God's omniscience

  • #51
russ_watters
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Originally posted by megashawn
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.
That contradicts everything in your post that came before it.
I mean why did Adam originally fall from gods grace? Because he made a decision against gods will.
That particular choice, yes - it was an important one. But you just agreed that not all choices are like that.
Originally posted by FZ+
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.
What is "the free will clause?"

I'm a little confused here: megashawn agreed with my points but not my conclusion: People fall into a THIRD CATEGORY, ie, they are not inherrently good or inherrently evil. We are inherrently imperfect and sinful (according to the bible) but that is NOT the same thing as inherrently evil.

Maybe the third category is freewill itself. God is inherrently good, satan inherrently bad, and people have a choice.
 
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  • #52
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Pardon the delays in response. Have not had Inet up at new home yet so things are done from work...which has not done much to let up here lately.

I had tried to reach agreement to not get personal.
I agree... you had just mention to come visit you sometime...by that I gathered you are not located in the U.S. so that is all I was asking.

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);
Please forgive my use of words. Was not attempting to jam anything down your throat but to clarify exactly what free will is defined as (which happens to be the definition I use).

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.
No I am not at odds with myself. The influences of our environment still do not contstrain us. Your statement "or would not have done without that influence" You have no basis to know what would have been done without environmental influences....ie the world you live in. And even the influences of friends, family, etc do not restrict or limit our ability to choose. These influences do not put blinders on us to block out other options. Free will does not mean that a person makes a decision on all possibities...but on all possibilities that the person has knowledge of. And knowledge is based on life experiences. So in your circlular logical sense you could state that knowledge halts free will. And it is circular because one can only make a decision based on what they know...not what they dont know. And what you know is based only on your knowledge/life experiences. And the outcomes of all the decisions one has made in the past are what make up their knowledge. So you go round and round trying to hammer down how it would work but it doesnt. Influences pure and simply do not negate free will. Since an influence does not contstrain the ability of a person to make a choice.

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.
I stand on my own 2 feet and know the solid ground they are upon. I have not wavered in my explanation of free will as I see it. Nor shall I for it is quite simply the truth of the matter. We are creatures of free will. We have the ability to make decisions, and influences are not a constraint upon our ability to make those decisions.
 
  • #53
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Megashawn -
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?
Do I have free will in this situation....yes I do.
Even if limited to the choice of jump or bullet I am still free to make those decisions for myself. You enforcing the choices that I have does not affect my free will. A given situation one encounters in life is facing that situation. The choice one makes to deal with that situation is expressing their free will. You can use all the dramatics you desire but it is no more than coming to a 'T' in the road and having to decide which way to...you know that either way will get you where you want to go.
Get a map of the city you live in. Find a building in that city...say like the airport, or the grocery store, etc. Now locate your house. How many different routes can you take to get from your house to the grocery store? More than likely many of them. One maybe the easiest, another maybe the straitest and maybe they are not the same. Now take a ruler and pencil. Draw a strait line from your house to the grocery store...that is another route you could take. Now go the opposite direction and circle the globe...another option to take.
Even in your example you have thought of only 2 options...jump or bullet. But maybe I could talk my way out of it, or throw something to knock the gun from your hand, dodge slightly and only get hit in the shoulder, charge you...the possibilities are endless what choices there are. ANd even though you have the gun, you are not limiting my ability to make a choice.
 
  • #54
BoulderHead
Tog,
You need to address the points I quoted you on one at a time. You are failing to do this and simply reasserting your assertion and we won’t get anywhere like this.
 
  • #55
FZ+
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What is "the free will clause?"
The free will clause is the major explanation given to the existence of evil with a good God. It states that the existence of an evil cause of action, and the full ability to take it is neccessary for free will to exist.

What Tog proposes degrades the free will clause, because he insists that free will can still exist if God influences man to perform certain courses of action, including threats. There would then appear no reason for the continued appearance of evil in this world. One might ask - if God was right and able to do this with the Pharaoh, why couldn't he have done so to Bin Laden? Hitler? Stalin?

Maybe the third category is freewill itself. God is inherrently good, satan inherrently bad, and people have a choice.
That falls when we consider that God made Satan - and so evil must have come from God.
 
  • #56
megashawn
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Ok. I used to install Vinyl siding with my father. When I first started, I'd hit my hand and/or fingers with the hammer alot.

Now, I swing the hammer, glances off the nail and smashes into my thumb. I curse, almost instantly. Hitting your thumb with a hammer will make even the most mild mannered christian cuss.

Anyhow, even though I was controlling the hammer, some other circumstance caused me to hit my finger. It certainly wasn't of my will that I did it. Maybe the wood the nail was set in was weak, nail was bent, or my aim was bad.

I cuss, almost as a reaction, its not like I could hit my dad with the hammer and feel better. Hmm, shoulda tried it now I think about it. The next day, I hit my finger again, and cuss again, seemingly involuntary.

Now, I'm not saying that god is sitting around making construction workers hit there fingers with hammers. What I'm saying, is there isn't one construction worker who enjoys and wills to hit themselves with a hammer. I'd never do it intentionally, would you? No. But it does happen, against my will. So gods and devils aside, even in situations of total control, your will can still be contradicted, be it supernatural forces at work, or the more realistic force of luck.
 
  • #57
russ_watters
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Originally posted by FZ+
That falls when we consider that God made Satan - and so evil must have come from God.
Satan was an angel and not evil when created - he made a choice and for him there was no going back. For people the choice isn't final until you die. (According to Christianity).
So gods and devils aside, even in situations of total control, your will can still be contradicted, be it supernatural forces at work, or the more realistic force of luck.
So is that a yea or nay for freewill?

Personally I see that as a yea and see it as self-evident that freewill only exists within the constraints of human abilities.
 
