The Instigator
FreeYourMind
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
philochristos
Con (against)
Winning
2 Points

omniscience and omnipotence equals no freewill

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
philochristos
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 458 times Debate No: 89196
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

FreeYourMind

Pro

not going to use 8,000 characters. everything will be taken in clear black and white. commonsense must be needed, thanks. use your brain! ;)

If God is all-knowing then He would have already known if you were going to Heaven or Hell before He made you in the first place. He knew every single action you were going to commence before He created you. He knew if you were going to love the world before He made you. How can you say you have freewill (addressed to believers), if there is a source of omniscience and omnipotence? should it not be commonsense? If God is all-knowing, why does He get "mad" or "angry" if He already knew if he was going to hate Satan? Thats like me knowing tomorrow I am going to get fired (assuming i am all-knowing). Why would i get mad if I knew way beforehand? The fact Christians are OK with predestination is ridiculous! If God loves you, why would He bother making you knowing you were going to go to Hell? what if youaare born in a islamic family? hmm? I am open-minded and nonjudgmental so please relax. I became agnostic after living through a harsh baptist school 6th to 12th.
philochristos

Con

Greetings and felicitations! I would like to say, first of all, that I do not subscribe to libertarian free will. However, i do not think any argument from omniscience and/or omnipotence against free will is sound, which is why I'm accepting this debate.

The meaning of the resolution

If it's true that omniscience and omnipotence equals no free will, then there must be something incompatible between the claim that God is omniscience and omnipotent on the one hand and the claim that somebody has free will on the other hand. That is to say, these two claims contain some sort of contradiction:

1. God is omniscient and omnipotent.
2. Somebody has free will.

Since free will is defined in various ways in philosophy, we can only guess the meaning Pro had in mind. My best guess is that Pro was thinking of the libertarian version of free will since that's the view most people who raise this argument have in mind. Hardly anybody thinks the compatibilist version is inconsistent with omnicience and omnipotence.

J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig defined libertarian free will this way:

"When an agent acts freely, he is the first or unmoved mover; no event or efficient cause causes him to act. His desires or beliefs may influence his choice or play an important role in his deliberations, but free acts are not determined or caused by prior events or states in the agent; rather, they are spontaneously done by the agent himself acting as a first mover." [1]

This is the view that is supposedly at odds with God being omniscient and omnipotent.

Pro's case

Statements or claims can contradict each other in one of three ways--explicitly, formally, or implicitly.

An explicit contradiction is when one claim is the negation of another. For example, these two claims contradict each other:

3. My dog barks.
4. My dog does not bark.

Clearly, 1 and 2 are not explicitly contradictory since neither claim is the negation of the other.

A formal contradiction is when you have a set of statements such that one can deduce, by the logical laws of inference, a new statement that turns out to be the negation of one of the other statements in the set. Take this set of statements for example:

5. All men are mortal.
6. Socrates is a man.
7. Socrates is not mortal.

None of these statements is the negation of any of the other statements. However, from 5 and 6, one can deduce this statement:

8. Socrates is mortal.

And since 8 is explicitly contradicts 7, the original set is formally contradictory. However, as we can see, nothing can be deduced from 1 and 2 that would yield an exlicit contradiction. Therefore, the set containing 1 and 2 is not formally contradictory.

An implicit contradiction is when there is a set of statements such that adding another statements that is actually true (not merely possibly true) yields a formally contradictory set. Take these statements for example:

6. Socrates is a man.
7. Socrates is not mortal.

There is neither an explicit nor a formal contradiction in this set since (a) neither claim is the negation of the other, and (2) nothing can be deduced from these statements that would be the negation of another member of the set. However, it happens to be true that:

5. All men are mortal.

And when 5 is added to the set, it renders the set formally contradictory.

If Pro has any hope in showing that 1 and 2 are contradictory, he must mean they are implicitly contradictory since they are neither explicitly nor formally contradictory. But to demonstrate that they are implicitly contradictory, he must provide the true statement that when added to 1 and 2 produces a formally contradictory set.

