# God's omniscience

BH,
Have you ever had a decision in your life that other people tried to push you into making?
People saying something like "If it were me I would...."?
Are those people removing your free will? Do you still not ultimately make up the decision on your own?
In the case of the Pharoh as you have mentioned it does say that God hardened the heart of the pharoh...it does not say that God took over the Pharohs life/mind/ or anything like that and made the decisions for the Pharoh does it? Nope. Thus Pharoh still had the ability to make the decisions himself. I do not disagree that God was not there to influence. But influence is NOT ordaining, decreeing, or controlling anothers free will.

And we have free will. We have the will to make decisions for ourselves. No one is making decisions for us. No one is controlling our decisions.

You can try to state as much as you want that we do not by convoluting what free will actually is. But that does not work. No matter how much influence there is we ultimately are in control of our decisions. We have free will to make our own decisions. And advanced knowledge by anyone or anything of our decisions is NOT removal of the free will because the decisions are still ours to make.

But if God is allowed to harden hearts etc, what is then left of the free will defence for the existence of evil? Atheists don't require free will, and the pre-ordained feature is rather a diversion. The fact is however that the free will defence requires a very specific sort of free will which would then need the existence of evil, and this sort of free will is inconsistent if such train tracks exist to allow omniscience, or if we take some parts of the bible as accurate.

The making of decisions is meaningless if we are unable to affect the causality chain. If we have no effect. A slave has by your idea every power, but his power is ineffectual. Same here. And the free will defense requires that our lives are dynamic, unpredictable and hence require the option of evil.

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Originally posted by Tog_Neve
…In the case of the Pharoh as you have mentioned it does say that God hardened the heart of the pharoh...it does not say that God took over the Pharohs life/mind/ or anything like that and made the decisions for the Pharoh does it? Nope. Thus Pharoh still had the ability to make the decisions himself.
Tog,
Ok, maybe what that entire passage was actually talking about was nothing more than god inflicting Pharaoh with atherosclerosis and/or a bad case of angina…

Seriously though, god was affecting Pharaohs ultimate decision by altering his mental condition whilst he was unawares. This is deceitful and degrades the concept of free will. Your argument is like saying that god could twist my mind into thinking anything god wanted me to think, but because I ‘appear’ to make a decision at the end I must therefore have free will.

I do not disagree that God was not there to influence. But influence is NOT ordaining, decreeing, or controlling anothers free will.
Influence certainly DOES affect the decisions that people make, and clearly god does not seem to have sat down with Pharaoh and talked with him openly in an effort to convince him that reneging on his promise to let the Israelites go would be an idea pleasing to the god of Israel. No, what god did was something quite different altogether, causing Pharaoh to go back on what he had promised.

…And we have free will. We have the will to make decisions for ourselves. No one is making decisions for us. No one is controlling our decisions.
This is simply a belief and nothing more. Don’t you agree that god was hardening Pharaohs heart for a reason, and not just because god was bored and wanted to have some fun, knowing that it would all amount to nothing? What logical reason can there be except that god wished to have some control over Pharaohs ultimate ‘free will’ decision? Remember that Pharaoh had had enough of the Israelites and was prepared to let them leave before god worked his little trick. Free will? Ha!

You can try to state as much as you want that we do not by convoluting what free will actually is.
Convolute, shmongalute. I posted my interruption to negate what you said about;

“To state that our future is preordained or predestined means that someone else is imposing their will over ours. And this is simply not the case.”

… because what you said is completely untrue according to that story, as god did indeed impose his will over Pharaoh, hardening his heart and leading Pharaoh to have a change of mind about letting the Israelites go.

…But that does not work. No matter how much influence there is we ultimately are in control of our decisions.
Yes it does work, for if god is tampering with people’s minds and emotions then god is causing us to do things that we might not otherwise have done had god minded his own business. This affects our decisions absolutely and undeniably, and if our decisions are affected in such a way (especially without our knowledge or consent) then free will is largely a moot point, and perhaps like Pharaoh we are having tricks played on us too but simply don't know it. Impossible to know, true???

…We have free will to make our own decisions. And advanced knowledge by anyone or anything of our decisions is NOT removal of the free will because the decisions are still ours to make.
This free will you believe exists means nothing at all when god intervenes in such a way as we have been discussing, and leads me to my conclusion;

Ultimately, the position of god is insane. Imagine being reduced to creating your own game board, rules, and then worst of all by far stooping to tampering with the pieces in order to alter the outcome !!!
To me what this shows is simply the nature of a cruel, sadistic, cheat.

Gooday!

*begin interrupt*

Isn’t it???

Tog, we have been over this matter before and according to the Bible god did in fact harden pharaoh’s heart, causing him to not release the Israelites. It happened more than once to this individual, btw.
I don’t see how, in clean conscious, one can excuse such tampering while continuing to insist we have free will, because to me it is simply a case of rationalizing away the obvious to continue what we want to believe.

Maybe I just have the wrong translation of something.

*end interrupt*
And yet the whole thing may just be illusory. Much in the way the "fierceness of the wrath of Jehovah" is none other than the "sun itself" shining in some arid desolate region. Whereas the sun remains a constant no matter where it shines, be it in the desert or, some lush tropical rain forest. In which case you really can't blame the sun, and yet it weren't for the sun, you would have neither the desert, nor the rain forest. While I think much of the same could be applied to the human condition with respect to God.

Originally posted by Iacchus32
FZ+ actually poses a good question. Does time carry us? ... in the "active sense." Or, are we just a mere observer of its passing? ... in the "passive sense." I'm more inclined to believe that time is just a "passive experience" and doesn't really affect anything.
In other words it just goes along for the ride ... perhaps like a shadow?

Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet the whole thing may just be illusory.
That is exactly what I suspect. [:D}

Ok now lets go back and take a look at a couple of things here. You have caused me to study and study a bit I have. Further along than I had gotten to on my own as of yet (I am still only in Gen ;) )

Lets take a look at Exodus 7:3-4...and I am looking from Youngs Literal Translation.
This is before the plagues
7:3 And I harden the heart of Pharaoh, and have multiplied My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt,
7:4 and Pharaoh doth not hearken, and I have put My hand on Egypt, and have brought out My hosts, My people, the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments;

So God hardened the heart of Pharaoh sounds a bit more like God was trying to touch the heart of Pharaoh in order to let the people of Israel go. And lo and behold it states the Pharaoh did not hearken...which means listen.

We see the same thing mentioned is Exodus 9:12
And Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh, and he hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken unto Moses.

