Christianity's problem with free will

BenfromCanada
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Christianity's problem with free will

Originally posted here, please bookmark, follow, etc. my blog.

 

Before I get into this, I'd like to ask you to forward this [as in, the link up top] to any christian you know who might be able to refute this somehow, and send it to other atheists to use in online debates if you think it's a good argument against christianity. I mean, I implicitly ask you to send every blog post to your friends just by posting it, but here I'm explicitly asking because I want real discussion here.

I discuss religion with christians a lot. In reality, I sort of miss religion, and would almost like to be convinced the religion I was brought up in is true. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in order to reach that point is theodicy, as in "the problem of evil" not the epic Greek poem (that joke works better if you're reading this out loud, and are aware of The Odyssey). The Problem of Evil, from a christian standpoint, is that the world has a lot of evil in it, yet the christian god is portrayed in the bible as all-loving, all-powerful and benevolent. As Epicurus said:


Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?



The common modern christian response to this is the citation of free will, as in, god doesn't wish to force us to love him, so we're given a choice, and that choice allows for evil. However, this presents us with three fairly major problems. Firstly, the event that supposedly allowed human suffering, according to christians, is the fall ow man. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the fall of man only allowed for very specific aspects of evil and suffering. Now, let's say that christians are slightly mistaken on this. Let's say that some suffering (childbirth being painful, people being able to die, people needing to farm for food, etc.) was caused by the fall, and the rest was always out there, just not in Eden. Fine, that's a minor point anyway. There are still two very large problems with chalking evil up to free will.

Primarily, there's the fact the bible itself says that free will isn't possible. How, you ask? Well, there are many prophecies in the bible that apparently came true, and many others that have yet to be fulfilled regarding the end of days. There's even a website that lists 100 prophecies in the bible that have been fulfilled. Whether or not these prophecies really did get fulfilled is up for debate, but this does set up a reality where things are predetermined, and anyone who is familiar with the philosophical concept of freewill vs determinism knows that they're basically incompatible. If the future can be predicted, everything is predetermined, and if things are predetermined, we do not have free will, simply the illusion of free will. Our entire lives are governed by whoever determined how events will play out in the future, and all of our choices are laid out exactly so that there is no deviation from the plan.

But let's say that there is a way to get around that. I don't see how it's possible, but let's say that there is a way that we can legitimately have free will while having hundreds of prophecies that have come true, and several more that will. We still have a problem. Is free will a good thing in the christian worldview? On the one hand, god gives us free will so that we can choose him. After all, only a total evil tyrant would force people to believe in him and obey his every law. On the other hand, that's exactly what god does when you get to heaven. While we don't have a complete picture of what the christian heaven would look like, we know there's no sin. In other words, people who have shown themselves willing to obey god's laws and who love god enough to want to be with him forever have their free will taken away. Even if god simply "alters the programming" so to speak, to allow them to choose to do anything that isn't a sin, it's still a violation of free will. By christians' own admission, that would make god evil, at least towards residents of heaven.

And if this solution to the problem of evil doesn't work, then that brings us back to square one: Epicurus' old riddle.

So my questions for christians are these:

1: How do you reconcile your belief in free will with your belief that god has a plan for us all?
2: Is free will a good thing or a bad thing? If it's good, why does god not allow it in heaven? If it's bad, why does god allow it at all?
3: If you can't adequately solve the previous problems, how do you solve the Riddle of Epicurus?


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Answers for you.

BenfromCanada wrote:

 

I discuss religion with christians a lot. In reality, I sort of miss religion, and would almost like to be convinced the religion I was brought up in is true. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in order to reach that point is theodicy, as in "the problem of evil" not the epic Greek poem (that joke works better if you're reading this out loud, and are aware of The Odyssey). The Problem of Evil, from a christian standpoint, is that the world has a lot of evil in it, yet the christian god is portrayed in the bible as all-loving, all-powerful and benevolent. As Epicurus said:


Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?



The common modern christian response to this is the citation of free will, as in, god doesn't wish to force us to love him, so we're given a choice, and that choice allows for evil. However, this presents us with three fairly major problems. Firstly, the event that supposedly allowed human suffering, according to christians, is the fall ow man. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the fall of man only allowed for very specific aspects of evil and suffering. Now, let's say that christians are slightly mistaken on this. Let's say that some suffering (childbirth being painful, people being able to die, people needing to farm for food, etc.) was caused by the fall, and the rest was always out there, just not in Eden. Fine, that's a minor point anyway. There are still two very large problems with chalking evil up to free will.

