The definitive refutation of the free will argument

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The definitive refutation of the free will argument

If in Heaven , one can use free will but never commit misdeeds, then without special pleading,why not just Heaven in the first place.Loving parents try to put their children in safe places, not putting them in unsafe ones to test them for a better life later.God ,therefore, shows no love! It is theists such as John Hick who require paradise in the end.He commits the strawman and the all or nothing fallacies in stating that we atheists demand paradise. We just call his bluff.Nelson Pike in "God and Evil," adumbrates on the idea that we would be robots if we could not do wrong, but that applies to Heaven also.And so , he special pleads.God has no need to set up an epistemic distance to test us to come to love Him as no rational being would care for worship in the first place.So,that is a rationalization on the part of Hick and others. Another rationalization of his and others is soul-making.How absurd! What about the fifty millions who lost their lives and thus, their free will so that one man could exercise his! So why not just Heaven ? It won't do to answer that there it is different as that beg the question. Theists just posit one rationalization after another to absolve their monster ! This is the Meslier - Martin argument that I put forth as the argument against the use of free will in theodicies. That is Fr. Meslier and Michael Martin .

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
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skeptic griggsy
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I f God is not the Supreme

I f God is not the Supreme Robot,having free will and not being inclined to do wrong, then we would be more in imago Dei had we those two features. Theodicy tries to make palatable, with one guess after another, exonerating God from being a bad parent for putting us where so many of us do not get to use their free wills. Theology tries to make palatable guesses about God and His attributes. Soteriology tries to make palatable ritual cannabalism and vampirism, human sacrifice and the violence of the divine protection rackett. I f science cannot answer a question, theology sure cannot with all its guesses as Dawkins implies.Science does indeed give the why and the how; theology merely guesses, using double talk.Frown 

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


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But answers to

But answers to what?

Science is system by which we derive knowledge of material reality. How can it answer questions that are open to interpretation, questions that define human existence and purpose. Context and meaning are the answers that religion provides. You can study shakespeare and his form of writing and grammar, learn all about his use of iambic pentameters what do you have? In the end you have a collection of words printed on paper and bound by pieces of leather. This is the absolute material truth of a literary work. But when you read Macbeth or Hamlet you experience and you intepret. You assign meaning and value. This is not a rational excercise, it is not based on scientific methodology. 

Now take existence as a whole, look at the universe. You can eventually derive all sorts of factual knowledge of the forces which govern existence, all the properties of matter. In the end just as with shakespeare you have to take all that, and you experience of it and assign meaning, purpose. Make it something you can relate to as a human being.

Perhaps this is a mechanism we humans invented to deal with our knowledge of the self, and existence, but in the end it serves a purpose. Religion performs this function for the vast majority of the world's 6 billion people. Its not taking a guess on things it doesn't know, its assigning value to the things we do know. To the experiences of all of humanity. 


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Quote: Science is system by

Quote:
Science is system by which we derive knowledge of material reality. How can it answer questions that are open to interpretation, questions that define human existence and purpose.

Like what?

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Context and meaning are the answers that religion provides.

Context, yes. Meaning, no.

Quote:
You can study shakespeare and his form of writing and grammar, learn all about his use of iambic pentameters what do you have? In the end you have a collection of words printed on paper and bound by pieces of leather. This is the absolute material truth of a literary work.

Why stop here?

"You have a collection of words printed on paper and bound by pieces of leather (more or less), that, when passed through the brain filter that interprets symbols and their combinations, will obtain a very rare combination of stimuli of the internal kind that trigger feelings of happiness, or perhaps tranquility, or perhaps feelings of heroism or content, depending on the person. And such feelings, combined through the interpretation of various shakespearian works, reveal the true relative genius that the author must have been in order to produce works of such relatively exceptional nature, that thrills and fuels young minds and old altogether."

Did that sound nice? It wasn't anything but literary analisys, grammar, biology and neurology, a bit of physics and a certain ammount of psychology.

Happy now?

Quote:
Now take existence as a whole, look at the universe. You can eventually derive all sorts of factual knowledge of the forces which govern existence, all the properties of matter. In the end just as with shakespeare you have to take all that, and you experience of it and assign meaning, purpose. Make it something you can relate to as a human being.

This "argument from awe" reminds me of that quote: "Given a significant enough progress of technology, to a simple mind it will resemble magic."

Quote:
Perhaps this is a mechanism we humans invented to deal with our knowledge of the self, and existence, but in the end it serves a purpose.

Perhaps not.

Quote:
Religion performs this function for the vast majority of the world's 6 billion people. Its not taking a guess on things it doesn't know, its assigning value to the things we do know. To the experiences of all of humanity.

That's swell, and I cannot but agree with you, but that doesn't make religion more "right" than it already isn't.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
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d_focil wrote: But answers

d_focil wrote:

But answers to what?

