Free Will and God

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by MadMardigan, Aug 5, 2002.

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  1. FlamingSword Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2001
    star 6
    An omniscient being can see all the possible paths we can take and which ones we are likely to take.

    EnforcerSG: The key word there is 'likely.' Which means that we can chose something unlikly; he would be wrong and therefore not all knowing.


    Just because we took the unlikely path doesn't mean he was wrong. There still was a chance we would take the unlikely path. It is very likely that I will attend my class and not skip it because that is what I always do. There is always a chance, no matter how unlikely, that I will skip.

    Maybe he knows every couse of action we could take, but not which we will take.


    That's exactely what I think :)
    That is if God is a concious thinking being ...
  2. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    oops... double post... see below instead.
  3. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    kimball wrote:

    Prison is the natural consequence of breaking the laws. In the same way, Hell is the natural consequence of violating God's commandments.

    Neither of these statements are true.

    1. Prison is not a "natural" consequence of anything. It is a synthesized construct designed as a response to a synthesized construct (statutes, ordinances, etc.).

    In this example, both the definition of the transgression and of the consequence have been chosen by man. In that respect, such an argument deflates the entire idea of "free-will", hell, "God's commandments," etc. as being anything other than man-made constructs.

    2. Anything to do with the unseen aspects of god is not natural, it is supernatural, by definition... The empirical relationship between cause and effect cannot be observed, tested and verified in such cases where god is concerned. Therefore, it cannot be established that hell is a consequence of violating "God's commandments" because such a statement cannot be verified.

    If it could, that would be extremely peculiar... because the person verifying it would have to have returned from hell... and, if I were a devout Christian, I would be perhaps somewhat wary of an individual who has or was granted the ability to do such a thing. Not being a devout Christian, I am rather wary of anyone who claims to have actually, literally returned from hell. I generally take such statements metaphorically.

    This is not to disparage anyone from believing in free will... but trying to justify in on an empirical, e.g. cause-effect, basis is neither possible nor necessary... as it is a matter of faith. What you choose to believe in is your own business.
  4. DarthPhelps Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2002
    star 5
    In this example, both the definition of the transgression and of the consequence have been chosen by man. In that respect, such an argument deflates the entire idea of "free-will", hell, "God's commandments," etc. as being anything other than man-made constructs.

    Kimball was presenting a better analogy for his point. Using a man-made transgression/consequence as an example does not invalidate the transgression/consequence of scripture. He is merely using one to help Mardigan understand the other.

    Anything to do with the unseen aspects of god is not natural, it is supernatural, by definition... The empirical relationship between cause and effect cannot be observed, tested and verified in such cases where god is concerned. Therefore, it cannot be established that hell is a consequence of violating "God's commandments" because such a statement cannot be verified.

    Indeed no supernatural philosophy (regarding life after death) of the Bible can be observed, tested, and verified until we pass on, and find out for ourselves. What is being discussed, though, is a philosophical point which centers on such a case. The "God's commandments" you mention are described in the Bible, and the consequences are also mentioned therein. Perhaps to be more precise, we would have to specify in the initial post that we are discussing the possibility of free will withing the boundaries, conditions, commandments, and consequences described by the Christian scriptures?


  5. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    1. Prison is not a "natural" consequence of anything. It is a synthesized construct designed as a response to a synthesized construct (statutes, ordinances, etc.).

