Can Omniscience and Freewill co-exist?

Tarpan
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Can Omniscience and Freewill co-exist?

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I didn't see anything. I have been arguing this for a couple days with someone and I just wanted to find out what other people thought.

Assuming god is Omniscient...then it knows all.

It knows the future, and knows every decision I will make.

So even if I have free will to make a decision, god already knows what that decision will be.

So regardless of my motivation, I would have no ability to alter the future because the future is already written even if I don't know about it.

The problem is that the argument I'm receiving suggests that I have the ability to make changes. He agrees that god knows what those changes are already...but that I can still make changes. This to me makes 0 sense. If god already knows the decision I'll make, then no matter what I do end up deciding in life I'd ultimatly just be living into the pre-written script of my life.

The ultimate defence that he uses is that I just can't comprehend omniscience and free will co-existing because I have not accepted Jesus (o rly?) which of course just makes my eyes roll. I agree that I don't comprehend how these co-exist, because waht is free will if you don't have the ability to affect the future?

Please note that I'm not suggesting that god 'controls' the decisioin in this case, just that if god is omniscient that I'm just living out my pre-written life regardless of who controls the decisions.


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razorphreak wrote: The

razorphreak wrote:

The freedom that God gives is the point of what defines free will over your life. We don't actually know what God knows of the future, how far into the future (5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 decades, etc), nor can we say God doesn't like to see "how things will turn out" by allowing us to choose on our own accord. We are using terms that we defined to begin with so what the actuality may be when it comes to God, all our intelligence to the matter might end up being simply an act in futility to attempt to explain. The ONLY for certain thing that God knows and controls is the will of the spirit; by examples in the bible it is unknown if God does indeed know our actions [of the flesh] before hand - and even if he did, why would he allow what man can only describe as evil in the world? As I said before, there is the will of the flesh and will of the spirit and to only one of those can we say we can control. God puts choices before us for a reason and it would be through those choices that either he uses as ways to know how willing we are to follow our spirit or ways to teach us who really is in charge - either way they are choices for us to follow meaning we have the ability to make a choice.

Eh, that's a copout.  Christianity chose the word omniscient, not I.  If you want to say that your god is NOT omniscient and you want to redefine it you are no longer talking about the god of Christianity and no longer applying to the words used in this thread.  If you want to suggest that we can't understand Omniscience, I think you are wrong.  It is a human word with a human meaning.  If you can't debate the points on the concept of Omniscience then that is a different dicussion. 

Omniscience is the human made word that religions have chosen to use.  It is a human defined word and this thread is addressing that human defined word based on it's meaning.  If you want to make up a new word to defend your god because you can't defend omniscience that's fine.  If you believe your god is not omniscient that is fine, but that is not the topic and it is not the god described by the vast majority of religions.

Omniscience is not my choice of words.  If I got to pick the word, I would pick fictional. 


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Rev 19:6 is the only place

Rev 19:6 is the only place in scripture where the word Omnipotent is used and this only true depeding on what version of the bible you use. Omnipotent means Almighty (In Rev 19:6) and not the definitin given by those belonging to this site. Almighty means ruler of all. So scriptually Omnipotent simply means ruler of all.

As for Omniscent, and Omnibenovelent, the Bible itself doesn't use these terms for God, humans do. Therefore proving these terms are wrong, does not prove or disprove God, it simply means we are using the wrong terms for God.


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razorphreak wrote: Tarpan

razorphreak wrote:

Tarpan wrote:
You can't say? I don't believe that. If you honestly did not believe that you were one of the chosen ones then you would not hold your faith.

I appreciate your effort to not project the "I am going to heaven and you're not" attitude, but it's inherant in faith especially one where you suggest that people are pre-destined to go to heaven or not.

Ah but which people? Because I know God does not mean I am automatically in since the final say so is in his hands. Because I believe I hope and pray that I would be one of his chosen however I do know and realize that I can lose it just as fast as I found it.

Tarpan wrote:
What determines what you do has nothing to do with the concept of freewill vs an illusion of freewill.

How much freedom we are given by God is an unknown but by the history that is written in the bible, even with the story of creation, God by impression seems to give one hell of an amount of freedom as to what we can choose to do with our lives. At no time though, even when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, did they lose faith.

What I wrote before was in response to doing whatever you wish. When you go that route it's easy to go with temptation and down the "wrong path", i.e. you don't go off and do what you will because you are part of the "elect".

I agree with Tarpan's deductions about pre-destination here.

 

Mr.Razorphreak is simply impliying that 'God's not fair' and no matter what you do in this world with our 'physical free-will'(spiritual excluded!)it really/ultimately doesn't matter! (no consequence), because eveything is pre-destined! I'm sorry that doesn't give me enough 'of a reason' to try and live right and do 'good things'.

BTW I'm curious to see the definition of a pre-destination believer for 'good things' or 'doing right'

In short the concept of pre-destintion completely undermines the message of the Bible, only in a sly & nasty way.

 


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Tarpan wrote: Eh, that's a

Tarpan wrote:
Eh, that's a copout. Christianity chose the word omniscient, not I. If you want to say that your god is NOT omniscient and you want to redefine it you are no longer talking about the god of Christianity and no longer applying to the words used in this thread. If you want to suggest that we can't understand Omniscience, I think you are wrong. It is a human word with a human meaning. If you can't debate the points on the concept of Omniscience then that is a different dicussion.

Oh I wasn't talking about this thread, I WAS talking about how omni-whatever are human terms defined by humans, not by God since, as simple pointed out, are not used in the bible.  The word chosen from the Greek is "pantokratōr" (Strongs G3841) and that specific word is used only 10 times in the bible, 9 of which are in Revelation (the only other is in 2 Corinthians).  As simple pointed out, the definition for the Greek word "pantokratōr" is as follows:

1) he who holds sway over all things

2) the ruler of all

3) almighty: God

It is from Jeremiah 1:5 that we are given insight that God knows about us before we are born.  What that verse was saying is that God can and does select those whom he wishes for his will (in the verse, he was specifically talking about Jeremiah, not the whole world).  This is how I can say (with support from Romans 9) that God can use whom he needs to make his glory and his wrath known on Earth.  It does not mean pre-destination but election to salvation.

Going back to the omni references, because we (humans) are definining it, how does that make us smarter than God?  I mean we could think we've got it all figured out and he's just looking at like like, "these guys just don't know". 

Tarpan wrote:
If you believe your god is not omniscient that is fine, but that is not the topic and it is not the god described by the vast majority of religions.

Omniscience is not my choice of words. If I got to pick the word, I would pick fictional.

I never said I don't believe he's not, I just don't know.  It's been the argument of atheists that "well you said this" or "you said that" yet most who make the claim are making it upon assumptions and not biblical text.  Could God be omni-all?  Sure.  Do I know that?  Nope. All I do know for certain is I know him, I know his son, and I understand his message from his word.

You admit you do not know him hence why you'd choose fictional.  That is what you know and so be it.  Scripture supports that there are those who will know God and those who won't yet at any time you may receive the proof to know him.  Don't count on it coming from any person however because that's not how it works. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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thetruthseeker

thetruthseeker wrote:
Mr.Razorphreak is simply impliying that 'God's not fair' and no matter what you do in this world with our 'physical free-will'(spiritual excluded!)it really/ultimately doesn't matter! (no consequence), because eveything is pre-destined! I'm sorry that doesn't give me enough 'of a reason' to try and live right and do 'good things'.

I would have said that if that's what I meant.  I don't make implied statements so please do not make any assumptions as to what I wrote.

I NEVER said anything was predestined nor did I say that there may not be consequence.  You misunderstood so please, do not assume. 

thetruthseeker wrote:
BTW I'm curious to see the definition of a pre-destination believer for 'good things' or 'doing right'

In short the concept of pre-destintion completely undermines the message of the Bible, only in a sly & nasty way.

Read my previous post to Tarpan....