Science is system by which we derive knowledge of material reality. How can it answer questions that are open to interpretation, questions that define human existence and purpose. Context and meaning are the answers that religion provides. You can study shakespeare and his form of writing and grammar, learn all about his use of iambic pentameters what do you have? In the end you have a collection of words printed on paper and bound by pieces of leather. This is the absolute material truth of a literary work. But when you read Macbeth or Hamlet you experience and you intepret. You assign meaning and value. This is not a rational excercise, it is not based on scientific methodology. 

Now take existence as a whole, look at the universe. You can eventually derive all sorts of factual knowledge of the forces which govern existence, all the properties of matter. In the end just as with shakespeare you have to take all that, and you experience of it and assign meaning, purpose. Make it something you can relate to as a human being.

Perhaps this is a mechanism we humans invented to deal with our knowledge of the self, and existence, but in the end it serves a purpose. Religion performs this function for the vast majority of the world's 6 billion people. Its not taking a guess on things it doesn't know, its assigning value to the things we do know. To the experiences of all of humanity. 

Hate to break it to you, but, really, meaning in life is completely unnecessary. You'll die if you get too hot or cold, but not if you don't have enough meaning in your diet.

Meaning is a luxury of the bored searching for a way to feel important when, in their boredom, they have had all the time in the world to actually contemplate just how worthless they are.


skeptic griggsy
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the deftintive refutation of the free will argumentas theoidicy

  Anaturalists use the free will argument as a dodge to exonerate their God,but it is such a flawed argument as I show above.It is  special pleading to allege that God and Heaven are so different from here and us.This is just another of their mysteries,signifying nothing.Since God has free will and can do no wrong, then we too would be the same were we more like Him! Soul-making is such a dodge! God did not need soul-making, nor should we. Please respond to the topic. Comments on science belong elsewhere.

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


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d_focil wrote: But answers

d_focil wrote:

But answers to what?

Science is system by which we derive knowledge of material reality. How can it answer questions that are open to interpretation, questions that define human existence and purpose.

It doesn't have to. That is not the role of science. Science and scientists claim only to be delivering material facts about the material world. From there, people can assign any meaning they want using any method they want, including religion.

The problem is, theists persist in trying to make scientific claims. "God exists" is a scientific claim. It is either true or false in the real world. Then there's all the creationist garbage.

This is when science and religion come into conflict: when theists become impatient with trying to convince others to join up through the strength of their doctrine and turn to trying to force people to join up based on the scientific claims of their religion. That is what the whole ID controversy has been about: the attempts of some theists to say that they have an alternative scientific theory based on faith, and to use that leverage to force others to hear about their religion.  

 

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skeptic griggsy

skeptic griggsy wrote:
Since God has free will and can do no wrong, then we too would be the same were we more like Him! Soul-making is such a dodge!

I had this question floating around my mind for a while after reading The God Delusion. Can God actually have a free will? Since omnipotence and omniscience are mutually incompatible.

Quote:
If God is omniscient, he must already know how he is going to intervene to change the course of history using his omnipotence. But that means he can't change his mind about his intervention, which means he is not omnipotent. Karen Owens has captured this witty little paradox in equally engaging verse:

 

Can omniscient God, who

Knows the future, find

The omnipotence to

Change His future mind?

Not being able to decide upon one's actions is also lack of free will, isn't it?

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


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Tilberian wrote: It

Tilberian wrote:

It doesn't have to. That is not the role of science. Science and scientists claim only to be delivering material facts about the material world. From there, people can assign any meaning they want using any method they want, including religion.

The problem is, theists persist in trying to make scientific claims. "God exists" is a scientific claim. It is either true or false in the real world. Then there's all the creationist garbage.

This is when science and religion come into conflict: when theists become impatient with trying to convince others to join up through the strength of their doctrine and turn to trying to force people to join up based on the scientific claims of their religion. That is what the whole ID controversy has been about: the attempts of some theists to say that they have an alternative scientific theory based on faith, and to use that leverage to force others to hear about their religion. 

 

So you agree that it is up to us to assign a context to what science can describe.

I agree with you that religion should not offer alternative explainations not based on scientific method.

"God exists" does not have to be a scientific claim. The word "God" can be seen as a contextual term given to the observable and testable natural laws of the universe. If you define "God" as an infinite will excercising order in existence then those laws can be the mechanism of that "will". 

You can not prove this is "God", but you don't need to because it ceases to be a scientific claim, its just another name used to describe something.


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Rigor_OMortis

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That's swell, and I cannot but agree with you, but that doesn't make religion more "right" than it already isn't.

 It doesn't have to be "right" to anyone but the person who finds value in it. I don't like mainstream pop, but if someone can find value in it, its their choice. However stupid I may think that choice to be.

Now, I agree that no one should be forcing others to believe anything and religion has throughout history done this. But so has every other ideology and dogma created by man.

Humility, the often overlooked tenet in Christianity is the key... 


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Quote:It doesn't have to

Quote:
It doesn't have to be "right" to anyone but the person who finds value in it. I don't like mainstream pop, but if someone can find value in it, its their choice. However stupid I may think that choice to be.

How does it come, then, that, if a person finds comfort in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus when he's, let's say, 30, he is labelled as "delusional", or "mentally unstable" and dealt with accordingly?

