Why is Free Will so important, anyway?
Most theists seem to use the Free Will argument to explain evil and suffering. And most atheists argue back that free will is no excuse for the degree of evil. Both sides usually try to make free will fit in one way or another because we instintively think it's of vital importance. I'd like to ask, why is free will necessary?
As Bandangle asked in another post, "Let me ask you this: which would you have preferred: that God created you WITH free will or WITHOUT?"
I'm pressuming it was a rhetorical question and the expected response is, "WITH free will, of course!"
But I'm not going to say that. Instead I want to take a different approach. While I'm quite convinced the Free Will argument does not work I'll pretend for a moment that it does and answer the question a different way.
If I could get rid of hunger, poverty, disease, war, rape, torture, and all the other horrendous acts of humans (and nature) that cause suffering, yes, I would sacrifice free will. And what would be wrong with that? You might argue that would be sad and we'd be bored and unhappy. Not if you consider God could have created us in any way imagineable (and probably ways unimagineable) and could have created us to be perfectly content with no free will. In fact, it would have been just as easy for him to create us so that we were downright ecstactic about the idea of having no free. Yes, we could have been created as deliriously happy robot-like creatures. But, if we were deliriously happy about not having free will, if we were deliriously happy about being robot-like beings, then why would we care that we didn't have free will? We wouldn't want it because God would have created us to not want it. So what? Everyone talks of free will as if it's this magical wonderful thing we should want above all else. (And here I'm talking strictly about free will pertaining to God, not to be confused with "freedom" as in free from restrictions imposed by other humans.) But why? If God tells us that without free will we will live happy, peaceful lives, but with free will we will have disease, war, and other miseries, why should we ever strive for the latter?
So, considering God could have made us not want free will, he could have made us learn or know everything we need to know without free will, he could have made us perfectly content, happy, peaceful, God-loving beings without free will, why do theists insist it's so vital that we retain our free will?
"The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs" - Bill Maher