There is plenty of talk between the atheists and the theists about the nature of free will vs determinism, with plenty of people on each side arguing that their side posses one or the other, and the other side does not. There are atheists like Jean Paul Sartre who believed a person could only ever have free will if there was no God who threatened to drop them into an eternal vat of acid for failing to obey his often self contradictory commands, and there are other atheists who argue the material world precludes any such free will, regardless of whether any God exists or not.
Likewise, there are Christians who claim that free will can only exist if there is a God, and others who claim that, like John Calvin, argue our fates are all predetermined by a God who knows all long before any of it happens.
But what is curiously absent from the debate is how a Christian narrative which creates a duty to God - through the "belief" that Jesus died for all regardless of whether people believe he did or not - creates an obligation (at least in the minds of those who believe this story) that everyone must accept and fulfill. That obligation is the duty to "render unto God what is God's," which by the nature of Christ's crucifixion, death and resurrection, means that each of us has been purchased through a blood ransom by God.
Like slaves sold on the public block, the Christian thinks their story of about the sacrifice of a God requires each of them to do whatever their Christian or Catholic Church tells them to do, including the aerobic exercises they must perform every Sunday during mass.
If the Christian story is as true as the Christian thinks it is, however, the obligation that necessarily flows from such a blood ransom works much like the involuntary draft during the Vietnam War. Sure, a person is as "free" as Mohammad Ali to refuse to be drafted, they can even burn their draft card, but that person would still be subject to the "law" that that either casts them into an eternal prison, in the case of religion, or into a temporary one, in the case of the state.
This, then, overrides any sense of "free will," properly speaking, since it creates an obligation to obey a law that each individual had no input in making, nor any real choice in obeying, since to freely choose not to comply with it now would still carry with it the eternal punishment that would naturally follow in the hereafter; that is, unless one throws them self on the mercy of the court and pleads for forgiveness, and God happens to be in a forgiving mood that day.
Otherwise, they are cast like marshmallows into the eternal camp fire that God keeps burning for all the good little boys and girls who have dutifully cannibalized their lord and savior Jesus Christ every Sunday. And since the Church has the power to forgive even the worst of offenders, especially within its own ranks, parents should fully expect to find huddled around those campfires in heaven, all of those Catholic priests who, upon the hour of their death, had the good sense to simply ask for forgiveness for all of the children they repeatedly raped and brutalized.
God is a merciful God, after all, and it was clearly the devil who made them do it.
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