free will

First question: some people deny the existence of free will. Does free will exist? What are arguments for its existence?

Second question: if free will does exist, how do Catholics understand it? Does it differ with other forms of Christianity? If so, how?

Our freedom to deny God means we have free will. Gods choice was to give us freedom to love him or not.


There are some non-Catholic religions that do not believe in free will, they believe God destines us for either slavation or damnation. Catholics believe that while God knows what our final outcome will be, it is up to us to choose our destiny.

Many examples of free will in the Bible - Mary for one, almost any other character especially i n the OT made a choice. Even in the NT, people like Paul chose to follow Jesus out of free will.

Genesis 2:15-17

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die.”

God may know what you will choose to do, but he will not stop you.


1704The human person participates in the light and power of the divine Spirit. By his reason, he is capable of understanding the order of things established by the Creator. By free will, he is capable of directing himself toward his true good. He finds his perfection "in seeking and loving what is true and good."7

1711 Endowed with a spiritual soul, with intellect and with free will, the human person is from his very conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude. He pursues his perfection in “seeking and loving what is true and good” (GS 15 § 2).

As Catholics we believe God created us with free will.

Does not believing in freewill mean you are not responsible for your actions, and let “you off the hook”?

Hello Junostarlighter,

NAB SIR 15:11 Man’s Free Will.

Say not: “It was God’s doing that I fell away”; for what he hates he does not do. Say not: “It was he who set me astray”; for he has no need of wicked man. Abominable wickedness the LORD hates, he does not let it befall those who fear him. When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice. If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will. There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit