The Instigator
whatledge
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
Valtarov
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

According to the Characteristics of Yaweh, Predestination is Evident

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Valtarov
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,897 times Debate No: 12392
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (32)
Votes (6)

 

whatledge

Pro

This is the third time I am debating this topic. The last two have been unsatisfactory. Valtarov has challenged me to challenge him, so here it is. I apologize for the delay.

I assert that if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and the creator. Predestination is evident.
For this argument, I ask my opponent to agree with these attributes of God.

God: Omniscient, Omnipotent, Creator.

I will issue my arguments in round 2.
Valtarov

Con

I'm just glad to get a good debate.

I agree to my opponent's three characteristics of God. Furthermore, I wish to assume the following characteristic as well:
Everything else which exists must derive its existence and definition from the existence and definition of God (John 1:3).
Debate Round No. 1
whatledge

Pro

I accept my opponent's addition, as this debate is relating to Yahweh, the Christian God.

Libertarian Freedom: Means that our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God.

http://www.theopedia.com...

Compatibilist Freedom: Free will is affected by human nature and man will never choose contrary to his nature and desires.

http://www.theopedia.com...

C1: Omniscient Creator

P1: God knows everything.
P2: God created Person A.
P3: God created Person A, knowing everything.
Therefore: God created Person A, knowing his fate.

If God knows every choice Person A will make, he would know person A's fate. If person A's fate is to die at the age of 5 due to cancer, God not only knew person A's fate, but also created him knowing his fate. I will illustrate my point using the novelist analogy.

=Novelist Analogy=

God is much like a novelist of the universe, meaning we are the equivalent of characters in his novel. Our stories have already been written (known) in God's omniscient mind. Even if he is omnipresent (was, is, and is to come), even if he is, right this moment, with me as a 5 year old, and with me in the future as a 50 year old, it does not change my past or my present. My story has been complete (known by God) before my I was born. Omnipresence only implies that God has written my story, and is choosing to revisit them.

C2: Omnipotence

Omnipotence implies that he is in control over everything. Nothing that is aside from his will can be done. What if our "free will" was against God's will? Free will implies that God is NOT omnipotent, as free will gives US the power, and not God. If it was in God's will for us to have free will, then he cannot be an omniscient creator (C1).

C3: Bible Points to Predestination

"27Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people[e] of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen."[1]

Note: "decided beforehand should happen."

"4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. [a] 8 "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt." [2]

This is in direct confrontation with libertarian free will. God has willed (predestined) Joseph and his brothers to perform for his will and ultimate purpose.

"23This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[a] put him to death by nailing him to the cross." [3]

Note: "God's set purpose and foreknowledge"

[1]: http://www.biblegateway.com...
[2]: http://www.biblegateway.com...
[3]: http://www.biblegateway.com...

And finally, if the people who wrote the Bible had libertarian free will, meaning it is free from what desired. That would imply that the Bible that we have today, was not what was willed by God, but of men. The Bible that we have today could have been written otherwise.

I will stop here for now. I look forward to Con's arguments.
Valtarov

Con

Thanks to whatledge for what I know will be a rather fantastic debate.

Predestination, or at least the kind of which whatlege argues, is the type that excludes free will. For this to be at all debatable, my opponent must do more than simply prove that God knows what will happen, as this is definitionally implied by omniscience. Instead, the concept of pre-destination that is argued in this debate is the type that says that we do not have any control over our own choices; our actions are determined and are not chosen. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)

C1: The old omniscience argument.

God knows everything that has happened, happens, and will happen. Or, more accurately, he sees time like we see sheets of paper: it's all there at once.

This doesn't preclude free will.

I agree, God knew not only everything that would happen to the person, but everything that the person would choose to do as well. God knows what will happen. God's knowledge of what we will choose does not take away the choice. Fate is what will happen; free will is what can happen.

An analogy will help illustrate this point. Let us say there is a time traveler. This time traveler observes the actions of a man for one week and records them in a journal. At the end of our week, the time traveler goes back to before the week began. He sends this journal to the man, so that it will arrive at the end of the week. Assuming that the time traveler's actions didn't set off any paradoxes or change the course of time for the man, he will receive a journal detailing his actions for the past week, postmarked before the week began. He still freely chose to do every action that he did, even though it was foreknown what he would chose to do. So it is with God and humans.

