Is there such a thing as free will?
This is a question that has been floating through my head for the past several weeks, and it has really started bugging me. Let me start by saying that this whole thought process of if we really do have free will was sparked by my psychology professor. I am having a hard time liking the class, but life goes on... Ok, back to free will!
Ok, so my professor flat our said he does not believe in free will, that it all comes down to a behavioral instinct. What happened in your past, and how you behaved or reacted to that instance, determines and will determine what you do with your life in day to day decisions. The theory is that something happens to you, significantly, and you react to that "something." Now that you have reacted, what do you do? You adapt and learn, using critical, and analytical reasoning, rationalizing, and theorizing. (ex: If I get a cookie for pushing the red button instead of the green one every time, I am going to keep pushing the red button.)
In this sense... This theory is true, behavioraly. It makes sense that what we do, or how we react, we learn and adapt. But when does spirituality come into play? This theory is strictly based on a bevioral reaction and not a spiritual.
I decided to look at my own spirituality, and see what I come up with. I began to question whether or not God has given us free will. Does He? I mean, for God to know everything we do, and every decision we make, there must be something there... Something in that first instance that we cannot rely on previous experiences that makes us realize, "oh yeah, that happened, so i am going to make this decision." There has to be a higher calling as to why we made that choice.
God is all-knowing, and forsees everything, every single person does. We believe this to be true, but does that mean we truly have free will??? Do we have a choice if it is already predestined?
I have come to this understanding that God, whether or not you believe in Him, is always there. He is seeing us at every angle; past present, and future. So yeah, He knows what we have done, are doing, and will do, but at the same time, He loves us so much that He will never force His hand on us. What decisions we make... He is not saying "you WILL make this decision because of me." He knows what path we will take, good or bad, and regardless of the choice we make, He is right there, standing next to us. Loving us nonetheless.
I also thought about Satan, and how his temptation is persistant in every aspect that is evil. I thought about his hatred towards God, and why it still exists. I came to the conclusion that Satan has not chosen to ask God for forgiveness, and that is why temptation still exists in our world. BUT! We do have the choice to accept or decline that temptation. We can say no, and live without temptation from Satan. But it is a choice, therefore Free Will exists!!!