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Oh I

razorphreak wrote:

Oh I wasn't talking about this thread, I WAS talking about how omni-whatever are human terms defined by humans, not by God since, as simple pointed out, are not used in the bible. The word chosen from the Greek is "pantokratōr" (Strongs G3841) and that specific word is used only 10 times in the bible, 9 of which are in Revelation (the only other is in 2 Corinthians). As simple pointed out, the definition for the Greek word "pantokratōr" is as follows:

1) he who holds sway over all things

2) the ruler of all

3) almighty: God

It is from Jeremiah 1:5 that we are given insight that God knows about us before we are born. What that verse was saying is that God can and does select those whom he wishes for his will (in the verse, he was specifically talking about Jeremiah, not the whole world). This is how I can say (with support from Romans 9) that God can use whom he needs to make his glory and his wrath known on Earth. It does not mean pre-destination but election to salvation.

Going back to the omni references, because we (humans) are definining it, how does that make us smarter than God? I mean we could think we've got it all figured out and he's just looking at like like, "these guys just don't know".

 

If you don't subscribe to the thought of omniscience or aren't sure of it, then you aren't debating the right topic.  I am talking about people who believe their god is omniscient as describe by many churches in the world.  If you want to say that we can't define it and all that you are going outside the confines of my question which was in relation to people who believe in omniscience and that effect on pre-destination.  This is not intended to be an attack on a generic god that you are deciding to define your own way as obviously most Christians do to suit their needs.  But I would like to avoid redefining god and just getting into a generic 'is god omniscient' debate this is 'if god is omniscient, does that mean predestination and what does that mean to you'.

razorphreak wrote:

I never said I don't believe he's not, I just don't know. It's been the argument of atheists that "well you said this" or "you said that" yet most who make the claim are making it upon assumptions and not biblical text. Could God be omni-all? Sure. Do I know that? Nope. All I do know for certain is I know him, I know his son, and I understand his message from his word.

You admit you do not know him hence why you'd choose fictional. That is what you know and so be it. Scripture supports that there are those who will know God and those who won't yet at any time you may receive the proof to know him. Don't count on it coming from any person however because that's not how it works.

It's not my argument that "you" said that, it's my argument that "the church" says that and if you don't accept that then your views do not apply to the target of my thread.

And I want to avoid getting into a discussion about knowing him because I don't care to, want to.  What I want to do is discuss the conceptual idea of omniscience vs the conceptual idea of freewill.  I feel that you are constnatly trying to tear the conversation away from that and trying to define your own god rather than talking about the idea of omniscience regardless of the god.


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thetruthseeker wrote: In

thetruthseeker wrote:

In short the concept of pre-destintion completely undermines the message of the Bible, only in a sly & nasty way.

 

This is my thought.  So far any theists, that fully subscribe to omniscience, have had two responses to this concept.

1) Redefine their god to avoid falling into this trap.

2) Are honestly okay with predestination and knowing that they can't change anything and that this is just 'gods will'.

I find both styles of response to be totally fascinating and mildly humerous.


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thetruthseeker

thetruthseeker wrote:

However, point number 5 is where the logic falters. Those who argue in this manner make the mistake of thinking that because God possesses knowledge about a specific matter, then he has influenced it. That does not follow at all. Just because God can foresee which choice you will make, it does not mean you couldn't still freely choose the other option.

Let me give you an example. I have a five year old son. If I were to leave a chocolate chip cookie on the table about a hour before dinner time and my son was to walk by and see it, I know that he would pick up the cookie and eat it. I did not force him to make that decision. In fact, I don't even have to be in the room at all. I think I know my son well enough, though, to tell you that if I come back into the kitchen the cookie will be gone. His act was made completely free of my influence, but I knew what his actions would be.

This bit is entirely wrong.

If god knows what you will do, you are FORCED to conform to his knowledge. It is not a matter of god putting a gun to your head. The point is that in either case you are forced just as much to do one thing, ergo no freewill.

The analogy falls flat because you having a good idea of what your son will do is not really "Knowing" what he will do. Example: In between your "knowing" that your son will take the cookie and the end of an hour, a tornado hits and kills your son. You thought you knew your son would take the cookie but he did not since he was dead. Therefore your claim of knowledge was a false impression.


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Tarpan

Tarpan wrote:
thetruthseeker wrote:

In short the concept of pre-destintion completely undermines the message of the Bible, only in a sly & nasty way.

 

This is my thought.  So far any theists, that fully subscribe to omniscience, have had two responses to this concept.

1) Redefine their god to avoid falling into this trap.

2) Are honestly okay with predestination and knowing that they can't change anything and that this is just 'gods will'.

I find both styles of response to be totally fascinating and mildly humerous.

I noticed the same.

Accepting predestination runs into an amusing brick wall too. If predestination is true, when you reach the colnclusion it is true you have only done so because you are destined to do so. As such, you have not actually figured anything out. You have simply arrived at conlusions you had no choice but to arrive at. The same would be true of someone who came to the opposite conclusion that predestination is not true. If predestination is true, they had no choice but to conclude that it isn't true.


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Tarpan wrote: If you don't

Tarpan wrote:
If you don't subscribe to the thought of omniscience or aren't sure of it, then you aren't debating the right topic. I am talking about people who believe their god is omniscient as describe by many churches in the world. If you want to say that we can't define it and all that you are going outside the confines of my question which was in relation to people who believe in omniscience and that effect on pre-destination. This is not intended to be an attack on a generic god that you are deciding to define your own way as obviously most Christians do to suit their needs. But I would like to avoid redefining god and just getting into a generic 'is god omniscient' debate this is 'if god is omniscient, does that mean predestination and what does that mean to you'.

Thing is, I'm defining it not according to any church statement but rather what the bible states.  That is what defines Christianity so while you can say I'm avoiding the topic or conversation here, I'm not because I am not doing it according to any dogmatic definition.  If I'm saying something you've never heard before or I'm confusing you in some way because it is different, perhaps you brought up the wrong question.

Tarpan wrote:
It's not my argument that "you" said that, it's my argument that "the church" says that and if you don't accept that then your views do not apply to the target of my thread.

And "the church" is who exactly?  If you are sticking to the strikly dogmatic definition that was supplied by the Catholic Chruch, perhaps it's time to open the point a bit more than you originally intended.

Tarpan wrote:
And I want to avoid getting into a discussion about knowing him because I don't care to, want to. What I want to do is discuss the conceptual idea of omniscience vs the conceptual idea of freewill. I feel that you are constnatly trying to tear the conversation away from that and trying to define your own god rather than talking about the idea of omniscience regardless of the god.

 Well you did make the point of your belief that God is fictious - that sounded off topic to me - and since you made the point in light of the current discussion I responded to it.  I'd suggest you might want to think about what points you make because if you are being geniune as to discussing the point of "omni-" whatever, putting in your belief/opinion of God and the bible being fantasy isn't staying on topic either.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Thing

razorphreak wrote:

Thing is, I'm defining it not according to any church statement but rather what the bible states. That is what defines Christianity so while you can say I'm avoiding the topic or conversation here, I'm not because I am not doing it according to any dogmatic definition. If I'm saying something you've never heard before or I'm confusing you in some way because it is different, perhaps you brought up the wrong question.

 

 

razorphreak wrote:

And "the church" is who exactly? If you are sticking to the strikly dogmatic definition that was supplied by the Catholic Chruch, perhaps it's time to open the point a bit more than you originally intended.

 

Right so you are self-defining your own religion and not subscribing to a specific churches message.  I am speaking of the word omniscient and those that subscribe to it.  You're not saying anything I've not heard before, it's just not within the confines of the question.  The fact is that though you have redefined your own meaning the majority of the world (not just catholicism and not just christianity) subscribe to a belief that their god is omniscient.  Omniscient as described by the majority of humans.  Obviously if you alter the meaning of the word omniscient then my point about pre-destination becomes moot.  The fact of the matter is that the majority of people do accept the accepted meaning of omniscient and apply that to thier god and they are obviously the ones that I am talking to.  I didn't ask the wrong question, you answered one with your own definition of words rather than the universally accepted versions.  It's very easy to say that "pizza" doesn't taste good when you define "pizza" as the thing that animals create when they process food.  Unfortunatly that is not the standard definition of the word which people would use for arguments sake.

