Christian and Naturalist Discuss Free Will

Christian and Naturalist discuss free will. For the benefit of newcomers, the kalam cosmological argument goes like this:

1. What begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe has a beginning.
3. The universe has a cause.

N: I’ve heard you say that you believe the Kalam argument, which starts by saying everything that begins to exist has a cause.
C: Yes, this is true.
N: But if everything that begins to exist has a cause, the human will must have a cause.
C: Yes, it does. The person causes the will.
N: But what caused the person to move the will?
C: The person moved his own will.
N: Ha! See, you invented a cause out of thin air. The Kalam is refuted.
C: I just told you: the person moved his will.
N: But what caused the person to move his will?
C: I just told you, the person moved his own will.
N: Ha! See, you invented a cause out of thin air. The Kalam is refuted.
C: It seems we are not getting anywhere. Why do you think that a person cannot cause his own will?
N: Because he just can’t.
C: But why?
N: Because if the person caused his own will, the will would be without a cause.
C: Listen to what you’re saying. If the person caused it, it’s uncaused? That’s nonsense.
N: What I meant was: If the person caused his own will, the will would be without a cause, because the person would be creating an effect from nothing.
C: You just repeated the same meaning with slightly different words. It’s still nonsense. Of course, if the person caused it, it would have a cause: the person.
N: But what caused the person?
C: That’s easy, the first cause. According to logic, the first cause did not have a beginning. This we call God.
N: But you’re saying God caused the person. What caused the person to move his will?
C: I already told you. The person moved his own will.
N: So you’re saying the person caused an effect without a cause.
C: How can a person cause an effect without a cause? That’s nonsense again. If the person caused it, then it’s caused. Why do you keep insisting an act of the will has no cause?
N: BECAUSE IT’S ILLOGICAL.
C: You don’t have to yell, I’m not hard of hearing. Let’s try this: I’m going to inject you with truth serum. [gives Naturalist a shot]
C: There now. Why do you keep insisting that a person cannot cause an act of the will, when I’ve told you that 1) the person is caused, and 2) the person has the power to cause an act of the will?
N: Because I don’t want God to exist, and I’m looking for any way out that I can find.
C: I can understand that. But eliminating free will does not eliminate God. Some strong Calvinists believe that all causes of the human will are determined by God.
N: But don’t you believe that a truly free-will act is one that begins a causal chain? Either the will was a beginning of a causal chain, in which the Kalam is refuted, or the will was caused, which is determinism. Either God does not exist, or we’re all determined, and either way I can’t decide to believe in God.
C: Not so fast, hoss. A true act of free will does not begin anything, because the person caused the act of the will, remember? It is not true that something came from nothing.
N: But what caused the person to cause the will?
C: How about them Dodgers?

For more on free will, see my multi-part series on agency that begins here. For a much more relevant and interesting discussion than the one you see in this post, read Jesus’ conversations with the religious leaders in the gospel of John. Chapter 3 would be an excellent place to start. 

About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Philosophy, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Christian and Naturalist Discuss Free Will

  1. Pingback: Sufficient Conditions for Free Moral Choice | Thomistic Bent

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