Primarily, there's the fact the bible itself says that free will isn't possible. How, you ask? Well, there are many prophecies in the bible that apparently came true, and many others that have yet to be fulfilled regarding the end of days. There's even a website that lists 100 prophecies in the bible that have been fulfilled. Whether or not these prophecies really did get fulfilled is up for debate, but this does set up a reality where things are predetermined, and anyone who is familiar with the philosophical concept of freewill vs determinism knows that they're basically incompatible. If the future can be predicted, everything is predetermined, and if things are predetermined, we do not have free will, simply the illusion of free will. Our entire lives are governed by whoever determined how events will play out in the future, and all of our choices are laid out exactly so that there is no deviation from the plan.

But let's say that there is a way to get around that. I don't see how it's possible, but let's say that there is a way that we can legitimately have free will while having hundreds of prophecies that have come true, and several more that will. We still have a problem. Is free will a good thing in the christian worldview? On the one hand, god gives us free will so that we can choose him. After all, only a total evil tyrant would force people to believe in him and obey his every law. On the other hand, that's exactly what god does when you get to heaven. While we don't have a complete picture of what the christian heaven would look like, we know there's no sin. In other words, people who have shown themselves willing to obey god's laws and who love god enough to want to be with him forever have their free will taken away. Even if god simply "alters the programming" so to speak, to allow them to choose to do anything that isn't a sin, it's still a violation of free will. By christians' own admission, that would make god evil, at least towards residents of heaven.

And if this solution to the problem of evil doesn't work, then that brings us back to square one: Epicurus' old riddle.

So my questions for christians are these:

1: How do you reconcile your belief in free will with your belief that god has a plan for us all?
2: Is free will a good thing or a bad thing? If it's good, why does god not allow it in heaven? If it's bad, why does god allow it at all?
3: If you can't adequately solve the previous problems, how do you solve the Riddle of Epicurus?

1.

Actually, Ben, question 1 is one of the easiest for me to reconcile.  Let say you're watching an episode of..., whatever reality show you like, and you and you rewind your DVR. You now know what going to happen next. Does that mean that you have now stripped the contestants of the free-will that they had when they made the choices that you now know of.  Of course not. God is atemporal and sees all of the universe at one instant, that includes time. Another way to look at it is this. I used to have a DVD player that would show me every frame of a movie on one screen. Did I make the characters choose anything? No. I could yell at the screen for them to "not go in there", because 10 frames later, I could see that the bad guy got them, but at the time they did the action, it was their free-will to go through the door.  God sees every frame of our lives at one time. ("At one time" is a temporal phrase that may be better said as "at no time" ) Smiling Now you may be thinking, "Yeah, but no matter how many times I watch it, they HAVE to make the same choice. They now have no free-will."  That is not because you or I know what is going to happen, but because they are temporal beings and only get to make choices once.  Do you get to re-choose what you had for breakfast this morning? No, but that doesn't mean that you didn't have free-will. Just because God knows what is going to happen, doesn't mean that He is constraining it to happen that way.  It is simply foreknowledge.  This is also why prophecies in the Bible show that the authors were writing on the authority of God. Prophecies come true because God is relaying future events to the authors.  That is why prophets in the Bible were held to 100% accuracy. If they got something wrong, then they certainly were not getting information from God, who was witnessing future events "at the time". (There is that phrase again.)

 

2.  I am not sure that free-will is a good or bad thing. Look at a four-year-old. Given free-will, they will, most of the time, choose the wrong thing. They will choose to run in front of a car if you don't restrain them. And they will get very unhappy when you do restrain them. "You don't love them" if you don't make them happy and give them what they want. They don't understand that you are protecting them or that you have better things in mind for them. Eventually they grow-up and understand things that they did not before. In heaven it will be the same way. We will suddenly "grow-up" and understand.  We will still have free-will, but we will have learned to make the right choices.