    You are using a very limited definition of antural. Let's take a look at what m-w.com has to say about the word:
    natural - adj.
    1 : based on an inherent sense of right and wrong <natural justice>
    2 a : being in accordance with or determined by nature b : having or constituting a classification based on features existing in nature
    3 a (1) : begotten as distinguished from adopted; also : LEGITIMATE (2) : being a relation by actual consanguinity as distinguished from adoption <natural parents> b : ILLEGITIMATE <a natural child>
    4 : having an essential relation with someone or something : following from the nature of the one in question <his guilt is a natural deduction from the evidence>
    5 : implanted or being as if implanted by nature : seemingly inborn <a natural talent for art>
    6 : of or relating to nature as an object of study and research
    7 : having a specified character by nature <a natural athlete>
    8 a : occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature : not marvelous or supernatural <natural causes> b : formulated by human reason alone rather than revelation <natural religion> <natural rights> c : having a normal or usual character <events followed their natural course>
    9 : possessing or exhibiting the higher qualities (as kindliness and affection) of human nature <a noble... brother... ever most kind and natural -- Shakespeare>
    10 a : growing without human care; also : not cultivated <natural prairie unbroken by the plow> b : existing in or produced by nature : not artificial <natural turf> <natural curiosities> c : relating to or being natural food
    11 a : being in a state of nature without spiritual enlightenment : UNREGENERATE <natural man> b : living in or as if in a state of nature untouched by the influences of civilization and society
    12 a : having a physical or real existence as contrasted with one that is spiritual, intellectual, or fictitious <a corporation is a legal but not a natural person> b : of, relating to, or operating in the physical as opposed to the spiritual world <natural laws describe phenomena of the physical universe>
    13 a : closely resembling an original : true to nature b : marked by easy simplicity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or constraint c : having a form or appearance found in nature
    14 a : having neither flats nor sharps <the natural scale of C major> b : being neither sharp nor flat c : having the pitch modified by the natural sign
    15 : of an off-white or beige color
    Based on either definition 1 or 4, prison is the natural consequence of breaking the law. It follows as "from the nature of the one in question".

    In this example, both the definition of the transgression and of the consequence have been chosen by man. In that respect, such an argument deflates the entire idea of "free-will", hell, "God's commandments," etc. as being anything other than man-made constructs.

    As DarthPhelps pointed out, the question was specifically relating to Christian beliefs. As such, it is irrelevant if you consider them to be a man-made construct or not.

    Anything to do with the unseen aspects of god is not natural, it is supernatural, by definition... The empirical relationship between cause and effect cannot be observed, tested and verified in such cases where god is concerned. Therefore, it cannot be established that hell is a consequence of violating "God's commandments" because such a statement cannot be verified.

    Again, look at the definitions of natural to make sure that another one is being used. Again, definitions 1 and 4 apply here.

    Kimball Kinnison
  6. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Numerous cultures do not have any concept of prison... It cannot therefore be absolutely held as a natural consequence.

    That being said, neither definition 1 nor definition 4 makes sense here: You're saying it's based on an inherent sense of right and wrong or a direct and obvious consequence of one's nature... but prison isn't an automatic, direct consequence of anything... it is a preconceived, man-made set of laws that establish prison as a consequence, and also define the particular transgressions that are decided to be worthy of such a consequence. In addition, it does not hold that every prisoner is there because they actually deserve to be there. They are there as a direct consequence of the decisions of human beings, interpreting what they think should be the punishment for this individual.

    It is not "natural" at all in the same sense that apples falling are a natural/direct consequence of gravity... that a black eye is a natural/direct consequence of being punched in the eye, or that death is (a possible) natural/direct consequence of cardiopulmonary arrest. Prison is a consequence created, utilized and dealt entirely by man.

    If hell is equivalent to prison, then I would concur... it is a man-made concept. If it is assumed that hell is a direct, natural consequence of "abuse" of free will (in the Biblical sense), on the basis of equating it to prison... I would disagree, because it is a man-made construct, as much as prison is. Furthermore, I would question god's judgment because if prison is like hell, then hell must be rife with people who shouldn't be there. That would make god fallible.

    As DarthPhelps pointed out, the question was specifically relating to Christian beliefs. As such, it is irrelevant if you consider them to be a man-made construct or not.

    That's precisely what I said.

    Again, look at the definitions of natural to make sure that another one is being used. Again, definitions 1 and 4 apply here.

    I disagree for the reasons stated above.