Let me ask simply: are you interested in the truth or in a lie that makes you feel good?

As for the dogma being forced... we know every other dogma throughout history has been forced down the throat. I don't remember anyone saying that atheism necessarily supports dogmatism (actually I believe it's quite the opposite). I hope the historicaldogmatism isn't an excuse you wish to put forward for dogmatism to remain.

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Humility, the often overlooked tenet in Christianity is the key...

It's the key to what, exactly? What do you gain by being humble? Respect? Difficult to imagine. Money? Hardly so. Popularity? Get real. Health? I don't see the connection. Tell me, what do you gain by being humble? What do the others gain by you being humble?

We live in a society that doesn't praise humility. Try being humble at a job interview.

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d_focil wrote:  So you

d_focil wrote:

 So you agree that it is up to us to assign a context to what science can describe.

I agree with you that religion should not offer alternative explainations not based on scientific method.

"God exists" does not have to be a scientific claim. The word "God" can be seen as a contextual term given to the observable and testable natural laws of the universe. If you define "God" as an infinite will excercising order in existence then those laws can be the mechanism of that "will".

You can not prove this is "God", but you don't need to because it ceases to be a scientific claim, its just another name used to describe something.

You are still claiming that the universe has a will. This is a scientific statement. Evidence, please.

Scottmax posted an excellent analogy that describes my problem with this theory:

I leave the house in the morning and leave the paper on the table. After work I come home and the paper is on the floor. There are a number of possible explainations, but here's two:

1. The dog knocked it off.

2. Ninjas broke into the house, got really pumped up, then totally FLIPPED OUT on a gang of pirates (who were sneaking in through the basement). In the process, the paper got knocked off. Having beheaded all the pirates, the ninjas then cleaned up, because we know that ninjas are very neat and take careful attention to detail, though they can be laid back and cool at the same time. But they left the paper on the floor because ninjas could care less what anyone thinks and do whatever they want. www.realultimatepower.com

#2 is a lot more fun to believe, but there are a lot of added elements that aren't really necessary to explain the observed phenomenon.

 

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Thats true but it does not

Thats true but it does not really apply to what I'm saying.

By will I mean an establised order to the universe. The whole of science rests on the premise that we can understand nature, and that in the end it must rest on simple and elegant principles that are able to be discovered. If this were not the case then scientific discovery of any meaning would be impossible. we can see that things are ordered and that given the laws of physics matter and energy will always behave in the same way. This concept is entirely testable.

When you act it is possible to figure out why you acted because there are underlying reasons for your choice of action. The reasons behind you choices and actions reflect what can be called an underlying "will". This is how I see the natural process of the universe as a kind of "will". 

 


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Rigor_OMortis wrote: How

Rigor_OMortis wrote:

How does it come, then, that, if a person finds comfort in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus when he's, let's say, 30, he is labelled as "delusional", or "mentally unstable" and dealt with accordingly?

Let me ask simply: are you interested in the truth or in a lie that makes you feel good?

As for the dogma being forced... we know every other dogma throughout history has been forced down the throat. I don't remember anyone saying that atheism necessarily supports dogmatism (actually I believe it's quite the opposite). I hope the historicaldogmatism isn't an excuse you wish to put forward for dogmatism to remain.

It's the key to what, exactly? What do you gain by being humble? Respect? Difficult to imagine. Money? Hardly so. Popularity? Get real. Health? I don't see the connection. Tell me, what do you gain by being humble? What do the others gain by you being humble?

We live in a society that doesn't praise humility. Try being humble at a job interview.

Well, if you believe in any mythical figure you are only labled delusional when it interferes with your life and prevents you from functioning in society. People for the most part are allowed to believe what they want because its their right.

Athiesm doesn't necessarily support dogmatism, I never said it did. People do that with whatever belief they think is the ultimate truth.

Humility prevents you from thinking you hold the ultimate truth and thus trying to force others to see what you see. 

You euquate humility with weakness as most of our society does because people think humility means that you let people push you around or that you are afraid of everything. It just means that you are not arogant, that you prefer to serve the world around you instead of trying to dominate it. 

Read on the life of Gandhi and you will understand what humility is. I don't think you could say he is not respected. 

In any case your argument about society is irrelevant and falls into the same category as Theist arguments appealing to the popularity of a belief to prove its validity.

 

By the way I have been humble in a job interviews, and I've gotten it every time. 


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Quote: Well, if you believe

Quote:
Well, if you believe in any mythical figure you are only labled delusional when it interferes with your life and prevents you from functioning in society.

Actually, you are labelled delusional in any case, but, in absence of the case you mentioned, it's not obvious that one is delusional.

So, let's see. A theist does (depending on religion):

- waste time every Sunday/Sabbath when they go to a building to literally talk to walls

- (some) waste time 5 times a day chanting to an inanimate object (the Sun)

- (some) waste a lot of time IMAGINING how they can levitate or go out of their bodies

- (some of those directly above) waste whole lifetime training for a kind of combat that never happens

- call other people "infidels", "pigs", etc. for not agreeing with their opinion

- go to/start wars (commonly called crusades, or djihads, depending on faith) in the name of a myth

- take down buildings that symbolize the prosperity of people of a different opinion

...and many more.

