Free will vs Predestination vs Determination

Free will vs Predestination vs Determination

Free will vs Predestination vs Determination

The historical debate over free will implies the ability to make decisions without regard to earlier causes. It implies that our genetic makeup, environment, or other external influences do not limit our ability to choose among the available options. Contrarily, predestination contends that all events are divinely foreordained, subjecting our decisions to a higher power. By asserting that events are causally related, determinism rejects true randomness. It suggests that our decisions have resulted from an ongoing chain of causes and effects since the universe’s creation.

What Is the Difference Between Determinism and Predestination?

Although determinism typically refers to a naturalistically explicable cause of an event, the term “predeterminism” appears by definition to imply a person or “someone” who is controlling or planning the cause of events before they occur and who might be beyond the universe of causality that is natural and organic.


Determinism is a concept in philosophy that posits that all actions, such as human behavior or choices, are influenced by past events and nature’s laws. According to determinism, every event has a causal cause, and there isn’t a chance for randomness or freedom of choice. The principle of cause and effect operates in the universe as the result of previous events. This concept originates in the understanding of science regarding the natural world and concepts of causality. Determinism is usually linked to a materialist worldview, which believes everything is governed through physical law and process.

Exploring Predestination

Predestination, however, is a theological notion commonly used in religions, especially in Christianity, Islam, and certain beliefs of Judaism. Predestination holds that a greater power, commonly called God, is in control and has control over all things that affect people’s destiny. According to this theory, God has predetermined each soul’s fate and final destiny, or retribution. This belief is usually tied to God’s omniscience and sovereignty, in which God’s plan and plan for the universe are formulated according to the divine plan beyond the human mind.

Differences Between Determinism and Predestination

The main difference between predestination and determinism is in their basic principles and application areas. Determinism is a philosophical notion ththa a part of natural causality and scientific explanations. It does not require the supernatural or a divine force but instead focuses on the predictability and stability of nature.

However, it is a theological idea that has its roots in religions and beliefs and is focused on the notion of a divine power having control over the destiny of human beings. It is a personal, intentional agency often believed to be the work of God, who directs the sequence of events according to an ordained plan of God.

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What Is the Difference Between Predestination and Free Will?

Bishop Augustine taught predestination. He believed that we have the freedom to choose what we wish. However, we aren’t at liberty to decide what we want. Because of our sinful nature, our desires stem from our sinful nature. We cannot follow God until God decides our salvation.


Predestination is a doctrine of theology that has been argued about and debated in various religions throughout the ages. It posits that a greater power, often known as God, has knowledge and control over every event that affects people’s fates. As per the theory of predestination, God has determined each soul’s destiny and final destiny. This belief is usually connected to the notion of God’s omniscience, sovereignty, and omnipotence—that God’s plans and plans for the world unfold in a divine plan that goes beyond our comprehension.

In the context of predestination, there are many views and interpretations. Some theological concepts, such as Calvinism, insist on a strict definition of predestination, claiming that God’s decision to choose individuals to be saved or condemned is unchanging and predetermined. According to this belief, humans have no control over their destiny because God’s decision is final and indefinite.

Exploring Free Will

On the contrary, the concept of free will is a theological and philosophical concept that demonstrates humans’ capacity to make decisions and choices of their own free will, not being influenced by external influences or preordained by God. It implies that people can act and decide freely and that their choices are not influenced solely by previous causes or divine orders.

The concept of Free Will raises doubts regarding the nature of the human capacity to act, moral accountability, and the connection between people and greater power. According to those who advocate free will, humans can make important moral choices, and their decisions aren’t only influenced by circumstances beyond their control. Free will is commonly regarded as the basis for moral accountability and personal responsibility for our actions.

The Differences Between Predestination and Free Will

The most significant distinction between predestination and free will is in their differing views of human agency and control over human destiny. Predestination claims that God, as the all-knowing, all-powerful God, has set the course of events, including the final fate of every individual. According to this belief, humans do not have the power to alter their destiny or alter God’s plan of action.

On the other hand, freedom of choice highlights the freedom and autonomy of choice that humans have. It implies that people can make choices and make their own choices free from the constraints of outside forces or divine will. According to the freedom to choose, humans can determine their futures through their choices and actions.

Is Predestination a Type of Determinism?

In the modern world, predestination is distinct from both determinism and fatalism. It is dependent on the free choice of human morality. However, the doctrine states that salvation depends on God’s eternal decree. God.

The distinction between Predestination and Determinism

Predestination and determinism both share the concept of a predetermined result, but they differ in terms of their scope and their application. Determinism is a philosophical notion that suggests that all actions, such as human actions and choices, are influenced by a prior cause. According to determinism, each thing happens due to conditions that existed before it, and the future will depend on the past. In this perspective, human choices are based on a complicated chain of causal and physical laws. There is no room for genuine freedom of choice.