If you want to redefine the abilities and powers of your god that's fine, but my question is targeting the majority of the world that subscribes to omniscience as omnisciene.  What you describe and suspect subscribe to is not omniscience.  If your god does not possess the standard definitions of omniscience then we don't redefine a word to fit your god so that you can debate a point that is not being made.

razorphreak wrote:

Well you did make the point of your belief that God is fictious - that sounded off topic to me - and since you made the point in light of the current discussion I responded to it. I'd suggest you might want to think about what points you make because if you are being geniune as to discussing the point of "omni-" whatever, putting in your belief/opinion of God and the bible being fantasy isn't staying on topic either.

 My comment was actually just supposed to be a snotty comment and not really wasn't intended to instigate conversation.  You had jumped around and I felt you were trying to suggest that 'omniscient' was the word that I was choosing rather than the one chosen by the majority of religions.  My point was that it's not my definition of god that I am using since I do not believe in god but rather he accepted defintion.  I should have avoided it, but the point is still the same.  Omniscience is not a word I am inventing on the spot here.  If you want to redefine it that's not something I'm interested in debating.  I am interested in the accepted defintion and one used by the vast majority of theists who do accept dogmatic defintions of their gods.


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Tarpan wrote: Right so you

Tarpan wrote:
Right so you are self-defining your own religion and not subscribing to a specific churches message.

Not at all.  "Christianity" is the following of the example and message of the person known from the bible as Jesus, considered by followers to be the Christ/Messiah.  Dogmas are something else but I'm sure I don't have to keep going on the differences here.

My point being that I am not defining any "religion" but rather what I believe as it comes from the bible. 

Tarpan wrote:
I am speaking of the word omniscient and those that subscribe to it. You're not saying anything I've not heard before, it's just not within the confines of the question.

OK so you are going after dogmatic only?  I'm a bit confused because it seems that you also consider the definition of what Christianity is as a dogma as well.  Do you? 

Tarpan wrote:
Obviously if you alter the meaning of the word omniscient then my point about pre-destination becomes moot. The fact of the matter is that the majority of people do accept the accepted meaning of omniscient and apply that to thier god and they are obviously the ones that I am talking to.

To that I agree.  But let me ask you, if the starting definition is incorrect, should that not be corrected and THEN begin a debate about it?  (e.g. the Lucifer debate)

Tarpan wrote:
My comment was actually just supposed to be a snotty comment and not really wasn't intended to instigate conversation. You had jumped around and I felt you were trying to suggest that 'omniscient' was the word that I was choosing rather than the one chosen by the majority of religions. My point was that it's not my definition of god that I am using since I do not believe in god but rather he accepted defintion. I should have avoided it, but the point is still the same. Omniscience is not a word I am inventing on the spot here. If you want to redefine it that's not something I'm interested in debating. I am interested in the accepted defintion and one used by the vast majority of theists who do accept dogmatic defintions of their gods.

Point taken.  Sorry if I jumped on the comment...it happens a lot on this forum and it kinda rubs me the wrong way. 

By the way, please understand I am not saying I don't believe God to be omni-everything, I'm just saying I can't say with any intelligent answer because it is a very confusing subject to grasp, even when using the bible. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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simple theist wrote:

simple theist wrote:

I still hold my position that someone else's knowledge does not determine what you do. No one has yet to offer proof that knowledge controls what you do.

Then your position is illogical. Knowledge is, for the sake of this discussion; fact. To have facts about something someone will do in the future can only lead to one logical conclusion: What that person will do is predetermined.

Plotted out... IF god knows with absolute certainty what actions Jane will take before Jane does them then all choices Jane thinks she has are illusionary, even Jane thinking she has a choice is an illusion. All choice is removed from Jane because her actions are entirely deterministic by god. Jane is a robot following a predefined set of instructions - she has no free will, she isn't even a conscious being, but it is predetermined that she will think she is.

Put in a simpler form, if god is omniscient as described by common christian belief, not only are our choices illusions, our entire consciousness is an illusion - we are automatons and not only are our lives meaningless, we are merely puppets for gods amusement… as if Christianity wasn’t already depressing enough. Sad

 

"All it would take to kill God is one meteorite a half mile across - think about why." - Vorax

Visit my blog on Atheism: Cerebral Thinking for some more food for intelligent thought.


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razorphreak wrote:

razorphreak wrote:

Not at all. "Christianity" is the following of the example and message of the person known from the bible as Jesus, considered by followers to be the Christ/Messiah. Dogmas are something else but I'm sure I don't have to keep going on the differences here.

My point being that I am not defining any "religion" but rather what I believe as it comes from the bible.

Right so you're defining your own belief. Which is surprisingly common within Chrisitanity for people to differentiate their faith and it's meaning from the organizational one which to me seems odd in a way since the message and the teachings are coming through the organization but then people re-interpret for themselves despite the fact that many churches claim they are the only true one. So to reinterpret anything different would in conceptually put you outside the church and outside the 'acceptable' group. Of course I am talking about hte more extreme cases such as Roman Catholics in this case.

razorphreak wrote:

OK so you are going after dogmatic only? I'm a bit confused because it seems that you also consider the definition of what Christianity is as a dogma as well. Do you?

I wouldn't say that I'm going after the dogmatic only, but the dogmatic description which is accepted by a lot more than the dogmatic. The dogmatic may have been the ones to define the word in the first place (I'm actually not sure) but it's ultimatly anyone who subscribes to that specific interpretation of omniscience. I believe it's very safe to suggest that the vast majority of Christians get their views from dogma. I think it's also safe to suggest that the majority of the teachings about Jesus come through dogma and are then later reinterpreted by individuals and then spin-off organizations but that most individuals still rely and believe in their dogmatic teachings.

razorphreak wrote:

To that I agree. But let me ask you, if the starting definition is incorrect, should that not be corrected and THEN begin a debate about it? (e.g. the Lucifer debate)

In this case no because I am specifically targeting the meaning of the word itself.

razorphreak wrote:

By the way, please understand I am not saying I don't believe God to be omni-everything, I'm just saying I can't say with any intelligent answer because it is a very confusing subject to grasp, even when using the bible.

Fair enough. What I'm trying to do here is to establish my belief that to subscribe to omniscience is to subscribe to pre-destination. Pre-destination would imply that free-will, at most, is an illusion.

If free-will is now an illusion, then it raises a ton of follow up questions about how can life be meaningful if we are only actors in a pre-written play and our futures are already decided? Our actions don't actually have negative consequences since god has already punished us in the future for things that we will do and we can't change them. I honestly believe that the thought or pre-destination removes the meaning of life. And then you have to consider post-life...but an omniscience being would still know everything after that. It's pre-destination in the afterlife now. It just creates this horrible cycle of absurdity to everything.

Then the fact that god would get angry at certain points and show emotions just seems extremely odd since he would have forsaw everything...I could go on for hours.

But I can accept that you don't want to say with an intelliget answer if god is or is not omni-everything.

I think there is a lot of value from my perspective of pointing out that omni-everything creates a lot of problems when you really think about it. And I think that when people do think in a logical fashion they would have to conclude that omnisicent is a highly unlikely possibility because it creates so much futility, absurdity, and raises too many questions about "why do anything?". I think the idea contradicts the purpose of religion in the first place.


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Tarpan wrote: Right so

Tarpan wrote:
Right so you're defining your own belief. Which is surprisingly common within Chrisitanity for people to differentiate their faith and it's meaning from the organizational one which to me seems odd in a way since the message and the teachings are coming through the organization but then people re-interpret for themselves despite the fact that many churches claim they are the only true one. So to reinterpret anything different would in conceptually put you outside the church and outside the 'acceptable' group. Of course I am talking about hte more extreme cases such as Roman Catholics in this case.

I would not say I'm defining anything onto myself.  My point of view would be I am simply following the teaching of the bible.