    While I understand your use of the word "natural", I am giving some of my own reasons for rejecting your analogy, and the concept of "free will" in the Biblical sense. However, every individual is free to believe as they choose without justification.



  7. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Numerous cultures do not have any concept of prison... It cannot therefore be absolutely held as a natural consequence.

    Prison has long been used in Judeo-Christian cultures (which is the framework we are discussing this in), so other cultures are irrelevant to the discussion. Perhaps, though, I should have used the term punishment instead of prison. My point still stands, so stop nitpicking.

    You're saying it's based on an inherent sense of right and wrong or a direct and obvious consequence of one's nature... but prison isn't an automatic, direct consequence of anything... it is a preconceived, man-made set of laws that establish prison as a consequence, and also define the particular transgressions that are decided to be worthy of such a consequence. In addition, it does not hold that every prisoner is there because they actually deserve to be there. They are there as a direct consequence of the decisions of human beings, interpreting what they think should be the punishment for this individual.

    Try replacing right and wrong with legal and illegal, like a court system would. The very nature of laws (whether considered man-made or divine) is that there is a punishment for the violation thereof. Therefore, both definitions 1 and 4 apply.

    Remember, though, that I gave that as an example to illustrate my point. No examples are perfect. If you want the perfect illustration of the relationship of Free Will and God, try looking at how Free Will relates to God. That is the only example that will perfectly describe it, so stop reading so much into a simple example.

    There are many parallels in the Judeo-Christian beliefs between God's commandments and earthly laws. Each has consequences that follow because ofthe nature of the commandment/law. If you are caught drinking and driving, the consequence is that you will lose you license. If you kill a person, the consequence is that you will face a jail sentence or death penalty. If you violated God's commandments and do not repent, the consequence is that you are not worthy to live in His presence, and will be cast off.

    The point that I was trying to make (and which you appear to have missed in your nitpicking) is that the consequences of your choice to violate the law/commandment do not force you to obey it, but can influence you to do so. That is part of the nature of laws and commandments. You are free to choose what you will do, but you are not free from the consequences of your actions, any more than you are free of falling if you jump off a cliff.

    Kimball Kinnison
  8. phantom31415 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    Ok, I haven't been here in a while, so I'm going so summerise my links (as requested) and explain my position further.

    1. God gives people free will.

    2. God knows what will happen beforehand.

    So how do they work together? We can only see one point on the time-dimension, the present. We have experienced the points behind that, the past. But we are still confined to that line. God, on the other hand, may be outside of the time-stream completely. He knows what will happen, not because he just does, but because he is watching it now.

    "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am." (John 8:58)

    3. Hell is not a happy place. But it's also not Satan's torture barn. The clearest Biblical picture of hell is quarantine. Look at the earth today and you will see the destructive effects of sin. Therefore, sin must be kept out of heaven.

    Note that no sermon recorded in the Bible ever used hell as a threat. Also, there are degrees of punishment in hell. Not everyone is punished the same. You see, God is inherently a just God. This is very clear in the bible. Think of hell as the ultimate expression of the self-made evil of man in the world. It's bad enough here, I imagine hell will be, well, hell.

    The idea of hell being a "natural consequence" is logical. It's like quarantining animals that carry a virus. Or, to stretch the analogy farther, animals that choose to carry a virus, and refuse of their own free will to be cured.
  9. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    Here is a way to try to explain the hell thing from my point of view.

    Many people seem to treat hell as a punishment, and maybe to them, if they go there, it would be. However, hell from my point of view is more like what happenes after you punch a wall. It will hurt. Maybe that is over simplified, but that is how I see it if Hell exists in the traditional sense.

    Here is a question more in line with the first point Mad made. Does a all powerful all knowing god have free will? Think about it. He knows what he will do in the 'future' since he is all knowing. He must be right, otherwise he is wrong and not all knowing, so he must do what he knows he will do. Furthermore, God also knows that he cannot be wrong so he knows he must do what he knows he will do. As such, he has no choice, and no free will.

