As an atheist, I’ve often followed discussions about “why an all knowing god would design a world where there is an inevitable consequence that some people would violate his mandate and wishes, where the devil/satan, etc. is permitted by an all powerful god to exist and tempt people from the path of righteousness”, with the consequence of eternal damnation vs an exalted life in a perfect heaven, close to god. Theists say it is because you have to choose god, and resist temptation away from god…that “god chose to give us free will, so that we may follow him or not”, and therefore, be rewarded, or not.
This brings up the question of why an all loving, all knowing, merciful god finds it acceptable for those he loves to be tempted away, and to bear the consequences for all eternity, when he could ensure they don’t. Often, the response is along the lines of “would you like to live life as a robot, devoid of free will, unable to make your own decisions, your path set for you with no opportunity to change it?”
OK…I would not. But….
What happens when you get to this heaven that is the supposed reward for choosing the right path? Do you have free will there? If so, how can it be that no one has ever flunked out of heaven by the inappropriate exercise of free will? Has no one that has ever gone to heaven done anything bad there? Over all eternity, not one slip up? That makes it sound like there is no real free will in heaven, because bad choices are an inevitable consequence of free will, are they not? They have to happen at least sometimes, or it becomes difficult to say there is really free will.
If there is no free will in heaven, who wants that? We don’t want to live like robots, right? And if heaven is this perfect place, that has no free will, why is free will a good thing, ever?
So, is there or isn’t there free will in heaven, and either way, is that a good or bad thing?
NOTE: I’m not questioning whether free will is a good thing…it is. I’m questioning whether, if you believe in god and heaven, does heaven have free will or not, and if not, is it really heaven? If it does have free will, is it perfect? And is it really heaven?
Article URL : NA-religion