Tarpan wrote:
I wouldn't say that I'm going after the dogmatic only, but the dogmatic description which is accepted by a lot more than the dogmatic. The dogmatic may have been the ones to define the word in the first place (I'm actually not sure) but it's ultimatly anyone who subscribes to that specific interpretation of omniscience. I believe it's very safe to suggest that the vast majority of Christians get their views from dogma. I think it's also safe to suggest that the majority of the teachings about Jesus come through dogma and are then later reinterpreted by individuals and then spin-off organizations but that most individuals still rely and believe in their dogmatic teachings.

Understood. 

Tarpan wrote:
In this case no because I am specifically targeting the meaning of the word itself.

But that's part of my question...if the word was incorrectly defined? 

Tarpan wrote:
If free-will is now an illusion, then it raises a ton of follow up questions about how can life be meaningful if we are only actors in a pre-written play and our futures are already decided? Our actions don't actually have negative consequences since god has already punished us in the future for things that we will do and we can't change them. I honestly believe that the thought or pre-destination removes the meaning of life. And then you have to consider post-life...but an omniscience being would still know everything after that. It's pre-destination in the afterlife now. It just creates this horrible cycle of absurdity to everything.

Then the fact that god would get angry at certain points and show emotions just seems extremely odd since he would have forsaw everything...I could go on for hours.

But I can accept that you don't want to say with an intelliget answer if god is or is not omni-everything.

I think there is a lot of value from my perspective of pointing out that omni-everything creates a lot of problems when you really think about it. And I think that when people do think in a logical fashion they would have to conclude that omnisicent is a highly unlikely possibility because it creates so much futility, absurdity, and raises too many questions about "why do anything?". I think the idea contradicts the purpose of religion in the first place.

I would almost want to throw a monkey wrench into that and say what if God, since all things are possible with him, chooses when and to whom he will predestine and whom he won't?  For example...Hitler.  What if God, to make his will be done (i.e. the creation of Israel as a nation), made Hitler who he was to accomplish what he did.  But the soldiers who fought in WW2, God allowed them to have a choice as to if they would go to war or not.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: I would

razorphreak wrote:

I would not say I'm defining anything onto myself. My point of view would be I am simply following the teaching of the bible.

 

Who's teaching? The literal word of the bible? Do you go to church? What kind of church?

 

razorphreak wrote:

But that's part of my question...if the word was incorrectly defined?

Few things would make me happier than having the whole world redefine the word and admit that the current definition is wrong or does not provide enough flexibility.  I would love for a seed of fallibility to be planted in just about every religion to be openly accepted by the organizations themselves so that the word can be redefined Eye-wink

razorphreak wrote:

I would almost want to throw a monkey wrench into that and say what if God, since all things are possible with him, chooses when and to whom he will predestine and whom he won't? For example...Hitler. What if God, to make his will be done (i.e. the creation of Israel as a nation), made Hitler who he was to accomplish what he did. But the soldiers who fought in WW2, God allowed them to have a choice as to if they would go to war or not.

Once again you're getting into the idea that god actually interferes with the pre-destination which is something I've intentionally avoided.  As for the soliders...Do they really have choice? They have the choice to do exactly what god has already seen and no other choice.  Even if they made the choice they are making the choice that is already written for them.

Of course I'm focusing on the traditional meaning of the word.


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Tarpan wrote: Who's

Tarpan wrote:
Who's teaching? The literal word of the bible? Do you go to church? What kind of church?

I don't understand the teaching question or what you mean by the "literal word".  Yes I go to church.  As to what kind...several different kinds.  I do not attend just one.

Tarpan wrote:
Once again you're getting into the idea that god actually interferes with the pre-destination which is something I've intentionally avoided. As for the soliders...Do they really have choice? They have the choice to do exactly what god has already seen and no other choice. Even if they made the choice they are making the choice that is already written for them.

OK this might be a bit off topic since I know where you are coming from now but I brought that up not as an example of God messing with pre-destination but rather defining it.  As it states in Romans 9:6-18, God has the ability to simply choose whom he wishes for a specific purpose for his will...that is how he calls the spirit of that person.  It does NOT however spell out that perons's meals, bathroom breaks, if while on this "mission for God" that person gets married, has kids, etc.  I'm trying to illustrate there is a very thin but obvious difference in the will of God vs. the will of man and how free will of person is granted but the will of the spirit of the person is not something that is controlled by the person. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: I don't

razorphreak wrote:

I don't understand the teaching question or what you mean by the "literal word". Yes I go to church. As to what kind...several different kinds. I do not attend just one.

 

 

I mean who is doing the teaching.  Specifically who is the teacher? And if it's not a person but the bible itself do you mean word for word the exact meaning of the words or your interpretation of the words of the bible? The literal meaning, or your own meaning to what is said? 

razorphreak wrote:

OK this might be a bit off topic since I know where you are coming from now but I brought that up not as an example of God messing with pre-destination but rather defining it. As it states in Romans 9:6-18, God has the ability to simply choose whom he wishes for a specific purpose for his will...that is how he calls the spirit of that person. It does NOT however spell out that perons's meals, bathroom breaks, if while on this "mission for God" that person gets married, has kids, etc. I'm trying to illustrate there is a very thin but obvious difference in the will of God vs. the will of man and how free will of person is granted but the will of the spirit of the person is not something that is controlled by the person.

I appreciate what you're suggesting but to say that someone is affected in spirit to achieve some ultimate goal then it does affect the very core of that person and does affect their everyday decisions including their bathroom breaks and meals. That kind of predestination if it's subtle and not direct but him pulling the strings has to have an affect on every part of a persons life not just a specific thing when we're talking about a fundamentally gigantic thing like pushing war on a number of countries.  Having a to achieve a goal like that to meet the predestination of your spirit would surely require some affect on every part of a persons life.

 


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Tarpan wrote: I'm sure

Tarpan wrote:

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I didn't see anything. I have been arguing this for a couple days with someone and I just wanted to find out what other people thought.

Assuming god is Omniscient...then it knows all.

It knows the future, and knows every decision I will make.

So even if I have free will to make a decision, god already knows what that decision will be.

So regardless of my motivation, I would have no ability to alter the future because the future is already written even if I don't know about it.

The problem is that the argument I'm receiving suggests that I have the ability to make changes. He agrees that god knows what those changes are already...but that I can still make changes. This to me makes 0 sense. If god already knows the decision I'll make, then no matter what I do end up deciding in life I'd ultimatly just be living into the pre-written script of my life.

The ultimate defence that he uses is that I just can't comprehend omniscience and free will co-existing because I have not accepted Jesus (o rly?) which of course just makes my eyes roll. I agree that I don't comprehend how these co-exist, because waht is free will if you don't have the ability to affect the future?

Please note that I'm not suggesting that god 'controls' the decisioin in this case, just that if god is omniscient that I'm just living out my pre-written life regardless of who controls the decisions.

Tarpan, I have been thinking about your question on/off for the last couple of days. And the following thought occured to me. Consider this..

Why are you asking this question? Can we safely say that you desire/yearn to know the answer? If so did you ever consider as to 'why' you have this 'desire' or a 'thirst' for an 'answer' that would 'fulfill' this desire or 'quench' this thirst?

Now if we look at the definiton of 'causality':Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first.

And, if we both concurr that the 'cause and effect' are valid at the level of day-to-day human experience. Wouldn't it be a plausible that someone or something has put this desire in you, so that 'when/if' you would look for this answer you will find the someone/something? (Could that entity be what created you in the first place?) Interesting, isn't it?

 

Having said that, let me know what you think about the answer posted on the following link for you question of free-will vs pre-destination.

http://www.rzim.org/resources/jttran.php?seqid=79

 

 

 


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I'm not asking the question

I'm not asking the question out of curiosity for my own self, I am asking because I am curious how people resolve it and continue to believe in a faith with the consideration of pre-destination.  I am personally very content that my future is not written but do I want to invoke the thought in other people that by believing in an ominscient god that they are subscribing and believing in predestination.  And I'm curious how that impacts them and their thinking and their approach to life.

So my thirst for answers in this regard will never be quenched because there will always be more people and I find learning about why people believe the things they do fascinating.  And I find peoples reactions to thinking about things that they hadn't previously considered to be immensly interesting.

