128. Do human beings have fee will or are they subject tofatalism?
If their conduct were subject to fatalism, they would have no responsibility for the evil or merit for the good they do; hence, any punishment would be unjust and any recompense senseless. Humans' free will is a consequence of God's justice, the attribute that gives them their dignity and lifts them above all other creatures. This is so very true that the esteem, they have for one another is due to their free will. Those who lose it accidentally because of sickness, insanity, chemical dependency or mental impairment are pitied or treated with contempt.
Materialism, which makes all the moral and intellectual faculties depend on the physical body, reduces humans to the status of being machines without free will, and consequently, with no responsibility for the evil or merit for the good they do.