  • #58
selfAdjoint
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Satan was an angel and not evil when created - he made a choice and for him there was no going back. For people the choice isn't final until you die. (According to Christianity).

Have you got a Biblical reference for that? Job seems to say otherwise.
 
  • #59
6
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Tog,
You need to address the points I quoted you on one at a time. You are failing to do this and simply reasserting your assertion and we won’t get anywhere like this.
I have addressed your points. You attempted to try and state that I "hung myself before the horse was even slapped". And I pointed out that I had not.

I pointed out that even with the influences of the world around us..ie our environment, friends, family, etc they do not constrain our ability to make decisions.

As you quoted me saying
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.

An influence may affect the decision you make in a given situation, but it does not affect your ability to make a decision. As I stated above free will is:
- The ABILITY or descretion 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.

Influences of any sort...even Megashawns example do not limit/contrain my ability to make a decision...nor does it limit/restrict/regulate the possible decisions that I could make.

I have addressed your points, I have clarified what I classify as free will, which happens to be at this moment the common definition of free will, I have then addressed and shown how you are incorrect in stating that I am at odds with myself over my stance on the issue.

And if we need to then we can get down and clarify what is meant by restricting, limiting, regulates, ability, discretion, power, external circumstances, or any of the other words used in the definitions provided.

And it is also not a matter of "since I don’t believe you will accept any other", I would be willing to discuss any definition you would like. But in order to have a logical discussion on a topic both parties have to understand what the topic to be discussed is. Which also may include defining the topic. As I have attempted to do by defining what I consider free will to be. If we have a difference of opinion on the definition then we do. But we can only talk about one of those at a time. Otherwise we go round and round saying basically "No it means this....no it means this"

So if there is a different point that needs to be talked about then lets talk about it. If I need to clarify something of what I mean then ask me to clarify.
 
  • #60
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The free will clause is the major explanation given to the existence of evil with a good God. It states that the existence of an evil cause of action, and the full ability to take it is neccessary for free will to exist.
Actually this is not really the case. The "free will clause" is not a matter of being free to choose good and evil... It is simply the ability to choose...yeah to choose good or evil...to choose black or red tie, maybe to do good..or to do better, and inversly to do bad or worse. It is very encompassing.

What Tog proposes degrades the free will clause, because he insists that free will can still exist if God influences man to perform certain courses of action
It is not a degredation to it...except by those that try and use it as a shield to answer for all their actions or reasonings (not meaning anyone here). As explained here with BH, an influence is but that. Free will is NOT, nor has it ever been, an alternative phrase for situation... Megashawns example above was a situation...I was in a situation where Megashawn had me at a window with a gun to my head...telling me to jump or eat a bullet. That was a situation I was in where I had to make a decision. Situations are what make us exercise our free will....(ability to make a choice). As stated and defined...free will is an ability....not a circumstance...not a physical thing...an ability.
 
  • #61
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Megashawn....
That whole example of the hitting your finger with a nail...
You may have to go into more on that one because I have no idea what you were talking about in reference to this discussion.

I see where you say it was not your will to hit your finger with a hammer. OK... So....

There are many things that will happen in life that will be against your WILL... Your WILL cannot control the weather...your WILL cannot control what other people do. Your WILL cannot change the laws of physics....nor Murphy's Law ;).

So things happening against your WILL does not affect your free will.

Either bad example or you need to go into it a little more to try and apply it....sorry I may have just missed something there as well.
 
  • #62
megashawn
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Probably a bad example, I don't feel like explaining it.

I'd have to agree with Russ's comment, and what you say.

But if god is actually causing the wind to blow and make my hammer glance the nail, smashing my finger, is that not against my will? Is this not what he has done with Pharoh, from a few pages back?

But yes, I agree with russ, in that I'm free to do whatever I can do. The things that limit what I can do may or may not be related to a god, and frankly, I don't care. If God gets his kicks out of smashing my fingers, so be it, who am I to question the all mighty?

But if he does, as seems to be the case with pharoh, then why does he bother telling us we have free will?

Hell, whats it matter if my previos post is on subject? Look at the title of the thread "God's Omniscience" What does free will have to do with the original topic?

Well, alot I suppose.

It sure must be boring being god. You already know the ending to every book, movie, and playboy mag before it's even produced. He knew Brittany and Maddonna would be making out before either of them was ever born. Why does he submit himself to such torture? Seems a being of unlimited ability would/should be capable of designing a better plan. Its like, why run down a dark ally when I know there is a piano waiting to fall on my head?
 
  • #63
russ_watters
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Originally posted by megashawn
But if god is actually causing the wind to blow and make my hammer glance the nail, smashing my finger, is that not against my will?
Yes, and that is of course the definition. So the question is, what do you believe? Do you believe there is an unseen supernatural force overriding the laws of nature to affect your life? (if the answer is no, then you do believe in freewill - by definition) If there was, wouldn't there be evidence of it?
But if he does, as seems to be the case with pharoh, then why does he bother telling us we have free will?
Implied threat? Privelege to be revoked? Either way, the relgious stance is that he only rarely intervenes to trump freewill.

A few years ago I had a rough spot in my life that led me to question the concept of freewill, but in a different way. Actions of certain people intervened to change the course of my life. I came to the conclusion that there will always be things that are not within your control. Your only recourse is to make sure that you do actively control the things you can. (there is a saying posted on the wall in my parents' house that says it eloquently, I'll try to find it) The fallacy of fate leads people to do the opposite - since they think their path is preordained (by God, men, the laws of physics, or genetics, it doesn't matter) they don't TRY and don't control the things that ARE under their control. The nonexistent preordained failure then ends up a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For more on the subject, read "Oedipus" and watch "The Matrix" and "The Matrix, Reloaded." (over and over and over)
 
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