Are we nothing more than the figures in a chess set where all the moves and the end are already set?
God gave us the free will. The possibility to choose our own destiny. But then again, God knows everything, and doesn’t that mean we have no free will? If someone knows which decisions we are going to take, do we have another choice but to make exactly those decisions? If we make a wrong decision, who is responsible? The individual, who made the decision, or God, who foresaw this choice and did nothing to prevent it? The church of course keeps telling everyone that we humans alone are responsible for the evil we do.
It’s called the observer effect. It appears in sciences such as quantum physics or sociology. The fact alone of observing changes how the observed behaves.
So is God observing us? The answer may be yes. If it is, He’s manipulating us. In fact, the concept alone of a god changes the very way we perceive the world. A lot of wars wouldn’t have been waged if not for a holy cause, and a lot of children in Africa e.g. wouldn’t be helped if not by sisters.
Or is He chilling somewhere on the other side of the universe and doesn’t care about this small world? Every believer would say that’s heresy. Accusing God of not caring about us. But does He? He knows which choices every single human is going to make now and in a hundred years, and yet He doesn’t prevent us from doing evil. He gave us the free will. A liberty we don’t really have as the future is already known to God and therefore is static. We don’t have any influence on it. So is He responsible for the father leaving his wife and children, for the teenager driving while (s)he’s drunk and risking his own life and that of others? Is He responsible because He foresaw these situations already when He created us? Is He responsible because He is the only one who could have prevented it?
It’s a computer program that’s programed to output a random number, but the program’s been limited to a single number. Take x = random(0), x being the decision to make. The command random() would provoke the output of a random number, but the fact of adding a 0 reduces the possible outputs of this command to a single one: o.
We could make every decision we wanted to make, but the fact that someone already knew the future answer would force us, unconciously, to make exactly that choice.
The only way out would be that there were no God, so no one would know the future. Then, we could shape it freely. But then again, if there were no God, we wouldn’t even exist, would we? So the solution would be not to believe in a greater being. And who would help the children in Africa? We need the concept of a god, and we have the free will to decide whether to believe in such a being or not. And we’re not ready yet to deny him.
Checkmate. But who wins?