Otherwise all throughout this story it is the Pharaoh that has hardened his heart against letting the people of Israel go.

And as you can read that even with an influence of God the Pharaoh did not listen. So God did not override the Pharaoh's free will. This influence is no more so than what Pharaoh's own scribes have to state to Pharaoh in Ex 8:19 that "it is the finger of God". Even Pharaoh's scribes though could not influence Pharaoh.

Remember that Pharaoh had had enough of the Israelites and was prepared to let them leave before god worked his little trick. Free will? Ha!
And I have no idea where you got this idea from? Of which shows that you may not know of which you are talking about. The Pharaoh was never prepared to let the Israelites go...
First meeting of Moses and Pharaoh Exodus 5
5:2 and Pharaoh saith, 'who is Jehovah, that I hearken to His voice, to send Israel away? I have not known Jehovah, and Israel also I do not send away.'
And it even goes on to state that the work load of the Israelites was multiplied because "ye have caused them to cease from their burdens" Ex 5:4. And as punishment they were to make bricks from mud with no straw supplied...they would have to get their own straw.

Pharaoh was in no way preparing to get rid of his free labor...he was building himself an vast empire and monuments and great things in his name. He was not about to let his labor force just go free and away.

Again I state that God did not control Pharaoh or make his decisions for him. And the verses clearly state that even with an influence of Pharaohs heart the Pharaoh clearly exercised his free will and hardened his own heart against releasing the people of Israel. God wanted him to let Israel go...but he did not listen as the verses state.

Yes it does work, for if god is tampering with people’s minds and emotions then god is causing us to do things that we might not otherwise have done had god minded his own business. This affects our decisions absolutely and undeniably, and if our decisions are affected in such a way (especially without our knowledge or consent) then free will is largely a moot point, and perhaps like Pharaoh we are having tricks played on us too but simply don't know it. Impossible to know, true???
Then I propose to you to no longer read, watch TV, or do anything. Because everything you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, or feel can influence your decisions and thus possibly make you do something you would not normally do without any of those influences.

You attempt to pick and choose what influences are "tampering" with free will and which do not. A friend giving advice by your definition is removing free will. The directions a parent gives a child is tampering with free will. And quite frankly you are incorrect. An influence is just that...an influence. It does not ultimately control your decision. Your decision is still of your own free will. As even shown by the verses above even God's influence can be ignored...how? Because He does not control us, and lets us decide for ourselves. He does not make our decisions for us. Thus since our decisions are our own to make then we are not predestined/preordained... because those state that our decisions are not our own.

Originally posted by Tog_Neve
And I have no idea where you got this idea from? Of which shows that you may not know of which you are talking about. The Pharaoh was never prepared to let the Israelites go...
You have simply stopped your reading and quoting a tad short of the mark, that is all. Go to the next chapter, Tog. Here is the KJB at Exodus 10:20;

“But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.”

Gee, that kinda sounds like god controlling Pharaoh, doesn’t it?

Now if you read the next few verses (21 through 23) you get to see what god inflicted on the Egyptians following that particular heart hardening session. Next, in verse 24, Pharaoh has had enough and says;

“Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.”

So we can see from the above that they had been given the nod to leave. Next, Moses proceeds to tell Pharaoh they will need to take the cattle, too (for sacrifices). So the deal would seem all but done. Now look at what happens next in verse 27;

“But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go.

Do I need to go on? It is clear that god wishing to inflict the Egyptians with yet more plagues is the reason why he controlled the will of Pharaoh. Try reading Exodus 11:9 where god tells Moses;

“...Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

This is one of the reasons why this god is such a foul and cruel entity. What this god is calling ‘wonders’ is merely death and suffering on a grand scale.

Again I state that God did not control Pharaoh or make his decisions for him. And the verses clearly state that even with an influence of Pharaohs heart the Pharaoh clearly exercised his free will and hardened his own heart against releasing the people of Israel. God wanted him to let Israel go...but he did not listen as the verses state.
See above.

Then I propose to you to no longer read, watch TV, or do anything. Because everything you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, or feel can influence your decisions and thus possibly make you do something you would not normally do without any of those influences.
Straw man argument that has nothing to do with being forcefully controlled by god.

You attempt to pick and choose what influences are "tampering" with free will and which do not. A friend giving advice by your definition is removing free will.
The directions a parent gives a child is tampering with free will. And quite frankly you are incorrect. An influence is just that...an influence. It does not ultimately control your decision. Your decision is still of your own free will. As even shown by the verses above even God's influence can be ignored...how? Because He does not control us, and lets us decide for ourselves. He does not make our decisions for us. Thus since our decisions are our own to make then we are not predestined/preordained... because those state that our decisions are not our own.
Tell that nonsense to Pharaoh.

You cannot misdirect away from what god did to Pharaoh by making it seem like god was just a ‘friend’ giving advice to him, either. This is not the way the story goes at all.

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The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.
-- Mikhail Bakunin

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Ok so lets go back and read the story a little bit more for you. And we shall stick to a KJV for you.

Back in Ex 7:1-3 we see God talking to Moses "And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt"
So God has made Moses like a god to Pharaoh..in that great powers have been bestowed upon Moses to turn the water to blood, sticks to snakes, etc, etc. Godlike powers in comparison to the Pharaoh. But let me ask you this. If by hardening the heart of Pharoah God meant that he was going to turn Pharoahs "heart" against Moses why would he have told Moses that? Why say "I am going to give you all this power and through you I shall do these wonders, but I am also going to turn the Pharaoh against you so that everything you do will not matter."?
And then it goes on to also state 7:4 "But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you,..." So that the Pharaoh will not listen to you.
So it would then read that God will be granting Moses great powers and through Moses great wonders, and God will tell Moses what to say to Pharaoh. And God will harden the heart of Pharaoh, but the Pharaoh will not listen to Moses.
Exodus 7 does not read "I will harden SO that Pharaoh will not listen" but reads that "I will harden, but the Pharaoh wont listen"
Ex 7:14 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go"
Youngs "And Jehovah saith unto Moses, The heart of Pharaoh hath been hard, he hath refused to send the people away; "
Ex 7:22 "And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said."
Youngs "And the scribes of Egypt do so with their flashings, and the heart of Pharaoh is strong, and he hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken, "
Ex 8:15 "But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said."
Youngs "And Pharaoh seeth that there hath been a respite, and he hath hardened his heart, and hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken. "
Ex 8:19 "Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said."
Youngs "and the scribes say unto Pharaoh, It is' the finger of God;' and the heart of Pharaoh is strong, and he hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken."
Ex 8:32 "And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. "
Youngs "and Pharaoh hardeneth his heart also at this time, and hath not sent the people away. "
Ex 10:1 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: "
Youngs "And Jehovah saith unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, for I have declared hard his heart, and the heart of his servants, so that I set these My signs in their midst, "
Ex 10:20 "But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go."
Youngs "and Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh, and he hath not sent the sons of Israel away. "
Ex 10:27 "But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go"
Youngs "And Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh, and he hath not been willing to send them away; "
Ex 11:10 "And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land."
Youngs "and Moses and Aaron have done all these wonders before Pharaoh, and Jehovah strengtheneth Pharaoh's heart, and he hath not sent the sons of Israel out of his land."
Ex 14:8 "And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand."
Youngs "and Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursueth after the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel are going out with a high hand, "

