I was thinking about the question that some people ask in trying to argue against an omnipotent God. Can God create a stone He cannot lift? We usually answer that it is an absurd question, because it doesn’t mean anything. I agree that the premise of the question is absurd, but I had some ideas in response to it in relation to God’s power to create free beings. God can create people who can and will reject Him, no matter what He does to them or for them. There is something within a person which can still say they reject God and His will. God could decide to take away that person’s free will and make them into a mere machine, essentially taking away their personhood, but does He want to? Wouldn’t that be more cruel than letting them choose to reject God on their own terms? So God essentially can create a “stone” He cannot lift, because if He creates someone who freely rejects Him no matter what He does, and the only way they will choose Him is if He compels the person’s will to choose Him, then essentially the being He created would not be free anymore. He would not be that whom He created him to be. If God wants to create a free person, and the person does not wish to follow Him, no matter what, then God cannot lift that “stone”. Free will is defined as that which cannot be coerced by God, because God has the power to create a will that is distinct from His own. These are just investigations. I would like to hear what some of the Catholics here have to say, because I am not an expert on philosophy by any means. Free will is of the essence of the universe. God gave us the ability to choose Him because He loves us. He wants us to love Him, but love requires choice. Without a free choice to love unconditionally, there is no love in the first place. Beings who do not choose independently of God’s will (not a good word, because all good choices to love are initiated by God, but cooperated with or obstructed by each of us) do not really love. Although all love comes from God, the choice to love is somehow independent of God’s will. See, this is where my language gets muddy, because I sound like I am separating choice to love from God’s will. What I am trying to say is that we have wills that are not the same as God’s will. Maybe I should just let everyone else chime in because I might have more to learn from most of you than any of you do from me.
God bless all here,