Right off the bat, I don't think anyone can really define freedom. Questeruk posed an interesting dilemma, when I stated that "freedom is the absence of absolute knowledge". Questeruk then stated that God is both absolute and free.
I found this response interesting because that is what Ernest Martin said when I discussed the matter with him.
Ernest Martin was a brilliant man, but there were three basic flaws in his conclusion:
1.We can't prove there is a God
2.We have great difficulty in defining "absolute"
3.We have the same problem with "freedom".
This leads to yet another problem: how can anything be both "absolute" and "free"?
If it is absolute, the very absolute itself would provide a limit to what could be done beyond that absolute. If it were free to select otherwise, the limitation of choice itself would not be absolute.
Dr. Martin responded to me then that freedom is like a length of rope or "tether" to which we are bound. To the extent we can move within the length of that tether, we are free, but we are NOT free to move beyond the length of that tether.
I said, "That's all well and good, but now tell me how long the tether is. Can you define the limits?"
There was a man named Georg Cantor who once believed that God would reveal himself to Cantor if he, Cantor, studied into the nature of infinity and was able to offer definitions.
The problem was, Cantor began to realize not only infinity, but an infinity of infinities! Even worse, in trying to list all "real numbers" by the use of a diagonal method, he showed that it was impossible to do so. The list would always remain incomplete.
A "real" number corresponds to what is also called "irrational numbers", like "pi" the square root of 2, 3, etc.
The Euclidean line is said to contain an infinity of points, each corresponding to a number within the infinite continuum. One problem: where is the point corresponding to "pi", and the square root of 2, etc? Not only did there appear to be gaps in the Euclidean line, but the number of gaps seemed to be infinite.
Pythagoras was rather disturbed by this fact when one of his students showed there was a problem with his theorem, A squared plus B squared equals C squared.
Pythagoras's student said, "Sir, what if 'C squared' is '2'? What is the square root of 2?" Legend has it that Pythagoras had the student drowned to keep his mouth shut.
So, in the most formal system of proofs we have, there doesn't seem to exist a process that contains all the other facts within that process which is non-contradictory, or which can be summed up in a "rational" statement(the ratio between two numbers).
So, it seems impossible to define "absolute" as a point beyond which human knowledge cannot go, which would appear to show that we are "free' to choose among an infinite set of alternatives which we can define. But then, if we can't define those alternatives, we cannot choose among them.
Among all the infinity of alternatives, therefore, we can't define "God", because "God" would therefore be the sum of those alternatives. We can't even list all real numbers, much less define God! Any attempt to define God would naturally result in the infinity of alternatives we see around us today.
You can't define a procedure to get from "here" to "God", because you would first have to define limits as to what God is, and that would place God within the measurements of calculus, since calculus seeks to define the number of steps or "decisions" approaching a limit.
Of course, algorithms follow this process by which we define decisions or decision procedures to "terminate" at a certain limit or goal. Regarding truth as one complete, consistent system of thought, might be a useful idea of either "God" or "absolute", but Alan Turing demonstrated there is simply no way by which a computation can prove all such truth(s), as did Godel's theorem.
If you seek to define 'freedom' therefore, you must define it strictly within the context of human definitions. It cannot in any sense be applied to God, since there is no evidence of the existence of God.
That, basically is what Paul told us. If there exists a God, any decisions procedures by which we may hope to get "there" would be completely subject to that God and with "God's" knowledge.
If there is such a decision procedure, that procedure is programmable, which means it can be reduced to human concepts and ideas, which means that "God" is therefore either created by, or creatable by, human ideas. It would necessarily mean that "God" is less than man.
On the other hand, to believe in God is to believe that there does exist knowledge and truth that transcends the knowledge of men. That, in essence, is what Godel's theorem tells us: truth transcends theoremhood. Truth exists as a context of completeness and consistency beyond the power of humans to regulate or measure in one system.
Does truth exist in such a complete and consistent form? If it does, we can't get there from here.
Does God exist as the sum of truth? If "He" does, we can't get there from here.
Paul's statements in Romans 8 and 9 are fully consistent with that fact.