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Thread: Free Will versus Everything For A Reason

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    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Free Will versus Everything For A Reason

    Some of my friends post Christian pablum to their social media. Today’s:

    “Sometimes God will slow you down so that the evil ahead of you will pass before you get there. Your delay could mean your protection. He is a good god.”
    Yet these same people (literally, these SAME PEOPLE) will say, “God can’t stop evil because Free Will.”


    I feel like replying, “yeah, which is why you should shut up about your Pro Life crap, because maybe god knows what he’s doing, right?”

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    I can freely choose between free will and pre destination, or can I? Gosh, what a god awful conundrum.

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    It'd be so nice to have conscious access to the workings of the brain in order to tinker and tweek at will.....

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    You throw the dart, but God draws the circle around it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    It'd be so nice to have conscious access to the workings of the brain in order to tinker and tweek at will.....
    I heard it said a Buddhist is one who takes himself apart and puts himself back together.

    In a translation of Tibetan writings I read there are warnings not to tinker on yourself without experienced guidance, insanity can follow. Buddhism is really applied psychology.

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    It'd be so nice to have conscious access to the workings of the brain in order to tinker and tweek at will.....
    I heard it said a Buddhist is one who takes himself apart and puts himself back together.

    In a translation of Tibetan writings I read there are warnings not to tinker on yourself without experienced guidance, insanity can follow. Buddhism is really applied psychology.
    Whatever an accomplished Buddhist is capable of doing in terms of body control is the work of their brain, the feedback and training is altering the brain, which in turn creates a more accomplished Buddhist, which despite strories of fantastic abilities, also has limitations.

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    Maybe god controls free will through quantum physics. The wave front collapses one way, and you choose steak for dinner. It collapses differently and you choose to have an abortion instead of dinner at all. It’s kind of frightening to think how much control quantum physics and/or god has control over our lives. Maybe quantum physics is god! Now there’s a deep thought.

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    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Theological fatalism.

    God is claimed to have created everything. and to be essentially omniscient, having full knowledge of the future. If God decides to create a Universe, God must choose an initial state of creation. From that, God will know how that future will actualize and know all the future contingent facts of that Universe.

    So no sentient being in that created Universe has free will. All their moral acts are predestined. If Jane is a good person and get eternal bliss in heaven, God decided to create the Universe where that happens. If John is created an evil person who does many evil acts, and suffers torments in hell forever, God chose that fate for John.

    So God gets all credit for all moral evils in any world God creates. Theologians have been trying yo dodge this theological problem for centuries. The ancient Greeks wrestled with the problem of fatalism, predating Christianity.

    My particular version here is a bit stronger than usually presented. God must choose an initial state of creation to actualize any created world. God knows that free will does not exist in this Universe God creates. If God decides to create a Universe with horrendous moral evils, God knows he and only he is responsible.


    Isaiah 41:22-3
    22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the
    former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end
    of them; or declare us things for to come.
    23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods:
    yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

    Isaiah 42:9
    "Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new
    things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you."

    See:
    Isaiah 41:22-3, Isaiah 42:9, Isaiah 44:6-7, Isaiah 46:10,
    Jeremiah 1:5, Daniel 2:28, Exodus 3:19, Deuteronomy 31:21,
    1 Samuel 23:10-13, Psalm 139:4-5 & 16, John 16:13, Acts 2:23,
    Acts 3:18, Acts 4:27-28, Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:29, Romans 11:2


    This is found in Christianity with it's claims that all is predestined, God's providence, immanence, election hardening of hearts (God does not value free will), and related issues.
    Cheerful Charlie

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    ...
    God is claimed to have created everything. and to be essentially omniscient, having full knowledge of the future. If God decides to create a Universe, God must choose an initial state of creation. From that, God will know how that future will actualize and know all the future contingent facts of that Universe.

    So no sentient being in that created Universe has free will. All their moral acts are predestined. If Jane is a good person and get eternal bliss in heaven, God decided to create the Universe where that happens. If John is created an evil person who does many evil acts, and suffers torments in hell forever, God chose that fate for John.
    ...
    If God is omniscient and can see what will occur then not only is every sentient being predestined and can not alter the future but so is God. So no free will for God either. Catch-22.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Freedom of the will (what you can conceive of desiring) isn't necessarily the same thing as omnipotence (actually being able to do whatever one wants). If I desire to fly but do not have wings, I do not have the freedom to fly as such, but my will is unconstrained, and in time human ingenuity might even realize my dream, so that free will isn't even necessarily purposeless even if it is contrained by the limitations of reality.

    I think it is a common fault of people who have never studied or practiced magic to confuse will for outcome, and this is especially prevalent in this particular debate. Will is important, but it doesn't necessarily come paired with means, let alone a guarantee of a desired outcome. "If I had free will, and I would get whatever I want" skips many steps.

    Proviso: I'm discussing the logical question posed here, not advocating for the dogma of free will, which I personally consider to be an illusion.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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