And no, I don't believe that there's a non-natural explaination for my desires.  Someone could cause me to consider something by something they've said, or recollecting a memory but I don't believe it plausable that a supernatural being injected a desire in me.

The problem with the link you posted is that it is based on faith in the first place.  It's justifying actions by a being that I have no belief in so it's hard to accept the arguments when they are based on defying natural laws that I don't accept can be broken.

So the article has no impact on me personally.

As for the various faithful views of the situation that he discusses I do find them mildly interesting though obvious and I much prefer the personal elaborations since he doesn't really go into detail on how people resolve it.

The note about suicide being the only argument for people who have hope but  an unkonwn future I think is misleading.  There are many people that feel the future is unknown including atheists and I don't think you'll find higher depression or suicide rates in that group.


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Tarpan wrote: I'm not

Tarpan wrote:

I'm not asking the question out of curiosity for my own self, I am asking because I am curious how people resolve it and continue to believe in a faith with the consideration of pre-destination. I am personally very content that my future is not written but do I want to invoke the thought in other people that by believing in an ominscient god that they are subscribing and believing in predestination. And I'm curious how that impacts them and their thinking and their approach to life.

So my thirst for answers in this regard will never be quenched because there will always be more people and I find learning about why people believe the things they do fascinating. And I find peoples reactions to thinking about things that they hadn't previously considered to be immensly interesting.

And no, I don't believe that there's a non-natural explaination for my desires. Someone could cause me to consider something by something they've said, or recollecting a memory but I don't believe it plausable that a supernatural being injected a desire in me.

The problem with the link you posted is that it is based on faith in the first place. It's justifying actions by a being that I have no belief in so it's hard to accept the arguments when they are based on defying natural laws that I don't accept can be broken.

So the article has no impact on me personally.

As for the various faithful views of the situation that he discusses I do find them mildly interesting though obvious and I much prefer the personal elaborations since he doesn't really go into detail on how people resolve it.

The note about suicide being the only argument for people who have hope but an unkonwn future I think is misleading. There are many people that feel the future is unknown including atheists and I don't think you'll find higher depression or suicide rates in that group.

Tarpan, I truly respect your present stand and thanks for explaining all the things that you said above, because it gave me a chance to look back and reflect on my own thoughts at that time when I didn't have answers that I yearned for.

To put it smply, I didn't want to die without finding answers! because when all is said and done what would 'my life' have 'meant' if I die without answers? I couldn't bear the thought that life for me on this planet didn't have any meaning, while every fiber in my being was crying out that was not a 'possibility', Life has have to have a meaning. So based on everything that I already seen in terms of say the 'order in the universe', its 'complexity', the complexiety/intricacies of our own thoughts, emotions, feelings and intelligence I had no choice but to take that 'leap of faith' to 'call out' to that enitity or whatever is out there to tell me what the meaning of life is. ONLY after that I started to get the answers! You see, It was like 'finally' finding the 'key' for the 'encrypted information' all around me and it didn't match, make sense before even though this information was all around and everywhere. But now I was able to 'unlock/decrypt' this locked/encrypted infomation one by one and each became a 'eureka' moment when it 'makes sense' to me( clicked! in my mind) and was also testable with pure logic. This difference was when I started seeing it through the eyes of a model that included God(the God of the Bible).

I guess there will come a point in our lives when we have exhausted all the models that have come across our us during our lifetimes and found them not to 'fit' what we see around in this world you will have to simply 'give up' trying to resist the one model that 'stand out' and says 'try me! I am the true model and the only key'(However 'improbable' it might seem at that point) . I did it and since then my life has changed! in a marvelous way, every day I have at least one (or more) eureka moments! and I am 'at peace' for having found my 'answer' in God. And mind you that 'leap of faith' wasn't blind, but based on everything that 'I' have know and understood about the basis of our life's on this planet  upto that point.


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Thanks for the post

Thanks for the post truth.

I want to note, even though I am using God as my basis I believe that the same problem exists in pre-destination even if it were to be a human that had the capability...or a mouse for that matter Eye-wink


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Tarpan wrote: Thanks for

Tarpan wrote:

Thanks for the post truth.

I want to note, even though I am using God as my basis I believe that the same problem exists in pre-destination even if it were to be a human that had the capability...or a mouse for that matter Eye-wink

I agree. For all pracitcal purposes of discussion we can call it, 'the entity'(theoritical if  you don't believe it exists) which has the attribute of omniscience.


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Tarpan wrote: I'm sure

Tarpan wrote:

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I didn't see anything. I have been arguing this for a couple days with someone and I just wanted to find out what other people thought.

Assuming god is Omniscient...then it knows all.

It knows the future, and knows every decision I will make.

So even if I have free will to make a decision, god already knows what that decision will be.

Agreed so far ... if this God knows everything then it would, by definition, know your future decisions.

Quote:
So regardless of my motivation, I would have no ability to alter the future because the future is already written even if I don't know about it.

Perhaps ... that depends  on the perspective you choose to view this from.

Quote:
The problem is that the argument I'm receiving suggests that I have the ability to make changes. He agrees that god knows what those changes are already...but that I can still make changes.

The question you need to ask is whether you are free to choose something other than what God knows you will choose.  That's the way to word the question.  If the answer is yes, then God is not omniscient.  If the answer is no, then ... well ... you don't have free will in the sense that you both seem to be using the term.  I highlight this because there is more than one view as to what makes a decision "free", and therefore what ultimately makes a person responsible for that decision.

Quote:
This to me makes 0 sense. If god already knows the decision I'll make, then no matter what I do end up deciding in life I'd ultimatly just be living into the pre-written script of my life.

But who makes the decision?  If it is you who makes it, then isn't that decision yours?  And if that decision is yours, then aren't you responsible for it?

Quote:
The ultimate defence that he uses is that I just can't comprehend omniscience and free will co-existing because I have not accepted Jesus (o rly?) which of course just makes my eyes roll.

LOL ... yes, I can see why.  "Accepting Jesus" does not guarantee that you will be able to comprehend omniscience and free will coexisting.  There are many people I know who have "accepted Jesus", and can't put these two things together.

Quote:
I agree that I don't comprehend how these co-exist, because waht is free will if you don't have the ability to affect the future?

Ah, there's the rub.  I would argue that when you make a decision, that decision does affect the future.  That is, the future becomes what it does, in part, based on your decision.  But of course, your decision was even known in advance, so from that perspective you simply did what you were going to do.  Mind-boggling, no? Smiling

Quote:
Please note that I'm not suggesting that god 'controls' the decisioin in this case, just that if god is omniscient that I'm just living out my pre-written life regardless of who controls the decisions.


Actually, omniscience (specifically foreknowledge) is sufficient to bring this problem to the surface - one not need adventure into determinism, unless one wants to! Smiling


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LeftofLarry wrote:Well

LeftofLarry wrote:

Well let's go further and ask whether god can be omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent, while at the same time give you the gift of freewill with the threat of sending you to hell if you, in fact, "choose" wrong. 

Indeed, a very interesting question to ask.

Quote:
Logically speaking, if god is truly benevolent, why would he send you to hell?

Logically speaking, one would need to define what one means by "truly benevolent".  Does it mean that this god would perform actions that would be evaluated by all people in all cases as "good" or "loving"?  If *that* is the case, then no such being can exist, because there is no one standard of good or loving out there!

So what exactly do you mean by "truly benevolent"?

Quote:
Forgiveness is, after all his biggest virtue isn't it?

Is it?  If you are speaking of the Judeo Christiian God, then what makes you think that forgiveness is its biggest virtue?

I will state something at this point, however.  If the biggest virtue of the Judeo Christian God *is* forgiveness (iow, forgiveness is the primary thing he is all about), then the logical conclusion would be that all would be forgiven.  Universalists rejoice!

Quote:
So if he's truly benevolent and omnipotent and omniscient, then he knows you will sin (again, this forfeits free will)

That depends on what you mean by "free will".

Quote:
but should have the power to stop you from sinning

Without a doubt.  If this God is omnipotent, then he can certainly stop you from sinning if he chooses to do so.

