Free Will, Among Other Things

My family is, from what I’ve witnessed, very devoted to Christianity. My parents read their daily devotionals and pray together every morning, and we consistently go to church and pray over dinner, even in public settings. I go through these motions along with them, being enthusiastic about the messages and practices Christianity generally entails, and I believe in certain things. I admire the people who maintain an un-flinching faith greatly, because I don’t believe I’ll ever reach this point of certainty. I definitely believe that an anthropomorphic existence named Jesus walked the earth and did miraculous things; this can be backed up pretty solidly by history, and by most people. I also believe that he must have been sent by some higher entity; maybe as proof, maybe as reiteration to mankind that a higher power exists. But I want, so badly, to believe that a higher entity has some sort of grasp on mankind’s unsteady endeavors.

But also, evolution seems to be the most logical reasoning as to how our current physical and psychological traits came about. As a Christian, can I just be hopeful that everything (for the most part) is as it should be because of that miraculously powerful being many people have a strong faith in? Do I also have to swear by the deeper derived concepts of Christianity that seem vaguely feasible, but not at all logical? When you’re religious, your objective is to worship and have faith in the higher Power, not to ask questions. Also, should I believe that God has control over everything and has a ‘path’ set out for me, just waiting for my footprints to follow? From this, a valid philosophical question emerges:

If God really has every plan set out and every calculation made (knows all that will occur in an individual’s life and the course of the universe), does one really have free will?

If I have the option of either  wearing bright colors today or more dismal colors (I’ll let you be the God in this situation), will God have already known and planned which of the options I were to partake in, being the all-powerful and all-knowing being they are? If so, I don’t have my own free will; the higher power has already decided for me. If not, humans are sporadically making decisions in this universe, whether they’re derived from good, evil, or neutrality (What I really believe is that we don’t have free will, due to the chain of actions and emotions and desires leading up to the action; making me a determinist.). Every action made and every word said in this universe doesn’t tie into a greater plan crafted by someone who has control. And we’re on our own. We may just be mortals in a temporary place, situated just right as our living is accommodated perfectly, for the time being.

And then, there are all of the little parts of the omni equation that clearly don’t add up. How can he be omnipotent (possessing every power and capability) as well as omnibenevolent (perfect and good; without any kind of sin) without having the ability to do things that could be considered sinful? If he is capable of everything and anything, how does this exclude sin? And if everything he does is automatically considered free of sin, doesn’t ‘sin’ just lose it’s meaning when applied to God? Then, how can I even question God if he’s so beyond my understanding and completely intangible to me?

Something I really want is for no labels to be placed on this divine being. I don’t want to have to consider him as being something completely unfathomable, and worship him as someone who has it all figured out and does everything according to his will. Even if this seems entirely nonsensical, I want to believe that maybe he’s just a life form more advanced than us who created the universe through their school project or something and loves all of his less-significant life forms equally and maybe even listens to their prayers. This could just be the  part of me that wants to feel a more human-like association with God, one that can’t really be felt according to what has been widely determined of him. Maybe everyone attending my church subconsciously asks themselves these kinds of questions, and attends church because they want a stronger bond with this being, but can’t exactly place why a part of the picture seems missing.

To me, there is only a mere silhouette of this powerful entity, probably because of the numerous people who influence me and have a strong faith vs. the logic and reasoning preventing me from having a faith (plus my desire to have a more humanlike association with God and knowledge that that isn’t possible due to his unfathomable divinity).

*If you have a strong faith, I ADMIRE you. You’re certain of something, and that is something I wish I could be about a lot of things, most primarily religion.

Also, I have virtually no idea what I’m talking about.


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