I don't know what to say, but to me, it seems that the theist's delusion interferes a lot with their life and does prevent them to a certain degree from functioning in society. Wouldn't you agree?

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People for the most part are allowed to believe what they want because its their right.

But that doesn't make them less delusional.

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Humility prevents you from thinking you hold the ultimate truth and thus trying to force others to see what you see. 

Oh, I can definitely see where you were going when you said it's kind of forgotten in religion...

Quote:
You euquate humility with weakness as most of our society does because people think humility means that you let people push you around or that you are afraid of everything. It just means that you are not arogant, that you prefer to serve the world around you instead of trying to dominate it.

Indeed, perhaps you are a bit right here. I equate "humility" with the Romanian word for it, which is generally considered a negative term, and means exactly what you said: weakness, proneness to be pushed around, etc. So, apologies.

 

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d_focil wrote: Thats true

d_focil wrote:

Thats true but it does not really apply to what I'm saying.

By will I mean an establised order to the universe. The whole of science rests on the premise that we can understand nature, and that in the end it must rest on simple and elegant principles that are able to be discovered. If this were not the case then scientific discovery of any meaning would be impossible. we can see that things are ordered and that given the laws of physics matter and energy will always behave in the same way. This concept is entirely testable.

I disagree. Science doesn't rest on this presupposition, nor is it necessary for scientific discovery to have meaning. If we observe something that violates the known rules surrounding it, then the rules are always open to revision.

However, until such an observation is made, it makes no sense to assume that identical things don't follow identical rules. As you say, the idea that identical things will behave the same way all the time is testable and, indeed, has been tested to a prohibitive degree of probability. It is at the point now where someone wanting to claim that identical things CAN behave differently under identical conditions would assume the burden of proof.

My example about parsimony does apply, because the theory that natural laws are not always the same begs a multitude of questions, while the theory that they are always the same simply fits all our observations to date. 

d_focil wrote:

When you act it is possible to figure out why you acted because there are underlying reasons for your choice of action. The reasons behind you choices and actions reflect what can be called an underlying "will". This is how I see the natural process of the universe as a kind of "will".

 

But where is that Purpose in nature? What end is it working toward? What evidence do we have that it is working toward any end at all?

 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
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Its not a purpose as we see

Its not a purpose as we see a purpose in terms of a defined goal. But it is moving towards something by virtue of time passing. By definition the universe is changing. We can't know for sure where this will go into the future, but we can and do theorise about it interms of things like infinite expansion of the universe or the big crunch.

The will has worked until this moment to produce us. While it may be possibl that an infinite number of possibile realities could exist, this is the one we can obserb and its the only one we know for sure. In this reality we do exist, and we exist because of systematic natural processes ingrained in the universe that have followed a 15 billion year evolutionary course.

The rules may be revised but they must always end up being rules in order for the universe to work. If not anything would be possible at any moment and nothing would make sense.

The meaning is left for us to interpret by whatever means we choose. In my case this is done via a religious appreciation of existence.


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d_focil wrote: Its not a

d_focil wrote:

Its not a purpose as we see a purpose in terms of a defined goal. But it is moving towards something by virtue of time passing. By definition the universe is changing. We can't know for sure where this will go into the future, but we can and do theorise about it interms of things like infinite expansion of the universe or the big crunch.

The will has worked until this moment to produce us. While it may be possibl that an infinite number of possibile realities could exist, this is the one we can obserb and its the only one we know for sure. In this reality we do exist, and we exist because of systematic natural processes ingrained in the universe that have followed a 15 billion year evolutionary course.

The rules may be revised but they must always end up being rules in order for the universe to work. If not anything would be possible at any moment and nothing would make sense.

The meaning is left for us to interpret by whatever means we choose. In my case this is done via a religious appreciation of existence.

But given that there is no apparent motion towards an indentifiable goal, why would we suppose that forces other than simple cause and effect are at work? After all, there is no reason to believe that the universe could have ever been any different than it is.

Keep in mind that even the "rules of nature" are human constructions designed to help us understand and manipulate our environment. We cannot know how far or close they are to accurately describing anything.

I still don't see what the use of anthropomorphic words like "God" and "will" add to the discussion. They seem to lack probitive value and serve only to cloak the facts with a layer of misunderstanding and assumption. If we are not talking about a human-style purposeful consciousness, then I guess I don't see where we are farther ahead in slapping those labels on existing concepts like "universe," "time," and "causality."  

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
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the defintive refutation of the free will argument

Matness, you are so right! God is an inchorent term parading as an explanation as shown in the ignostic-Ockham thread.Theists guess that He has that attribute. An I question that He can know our futures before we make them and if so, then how can we really be free: sounds fatalistic to me! M., thanks and keep up the good work!

