The Instigator
shannon83
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
JimShady
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

If an omniscient god exists then free will is an illusion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JimShady
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 467 times Debate No: 104075
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (1)

 

shannon83

Pro

Format for the debate:

Round 1 is acceptance, introduction.
Round 2 argument
Round 3 rebuttal
Round 4 closing statements

- The debate will assume that a omniscient God is real.

Omniscient

1:having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight, an omniscient author

“the narrator seems an omniscient person who tells us about the characters and their relations” —Ira Konigsberg

2:possessed of universal or complete knowledge

“the omniscient God”

Free Will

  1. the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.

Illusion

1a obsolete :the action of deceiving

b (1) :the state or fact of being intellectually deceived or misled :misapprehension
(2) :an instance of such deception

2a (1) :a misleading image presented to the vision
(2) :something that deceives or misleads intellectually

b (1) :perception of something objectively existing in such a way as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature
(2) :hallucination 1
(3) :a pattern capable of reversible perspective



- Burden of proof for the debate is shared equally. In Round 2 it will be the responsibility of both pro and con to provide an argument supporting free will being an illusion(pro), or not being an illusion(con).

If Con has any changes to the format of the debate please add the stipulations in your Round 1 acceptance.

If Con wishes to go first He may begin in Round 1 and close in Round 3.

Thanks,

JimShady

Con

I accept this debate and thank shannon83 for his time invested in debating me. I will be arguing that man's free will and God's omniscience can coexist, and that free will is NOT an illusion.

Definitions (from dictionary.com):

know: to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty
influence: the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others:

Format:

I propose that we are allowed rebuttals to the rebuttals in Round 4 as well as closing statements.
Debate Round No. 1
shannon83

Pro

First I would like to thank JimShady for accepting this debate and I agree with the format change.


Argument:

If omniscient (knowing the future) is true, then eternalism(1) is true (set timeline)
Thus Free will is an illusion (perceived to be true though in reality false).


It is a given that we perceive to have free will since we have the ability of acting on our own accord. My argument goes into the ideologies of eternalism. Eternalism is the idea that time is a linier object and that the future already exists just that we have not perceived it to have happened yet.

While this is not my personal belief I do believe that If an omniscient being is real then that would imply eternalism to be real as well. The reason for this is that for a being to be all knowing then it would need to know the future and for such a being to know the future it logically stands that the future must have happened. Otherwise it would not know the future it would only predict the future.

For an example of this idea I will use the analogy of a movie. In the movie the characters are not aware of the future events that should occur. While you as a viewer of the movie could watch it and then know the ending. This movie would represent time all the things that happen in the movie are set. You having the power to see the future events in the movie would have the same ability as an omniscient being, in the fact you will know what will happen as you have seen the movie before.

Now if the being is omniscient and knows the future this tells us that eternalism is true. This also implies that any decisions you make will have already been made, as you cannot change what the future would do. This is just like a character in the movie that can make decisions though that person if you rewind the video will always make the same decision leading to the same future. This gives the illusion of free will. If it is true that a being should know what the future holds as it has seen the future then free will is an illusion as any choices you make have already been made.

While I agree that when you make the choices you have the perception of free will. I am suggesting and implying that this perception is an illusion as the events and choices you make will always lead to the same future.

With the omniscient God I can point out Judas betraying Jesus as an example. In this case assuming God to be real. It was planned that Judas must betray Jesus condemning Judas to an ill fate. While Judas has the perception of free will in this case, Judas will always end up betraying Jesus and will never not betray Jesus. Thus giving an illusion of free will. Judas was destined in betraying Jesus in this scenario and there was never a time that Judas had the option to not betray Jesus.

To summerize, If you know the future then any choices you make currently has already been decided before you made them.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org...(philosophy_of_time)


JimShady

Con

I will save my rebuttal to Con's Round 2 Argument for Round 3.

Argument:

God, an omniscient being, knows our future choices, but does not influence them.

Explanation: One of God's presumed traits is that he knows everything, even events that have not happened yet. For instance, he knew that man would turn on him with sin. But there is a fine line between knowing something will happen, and influencing the said something. Man was not programmed to sin, as we are not robots. We are born with a free will, not mind-controlled by God. God simply knowing our choices before they take place does not require "mind control" it's more of "mind-knowing."

In a sense, God already:
knows the destination before us, what choice we are to make, and whether we shall be in heaven or hell.

This does not mean he:
sets the destination before us, chooses our choices, and then sends us to heaven or hell.

