I have just questioned my line of reasoning from earlier today when I said that it was clearly not logically possible for God to choose to create the worst of all possible worlds, as there is a theological problem with the reasoning which occurred to me. Namely, the problem is with those in heaven who have Free Will – could they choose to sin? If not, then are they significantly free (in other words, is attributing ‘free will’ to them simply semantics)? I take it that Free Will (I mean Libertarian Free Will) is something essentially human which is a consequence of being a creature made in the ‘image’ of God, since God also has Free Will.
Consider those in heaven (if we must, then consider those in heaven here on earth at the Eschaton); do they not, even while having the beatific vision, have free will? Origen of Alexandria argued that they would, but he also argued that therefore a second fall was possible, and a third after that, onwards to infinitely many falls from Grace. Obviously though, this isn’t reflective of the Church’s teachings. Therefore, one has to wonder in what sense somebody in heaven has Free Will while enjoying the beatific vision. If we will never fall again once in heaven, then it must be by reason of something other than loosing our free will. Some have suggested that if we had the beatific vision we would freely choose God always inevitably, perhaps in the same way that people in Hell will continue always to freely choose Hell. However, if we freely choose based on our natural disposition, and given our disposition it is not logically possible for us to do otherwise, then isn’t it not really ‘free will’ being exercised anymore?
Perhaps the answer lies in something like this: In the case of God, he cannot choose the worst of all possible worlds by nature, whereas man can always choose evil by nature. Instead, man freely and inevitably chooses the beatific vision by reason of the disposition of having the beatific vision, since man always inclines by nature to choosing that which he perceives as a greater good. If this reasoning is sound, then one can meaningfully speak of libertarian free will in heaven without involving the theologically troubling conclusions of Origenism. It also helps one advance the apologetic for Hell.