    Some have said that God is outside of time, and maybe he can be, but it seems that in every religion, their gods, all powerful or not, seem to have some sense of time. A sense of before and after, of looking back on his actions and thinking about them. Also do you really have any evidence, either from a holly book or logical?

    Maybe we are too primitive to understand how God is not perfect in everything, who knows.

    Ideas, comments, anything?
  10. FlamingSword Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2001
    star 6
    EnforcerSG, I would like to think that "God" is more advanced than us. It give us hope that there's more. If we're the most advanced thing around, it scares me.

    Anyways, I was wondering. All-knowing and all-powerful are not the same. Or are they?

    I see my sister coming up the stairs. In all likelihood, she will stop on the first floor (our apartment) and come inside. However, there is always a chance that she will continue to the second or third floor, no matter how unlikely. But I'm inside and powerless to do anything.

    God could be this on a grander scale. He is capable of seeing all the possible paths we can take, but he is powerless (by choice or for another reason) to do anyting about it.
  11. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Some have said that God is outside of time, and maybe he can be, but it seems that in every religion, their gods, all powerful or not, seem to have some sense of time. A sense of before and after, of looking back on his actions and thinking about them. Also do you really have any evidence, either from a holly book or logical?

    Do you need to be one-dimensional to understand front and back? Two-dimensional to understand left and right? Three-dimensional to understand up and down? Just because you are outside something does not mean that you have no sense of it. I am outside innumerable two-dimensional planes, but I can still understand the different directions within them. In the same way, God can be outside time (on a higher dimension, so to speak) and still have an understanding of relative position within time.

    Kimball Kinnison
  12. Murishani Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2002
    MadMardigan-when you asked about Hitler, and saying we know he won't change, so he can't, he can change, but that would alter history, so therfore we would have no reason to go back, because he didn't do anything. Or, we could go back, the 1/2 Jew(Hitler) won't change from killing his own people, so we kill him, and it would have the same effect as him not doing it in the first place.

    I don't remember who, but someone already said that God knows your going to pick X, and you will.
    You won't pick X *because* God knows you will, you're going to pick X *and* He knows about it.
    God forsees everything, but He doesn't predestine.

  13. Coolguy4522 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    /brain spontaiously combusts from trying to understand all the metaphysics

    /realizes he can't spell and probably shouldn't try
  14. Gonzonaut Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2000
    star 3
    A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving
  15. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    I would like to think that "God" is more advanced than us. It give us hope that there's more. If we're the most advanced thing around, it scares me.


    Well, we have continued to advance as well. Today we understand things that people in previous centuries could never hope to comprehend. I wonder how much we could understand in another 1000 years. That gives me hope. It also gives me hope that if there is a god, that someday we could understand him.

    Anyways, I was wondering. All-knowing and all-powerful are not the same. Or are they?


    I am saying if a god is both.... If not, there is not a problem.

    I see my sister coming up the stairs. In all likelihood, she will stop on the first floor (our apartment) and come inside. However, there is always a chance that she will continue to the second or third floor, no matter how unlikely. But I'm inside and powerless to do anything.

    God could be this on a grander scale. He is capable of seeing all the possible paths we can take, but he is powerless (by choice or for another reason) to do anyting about it.


    I was however asking about God's actions, not ours. Lets say God will walk up your steps tomorrow. He knows that he will stop on the 1st floor, and since he knows it, he cannot be wrong.

    We have free will in the sense that God knows what we will chose, and not we chose what God knows. I sort of understand that. But being all knowing means he will know what he will do, and he will know he knows it.

    Do you need to be one-dimensional to understand front and back? Two-dimensional to understand left and right? Three-dimensional to understand up and down? Just because you are outside something does not mean that you have no sense of it. I am outside innumerable two-dimensional planes, but I can still understand the different directions within them. In the same way, God can be outside time (on a higher dimension, so to speak) and still have an understanding of relative position within time.


