If a God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnibenevolent, then Free Will Does Not Exist
Debate Rounds (5)
This is a rather simple concept: If there is an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent deity, can absolute free will exist? I say no, and am therefore Pro.
I have seen this definition of a god be used to define specifically the Abrahamic god several times and will thus be focusing largely on that in my opening statement, but it may describe any god the opponent wishes. Biblical, religious, and philosophical verses and references are allowed to be used as points.
Because of the subject of this debate, bringing in definitions of atheism, agnosticism, or belief may be viewed as Red Herrings. The debate does not deal with the truth or existence of any god, but rather the ability for total free will and a god as described above to exist simultaneously. When the term "Free Will" is used, it describes a case in which someone is able to freely decide their actions. Whether or not I or my opponent believe in absolute free will, compatiblism, or determinism should be regarded as irrelevant for the sake of this discussion.
The debate consists of five rounds, each round allowing each person ten-thousand characters to use:
Round 1, in which the opponents offer their opening statements. This round is not for the opponent to rebut unless it is for the sake of their opening statement.
Round 2, for rebuttal and counter-argument.
Rounds 3 and 4 repeat if needed, though either opponent can conclude that they have stated all the points they felt necessary, or may end the debate and refuse to argue further if they no longer feel the opponent is honest or genuine in the discussion.
Round 5, in which the opponents offer their closing statements.
With the rules explained, I will give my opening statement.
The topic of free will is a heavily contested subject within philosophy. It is dictated by natural processes in the brain, or is there an ethereal soul? Does a god have any sort of effect on our free will whatsoever? The points I will present will be argued from several related philosophical standpoints:
1) "If there is an omniscient god who knows all that has happened, is happening, and will happen, then there must be an unavoidable, predetermined goal for everyone and everything."
For, if there is not a predetermined path for everything, then how could God possibly know all that will transpire? The concept of knowing everything possible while still allowing new, unplanned events is exceedingly paradoxical.
2) "If there is an omnipotent god who is all-powerful while simultaneously being omniscient, then it is impossible for anyone to have free will."
In this case, I regard it as obvious: If this god has a predetermined plan and knows everything that will happen, then it would know if someone wished to commit a transgression against this plan. If it is omnipotent, then it would have the power to effortlessly stop the attempts of rebellion, whether accidental or not. Therefore, any form of free will would be wholly impossible.
3) "If there is an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent god, in that it is all loving and infinitely kind, then free will does not exist."
This argument combines the first two points and adds in a third: morality. Now, if there was a heaven/hell system in which someone can be either infinitely rewarded or infinitely punished for finite actions, the entire idea of free will is corrupted.
If God is truly all kind and infinitely loves us, then surely it wouldn't punish us for an infinite amount of time. Using the second argument, this god has the knowledge and the power to stop someone from committing an action that is viewed as "evil". If you yourself were given that power, and knew that someone was about to do something that would end with their everlasting torture, would you not stop them from committing that act? I believe"or at least I hope"that any compassionate, caring, and sympathetic person would save that future wrongdoer from eternal pain and suffering.
Now imagine an infinitely good, infinitely loving, and infinitely caring being given those powers. Do you not think that it would save that person? Do you think such a being would have to even hesitate as to what to do?
This third argument invokes a famous riddle from Epicurus that I'm sure most people have heard. I will conclude my opening statement with his riddle, The Epicurean Paradox:
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
Why did God have no control over whether or not Adam and Eve ate the fruit? If He is all powerful and all knowing, then He had to have the ability to stop it, surely. Any mere man would have been able to stop it had they been knowledgeable enough of the situation.
You said " For example, if a man goes to shake someone's hand god perceives this before it happens but he does not control it." I never asserted that He would control everything if He knew everything; what I was arguing was that if He knew everything that would ever transpire, then we can't possibly have free will. If we did, we could have the ability to do what God would not expect us to do, meaning that He is no longer omniscient. For one to know what will happen means that that event could not have been different or changed"if not, then one wouldn't know what would happen. They could predict, but not know with certainty.
You also brought up God entrusting us with free will. I'll have to ask, how can this be?
Exodus 10:1 states "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him. . . "
So God purposefully changed the Pharaoh's "heart" (his opinions and beliefs, in other words) in order to guarantee the success of Moses. You could say that this was because Moses was special and incredibly important in spreading God's word"if that's the case, why couldn't God change the mind of Eve to not eat the fruit that gave humanity sin? Is that not the most detrimental action transpired against our species?
There are verses like Ephesians 1:4 ("For [God] chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight"), and 1 Corinthians 2:7 ("We declare God"s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began,") that state specifically that God has a plan, a destiny, for all of us. If God Himself created a destiny for you, how could you possibly have free will? If you could go against this plan, you'd be going against God's very will. So, either God is petty and His will can be disobeyed by a mere human, or God is giving you the ability to go against his will and change "your" destiny, and therefore removing the idea of free will all together.
And since you did not address it, is God omnibenevolent?
It is the same way with God: if He is unable to know about future events with absolute certainty, then He couldn't have the ability to alter or influence those events. He would be, I dare say, surprised by the outcome of certain affairs, would He not? So, as far as I can tell, Con concedes that either we have no free will should such a deity exist, or God cannot be omnipotent and omniscient.
BrandonMS forfeited this round.
BrandonMS forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: A very rare case indeed, where multiple forfeits do NOT lose the debate. Con never really addressed the meat of Pro's objections in any compelling fashion, and thus Pro gets the arguments. Pro, however, loses conduct for the fofeits--please do not forfeit rounds!
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