C2: Omnipotence
Actually, omnipotence means that God is all-powerful i.e. he can do all things that are not intrinsically impossible. This does not conflict with free will or prove pre-destination, as God is not prevented (and in the Christian tradition, does) surrender some of his omnipotence to gain greater things. Also, the implied claim is that there are choices that go against God's will, especially if the choice is more important than its outcome. God wills that the choice exist more than he wills a particular outcome of the choice.

C3: A pretty lot of verses. I argue that all of these point to God's omniscience, but do not entail pre-destination. The only valid way to interpret scripture is to interpret the verse with respect to the whole. The whole gives commands again and again and again throughout the whole text. Telling someone not to murder is useless if the person doesn't choose to murder or not to murder. Considering that the Bible presumes free will in giving ethical commands again and again, we must interpret the verses that seem to point the other way in this light.

First off, please provide chapter/verse references if you post scripture.
Acts 4:27-28 (YLT) "for gathered together of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, were both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with nations and peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy counsel did determine before to come to pass."
See my response to opponent's C1. God engineers all events that happen; this does not violate free will.

Genesis 45:4-8 (YLT) "4 And Joseph saith unto his brethren, 'Come nigh unto me, I pray you,' and they come nigh; and he saith, 'I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt; 5 and now, be not grieved, nor let it be displeasing in your eyes that ye sold me hither, for to preserve life hath God sent me before you. 6 Because these two years the famine is in the heart of the land, and yet are five years, in which there is neither ploughing nor harvest; 7 and God sendeth me before you, to place of you a remnant in the land, and to give life to you by a great escape; 8 and now, ye -- ye have not sent me hither, but God, and He doth set me for a father to Pharaoh, and for lord to all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt."
The problem disappears in the literal translation. Also, see response to C1.

Acts 2:23 (YLT) "23 this one, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, being given out, having taken by lawless hands, having crucified -- ye did slay;"
It doesn't violate anyone's notion of free will for God to know what's going to happen to himself (The passage refers to Jesus). Also, see response to C1.

I look forward to my opponent's responses.
Debate Round No. 2
whatledge

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response. And hope this will be a fantastic debate.

I am arguing against Libertarian free will, which from here on forth I will simply call "free will." I am sure my opponent is arguing for libertarian free will, as most Christians do.

"Libertarian free will means that our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God. All "free will theists" hold that libertarian freedom is essential for moral responsibility, for if our choice is determined or caused by anything, including our own desires, they reason, it cannot properly be called a free choice."
http://www.theopedia.com...

C1: Omniscience

"God knows everything that has happened, happens, and will happen. Or, more accurately, he sees time like we see sheets of paper: it's all there at once."

My opponent agrees that God is already at the future, is at the past, and is in the present, all at once. Omnipresence, how does this help free will? It doesn't. In fact, it has the opposite effect. If God "sees time like we see sheets of paper: it's all there at once." this means that the future has already happened to God. What has happened is bound to happen, meaning our future is already determined.

"I agree, God knew not only everything that would happen to the person, but everything that the person would choose to do as well. God knows what will happen. God's knowledge of what we will choose does not take away the choice. Fate is what will happen; free will is what can happen."

If God created person A, knowing person A would die at the age of 5. Person A does not have free will to live longer than the age of 5, for that is what God made it to be. If I build a bomb that will detonate in 5 years, I build it knowing that it will detonate in 5 years. I am responsible for building the bomb to detonate in 5 years, because I BUILT the bomb, I am not a 2nd party that merely observes and knows when the bomb will detonate. I created the bomb, FULLY aware of the consequences, meaning it is my responsibility. It is the same concept with creation. God knows what will happen, and he does it. As for "Fate is what will happen; free will is what can happen." If fate is what will happen, what does it matter what can happen? If action A is fated to happen, it is inexorable, meaning though action B could have been performed, action A will happen no matter what. The very existence of fate means there is no free will. No matter what "free choices" I make, as my opponent said, "fate is what will happen."

