The Instigator
Rook
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Republican95
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Christian Doctrine Of Free Will Is Impossible

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,599 times Debate No: 8999
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Rook

Pro

I contend that the Christian God would not be able to provide Free Will if he existed, because he would have foreknowledge (and would have been the creator) of every factor or thought that would cause a person to take action.
Furthermore, no thoughts could exist that did not originate from God, because he is the creator of all things, and thoughts that were unknown to him would violate his nature, being omniscient.

I define the Christian God as a Omnipotent and Omniscient being who is the solely responsible author of The Bible, and all things.

Free Will will be defined as the belief that God allows humans to choose their own actions without any interference from God himself.

Note: This is my first debate on here, so please alert me if I have set up a poor format, or made any other mistakes. Thank You. :)
Republican95

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent has made quite a big mistake that all people who use the Theological Challenge to Freedom do. He has confused foreknowledge with predestination.

Just because God knows of something that is going to happen, it doesn't mean he forced it to be that way.

God could know that tomorrow you will get in an argument with your wife, but that doesn't mean God made you fight your wife. He just simply knows it is going to happen. So, why does he not stop it? Because that would violate free will.

My opponent: "Furthermore, no thoughts could exist that did not originate from God, because he is the creator of all things, and thoughts that were unknown to him would violate his nature, being omniscient."

So God knows our thoughts? This is true, however it doesn't mean that God implemented our thoughts. God has created an environment, we can each respond to that environment in different ways, making us free.

Note: My opponent has said free will is IMPOSSIBLE. That means that if I can provide the smallest bit of evidence to make free will at least somewhat possible, then I win.
Debate Round No. 1
Rook

Pro

I thank Republican for accepting the debate, and wish him good luck.

My opponent argues that though God knows our thoughts and desires, he is not responsible for their creation.

But yet, isn't God, by very definition, creator of all things? Therefore, he would have to be the creator of our nature. He would have to have created some sort of pattern to human thought, or else we would not be able to think at all.
Therefore, he is responsible for our every action,. We are simply following our nature, because it is impossible to do otherwise.

Secondly, he would be thus directly responsible for all thoughts we would think as a result of environmental conditions.

And yes, I see my error in the title now, thank you for pointing it out.
Republican95

Con

I thank Rook for this response.

If God is responsible for every single human thought, and our thoughts cause mental states and physical actions, then God is responsible for every single mental state and physical action.

Just as sample of mental states and physical actions:

1. The mental state of atheism
2. The physical action of murder

Why would God lead people to do these things? The Christian God would obviously NOT want humans to engage in these activities, as he is all-loving and all-good. However, some people do these very things. If I was the sole creator of every single thought/action in the universe I would surely want those thoughts and actions to at least please me to some certain degree. Is this how our universe works?

Here is a more likely scenario: Yes, God created the external environment. However, we as humans who have free will can decide how we respond to the environment. You and I might be trapped inside a burning building, you might try to escape and I might try rescue others who are trapped. Without free will, there is no such thing as morality, as what we do isn't actually our fault and hence shouldn't be punished for it. However, according to the Bible, God does punish people for their wrongful actions.

Also, my opponent said that God created our thought process.

Why would God create this thought process if "thought" really doesn't exist? If God is all powerful and he implements our thoughts, then we don't need a thought process because we don't need to think, God tells us what to think. However, since God created this thought process he must of wanted us to think for ourselves, and not wanted him to do the thinking.
Debate Round No. 2
Rook

Pro

My opponent argues that God would not allow bad things such as murder or atheism to take place without Free Will, because he is good.

However, you provide no evidence to support a benevolent God, and I believe I can provide sufficient evidence to prove that he is, in fact, not only not benevolent, but malevolent.

Isaiah 45:7 (King James Version)
7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.{1}

I think we can both agree that God creating evil is, in itself, an evil act.

Joshua 8:1-29 (New King James Version)
The Fall of Ai
1 Now the LORD said to Joshua: "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2 And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it."
3 So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai; and Joshua chose thirty thousand mighty men of valor and sent them away by night. 4 And he commanded them, saying: "Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind the city. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. 5 Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city; and it will come about, when they come out against us as at the first, that we shall flee before them. 6 For they will come out after us till we have drawn them from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.' Therefore we will flee before them. 7 Then you shall rise from the ambush and seize the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 8 And it will be, when you have taken the city, that you shall set the city on fire. According to the commandment of the LORD you shall do. See, I have commanded you."
9 Joshua therefore sent them out; and they went to lie in ambush, and stayed between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua lodged that night among the people. 10 Then Joshua rose up early in the morning and mustered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 11 And all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near; and they came before the city and camped on the north side of Ai. Now a valley lay between them and Ai. 12 So he took about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13 And when they had set the people, all the army that was on the north of the city, and its rear guard on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley.
14 Now it happened, when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose early and went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at an appointed place before the plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15 And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16 So all the people who were in Ai were called together to pursue them. And they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city. 17 There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel. So they left the city open and pursued Israel.
18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand." And Joshua stretched out the spear that was in his hand toward the city. 19 So those in ambush arose quickly out of their place; they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and they entered the city and took it, and hurried to set the city on fire. 20 And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and behold, the smoke of the city ascended to heaven. So they had no power to flee this way or that way, and the people who had fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers.
21 Now when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and struck down the men of Ai. 22 Then the others came out of the city against them; so they were caught in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side. And they struck them down, so that they let none of them remain or escape. 23 But the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.
24 And it came to pass when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness where they pursued them, and when they all had fallen by the edge of the sword until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25 So it was that all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand—all the people of Ai. 26 For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27 Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as booty for themselves, according to the word of the LORD which He had commanded Joshua. 28 So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation to this day. 29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until evening. And as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his corpse down from the tree, cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raise over it a great heap of stones that remains to this day.{2}

Here is a prime example of the evil of God; He commands Israel to demolish an entire town, massacring it's population when it would have been much easier to simply march the ambush forces through the town unchallenged, forcing Ai's troops to surrender.

"Here is a more likely scenario: Yes, God created the external environment. However, we as humans who have free will can decide how we respond to the environment. You and I might be trapped inside a burning building, you might try to escape and I might try rescue others who are trapped. Without free will, there is no such thing as morality, as what we do isn't actually our fault and hence shouldn't be punished for it. However, according to the Bible, God does punish people for their wrongful actions."
You continue to act under the presupposition that God is fair and just, but I contend that God would be just as capable of punishing a person for an act of good, or at least, for not committing an act of evil.

1 Kings 20:35-36 (New International Version)

A Prophet Condemns Ahab
35 By the word of the LORD one of the sons of the prophets said to his companion, "Strike me with your weapon," but the man refused.

36 So the prophet said, "Because you have not obeyed the LORD, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you." And after the man went away, a lion found him and killed him.{3}

Here, God kills a man for refusing to kill, or at least badly injure, a prophet, simply because the prophet told him to.

Also, my opponent said that God created our thought process.

"Why would God create this thought process if "thought" really doesn't exist? If God is all powerful and he implements our thoughts, then we don't need a thought process because we don't need to think, God tells us what to think. However, since God created this thought process he must of wanted us to think for ourselves, and not wanted him to do the thinking."

Even a machine has a "thought process". It can simply run through a program and make a "decision" based on a number of simple variables.

{1}http://www.biblegateway.com...;
{2}http://www.biblegateway.com...;
{3}http://www.biblegateway.com...
Republican95

Con

Republican95 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Rook 7 years ago
Rook
Thank you. ^_^
Posted by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
Welcome to DDO good luck with your first debate.
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