“So why doesn’t God intervene every time someone is going to misuse his freedom and hurt another person? The answer, I believe, is found in the nature of freedom itself. A freedom which is prevented from being exercised whenever it was going to be misused simply wouldn’t be freedom.” ~from the book “Letters from a Skeptic”
I came to understand this idea through the most unlikely of places –through reading Isaac Asimov’s “I, Robot”. The famous science fiction book deals with the evolution of robots as they become more and more advanced, until the governments of the world are using robots to run the world’s factories –under human supervision of course. In the last chapter of the book, two humans are discussing the seemingly infallible robot’s recent “failures” to run the factories correctly and efficiently. The two argue over why the robots would let production drop when they suddenly begin to realize, piece by piece, that the robots are not “failing” at all, and that the robots are doing much more than they had realized. They understand that, in truth, the robots had begun to run the entire world, calculating the humans around them’s responses and orchestrating “failures” and “successes” that forced the humans to react as the robots wanted them to react. All the while the humans still believed that they were in control. They still believed they were acting of their own free will.
But is this kind of “freedom” that the robots orchestrated truly free?
No, of course not! And if God did the same thing that the robots were doing, orchestrating evil and good so that we would believe in Him, so that we wouldn’t ever have to experience the consequences of our bad decisions because we wouldn’t ever make them, would we be truly free then either?