C2: Omnipotence
"Also, the implied claim is that there are choices that go against God's will, especially if the choice is more important than its outcome. God wills that the choice exist more than he wills a particular outcome of the choice."

Isaiah 10: 5-7
5 "Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
6 I send him against a godless nation,
I dispatch him against a people who anger me,
to seize loot and snatch plunder,
and to trample them down like mud in the streets.
7 But this is not what he intends,
this is not what he has in mind;
his purpose is to destroy,
to put an end to many nations.

http://www.biblegateway.com...

God uses his omnipotence to fulfill his will. In this case, he seized, looted, plundered, and trampled a nation using his omnipotence. He USED a whole nation to do his bidding, which makes this even more significant. He did not send thunder bolts, earthquakes, or floods. He USED a nation to tear down ANOTHER nation. This is in DIRECT conflict with free will, as God is intervening with both nations and their "free choices".

C3: Bible Points to Predestination.

"The only valid way to interpret scripture is to interpret the verse with respect to the whole. The whole gives commands again and again and again throughout the whole text."
"Considering that the Bible presumes free will in giving ethical commands again and again, we must interpret the verses that seem to point the other way in this light."

What the Bible presumes is relative to one's interpretation. Given the respect to the scripture as a whole, one can still interpret it as the Bible revealing predestination (i.e. Calvinists).

Acts 4:27-28 (YLT) "for gathered together of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, were both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with nations and peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy counsel did determine before to come to pass."

"See my response to opponent's C1. God engineers all events that happen; this does not violate free will."

See my rebuttals.

Genesis 45:4-8 (YLT) "4 And Joseph saith unto his brethren, 'Come nigh unto me, I pray you,' and they come nigh; and he saith, 'I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt; 5 and now, be not grieved, nor let it be displeasing in your eyes that ye sold me hither, for to preserve life hath God sent me before you. 6 Because these two years the famine is in the heart of the land, and yet are five years, in which there is neither ploughing nor harvest; 7 and God sendeth me before you, to place of you a remnant in the land, and to give life to you by a great escape; 8 and now, ye -- ye have not sent me hither, but God, and He doth set me for a father to Pharaoh, and for lord to all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt."

"The problem disappears in the literal translation. Also, see response to C1."

The problem is still apparent. The problem is that Joseph and his brothers were manipulated by God to serve his purpose. Joseph's brothers sold Joseph for their own gain, but God predetermined that action and used it for his own purpose. As verse 5 says, "to preserve life hath God sent me before you." and verse 7 "God sendeth me before you,Also, see my rebuttals."

Acts 2:23 (YLT) "23 this one, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, being given out, having taken by lawless hands, having crucified -- ye did slay;"

"It doesn't violate anyone's notion of free will for God to know what's going to happen to himself (The passage refers to Jesus). Also, see response to C1."

The significance of Acts 2:23 is HOW Jesus got to the cross. MEN nailed Jesus to the cross. MEN, who are morally responsible for their actions. These men have nailed an innocent man to the cross, Jesus Christ. Surely this act is immoral? But this act was also predetermined by God. These men were predetermined to SIN for God's purpose.

I look forward to my opponent's responses.
Valtarov

Con

While the debate is advertised as being on predestination, the debate is one over whether free will can exist with God.

C1: Omniscience

The future being determined (known) does not violate free will, as I showed in my arguments. My actual points were not responded to. My purpose in pointing out that God is wholly outside of time is to make the distinction that choice is the child of flowing through time.

"If God created person A, knowing person A would die at the age of 5. Person A does not have free will to live longer than the age of 5, for that is what God made it to be."
People hardly have "free will" to determine how long they live in the same way they have free will to chose to do good or do evil. God does create the child who will die at 5 with full knowledge that the child will die at 5. This is completely irrelevant to the debate at hand. This has nothing to do with choice.

My opponent has failed to respond to my analogy of the time traveler, and has merely re-iterated his points. People make their choices; God knows how they will choose. There is no conflict, as my analogy showed. He failed to respond to this. My opponent would have you believe that if an event's outcome is known, it means that it cannot be freely chosen. This is simply not true. The fact that we know that General Lee destroyed his army on a few hilltops near Gettysburg does not mean that he did not choose to order Picket's Charge. Choice is a matter of the present; fate is a matter of the past and the future. The supposed dichotomy between the two is false.

