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Do Miracles take away Freewill?

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Published on May 28, 2007

What is freewill? The American Heritage dictionary defines freewill as: Done of one's own accord or voluntary. Freewill basically means you have a choice.
What is a Miracle? The American Heritage dictionary defines a miracle as: An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.
Do miracles take away freewill? If you were to see someone turn water into wine, would you believe they had magical powers? Would you have a choice? Does just seeing the act take away your freewill to choose what you believe? If a man showed you holes in his hands, and claimed he was crucified, does this automatically make you a believer, or can you still choose not to believe he was crucified? You still have the ability to ask questions and search for more evidence.
The obvious answer is that miracles do not take away freewill. We are able to continue making choices unless someone or something takes away our freewill. Losing freewill could be done by some sort of mind control, or physical force.
If a god appeared to the world and performed miracles that every person could see, and told everyone to bow down and worship him, everyone would still have freewill and the ability to say no. The miracles do not take away freewill. They are simply evidence of the power of that god or of some deception. For our freewill to be taken, the god would have to use some sort of mind control that would cause people to lose the ability to choose, or force us physically to bow down.
An argument could be made that seeing the god is taking away our freewill to believe in its existence. This argument makes a little sense but, seeing the god does not take away the choice between worshiping the god, and disregarding it. We could still make decisions, based on freewill as to whether or not we think the god is good, evil, or fake. We could still choose not to worship it.

A common argument used by religious people is "God can not appear before us. If he did, that would take away our freewill to believe in him." But belief in a god does not make you one of his sheep. It is obedience to that god, following its commands, and worshiping that god. Belief that the god exist does not automatically make you a part of the special "in crowd" nor does it get you a place in paradise, 72 virgins, reincarnation, or whatever superstitious afterlife that god promises.

So why would a god, that supposedly loves everyone, not appear to us and show some undeniable miracles to help people convert? We know that his appearance and miracles would not take away freewill. We would still be free to not worship. A loving god would do whatever he could to save his children from hell, even if it included appearing and showing miracles daily.

Believing in a god based on no evidence and then claiming the lack of evidence is because more evidence would take away freewill is simply not true. No evidence exists because there is no god and no hell. Take peace in knowing you don't have to live your life with the false hope of heaven and the fear of hell.

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