Quote:
and if he's benevolent, he would not send you to hell anyway....

That would depend on what other attributes define this God, and the relationship that his benevolence plays into these other attributes.

Quote:
this is the god paradox.

This is the Problem of Evil.  And it is more than a paradox, it is rock-solid proof that such a God cannot logically exist, if in fact the God in question purportedly exists with these attributes.

A god who knows all, can do all, and who forgives all cannot co-exist with the universe in the way we know it.  There may be other gods who exist with (even slightly) different attributes, but this one cannot.

Quote:
Is he not omniscient? is he not omnipotent? is he benevolent?  If he's benevolent and omnipotent and omniscient, he knows that there are children dying needlessly in countries reaping in war, hunger and disease, yet he does nothing, does this show he's perhaps not benevolent?

Perhaps our concept of "needlessly" is not consistent with this god's concept.  Perhaps this god *does* have "need" for every single bit of "evil" out there.  Perhaps it is all part of some plan or something.

Quote:
Or maybe he is not aware, is he not omniscient?  Or maybe is aware and wants to help but can't, is he not omnipotent?

Maybe he helps when he wants, and chooses not to help when he wants not to help.  Perhaps benevolent (or "omnibenevolent" as it is commonly stated) does not mean "loving in all actions" just as omnipotent cannot possibly mean "can do just anything at all".  Perhaps many Christians have done just what you said - effectively painted themselves into a logical corner with the attributes the ascribe to their god.  Perhaps God *does* exist, just not exactly in the way these people say he does.
{fixed}


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Rigor_OMortis wrote: It

Rigor_OMortis wrote:

It should be obvious that full omniscience on a matter (that is, knowing everything about something) is completely contradictory to any possible concept of free will.

Um ... no.  Actually, this is demonstrably false.  There is more than one actual conception of free will, at least one of which is not contradictory to the idea of omniscience.

The "compatibilist" view of the will, which states one is "free" if and only if they wanted to do what they did, is entirely compatible with not only omniscience, but determinsm as well.  This viewpoint says there is only one requirement for a will to be "free", and that is that persons are able to do what they desire.  Whether what they desire has been determined (either directly or indirectly) matters not in this view of the will.


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kmisho wrote: I noticed

kmisho wrote:

I noticed the same.

Accepting predestination runs into an amusing brick wall too. If predestination is true, when you reach the colnclusion it is true you have only done so because you are destined to do so.

What do you mean that you have "only" reached the conclusion because you are destined to do so?  You still reached the conclusion, no?

 

Quote:
As such, you have not actually figured anything out.

Why not?  If *you* went through the reasoning process and concluded that predestination is true, *you* have "actually" figured it out.

If someone else figures out something else for you, then and only then is it true that you did not figure it out.



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Vorax wrote:Then your

Vorax wrote:

Then your position is illogical. Knowledge is, for the sake of this discussion; fact.

I must say, I find it interesting that you get to determine what the word "knowledge" means for the sake of this discussion, Vorax.   Smiling

You may choose, I suppose, to use any definition of the term you wish, but the term has typically encompassed the following three components at a minumum:

1) Belief

2) Truth

3) Justification

Facts are not knowledge.  Facts are facts regardless of whether someone believes them to be true or not.  Facts are facts regardless of whether someone has a reason to believe they are true.  But facts are always true.  If it isn't true, it isn't a fact.

Now, you may feel free to toss back at me the very argument I leveled against you, that *I* appear to be defining what the word "truth" is going to me, and that's fine.  At least I feel I am in a position to provide a good reason for believing my definition is true Eye-wink

Quote:
To have facts about something someone will do in the future can only lead to one logical conclusion: What that person will do is predetermined.

I do agree with your conclusion, but not with the way in which you arrived there.

I still take issue with your use of the word "facts" here.

Quote:
Plotted out... IF god knows with absolute certainty what actions Jane will take before Jane does them then all choices Jane thinks she has are illusionary

Hold on there just a minute! Smiling

What exactly is a "choice" to you?

You might be able to make an argument that Jane does not have free will, but how can you justify your statement that Jane does not "choose" unless you are simply assuming at the start that a choice is not a choice unless it is "free"?

If Jane is presented with an apple and an orange, and Jane chooses the orange, then Jane (by definition) made a choice.  To try and say her choice was only illusary because it was predetermined begs the question.  You need to demonstrate that a choice can only be a "choice" if it is not ultimately already determined if you want to use that as a premise to your argument

Quote:
, even Jane thinking she has a choice is an illusion. All choice is removed from Jane because her actions are entirely deterministic by god.

And here you beg the question.

Your stated reason for why Jane's choices are not real but illusory is "because her actions are entirely deterministic".

But you see, that is simply question-begging.  The question at hand is, after all, whether a pre-determined choice is really a choice.

Quote:
Jane is a robot following a predefined set of instructions - she has no free will, she isn't even a conscious being, but it is predetermined that she will think she is.

What makes an individual "free" in your mind, and more importantly why?

Quote:
Put in a simpler form, if god is omniscient as described by common christian belief, not only are our choices illusions, our entire consciousness is an illusion - we are automatons and not only are our lives meaningless, we are merely puppets for gods amusement… as if Christianity wasn’t already depressing enough. Sad

 

No, not necessarily.  The problem with common Christian belief is not the way in which they describe God's omniscience, but the way in which they describe man's "free will".  That is the point where the contradiction arises.

But alas, that only means that certain conceptions of "free will" result in this contradiction - not all of them.

{fixed}


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 Omniscience and forsight

 Omniscience and forsight does not violate free will at all. Let me briefly explain. Imagine you are on the top of a hill. You see two people walking down a road toward a house. The people cannot yet see the house, but because of your vantage point of perception you can see the house at the end of the road. The fact that you see their future and have knowledge they don't have, does not mean their free will is violated. You simply see where they are going because of your vantage point of perception, and their free will to walk down the road is not endangered.

The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator -- Louis Pasteur


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Nobody here has stopped to

Nobody here has stopped to define the term "free will" in any coherent manner. When you say something is "free" you are also implying it is free from something. What is that something the will is free from? Emotions? No. Choose to not be angry at someone who sexually molested your child. Sensory experiences? No. Choose to not feel pain when I kick you in the groin. External causation? No. Again, groin kick. Internal causation (mechanisms of the brain)? No. Suck down several shots of Tequila and choose to be sober. Limitations? No. If we try to go beyond those limitations, we make ourselves ill (as Darwin's declining health proved). Time flow? No. What in the world is it free from?

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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Apotheon wrote:

Apotheon wrote:
Omniscience and forsight does not violate free will at all. Let me briefly explain. Imagine you are on the top of a hill. You see two people walking down a road toward a house. The people cannot yet see the house, but because of your vantage point of perception you can see the house at the end of the road. The fact that you see their future and have knowledge they don't have, does not mean their free will is violated. You simply see where they are going because of your vantage point of perception, and their free will to walk down the road is not endangered.

 

Unfortunately, if you're using this as an argument for God's omniscience, you've just suggested that god either does not have the power to intervene or would choose not to if he could.

 

The more I remain active at RRS, the more I realize that many attempts to make sense of God involve false analogies. It would be interesting if those were somehow outlawed. 

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Quote: So regardless of my

Quote:

So regardless of my motivation, I would have no ability to alter the future because the future is already written even if I don't know about it.

The problem is that the argument I'm receiving suggests that I have the ability to make changes. He agrees that god knows what those changes are already...but that I can still make changes. This to me makes 0 sense. If god already knows the decision I'll make, then no matter what I do end up deciding in life I'd ultimatly just be living into the pre-written script of my life.

 

If there was ever a sure way to become a millionaire, it would be this:  If you could hypnotise me, or whatever, so that I could watch my favourite movies all over again for the first time.  I'd pay GOOD MONEY for that.

 

But that aside...

Didja ever watch a movie - more than once?

 The first time - you are a man.  The second time, you are like "god."

Does your foreknowledge of the events coming change, at all, how the writer/director might have written the script?