Just looking at the literal translations does show some things in a different light. The use of the "so" is not in there. We also see strengtheneth used in place of hardened. This got me looking even further...as I like to do.
Using Hebrew Lexicon I searched under KJV for hardened.
The word that came back meaning hardened was
Kabed
- heavy
- massive, abundant, numerous
- heavy, dull
- hard, difficult, burdensome
- very oppressive, numerous, rich
Used in Exodus 7:14 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go"
So then a search on Strengthen
Resulted in Chazaq
- to strengthen
- To press, be urgent
- and many other meanings similar...to encourage, to prevail, to make firm, etc, etc
Used in Ex 7:14, 7:22, 8:19, 9:12, 9:35, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8

Now Chazaq has a couple of meanings that could apply actually....To strenghen or make firm but also to press or make urgent.
Logically as stated it would not make sense for the Lord to have told Moses that he was going to do such wonderous things only to have the Lord also tell Moses that he was going to make the PHaroahs heart difficult or kabed

This does show me that there are some translational hurdles that apparently went on. Either in words in the original Hebrew that had different meanings dependant upon the sentence structure they were or something else along those lines. I can very easily and logically conclude that several of the verses the Lord had pressed upon or made urgent to Pharaoh (influencing), and the Pharaoh did not listen. Since the beginning of the entire dealings with the Pharaoh and Moses it is established that the Pharaohs heart is hardened and that the Pharaoh further hardens his own heart that by the time we get to the end the Lord is pressing upon Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go. And that it should not have been translated as a "so" as the KJV has but as the Youngs Literal has it as an "and". The lexicon I used did not really go into depth on the words so or and.

So equipped with this evidence one could very logically conclude that the Lord was not controlling Pharaoh, or even influencing Pharaoh against Moses and the Israelites but in favor of Moses. But Pharaoh exercised his free will and chose not to listen, and hardened his own heart against it.

And so god is not omniscient, is he?

But let me ask you this. If by hardening the heart of Pharoah God meant that he was going to turn Pharoahs "heart" against Moses why would he have told Moses that? Why say "I am going to give you all this power and through you I shall do these wonders, but I am also going to turn the Pharaoh against you so that everything you do will not matter."?
Tog, the point to ponder is not the thinking of god, but the actions of god. I am trying to establish that god is tampering.

So it would then read that God will be granting Moses great powers and through Moses great wonders, and God will tell Moses what to say to Pharaoh. And God will harden the heart of Pharaoh, but the Pharaoh will not listen to Moses.
Agreed, in the earlier passages this is how I read it too.

Exodus 7 does not read "I will harden SO that Pharaoh will not listen" but reads that "I will harden, but the Pharaoh wont listen"
Yes, that first word “But” in 7:11 does seem to make room for some speculating. However, god clearly is doing something to Pharaoh all the same for verse 3 says god is hardening Pharaohs heart.

Just looking at the literal translations does show some things in a different light. The use of the "so" is not in there. We also see strengtheneth used in place of hardened. This got me looking even further...as I like to do.
“And we shall stick to a KJV for you.”, but clearly you are not sticking to the KJV. Now, I don’t actually mind you doing this, but I’d like first for you to acknowledge that you have stumbled into a pit of quicksand before going back on your word. Fair enough?

Second, the Lord has no business hardening or strengthening the heart of anyone unless perhaps if that person has asked for god to intervene. Are we puppets, or are we free agents??? Are our convictions, thoughts, etc, being manipulated so as to affect our decisions in even the most seemingly benign way without our knowledge and/or consent? I think this story clearly says yes.

Logically as stated it would not make sense for the Lord to have told Moses that he was going to do such wonderous things only to have the Lord also tell Moses that he was going to make the PHaroahs heart difficult or kabed
First, and partly from a conversation we had some time ago, I thought the actions of this god don’t really have to be seen as logical by us puppets in the first place, especially so with our sense of good and evil, and so this begs the question; How are we to know we are on the right track?

Second, I disagree with your statement anyway because from reading this story it is hard not to walk away with the view that this god shows little respect for human life, inflicting itself on vast numbers of people in horrific fashion just to make a point. It is this very reason that I see as the purpose behind god hardening the heart of Pharaoh, god wanted to kick some butt. This is interesting because it seems that god is unwilling to come down and visit the sinners, making his presence known and saying hello, yet god never seems to have a problem bringing devestation and killing lots of unsuspecting individuals who simply don’t even know that ‘he’ exists and happen therefore to be worshiping some other god(s) that we know can’t actually exist in the first place...(seems like a harmless enough thing to be doing).

And that it should not have been translated as a "so" as the KJV has but as the Youngs Literal has it as an "and".
You see, this is exactly where I knew this conversation would ultimately lead; translation problem. That’s why I mentioned it quite early in our conversation, if you care to look back.

Since the beginning of the entire dealings with the Pharaoh and Moses it is established that the Pharaohs heart is hardened and that the Pharaoh further hardens his own heart that by the time we get to the end the Lord is pressing upon Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go.
Frankly, I think that’s a misrepresentation of the story. What you are doing in that statement is accepting the word ‘hardened’ only when applied to Pharaoh doing it to himself, but if god is the one responsible for the hardening of his heart then it is ceases to actually mean hardening and only seems to be a sense of urgency, and so forth. The core of what this is, Tog, and I hope that you can recognize it, is that you are twisting to support your belief.

So equipped with this evidence one could very logically conclude that the Lord was not controlling Pharaoh, or even influencing Pharaoh against Moses and the Israelites but in favor of Moses. But Pharaoh exercised his free will and chose not to listen, and hardened his own heart against it.
Actually, with my new understanding, I think Pharaoh wasn’t really hardening his own heart, he was merely impressing upon himself a certain sense of ‘urgency’, haha.

