The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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The contradiction between free will and omniscience prove the Christian god a fiction.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 608 times Debate No: 77894
Debate Rounds (4)
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In this debate we will discuss whether an omnipotent being can create beings with free will. It'll be a four-round debate where the Pro takes the view that he cannot, and if the claim is made, the claim is false. The Con will defend and argue that somehow it is reasonable that their omniscient god created agents with free will and in doing so defend the claim that god exists.

Claims for god - God is omniscient, omnipotent, eternal and transcendent of time. God hates sin, but everything he makes works according to his plan.

Claims for man - Humanity inherited sin from the original sin. Men choose to sin because they have free will and knowledge of good and evil, though are tempted to sin by god"s creation satan.

Omniscient " All-knowing.
Omnipotent " All powerful.
Transcendent " Existing outside of the universe; not physical.
Eternal " Always existing and never changing.
Free Will " Making a decision without something external controlling, influencing or determining your decision. The person is the cause of their own choice. Nothing else causes their choice.
Sin " An immoral value assigned to certain acts by god, mostly forgiven, but at least partially punishable (such as rejecting the holy spirit).
Predetermination " An event was determined by a previous event which is the cause of the event.

Step 1 - If earth doesn't exist god still knows what choices Adam and Eve will make on any given earth.
Step 2- If earth doesn't exist god still knows what sins will follow Adam and Eve's children.
Step 3 - If earth doesn't exist god still knows Bill Clinton will have an affair.
Step 4 - God made this exact earth and (presumably) no other earth and knows wholly what will happen on it.
Step 5 - God must create a reality predetermined by his knowledge of it.
Step 6 " Adam and Eve eating the apple was predetermined, and therefore caused, by god.
Step 7 " Adam and Eve can"t have free will.
Step 7 - Bill Clinton's affair was predetermined, and therefore caused, by god.
Step 8 - Bill Clinton doesn't have free will.
Step 9- The religion claims people have free will and god is omniscient.
Conclusion - The religion is illogical. Either god knowingly causes all sin, or god lies about his omniscience, or god"s flaws are due to being a fiction of men.

Responses to common rebuttals...

Rebuttal Type 1 - God gave use free will and sin because otherwise we would be robots.

My Response to 1 - An argument from gods motivation does not fix the logic break. If the bible said "And god made all things to be red." and I pointed out the sky was blue you would not reply "God made all things to be red for a reason." That would not resolve my problem with the blue sky.

Rebuttal Type 2 - Knowledge of the future does not limit free will.

My Response to 2 - This doesn't seem to be logical. Free will is defined as the ability to make a choice without external constraints. You can decide between multiple options, and until you make your decision, what you decide upon is not predestined. But if god made us with foreknowledge of what we would do, he made specifically a universe in which we would commit specific sins. We cannot escape our fate if god knows our fate. Therefore when we sin, god is the cause. "Naa-aa" is not a rebuttal. You have to explain how Bill Clinton could choose not to have an affair if god knew for certain he would have an affair.

Rebuttal Type 3 " Omniscience means "knowing everything there is to know." A person"s decision is not a knowable value, therefore it doesn"t apply to god"s omniscience.

My Response to 3 " Though this may be applicable in a vacuum, when paired with "omnipotence" it doesn"t stack up. For you are telling me there are values which will exist, but can"t be known by god. This means god is impotent to know these things. Which one is god? Impotent or omnipotent? For if he is all powerful he needs only change the characteristic of a thing to be knowable, or change his own knowledge so that it includes hitertoo unknown values. Placing and external constraint on god, something that"s beyond him, defies the description of god and brings up the same problems.

Rebuttal Type 4 " To predetermine the acts of free people would be immoral. Since god is all good, god chooses to have no knowledge or power over his creation. He makes sin so we can have free will, because free will is dependent on knowledge of good and evil. But god is powerless to do anything besides the right thing.

My Response to 4 " If god is limited by his nature, he is not omnipotent. For that limitation is immediately something which he can never exceed; he is impotent before himself. But also it is argued that god has a plan for all things, which makes no sense if god is powerless to let human events go unordained. This makes god like a whirlpool which is great, powerful and persistent, yet powerless to do anything but move in one direction. This defeats his own claim; he is omnipotent and can therefore have power over the terms of good and evil. He is omniscient and therefore must establish his plan according to his knowledge of the future he creates. Besides this he establishes a satan to drag souls to the underworld in everlasting torture. None of this lends to a sympathetic hero, infinitely powerful, and powerless before the decisions of his creation to be punished by him for not believing.