C2: Omnipotence

The verse talks about God doing something, but any time the Bible describes God doing anything, it must be an anthropomorphization of God. God is outside of time, and the basis of time. Thus, He cannot do anything, because doing something requires changing, which is a function of time. God is the reference point to which all things are relative. Everything that happens is, in some way, the will of God. Evil is because God wills people have choice (and both its positive and negative results) than a world of perfectly good automata. God knew the sociological change that was happening that would cause the Assyrians to come and do these things the passage talks about. They still did the things that they did freely c.f. C1.

C3: Bible Points to Pre-Destination
"What the Bible presumes is relative to one's interpretation. Given the respect to the scripture as a whole, one can still interpret it as the Bible revealing predestination (i.e. Calvinists)."
I've yet to find a Calvinist who takes into account most of the things said in the Bible. Also, considering both Calvin and Luther threw out books of the Bible that disagreed with them (the Apocrypha; Luther wanted to throw out James and Esther too, because they disagreed with him), my argument still stands. Given respect for scripture as a whole, free will is infinitely more likely, since the Bible constantly gives ethical commands. This would be useless if humans did not have free will to fulfill said commands.

"The problem is still apparent. The problem is that Joseph and his brothers were manipulated by God to serve his purpose. Joseph's brothers sold Joseph for their own gain, but God predetermined that action and used it for his own purpose. As verse 5 says, 'to preserve life hath God sent me before you.' and verse 7 'God sendeth me before you,Also,[sic] see my rebuttals.' [sic]"
No, Joseph and his brothers freely chose what they did (as is revealed in earlier chapters). God knew their choices and their outcomes, and used the evil to create a greater good. C.f. my rebuttal of C1, there is no conflict.

The significance of Acts 2:23 is HOW Jesus got to the cross. MEN nailed Jesus to the cross. MEN, who are morally responsible for their actions. These men have nailed an innocent man to the cross, Jesus Christ. Surely this act is immoral? But this act was also predetermined by God. These men were predetermined to SIN for God's purpose.

God knew what men would choose to immorally do, c.f. rebuttals to C1.

I eagerly await Round 4.
Debate Round No. 3
whatledge

Pro

"While the debate is advertised as being on predestination, the debate is one over whether free will can exist with God."

As I have stated in R2 and R3. My opponent must prove that "libertarian free will" can exist with God. If he can prove this, then he has won this debate. If not, then he has lost.

C1: Omniscience

"People hardly have "free will" to determine how long they live in the same way they have free will to chose to do good or do evil. God does create the child who will die at 5 with full knowledge that the child will die at 5. This is completely irrelevant to the debate at hand. This has nothing to do with choice."

Granted, we cannot choose when we die, for the same reasons we cannot act outside of what is known by God. That was the point I was trying to illustrate, which is indeed relevant.

"My opponent has failed to respond to my analogy of the time traveler, and has merely re-iterated his points. People make their choices; God knows how they will choose."

I addressed the time traveler analogy with my bomb analogy. My opponent claims that God is like a time traveler, merely observing. This is false. God is also the creator of the person he observes. Allow me to again, demonstrate the bomb analogy. If person A created a bomb due to detonate in 5 years, he created the bomb knowingly and willingly. He is NOT a 2nd party bystander that merely observed the bomb being built and detonate. If the bomb detonated and killed millions of people, is it the bomb's fault? Or is it the creator of the bomb? I will let the audience be the judge of that. And before my opponent argues that a bomb has no "free will" I would like him to read the syllogism below.

My opponent concedes that "People make their choices; God knows how they will choose", which means that he agrees that God knows all the choices we will make in our lifetime.

P1: God knows all the "free choices" people will make.
P2: God created Person A, knowing all the choices Person A will make.
P3: Person A with "free choices" sins and goes to hell.
P4: If P1 and P2 are true, God knowingly and willingly created Person A despite Person A's fate.
:. Therefore Person A was predestined to go to hell.

