Yes. It’s pretty much the same scenario when a person chooses to have a child, and that child later grows up and chooses to commit suicide. Either one, or both, parties might or might not have free will. You can’t tell from the information given.
(Actually, you can’t even tell what free will is exactly supposed to mean in the first place, but I’m punting that thorny question for now.)
I don’t see how that answers Amazing’s question. God is exercising his free will, giving humans a general order. Then Adam kills himself (in your scenario), exercising his free will too. Perhaps that would greatly disappoint God, or anger him, but that would only mean that He is not omniscient. He can’t forsee everything. Either that, or He’s a sadistic prankster, playing with life and death.
That Adam was able to circumvent God’s choice (assuming for the sake of argument that he *did - rather than actually playing straight into God’s hands) is nothing to do with God’s free will - God chose something, he just didn’t get it. It might be an issue concerning omnipotence, or the assertion of it, but as I said, free will just means you get to enact some kind of choice, it doesn’t mean that choice has to play out as you would wish it to.
Augustine held that both God and Adam (pre-fall) had perfectly free will. In fact, they had free will to a greater degree than any human that followed them; Augustine’s term for their state was posse peccarre, posse non peccarre, able to sin or not to sin. Post-Adam & Eve humans would have fallen in to one of two other categories:
[ul][li]non posse peccarre (not able to sin): describes humans in the “City of God,” or acting in perfect accord with God’s will. Despite being unable to sin, Augustine considers this condition to be one of free will.[/li][li]non posse non peccarre (not able not to sin): describes the rest of us schmucks. If I recall correctly, Augustine considered this to be a less free-willed condition than non posse peccarre because it is tainted with sin.[/ul][/li]Personally, I’ve got some problems with Augustine’s reasoning, particularly when it comes to reconciling the idea of both man and God having free will. Since only Adam and Eve have, according to Augustine, what I’d call free will, this is where the problem sticks out most for me. Assuming that
[li]God has free will[/li][li]Adam & Eve have free will[/li][li]God is omniscient and has foreknowledge of future events[/li][li]God is omnipotent[/li][li]God is infallible[/li][/ul]
let’s suppose that Adam tries to off himself. It seems to me that there are three conclusions one can draw:
[li]God didn’t expect it, negating the idea that he’s omniscient[/li][li]God knew it would happen but couldn’t do anything to stop it, negating the idea that he’s omnipotent[/li][li]God would see it coming and prevent it, negating the idea that Adam has free will.[/ul][/li]Augustine’s answer is pretty much to accept as given that God is both omnipotent and omniscient (as well as omnipresent and omnibenevolent), but to live like you have free will regardless, because living otherwise invites one to act sinfully.
I disagree. Adam could want to kill himself but be unable to due to god. Not really all that different from if you tried to kill yourself, and someone stopped you through non-supernatual means. You’d still have free will; you just wouldn’t be able to do what you want to do with that free wil.
Or, God knew it would happen but doesn’t choose to do anything to stop it, which maybe negates the idea he’s omnibenevolent.
I also don’t see how God preventing Adam’s suicide negates Adam’s free will. If I see you trying to commit suicide and stop you, that doesn’t negate your free will. You can still choose to try to commit suicide, you just wouldn’t be successful. That’s not the way “free will” tends to be used. I mean, no matter how much will I have, I can’t levitate across the room, shoot fireballs out of my fingers, or run a 3 minute mile.
The main problem with this is that Adam and Eve supposedly did not know right from wrong until after they ate the fruit. How is it possible to able to choose right from wrong if one does not know the difference?