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


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skeptic griggsy wrote:

skeptic griggsy wrote:
If in Heaven , one can use free will but never commit misdeeds, then without special pleading,why not just Heaven in the first place.

By "if in Heaven" I take it you mean the afterlife? A sanctified person - a person made pure and judged to enter God's Kingdom - is not compelled to be good any more than anyone else. The difference is a lack of compulsion to sin. The basis of sin, as described by Paul in his letters, is not seeking God. Having experienced this life and sin, if I were to be sanctified and enter the Kingdom I would find it difficult to imagine returning to sin.

skeptic griggsy wrote:
Loving parents try to put their children in safe places, not putting them in unsafe ones to test them for a better life later.God ,therefore, shows no love!

Come again? Loving parents never challenge their children, favoring as perfectly safe an environment as possible? Sounds like bad parenting to me. It's a good way to keep your children ignorant and incapacitated.

skeptic griggsy wrote:
I f God is not the Supreme Robot,having free will and not being inclined to do wrong, then we would be more in imago Dei had we those two features.

God is also omniscient, a quality not assigned to humans, which would make clear the consequences of bad judgement. As a point of interest, the first sin was eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The distinction of two things is the principle of judgement. Without judgement we would do exactly as we should - rely on God's wisdom and judgement. Clearly judgement was a necessary step in God's design.

So... is your argument just the old 'perfect creator creates imperfect beings' bit? Always reminded me of an argument from wonder, personally.

"The map appears more real to us than the land." - Lawrence


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Quote: By "if in Heaven" I

Quote:
By "if in Heaven" I take it you mean the afterlife? A sanctified person - a person made pure and judged to enter God's Kingdom - is not compelled to be good any more than anyone else. The difference is a lack of compulsion to sin. The basis of sin, as described by Paul in his letters, is not seeking God. Having experienced this life and sin, if I were to be sanctified and enter the Kingdom I would find it difficult to imagine returning to sin.

So by this you prove that there is free will without sin. In that case, I ask you, why did God create free-willed persons that didn't have the need to sin, just like we are about to be after we die, in the first place?

Quote:
Come again? Loving parents never challenge their children, favoring as perfectly safe an environment as possible? Sounds like bad parenting to me. It's a good way to keep your children ignorant and incapacitated.

Now now, don't get so fueled up, it's you that's making a mistake here. Tell me, would you leave your child in an unsafe environment that would cause him harm for the rest of his life? Say like, for example, let him play with fluoric acid. Small quantities, so that he doesn't die. If he puts it in the eye, he's scarred and incapacitated for the rest of his life. Would you do that?

Because my example is a much better comparison to what God did when he allowed Adam and Eve to lose their perfection. Compared to that, any degree of physical scarring is simply "a minor wound". Not only that, but after God did that, his followers also claim that "It was Adam and Eve's free will!"

Care to think that over again, please?

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God is also omniscient, a quality not assigned to humans, which would make clear the consequences of bad judgement. As a point of interest, the first sin was eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The distinction of two things is the principle of judgement. Without judgement we would do exactly as we should - rely on God's wisdom and judgement. Clearly judgement was a necessary step in God's design.

So, wait, I didn't get that. You are saying that without judgement, we would be doing exactly as we should, whereas now, with judgement, we are not doing it. So you clearly identify as this status quo being wrong. And then you say that judgement was a necessary step in God's design. So, to me, you sound as if the purpose of the whole design was for it to go wrong.

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Rogor_OMortis wrote: So by

Rogor_OMortis wrote:
So by this you prove that there is free will without sin. In that case, I ask you, why did God create free-willed persons that didn't have the need to sin, just like we are about to be after we die, in the first place?

Note the end of the statement you quoted just before this:

JHenson wrote:
Having experienced this life and sin, if I were to be sanctified and enter the Kingdom I would find it difficult to imagine returning to sin.

A person cannot speak for the mind of God, but this at least seems reasonable to me.

Rigor_OMortis wrote:
Tell me, would you leave your child in an unsafe environment that would cause him harm for the rest of his life? Say like, for example, let him play with fluoric acid. Small quantities, so that he doesn't die. If he puts it in the eye, he's scarred and incapacitated for the rest of his life. Would you do that?

Because my example is a much better comparison to what God did when he allowed Adam and Eve to lose their perfection. Compared to that, any degree of physical scarring is simply "a minor wound". Not only that, but after God did that, his followers also claim that "It was Adam and Eve's free will!"

This would be a good analogy if I could then take my child and restore all his or her wounds, then grant them a healthy adult body.  A more viable environment would be more like the island in Lord of the Flies, where there are other children and they all create their own hell in a harsh landscape.  Still, restoration and advancement would have to be the aftermath.

Rigor_OMortis wrote:
So, wait, I didn't get that. You are saying that without judgement, we would be doing exactly as we should, whereas now, with judgement, we are not doing it. So you clearly identify as this status quo being wrong. And then you say that judgement was a necessary step in God's design. So, to me, you sound as if the purpose of the whole design was for it to go wrong.