But Pharaoh exercised his free will and chose not to listen, and hardened his own heart against it.
Pharaoh makes a decision, true enough. His very being has been manipulated without his consent or apparent knowledge. Free will? I doubt it.

Hmm... noticed glaring inconsistency...

I can very easily and logically conclude that several of the verses the Lord had pressed upon or made urgent to Pharaoh (influencing), and the Pharaoh did not listen.
But that is entirely nonsensical in this one, seen in it's full context.

Exodus 14:2

"Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so."

Thus the pharaoh did not have free will, and was influenced into the deaths of many for the personal gain of God. I cannot find any other way to make sense of it.

“And we shall stick to a KJV for you.”, but clearly you are not sticking to the KJV. Now, I don’t actually mind you doing this, but I’d like first for you to acknowledge that you have stumbled into a pit of quicksand before going back on your word. Fair enough?
You are correct and I apologize for straying from just the KJV. I still it as the first reference but then continued my research to stretch into other sources. For that I am sorry. I am far from a person to state that any one translation is the ultimate translation. And I will also admit that there are translational problems in every translation, however if someone will spend some time and do a little research most any of them can be identified and corrected.

As far as stumbling into a pit of quicksand. That quicksand would be what? I have shown that God was not "controlling" Pharaoh or making the decisions for Pharaoh. I have also show that even with God's "hardening" the Bible clearly states also that Pharaoh did not listen and took actions of his own. Thus also clearly showing that PHaraoh acted of his own free will.

Second, the Lord has no business hardening or strengthening the heart of anyone unless perhaps if that person has asked for god to intervene. Are we puppets, or are we free agents??? Are our convictions, thoughts, etc, being manipulated so as to affect our decisions in even the most seemingly benign way without our knowledge and/or consent? I think this story clearly says yes.
The business of God is strictly His. A friend or family member telling you a piece of advice, even when not asked for, is not intervening with your "free agent" status.
As far as "Are our convictions, thoughts, etc, being manipulated so as to affect our decisions in even the most seemingly benign way without our knowledge and/or consent?"

You see, this is exactly where I knew this conversation would ultimately lead; translation problem. That’s why I mentioned it quite early in our conversation, if you care to look back.
Yes I know. And I never disagreed. And I have never stated that there are not translational issues in any translation of the Bible. That is a fact of language. However it is one that can be overcome with some research and study. As I have done...and that being on a small simple scale.

Frankly, I think that’s a misrepresentation of the story. What you are doing in that statement is accepting the word ‘hardened’ only when applied to Pharaoh doing it to himself, but if god is the one responsible for the hardening of his heart then it is ceases to actually mean hardening and only seems to be a sense of urgency, and so forth. The core of what this is, Tog, and I hope that you can recognize it, is that you are twisting to support your belief.
No I am not. The story is states clearly at the beginning that it is a statement that the Pharaohs heart is "hardened" (EX 7:14). Then the story goes on to state that the Pharaoh "hardened" his own heart. (EX 8 - 9). It is when we get into Ex 10 that as for the KJV things turned. And it was not the use of the word hardened but the use of the word 'so'. And also looking at the actual lexicon and such we find the term "hardened" and the word meaning hardened is used only the description of the Pharaohs heart in Ex 7:14. It is a different word that is used throughout the rest of the story. And that different word has some slightly different meanings than the word used for "hardened" in Ex 7:14. And yes it would not change anything if you wanted to look at it as the Pharaoh impressed upon himself a sense of ugency. If you wanted to leave the definition as just sense of urgency, or pressing upon him, does not matter. It still would not change that God was not making the decisions for Pharaoh.
And that is what the entire discussion was about. All the influences in the world do not change the fact that the person making the decisions is still the person making the decisions and has the free will to make them of their own accord. And that since that is the case then our lives are not preordained or predestined.

I am sure you have heard it said that God has a plan for us. And this is true. And it is up to us to follow it or not. That is our free will option. God is not going to force us to do it. And that would be removal of free will...taking away the ability to alter that which is to come. And as stated before preknowledge of the outcome of events is vastly different than predestination or preordaining.

You are correct and I apologize for straying from just the KJV.
Apology accepted.

I am far from a person to state that any one translation is the ultimate translation. And I will also admit that there are translational problems in every translation, however if someone will spend some time and do a little research most any of them can be identified and corrected.
This brings up an interesting aside, because while you claim that people need only to spend some time doing research to get at the truth, this is in fact much easier said than done. There are, for example, many people living in this world that will never have access to researching the way that others can. Why, they may even be stuck with a defective translation such as the KJB, and have been told that this is the pure unadulterated word of god. If they were keen of mind they would have read this story as it unfolds. This may actually have caused (or will cause someone in the future) to turn away from the monster of a god being portrayed therein. If that ever happens/ed to even to ONE individual then who rightfully should receive the blame???

As far as stumbling into a pit of quicksand. That quicksand would be what?
The same pit that sent you scrambling for a translation that might support what you already wish to believe and pass off having to defend what is so obviously plain and simple. Surely your memory cannot be so short?

I have shown that God was not "controlling" Pharaoh or making the decisions for Pharaoh.
No, you actually have not shown a very convincing argument to support your belief yet. I think you should post your best translation and let me read the entire thing myself, rather than simply take your word that the matter has been successfully concluded.

I have also show that even with God's "hardening" the Bible clearly states also that Pharaoh did not listen and took actions of his own.
How is it that Pharaoh should be able to “listen” to something that was DONE to him?

Thus also clearly showing that PHaraoh acted of his own free will.
Not even close to the truth. A free agent making his own decisions requires no tampering by invisible deities, and this should be obvious enough. You had pointed out that god had given to Moses all these powers and so logically there was no reason for god to tamper with Pharaoh at all, for Moses would have already had everything needed to ‘impress’ the man with.

The business of God is strictly His.
You’re Goddamn right it is, and I’m here to tell you that the business of a free agent is also strictly his own. It has been clearly established by now that god is tampering with a free agent, which is precisely why neither Pharaoh nor anyone else is safe from this god. The worst part is that we may never know what god might actually be doing to us behind our backs, and this places us in jeopardy.

A friend or family member telling you a piece of advice, even when not asked for, is not intervening with your "free agent" status.
There you go beating your straw man again. Friends and family members do not directly have the ability to reach into our hearts and minds and alter us without our knowing it.

