‘Is it fair to subject humans to temptation if they are judged on the decisions they make?’

‘…until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.’ Daniel 7v22

In this series, we have considered a range of issues related to the exercise of freewill. Today we investigate an aspect so far not considered – that of our ‘environment’ and whether it is conducive to humans making good choices.

But why is this important? Well, if we  believe that those who obey God in this world, fare much better than those who don’t in the next life, then some people might prefer to inhabit a world without freewill – or put another way, one in which God makes all the decisions on our behalf. A world in which freewill and temptation are removed from individuals who might otherwise make poor choices and end up being judged by God. While this deterministic world would never be as educational as a world in which freewill operates and choices have to be made, the fact that people are denied the opportunity to make mistakes also allows them to remain outside of hell. A small price to pay – but is it?

In the film, the ‘Truman Show,’ Jim Carey plays Truman Burbank – a young man who lives in a deterministic world that he believes is real but is actually a large television studio operating around him. Orchestrating Truman’s life through hidden cameras and microphones is artistic director Christof who is increasingly perturbed by Truman’s antics as he questions and attempts to leave this world, Christof placing a multitude of obstacles in Truman’s paths who still strikes out to be true to himself, his nature and desires.

Could this be why God grants us freewill? Not just because he doesn’t want automatons to pronounce their love for Him but rather the very nature of being human necessitates we have freewill to make our own choices, however small and inconsequential they might seem.