I’m making the assumption we aren’t debating God’s sovereignty over free will. I don’t think any Christian disagrees that the maker of heaven and earth can take away your freedom if he wishes, as it is clearly written that pharaoh’s heart was hardened during the exodus period showing that God clearly has the ability. The reason why we believe free-will exist is because he has enabled this feature within us. We're just debating essentially that free will is incompatible with omnisciene, and that this incompatibility would be proof in disproving the christian view of God.

1. Defense of God’s existence

Argument from Prophecy. Well for a defense of God’s existence I’m going to argue that the Bible does assert God’s existence, it even has records of God’s conversations with mankind. After all the Bible has been pretty accurate with it’s prophecy, which is why I’m inclined to believe it. It has predicted the return of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6) It has postdicted the expansion of the universe long before it was discovered to be true (Job 9:8, Isaiah 40:22), the coming of skeptics that are uniformists (2 Peter 3:3-4). There are more, but I want avoid Argument Galloping here, so I'll just present a few for now.

Argument from Testimony. It’s not just the Bible but a lot of people testify to God’s existence, not just that, but also that he has changed them in a good way. Anyone who has been to a church or has read Christian literature knows this to be true. Tell me, do you disagree that people’s lives have been changed by God?

2 Dissonance on Pro’s Position

A) Pro’s Steps

I disagree with step 7”: Adam and Eve can’t have free will. This I think would be unbiblical. Mainly because when God created man, he made them in his image. The thing is, God is free, so logically his image is free. While step 6 is sort of correct in the sense that God is the root of the cause of Adam and Eve, but they didn’t sin because God decided them to, it’s because he gave them his image, which is what enabled them to do it.

Step 5-6 is a little confusing, and I think is making the fallacy of equivocation (or atleast some fallacy, it doesn't soind right). I don’t disagree that many things in reality are determined in the past by God, for example the shape of the earth and the laws of the universe were determined by God without any input from the creation’s free will (as free will didn’t exist among creation back then). But in step 6 predetermined I think is used in the sense of controlled the events, which I don’t think is what happened. I think the event was being controlled by the free-will agents themselves not necessarily by God. So predetermination here would mean a little more like pre-allowed, as he allowed these agents to play out their own course here that they determined.

I disagree with the conclusion. Illogical, not really. I subscribe to the idea that God knowingly caused all sin (atleast he’s the reason why sin exists at all), after all he is the maker of the good, the bad, and the ugly… and he is all knowing. So this must be logically true. So the question is what causes God to let sin exist? You might say because he’s a malice God. But I don’t think that. I think it not because he’s malice, but because he wants people to have free-will. So yeah, God is the root of the problem of sin, but it’s not done out of malice, he does it so that you’re free to be you, because he loves you. Does that make any sense?

In summary, the reason why you sin is because of free will. The reason free will exists is because of God. God is at the root of the problem, but he doesn’t do it out of hate but love.

B) Foreknowledge does not necessarily limit free will.

Notice here that my argument is slightly different then rebuttle type 2. I’m not saying that an all-knowing being can’t influence people’s free-will, on the contrary, I think the being can… However he is not required to limit free will. An omniscient being not only knows the casual relationships of our entire continuum (“foreknowledge”), but the abstract relationships of everything. When I use the term abstract I’m talking about things like free will, numbers, ideas, etc... You know, the metaphysics.

So if God is aware of your own autonomy all the time, he may choose to interact in such a way as to not violate it. In Bill Clinton’s case, he may have chosen to not interact with the outcome because he may be aware that Bill Clinton is an actual individual capable of making his own decisions. Think about it, maybe the reason why God let that happen is because Bill Clinton is actually a free-will agent, not an actual robot. It just simply depends on the omniscient being sense of ethics, rather he plans on using his omniscient to abuse affairs of free will or not.

Debate Round No. 1


0. Sovereignty Over Free Will

Your initial assumption is correct. I could accept that the omnipotent god would have the power to give or take free will just as a computer programmer has the power to turn his programs off and on.

