Why Free Will and Atheism Cannot Coexist

February, 2021 Barak Lurie

In Atheism Kills, we talk greatly about the notion of free will. And the notion that you cannot have free will if you are an atheist. Or you cannot believe in free will if you truly believe that there’s no God. That there’s no creator that created you. If you merely the function — the product of millions of years of evolution, then how did free will enter into the picture? How did self-awareness and consciousness enter into the picture?

And before you say, “Oh wait a minute, I’ve heard this argument Mr. Lurie. Science will find an answer.” That’s the go-to answer from every atheist. “Well one day we’ll find an answer.” That’s not a good answer. In fact, most true atheists, the old atheist school, will tell you that the only way that free will can really exist is with God in the picture. Or some creator that gives you free will. Every honest atheist will tell you that.

From Sam Harris to Dawkins, to all the other main atheists that have published books and so on out there. They acknowledge that. And they’ll fight to argue that there is no such thing as free will. That, in fact, free will is just an illusion of sorts. But you and I know differently. We know that there’s a free will within us. Within every one of us. It’s what we expect from each other. That we expect them to exercise their free will with discretion — and to be accountable for their decisions and actions. Without free will, there’s no reason to ever be accountable for anything. There should be no criminal courts because if you have no free will, then how can you be responsible for anything you’ve ever done? Whether that’s torture, stealing, murdering, raping — You name it: You didn’t have the free will to do it.

As an atheist, that’s the way I used to think. But it troubled me. And I knew that there was such a thing as free will.  I could not accept the notion that there was no free will — and that opened the door, for me, to question my atheism. And as I did so, I opened it wider and learned much more about why God really was there. And why we have a creator.

We’ll talk about that more as we proceed along with our next episode of the Barak Lurie Show.