Thank you, Tog. You have just made my case for me;

NO FREE WILL !!

Now, all you have to do is to actually listen to your own words. Free will is an illusion.

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This brings up an interesting aside, because while you claim that people need only to spend some time doing research to get at the truth, this is in fact much easier said than done. There are, for example, many people living in this world that will never have access to researching the way that others can. Why, they may even be stuck with a defective translation such as the KJB, and have been told that this is the pure unadulterated word of god.
Easier said than done...really depends. If anyone truly seeks the answer then the avenues for them to find the answer are many fold. Even without the Internet there are local libraries, fellow church members, book stores, pastors, etc, etc. One needs but ask. Granted human nature can often lead people to not ask questions about things of faith and that can be an obstacle. But one that can be easily overcome by most, specially if they are truly seeking an answer.
As far as pure unadulterated word of God...well I believe the Bible as a book is the Word of God, however I believe that people have made some (in most cases) small translational errors. Most good Bibles will also point out areas that were added because there was not translational word, or it was interpreted to be there.

The same pit that sent you scrambling for a translation that might support what you already wish to believe and pass off having to defend what is so obviously plain and simple. Surely your memory cannot be so short?
Not so short...just wanted to make certain...there could have been so many there
However what sent me more than anything is that it has been a very very long time since reading Exodus, and my study of the Bible has not gotten me there yet...I have been going through things about 1 chapter every month or two. So things are slow...but somewhat thurough. So my off the cuff knowledge is very little actually and I have to resort to checking Bibles. And while here at work (where I do this) I hit a web page that has various translations available. So no real scramble. .

No, you actually have not shown a very convincing argument to support your belief yet. I think you should post your best translation and let me read the entire thing myself, rather than simply take your word that the matter has been successfully concluded.
But yet I have provided more evidence to support and back up what I have said than you have for your stance. I can provide the link to the online Bible resource that I use when here at work. Read for yourself all you would like. Much shorter than posting 3+ books of Exodus here...LOL
http://www.bible.com Then click on Read. There is a whole list of various translations in English as well as other languages.

Not even close to the truth. A free agent making his own decisions requires no tampering by invisible deities, and this should be obvious enough. You had pointed out that god had given to Moses all these powers and so logically there was no reason for god to tamper with Pharaoh at all, for Moses would have already had everything needed to ‘impress’ the man with.
No a free agent by your definition would have no outside influences whatso ever. And that is factually not possible because even the lack of any influences from the environment is an influence.
And even with all these powers Pharaoh still rejected it and would not listen. His love of himself and the power he had over the Israelites was stonger than his will to listen to what Moses had to say or do. He was not about to lose his slave labor force. Greed can be a powerful influence. Power can be a powerful influence as well.

You’re Goddamn right it is, and I’m here to tell you that the business of a free agent is also strictly his own. It has been clearly established by now that god is tampering with a free agent, which is precisely why neither Pharaoh nor anyone else is safe from this god. The worst part is that we may never know what god might actually be doing to us behind our backs, and this places us in jeopardy.
Again I say stop reading books, turn off the computer, attempt to isolate yourself from any and all influences from the world around you. Because they are all influences upon a free agent. Ignore everything your parents may ever tell you...plug your ears and start yelling "I'm not listening" and keep repeating it over and over again. Close your eyes and do not see anything that is happening around you. Put a clothes pin on your nose so that you cannot smell anything either. All of these things are outside influences which even by your definition would be "tampering" with a free agent. There is no such thing as a free agent in this sense. HOwever the agent is still free to make up his own mind about things and use the influences that he receives from around him to make a decision derived of his own free will. But all decisions are based on the influences we receive, whether it be from something inanimate or an intelligent entity, or even as simple as a dream in our sleep. They are all influences and we all make our decisions in life based on those.

There you go beating your straw man again. Friends and family members do not directly have the ability to reach into our hearts and minds and alter us without our knowing it.
To heck they dont. You obviously need to get out and meet people and get into the real world. The laws we live by were set up by people you dont even know. But yet you chose to live by them...you are not directed or forced to but the consequences of breaking them keep you in line. And speaking from experience in matters of people directly playing with others minds and playing little mind games to get others to do things they would want to do. Raise children sometime and see how quickly they learn they get attention by crying. All items of an outside source directly reaching into our hearts and minds to get us to do things we may not have been wanting to do...or would not have done without that influence.

Thank you, Tog. You have just made my case for me;

NO FREE WILL !!

Now, all you have to do is to actually listen to your own words. Free will is an illusion.
No I have not. Free will still exists. No matter how many outside influences there are in your life you are still free to make any decision you want. Influences do not MAKE the decision for us...they only INFLUENCE our decisions. Free will is defined as the ability for one person to make desicions of their own free will....free meaning without someone else MAKING the decision for them. It does not imply that there will be no influences. BEcause EVERYTHING is an influence. Even the lack of something is an influence. There is no illusion just your attempt to convolute what free will is. And I am sorry but you are wrong.

Easier said than done...really depends. If anyone truly seeks the answer then the avenues for them to find the answer are many fold.
This sounds like mysticism to me, not something having a place in a logical discussion. Also, you may want to get outside the US and visit some of the truly poor one of these days…

Even without the Internet there are local libraries, fellow church members, book stores, pastors, etc, etc. One needs but ask. Granted human nature can often lead people to not ask questions about things of faith and that can be an obstacle. But one that can be easily overcome by most, specially if they are truly seeking an answer.
Do you see what I mean? You are projecting your situation onto everyone else in the world. Remember, most of the world doesn’t share the standard of living you do. You need to take off those rose-tinted glasses.

As far as pure unadulterated word of God...well I believe the Bible as a book is the Word of God, however I believe that people have made some (in most cases) small translational errors. Most good Bibles will also point out areas that were added because there was not translational word, or it was interpreted to be there.
I see; there are ‘good’ Bibles and ‘better’ Bibles. I think it is fantastic that an all powerful god couldn’t get its word out better than that. Also, I think it is an injustice to write this off as a “small translational error”. As we have seen, one simple word like “So” seems to have a tremendous impact, as has been pointed out to me. Someone’s soul being lost by such a “small” little error is by no means trivial.

So no real scramble.
Sure.

Thanks, I’ll give it a try later.

No a free agent by your definition would have no outside influences whatso ever. And that is factually not possible because even the lack of any influences from the environment is an influence.
Right, no free will.

