Regarding the "free will" argument:
There is only "free will" in the sense being discussed here if there are actual options.
That is, the entity with the "free will" must have had a genuine potential for making different choices in a given situation. So, prior to the Eden Debacle, it must have been genuinely possible for Adam and Eve to have chosen not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, or to have hurried off and chomped down the fruit of the Tree of Life before Yahweh showed up, thus completing their ascent to divinity before he had a chance to kick them out of the Garden. If it was not
genuinely possible--if there was only one potential result of Adam and Eve being placed in the Garden--then they could not have had "free will."
It follows from this that if any punishments or other consequences from the eating of the Fruit preceded the actual deed, that Adam and Eve could not have had "free will," and that their action in the Garden was foreordained.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
--I Peter 1:19-20
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
--Revelation 17:8, emphasis added
From passages like these, we see that certain things, such as the sacrifice of Christ and the salvation of some and not others, were foreordained from "before the foundation of the world." This can only mean that there was never any potential or possibility
for Adam and Eve to have made a different choice. In like manner, Pontius Pilate could not have had "free will" to say, "No, I'm letting this Jesus fellow go, and if you Jewish leaders don't like it, I can make enough crosses to go around."
"From the foundation of the world," Yahweh would have known exactly what would happen, and that there were no alternative potential futures for the humans he was about to create. It was not as if he could hope that things would work out better than they did, and end up disappointed in the choices his humans made, given that better choices leading to better futures were available to them. No, the essentials were foreordained "from the foundation of the world" (or "from before
the foundation of the world")
So, according to the Biblical story then, Yahweh is the only entity who has a real choice among viable options. Assuming that he
has "free will," he would likely have had a wide range of possibilities. He could make worlds without humans, worlds inhabited by sentient cephalopods, Gardens without magical Trees or talking serpents, Gardens without a prohibition on eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, different rule-sets and so on. Or, if some element of his nature ("perfect righteousness" perhaps?) somehow constrained him to one and only one possible Earth and only one rule-set for the "game" of life, he would still presumably have had the choice to create, or not.
In this latter case, knowing that creating a world with humans would inevitably result in most of those humans suffering horribly for eternity, a loving Deity could still decide that such a price was simply too high, and choose not to create. Unless those "foundation of the world" passages apply to Yahweh as well
, in which case Yahweh has no "free will" either.