 

3. Since I answered 1 and 2, I think 3 is non-applicable at this point, but I am sure that you will disagree.  The Riddle of Epicurus leaves out the variables of free-will and Love. For God to rid the world of evil, He would have to remove free-will. Not willing to take our free-will, He paid the price for us to overcome the evil and be with Him if we choose to do so.  The evil comes from within us.

 

I look forward to a continued discussion.

Joe


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joe_2007 wrote: Actually,

joe_2007 wrote:
Actually, Ben, question 1 is one of the easiest for me to reconcile. 

Then why did you completely avoid reconciling it?

The theist claim is that God is the one who actualizes the world he can foretell.

While in your analogy it deals with an 'impotent' observer.

Duhhh...

joe_2007 wrote:
2.  I am not sure that free-will is a good or bad thing. Look at a four-year-old. Given free-will, they will, most of the time, choose the wrong thing.

Like what?

Eating shellfish? Not being a virgin before they get married?

joe_2007 wrote:
They will choose to run in front of a car if you don't restrain them.

Is it a 'sin' to run in front of a car, that should be worthy of eternal torture?

Can you build a bigger strawman?

joe_2007 wrote:
They don't understand that you are protecting them or that you have better things in mind for them.

Protecting them from eating shellfish, recreational sex, and being guilt free?

Why is it the obligation of the child to follow a script set forth by the parent?

Give me 1 objective reason why it should be this way, and this way only that is considered 'good' and 'right'.

joe_2007 wrote:
In heaven it will be the same way. We will suddenly "grow-up" and understand. 

How do you know this?

joe_2007 wrote:
3. Since I answered 1 and 2, I think 3 is non-applicable at this point ...

Your comments are a complete non sequitur.

Better consult with your church. You're a pathetic Christian apologist. You haven't said a cogent thing.

You've just embarrassed yourself.

 

America better get it's head out of it's own ass and start breeding minds that can compete for supremacy with all the secular non superstitious countries in the world.

 

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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My question on this topic is

Free will does not address "evils" that are not caused by humans, such as disease and natural disasters. 

I also always ask the question of why can't God let us have free will and design us to make better decisions. Clearly, our decisions are already determined by our genes and brain chemistry and a multitude of other external factors, and God set up all of those things. Yet, that doesn't constitute a violation of free will. So, obviously, God could design the genes of the average human to be less predisposed to, say, alcoholism, or be more emotionally responsive to religion than they currently are. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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The analogy of rewinding the

The analogy of rewinding the tape does not address the issue.

It only works with respect to what has already happened.

If God is somehow 'outside' time, that doesn't work either, because if the world is not strictly deterministic, then all that could be seen when 'looking' at the whole course of history would be a blur, representing all the possible courses of events.

So if God is 'outside time' he cannot know what happens at any time within in a universe where 'free will' is involved. So free will is totally meaningless to an omniscient God. All he could see would be all the possible sequences of history corresponding to all the combinations of different possible decisions every person in history could make. All time-lines would be 'real', just some would be more probable that others - maybe they would appear as more 'solid'. 'Knowledge' of what has or is going to happen would only be meaningful to a being inside time, following a particular time-line.

From God's 'perspective', everything that could happen has happened. Just what can he meaningfully do??

All of these issues disappear in the real world, where, from our time-governed perspective, we see a world with a combination of determinism and chaos/randomness.

From a perspective of a four+ dimensional being, our world would be a version of that blur I referred to. Or perhaps such a being could follow the spaghetti of all the entangled time-lines. That being may perceive a higher dimension along which higher order events, or cause-effect chains, are organized in sequence, but this is just speculation, as is the Christian hypothesis.

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Will reply to joe later, but

Will reply to joe later, but I wanted to post one christian's reply to my initial post. Here it is. Since he's a Calvinist, he doesn't so much answer it as say "there is no free will" so, that's fine. The reason I link it is for the inept attempt to debunk the Riddle of Epicurus. I don't know if he'd be fine with reposting, thus I link. My reply is in the comment section.


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BenfromCanada wrote:Will

BenfromCanada wrote:

Will reply to joe later, but I wanted to post one christian's reply to my initial post. Here it is. Since he's a Calvinist, he doesn't so much answer it as say "there is no free will" so, that's fine. The reason I link it is for the inept attempt to debunk the Riddle of Epicurus. I don't know if he'd be fine with reposting, thus I link. My reply is in the comment section.

lmao...