We are accountable for our actions, the only thing that God has to do with them is know about them. I will also offer an analogy: Let's say an extremely smart person who easily picks up on patterns of people notices a woman walking past the newspaper stand. The smart person somehow knows that the lady prefers The New York Times to USA Today. So, the man knows, or at least STRONGLY predicts, that the woman will choose the Times. Sure enough, she does.

The smart man represents God, and the woman represents people with a choice. The smart man did not use the Force to take over her mind to grab the Times, he simply knew she would.

Bye.
Debate Round No. 2
shannon83

Pro

Rebuttal:

I can agree with Con that we perceive to have Free will. While I can also agree we do not appear to be mind controlled. I do not see how this would show that free will is not an illusion. As it could be possible that we perceive to have free will while in reality do not have it.

I agree that if God is omniscient then this suggests that God knows the future. I would like to specify that this knowing the future is more than a guess that it would be definite knowledge at this point.

I disagree with the idea that knowing a set future would not imply that the choices are already made. I also do not see how the idea of God setting a path without our knowledge and then sending us to heaven or hell is relevant to this debate.

As for the analogy I believe it is a bit misleading. The man in the scenario is said to “know” that the woman would choose the times. This knowing and the knowing of an omniscient being is different. The man in the story is making predictions on things he has learned. While an omniscient being would not be doing this. I propose the omniscient being would know for certain as if having watched the events unfold in the future. Something the man in the scenario could never do. Because the purpose of this story is to show an example of knowing being similar this is an equivocation fallacy.

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...

While I do agree mind control is not used I see no suggestion that it was not an illusion of free will when the woman picked the times. I suggest that if this man would know the future in an omniscient way that the story should be changed as the man would have watched the woman pick the paper then rewind time and the woman comes back at the same time exact same place and the man watches the woman pick the same paper up. The Woman in this scenario is not aware that time was redone. The man had previously seen the woman pick the paper and knew she would pick the same paper. If you rewind time 100s of times the woman will always pick the same paper up. Because of this I suggest free will is an illusion as the woman can never change her mind and can not choose a different paper.

This also implies that all of time not just the woman’s life, but all life before and after her is set in stone. While we may perceive free will the illusion is whatever choices we have made have already been made before we make them.

JimShady

Con

Rebuttal to Round 2 Opening argument:

Eternalism is the idea that time is a linier object and that the future already exists just that we have not perceived it to have happened yet.

God knowing the future before it has happened does not necessarily mean that the future exists yet. I could know that the sun will rise at 6:00 AM, and it does (Yes, I strongly PREDICT instead of KNOW, but I'll get into that part later.) Believing something to be true doesn't make it true in the present time. While the eternalism argument is intriguing, it doesn't have any proof and doesn't entail necessity when talking about an omniscient God. (Even if Eternalism was true, it wouldn't squelch the idea of free will all together. The future might already be laid out and set to happen, but it could be set a specific way so that what humans do in one point of time influences the others. Even so, eternalism is not necessary.)

The reason for this is that for a being to be all knowing then it would need to know the future and for such a being to know the future it logically stands that the future must have happened. Otherwise it would not know the future it would only predict the future.

As you state in a later round, omniscience is different from strongly predicting. Meaning all knowing, this means that God is all knowing of the future, even if it didn't happen. It may seem difficult to argue against an all powerful knowledge, but hey, that's what it's defined as and must be argued against accordingly.

You having the power to see the future events in the movie would have the same ability as an omniscient being, in the fact you will know what will happen as you have seen the movie before.

Strong analogy, but it assumes that eternalism is true in the case of an omniscient God. If the viewer was truly all-knowing like God, then couldn't this situation happen also?:

An all-knowing, God-like person watches an impromptu movie (while he watches, the camera is filming a movie without a script live.) The God-like person, because of his power, knows everything that will happen, even though it's not happened yet.

While your analogy is possible, so is mine, and the point of this debate is to show that omnscience and free will can coexist.

With the omniscient God I can point out Judas betraying Jesus as an example. In this case assuming God to be real. It was planned that Judas must betray Jesus condemning Judas to an ill fate. While Judas has the perception of free will in this case, Judas will always end up betraying Jesus and will never not betray Jesus. Thus giving an illusion of free will. Judas was destined in betraying Jesus in this scenario and there was never a time that Judas had the option to not betray Jesus.