    Well, given that I cant really understand a 4th space dimention (can you?) maybe we can only understand up to the dimentions we live in, and therefore a 2d'er cannot understand 3d, ect...but anyway.

    Kimball, that is the only thing I can think of actually. But have there been times when God has inhabitated out 4D world? (I dont know, I am asking) I also believe that we as humans have the ability to eventually understand anything if given a good explnation, time, and what not, so please explain the 5D+ that God lives in.

    MadMardigan-when you asked about Hitler, and saying we know he won't change, so he can't, he can change, but that would alter history, so therfore we would have no reason to go back, because he didn't do anything. Or, we could go back, the 1/2 Jew(Hitler) won't change from killing his own people, so we kill him, and it would have the same effect as him not doing it in the first place.

    This is another form of the grandma paradox. More subtal, but same concept. Think of if you change the past, the whole timeline changes with it. You interfeared from another timeline from which you had the motive to interfear. You existed in the old timeline in the form of wanting to interfear. You go back, you kill Hitler, the timeline is changed, assuming you have no protection from the change, great, if not, you no longer exist in the new timeline in that form, and time moves on. The new timeline does not need the old you anymore to exist. At least, that is what I think.

    Arg, it makes sense to me, but I cant explain it well. Sorry :)

    One question to ask, and we wont know this for a while, will any sort of time machine protect the user from the time changes?

    /brain spontaiously combusts from trying to understand all the metaphysics

    /realizes he can't spell and probably shouldn't try


    It is ok Coolguy, happens to all of us. I cant spell either.
  16. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Well, given that I cant really understand a 4th space dimention (can you?) maybe we can only understand up to the dimentions we live in, and therefore a 2d'er cannot understand 3d, ect...but anyway.

    Kimball, that is the only thing I can think of actually. But have there been times when God has inhabitated out 4D world? (I dont know, I am asking) I also believe that we as humans have the ability to eventually understand anything if given a good explnation, time, and what not, so please explain the 5D+ that God lives in.


    Well, we are four-dimensional beings (three spatial and one temporal dimension). There are different theories on what the fifth dimension would be, but the most likely one (in my opinion) would be a second temporal dimension, showing not just the timeline/path that we follow through time, but all possible paths through time (much like in three dimensions we can see all the sheets of paper in a stack). This would also fit with how God can see all of our choices and know everything, including what would happen if we chose differently.

    If God were a five dimensional being (or higher), He would then be able to exist "outside" time (from our perspective) and still be able to interact with us. He would be able to see all possible paths for time to flow through.

    Other theories get more complicated, such as requireing two more temporal dimensions of additional spatial dimensions. Personally, I still have a hard time visualizing those. If you want to read a book that helps describe how difficult it is to visualize a higher dimension, try Flatland. It describes a two-dimensional universe and how the individuals try to derive what a three-dimensional universe would be like.

    Kimball Kinnison
  17. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    You are free to choose what you will do, but you are not free from the consequences of your actions, any more than you are free of falling if you jump off a cliff.

    I don't agree with this statement if hell is the implied consequence of which you speak... Empirically speaking, bad things happen to good people and bad people, so the likelihood that good things will happen to me more if I obey what you think are "god's laws" is, to me, not of enough statistical significance for me to believe that there is a positive correlation between disobeying god's laws and negative "natural" consequences.

    I could just as well obey all those laws and still stand the same statistical chance of getting struck and killed by lightning.
  18. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I don't agree with this statement if hell is the implied consequence of which you speak... Empirically speaking, bad things happen to good people and bad people, so the likelihood that good things will happen to me more if I obey what you think are "god's laws" is, to me, not of enough statistical significance for me to believe that there is a positive correlation between disobeying god's laws and negative "natural" consequences.

