The denial of free will converts God into devil

Some people say, “Everything is controlled by God – we have no free will. Whatever we do is ultimately done by God.”

Though they may think that such a statement expresses their unconditional devotion to God, is it really devotion to God? If we have no free will, then who is responsible for all the bad things that people do, that we ourselves sometimes do? If we have no free will, that means we are like programmed robots who just function according to some program over which we have no control. And as God is the supreme controller or the supreme programmer, he has programmed us the way we are. So if we do wrong things, he is responsible for those wrong actions. All the barbaric, unspeakable atrocities that evil people do, God has programmed them to do those things.

Moreover, because he has also instituted a system of karmic accountability by which we are made to pay due for our actions, that means he makes us suffer, for he has programmed us to do actions that bring suffering upon us.

Such a person who makes us do wrong and makes us suffer is not God – he is the devil. Thus the denial of free will converts God into a devil.

Rejecting such denial, the Bhagavad-gita categorically and conclusively asserts the presence of human will when it asks Arjuna to deliberate on its message and then do as he desires (18.63).

Gita wisdom explains that our free will is not absolute – we do have programming, but that has resulted from our own past actions and we can reprogram ourselves using our free will so that our programming helps us, not hurts us. Indeed, God has spoken the Gita precisely to equip us with the knowledge and the process for such positive reprogramming.

Think it over:

  • How does the denial of God converts God into devil?
  • What does the Gita say about human free will?
  • How does the Gita help us use our free will positively?


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