* Note to self: Calvinists are mental*

 

I don't see the point 'Christian' theists have in claiming the America is a 'Christian' Nation, when there's so much dissent among their 38000 different factions.

I thought I read somewhere that the largest faction in America is Roman Catholicism with something like 65 Million in their church, and they are at complete odds with many other Christians.

They can't all speak different, and all be 'true'.

They are patently stupid.

What a Koolaid scam...

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Another christian replied.

Another christian replied. He's a bit smarter than the other guy...I'll reply later.


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joe_2007 wrote:1.Actually,

joe_2007 wrote:

1.

Actually, Ben, question 1 is one of the easiest for me to reconcile.  Let say you're watching an episode of..., whatever reality show you like, and you and you rewind your DVR. You now know what going to happen next. Does that mean that you have now stripped the contestants of the free-will that they had when they made the choices that you now know of.  Of course not. God is atemporal and sees all of the universe at one instant, that includes time. Another way to look at it is this. I used to have a DVD player that would show me every frame of a movie on one screen. Did I make the characters choose anything? No. I could yell at the screen for them to "not go in there", because 10 frames later, I could see that the bad guy got them, but at the time they did the action, it was their free-will to go through the door.  God sees every frame of our lives at one time. ("At one time" is a temporal phrase that may be better said as "at no time" ) Smiling Now you may be thinking, "Yeah, but no matter how many times I watch it, they HAVE to make the same choice. They now have no free-will."  That is not because you or I know what is going to happen, but because they are temporal beings and only get to make choices once.  Do you get to re-choose what you had for breakfast this morning? No, but that doesn't mean that you didn't have free-will. Just because God knows what is going to happen, doesn't mean that He is constraining it to happen that way.  It is simply foreknowledge.  This is also why prophecies in the Bible show that the authors were writing on the authority of God. Prophecies come true because God is relaying future events to the authors.  That is why prophets in the Bible were held to 100% accuracy. If they got something wrong, then they certainly were not getting information from God, who was witnessing future events "at the time". (There is that phrase again.)

You're essentially calling your god Dr. Manhattan, which is kind of cool. That said...it's not as bad an answer as others have said it is. However, the problem is that your god isn't a passive viewer, but the producer, writer and director of this movie. It's his will that is being done, and all things are done for his agenda. He wants certain things to happen (Abraham's nation to grow, Moses' people to be set free, the Armageddon of Revelation, etc. and makes sure it happens. He even controls minds to further his agenda, like when he hardened Pharaoh's heart.

 

joe_2007 wrote:

2.  I am not sure that free-will is a good or bad thing. Look at a four-year-old. Given free-will, they will, most of the time, choose the wrong thing. They will choose to run in front of a car if you don't restrain them. And they will get very unhappy when you do restrain them. "You don't love them" if you don't make them happy and give them what they want. They don't understand that you are protecting them or that you have better things in mind for them. Eventually they grow-up and understand things that they did not before. In heaven it will be the same way. We will suddenly "grow-up" and understand.  We will still have free-will, but we will have learned to make the right choices.

OK, sounds good to me. Except with your god, the "right choices" aren't made solely for this life, but for the next as well. If we make the wrong choices, we die and go to hell, something your god allows. It's your god protecting you from something totally unnecessary.

It's like if Superman tells me not to talk loud in a cinema because otherwise giant robots Superman invented will kill me. But can't Superman stop the robots? Sure. And it's not all that difficult for him, either, being that he's Superman and all. They'd be beaten in a minute or two, and cleaned up and dropped into a landfill in almost that amount of time. So is he protecting me by telling me not to piss the robots off, or needlessly endangering me by inventing killer robots and letting them roam free?

joe_2007 wrote:

3. Since I answered 1 and 2, I think 3 is non-applicable at this point, but I am sure that you will disagree.  The Riddle of Epicurus leaves out the variables of free-will and Love. For God to rid the world of evil, He would have to remove free-will. Not willing to take our free-will, He paid the price for us to overcome the evil and be with Him if we choose to do so.  The evil comes from within us.

 

I look forward to a continued discussion.

Joe

So you admit removing free will is necessary to remove evil. Good. So he removes free will in heaven, then? How do you feel about that?


 


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I replied further. Read if

I replied further. Read if you are so inclined.


