The Abrahamic religions all assert that humans, as God’s special creations, have dignity and freedom, the power to choose between right and wrong, unlike any other animal. However, I see a contradiction between God’s omniscience and/or God’s omnipotence and the idea of personal freedom of choice. If God knows everything that will happen in the future, then He already know what I will choose, and, therefore, I cannot choose otherwise, and my apparent freedom of choice is an illusion. Alternatively, if God is omnipotent (all powerful), then this must mean that everything that happens happens according to His will, that is, He wills it. That means I cannot choose to do something against God’s will (indeed, I must do whatever God wills me to do), and, thus, once again, my apparent freedom of choice is illusory.
From a philosophical or scientific perspective, it seems unlikely that we have freedom. The principle of determinism (which is related to the principle of sufficient reason) states that every event has a cause, which seems to imply that even our decisions have prior causes and, therefore, are predetermined. Furthermore, the physical, chemical and biological sciences apparently explain all physical phenomena, including the processes of our bodies and our behavior, according to general laws, which admit no exceptions. Even if our decisions were uncaused, this would seem to suggest that they are merely random and inexplicable (undetermined) and, therefore, unfree. It seems that our choices and beliefs are largely, if not wholly, determined by nature (biology) and nurture (environment).
However, we have a sense/intuition of freedom, and a sense that our decisions are not determined in the way that the movement of bodies on Earth are determined by gravity, for instance. Kant suggested that we act on this postulate of freedom, otherwise human society and law will be impossible. We would not be able to hold people responsible for their actions and the distinction between right and wrong would collapse.
The very idea of freedom seems paradoxical. On the one hand, humans believe that their rationality gives them the power to choose between different options. On the other hand, human reason suggests that there is a reason for everything, that every event has a cause, including our decisions, and thus that we are not free. I suspect that in attempting to think about freedom, as with thinking about time, space, infinity, mind and God, we come to the limits of reason.