Free Will

Obviously, God would prefer that we use our free will to choose to do things that draw us closer to Him. However, do we humans have the “right” to exercise the free will that God has given us to choose to sin and/or to walk away from God?

:ehh:

I’d say no. A right (by my definition) is something that is intrinsically permissible, but a sin is inherently impermissible. Just because you have the ability to do something or the possibility of doing something doesn’t mean you have the right to do it.

One never has the “right” to do wrong. Does God permits us choose wrongly, thereby abusing the freedom he gives? It seem that he does allow it. Why? Men must have the freedom to do good or evil, otherwise true virtue not possible.

As Archbishop Sheen wrote:

*“Take the quality of freedom away from anyone, and it is no more possible for him to be virtuous than it is for the blade of grass which he treads beneath his feet to be virtuous. Take freedom away from life, and there would be no more reason to honor the fortitude of martyrs than there would be to honor the flames which kindle their faggots. Is it therefore any impeachment of God that he chose not to reign over an empire of chemicals?

“Virtue in its concrete order is possible only in those spheres in which it is possible to be vicious. Man can be a saint only in a world in which it is possible to be a devil.*

[RIGHT]~Through the Year with Fulton Sheen, Servant Books, 1985 pp 110-111.[/RIGHT]

We have no right to choose wrongly, but still God permits it. My problem is with people who think God has deputized them to use violence against those who*** they** think* are abusing that God-given freedom.

I’ll go with Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas: punish actual harms to our fellow men, “theft, murder, and the like,” but other vices (like prostitution, intoxication or gambling, etc.) should be not be criminalized

We do not have a “right” to choose wrong without having to face the negative consequences of our choice. When we have a “right” to something we are guaranteed that we will not be subject to negative consequences by choosing. God has allowed us the freedom to choose, but there are consequences that go with each choice. Being united to God or being severed from God.

The free will given to us by god allows us to choose to love God or reject him and walk away.

Isn’t this just semantics though? Is there really a distinction between saying someone is free to do something, and they have a right to do it?

Originally Posted by Reep:
One never has the “right” to do wrong. Does God permits us choose wrongly, thereby abusing the freedom he gives? It seem that he does allow it. Why? Men must have the freedom to do good or evil, otherwise true virtue not possible.

Perhaps having a “right” before God is different from having a right vis-a-vis other human beings. If we say a person has “right” to get drunk or have sex, it is not just semantics to see there are two levels of meaning.

To have such a right before men just means the right to be left alone and not be aggressed against (if you are not hurting someone else). Of course, before God we have no right to such vices, but God permits us this freedom to choose. He creates us with free will and permits its exercise (for the very reasons Archbishop Sheen notes).

All I mean is that I have no right before God to sin, but I do have the right to be left alone and–unless I am harming another–you have no right to stop me.

I would say the better work would be “can.” You “can” do the wrong thing if you want to.

I thought in most circumstance free to do something and have a right to do it no distinction. I thought that some times free to do something is more like you can or can not do something, have a right to do something is more like you should do or should not do it.

I saw this still not clear. I saw that jimmy is right that there isn’t a distinction between saying someone is free to do something and they have a right to do it.- I have thought ‘right’ is a big circle, and’ free’ is inside the circle; that right is one self opinion. think, then, if someone tell you that you should study more times like 12 hours a day, you will not happy and will say you have a right to only study 8 hours a day and can free to choose.

We obviously have the freedom but not the* right*. The right was expressly denied by God’s command not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam’s sin, like all sin that followed, consisted in disobedience of the will of God.

We have the freedom to do evil. We have the freedom to choose to murder, to cheat, to be lustful or lazy. We have the freedom to choose self over God. But choosing evil has bad consequences.

Why did God even give us free will? He could have brought us directly into the Beatific Vision, the ultimate, infinite Good. The human will, by its very nature, is designed to choose something that it perceives as good, (even if wrongly, even a limited good, even if but a temporary good with bad consequences, i.e. eating 3 pounds of ice cream at a sitting). When the human will comes into contact with the Infinite Good, it has no choice but to move toward it like steel toward a magnet. We would, in effect, lose our free will by being placed in the unmediated presence of the Beatific Vision.

But God doesn’t want robots. He wants human beings who have freely chosen him. That can only be done while in this life being not able to see Him directly. Once we have freely chosen, then the Beatific Vision can be freely given and freely enjoyed, and not as a robot but as a human.

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