How Does a Soul Provide Free Will?



(The FreeThinking Theist)


April 1, 2016

Here is a question I received regarding The Freethinking Argument in my article entitled, “Freethinking Atheists are Oxymorons” :

In your argument, you make the case that “If the soul does not exist, libertarian free will does not exist.” Underneath that argument, you do not mention the word “soul” again. You go on to argue that rationality and free will exist, and conclude “therefore the human sole exists”. Nowhere do you argue how or why a soul allows for rationality or free will. You sort of assume that it does and sneak it in to your conclusion. Can you be a bit more specific about how it gets in there?

– Luke

Tim’s Response:

Thank you for pointing that out, Luke! I may have been “assuming” that the readers of this article would be familiar with my other work. In my other writings I have discussed that I equate “soul” with “mind.” Since thoughts are Tim's Pro Head Shot!immaterial, we have reason to think a mind/soul is a thinking thing that is other than nature. That is to say, a soul is an “immaterial thinking thing.”

It follows that this thinking thing would not be causally determined via the laws of chemistry, physics, quantum mechanics, or any other physical or material thing or process. The soul would be *free* from the cause and effect determinism of the natural universe, and thus, the soul (you as an agent) can freely think. That is to say, your thoughts and beliefs are not forced upon you via external factors beyond your control. You can genuinely and freely choose (at least some of) your beliefs.

Read more about that topic here: Can We Choose Our Beliefs?


Stay reasonable (Phil 4:5),

Tim Stratton



About the Author



(The FreeThinking Theist)

Tim pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Kearney (B.A. 1997) and after working in full-time ministry for several years went on to attain his graduate degree from Biola University (M.A. 2014). Tim is currently enrolled at North-West University pursuing his Ph.D. in systematic theology with a focus on metaphysics, history, and biblical data.

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