 Does your foreknowledge work backward through time such that the director never had the chance to make Gollum die in the first installation?

Does your foreknowledge of current events mean that Peter Jackson (or Tolky) NEVER had even the mere  option of writing the story with a different outcome?

Does your foreknowledge of coming events mean that the past events must have, necessarily, developed the way they did?

because you know that the ring of power is destroyed in the end, does that mean the writer simply could not have written otherwise?

All this assumes that you are an independent, outside, viewer of the events that you see unfolding.

 

 

What if that wasn't true?

 

 


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Regarding "free

Regarding "free will."

 

Imagine the scene from Alice in Wonderland.

Alice has reached a fork in the road.  The totally irrelevant Cheshire Cat is there offering suggestions that we can all easily ignore.

Alic has options.  And Alice has free will.

She can choose the one road, or she can choose the other.  It's not often mentioned, but she can also, with her free will, choose neither.  She could simply choose to do nothing, and instead stand where she is for the rest of her life.

But one thing that is definately not very often mentioned is the fact that while Alice has "free will" to chose her path, in any case she is limited in her free will.  SHe may choose, but even with her free will, she may chose only from amongst the options that are actually available to her.

So, with her free will, she can choose to go North.  Or with her free will, she may choose to go south.  And, though again it is not often considered, with her free will she may choose nother.

But one thing that is definately often overlooked is that she, despite her "free will", she is NOT free to choose from amongst options that are not actually available to her.

 For instance, she is not "free" to choose to flap her arms and fly directly upwards.

 

What does this do to your concept of "free will?"

 

Free Will, then, does not imply the ability to choose "just anything at all."

It implies only the ability to choose from amongst options that are actualy available to you.

I'll leave the consequences of that to you.

 

 


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Job wrote:

Job wrote:

 

No, not necessarily. The problem with common Christian belief is not the way in which they describe God's omniscience, but the way in which they describe man's "free will". That is the point where the contradiction arises.

But alas, that only means that certain conceptions of "free will" result in this contradiction - not all of them.

 

I find this whole thing fascinating. It seems to me that your whole argument is that our perception of freewill is what is the problem here. You agreed that our actions are pre-determined but still feel that is free will?

Your entire argument seems to be on the definition of the word but agreeing for all intesive purposes with the argument itself if we were to agree to terminology.

To me 'free' implies true choice. Not only the ability to choose to my knowledge, but the true alternative. That the future is not set, that the future can not be known because any choice I am to make is not yet known. That is, in a simplistic sense, is what I would classify as free.


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Apotheon wrote:

Apotheon wrote:
Omniscience and forsight does not violate free will at all. Let me briefly explain. Imagine you are on the top of a hill. You see two people walking down a road toward a house. The people cannot yet see the house, but because of your vantage point of perception you can see the house at the end of the road. The fact that you see their future and have knowledge they don't have, does not mean their free will is violated. You simply see where they are going because of your vantage point of perception, and their free will to walk down the road is not endangered.

 

Incorrect.  From that vantage point you can assume where the person is going, but you do not know.  They could just as easily change direction or stop altogether.  You know nothing for fact. 


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bzeurunkl wrote: If there

bzeurunkl wrote:

If there was ever a sure way to become a millionaire, it would be this: If you could hypnotise me, or whatever, so that I could watch my favourite movies all over again for the first time. I'd pay GOOD MONEY for that.

 

But that aside...

Didja ever watch a movie - more than once?

The first time - you are a man. The second time, you are like "god."

Does your foreknowledge of the events coming change, at all, how the writer/director might have written the script?

Does your foreknowledge work backward through time such that the director never had the chance to make Gollum die in the first installation?

Does your foreknowledge of current events mean that Peter Jackson (or Tolky) NEVER had even the mere option of writing the story with a different outcome?

Does your foreknowledge of coming events mean that the past events must have, necessarily, developed the way they did?

because you know that the ring of power is destroyed in the end, does that mean the writer simply could not have written otherwise?

All this assumes that you are an independent, outside, viewer of the events that you see unfolding.

 

 

What if that wasn't true? 

 

I'm not exactly sure what you're suggesting here.  If you're suggesting that god is an entity that is outside watching along like we are a movie that he has seen before, then I would say that we don't have the ability to alter the script.

And the simple concept remains that god himself is considered character in the script so he is not strictly an outsider looking in on a movie he's seen before.

I"m pretty sure I've said this before, but a pre-scripted life removes the concept of free-will because it implies that our choices are known before we make them...regardless of who ultimatly made the choice initially. 


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bzeurunkl wrote: Regarding

bzeurunkl wrote:

Regarding "free will."

 

Imagine the scene from Alice in Wonderland.

Alice has reached a fork in the road. The totally irrelevant Cheshire Cat is there offering suggestions that we can all easily ignore.

Alic has options. And Alice has free will.

She can choose the one road, or she can choose the other. It's not often mentioned, but she can also, with her free will, choose neither. She could simply choose to do nothing, and instead stand where she is for the rest of her life.

But one thing that is definately not very often mentioned is the fact that while Alice has "free will" to chose her path, in any case she is limited in her free will. SHe may choose, but even with her free will, she may chose only from amongst the options that are actually available to her.

So, with her free will, she can choose to go North. Or with her free will, she may choose to go south. And, though again it is not often considered, with her free will she may choose nother.

But one thing that is definately often overlooked is that she, despite her "free will", she is NOT free to choose from amongst options that are not actually available to her.

For instance, she is not "free" to choose to flap her arms and fly directly upwards.

 

What does this do to your concept of "free will?"

 

Free Will, then, does not imply the ability to choose "just anything at all."

It implies only the ability to choose from amongst options that are actualy available to you.

I'll leave the consequences of that to you.

 

 

I think I am once again missing the intent of this post. The options are only restricted based on perception of the what the options are.  At this point alice has the option to attempt to flap her arms and fly upwards.  That is still a valid option until she writes it off as not a viable option.  She has the choice of tunnelling stright down, or doing nothing.  Her options that are filtered by ability and deduction, but they are options none-the-less even if they are filtered very quickly.


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Quote: The options are only

Quote:
The options are only restricted based on perception of the what the options are.  At this point alice has the option to attempt to flap her arms and fly upwards.  That is still a valid option until she writes it off as not a viable option.  She has the choice of tunnelling stright down, or doing nothing.  Her options that are filtered by ability and deduction, but they are options none-the-less even if they are filtered very quickly.

 

Her options are limited only by what her perception of her options are.

 

Hmmmmn.....

 

You would think a good number of convicted felons might have kept themselves out of prison if this were true.

And I wonder how different my perception of tunelling myself through the ground might be from the reality of such a thing? 

So, as long as I haven't "written off" some option in my peon head, it remains absolutely true until then?

 

Curiouser and curiouser......  Eye-wink

 


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God loses his will to live.

If you know absolutely everything simultaneously, what is the motive to act? I'm talking about the deity -- what impulse would an all-knowing deity have to do anything, when the results of every possible action would be known? There would be nothing to learn by doing something -- indeed, the idea of knowing would be meaningless, having no counterpart in ignorance.


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bzeurunkl wrote:   Her

bzeurunkl wrote:
 

Her options are limited only by what her perception of her options are.

 

Hmmmmn.....

 

You would think a good number of convicted felons might have kept themselves out of prison if this were true.

And I wonder how different my perception of tunelling myself through the ground might be from the reality of such a thing?

So, as long as I haven't "written off" some option in my peon head, it remains absolutely true until then?

 

Curiouser and curiouser...... Eye-wink

 

True that is an option? Sure.  Just because an option is an option that doesn't mean it's a good option or a viable option.  It may take three lifetimes to accomplish but that makes it no less of an option, just not as good of one.

Like I said, the viability does not impact whether it is an option.

My point simply being that the available options are going to change based on the different ways of perceiving the same situation.


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magilum wrote: If you know

magilum wrote:

If you know absolutely everything simultaneously, what is the motive to act? I'm talking about the deity -- what impulse would an all-knowing deity have to do anything, when the results of every possible action would be known? 