If God is omnipotent and omniscient, which I believe, I must necessarily believe that God is responsible by proxy for any state of existence.  An accurate statement would be that he allowed the fall of creation, although everything that led to it was by his doing with full awareness of consequence.  So yes, I have every belief that God planned for his creation to go wrong.

This is not troubling, because even from the Old Testament it is written that God said he planned for salvation before creation was made.  It is my belief that while God could have made us exactly as we are to be without the experience, we will be greater than that for the experience.  Our suffering will be sanctified, just as the whole of creation will be.

To use your child in the acid analogy, it would be like placing a child near the acid and saying "don't touch," knowing the opposite would happen.  Once the child did it, we offer to help and the child tells us to fuck ourselves.  After years of trying, the child realizes he or she cannot help themselves and returns to us. We restore them completely.  Surely this child is greater than one who had never suffered in the first place. 

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It is theists who assert a

It is theists who assert a perfectfuture state,which I throw back:if so, why not here in the first place without the special pleading and question begging that Heaven just is different. There is no reason for the pointless suffering; some wrongdoing would contrast with the good.It is not all or nothing,except theists insist on a perfect future state ,which should apply here also in that case.If as John Hick states there might be analogical virtues there, then there should be such here in the first place.Theodicy is just a series of cop-outs!If God is free and yet disinclined to do wrong and not be the Supreme Robot,neither would we be robots were we like Him in those respects!It is trying to have it both ways to deny that.[A similar comment can be had @Ebon Musings].

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
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       Theists special

       Theists special plead to obviate a need to answer this challenge to their faith, the I just say-so of credulity! [I sure hope that we would get Paul Kurtz , Arthur Caplan and other moralists to influence my Democratic Party more so than Jim Wallis and other religious figures!]

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
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the problem of Heaven

 I now follow Michael Martin and Graham Oppy in   naming this the problem of Heaven.  As Oppy so notes""[I]f the absence of tempatation in heaven and the presence of divinity are not incompatibble, then what explanation is to be given of the presence of temptation and the absence dviinity in the earthly existence of human agency? Given these probkmes , it does not seem plausible  to suppose that one can appeal to the anature of the heavenly environment in order to explain the contingent absence of evil from heaven?

        .   .   .

 Given that it is  a contingent mattter whether there is             evil in heaven, what reason do we have for believing that there is no evil in heaven  or indeed, what reason do we have for believing that life heaven is in any way better than   life on earth?"

 

 In the name of epistemic distance notes  theologian John Hick that God makes it ambigous whether He exists or not in order to allow for our free will to operate freely in order to find and love Him.That is the crux of the most devastating knockdown of theodicy: that alll the pointless evil is so we can glorify Him for ever; it is I, I,I with this megalomaniac!

  No rational being wants or deserves constant, eternal praise! Nor would it want it!

  Furthermore, it begs the question to posit the soul or Heaven. They are just more mysteries!

 We rationalists ought to really push this notion that God's praise is inane and hateful with all the pointless evil!  Surely, others here can further this !

 

 

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
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skeptic griggsy

skeptic griggsy wrote:

Loving parents try to put their children in safe places, not putting them in unsafe ones to test them for a better life later.

Did you never attend public school? Never learn to drive? Don't those count as potentially dangerous situations endured so that the child can learn to deal with the larger world, and so have a better life later?

Parents who never let their children make their own mistakes inihibit the child's growth and maturation as a thinking being. I'm not claiming these things make heaven and the choir of eternal god-addicts real or even possible, but you're building your argument on a false premise; we endanger our children almost constantly, so that they will one day be capable of existing without us.

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Free will is precisely the

Free will is precisely the ingredient that is neccessary for "sin" to occur.

No other elements need be present.

A.) As an angel Lucifer / Satan was a spiritual being who possessed no sin nature.

B.) Lucifer lived in the very presence of the God who created him

C.) As Christian doctrine maintains, God cannot abide evil in his presence.

D.) If "C" is true there could have been no evil influences either external or internal in regard to Lucifer.

I repeat, due to the Divine nature of God's holiness there could have been no possibilty of any evil/immoral influences even existing within Lucifer's environment.

E.) Christians maintain that Lucifer, in spite of living in the very presence of a Divine and Holy God, that Lucifer who was created without a sin nature and was the personal handiwork of a morally perfect God somehow became the personification of evil.

Well all it took to transform a morally pure angel to an agent of sin was the gift of free will. Nothing Else Was Needed.

In light of the fact that dead Christians will supposedly still retain their free will in Heaven ( because God fucking hates "robots" ) what would prevent these sanctified, no sin-naturing, free-will-using Christians from doing exactly what Lucifer did ?

Free will means the ability to make the wrong choice. If a perfect sinless angel named Lucifer who lived in the very presence of God could make the wrong choice why couldn't any dead Christian ?

And if you answer that God can facilitate the inability to sin while still retaining free will, then why didn't he do that in the first place with Adam and Eve ?

