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Does Free Will Exist in Heaven?

June 15, 2013 2 comments

Pearly_Gates

A fairly common retort to why evil and suffering exist if God is omnipotent and all-loving is free will.

For example, in the back-and-forth I posted on “the problem of evil” a while back, one of Andrew Sullivan’s readers makes a representative version of this point:

Suffering, the existential consciousness of alienation, on which you are so eloquent, is an extension of human freedom. Those of us, like you, who stand in the faith and view the world (both physical and existential) from the perspective of faith, do not have words to understand why God created the world in the way can has, but we do understand that both the principle of entropy and human free will are gifts of the Creator and that God respects the integrity of Creation.

Most religious people assume that no one suffers in heaven. If they’re right, does that imply that we lack free will in heaven? If the formula for the perfect state of happiness contains a total deficiency of free will, why does an omnibenevolent Creator give us free will at all? It cannot be beneficial, by definition, if heaven is perfect and lacks it.

One alternative could be that we have free will, but God punishes any offense with banishment to hell – terrifying everyone into immaculate behavior. Yet that would seem to shatter the notion of a totally merciful Divine Being like stained glass.

(Robot Heaven)

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Categories: Free Will, Theodicy

Theodicy: Coyne Vs Sullivan

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment
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