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some answers

1. We don't have a free will. Its not completely free. If I had a dog and I put a plate full of steamed veggies and a plate of steak in front of him, what would he do? Similarly, you can't just wake up one day and will yourself to stop sinning for the rest of your life. You can will it, but you can't do it. Therefore, you don't have a completely free will.

2. Free will could be good but it could be bad. Only Adam and Eve had a completely free will. It didn't end up so good.

 

3. Epicurus's riddle is kinda weak because God is necessary for there to be such a thing as evil. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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finalthrill

finalthrill wrote:

 Similarly, you can't just wake up one day and will yourself to stop sinning for the rest of your life. You can will it, but you can't do it. Therefore, you don't have a completely free will.

To begin with, give some examples of 'sins', and then give some reasons why anyone ought to consider stopping to do those things.

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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'Free will', in the sense

'Free will', in the sense Christianity seems to use the term, is the equivalent of a coin flip, a purely random choice.

Any meaningful 'choice' is based on a balance of the desires, urges, assessment of a 'best course of action', etc, etc. IOW it is determined by that balance, as perceived in our own mind, at the moment we make a choice. If you take away any such factors, what is a 'free' choice based on? Can we 'freely' make a choice to choose something we would not like or agree with, against all such factors, without having a reason to do such a thing? It makes no sense.

We can approximate such a 'free' choice, by consciously trying to ignore all such influences, but that is not how we go about things normally, and requires a standard conscious decision to try for such an 'un-influenced' choice, but we find it easier to literally flip a coin or roll a dice.

The practical exercise of 'free will' is a choice made without external coercion.

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The 'free will' and 'fallen'

The 'free will' and 'fallen' definitions of Christians are a complete non sequitur.

Their God is defined as 'perfect', omniscient, omnipotent, yet, he designed and 'created' humans that fail to behave as intended.

 

 

By fricken' definition, there's no one else to blame but himself, if his designs don't meet the design criteria, and malfunction.

We are 'designed' in such a way that we can't put our elbow in our ear. Neither are we 'designed' in such a way that we're even tempted to do so, or 'wired' so that the gratification would be orgasmic, or euphoric.

If 'elbow in ear' activity was a sin, there wouldn't be a problem.

Design 101.

Why doesn't 'God' put 2 and 2 together?...

 

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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"It's completely bogus!"

as Joe Garelli would say it.

It's a metaphysical construct, circular logic: evil, god, free will... Remove one and the others lose meaning.

Want a serious discussion? I think one should start from here:
Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology, Kolb;
Fractured Minds: A Case-Study Approach to Clinical Neuropsychology, Ogden.

Eventually you could use Kant's arguments...


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"free will" is a

"free will" is a mythological construct invented by the believer as a gap answer to justify their deity.

Once you strip all comic book claims of fictional super friends in the sky, the truth is much more ordinary and mundane.

Life, nature, and the universe neither programmed or scripted but can be measured because of consistent observations and behaviors. A hurricane for example, is "predictable" in the sense that certain conditions and multiple factors can lead us to predict that a hurricane will happen. The "randomness" is the degree of the swath of path, life span, intensity, direction and amount of rain.

We can predict a snowstorm, but we cannot give an exact amount of snowflakes produced by that storm.

We know from the behavior of the study of stars, the "deterministic" "predictable" part, that our star will die too. What we don't know is when, the random part.

So the theist falsely attaches a magical form of either/or to life when the reality is that "what is" is both random and predictable.

Just like in Vagas if you were playing roulette, the deterministic part is that the ball will spin in relation to the motion of the wheel and gravity and will eventually stop. What you don't know is the number it will land on.

"free will" is just another mythological bullshit concept that explains nothing but the desires of the people who justify their invisible friend.

 

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 Yeah I don't believe in a

 Yeah I don't believe in a "free will" in the sense that some theists do.  We are inclined to act in ways that pretty much nullify any concept of "free will."   


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What's left for the great whites to eat?

People look at the role physical processes play in our decision-making and ask "what's left for me to decide?"  To me, is just like noticing that all the fish in the pond are eaten by sharks, and then asking "what's left for the great whites to eat?"