1. Rebuttal to Arguments for God’s Existence

  1. Numerous religions cite vague prophecies to justify themselves. In the case of the expansion of the universe this doesn’t seem to be a very good prophecy. Isaiah 40:22 and Jobs 9:8 are not necessarily expressing the expansion of the universe for they may be used truly in different contexts. Were the universe encompassing us but not expanding these statements would still explain reality. Just a cursory glance upward at the sky makes one feel as though the heavens are stretched over the earth like a tent. It is easy to re-interpret the bible to fit new information, but looking at it with more ancient eyes this seems like the kind of stuff a man in the 2000’s BCE could write. Especially considering in Jobs the way stretching out the universe is aesthetically, but not logically, paired with the idea of “treading upon the water”. This was considered a marvel in its time. Gilgamesh had to learn that the hard way. Today mortal men find it easy to accomplish the power of gods. I need only water skiis to tread water. That the tent above this earth is so is also self-evident, therefore not prophesised, but that the earth is a circle is certainly incorrect.

Here is a far superior Quranic claim to the creation of the universe: “Have they not, those who disbelieve, seen that the heavens and earth were joined together (as one piece), then We (Allah) parted them.” This argument is fantastic because it firstly relates to how non-believing scientists have evidence that the universe began at a single point and argue thence the expansion of the universe as caused by god. Alas, the quran is filled with just as many bad prophecies or statements as the bible. In one case a miracle of knowledge is claimed that the quran says pain comes from skin nerves by citing how burning away the flesh necessitates new skins to be grown to endure the pain again. Yet later it’s claimed he’ll pour boiling water that scalds your insides. Ah well. How can true works be filled with bad passages? Just because of the broken telephone? Well, Islam thought otherwise. They figured god would have sent down a method of transmission which would be flawless. The argument might be human understanding is poor. Yet it’s equally as evident that religious works are as poor as any works of men.

  1. I’ve known many who have given bad testimony. I knew woman who truly believed in her religious experiences. Such as a raindrop falling through her glasses proving an easy-to-explain life experience a miracle. Christ appearing before her on her bed to tell her how her sons are going to hell but her daughter is going to heaven. Yet I’ve looked up many times in the rain and have had water splash around my glasses and into my eyes. And there’s the matter of her middle son who now endures truly horrible schizophrenia. If her son sees things too, but those things are definitely not real or Christian could it not be she has the same disorder as he? And if she can, cannot others? And how can you just as easily pass off all those experiences from other religions? Surely people’s lives are changed by religions of all sorts. But my life has been greatly influenced by Lord of the Rings and the Silmarilion. Does this mean Eru Ilúvatar is real? And how can you say Christianity validates itself by changing the lives of Christians, and deny that Buddhism changes the lives of Buddhists for the better to?

But, come now. We are not here to verify the existence of god outside the arguments of this debate. Before other arguments to support god can be verified, god himself must stand before his own errors in logic.

2. The Apparent Dissonance in Pro Claims are the Dissonance in Biblical Claims

It is sensible that you would reject claim 7 for not being biblical. But my claim is that the bible is fiction and logic can demonstrate so. If the logic defies the claim of the bible and still remains logical the counter argument that something is not biblical does not invalidate my claim. Potentially something may be both unbiblical and true. I would argue an image cannot be free; that is what makes it an image. If I have a picture of myself it resembles me,but it can only resemble me. It cannot be instead something different from me except that it is an image. And if the image is ugly it is either the fault of the photographer or because I am ugly.

3. Predetermination and Fate

If I were to make something such that I could be called its cause then I would also be responsible for the effect of that cause. This is logically consistent with itself for we do not say guns kill people – people kill people. A gun is not a person though. What is a person? A person appears to be an agent caught in a context which acts accordingly to however. Its action are usually dependant on the context. For example: a person in a car approaching an intersection cannot choose there to jump off a bridge or fly away in a plane. He is restricted to a number of choices: drive left, drive right, drive forward, leave the car, don’t drive at all, etc… Each moment is caused by the previous one in a dance of causality. What’s questioned is: when a human is making a choice, is that choice made by a predictable, mechanical process? Or does the human have an immaterial soul with which to decide? You may argue in the case of the latter a human is not bound to a materialist account of choice. This makes no sense for god must know what his creation is and how it works and why, and if he made the souls of men then this must be no different. Material or immaterial, choice is determined. When he then thinks about the universe and creates it he must also know every other possible outcome for any humans. Being infinite and eternal he could create any universe or every universe. Yet he makes this universe, and therefore he causes this universe, knowingly, all of its events and choices included.

