LISTEN: The Problem of Evil (Part 11) — Free Will (The Reasons to Believe #114 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture verse for today is John 5:24. It reads, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Blaise Pascal. He said, “Either God exists, or he does not…Let us weigh the gain and the loss in betting that God exists…If you win, you win everything; if you lose, you lose nothing. Do not hesitate then, to gamble on His existence.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Problem of Evil” part 11 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli go on to discuss the topic of “Free Will”

Perhaps the clearest way to define our second crucial term, free will, is to contrast it with the philosophy that denies it. That is determinism.

According to determinism, everything we do can be totally accounted for by two causes: heredity plus environment. Free will adds a third cause to our actions: our wills, which in turn are not entirely the result of heredity plus environment. Thus the formula for determinism is:

H + E = A

That is, heredity plus environment equals the human act. The formula for the alternative philosophy of free will is:

H + E < A

That is, heredity plus environment together are less than the human act. Instead,

H + E + FW = A

Heredity plus environment plus free will equals the human act. Heredity and environment condition our acts, but they do not determine them, as the paints and the frame condition a painting but do not determine it. They are necessary causes but not sufficient causes of freely chosen acts.

The simplest argument for the existence of free will is observation of how we use words. We praise, blame, command, counsel, exhort and moralize to each other. Doing these things to robots is absurd. We do not hold machines morally responsible for what they do, no matter how complicated the machines are. If there is no free will, all moral meaning disappears from language — and from life.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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