"There is no conflict, as my analogy showed. He failed to respond to this. My opponent would have you believe that if an event's outcome is known, it means that it cannot be freely chosen. This is simply not true. The fact that we know that General Lee destroyed his army on a few hilltops near Gettysburg does not mean that he did not choose to order Picket's Charge. Choice is a matter of the present; fate is a matter of the past and the future. The supposed dichotomy between the two is false."

Here is why this argument fails. 1st my opponent assumes God to be some sort of observer that merely watches humanity. My opponent's argument is only valid if God was simply omniscient and nothing else. He has conveniently put aside another attribute of God, and the most important: Creator. And I have shown why Omniscience + Creator = predestination in R2, R3, and of course again in R4. Simply read above.

C2: Omnipotence

"The verse talks about God doing something, but any time the Bible describes God doing anything, it must be an anthropomorphization of God. God is outside of time, and the basis of time. Thus, He cannot do anything, because doing something requires changing, which is a function of time."

>>"Thus, He cannot do anything, because doing something requires changing, which is a function of time."<<

Then he is not omnipotent. We can't simply say God didn't do something when the Bible clearly says otherwise.
"God is the reference point to which all things are relative. Everything that happens is, in some way, the will of God. Evil is because God wills people have choice (and both its positive and negative results) than a world of perfectly good automata. God knew the sociological change that was happening that would cause the Assyrians to come and do these things the passage talks about. They still did the things that they did freely c.f. C1."

That is a subjective view. My interpretation of the Isaiah 10: 5-7 is rather mundane. God put two nations in a war, and used Assyrians to trample, pillage, and plunder, for his purpose. Did the two nations have the choice to not attack one another?

"6 I send him against a godless nation,
I dispatch him against a people who anger me,
to seize loot and snatch plunder,
and to trample them down like mud in the streets."

Who is "I" in the verse? It is evident (to me at least) it was "I" that sent Assyria against a godless nation.

C3: Bible Points to Pre-Destination

"I've yet to find a Calvinist who takes into account most of the things said in the Bible. Also, considering both Calvin and Luther threw out books of the Bible that disagreed with them (the Apocrypha; Luther wanted to throw out James and Esther too, because they disagreed with him), my argument still stands. Given respect for scripture as a whole, free will is infinitely more likely, since the Bible constantly gives ethical commands. This would be useless if humans did not have free will to fulfill said commands."

And my argument still stands as well. You are simply choosing to disregard the verses of the Bible that point to predestination. How is that any better than what Luther and Calvin did? The interpretation of the Bible is subjective; my opponent claiming that his interpretation is "infinitely more likely" hardly proves his point.

"No, Joseph and his brothers freely chose what they did (as is revealed in earlier chapters). God knew their choices and their outcomes, and used the evil to create a greater good. C.f. my rebuttal of C1, there is no conflict."

You are merely twisting the words, the verse says:

"4 And Joseph saith unto his brethren, 'Come nigh unto me, I pray you,' and they come nigh; and he saith, 'I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt; 5 and now, be not grieved, nor let it be displeasing in your eyes that ye sold me hither, for to preserve life hath God sent me before you."

Note: for to preserve life hath God sent me before you.

6 Because these two years the famine is in the heart of the land, and yet are five years, in which there is neither ploughing nor harvest; 7 and God sendeth me before you, to place of you a remnant in the land, and to give life to you by a great escape;

Again note: God sendeth me before you.

8 and now, ye -- ye have not sent me hither, but God, and He doth set me for a father to Pharaoh, and for lord to all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt."

And finally the 3rd time "and now, ye -- ye have not sent me hither, but God,"
KEY: not you, but GOD.

God didn't "use" what Joseph's brothers did and turned it into something good. That is NOT what the verse says. God had planned these actions from the beginning. He did not conveniently USE what happened for the greater good, but he did it THROUGH them. There is a huge difference in the two. The former is claiming that "Action A" happened, and God seized the opportunity for good. The latter is that God, through "Action A", served his initial purpose. The latter is more coherent with the scripture and the characteristics of God.

"God knew what men would choose to immorally do, c.f. rebuttals to C1."