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However, predestination adds an element of theological and religious significance to the notion of predetermination. It holds that God, as the all-knowing, all-powerful God, has decided each soul’s destiny and final destiny. Predestination is often a reference to spiritual issues and the divine plan of salvation for mankind, especially in the context of eternal life and salvation. In contrast to determinism and predestination, it includes the notion that a higher power directs the human path and fulfills the divine plan.

The Role of Human Moral Will in Predestination

A major distinction that separates the predestination process from strict determination is the importance of human moral will. At the same time, predestination is a testament to God’s divine plan but also focuses on the freedom of choice that comes from the moral mind of humans. According to Canelief, humans can make decisions and choices on their own, and their actions have moral consequences. Despite God’s knowledge and control over his events, predestination enables humans to be accountable for their choices and actions.

Predestination, in essence, does not invalidate human capacity or devalue the importance of individual decisions. Instead, it offers an unambiguous view that reconciles God’s divine plan and human freedom of choice. The doctrine states that salvation is solely due to the eternal will of God; however, individuals have the right to answer God’s call and decide to believe in the faith of God and be righteous. The combination of divine authority and human moral choice is central to theological discussions. It has been the basis for the practices and beliefs of different religions throughout the ages.

Who Is the Father of Free Will?

St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote extensively on free will, with Augustine particularly focusing on the importance of free will as a part of his replies to the Manichaeans and on the limitations of free will that are unlimited as a denial of grace in his rebuttals of Pelagius.

Augustine’s Contribution to Free Will

St. Augustine of Hippo, sometimes referred to as Augustine of Hippo, is widely regarded as being among the top thinkers within Christian philosophical and theological thought, with a particular focus on the notion of free will. Augustine’s writings on free will have significantly impacted Christian thinking and shaped the concept of human choice and moral responsibility in the context of divine grace.

In his responses to the Manichaeans, the religious sect that believed in determinism, Augustine defended the existence of free will as a vital part of the human condition. He believed that God created human beings with the capacity to make choices freely and that the capacity to exercise free will is a key feature of being made by God. Augustine said God’s gift of freedom would allow people to choose between goodness and evil, or righteousness and sin, and be accountable for their choices.

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But Augustine also addressed the limits of unlimited free will, as the Theologian Pelagius formulated it. Pelagius believed that humans could attain spiritual perfection and salvation solely through their efforts, with no need for divine grace. Augustine strongly refuted this idea by arguing that the human condition was flawed because of the sins of Adam and Eve and that true spiritual transformation and salvation could only be obtained by divine grace. God. He stressed the significance of God’s grace alongside free will since it is only through God’s grace that we are empowered to make moral decisions and seek salvation.

Thomas Aquinas’ Understanding of Free Will

St. Thomas Aquinas, a prominent philosopher and theologian during the medieval era, further developed the notion of free will within the context of his extensive philosophical system, known as Thomism. Aquinas integrated Aristotelian philosophy with Christian theology, hoping to reconcile the two and offer a coherent view of the human condition and the universe.

In his theological and philosophical works, Aquinas was adamant about the complicated connection between the free will of humans and divine will. The author believed God’s omnipotence and foreknowledge do not negate human freedom of choice but cooperate with it. According to Aquinas, God’s knowledge of all possibilities doesn’t determine the choices of humans but rather reflects God’s complete knowledge of the universe.

Aquinas was also an advocate of the role of reasoning in moral decision-making. The belief that reason is a gift from God can help people discern moral values and make moral decisions. According to Aquinas, free will is not just about the power to choose between goodness and evil in a purely arbitrary way but more about choosing the best option, which is God. Therefore, Aquinas’s conception of free will focuses on the connection between human choices and God’s will and the quest for excellence in moral conduct through reasoning and God’s mercy.

Each of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas has made important contributions to the evolution of the notion of free will in Christian theology. They offered nuanced and insightful views on divine grace, free will, and the moral obligation of human beings, which continue to influence theological debates and philosophical questions today.


What is free will?

Free will is the belief that individuals have the ability to make choices and decisions independently, without being bound by external forces or fate. It suggests that human beings have the power to act according to their own desires and intentions.

What is predestination?

Predestination is the concept that some or all events, including human actions and outcomes, have been predetermined or preordained by a higher power or divine will. In this view, the course of events is already set, and human actions are part of a larger, predetermined plan.

What is determinism?

Determinism is the philosophical position that all events, including human actions, are determined by antecedent causes or natural laws. According to determinism, every action is the inevitable result of previous conditions, and free will may be an illusion.

Can free will and predestination coexist?

The compatibility of free will and predestination is a subject of debate among theologians and philosophers. Some religious traditions believe in the coexistence of both concepts, suggesting that while God has a predetermined plan, individuals still have the freedom to choose within that plan.

How does determinism challenge the idea of free will?

Determinism challenges the idea of free will by asserting that every event, including human decisions, is caused by prior events and conditions. This view raises questions about whether individuals genuinely have the freedom to make independent choices.

Are there different philosophical perspectives on free will, predestination, and determinism?

Yes, various philosophical schools of thought present different views on these concepts. Some argue for the compatibility of free will and determinism, while others uphold the idea of predestination within specific religious contexts.