And even with all these powers Pharaoh still rejected it and would not listen. His love of himself and the power he had over the Israelites was stonger than his will to listen to what Moses had to say or do. He was not about to lose his slave labor force. Greed can be a powerful influence. Power can be a powerful influence as well.
And so can god, when he sneaks into your heart and hardens it.

Again I say stop reading books, turn off the computer, attempt to isolate yourself from any and all influences from the world around you. Because they are all influences upon a free agent. Ignore everything your parents may ever tell you...plug your ears and start yelling "I'm not listening" and keep repeating it over and over again. Close your eyes and do not see anything that is happening around you. Put a clothes pin on your nose so that you cannot smell anything either. All of these things are outside influences which even by your definition would be "tampering" with a free agent.
But, even if I did all that it couldn’t stop god from tweaking my heart and making me dance like a marionette...

There is no such thing as a free agent in this sense.
Precisely, and since this is in fact our condition, there are no free agents.

…HOwever the agent is still free to make up his own mind about things and use the influences that he receives from around him to make a decision derived of his own free will.
The agent is constrained and makes responses due to influences beyond his/her control and therefore not truly free, as I will explain in a moment.

…But all decisions are based on the influences we receive, whether it be from something inanimate or an intelligent entity, or even as simple as a dream in our sleep. They are all influences and we all make our decisions in life based on those.
This is exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you. I believe there is a difference between being coaxed into a state of mind requiring that a decision be made (especially if it’s in response to the meddling of an invisible deity), and having free will. The argument I see being made is that god could poke you towards a fiery pit using a pitchfork pressed into your back, but so long as the one being shoved gets to decide which foot to lead off with then free will must exist.
You cannot presume to know with certainty what Pharaoh would have done if god had not been working him over (which is what I see happening), and the indications were that towards the end he had finally had enough and told them they could go. Why, Pharaoh might not have given it a second thought if god had left him alone ( which is a something I see being ignored in this discussion), but now we will never know due to the meddling, and the acceptance of the meddling as being of no import denies to Pharaoh the ability to form his own thoughts as he freely chooses and as thoughts come to him of his own accord.

BoulderHead - There you go beating your straw man again. Friends and family members do not directly have the ability to reach into our hearts and minds and alter us without our knowing it.

Tog - To heck they dont….
You need to read my words very carefully. You are completely failing to understand what I mean by the word “directly”.

No I have not. Free will still exists. No matter how many outside influences there are in your life you are still free to make any decision you want.
Yes, you have proven it by making some excellent comments that show we are like a piece of muscle tissue with electrodes attached, hopping and bobbing about while the great Oz throws the switches and adjusts the voltage levels. Let me give another example of the way I see it;

If god chose to tickle Pharaoh’s arse instead of hardening his heart and Pharaoh, feeling the dreadful itching sensation thinks to himself “Should I relieve myself with a finger?” and then decides that he must indeed scratch, Is Pharaoh really free?

Of course NOT !!! He is only responding because he must.

What a joke, what a mockery this makes of free will. This is exactly the kind of logic I see being applied… and what I mean by that last sentence is that I believe you would conclude that Pharaoh did have free will because he could have opted to have someone else scratch his itch for him.

I don't see any consideration whatsoever being given to what Pharaoh might have done with his time if he hadn't been 'pressed' in the way he was.

[edited]
For considerable revision.

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This sounds like mysticism to me, not something having a place in a logical discussion. Also, you may want to get outside the US and visit some of the truly poor one of these days…
OK so lets get this strait. You do not know anything about me except for what you have seen on this forum. You do not know where I have been, what I have seen, or anything of that nature. I can tell you that I have been to more countries than most people have ever thought of going to. And I have also seen religious oppression, and religious freedom.
One thing I can tell you though is that in every country I have been in, and it is more than 15, there were people there. There were libraries, religious centers, and people...people that can talk...thus people that could answer questions. And in every society there are always avenues of information available.

Do you see what I mean? You are projecting your situation onto everyone else in the world. Remember, most of the world doesn’t share the standard of living you do. You need to take off those rose-tinted glasses.
Speaking of rose-tinted glasses. I know very well the standard of living in a great many countries. And you also want to know what each one of them had? Libraries. Churches, people attending those churches. So you know what my statement is absolutely true...If someone has a question then they can ask. I may live in the U.S. and more specifically down in the Bible Belt where there is a church on every corner. But there are religious centers throughout the world that people can go and ask questions about their faith to their religious leaders. And in most of the world there is also religious centers of different faiths that someone could go and ask questions about that certain faith.

I see; there are ‘good’ Bibles and ‘better’ Bibles. I think it is fantastic that an all powerful god couldn’t get its word out better than that. Also, I think it is an injustice to write this off as a “small translational error”. As we have seen, one simple word like “So” seems to have a tremendous impact, as has been pointed out to me. Someone’s soul being lost by such a “small” little error is by no means trivial.
Honestly IMHO there are good bibles and there are bad bibles. And even in the catagory of good bibles there are some that to me are better than others....and by being better I simply refer to providing more study information. IE maps of regions, cross references from one verse to another, etc, etc. Yes there are KJV bibles out there that are simply the bible...they do not even go and put the words of Jesus in red letters...I consider Bibles that do put red letter in there as better than the others. Bibles that put maps of the regions are better in my opinion than those that do not.
And there are Bibles that have come out that attempt to be "politically correct" and in doing so IMO dramatically alter the message in the text. IMO Something is missing when the "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" become the "Parent, Child, and Holy Ghost" (I dont think one has gone that far yet...but close)
And I think if you look at the context of the story from beginning unto the end, IMO it remains clearer that it was the Pharaoh who making the decisions to not let the people of Israel go, and not God for him.
Right, no free will.
Wrong. Complete free will. Since you obviously cannot grasp the definition of free will let me provide it
Free will
- The ability or discretion to choose, free choice
- The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.
It states nothing about being free of influences or anything of that nature..just free to make choices...and even the story shows Pharaoh was free to make his own choice..and he did which was to not let the people of Israel go.

And so can god, when he sneaks into your heart and hardens it.
And Pharaoh still ignored the influence of God. And made his own decisions.

I don't see any consideration whatsoever being given to what Pharaoh might have done with his time if he hadn't been 'pressed' in the way he was.
It is shown what the Pharaoh would do. He would not let the people of Israel go.
When first approached by Moses the people were sentenced to more labor, because Moses had distracted them. The initially tasked with making bricks and the straw to hold the bricks together was supplied to them...but then as punishment they were tasked with getting their own straw, and still maintain the quotas they had, as well as the same workforce.
Again go back and read the story. Because you obviously have missed some. Including the verses that stated that the Pharaoh had decided to not let the people go...and how the PHaraoh hardened his heart against freeing the people of Israel.

