Childhood (youth is a modern invention), Maturity, Middle age, Elderhood - then death...
The stages of life make it possible for humans to live in earth:
to become human (by the childhood stage, with its development and education)
to be productive and reproductive (in the middle two stages)
to become less worldly and more spiritual (in the second half of life).
Death makes salvation possible - without death a creature like a human and with free will would be damned, sooner or later; and to have free will is intrinsic to humanness.
Imagine: who could remain uncorrupted if they were a perpetual modern teenager, subject to the impulses and temptations of the typical modern teenager, for eternity?
Just as well we age, just as well we die.
"Free will" is one of those vague terms like freedom, equality, justice, etc. that probably should be avoided because they are inherently misleading because they are vague.
However, we have choice. As a nihilist, I value making choices based on not materialism, nor dualism, but on a logical comparison of patterns and from that, an abstraction of a logical form to the cosmos as a whole (monism, adualism).
It tends to form a more warlike basis for any religious belief...
@Brett - on the contrary, free will is so vital to our metaphysics that nearly everything else must be built around it; it is (in a sense) the most important thing there is.
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