Luke 22:3 says that the Devil (him and his angels will possess people to do things against there will [because they are evil]) and thus prompted Judas to betray Jesus. However, it's noted that Judas says “I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood” (Mt. 27:4). Either or even both could be at fault for this act, but it doesn't mean God forced the betrayal... it was either Judas or the Devil or both. God knew Judas/the Devil would act of his own free will to betray him, so he took the opportunity to use it and give up his life on the cross. If Judas remained faithful, then there's no doubt in my mind Jesus would have found another way to offer his life.



It's also worthy to note that Judas betreayed Jesus, but did not ask for forgiveness, hanging himself instead. Peter also betrayed Jesus, but chose forgiveness instead. Clearly there is a choice we can make.

I don't know why that above paragraph is in blue, but yeah. I'll take your R3 rebuttal on in a later round.
Debate Round No. 3
shannon83

Pro

Rebuttal:

While I do see this to be a bit late to introduce a definition I believe it is helpful.

There is two main definitions of Know being used in Cons Round 3 rebuttal.

https://www.merriam-webster.com...

Know

1) to perceive directly

2) to be aware of the truth or factuality of :be convinced or certain of

My argument is that to know the future using definition (1) the future must exist and be a place in time. Otherwise the omniscient god does not know (1) the future though it could know (2) the future in the other context. There is a difference between the two uses of this word even though the English language uses the same word. This is called an equivocation fallacy when using the same word in two different meanings. I also stand by my statements that an omniscient being (using the definition in round 1) must know (1. Perceive directly) the future.

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...

Now the example given of the sun will rise at 6:00 AM is a good example of this you know(2) this will happen though you do not know(1) this will happen until after it happens. The only way to possibly know(1) is to have perceived it directly. The only logical way this could be true to know(1) that it happened is that the future already exists.

I am not sure how my statement of omniscience is different than strongly predicting has anything to do with your statement. My point was an all Knowing God would know(1) the future and not predict it.

Yes it does assume eternalism is true as it is used to help explain my logic statement. I also do not think your analogy is logically possible and is the reason that if omniscient is true then eternalism is true. The reason is the opposite of eternalism is presentism. With this ideology the future is not knowable(1) as it has yet to happen. You may predict the future though it is not known for sure. This ideology would go against the idea of omniscient and is contradictory to it thus making it illogical. Leaving only eternalism as an option.
Unless you wish to state God defies logic? Doing this would be a special pleading argument.

Thus I state your analogy is not possible as it is not logical.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...

I do find the Luke statement interesting while I believe it is irrelevant to the debate. As who is responsible for a betrayal is irrelevant to the topic of free will being an illusion. I was only using the example as a timeframe to show how eternalism would affect the events.



Closing statements:

If omniscient is true, then eternalism is true
Thus Free will is an illusion

My logic is based on the idea that omniscient would know the future. Where the only logical option in knowing(1) the future would be that eternalism is true. This would thus force free will to be an illusion.

Without eternalism being true then presentism would be true and nothing could know(1) the future. Because of this fact if there is something omniscient it must by definition know the future thus eternalism is true. This in part forces free will to be an illusion.

I also believe my logic argument directly conflicts with Cons allowing my argument to disprove his that God could know the future that is not knowable. This is seen when I bring up the presentism being the direct opposite to eternalism where one of the two ideologies must be true. Eternalism is true where the future is knowable, or presentism is true where the future is not knowable. To clearify this is knowing as precieving it directly and not predicting it. As predicting it you could be wrong.

I would like to thank JimShady for a well done debate and offer my hand in friendship on this. I look forward to his closing statements.

Thank you.

JimShady

Con

Rebuttal to Con's Round 3:

I do not see how this would show that free will is not an illusion. As it could be possible that we perceive to have free will while in reality do not have it.

That could be a possibility, although I have shown that both can coexist.

I agree that if God is omniscient then this suggests that God knows the future. I would like to specify that this knowing the future is more than a guess that it would be definite knowledge at this point.

Agreed.

I disagree with the idea that knowing a set future would not imply that the choices are already made. I also do not see how the idea of God setting a path without our knowledge and then sending us to heaven or hell is relevant to this debate.

OK, you disagree with it, but please explain why. I have said that knowing is not the same as influencing, as you make it out to be. I did not say God sets our path and sends us to heaven or hell, we set our own path and send ourselves to heaven or hell.

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...

The reason I used a man who strongly predicts but doesn't truly KNOW was to show a correlation of the two. For the purpose of the analogy, the two are basically the same thing. I chose the man to be strongly predicting instead of all knowing simply because no man is all knowing (making the analogy unrealistic). You claim the analogy to be misleading, but I think you are overthinking it and have missed the point. For all intensive purposes, I'll ammend thae analogy and make the man omniscient, like God. Doing so makes no difference except that it satisfies your complaint.