 

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Well, i saw a thiest type

Well, i saw a theist type this;

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The word "God" can be seen as a contextual term given to the observable and testable natural laws of the universe.

 

Even though i dont perscribe to the concept of a superbeing, i do however inform any Jehovas Witness' at my door that whaever rules govern the universe will ultimatley be known as GOD, but it has nothing to do with any religious text's in existance and its infact science exclusivly that searches for 'GOD's' pattern in the universe.

So if its accepted that GOD is simply the 'laws of the natural universe' then you could compair all forms of religion to Sun worship or some other practice that ascribes non-existant properties to a natural object or objects.


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BMcD wrote: skeptic

BMcD wrote:

skeptic griggsy wrote:

Loving parents try to put their children in safe places, not putting them in unsafe ones to test them for a better life later.

Did you never attend public school? Never learn to drive? Don't those count as potentially dangerous situations endured so that the child can learn to deal with the larger world, and so have a better life later?

Parents who never let their children make their own mistakes inihibit the child's growth and maturation as a thinking being. I'm not claiming these things make heaven and the choir of eternal god-addicts real or even possible, but you're building your argument on a false premise; we endanger our children almost constantly, so that they will one day be capable of existing without us.

 

Good parents will let their children make mistakes in order to further their children's growth and maturation because they are limited in the means that they have available to them.  This would not apply to an all-powerful God.  God, being all-powerful, could create a universe in which growth and maturation are possible without suffering and without making mistakes which lead to suffering.  Any loving parent, given the choice, would prefer that his children not suffer; in other words, if a parent has to choose between two options, both of which will allow his child to grow as an individual, and one of these involves suffering and another does not, then which do you think the parent would choose?  Theists limit God by claiming that suffering is somehow necessary.  How could anything be necessary when we're talking about a God who gets to make all of the rules?

Of course, God could have created us to be perfect already, without need of any spiritual education.  What's wrong with being created perfect?  Isn't God himself perfect, and hasn't God always been perfect?  Are we better than God because we grow into perfection?   

The correct way of understanding our existence is as conceptually created entities superimposed upon our changing mental and bodily states.


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Didymos wrote: Are we

Didymos wrote:

Are we better than God because we grow into perfection?

Maybe! Personally, though, I tend to think we're better than God because we exist. Eye-wink 

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[b] Wow! Thanks for the

[b] Wow! Thanks for the cogent ,gripping comments! And do remember that it is all about His feelings rather than what is truly good for us! What gullible people who worship such a being! We must resist the rationality presumption that with education , there will be more atheists. There are some more every year,but many well-educated people use that education to further their superstions.


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Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth wrote:
[b] Wow! Thanks for the cogent ,gripping comments! And do remember that it is all about His feelings rather than what is truly good for us! What gullible people who worship such a being! We must resist the rationality presumption that with education , there will be more atheists. There are some more every year,but many well-educated people use that education to further their superstions.

I do believe that would be the guy in the op's sig.  Posting through our non registered user system. 

 Grabs popcorn.

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the problem of Haaven

Michael Martin in the essay "Problems with Heaven" @ IIDB library notes:"Theists reliance on the notion of Heaven raises several important problems. First, the notion of human exisitence in Heaven- be it disembodied or embodied- is conceptually unintelligible. Second , it ramains a mystery how the denizens of Heaven can have free will and yet presumably do little that is morally wrong. Third, the existence of Heaven as a realm of human existence that is realtivley free of moral evil undercuts the traditinal free will defence to the argument form evil. Finally, the anti-universalism thesis is unfair while universalism seems pointless."
Universalism means eventually all go to Heaven
.Theists merely assume souls Heaven and Hell anyway.


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the problem of Heaven and Hell

Now comes along another atheist supporting this challenge, David Ramsay Steele who in "Atheism Explained: from Folly to Philosophy," notes :"God, if he decided to create other beings with free will, would also create them , in his own image, with a guarantee against their ever committing evil. The theist who says that God has free will...cannot claim that free willl and a guarantee against committing evil are metaphysically incompatible, and will therefore find it hard to deny that God could have created humans with a guarantee against their ever commmittting evil."
This refutes the fundamentalists' rationalization that Yahweh did make people with free will, but they messed up.
John Hick also advances epistemic distance - that God doesn't want to coerce us to love Him as part of free will, so He made it murky as to his Existence. Now John L.Schellenberg in Wisdom to Doubt..," responds with the hiddenness problem that He so hides Himself that He cannot exist!
Miklos Jako in "Confronting Believers," avers that there has to be unrequited evil in order to drive the point home that evil is so bad in reponse to our rightly noting that there only needs to be some to contrast with evil.No,just another rationalization!
One would do well in reading all three books.


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the problem of Heaven and Hell

   Miklos Jako, deist , in "Confronting Believers, in response to  our rightly noting  that if would only take a litte evil to contrast with the good, avers that no, it would take unrequited evil to drive home the point that evil is evil.No, that is just another cop-out!

   Some theists rationalize with mystery, but that only confirms the ignostic challenge that He as mystery means He is incoherent!

