Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Angels and Free Will

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 8).]
[Yes. Some people believe that angels do not have free will.]
[Yes. Some people believe that angels do too have free will.]

I've definitely heard the thing about angels not having free will, and always thought it made no sense. They've clearly got it since they Got to decide, "Do I follow God or Lucifer," in pretty much all theories of the Universe that include God, Lucifer, and an angelic rebellion*. And Lucifer himself had to come up with the plan.

I have difficulty buying the idea that they couldn't turn back either. Well, I should correct that. If an angel turning it's back on God is something that God thinks of as something like a human being taking the mark in Left Behind, then I totally understand why they can't turn back. It's not that they can't will it, it's that God won't let them.

Lucifer could be sobbing outside of God's door. "I'm sorry dad. I was wrong. I shouldn't have done all those things and the third and I all feel really bad about what happened. Could we start again please?"

And God will look down from a second story window and say, "No."

And possibly send Lucifer right back to Hell for having the nerve to even suggest such a reconciliation.

If, on the other hand, we're talking about whether or not Lucifer can make it to that point in the first place I have difficulty reconciling the rebellion with the idea he can't change his mind once made up. He must have decided to obey God before he decided to disobey. His every action until the plan was made would be a reaffirmation of that decision. If angels decisions are irrevocable then Lucifer never would have rebelled in the first place, having already decided to serve God. (Unless such decisions are like a lease and will expire unless renewed while failing to renew is eternal, but that would be really freakish and weird. "My Lord, I pledge fealty to you forever!" "Yeah, sorry, terms and conditions apply, you can only make that pledge for a period of one year.")


* If they did not choose out of free will but instead were designed by God to take up arms against God, then that wasn't rebellion at all. It was obeying every bit as much as when the other two thirds decided not take Lucifer's side.

1 comment:

  1. There's actually a fairly decent fanfiction called Neon Exodus Evangelion which involves about Lucifer repenting and undergoing redemption, trying to return to God's side, and powerful forces of both Heaven and Hell opposing this (the demons because losing Lucifer is a big loss for their side, the angels because they might be demoted when Lucifer returns to his former position as God's right hand). This in the context of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime (the Angels of NGE really are angels...)

    It's reasonably good, even if both of the main characters are blatant Marty Stus.