Your next paragraph about the man rewinding time a hundred times just to see her grab the same paper over and over again is plausible, but so is my explanation. Suppose the man did rewind the scene over and over agiain, just to see her choose the paper. Key word choose. Although her descision is set in stone, it wasn't the omniscient man who made her choose that one paper, it was the lady. Even if she can not differentiate from that choice by rewinding back again, it was still a choice nonetheless and happened in the percieveable future because of her choice.

This is assuming that eternalism is true, and I have already stated why it doesn't necesarily have to be for an omniscient God. God doesn't have to experience the reality to know it to be true. He knows reality even when it hasn't happened yet. This is different from predicting.


Concluding Statements:

Omniscience isn't the same as predicting something, or witnessing something and thus knowing, it's simply knowing; knowing what has happened, what is happening, what will happen, what did NOT happen, etc. Omniscience is simply knowing everything, even without exposure or learning. This falls perfectly in line with Pro's definition of omniscience, "having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight, an omniscient author." Thus, we can see why eternalism is not necessary, and why free will, known but not influenced by God, is a possibility.

Thank you for the debate and the kind words. However, I wish to continue this in the comment sections if you'll allow it.




Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KostasT.1526 3 months ago
KostasT.1526
Actually, eternalism contradicts quantum mechanics. There is no possible way to know both the future velocity and momentum of a particle, and therefore the concept of the future being predestined to happen in a certain way is illogical, or rather goes against observation, as the microscopic universe is proven to be governed by pure probabilities.
Posted by whiteflame 3 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: szexiv// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: This is an open and shut case. pro's premises and conclusion are tied together seamlessly to formulate a sound argument. Con concedes in his last statement that, while eternalism might not be necessary, under the conditions of the debate, god would still have knowledge of what is happening/what will happen (having accepted the definition of omniscient). Thus, if god is omniscient, regardless of whether or not free will is perceived by the individual, the decision that is going to be made will be so which negates the idea of free will.

[*Reason for removal*] The voter is required to specifically assess arguments made by both sides in the debate. The voter does so for Con to a degree (though it"s unclear that such a concession was made), but fails to assess any specific points made by Pro.
************************************************************************
Posted by JimShady 3 months ago
JimShady
@shannon83: you don't have to post a link to the logicallyfallacious.com website every time you call me out on a fallacy, especially when they AREN'T fallacies. Many times you focus on the minor details of an analogy without attempting to see what the point of it is.

For your satisfaction though, I will amend it. What if someone consents to being murdered. Does this make the murder OK?

Pedophilia usually select victims who are to young and can't really say no, and sometimes they wouldn't even reject it. There might be a few cases where the victims would actually enjoy it. So this isn't a weak analogy at all.

By natural, I'm not talking about a natural waterfall or a natural hill, I'm talking more on the lines of what is reasonable and works and what is weird and doesn't work.

There are countless other studies contrary to yours that show that children tend to succeed more and have a better life with a mother and father.
http://www.focusonthefamily.com...
http://dailysignal.com...
https://billmuehlenberg.com...

Homosexual couples are more likely to perform anal sex then heterosexual couples, don't you think? And, no, my logic doesn't follow to that silly option of everyone being lesbians. The simple logical solution is don't do anal sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual. This can be afforded in the heterosexual community much better then the homosexual one.
Posted by shannon83 3 months ago
shannon83
JimShady - You had already agreed murdering people is more harmful than homosexual behavior. Plus homosexual behavior if consensual does not hurt anyone. Murdering someone is not the same as it is killing another person against their will. So what you have presented is a weak analogy.
https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...

Pedophilia is also weak analogy as it is harming someone. The difference is homosexual sex is consensual. Pedophilia is taking advantage of the young, often without their consent as they are too young to say no. Statutory rape would be a good analogy if it was between something like a 18 or 19 year old and a 16 year old and both where consenting.

The main definition of natural is occurring in nature. If it is occurring in nature as with so many species you cannot then say it is unnatural.

I think i would reject the mother and father idea. It has already been shown through studies that there are many other family types that children can do good if raised in. As long as it is a loving home with caring parents I seen no problem with it.
https://www.splcenter.org...

With HIV it is because it is more common to spread through anal sex. This is still just as likely to spread if heterosexuals perform anal sex. HIV is less likely to spread in the lesbian group with these statistics. So everyone should be lesbian using this logic, as heterosexual sex has a higher chance of spreading HIV than lesbian sex.
Posted by JimShady 3 months ago
JimShady
What if someone has an attraction to murdering people? If you remain firm in your opinion, then you should believe that they are not performing a sinful act when they are doing something that feels natural and enjoyable.

