Free will & evidence of god

A particularly interesting muslim apologist argument I noticed earlier.
if god had given us 100% certain evidence (e.g. strong decudctive argumnt [sic]) then we will have no choice BUT to beleive [sic] in it. and so our freewill (to beleive [sic]) will be impaired. but freewill is one of the greatest goods ever AND god WANTS people to beleive [sic] on basis of freewill therefore god will never give us 100% evidence. and all evidence will always be less than perfect.

The first part of the argument implies proof or certainty hampers free choice. It is totally a false assumption. For example: we have evidence to prove with 100% certainty that smoking causes harm to the body. Yet we see people by their free choice continue smoking and suffer as a consequence.

Another extreme example would be the choice of jumping off a high cliff. You know for certain that you are going to die but you are free to choose between jumping and not jumping. Another very common example is belief in evolution. We have enough evidence to prove evolution yet creationists have choosen not to believe or take it as truth. These examples are enough to show certainty doesn't necessarily prevent exercising our freewill. It may influence our decision but that's about it.

Next point from the apologist is that, free will is one of the greatest good ever and god wants people to believe on the basis of free will. Now there are several arguments I could suggest. For example:

* If god really wants all people to believe in his existence then why he doesn't provide enough evidence? Since we have already showed that cessation of free will is not an inevitable consequence of being certain about something, it necessarily follows that god wanted some people to disbelieve in his existence. That's why god didn't provide enough evidence.

* It is not clear why free will would be a good thing given that god wants us to obey his commands and would punish us for exercising our free will. If free will hampers god's cause then why would it be a good thing? A theist could answer that it helps god to weed out involuntary worshippers because god doesn't want robots to praise him! But then what's the point of threatening with hellfire if god doesn't want robots? Many people worship god out of fear of punishment which is essenstially an involuntary reaction. The problem of heaven suggests that god can create a world where all inhabitants necessarily believe in god yet have free will.

Then the muslim apologist says, therefore god will never give us 100% evidence and all evidence will always be less than perfect. Actually your god allah gave as much evidence as all the other 3000+ gods. If the "evidence" rests on faith then it is not really evidence, is it? A superman comic book could be the "evidence" of superman's existence if you "believe" superman comic book is the evidence of superman's existence. All evidence will always be less than perfect is also totally false given that god is supposed to be all knowing, all powerful and the perfect entity.

1. God is omniscient.

2.God is omnipotent.

3. God wants everyone to believe in him.

4. Since God is omniscient, he knows exactly what demonstration would convince any given person that he exists.

5. Since God is omnipotent, he is capable of performing this demonstration.

6. Since God wants everyone to believe in him, he wants to perform this demonstration.

(the conclusion is, if god wants then god can produce the proof of his existence which god knows will convince every unbeliever of the world)

7. However, atheists manifestly exist.

8. Therefore, the god described by the first three conditions does not exist.

(This is to further show that a god with all three characteristics (omnipotent, omniscient and want to prove his existence) does not exist. A god who is uninterested to prove himself to human and therefore uninterested in getting worshipped can still exist. But we aren't talking about such god.)

In the above post, I did not discuss whether it is possible to have free will according to islamic theologic doctrine as there are several theologic view in regard to Qadar. I also did not discuss if we really have free will or not.
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.


Finished reading? Then please do LEAVE A COMMENT — whatever you are thinking right now! Peace ツ