   John Hick   proposes the guess that God in order  not to coerce us to love Him as part of free will, put forth epistemic distane- the murkiness of evidence for Him. There is none anyway. And John L.Schellenberg notes in "Wisdom to Doubt..,"  God is so hidden that He hdies Himself from reality!

 Then there is the matter of Hell. Even the notion that it is mere annihilation is just  is nonsensical: why annihilate people for doubting Him or      just not kissing His bottom or being midlly evil? For such as Pol Pot , I can see annihilation.Now for the traditional doctrine , it makes the problem of evil   just worse and shows  not only a nonchalant god but one seriously pathological.

 Expect nothng but rationalizations from theists!

  I expect more books with this challenge to theists that their vaunted notions of free will and soul-building are mere cop-out. They show such glee with those two arguments but the glee rests with us rationalists!

 Now what might others add to  the problem of evil and Heaven and Hell?

 

 

 

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
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the problem of Heaven

 

   We would be more in His image, had we free will and no propensity to do wrong. What is good for Him in  this  regard would be good for us. Again, theists would have special  pleading here.

    Ah, but  Allah  and Yawheh  are so  pathological!   We     would not want to be in their images!    

  Evil  is not only  the privation of the good but the presence of   gratuitous  pain.

  Double depression is so depressing!

 


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the problem of Heaven

 Evil is not only the absence of the good               but the  presence of hellish conditions.

 Ah, but Allah and Yahweh are so  pathological that no  rational person wants to  be like them! aAh, they have to do wrong so as to   be free!

  As Burton Porter notes in ' P'hilosopy: a Literary and Conceptual Approach "  that we  could have contrasts between good ,better and best rather than between the good and the bad , which is an all or nothing fallacy."The natural evils that occur ,therefore, are hardly needed to accomplish the end of    appreciation, and are, in fact, superfluous and unjustified.'

   We do not need the contrast between the   good and the   bad as that is    somewhat a straw man.Hitler's  free  willl .took away the free will  of millions.

 Not only that , many peope exhibit  great character without any real hardship.

  Theists will ever special plead!


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the problem of Heaven

 Allah and Yahweh had to  do evil in order to  exercise their free wills. Now no rational   person would like to be like them or Yaahweh's son, Himself, who  was just another fanatic whose Sermon on the Mount is so silly and whose mother a nd those  of certain popes ,Calvin and Luther should have abortedt hem!

 Evil  is not only the privation of the good          but the presence of hellish conditions.


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the probblem of Heaven

    As Allah and Yahweh do so much evil Themselves , They are so hypocritical! Now, no  rational person want to be like Them .

  Evil is not only the absence of the good but the presence of hellish conditions.

  The contrast between good and evil is a straw  man  in that it is an all or nothng fallacy: we could instead have contrasts between the good , the better and the best. Look at all those whose free will   was lost because Pol Pot  had them murdered. Look at  who have not endured much suffering ,yet have exempary characters. All this is a paraphrase fro.m Burton Porter in "Philosophy: a Literary and Conceptual Approach."

 Theists, evn those most  for natural theology, in the end just have faith, the I just say so of credulity, and that is what we find here.

 Alvin Platinga grants that theists cannot justify evil, but  that is for next time.

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
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ProzacDeathWish wrote:Free

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Free will means the ability to make the wrong choice. If a perfect sinless angel named Lucifer who lived in the very presence of God could make the wrong choice why couldn't any dead Christian ?

And if you answer that God can facilitate the inability to sin while still retaining free will, then why didn't he do that in the first place with Adam and Eve ?

 

This is a good question. We will not have pride, I assume, in heaven. We freely give up our sins unlike the angels which have never known sin (besides the fallen ones). Maybe thats why we wont want them back in the future heaven.

Another question I have had is why is there no forgiveness for Satan? God can do anything. I have no answer to that. I guess he doesnt want it. Satan works for God ultimately. He's just giving us what we want. We cant blame him for tempting us. I think its suppose to screwed up enough lead us to question ourselves to see what we really want.

But, I think heaven and hell are tailored for each person based on their deeds so I have a hard time picturing God torturing the average doubter. This is a big distinction in the hell debate. Hell is a place of restraint and justice. Not everyone requires as much justice or restraint.

But in heaven we are supposed to be over the angels since we chose God freely (although thats debatable). I lean toward armenianism as a mental model because its more practical but I understand Calvinism. I don't think the two can be resolved without paradox. I like to think we chose freely but there is no explainable reason why some choose heaven and others choose hell. Its not based on deeds. Its based on where you want to go. None of us really knows what it means to serve God for eternity but some want to anyway. I don't picture God punishing people for not believing in him. He knows if you want faith (even though we dont know what we really want) he'll give it. Its a choice that in a way is beyond good or evil. Its just two options. And in the end, its just the best mental model we can conceive of that deals with justice and love at the same time. I wont be surprised if its totally different than I expect. I deserve hell just like everyone else. How upset could I be if thats what I got? How upset could I be if we're all really dead forever? That would be ok with me too.