Skip to content

Ep. 261 Prayer, Free Will, and Miracles: How to Think Rationally About Christianity

Bob answers a listener email asking how to think rationally about vexing problems in Christianity.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. Marko on 03/07/2023 at 8:26 AM


    In your framework of determinism, is there a logical place for hell or heaven? I mean, if people are just glorious puppets, there’s no right or wrong, good or evil, good or bad choice at God’s level. They exist on human level, because of the “illusion” of the free will, so, humans assign agency to most human acts, but at the God level, there can not be such a thing, because no human has ever really decided anything. No choice, no responsibility, no reward nor punishment.

    And now the darker question. If so, how is creating the glorious puppet a sign of any love, least of all the greatest possible love?

    It is quite OK to accept the Holocaust as a consequence of some human agents choosing evil. But in my mind it is even sick to accept that was part of some Great Plan.

    You also mentioned there is no determinism at the micro-physics level, but that could be wrong. Yes, and one possible way out is that we do not see “other dimensions” where the non determinism of the inanimate particles is again deterministic. Per analogy, the soul could be this other dimension where humans would have some agency after all.

    Isn’t it simply wiser to say that free will is still a big mistery, rather than trying to offer possibly problematic explanations based on determinism? I have no idea, like no one else has full notion on what the soul could be, but it remains a very interesting starting point to reconcile determinism on inanimate particles with human’s agency.

    • Robert Murphy on 03/07/2023 at 9:30 PM

      You apparently misunderstood the whole movie theater analogy. I’m saying people have free will; their souls are conscious and observe the physical world. They make choices and it seems that the physical world responds to them.

Leave a Comment