The Instigator
BrandonMS
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
PhilosophicalPensiveness
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

If a God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnibenevolent, then Free Will Does Not Exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
BrandonMS
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 960 times Debate No: 60551
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (26)
Votes (1)

 

BrandonMS

Pro

(I am restarting this because I was hit by a troll last time. They were blocked. This will happen to any and every troll.)

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?"
PhilosophicalPensiveness

Con

I shall disagree to your statement good sir. God himself is all powerful and all mighty, however, once Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit( which was of free will and choice despite it being of an evil persuasion), which god, being omniscient as he was, had no control over, banished them to live on their own terms. Throughout the bible god played, for the most part , the passive role sending disciples to places of needed salvation. He did not dictate them through possession, instead he relies on them because he trusted humanity and their upstanding mettle. He may be all seeing but he perceives it through the actions of people and the choices they make that change their future. For example, if a man goes to shake someone's hand god perceives this before it happens but he does not control it. I believe god has created us, given us life, but entrusts us to figure out the truths ourselves after he laid down the foundations.
Debate Round No. 1
BrandonMS

Pro

I thank and welcome you for joining the debate.

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?
PhilosophicalPensiveness

Con

What your saying is true, but the "plan" he has for us...that's it. He gives us the tools but we as a species utilize them for our own purposes. He shows us the passage to heaven but we get there on our own. Maybe he wants us to evolve using our developed intellects to become ethereal as he is to stand with him as the king of kings. I also believe that he knows ending outcomes but he must simultaneously predict out-branching outcomes produced out of human free will while coming to a final conclusion. This may not seem possible due to human thought, yet we must remember he has godly powers. Our free will comes first before gods deductions even if the space between them is minuscule.
Debate Round No. 2
BrandonMS

Pro

So, what I am now able to gather from my opponent's argument is that God is not omniscient. His knowledge is limited by the will and behaviour of humans; he is able to predict, but that isn't absolute awareness. And I will next argue that if He is not omniscient, then He cannot be omnipotent either, for how could anyone have any control or influence over something they know nothing about? If one is unaware of a set of circumstances, say with the suffrage of others in some far away country, then how could they do anything to assist the people?

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.
PhilosophicalPensiveness

Con

I concur with the fact that he is no longer willing to be omnipotent due to the fact that in our modern era everything is much more complicated and diversified with no true messiah or pious sign to follow without it being ignored or persecuted. During biblical times, people believed in his teachings so much so that they would follow anyone who was given the word and/or approval of god. After the New Testament (Or the Quran if you are Muslim) God most likely ended his direct interference with the growth of humanity to see the potential of us with his own visage. It doesn't mean he's not all powerful he just chooses not to use it as frequently as he did. Omniscience as being God is too complicated for mere human understanding. He is more of a watcher now, but he knows exactly the outcomes, however we make the choices from free will. He knows I will make a sandwich, but I'm doing it because I want to. I may fail, I may succeed, but it is I who chooses which. He knows but wont tell. It's human resolve that truly counts in this world, something God has given us to overcome fates hand.
Debate Round No. 3
BrandonMS

Pro

BrandonMS forfeited this round.
PhilosophicalPensiveness

Con

My argument stands...
Debate Round No. 4
BrandonMS

Pro

BrandonMS forfeited this round.
PhilosophicalPensiveness

Con

Um...hello?
Debate Round No. 5
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by adeptdebate 2 years ago
adeptdebate
Con, please consider this thought.

How could God have foreseen the handshaking inasmuch as at the last split second the second man recognized a former suitor of his wife, and therefore changed his mind, hastily withdrawing his hand.
Posted by adeptdebate 2 years ago
adeptdebate
P.S. A qualified Omniscience is the only solution that will fit!

And that all-knowing is the perception of all things, interior and exterior to humans. By perception is meant simple passive observation. It requires no powers of prophecy or perception of the future.
Posted by adeptdebate 2 years ago
adeptdebate
BrandonMS, I see why you made this debate. You are concerned about the apparent conflict between a God knowing all, versus freedom of choice, and these two conditions being able to co-exist. Me too. Here is my solution:
The world of humanity is on its own. Once God has created freewill, then the outcome of humankind is based on the conglomerate results of all the CHOICES of its individuals. God might try to influence toward the positive outcome, but he does not DICTATE or predetermine long term outcome by his Omni powers of being. God does not presume to know the ULTIMATE OUTCOME of humanity, because that, by definition, is NOT written in stone. WE CAN CHANGE OUR DESTINY. But only we ourselves must do this changing. God does not give us free will and then renege on it. We get only what we deserve (karma). Again I repeat: Our future is not written in stone. And God does NOT know the ultimate outcome. He might make an educated guess based on all the conditions which exist in the HERE NOW MOMENT, but He has delivered the FINAL OUTCOME into our hands, come what may, good or bad, peace or war. WE MUST CHOOSE.
Omniscience (a qualified all-knowing)
Omnipresence (everywhere found)
Omnipotent (a qualified all-powerful)
Omni benevolence (A God of LOVE)
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
You are quite correct.
BUT we wouldn't be able to ask the question "Does free will exist?" if free will didn't exist.
It can be easily proved that the so-called "God" of the Bible, who apparently claimed that his personal name was pronounced Yahweh, couldn't have been a Real God at all.
(Why would God claim to have one, personal name? )
He was doing things thousands of years ago that a Real God wouldn't have done.
(See, for example, Numbers 16. )
It may be Impossible to prove that a Creator exists, but it's very easy to prove that a Creator cannot not exist
.If there wasn't any Creator, we wouldn't be here.
My name wasn't Jesus- I had a Hebrew name, pronounced Yeshua.
It sure is good to be back & awake again.
Posted by BrandonMS 2 years ago
BrandonMS
If that is part of your debate, then please post it in the round instead of comments.
Posted by PhilosophicalPensiveness 2 years ago
PhilosophicalPensiveness
I shall disagree to your statement good sir. God himself is all powerful and all mighty, however, once Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit( which was of free will and choice despite it being of an evil persuasion), which god, being omniscient as he was, had no control over and banished them to live on their own terms. Throughout the bible god played, for the most part , the passive role sending disciples to places of needed salvation. He did not dictate them through possession, instead he relies on them because he trusted humanity and their upstanding mettle. He may be all seeing but he perceives it through the actions of people and the choices they make that change their future. For example, if a man goes to shake someone's hand god perceives this before it happens but he does not control it. I believe god has created us, given us life, but entrusts us to figure out the truths ourselves after he laid down the foundations.
Posted by Aerogant 2 years ago
Aerogant
Pollution is good for you. Bubble boy gets sick as soon as he leaves his bubble, but kids that roll around in mud and sewage have their immune systems wearing superhero capes.

So, back to Jake "I wank off to my parent's and pastor's lies" - welp, you do not think for yourself, therefore nothing you say matters!
Posted by BrandonMS 2 years ago
BrandonMS
Could you both please message each other and not continue to pollute my debate?
Posted by Jake99 2 years ago
Jake99
Plus I've never read the Bible, my parents and pastor just told me what to say :)
Posted by Jake99 2 years ago
Jake99
So anyone's own subjective opinion is better respected than a book that's been has compiled by 40 author's from a lot of different time periods.? I'm not saying you're not smart and you raise some really good arguments, I'm simply stating what I believe. No hard feelings!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
BrandonMSPhilosophicalPensivenessTied
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Total points awarded:31 
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!