Are we the sum of our synaptic connections? Are we a culmination of all stimuli that our brain is exposed to given the original starting point within DNA. Do all our decisions, our thoughts, even our conscious stem from these alone? Or is there something else within us that helps form the decisions we make?
If you believe that our decisions are nothing more than the brains reaction to stimuli, that would be a deterministic outlook. However, if you are of the category that perceives we have more to us than just neurons and stimuli, whatever that something else might be, and that this something else is not governed by any stimuli, both past or present, then you have introduced an element of randomness into the equation and determinism can not apply. This is the libertarian view.
I’m restating this argument because it occurred to me today that the same argument holds true for God and his will. If you are willing to believe that we are deterministic based on our biology, chemistry and physics, and yet we have a perceived conscious that is outside of that, then you can make the same analogy between God’s free will and Spinoza’s definition of God as simply the constitution of all of natural law.
Due to the complexity and most likely evolution of natural law based on its own derivation of the universe, God could appear to have free will, when in fact he is a culmination of all the natural law and the universe’s stimulus upon it.
I once had a chat with a friend about another, mutual friend who had gained a some weight. And I asked him if he felt it was the “same old Kor”. (On Kor’s behalf, he’s lost most of the weight now.) I was trying to rationalize that Kor was somehow different because in high school he was a good athlete, but now he appeared to be a different person. My friend argued that he was the same person because it was the same will of Kor inside him constituting of the id, ego and superego that defined Kor. Now that I think more about it, I think my conclusion that he was different was right, but my premise was wrong. He was not a different Kor because he had gained weight; he was a different Kor as a result of his gaining weight, plus about fifteen years of experience since high school. My friend was right in the sense that Kor is defined by his will, but his identity had been shaped by his experiences.
I use the terms identity and will as interchangeable because to everyone else you are defined by your reactions to your environment; your past reactions comprise your identity and your future reactions define your will. The culmination of all the forces that for his entire life have been acting on his identity constitutes his will.
If we agree that Kor has free will (still debatable), then in the same way God has free will. He is the culmination of all the forces that act in all of nature, in other words, God is the culmination of all the forces that constitute natural law. In the same way that Kor constitutes his observed reactions to his environment, you would also be able to that God is a culmination of all the reactions that occur as a result of those forces of nature. In that way, God’s will becomes more clear.
This also explains the paradox of “God does good?” versus “good is whatever God does?” In this way, God’s free will always “chooses” good. In the same way, Kor is defined by what he does and what Kor does is defined by him.
Now you’re just left to decide whether this form of free will is truly free. And of course, if you are libertarian, ignore everything I have just written.