On free will,
We know and prove the fact of free will by direct consciousness, just as we know our own identity. We are aware tgat we can freely guide our own thoughts, selecting if we choose the least attractive. We are aware that when 2 alternative courses of action lie before us we can freely deliberate upon their respective merits, reflecting, examinining and inquiring the reasons for each side. We are conscious that our final choice is free. We can buy a Toyota or a Ford car. We can choose vanilla or chocolate ice cream. We can take "X" street or "Y" street to get to a destination. We can tell the truth or tell a lie.
Just because choices are available, does not mean I have free will.
You are missing the forest for the trees.
Please read my 586 comment again. Free will is a gift of God when we are created. Free will goes to our consciousness, and becasue we have free will, we make choices freely with it.
Free will presumes I have external (supernatural) knowledge, outside of anything I had experienced or have access to, as to what the proper BEST choice would be in any of those situations. Instead I can only make what I assume is the correct choice, based on what I have experienced so far in my life, how I happen to be feeling physically at that moment, and what presents itself to me in my environment.
The possession of reason or intelligence cannot be without free will. Granted, a reasoning faculty which can apprehend finite things under different aspects, free will follows. For example, take the acquiring of another man's money may be considered as a moral evil of obtaining it by theft, or as yielding one's own goods in exchange for the sake of possessing cash.The object itself allows a man to concentrate upon one aspect or another, proposing motives to himself for a good or an evil choice.
Speaking of motives,
From Maher, Psychology 395,
Free will is the capability of self-determination; it is "that property in virtue of which a rational agent, when all the conditions required elicit a volition are present, can either put forth or abstain from that volition."
Free will is not "motiveless volition". It does not imply choice without motive, but rather chioce between motives. And it's not true we always act on the strongest motive, for many resist temptations time and time again.
Essentially what I am saying is that if someone makes a choice I don't think is moral, I can judge that person, but if I WERE that person; if I had their biological make up and all the experiences they ever had, and the access to the things they had access to, I would make that same decision.
And this is primarily why you cannot see the forest for the trees when it comes to free will. While you may sincerely think that of yourself (and I don't want to make any of this personal), this is simply not true in general. We are not robots.
Becasue we can understand why people make immoral choices, and even given the same circumstances, doesn't mean we would necessarily make those same choices.
Committing the moral evil (sin) of theft as noted above is a prime example.
The Biblical God asks us to know what He supposedly knows in order to make the right choice--but the Bible tells us we can never know everything that God knows, so we are put in a catch 22 situation, where we have to make the right choice without the faculties to do so. If a person happens to be born in a pagan country or a country where the Biblical faiths are not predominant, how can they make the correct Biblical choice? They've never experienced the knowledge necessary to make the right choice, they don't have the proper environment to make the right choice; they don't have the correct history to have access to the right choice. Contra-causal free will DEMANDS that we know what the right choice is, like it's beamed down into our brains giving us access to information outside of the natural world, and that's just not factual.
Re: the highlighted...no, no, no, no.....here's why.
As to the first part: The Biblical God asks us to know what He supposedly knows
Just to be clear, Almighty God is All-Knowing and there is no way He would ever ask us to know what He knows. God has Infinite Knowledge and Intelligence and we, His creatures, have finite knowledge and intelligence. The perfect fullness of knowledge is possible only in the heavenly vision of God.
Now why does Almighty God want us to know His truth? Because God wills all men to be saved...for our ultimate everlasting Happiness in Heaven.
Having said that, in order that we might make the right choices, Almighty God did give us a way to know, (love and serve) Him and what He wants for us..
First God gave us His Old Testament prophets and written Revelation which all point to Christ Who is the Way, Truth and Life.
The fullest revelation of those things of God which man is intended to know has been made as far as this life goes. It has been given by Jesus the Christ. And while no one has understood the full depths of the truth revealed by Christ, we progress nonetheless, in the knowledge of His teachings. The fullness of Christ's truth is contained in the Catholic Church which has been teaching His truth for over 2000 years and will continue to do so until the end of the world.
So there is no catch 22 as you say. In 33AD, the Church was commissioned by Christ to teach His truths to all nations of the world and she is presently doing that.Christ promised that the end of the world would come only after Christ's truths had been preached to the whole world. St.Matt. 24:14.
So again, God created us in His Image and likeness in that our immortal soul represents a spark of God. He gifted us with free will. He has given us commands of which we can freely choose either to side with Him or against Him. We are to be His sons, but only if we want to be. It is only after our death that we can receive our inheritance depending on how we took the test of life which is our probation time.
Through their free will people accept or reject God and Jesus Christ and His teachings. We are the masters of our own destiny. God wants all of us, but many of us don't want Him and He respects our free will choice.
God has set everlasting life and death before us. And in Deuteronomy He tells us to choose life.