This goes hand in hand with the actions of Joseph's brothers. God, through men, crucified Jesus Christ. It was not simply Men with their "free choice" that put Jesus on the cross. It was God AND men, who put Jesus on the cross. John 3:15: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son." Again, those who crucified Jesus did not have libertarian free will. God through men have put Jesus on the cross.

I thank Valtarov for debating this topic with me, this has been a very enjoyable debate, and I hope this has been true to both the audience and my opponent.
Valtarov

Con

C1:Omniscience

Free will does not apply to when we die, but what we choose to do. I cannot choose to jump into the air and not fall down again. I can choose whether or not to act immorally. This is why my opponent's point is irrelevant.

We cannot act outside of what is known by God, I agree. That does not mean that we do not have free will. The man in the analogy chose every action that he did, regardless of the fact that it was foreknown what he would do. The fact that we know what happened throughout the course of history does not mean that Brutus did not choose to stab Caesar, or that Robespierre did not choose to make the streets of Paris run with blood during the Terror. Knowledge of what was chosen does not affect the choice itself. God may know how we will choose, but this does not mean that you are not responsible for the choices you make.

God is not a second-party bystander, I agree. But God is not a bomb-maker, and people are not bombs. Even if God knows what they are going to do, they still choose to do it c.f. time traveler analogy. The bomb has no free will to decide whether to explode or not. This entire analogy assumes that the creation does not have free will; this is not always true. To use an analogy from the Bible, God is like a father. Fathers may do whatever is in their power to steer their children in the right direction, but the child ultimately has the choice of whether to become a brain surgeon or a drug dealer. In the same way God may put things in our lives that steer us towards our best interest (heaven), but still lets us choose the opposite, if we so decide (hell).

P1: God knows all the "free choices" people will make.
P2: God created Person A, knowing all the choices Person A will make.
P3: Person A with "free choices" sins and goes to hell.
P4: If P1 and P2 are true, God knowingly and willingly created Person A despite Person A's fate.
:. Therefore Person A was predestined to go to hell.

P1 and P2 are compatible with free will. God knowingly and willingly created Person A, knowing that Person A would choose to do those things that send him to hell. This actually works for my case. If God only created people who would go to heaven, there would not be free will. For there to be free will, both the action A (live so that you go to heaven) and action not A (live so that you go to hell) must be practical possibilities. Hell's existence proves free will.

God is creator, but His creations are living, thinking, choosing beings. My argument does not fail because God gives us free will. This is entirely possible with God, as I have shown.

C2: Omnipotence
I was unclear last round. What I meant by saying "God can't do anything" is that "
God cannot actually do anything, in the same sense that we do things.
God's "actions" must also be existential truths. God is the basis of everything, and He cannot change. Everything moves in reference to God. My opponent didn't actually respond to the argument, that God used sociological change, "natural" processes to "send" the Assyrians against another nation. They could not have attacked each other, in the same way that Brutus could not have stabbed Caesar.

C3: Bible
I have not disregarded the verses that point to pre-destination. Every one of them is compatible with free will, given my arguments. My opponent is instead the one who chooses to ignore the overwhelming proof for free will due to ethical commands.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
Well, unless God exists, we can't have free will. Otherwise, every action, thought, etc. is caused by immutable changes in brain chemistry. If free will did not exist, we should never have known about it, for it is impossible to imagine intrinsically impossible things e.g. a creature that always lived in a cave and had no way of sensing light cannot know about light. If God did not exist and we were merely bodies with immutable behavior, we should never have known about reason an logic and things like free will.

I think you misunderstand me. I believe that a) free will is not incompatible with God's characteristics, and b) free will is better than ~free will. Your bomb argument does beg the question. It uses a bomb, which cannot have free will whether or not to explode, to try and prove that free will can't exist. It assumes the conclusion to prove the premises and thus arrive at the conclusion. My argument from the time traveler analogy showed that free will can exist whilst God's characteristics are maintained. The argument is not a proof, it is simply a possible way in which free will could exist. The necessary next step is to ask whether or not God would grant free will, but it is not contained within this argument.

