FREE WILL OF MAN?
31 March 2013
See the comments to chapter 18: ALLAH DECIDES AND PREDESTINES EVERYTHING.
01 If man has free will - even partly only - and can change his mind, full and reliable clairvoyance about the future, not to mention the distant future, is impossible even for a god, in spite of Islam's claims. There are at least 3 reasons - 2 of them unavoidable - for this:
When something is changed, automatically the future is changed.
The laws of chaos will be at work and change things.
The so-called "Butterfly Effect"; "a butterfly flapping its wing in Brazil may cause a storm in China later on" or "a small bump may overturn a big load".
This that Allah predestines everything is an essential point, because besides totally removing the free will of man (in spite of the Quran's claims of such free will, or some Muslims' adjusted "partly free will for man" - to adjust the meanings where the texts in the Quran are wrong, is typical for Islam and its Muslims), it also removes the moral behind Allah's punishing (and rewarding) persons for what they say and do - Allah cannot reward or punish people for things he himself has forced them to say or do, and still expect to be believed when he (or Muhammad?) claims to be a good or benevolent or moral or just god. See 2/51b and 3/24a above.
But remember as for punishments and rewards - and forgiving: They cannot be given unless there are made changes in the Plan of Allah, which several verses in the Quran states nobody and nothing can make. (A predestined reward is not a reward, but theater.) The same goes for prayers - to fulfill a prayer, mostly Allah will have to change his Plan, which according to several points in the Quran is impossible.
####02 16/35e: YA here has an interesting comment (YA2057: "- - - the limited free will granted to man, which is the whole basis of Ethics". The Quran claims man has free will. As this obviously is wrong, as Allah predestines everything, some Muslims try to save the day by adjusting it to that the book and Allah in reality mean limited free will. The flat reality, though, is that if Allah decides and predestines everything, like the Quran states MANY places, there is nothing left for man to decide. Thus also "limited free will" is impossibility. Worse: The fact that if Allah decides everything, there is nothing left for man to decide, is such a simple mathematics, that it is not possible YA and all other learned Muslims do not know it. x - x = 0. There exists no other possible answer. All the same they use this argument - and many simpleminded or uneducated or wishful believers believe it. You meet a little too much of this kind of dishonesty in Islamic literature.
But the really interesting point just here, is that YA clearly states the obvious: If man has no free will, all ethical questions concerning him disappears. What you are forced to do, tells nothing about your ethics. But on the other hand it tells a lot about the ethics of the one who forces you to do it. Not to mention what it tells about the ethics of the one forcing you, if he punishes you for bad things he has forced you to do. And also reward for things you have been forced to do, is hypocrisy. Allah predestines everything according to his Plan, according to the Quran. All the same Allah punishes you for the bad deeds he forced you to do to follow his Plan. What kind of god is this?!!
Thus Islam has two - or actually at least three - problems concerning predestination where the contradictions are so strong, that they are unsolvable even for an omniscient and omnipotent god:
If Allah predestines everything like the Quran states most clearly many places, there is no room for free will of man, not even for "partly free will". x - x = 0 simply, and no other answer is possible. (Also full clairvoyance from Allah would be impossible - with free will man always could change his mind once more.) It also is symptomatic that we no place in Muslim literature have met an explanation for how "partly free will" should be possible. Like so much in Islam, it just is a claim hanging on nothing.
If Allah predestines everything, and you thus just do what he has decided you shall do, how is it then ethically and morally possible to punish you for bad deeds? - and for that case reward you for good deeds? What kind of god is this?!
##########################And the third problem - one Muslims and Islam NEVER mention: If Allah predestines everything, and does so according to his unchangeable Plan like the Quran states many places - and decides it even years and decades before it is to happen (your death and whether you are to end in Hell or Heaven f.x. are decided 5 months before you are born according to Hadiths) - there is no value in prayers, as prayers like everything else can have no effect on his decisions made according to his Plan which nobody and nothing can change.
These are the reasons why you meet Muslims claiming that Allah's predestinations are not real predestinations, without explaining what it then is - and in stark contradiction to many clear statements in the Quran. And why you meet Muslims claiming the impossible - and as so often in Islam without logical explanation for how it is possible - that man has free will or at least partly free will, in spite of the 100% predestination stated frequently in the Quran, "because the claim has to be true because Allah says so in the Quran".
As for the value of prayers in Islam, also see 62/9c. And if you combine 62/9c with 67/9c - a strong one - you get something thought-provoking. (And relevant here: Muslims often are thought that a question or problem can have 2 or more true and correct solutions - Islam is forced to teach this, because if not, many of the mistakes and contradictions in the Quran become too obvious. But this ONLY is true if parallel true solutions are possible. In cases where 2 or more possible solutions are mutually excluding each other, maximum 1 of the mutually excluding ones can be true. It should be a bit thought provoking for Muslims, that just this "small" difference in theoretical thinking and teaching, was one of the reasons (there were several of course) for why Europe and the West exploded into the Technical Revolution, while the Muslim area stagnated). Two star examples are: 1) Full predestination is not possible even for an omnipotent god to combine with even the smallest piece of free will for man - the two are mutually excluding. 2) The same for full and unchangeable predestination long time before, combined with any claimed effect of prayers - the two are mutually excluding each other.)
Well, actually there are a few more problems similar to this:
If Allah predestines everything, why then does he have to "test" his followers? - he already has predestined the outcome and knows the answer.
Forgiving means that Allah changes his Plan from punishing you for a bad deed, to not punishing you. How is this possible when nobody and nothing - f.x. a prayer for forgiving - can change his Plan?
Why is forgiving necessary if it is Allah's predestination which has forced you to do the bad deed?
This content was posted with assistance from M. A. Khan, the editor of islam-watch.org and the author of "Islam Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery" (available online)