Free Will and God

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

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  1. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I would have had no issue at all had you not suggested that hell is a "natural consequence."

    Hell is the natural consequence of violating God's commandments. That is part of the nature of those commandments. All commandments/laws have consequences (again, by their very nature). A law cannot be a law without a consequence. Remember nature is a word that has many definitions. (And, you will note that I used nature, not Nature.)

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

    Which is the belief system that we were discussing. In the Christian beliefs, (as MadMardigan was asking about) it is the natural consequence.

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

    I never claimed any beliefs were facts. However, they are facts according to the Christian belief system (again, matching the question that was asked).

    If we were discussing something in the framework of a flat earth, it would be pointless to point out that the earth is really an oblong spheroid. It doesn't fit in the discussion and only serves to foster argument in place of discussion. In the same way, if we were discussing orbits around the earth, it would be pointless and off-topic to mention a flat earth.

    Kimball Kinnison
  2. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    Wow. Great thread guys. I haven't responded yet to page 2 since I'm still formulating many things. But I do have to say that in the interim, the discussion has been quite informative and interesting.

    But based on Kimball's last post, I have to concur. I brought up the question of free will in terms of the all-knowing, all-powerful Judeo-Christian God.

    Basically for the discussion to be productive one has to play devil's advocate and assume that Judeo-Christianity is correct.

    This thread was intended for one debate and I'd hate to see it get locked because it got bogged down discussing the existence of God or Hell.

    So for the sake of discussion, pretend there is a God (if you don't believe) and pretend there is a Hell (if you don't believe).

    Okay. Continue on.
  3. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    [Basing my opinion on the belief in both God and Hell, as explained in Judeo-Christian faiths]

    Logically, I would say that if God is Omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, as the scriptures indicate, then "free-will" technically does not exist.

    God has given us the ability to choose for ourselves, although by definition (being omnipresent/omniscient/omnipotent), he would already know the choice we are to make. This has been said by others in the thread already.

    If he knows the choice we are to make, then why would he not know if we were to change our minds? To illustrate this, let us assume for a moment that I want to eat a cheeseburger. I intend to go to a fast food drive-thru resturaunt for said cheeseburger. God knows this. I realize that God knows this, and decide to invoke my "Free Will" by eating a Pizza, instead. If God is all-knowing, he knows that I will choose the pizza, regardless of what I had intended to choose in the beginning.

    There is no second-guessing God (as described in Judeo-Christianity); therefore, there is no Free Will.



    Then again...
    God has yet to prevent someone from doing something. (that would be something to see, actually... To witness such a thing as God preventing me from going to Kinko's after work would certainly give me cause to rethink my own spiritual beliefs! ;)) There are consequences for actions, but that is simply the principle of cause and effect.

    So, knowing that (in my experience) God has not prevented me from doing anything, I must say that we DO have free will.

    I think these are two different issues. First, we have the question of whether or not God knows all, sees all, etc. THEN we have the question of free will. While related, I do not believe the two questions are linked, really. As I have illustrated, they don't necessarily give the same answers. ;)
  4. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    God has yet to prevent someone from doing something.

    Not exactly. God did harden the Pharaoh's heart in Exodus to prevent him from making the choice to free the Hebrew's.

    Exodus 4:21
    The Lord said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
  5. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    I still wonder if God has free will... oh well.

    Also, how do you know God has not interfeared with your life? For all you know God made you notice that pizza before you got that cheeseburger? I would think that if God exists, he would be very subtal in how he would influence us.

    Which could mean God is forcing us to do whatever he wants or plans and we dont know it.
  6. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    I still wonder if God has free will... oh well

    I would think his free will is limited by his all-goodness and all perfectness.

    He cannot do something that is evil nor can he do something he knows isn't perfect.

    For instance: God cannot voluntarily create the Windows OS because it is imperfect. Therefore his he can only make choices that are perfect and all loving.
  7. The1 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2001
    star 1
    Is it just me or did I have a topic exactly like this.
  8. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Also, how do you know God has not interfeared with your life? For all you know God made you notice that pizza before you got that cheeseburger? I would think that if God exists, he would be very subtal in how he would influence us.

    Well, all right. You got me on that. Philosophically, I can't answer that. That's the great thing about the Christian Got... know matter what happens, or what you think, or what you think you think, it's all His will. ;)

    Which makes me think... no, we don't have Free Will. Ha! ;)
  9. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    Well, all right. You got me on that. Philosophically, I can't answer that. That's the great thing about the Christian Got... know matter what happens, or what you think, or what you think you think, it's all His will.

    Well, no. Only if he wants to interfear. Maybe you just yourself noticed the pizza and he had nothing to do with it. We just dont know.

    The whole free will of God thing I ask of a God who is all knowing. He knows what he will do in the future and he cannot be wrong, it is sort of like the argument presented for humans, so he cannot chose diffrently. But we dont know that we dont have a choice, but God knows that he must do what he knows he will do. Or has done or is doing. God cannot change what he did, is doing, or will do (if he even sees it as such) and therefore either not all powerful or no free will.

    Some have said that God lives outside of time in such a way that events are totally meaningless, but forgive me for saying so, to me that is a cop out of trying to come up with an explnation. I dont believe there is anything out there that if we really try hard that we cannot eventually understand, and even if we cant, we never will know for sure we cant.

    Others have said that he lives in a higher temorpal dimention, but just because he can move about in any way through time does not mean that he himself does not have a sense of time. Like we have a sense of forward and backward even though we live in a world with forward, backward, up, down, left, fight, if God simply is a being who lives in a higher temporal dimention, he still would have a sense of before and after.
  10. phantom31415 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    Others have said that he lives in a higher temorpal dimention, but just because he can move about in any way through time does not mean that he himself does not have a sense of time. Like we have a sense of forward and backward even though we live in a world with forward, backward, up, down, left, fight, if God simply is a being who lives in a higher temporal dimention, he still would have a sense of before and after.

    That is pretty much my position. Of course even if God is limited in time, and even if he knows what we will choose just because he does (just about the worst case free-will scenario, that still does not preclude free will. Just because he does know you will not eat the pizza doesn't mean you don't have a choice. It's really a philosophical concept, and us poor humans have a hard time understanding it. But it is possible. Let's try an example. (I made it up, so I can't guarantee it's any good ;) )

    My friend really loves apple pie, but he hates egg salad. Somebody gives him the choice of eating an apple pie or an egg salad. I know he will take the pie, but that doesn't mean he has no choice. The analogy is not perfect, because I am not God, and I don't know that he will pick the pie, but I think it communicates tha concept pretty well. The point is, my knoweledge alone does not affect him in any way.

    As far as the Pharaoh thing, in context it's more of a "Pharaoh won't let them go anyway, but once he makes that choice, I'll make sure he won't look back." In the Bible, God only rarely directly forces change in human free will, and only in cases of vital importance.
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