"P1: God is morally perfect.
P2: God wills that there be free will.
P3: Free will causes immorality
:. A morally perfect God cannot grant free will."
Your conclusion is non-sequitur. You need "If P1, P2, and P3, then conclusion." (assumed premise) to get your conclusion. The other problem is that questions of morals become meaningless in a world where there are no moral choices. God's moral perfection then necessitates free will. Futhermore, a morally right action can cause immorality. Not killing a certain innocent baby can lead to the deaths 6 million Jews. We still should not kill babies.
Posted by whatledge 6 years ago
whatledge
"True happiness is only achieved in freedom (Think: Fahrenheit 451, 1984). I agree, they are not mutually exclusive; rather, freedom is required for happiness."

No human has absolute freedom; we are all limited and bound by something. True happiness, as you call it, is so vague that I personally don't even know what it is. Furthermore, an absolute illusion of free will is the only thing humanity has, if Yahweh was to exist.

"Your entire argument pre-supposes that free will doesn't exist. It is a logical fallacy to try to prove that free will doesn't exist with an argument that pre-supposes free will's non-existence."

No, I only presuppose the characteristics of God (omniscience, omnipotence, and creator). To discredit predestination by presupposing that free will exists is also a logical fallacy.

"God creates us i.e. he brings us into existence. But what we do with that existence is our own choosing, not God's. Here's why.
P1: God is morally perfect
P2: If God is morally perfect, nothing that He does can be morally imperfect.
P3: God is omnipotent.
P4: God is creator.
P5: God is omniscient.
P6: Humans do morally imperfect things.
P4: If God is creator, omnipotent, omniscient, and if nothing God does is morally imperfect, then the actions of humans must not be the doing of God.
:. God is not responsible for human action i.e. we have free will."

This syllogism is pretty much saying that God cannot realistically exist.

P1: God is morally perfect.
P2: God wills that there be free will.
P3: Free will causes immorality
:. A morally perfect God cannot grant free will.
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
True happiness is only achieved in freedom (Think: Fahrenheit 451, 1984). I agree, they are not mutually exclusive; rather, freedom is required for happiness.

Your entire argument pre-supposes that free will doesn't exist. It is a logical fallacy to try to prove that free will doesn't exist with an argument that pre-supposes free will's non-existence.

God creates us i.e. he brings us into existence. But what we do with that existence is our own choosing, not God's. Here's why.
P1: God is morally perfect
P2: If God is morally perfect, nothing that He does can be morally imperfect.
P3: God is omnipotent.
P4: God is creator.
P5: God is omniscient.
P6: Humans do morally imperfect things.
P4: If God is creator, omnipotent, omniscient, and if nothing God does is morally imperfect, then the actions of humans must not be the doing of God.
:. God is not responsible for human action i.e. we have free will.
Posted by whatledge 6 years ago
whatledge
"Happiness is inapplicable to something without free will. Robots are neither happy nor unhappy."

Free will and happiness are not mutually exclusive. Being able to choose from right and wrong does not equate to happiness. People can be controlled and happy at the same time, especially if it is up to an omnipotent God.

"No, the woman isn't responsible for the actions of her son, even if she knows them. If her son will kill people, he will choose to kill people. He is responsible for his own actions."

You seem to misunderstand my argument. If God knows all the actions we will do, and creates us despite that fact, then whatever action we commit is his responsibility. I illustrated this with the bomb analogy. You claim that bombs do not have free will, I say that bombs do not have free will for the same reasons humans don't. If God created me, knowing I will do Action A. Am I held responsible for doing action A? Was there a possibility that I could have performed Action B, instead? If I dropped the apple, knowing that it will fall. Is the apple responsible for the fall? If Action C always follows Action S, then whoever does Action S is held responsible for Action C.

"Your entire argument here begs the question in that it assumes people don't have free will (because you blame the mother, not the son, for his actions), and then tries to disprove free will. This doesn't logically work."

Of course I am assuming free will does not exist, just as you are assuming that it does! And yes, I do not believe in free will, because I blame the bomb-maker, and not the bomb, for the explosion.
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
Happiness is inapplicable to something without free will. Robots are neither happy nor unhappy.

No, the woman isn't responsible for the actions of her son, even if she knows them. If her son will kill people, he will choose to kill people. He is responsible for his own actions. Your entire argument here begs the question in that it assumes people don't have free will (because you blame the mother, not the son, for his actions), and then tries to disprove free will. This doesn't logically work.
Posted by whatledge 6 years ago
whatledge
"No, God did not create people to go to hell."