A close comparison would be statutory rape or pedophilia. If you have that point of view on homosexuality, then you should also say that statutory rape/pedophilia is not bad because it feels natural and enjoyable to some people.

Just because other species do homosexual acts, doesn't make it unnatural. It is just as unnatural for people as it is for animals.

I do not believe homosexual sex is moral or right, but I do believe in people choosing to do it, because it generally hurts no one. However, I COULD make an argument that kids need a mother and a father, and thus homosexual relationships are not right, and you could also look at the statistics that gay couples are much more likely to contract STDS then straight couples., which is harmful.
http://www.science20.com...
https://www.nzaf.org.nz...
Posted by shannon83 3 months ago
shannon83
I would say it is a fair assumption that if someone has the attraction then that person will also perform the intercourse. I also would not like to think someone would be performing a bad act when they are doing something that feels natural to them.

As for natural law, homosexuality occurs in many animal species other than human. As for reproduction I can give that one to you. I like to think though that the human species has moved past a primal urge to just procreate. If someone prefers the same sex then why should anyone tell them it is wrong if it is not hurting anyone?
https://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by JimShady 3 months ago
JimShady
Homosexual people are defined as "having a sexual attraction to people of the same sex", not as "people who sexual intercourse with people of the same sex." You can be homosexual and still be abstinent from homosexual sex.

Homosexuality is considered a sin because it goes against the natural law. This may sound vulgar, but a penis fits in a vagina, a vagina does not fit in a vagina and a penis does not fit into a penis. One results in offspring, the other results in nothing. Similar to how a substrate fits into the appropriate enzyme. Some things just go together, some things do not.

Homosexual sex may not be as sinful as murder, but in the eyes of God it's sinful, and thus the comparison can be made.
Posted by shannon83 3 months ago
shannon83
Hi JimShady,

I find the statement "Homosexuality is not a sin, but homosexual acts are. Similarly, God does not hate murderers, but he hates their actions and punishes them accordingly." to be a bit concerning.

Homosexual acts are something that homosexuals perform. The reason they are homosexual. Plus in this situation you are saying the act is similar to murder as both are sin. I would disagree as homosexual sex is one of love between the two consenting adults. Murder on the other hand is an aggression and ill over another human. Other than the fact they are both acts humans can perform I see no similarities.
Posted by JimShady 3 months ago
JimShady
@backwardseden:

I'm been involved in plenty of debates, in fact, more than you if you compare our profiles. Maybe the reason people don't want to debate you is because you constantly sound like a blubbering fool.

Once again you do not understand free will, once again you do not understand the Bible, how and in what context it what written, what cultures were like back then, and that the commandments, by themselves are actually very moral. If you disagree, then you support murder. Never does it say in the Bible that breaking the 10 commandments warrants death.

You brought up the Great Flood, just saying. You completely ignored my analogy of Japan, the hyperbole of the Bible, and so I treat you with the same accordance.

The Great Flood was a regional flood, so please, enough of your nonsense. If you refuse to communicate with people such as me, then fine. I'd predict that most people say you sound much more hateful then I do.
Posted by JimShady 3 months ago
JimShady
@backwardseden:

God does not hate homosexuals, he hates homosexual acts. Notice that all of these verses you have pointed out are talking about homosexuals who practice homosexual sex, not homosexuals you contain their thoughts.

Homosexuality is not a sin, but homosexual acts are. Similarly, God does not hate murderers, but he hates their actions and punishes them accordingly.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KostasT.1526 3 months ago
KostasT.1526
shannon83JimShadyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Points: 3,4. Nothing special at all. Both had proper conduct and grammar/spelling. 6. The two cited reliable sources, but I give the point to Pro, as he attempted to base on sources most of their arguments, contrary to Con. To rephrase, Pro cited quite more sources to confirm their statements than Con did. 5. The points made by both Pro and Con were convincing. The reason Con is given the arguments points is elaborated on below: Pro's main argument, after proving that eternalism is more logical than presentism, was that, since an omniscient being would know an individual's future actions, their future is set and the choice is not theirs to make. However, Con argued that, even though an all-knowing God would know what our choices will be, it does not mean that we do not make these choices. The analogy of the smart-omniscient person predicting-knowing the lady's choice of newspaper is the most accurate example presented, in my opinion.