Now, for my action to be “free will” it needs to not be determined. But if at the first moment of creation all that will happen is determined, then none may have the will to choose freely to do anything except that which god knows they will do. And though he could have made any universe, including one which he is not omnipotent of; he made this one of which he is omnipotent over. So it’s illogical that we can have free will at all, and if god chooses then that we have free will, he chooses not to be omniscient, which is to lack power over all knowledge which furthermore kills his omnipotence. Yet he claims both! Either he lies which is malicious, or the errors in his logic are because he is a human fabrication. Certainly such errors commonly occur when humans fabricate something. With regards to cause and control, and like the programmer, god needs not control every moment of reality in order for him to cause it. He causes every event by creating the first one and all it’s causal and metaphysical values. And if he causes me to act, I do not cause my action and therefore I am not free to choose.

So when you say god is the root of choice, we choose to sin, we suffer for god’s love… I see no logic, merely an explanation, or a preference. I appreciate the effort. It’s better constructed than any opponent yet, as I predicted (which is not proof of my divinity lol). But you give arguments from god’s motivation and skirt around reasoning about free will, cause, predestination, etc...

4. Equivocation Fallacy

I admit your claim to my fallacy was made with uncertainty, that this fallacy might not be the case and instead it might be another. Here’s a syllogism to demonstrate that this is not fallacious reasoning where I misuse the stated terms in one way in one case and another in another, but instead consistently logical reasoning:

  1. God predetermines what his creations on earth will do necessarily by omnipotence.
  2. Adam and Eve ate the apple on earth.
  3. Adam and Eve necessarily cannot choose not to eat the apple, because god knows they will.
  4. Therefore Adam and Eve’s choices to eat the apple were predetermined and not caused by free will.

I think when this is paired with my arguments in 3. Predetermination and Fate, we see strongly that Adam and Eve nor anyone can control their fate before god. They can only fulfil the condition of his knowledge. Like the computer programmer, god need not control every moment of that reality. He need only create that reality and let it play out the way he knows it will.

5. Foreknowledge does not necessarily limit free will.

I generally agree with the statement, but I disagree with the way you defend it. I once had a conversation with someone comparing an all-knowing passive observer with an all-knowing creator. We were discussing whether or not omnipotence always kills free will. We came to the conclusion that adding the term “creator” is what breaks free will. Because necessarily that which you create, you create to fulfill your knowledge of it. Whereas a passive observer will always know what will occur, but doesn’t cause or control it by virtue of being a non-participant. Similarly if the observer were not passive and interjected into reality, it could effect it and control it, but it would only ever be the cause of what it changed. That being has the virtue of being able to control parts of reality without fully inflicting death upon free will. This comes back again to my programmer analogy. God causes things, not by controlling them in the moment, but by declaring them eternally, acting to cause them, and allowing nothing else to occur except that which he knows.

I re-iterate my conclusion… God is not a logical entity. He cannot exist as stated, and that makes it easiest to explain that he does not exist.



1) Defense of God’s existence

A) Argument from Biblical Prophecy.

You completely dropped two of my evidences on prophecy. 1) The return of Israel, and 2) Scoffers that are uniformists. I’m assuming you agree with them?

The word circle here in Isiah 40:22 comes from the Hebrew word Khug, which can mean sphere. ( I don’t see how responding to the “water skis” anology is relevant to my argument because I was using that verse for reference of expansion of the universe.

I think it’s logically fallacious to assert that “scientists” believed in an expanding universe in those days, most of the ancient cosmological models were static till Hubble. Aristotle was pretty stressful over the fact. I’m pretty certain the Quaran isn’t talking about scientists when it was talking about disbelievers. At least, none that were in mainstream science. There simply was no evidence since Hubble’s telescope.

I do find it ironic that in the first paragraph of your rebuttle you talk about the vagueness of religious prophecy, and then use a Qur’anic verse that is clearly referencing the expansion of the universe in a not vague way … Did anyone else catch that?

B) Argument from Testimony.

Well, I do agree with you that not everyone’s testimony are perfect. But you seemed to agree that religion does change you. I’ll respond to the varies quotes here

I knew woman who truly believed in her religious experiences I don’t know your woman, so I can’t give much response to the incident. I believe in God, and I know I don’t have schizophrenia. I can assure you not everyone that believes in God has it.

My life has been greatly influenced by Lord of the Rings and the Silmarilion. You do know that Tolkien was a devout catholic right? He was the guy that pretty much converted C. S. Lewis. His lord of the rings trilogy had both catholic and Christian elements in it, and Tolkien said that himself.