P1: God knows all the "free choices" people will make.
P2: God created Person A, knowing all the choices Person A will make.
P3: Person A with "free choices" sins and goes to hell.
P4: If P1 and P2 are true, God knowingly and willingly created Person A despite Person A's fate.
:. Therefore Person A was predestined to go to hell.

"God acts in the ultimate interest of each and every person. God created that person that free will might exist. Why? Because, if God created only beings that went to heaven, there wouldn't be free will."

So basically, because not all people go to heaven, free will exists? Your argument doesn't prove anything. My arguement is that God arbitarily creates people destines to go to hell or heaven.

"For one to have a free choice for A, ~A must be a practical possibility. If they choose ~A, then they choose ~A. God has nothing to do with it except knowing that it will happen."

God obviously HAS something to do with it as he is the creator. If a woman has a child, the woman is not responsible for what the child does as an adult. However, if the woman knows that if she has a child, that child will end up killing people, is not the woman responsible for having the child despite her foreknowledge of her child's fate?
Posted by whatledge 6 years ago
whatledge
"You don't understand my argument. Here's my syllogism:
P1: God is omnipotent
P2: God is creator
P3: God is good"

Agreed.

"P4: Free will is good"

This does not follow P1,P2, or P3. And one can disagree that Free will is "good". For instance, because of free will, evil exists. In all honesty, I would want God to take away my free will, as long as I am granted happiness.

"P5: If God is omnipotent, creator, and good, then He would create beings with free will (c.f. P4)."

As P4 is subjective, this does not follow.

"P6: God creates beings with free will (From P5)."

Granted that he does, I have shown why god does not co-exist with libertarian free will, according to the Bible.

"P7: God is omniscient.
P8: If God is omniscient and creates beings with free will, omniscience and free will must not be diametrically opposed."

omniscience + creator does oppose libertarian free will.
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
You don't understand my argument. Here's my syllogism:
P1: God is omnipotent
P2: God is creator
P3: God is good
P4: Free will is good
P5: If God is omnipotent, creator, and good, then He would create beings with free will (c.f. P4).
P6: God creates beings with free will (From P5).
P7: God is omniscient.
P8: If God is omniscient and creates beings with free will, omniscience and free will must not be diametrically opposed.
:. Free will and God's omniscience must not be diametrically opposed.

No, God did not create people to go to hell. God acts in the ultimate interest of each and every person. God created that person that free will might exist. Why? Because, if God created only beings that went to heaven, there wouldn't be free will. For one to have a free choice for A, ~A must be a practical possibility. If they choose ~A, then they choose ~A. God has nothing to do with it except knowing that it will happen.

You failed to acknowledge or attack my arguments for free will's co-existence with omniscience.
Posted by dmarais 6 years ago
dmarais
i think you still don't get valtarov's argument. that is not what he argued.
Posted by whatledge 6 years ago
whatledge
Valtarov, this debate has been definitely more satisfying than the others I had. But I believe you have yet to prove that libertarian free will coexists with God. And as for predestination,

P1: God knows all the "free choices" people will make.
P2: God created Person A, knowing all the choices Person A will make.
P3: Person A with "free choices" sins and goes to hell.
P4: If P1 and P2 are true, God knowingly and willingly created Person A despite Person A's fate.
:. Therefore Person A was predestined to go to hell.

As you see, if God had the foreknowledge that Person A will go to hell, but created Person A despite that fact, then Person A is predestined to go to hell. As in, created to go to hell. As for libertarian free will, I have shown how God directly intervenes with people's lives in the Bible.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by jat93 6 years ago
jat93
whatledgeValtarovTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by dmarais 6 years ago
dmarais
whatledgeValtarovTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Ayedewynn 6 years ago
Ayedewynn
whatledgeValtarovTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Brendan21 6 years ago
Brendan21
whatledgeValtarovTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by ac1125 6 years ago
ac1125
whatledgeValtarovTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by Guardian 6 years ago
Guardian
whatledgeValtarovTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70