-willers say 'free will' means that we can choose to do whatever we want to do. Yet, catch that last phrase. Our desires always make us lean one way or another. My desires do not make me equally likely to choose tomorrow whether I will feed my kids or not feed my kids. My love for them makes it NOT equally likely that I could choose choice A or B.

How do we therefore ensure that people truly have the ability to equally chose A or B? After all, it is suggested, in order to be "free", we need to equally be able to choose A (follow Jesus) or B (not follow Jesus). What you have to do is take away human desire. Otherwise, that desire will tip the scales to actually prefer one choice over another. As a result, we basically have to be robots. Robots don't have human desires so only they can be able to equally choose among any set of options.

So, which theological position makes people robots? Those who push "free will".
For more on this topic, you can see our series, "Why All Christians Are Calvinists (and Don't Know It"
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