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Free will with a noninterfering God or none at all

  1. Sep 21, 2005 #1
    If God allows free will for an individual, how would such free will differ for a person without a God? If there is no difference, might that infer that a God proof is moot for these people?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2005 #2
    Please define clearly what you mean by "free will"?

    Sorry to be pedantic, but in my experience most people who debate the existence of free will have not really thought very deeply about what the term actually means.


    ps - If God exists and has endowed this free will on all people, how can there exist "a person without a God"? I assume by this you actually mean "a person who does not believe in God"? But disbelief in God does not negate the possible fact that God created mankind with free will.....
  4. Oct 8, 2005 #3
    "free will" - the option to believe in a God, or to act separately from deistic influence. Also, the choice from the same potential awareness of deistic influence, or lack of, as everyone else.

    (Revised) - "If God allows free will for an individual, how would such free will differ for a person who does not believe in God? If there is no difference, might that infer that a God proof is moot for both?"

    Nor does belief in God support the possible fact that God created mankind with free will. Might this show that a "God proof" would be moot between theists and atheists?
  5. Oct 8, 2005 #4
    Hmmmm. Might it not be possible for such a "free will" to exist even in a deterministic universe? Even if all is determined, there is still the "option" for me to believe in a God (it all depends now on what you mean by "option".....).

    A person who does not believe in God might still believe in free will (whatever that means), therefore there may not be any difference between "believers" and "non-believers" in the concept of free will. In other words, imho, there is no direct causal relationship between "belief in God" and "belief in free will".

    I am at a total loss as to what you mean here.

  6. Oct 8, 2005 #5
    In less turbid verbage, I am trying to assert that given free will, the belief in God will always be somewhat debatable.

    Given arbitrary worldviews, does the one more often precede the other?
  7. Oct 8, 2005 #6
    imho, the belief in God will always be debatable, free will or no free will.

    also imho, belief in God requires a belief in free will. How can someone who believes in God also believe that God created a deterministic world? What would be the point of that? (a bit like a model railway for Gods)?

    Thus, belief in God and disbelief in free will does not make sense, ie belief in God necessitates belief in free will.
    However, belief in free will does not necessitate belief in God.

  8. Oct 9, 2005 #7
    Might not a God-wrought existence embody both free will and determinism? E. g., the free will of a soul and the physical determinism of the correspondence principle's upper limit (classicism).
  9. Oct 10, 2005 #8
    In this case the free will endowed by the god would have to be totally "uncaused" by anything in the deterministic physical world and yet still have some form of causative power itself to affect the deterministic physical world if it is to have any meaning.

    The important point is that it would be totally pointless and meaningless for a god to create a totally deterministic world, to endow his/her creation with any meaning he/she must also endow some kind of free will. Hence any belief in a "meaningful" god goes hand in hand with a belief in free will.

    Question : When God created free will, did He have any choice?

  10. Oct 13, 2005 #9
    ?, but, this is exactly what was created, a totally deterministic world of flora and fauna, but with great meaning, forming the ecological template on which human life is possible. Does not photosynthesis and those organisms that carry on the process have great meaning for those life forms that require oxygen ? -- yet no free will within the trees, algae, etc.
    Yes, why not the possibility that our earthy existence is but one of many grand experiments, thus the choice to create other worlds with humans without free will to serve as an experimental control to follow the activities of free will humans on earth.
    Here is my question, since I have free will, do I freely have the option to reject both heaven and hell after death and freely take the third logically possible option given to me by god--neither ? That is, when <A> and <B> are logical options, then so is |neither <A>nor<B>|, and |both <A>and<B>|. If not |neither|, and |both| whence free will ? You may ask, how |both|?--observe entanglement principle of quantum mechanics (e.g., photon is both here and there at same point in time, thus both in heaven and hell at same time). Let me worry about |neither| for me.
  11. Oct 13, 2005 #10
    For instance, couldn't God have endowed evolution with seemingly random opportunities for selection?
  12. Oct 14, 2005 #11


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    Sure he COULD have, but such an argument is valueless. As Johnny Carson once expressed it, so could a chicken named George.
  13. Oct 14, 2005 #12
    Just to say (a moot point) that either intelligent design or random selection could just have produced theoretical evolution as well as it could Biblical creation.
  14. Oct 15, 2005 #13
    How do you know that it is totally deterministic?
    Why would God want or need to create humans without free will? He is omniscient, therefore in the absence of free will He is able to predict exactly what will happen – why bother with the experiment if He already knows the outcome?
    Did God give you a third option?
    Does not follow. <A> and <B> may be mutually exclusive (which prohibits the choice of “both <A> and <B>”), and/or one may be the negation of the other (which, following the law of the excluded middle, prohibits the choice of “neither <A> nor <B>”)
  15. Oct 20, 2005 #14
    Plants and animals have free will -- where is this philosophy developed ?
    OK, why bother with free will experiment if he/she is omniscient ? If omnicient, then omniscient, and knows well ahead of time what free will option I will make--if not, then <not> omniscient.
    Of course, and more--recall from the story that once was option [C]=eat from tree of life and live forever on earth. Of course, bad luck in fruit foraging patterns by first two humans did not allow the rest of us to gain this third option provided (but I suspect, not really being pushed for by creator, since creator was omniscient and knew tree of life would never be touched--very strange why then it is present ?). Now, logically, since the story teller allows for free will options other than [A] = heaven, = hell, then option [D] also is present, that is, I must have free will to select eternal death on earth, the logical opposite of [C]--which also goes by the saying "ashes to ashes, dust to dust". It does not matter that [D] is not spelled out in detail in the story other than "ashes.." statement, it is logically derived from the facts of the story. And recall, when story about option [C] was presented, there was no concept of =hell as an option anyway, this was only added as story was modified, perhaps incorrectly.
    Of course, lots of "may-be's" in your example. Now, I agree that option "both [A] and " does not seem to me to be a wise free will choice even if possible, but, as explained above, excluded middle logic does not apply to free will choice of life after death for humans because options [D] also exists in this time, not just [A] and , thus no negation of two entities.
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