    The difference is that Hell and the consequences associated with unrepented sins do not affect your life here on earth. I never said that if you are good, good things will happen to you in this life, nor did I say that bad things will happen to bad people in this life. Hell (and Heaven) do not apply to this life in the way you are describing. They come as the consequence after the Judgement (which comes after this life), in the same way that your prison sentence comes after your trial for breaking the law.

    I could just as well obey all those laws and still stand the same statistical chance of getting struck and killed by lightning.

    Yes, but being struck by lightning is a fairly random occurance. There is no way to predict where it will hit and there is no cause-effect relationship there. EVERYONE, regardless of obedience, who is out in a thunderstorm has a similar chance of being struck. It is random (to a certain degree).

    On the other hand, who gets condemned to Hell is NOT a random occurance. It has a cause-effect relationship. You can identify the actions (namely disobedience) that result in a person being condemned. It is not random.

    Kimball Kinnison
  19. Sar-Tamber-lac Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 5
    Wow...I don't know about anything else, but everything from this thread is kinda swimming around in my head :)

    I just want to remind everyone that God is bigger than anything we can even imagine, and that tryin to answer this question in terms of human knowledge is impossible, and most likely will try to put God in a comprehensible human box, which is not possible...the answer to the questions, I think, cannot be answered, because we don't know, we don't understand, nor can we ever, until the Parosia is upon us. Then we will know...and only then... :)

    Anyways, I was wondering. All-knowing and all-powerful are not the same. Or are they?

    No, they are not the same. The technical term for "all-knowing" is omniscient (not sure on my spelling there, but I think I'm pretty close)...this means God knows all, past, present, and future. The technical term for all-powerful is omnipotent, which means God has all the power to do what He pleases. Hope this has helped ya a little...
  20. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Nobody truly has free will. There is always a controlling factor, be it religion, government, guardians, or even our own biology....
  21. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    I hope you are wrong Sar-Tamber-Iac, about god. But if there is an all powerful god, you are probably right.

    Even if God is some sort of entity that lives in a higher temporal dimention, he still should be subject to time somewhat. He should himself have a before or after. Just as we live in three dimentions, and move in a direction through them, sort of the same with time. We can move in a strate line even though we live in a 3d world. Pretty much any motion can be described (if all you care about is where you start and end) in one dimentional bites, and it should be the same for a being with mutible temporal dimentions.

    But it is easier to say (and more accurate if God is all powerful) that he is just outside time in a way that we do not understand. However, I dont like that since as I said, we as humans I believe have the ability to understand anything we really put our mind to. That is what seperates us from nearly all (if not all) animals, is that we can figure stuff out, and use knowlege to help figure stuff out. We can also pass knowlege on to help future generations understand what we cannot right now understand. But if we dont try to figure everything out, we never will. So even if it is an impossible goal to understand God, I am still going to try.

    If God is all powerful, then he can chose to be all knowing or not. If God is all knowing, (and has some feeling of time) then he is not all powerful by my logic. God is also commonly told to be perfectally benevilent (I cant spell these things either). Basically he is perfect when it comes to morals. Humans are not PB, so I dont trust anyone who says they know what is best for anyone else.

    I believe we do have free will. There may be reasons why we do things (heck, there are reasons why), but overall, I say we do. If we dont have free will, then we dont know that we dont. God however, if he does not have free will, and is all knowing, will know he does not have free will, which changes things.

    If we didnt have free will, then what is the point of prison, hell, or any bad conquence you can think of for an action?
  22. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    On the other hand, who gets condemned to Hell is NOT a random occurance. It has a cause-effect relationship.

    It does?

    You can identify the actions (namely disobedience) that result in a person being condemned.

    You can?

    It is not random.

    It's not?

    Show me evidence that Hell is the consequence... if disobedience is the cause, how can it possibly be linked to this alleged effect?

