If God is the first cause and God really created everything, how can our actions not be caused by him?
But on the other hand, if our actions must have been determined by Him, then how is this compatible with the common interpretations of the Quran which for instance state that we are somehow responsible enough for our decisions and might suffer eternally for them if they are judged as enough bad?
Summary picture of the view that God must have determined the acts.
Summary picture of the view that God both determined the acts and will punish some for them.
Update with clarifications mentioned in discussions:
This might mean that:
- From God's perspective, our experience of being able to make decisions is an illusion. God has actually determined our acts because he choose to create everything according to his preferences which are determined by his attributes. This is the best and only possible creation which he could allow himself to create.
- From our perspective we make our decisions ourselves with incomplete knowledge, while being aware that ultimately our will's behavior must be caused by God given that he is the first cause.
- We can be relatively responsible, just as a stone is the cause breaking a window when thrown at it by someone. But ultimately it needs to be the thrower who is responsible (the ultimate cause for praise or blame).
- Some find it absurd that God will eternally punish some people for deeds that God decided for them. It seems sadistic, at least from a limited human perspective. On the other hand it can also be seen as a grace to exist at all, whatever condition. The sufferings in Hell might then only seem unfortunate relative the conditions in Heaven from a human perspective, but might be a necessity for the best possible creation compatible with God's preferences and attributes.