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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If our decisions are also

If our decisions are also affected by 'non-physical' processes, those still logically count against 'free will' as much as 'physical processes'.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Answers in Gene...
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p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Physical processes don't bode well for free will either. However, the details depend on which model you are going from.

 

In the Copenhagen model, we have the Schrodinger equation. Anything can happen from any previous thing. But what actually happens is determined but the collapse of the wave function. That will be caused by the external agency of some outside interaction that enters any given system.

 

Sure, Bohr said that that does not apply in the macro world but ultimately, his reasoning rests on the lofty concept of “because I said so...” I find it hard to see how that provides for free will.

 

In the Many worlds model, anything that can happen from a previous state does happen. All possible outcomes happen, we are just not aware of the outcomes that differ from what we can see. Again, there is no room for free will where every possible outcome holds.

 

In summary, under Copenhagen, god must be blind to futures not yet written. Under Many worlds, God must see all futures as fully realized and fully equal.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

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Brian37
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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Physical processes don't bode well for free will either. However, the details depend on which model you are going from.

 

In the Copenhagen model, we have the Schrodinger equation. Anything can happen from any previous thing. But what actually happens is determined but the collapse of the wave function. That will be caused by the external agency of some outside interaction that enters any given system.

 

Sure, Bohr said that that does not apply in the macro world but ultimately, his reasoning rests on the lofty concept of “because I said so...” I find it hard to see how that provides for free will.

 

In the Many worlds model, anything that can happen from a previous state does happen. All possible outcomes happen, we are just not aware of the outcomes that differ from what we can see. Again, there is no room for free will where every possible outcome holds.

 

In summary, under Copenhagen, god must be blind to futures not yet written. Under Many worlds, God must see all futures as fully realized and fully equal.

 

Are you and Massimo best friends?

While I agree that science and quantum mechanics especially can get quite freaky, AND BELIEVE ME, the fact that gravity can affect time, alone, freaks the fuck out of me. But I am sorry, if every outcome happens then right now Angolina Jolie is giving me a blow job.

I think if I am going to strip this down to laymens terms, it seems that BOTH sides want to lay claim to "ultimately we don't know"

I am fine with science not knowing as long as it is testing and falsifying because it has the most likely road to lead to answers.

But, I am not going to even let my brains fall out for fans of Star Trec.

So it seems that some in the atheist community are hyper sensitive to clinging to "never say never" and can be afraid of using the trash can of ideas. I am not saying you are in this post. Just that if it is ok to throw Thor and Isis into the trash can, then it should be ok to throw the Enterprise meeting itself in an episode of Star Trec into the same trash can. Otherwise if "anything goes" because quantum mechanics is fucking deep, then Anjolina is giving me another blow job right now.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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BobSpence
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Brian,the point about the

Brian,

the point about the idea of everything 'possible' having happened from some higher-dimensional point of view, is that each 'path' has a probablility attached. Which means that some events have such low but non-zero likelihood, that they would be the faintest wisps in the multi-world-line view of our space-time.

That may mean that the world-lines where you are having it on with Angelina would be pretty much invisible, down amongst the ones where there actually is a 'God', or the current Redskins win a Superbowl...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Jean Chauvin
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Hi OPIE

I'm writing a book on evil. Yes, that has been the common erroneous answer. Free Will is mythology. It is based on Greek Pagan Religion via the Stoics. It is not Christian. So logically this cannot be an answer.

second, evil is NOT a problem. I'm aware the Universities and Seminaries phrase it that way, but they've been bitten by the poisonous bite of liberalism.

God creates evil (Isaiah 45:7) and hates the wicked (Pslams 11:5). So God may hate you. However, God is not the agent of that evil. The reason why they've said this is because for 1600 years, theodicy was based on Augustine's theory that evil is the absense of good and thus is not an entity like goodness.

But Luke 11:13 via the present participles says something different.

"You being and remaining evil."

So why does God do this? If He is all powerful. He does this for 2 reasons

1) Demonstration of his justice/wrath to the pagan like yourself (or heretic/apostate like yourself)

2) As a comparative means of His mercy.

If all were shown mercy. with no wrath, then they woudl not understand the gravity of grace that God has shown them.

So yes, the age old theory on theodicy and the Synod of Dort's view on free will are extremely heretical. There answer is illogical and they don't have a leg to stand on, i agree.

But the Biblical answer to this has solved the problem.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).