Is Freewill Like a Test?


Is freewill comparable to a multiple choice test? You have the choice to bubble the right answer and increase your chance of passing the test, you can “rebel” and purposefully bubble in the wrong answer (not very likely), or you can think the wrong answer is the right answer and go with that (more likely). Some people might not even know it’s a test and think it’s some interesting coloring sheet and just go haywire with their choices. Or others may carefully study before they make their choices. Some may think they’ve prepared enough but only skimmed or read from the wrong sources because they thought they were taking a different test. In the end it’s the people who studied the right sources and chose the right bubbles that pass the test.

Sorry for this long analogy but I recently just thought of it and wondered what others thought too.


I think so. It was a test since Adam and Eve’s period.


Salvation is due to the grace of God for by cooperation with that grace the tendency to choose sin (concupiscence) is overcome. One of the sources of right and wrong is conscience, however it must be properly formed. Sometimes a person is culpable even without knowledge because of indifference.


1777 … When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.
1781 Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed. …
1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.
1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

Catholic Encylopedia

Material and formal sin
This distinction is based upon the difference between the objective elements (object itself, circumstances) and the subjective (advertence to the sinfulness of the act). An action which, as a matter of fact, is contrary to the Divine law but is not known to be such by the agent constitutes a material sin; whereas formal sin is committed when the agent freely transgresses the law as shown him by his conscience, whether such law really exists or is only thought to exist by him who acts. Thus, a person who takes the property of another while believing it to be his own commits a material sin; but the sin would be formal if he took the property in the belief that it belonged to another, whether his belief were correct or not.

O’Neil, A.C. (1912). Sin. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.


I suspect there is a better metaphor. One way in which free will is not like a school test is that the choice you make at one moment determines the range of possibilities available to you in subsequent moments. Not only that, the options available to you at each moment also depend on the choices everyone else has made up to that point. Free will is as messy and as complicated as life. Perhaps it is life. :thinking:


No , @Keen , definitely not .

It is the power God has granted us that we may love .


Free will has a single purpose: that we can freely choose to know, to love and to serve God.



We are made to the image and likeness of God. Therefore among other gifts, God gave us Free Will

And God does test us


To expand, God created us to know, love and serve Him in this life, so that we may be happy with Him forever in the next. (The order is important as they follow)

We cannot love Him if we do not have the free will to, we will not serve Him if we do not love Him and therefore we will not be happy forever if we do not have free will.


Matthew 5:37
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay:
for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

So - it is - OFTEN - a TRUE or FALSE - type choice

You make the choice and you accept the consequences.

You either repent - or keep going in the other direction.
Good tree / Bad tree - your fruit will be very evident for all to behold -
and it takes a while to cultivate - fruit.


Why not? Why can’t we be determined to love, just like God?


God is not predetermined to love us. He chooses to because He is all loving even when we don’t accept it. But He doesn’t have to.

He, too, has free will; and He created us in His image and likeness. That is, with free will; so that we could choose to love Him. He wants us to love Him, but it is our choice.


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