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The Free Will Argument

By Klym ~

I am fairly new to the ex-xtian community, so I still struggle to explain my nonbelief to Christians. How do you reply when they give you the free will argument to explain evil? Aside from wanting to ask them if they really have two brain cells to rub together, the answer seems pretty obvious to me.

Christians seem to have no problem believing that a human being can be "possessed" by the devil. Why then, do they believe there can be free will? If we truly have free will, then neither the divine nor the demonic could control us, right? And, free will seems such a convenient way to explain away horrendous suffering and crimes that human beings should be angry about. It seems to just give Christians an excuse to do nothing about the injustices in the world.

Does a severely mentally ill person really have free will? I think only to the extent that their brain chemistry allows it. Now, don't misunderstand me, I do think we have free will to some extent, but it is influenced by where we were born, the culture we were brought up in, our level of intelligence, and many other variables that cannot be easily measured.

That's one of the things that bugs me about Christianity. I LOATHE easy, trite answers to the difficult questions of life. Like the following:

"There but for the grace of God, go I."
How sickenly arrogant!!!

"God's grace is sufficient."

"God will not give you more than you can bear."
This one makes me so angry I can't even find words to qualify it.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. As I said earlier, I am still fairly new to the atheist world, and I seem to be in the "phase" where I just want to scream at people when they say such stupid things. Does this phase pass? I don't want to become as judgemental towards Christians as they are towards us. I don't want to be a "bitter" non-believer. I really want to be tolerant, seeing as how I used to be one who thought and believed such stupid things in the past. (I hope I didn't say them out loud very often, though.)

How did you all handle these feelings in the beginning? And what are your thoughts on the free will debate?