    In other words... if you want me to accept that Hell is an actual, natural consequence of anything... I'd have to actually see empirical evidence of someone being sent to Hell for "disobeying God". Otherwise, you might as well be telling me that I will spend the rest of my life watching Carrot Top AT&T Commercials if I do something "bad"... it's about as likely, as far as I'm concerned... and just as relevant.


    For that matter, show me physical evidence of Hell's existence. How would one propose to even falsify the existence of Hell?

    If Hell exists as a tangible place... it should have some physical evidence of its existence.

    If Hell is purely a state of the mind, then it is a psychological construct. One's beliefs and actions shouldn't be guided by the dangling of an invisible carrot... or by the intangible threat of a figment of someone's imagination. Of course that is my opinion.

    But this is precisely the heart of my disagreement with you, Kimball. Your assertions are as if Hell actually exists... and, for all intents and purposes, it has never been demonstrated to exist... except in the imagination.

    A forewarning though, in case you're considering posting any of the following: Scriptural references, "historical accounts", or other personal testimonials do not count as physical evidence... it's hearsay, as far as I'm concerned. Empirical investigations aren't conducted by gathering just opinions and points of view, but actual, direct forensic evidence. Written and oral accounts are subjective and can even be faked or exaggerated. Objective evidence of Hell is what has yet to be seen.
  23. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Snowdog, essentially, you are asking me to prove Christian beliefs to you. That is outside the intent of this discussion thread. MadMardigan asked about Free Will in general, but specifically about Christian belifs, saying Many Christians claim God doesn't stop evil because he gave Man free will. In order to answer his question, I am speaking within the framework of Christian beliefs.

    In other words... if you want me to accept that Hell is an actual, natural consequence of anything... I'd have to actually see empirical evidence of someone being sent to Hell for "disobeying God". Otherwise, you might as well be telling me that I will spend the rest of my life watching Carrot Top AT&T Commercials if I do something "bad"... it's about as likely, as far as I'm concerned... and just as relevant.

    I am asking you to accept nothing I say as fact. Instead, I am explaining Christian beliefs, as was asked by the original post.

    For that matter, show me physical evidence of Hell's existence.

    That is irrelevant. Christian theology refers to Hell. Since this thread is not about proving that Hell exists (see The Hell Thread for that discussion), there is no need to go into that here. When discussing the consequences of our choices within the Christian beliefs, it is irrelevant which form you believe Hell takes. That is simply the consequence of your choices according to Christian theology.

    It does not matter (for purposes of this discussion) whether Hell is a real, physical place or more of a state of mind. It is simply the consequence of violating God's commandments.

    In other words, your objections are irrelevant to the topic at hand. Please stop hijacking this thread. I have no need nor interest in proving Hell's existence to you. If I did, I would be discussing this in The Hell Thread, where you will note I posted once to say what my personal beliefs on what Hell is like are and have since left the discussion alone.

    Kimball Kinnison
  24. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    I would have had no issue at all had you not suggested that hell is a "natural consequence."

    There is no factual basis for that statement. It is a matter of opinion.

    It is a consequence enforced by god, at least according to one belief.

    I'm not here to dispel beliefs... I'm here to draw a line between beliefs and facts.

    You can believe that hell is a consequence of disobeying god all you want... I am only stating there is no positive, factual, empirically-testable, cause-effect relationship between "disobeying God" and Hell which could be misconstrued as "natural" in the action-reaction sense of natural cause-effect relationships... i.e. gravity and falling rocks, sexual reproduction, electro-magnetism.
  25. phantom31415 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    Good show, Kimball.

    I think hell does not exist as a physical place... yet. If it does, it is not on earth. I also doubt that heaven physically exists in the universe... yet. After the return of Jesus, both places will be established in a physical form somewhere in this universe. Heaven will be on earth, hell will be probably somewhere else.

    How can I prove any of this? The only way is to have someone supernatural tell me. I believe this happened in the Bible. There is a great deal of emperical evidence that the Bible has a supernatural origin, but this is not the thread for that discussion.
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