Understanding the Free Will Problem

The free will problem first piqued my interest in World Religions during the Spring 2012 semester.  I remember thinking it was such an intriguing issue in the world of philosophy, and found it to be an entertaining discussion topic. 

Writing “Can Free Will and God’s Omniscience Coexist?” proved to not only teach me much more about the different perspectives regarding the free will problem, but also allowed me to explore new elements of philosophical writing.  Before I even began my research, I spent several hours looking for ways to make my writing more fluid and concise, as this is an area that I need to work on.  I made a list of “Writing Rules,” did my research on the free will problem, and began writing.

Writing under unfamiliar guidelines was certainly a challenge.  I wrote.  Then rewrote.  Then rewrote again.  I analyzed every word and asked myself questions. Am I representing each perspective accurately?  Is this statement actually in fact?  Is my argument for libertarianism valid?  What haven’t I considered in my arguments?  Have I made any unsupported assertions?

I found that I was poking holes in my own argument until I couldn’t find anymore.  In the end, I spent just as much time revising and rewriting as I had researching and writing the draft.  Implementing so many new techniques into my writing was a challenge, and, at many points, stressful.  However, my ability to recognize errors in my writing has improved, allowing me to ultimately produce a better paper.   I am certain that what I have learned from writing this assignment will benefit me in all of my future writing endeavors, whether they are academic, professional, or creative.

An Excerpt from "Can Free Will and God's Omniscience Coexist?"

The free will problem arises when the prospect of free will crosses the path of an omniscient God.  There are three main perspectives regarding this issue: determinism, compatibilism, and libertarianism.  The libertarian’s perspective on God’s omniscience is the most persuasive argument, asserting that if free will is to exist, God cannot possess foreknowledge.

Each perspective’s arguments vary based on how free will and God’s omniscience are defined.  For the purpose of this paper, free will is the ability to do otherwise, as opposed to what God may have predetermined (Atkinson, S. 2013, February 5), while an omniscient God is all-knowing.  With these definitions, the differences between determinism, compatibilism, and libertarianism can be better understood. ...Continue Reading.


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