One thing I can tell you though is that in every country I have been in, and it is more than 15, there were people there. There were libraries, religious centers, and people...people that can talk...thus people that could answer questions. And in every society there are always avenues of information available.
Did you forget to remember to visit any of the poor?
Speaking of rose-tinted glasses. I know very well the standard of living in a great many countries. And you also want to know what each one of them had? Libraries. Churches, people attending those churches. So you know what my statement is absolutely true...
Nonsense, I know that your statement is false. Or to use your own words;
“OK so lets get this strait. You do not know anything about me except for what you have seen on this forum. You do not know where I have been, what I have seen, or anything of that nature.”

If you have seen what I have seen or to come visit me sometime, I would show you first hand that you are day dreaming. But I apologize if my statements seemed like a personal attack, and I’ll try to stick to the topic, agreed?

Wrong. Complete free will. Since you obviously cannot grasp the definition of free will let me provide it
Free will
- The ability or discretion to choose, free choice
- It states nothing about being free of influences or anything of that nature..just free to make choices...and even the story shows Pharaoh was free to make his own choice..and he did which was to not let the people of Israel go.
I believe you are the one unable to grasp something here. Furthermore, I do not believe you are in any kind of position to tell me, or anyone else, what must be accepted for a definition. We may disagree, or agree to disagree, but that is as far as it goes. I have pointed out why what you have been calling free will is something of a joke…

I will edit to recommend you look hard at part of your description of free will;

"-The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will."

So, right here in your definition we can know free will is simply a farce. Our choices are in fact constrained by a multitude of things which you have previously noted. Think about it.

Again go back and read the story. Because you obviously have missed some. Including the verses that stated that the Pharaoh had decided to not let the people go...and how the PHaraoh hardened his heart against freeing the people of Israel.
Yes, I intend to read from the link you provided, but I’d like to note here that I see you once again abusing the term “hardened his heart”. You like to use it as if it can be taken literally when Pharaoh does it to himself, but whenever god does it to Pharaoh you prefer to think of it as something else. I believe this tendency shows a biased viewpoint, not an intellectually honest one.

Give me a few days to read from the link you provided and I will see whether my opinion changes.

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I am not getting too far in my reading before finding trouble again. Look at Young’s translation;

Exodus
10:1 And Jehovah saith unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, for I have declared hard his heart, and the heart of his servants, so that I set these My signs in their midst,
10:2 and so that thou recountest in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, that which I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have set among them, and ye have known that I am' Jehovah.'

This time Jehovah declared hard Pharaoh’s heart, which looks like an overt act and again the reason is given as “so that I set these My signs in their midst,”. There is clearly a purpose behind this tampering.
It seems fairly obvious that Jehovah is just itching to ‘show some signs’ so Moses and his descendants will have something to talk about in the future.

Now, look at what Jehovah says;

11:1 And Jehovah saith unto Moses, One plague more I do bring in on Pharaoh, and on Egypt, afterwards he doth send you away from this; when he is sending you away, he surely casteth you out altogether from this place';

Jehovah is gearing up for some baby killing and says with certainty to Moses that this time Pharaoh will surely let them leave. So, this then should rightly be the end of the story. Why then does Jehovah continue tampering with the heart of Pharaoh, as seen in a few passages that follow?

14:4 and I have strengthened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hath pursued after them, and I am honoured on Pharaoh, and on all his force, and the Egyptians have known that I am' Jehovah;' and they do so.

14:8 and Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursueth after the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel are going out with a high hand,

14:17 And I -- lo, I am strengthening the heart of the Egyptians, and they go in after them, and I am honoured on Pharaoh, and on all his force, on his chariots, and on his horsemen;

It seems that Pharaoh never does much of anything until Jehovah puts a hex on him, at which time Pharaoh always does something to his detriment.

So then a search on Strengthen
Resulted in Chazaq
- to strengthen
- To press, be urgent
If strengthen means the above, why, I ask isn’t Jehovah doing just the opposite and making their hearts feel more relaxed instead of pressed and urgent? You know; “Ah, don’t worry men there is nothing to get excited over…”

Is there some other translation I ought to be reading?

Did you forget to remember to visit any of the poor?
Some of the countries I pulled into were poor. Some of the areas of countries I pulled into were poor. Some were not. But no matter they all had religious centers, they all had places of education, they all had people that someone could talk to and ask questions.

If you have seen what I have seen or to come visit me sometime, I would show you first hand that you are day dreaming. But I apologize if my statements seemed like a personal attack, and I’ll try to stick to the topic, agreed?
Pardon the personal question but where do you live?

I believe you are the one unable to grasp something here. Furthermore, I do not believe you are in any kind of position to tell me, or anyone else, what must be accepted for a definition. We may disagree, or agree to disagree, but that is as far as it goes. I have pointed out why what you have been calling free will is something of a joke…
Actually since I am in a discussion with you then I am in a position to discuss the definition of free will. Since we cannot logically have a discussion unless we both understand what each others definitions are. Only when we both know what each others definitions are can we logically discuss them. And if our definitions differ then we either must discuss only one definition or the other, agree to a compromise definition to discuss, or wander around aimlessly. Because if we do not stick to one definition then we are wasting our time in talking honestly. We can talk about whose definition is correct or not, but until that is settled it cannot be applied to the discussion at hand (the Pharaoh), because we would both be applying our definition of free will and if they vary (which they appear to) then we are not discussing on solid ground.

I will edit to recommend you look hard at part of your description of free will;

"-The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will."

So, right here in your definition we can know free will is simply a farce. Our choices are in fact constrained by a multitude of things which you have previously noted. Think about it.
Ok so now let me define constraint
- The threat or use of force to prevent, restrict, or dictate the actions or thoughts of others.
- The state of being restricted or confined within prescribed bounds.
- One that restricts, limits, or regulates

An influence is not constraining. It is not forcing, nor is it dictating the actions or thoughts. An influence also does not prescribe bounds in order to confine. Nor is an influence one that restricts, or limits.
So free will is the power of making free choices that are not forced, dictated, or within prescribed bounds, restricted, or limited by an external force.
Thus by that an influence even from God is still not constraining...thus free will is intact.