 Known, yes, but not felt.

what is the motive to act? To get it out, to show it off, to share it with your invisible friends...

 

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Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:
magilum wrote:

If you know absolutely everything simultaneously, what is the motive to act? I'm talking about the deity -- what impulse would an all-knowing deity have to do anything, when the results of every possible action would be known?

Known, yes, but not felt.

what is the motive to act? To get it out, to show it off, to share it with your invisible friends...

 

 

This assumes that God is actually able to "feel", which leads us to another question: How does God feel?

Being able to "feel" indicates a "feeling mechanism", which indicates a material existence. A material existence would be a limited one.

Actually, his merely being a possessor of information---infinite or finite in amount---points to the same conclusion.

I'm obviously banking off the "God is immaterial" paradox, which is discussed in other topics, but I think it's an important point.

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 The answer to the title

 The answer to the title of this thread is yes. For a quick explanation, I will use an analogy. Analogies are not perfect, but they do illustrate certain truths.

Suppose you are standing on a mountain top facing north. There is a one lane road at the bottom of the moutain that goes around its circumference. You look down at the road on your right. You can see a car moving north. Then you turn your head and look down at the road on your left. There is another car headed north. You see from your vantage point of perception that both cars are headed on a collision course, but they don't see the other car approaching because they don't have the same perception you have, being on top of the moutain looking down. The fact that you foresee an inevitible collision between the two cars, does not violate the free will of the drivers.

That's how it is with God. He sees things from a completely different perspective then us. But His foreknowledge does not in anyway rob us of our free will.

That's a brief explanation. For a fuller treatement on this subject, read Systematic Theology (volume 1), by Dr. Norman Geisler.

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That's a terrible analogy,

That's a terrible analogy, but it does go with the arbitrary violation of the concept of omniscience and omnipotence that the kludge of "free-will" rationalizes. Here we paint a deity that has lapses of his omniscience, that tosses up his hands at his creation and says, "My bad." Or maybe he says, "Your bad," in that senile, passive-aggressive way of his. However, it's hard to imagine that an analogy that relies on both time and space, where we have to imagine both a future not foreseen simultaneously with past with all possibilities, and a physical dimension being obscured, has any comparability to omniscient perception. Again, tremendously flawed and anthropocentric analogy. A better analogy would be me stabbing Apotheon in the eye with a dowel, and saying, "I don't know what's happening on that end because I'm holding on to this end." Past, future, and physical dimensions would be experienced simultaneously to a being knowing all, so god must have some hardcore mental defects.


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 Actually, its a very good

 Actually, its a very good analogy. But it requires that one have the intelligence to grasp it. It has been accepted as very logical by philosphers. But hate theists (oops, I mean atheists) have bull shit answers for everything. They're bias and ignorance obstructs their ability to see things in a reasonable way.

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 God exists in absolute

 God exists in absolute time and looks down. He sees everything at once. Seeing future events does not violate free-will, and I proved it from the analogy. The analogy is good. But as I said before, no analogy is perfect.

The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator -- Louis Pasteur


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 I'll be back sometime in

 I'll be back sometime in the not too distant future. I'm busy these days.


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Apotheon wrote:  God

Apotheon wrote:
 God exists in absolute time and looks down. He sees everything at once. Seeing future events does not violate free-will, and I proved it from the analogy. The analogy is good. But as I said before, no analogy is perfect.

Being omnipotent and omniscient, one would simultaneously know all possible permutations of reality; there would be no functional difference between knowledge and action because no action would produce new knowledge. This makes the huge assumption that there's a context for such a being to exist within, and an environment of some sort to interact with. If, on the other hand, the deity is ex nihilo, it not only knows everything, and can do anything, but would have to do absolutely everything deliberately because there would be no external principles to take hold. In either case, if all is known simultaneously, it is known what any possible decision regarding an action (like creation) would result in. Such a being would know, without having to go through the process of contemplation, that if it were to create x, that y and z would be the result. Actually doing so would produce nothing new. You god would be an apathetic, nihilistic space booger.

If your god isn't omnipotent and omniscient, that's another story. It's still a children's story, from the bronze age, but another story nonetheless. 


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magilum wrote:

magilum wrote:

Being omnipotent and omniscient, one would simultaneously know all possible permutations of reality; there would be no functional difference between knowledge and action because no action would produce new knowledge.

Hi Magilum, new knowledge need not be an ultimate purpose of an omniscient being, and clearly, as far as we can possibly comprehend, youre right, it couldn't be the purpose of an omniscient being, that would just make no sense.

 

Quote:

If, on the other hand, the deity is ex nihilo, it not only knows everything, and can do anything, but would have to do absolutely everything deliberately because there would be no external principles to take hold.

absolutely. This is as accurate a concept of an ex nihilo omniscient being as I've ever seen. but it's to be expected here, I guess.

Quote:

In either case, if all is known simultaneously, it is known what any possible decision regarding an action (like creation) would result in. Such a being would know, without having to go through the process of contemplation, that if it were to create x, that y and z would be the result. Actually doing so would produce nothing new.

And so?

It would produce something, whether it's new is extraneous if the point is to externalise it.

Before computers were made all the necessary computational theory was known and the impending results of machine augmented computation were well within our conception. We didn't build them because there was an absence of conception of the results, we built them because those known results were yet unrealised.

 

Quote:

You god would be an apathetic, nihilistic space booger.

I'd venture to say that this god created himself out of nihilism, the closest thing to purpose that fits an omniscient god - to be as opposed to not being.

 

**

PS: Bible Passage conceding your concept of omniscience:

Ecclesiastes 1:9

 

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

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Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:

And so?

It would produce something, whether it's new is extraneous if the point is to externalise it.

Before computers were made all the necessary computational theory was known and the impending results of machine augmented computation were well within our conception. We didn't build them because there was an absence of conception of the results, we built them because those known results were yet unrealised.

 

Yes, they were unrealized, but when we built them, we built them to achieve a certain end.

The proposed God, however, is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.

Therefore, there would be no reason for god to create anything (thinking about it from an engineering point of view, for example) because God would have nothing to accomplish. The creation of the universe could not possibly help him in any way.

 

Re: Apotheon:

Let's try this one out:

Have you ever noticed that any apologist explanation for some incoherent or self-contradicting aspect of God often resorts to analogy? I am very anti-analogical explanation, and one of the major reasons is as follows.

God cannot be explained without analogy. That's the basic gist of it. Any attempt to explain God will have to make use of human language, which is a human invention, invented by humans with the sole purpose of explaining material, human things or material, human experiences. Even abstract words like "suffering", "movement", and "art" require some kind of material, human-world constituents for us to understand them. Why? Because we made them up. They are "about" we humans.

So how can we talk about God? If he is so completely different from humans in every way, how can we describe him using words with completely human meanings? Trying to use them on "God" completely empties them of their human usage, rendering them absolutely meaningless to our minds. Saying that "God is wise" would be on the same level as saying "Snarfblatt is Zaklerm". What does it mean? You have no idea!

This is obvious in the fact that most god-defenders can't say what god IS. They can only say what god IS NOT. Observe the following words often attributed to god:

Infinite (God is NOT finite)

Ineffable (God can NOT be described)

Immaterial (God is NOT material)

Omniscient (God has knowledge that is NOT limited)

Omnipotent (God has power that is NOT limited)

Omnipresent (God's presence is NOT limited)

And so on, and so forth. If we remove the "infinite" aspect from the last three on the list, we have the only thing close to a positive claim about god being made: he's present, he's powerful, and he's knowledgeable. (Which, by the way, do not say what he IS, they only state what he DOES).

But, again, these are all words with anthropocentric roots, so how do we know what they mean when we apply them to God? Is God just a series of things that man is also capable of, but only magnified so that he's greater in degree rather than kind? Does that mean that anything that's greater than us in degree is worthy of the "God" title?

Predicted Response: "God is the GREATEST of ANYTHING". This is just another way of wording his "infinite" state or "infinite" capacities. You're either saying what God is not, or else you're saying "God is real times infinity!" which is an argument I stopped using in third grade.

There is nothing you could possibly say or know about him.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.