Saturday, April 7, 2012

Am I still me in heaven? Why free will is a poor answer to the problem of evil.

It is not uncommon for atheists to ask why bad things happen to good people if God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. One of the answers to this is that God created us with free will and would have to remove that free will to make sure nothing bad ever happens to anyone. I have pointed out in the past that one of the problems to this is that it does not explain natural disasters, today I want to take a different approach and think about how this applies to heaven.

The theist's argument basically says that God wants us to have free will, it is possible that we will use that free will to harm each other and the only way to prevent that is to remove that free will entirely. Free will is very important so God does not want to remove it to make sure that no one has bad stuff happen to them. But then, they say that in heaven everything is perfect. Everyone is happy, there is no evil or pain. So the obvious question is "Do I have free will in heaven?" If the answer is no, then I would say I am not really me. If the answer is yes, then I would ask how God can make sure we all have free will in heaven and yet there is no pain or suffering, because free will on earth was the explanation for why there is pain and suffering.

If we can have free will and no pain and suffering in heaven, then free will cannot be an explanation for the existence of pain and suffering here on earth.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you said here. Totally legitimate points. I think its good to point out natural disasters that kill millions of people around the world each year (I'm sure that number is higher than that).


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