Yes, I intend to read from the link you provided, but I’d like to note here that I see you once again abusing the term “hardened his heart”. You like to use it as if it can be taken literally when Pharaoh does it to himself, but whenever god does it to Pharaoh you prefer to think of it as something else. I believe this tendency shows a biased viewpoint, not an intellectually honest one.
Actually just trying to stick to the use of the word hardened...sorry...it could just as easily used the word strengthen.
I will get to your second post tomorrow....busy day and it is about done here

Pardon the personal question but where do you live?
I had tried to reach agreement to not get personal.
Actually since I am in a discussion with you then I am in a position to discuss the definition of free will.
Yes, and so am I, but you were discussing nothing. You were basically questioning my mental capabilities because I didn’t seem to have your understanding of the words “free will”, and then attempting to jam your definition down my throat (BIG difference). If you don’t think so then I suggest you read your words to me again (the bold text);
Wrong. Complete free will. Since you obviously cannot grasp the definition of free will let me provide it
Free will
- The ability or discretion to choose, free choice
- The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.
Now, I have decided I’m going to use the definitions you provided, since I don’t believe you will accept any other. You have stated the need to agree on a definition, which isn’t an easy thing to do, and I am going to concentrate especially on the second example you provided, agreed? So, what is the word “constrained” all about, let’s see what you had to say;
Ok so now let me define constraint
- The threat or use of force to prevent, restrict, or dictate the actions or thoughts of others.
- The state of being restricted or confined within prescribed bounds.
- One that restricts, limits, or regulates
Again, I will use your definitions so as to please you, and I am going to concentrate especially on 2 & 3. You now go on to say;
An influence is not constraining. It is not forcing, nor is it dictating the actions or thoughts. An influence also does not prescribe bounds in order to confine. Nor is an influence one that restricts, or limits.
You have hung your own argument before the horse was even slapped out from under it because you have already said in the following snippets that an influence does indeed represent a constraint;
All items of an outside source directly reaching into our hearts and minds to get us to do things we may not have been wanting to do...or would not have done without that influence.

But all decisions are based on the influences we receive, whether it be from something inanimate or an intelligent entity, or even as simple as a dream in our sleep. They are all influences and we all make our decisions in life based on those.

Yes every moment your convictions, thought, etc are being manipulated by everything and everyone around you.

Some things you may have control over and others you may not, but they still affect your decisions, thoughts, and convictions.

Because pure and simple fact is that your thoughts and convictions are made up and built around influences other than your own or out of your control.
So here we have it. Our very thoughts and convictions are built around influences beyond our control, and they get us to do things we may not have wanted to do…or would not have done without that influence. From your very words it can be seen that you are actually at odds with your own definition. It cannot be said that we are not constrained when in fact our decisions are based on things outside us, some even that are beyond our control. We are, therefore, left in a reactionary position without truly having free will.

I really think you are confused between deciding which foot to lead off with while being shoved into a pit, and the fact that you have been made to make this decision against your free will.

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megashawn
An influence is not constraining. It is not forcing, nor is it dictating the actions or thoughts. An influence also does not prescribe bounds in order to confine. Nor is an influence one that restricts, or limits.

I'm standing in front of you with a gun pointed at your head. I state that if you do not jump out the window and swan dive into the concrete, that I will shoot you.

I'm not forcing you to do anything, am I? I'm merely threatening you with pain and suffering or death. You have the choice in the matter, as to splatter on the concrete or head butt the bullet. Do you have free will in this situation? Or have I, a mere mortal stripped you of your free will, leaving you only 2 choices?

That is essentially what a Christian flavor of free will is.

God gives man the ability to make choices.

The choices man has is:
1) Do what god tells him to do
2) Do what man wants to do

Now, taking choice 1 essentially turns you into a biped sheep. Choice 2 is what most of us like to consider "Free will"

Now, there are of course rewards or consequences depending on your choice of the above 2. Choosing 1 gets you a ticket into heaven, eternity thumbing a harp or something. Choice 2 gets you a 1 way ticket to hell, suffering, torment, etc.

How is this any different from me holding a gun to your head and giving you a choice between instant death or a slow painfull one?

And where is the free will, in either scenario?

russ_watters
Mentor
Originally posted by Zero
No, see, you miss the point...the greater the ability to see the future, the less activity becomes necessary. If I know how every movie turns out, I won't see too many of them. If I can see the entire movie in my head, I would NEVER go out to see a movie.
In the same way, if a deity could see all possible futures, there would be no reason to actually do anything at all, because all teh outcomes are known.
Thats a question of desire and motivation then, Zero and it has nothing to do with whether something exists. Of course God doesn't need to watch the movie. If you already know the plot of the movie, you don't need to go - but the movie is still being played! Heck, haven't you ever watched a movie twice?
2) Do what man wants to do
Uh, megashawn, if everything you wanted to do was opposed to everything God wanted you to do, that would make you pretty much pure evil. Isn't there anything you want to do that would be the same as what you think God wants you to do? And does God have an opinion on every decision you make? Does God care if you go to the bathroom during this commercial or the next one? Does he care if you part your hair on the left or right? Freewill (the religious version) is nowhere near as simple as your binary choice.

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megashawn
Uh, megashawn, if everything you wanted to do was opposed to everything God wanted you to do, that would make you pretty much pure evil.

I would have to agree, that is, if there is a god for me to oppose.

Isn't there anything you want to do that would be the same as what you think God wants you to do?

For the most part I live by many christian standards. Mostly habit, but for instance, I don't believe its right to sleep with another mans wife, or to kill a person, stealing, etc. I do not disagree with hardly any of the moral obligations of being a christian.

This is why I've said many times that religion can be good.

And does God have an opinion on every decision you make? Does God care if you go to the bathroom during this commercial or the next one? Does he care if you part your hair on the left or right?

I seriously doubt it. But incase he did, and over something so trivial I'd be sure to do the exact opposite.

Freewill (the religious version) is nowhere near as simple as your binary choice.

The religious version is you have 2 choices. You can do gods will and have the promise of eternal life in heaven. You can do your own will and have the threat of eternal suffering. It is that simple.

I mean why did Adam originally fall from gods grace? Because he made a decision against gods will. He decided to do what he wanted, and for his decision he was kicked to the curb.

I agree with your statement in Saint's thread "Does god love me" or whatever. I feel that if my good deeds through life are not enough to get me into some eternal eutopia, well, I'd rather be dead anyhow.

Freewill (the religious version) is nowhere near as simple as your binary choice.
But the free will clause, which is used to justify evil, seemingly does insist on such a binary system, stating that free will precisely does require two choices - good and evil.