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Yimeng Wang
Prof Jonah Goldwater
Freedom
26 September 2015
Free will and God’s Foreknowledge Many philosophers such as William Rowe proposed the question: if God’s foreknowledge is true, then can people still have free will? Although God knows everything in advance, He does not force anyone to make any reluctant decisions. He simply just knows in advance about what would people willingly choose to do. Besides, the future Godsees is like a map of bus routes, which incudes multiple pathways and stations. The stations can be called determining factors and the pathways to the stations can be called leading factors. (Like shown in the picture, the dots are determining factors and the lines are leading factors inclining to determining factors.) …show more content…
Since these factors cannot be changed no matter how much people strive, it seems like the future is already set no matter how hard people try, final destination is always the same. This statement is not true; it sounds like the determining factor is randomly set by some invisible power and is surely against people’s own will. However, the determining factor is not set by anyone, rather it is part of people as their identity. The fact that determining factors are not changeable is more like a organizing theory rather than a restriction. In other words, it is more reasonable to say that people’s decision would always lead to the same determining factor, rather than just presenting the idea of a non-changeable future. God, as a supreme being, knows the theory of people’s decisions would always lead to the same destiny, and He knows in advance the destiny people’s decisions would lead to. God himself does not determine the future for …show more content…
He just has the power to know what people would willingly choose before they make the actual decisions. Since there is no force or coercion from God, there is no contradiction between God’s foreknowledge and free will. Although the determining factors of life that God foresees are impossible to be changed, the most possible leading factors can be altered through people’s efforts. People’s ability to manipulate leading factors of life, like choosing different paths to the same destination, also grants them free will. Since God’s foreknowledge does not undermine free will to any extent, people can certainly have both religion and free

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