No one is testifying that Eru Ilúvatar exists (Being influenced by and testifying are two different things). And it would be doubted because the author was Christian, granted he was probably using it as a metaphor for the Christian God.

And deny that Buddhism changes the lives of Buddhists for the better to? From whence are the testimonies of buddahists? I’ve never seen a Buddhist monk on my door, testifying how budda has changed him. I’ve seen Christians but not the monks. It’s like they don’t even care.I live in America, one of the most religiously free places on earth to be…. There’s just simply no excuse why they aren’t sharing their testimony.

2. Dissonance on Pro’s Position

Picture Analogy
This isn’t really a good analogy. Pictures don’t have the ability to have free will simply because it only copies over visual data… The thing is, free will is immaterial, so it doesn’t have any visual data. However, if we’re talking about copying over immaterials to say a robot or a computer, such is possible because numbers and language (code) are immaterial and can be used to translate ideas, concepts, and stuff like that over (or represent them). In theory, the soul can be represented mathematically, if so, God’s Spirit can be transmitted over. So the robot can be just as free as God, just so long as God doesn’t use his power to restrain it’s free will.

Potentially something may be both unbiblical and true Uhm… Can you demonstrate that to be true?

3. Predetermination and Fate

When a human is making a choice, is that choice made by a predictable, mechanical process? Or does the human have an immaterial soul with which to decide? Well yes it is predicable, your desires dictate what you’re going to pick. And no one can escape their own desires. To be clear here, free will doesn’t mean that you lack a will yourself, you are enslaved to your own will. The “free” part just means God isn’t controlling it.

Let me give you an example. If a person walks up to you and offers you great riches for free with no strings attached (say a trillion dollars), anyone can foreknow what you are going to pick because they know you desire it, and they might even know that you’re in need of it (say for family and stuff like that)

3A) Knowledge of the future is not Incompatible with Free Will

I’ll try and explain it in this paradigm, I know the future because I am the future. It’s true, I am the future of my past. Just cause it’s history, doesn’t mean my past self didn’t have free will. With omniscient, essentially everything is like history with you, because you can see the decisions of free will before it happens because you know history of the future. Rather or not an omniscient agent knows history before it happens, it’s irrelevant because I can’t escape my own history because I would cease to be me . If different decisions were made, it would be someone else's will. History is what defines you.

4. Equivocation Fallacy

Yeah, but then the argument is still incoherent because it uses the word “they”… If there is no free will there is no personal pronouns like they, you, or I… It would be like calling your computer a person, when it’s a machine. But then you’ll simply just change step 6 from “god knows they will.” To “God knows it will.” Which more or less makes this argument meaningless. *Sigh*

5. Foreknowledge does not necessarily limit free will.

The statement “Because necessarily that which you create, you create to fulfill your knowledge of it.” May or may not be true, but it isn’t relevant. The image of God is not created by God, for it is God. All things are created by God, except God himself, for He’s eternal, hence why the image is not created. There would be no need to declare it eternal because it’s already eternal. It’s basically a replica from something eternal. Does that make any sense?

I guess “cause” in this sense just merely means to work in the framework of one’s own image.

Debate Round No. 2


I_Voyager forfeited this round.


Opponent has forfeited, vote con.
Debate Round No. 3


I_Voyager forfeited this round.


debate is over. vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by I_Voyager 2 years ago
Apparently numeric lists seconded under other lists don't translate well from Word to Ah well. Hope the formatting issues don't make it harder to read...

The first two paragraphs of "1. Rebuttal to Arguments for God"s Existence" are supposed to be further distinct as "1." in conjunction with your formatting. Similarly in the case of the argument from testomony, that paragraph should be "2."

Additionally, the "syllogism" ought to be numbered "1-4" respectively, and I ought not have called it a syllogism, but adjusted it after the fact of writing which led to the error.
Posted by I_Voyager 2 years ago
Thank you Gryephon for accepting my challenge. Previously when I had proposed a debate like this I received someone too inexperienced in intellectual considerations and the debate was in disarray as a result. I have looked over some of the debates which you have participated in and I see this is most definitely not the case. I expect not only that you will make well-organized arguments, but that these arguments will be better organized than mine. I expect then to be challenged and to be bettered by the experience, which is what I truly seek.

But I do not expect to lose.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff many times. This is poor conduct.