So far Pro hasn't done that. Instead, he just asks a couple of rhetorical question: "How can you say you have freewill (addressed to believers), if there is a source of omniscience and omnipotence? should it not be commonsense?" The best I can make out is that Pro's argument relies on the premise that it's just common sense that free will is incompatible with ominiscience and omnipotence.

Before any sense can be common, it must be held by the majority of people. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. The majority of Christians for the last two thousand years have believed both in free will and in God's omniscience and omnipotence, but they have not seen any contradiction between these two views.

But perhaps Pro means something different by "common sense" than merely "sense that is common." Maybe he means something like, "obvious" or "plainly evidence." It wouldn't be much of a debate to propose a resolution, then to simply say, "It's obvious that I'm right," and leave it at that. That's not debating. So even taking Pro's argument in the most charitible fashion, we're left without a real case for his point of view. In any case, it's not obvious to me nor many others. Pro will have to show it through arguments. Until then, his buren of proof will be unmet.

The case against the resolution

As I showed earlier, a free act is an act that is not caused by prior states or events, whether inside or outside of a person. The only way omniscience or omnipotence could negate free will is if they caused a person to act. But knowledge doesn't cause anybody to act. And it doesn't matter whether the knowledge happens before the event or after the event. My knowledge of who won the last election didn't cause anybody to win that election. And if I happened to have known ahead of time who was going to win, my knowledge wouldn't have caused that person to win either. That is because when it comes to knowledge, the direction of causation (or entailment if you like) goes the other way around. Things aren't the way they are because of the fact that we know them to be that way. Rather, we know them to be that way, because that's the way they are. I don't drink Dr. Pepper because God knows I'm going to drink Dr. Pepper. Rather, God knows I'm going to drink Dr. Pepper because that's what I'm going to do. Me drinking Dr. Pepper is what causes God to know it. God knowing it isn't what causes me to drink it. Therefore, I can drink Dr. Pepper freely even if God knows it.

Omnipotence can only have causal power over events if it is being excercised. But the fact that God is all powerful doesn't mean God is exerting that power over every event. The fact that God could cause a person to act one way or another doesn't mean he does cause the person to act one way or another. So the only way omnipotence could be inconsistent with free will is if having omnipotence entails that God must exercise that power over every act. However, by the very nature of being omnipotence, God would have the power both to act and to refrain from acting. If God chose to refrain from acting causally over his creatures, then the acts of those creatures would not be causally determined by God's power. Therefore, God's omnipotence, far from being inconsistent with free will, actually entails that free will is possible.

Some irrelevancies

Lest anyone think I'm ignoring part of what Pro said, I thought I ought to add this section. Pro raised a number of questions that seem to me to be irrelevant to the resolution. Whether God has any reason to be angry on the supposition that he knows what's going to happen is not relevant to the question of whether omniscience and omnipotence are logically consistent with free will. Whether God has any reason for creating people he knows ahead of time are going to hell is also irrelevant to the question of whether omnicience and omnipotence are compatible with free will. I just wanted to acknowledge that I read everything Pro said but did not think it was all relevant to the resolution. Or, if it is relevant, then Pro needs to give us more argument.

Conclusion

I have demonstrated that Pro made no sound argument in favor of the resolution. I took the further step in demonstrating that the resolution is false. That is all I have to say for now.




NOTES

1. Craig and Moreland, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, p.270.


Debate Round No. 1
FreeYourMind

Pro

FreeYourMind forfeited this round.
philochristos

Con

Oh no! My opponent has forfeited!
Debate Round No. 2
FreeYourMind

Pro

FreeYourMind forfeited this round.
philochristos

Con

My apponent has forfeited again. It wasn't much of a debate, I guess. It would be nice if you'd vote anyway, though, so I don't have another debate end up in the "tied" section. Thank you for your time.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Jack_Dead 8 months ago
Jack_Dead
I am really grateful that you replied
(btw TvT and OuO represents the face of a person, expressing writer's feeling by using a Picture form)
I haven't studied Philosophy, but im really interested in that matter

Please forgive my never ending curiosity, but i dont understand what free will means:
is it to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention?

Notice that the Predetermined choice & making your own choice is not Contradictory
That means someone can make a choice on their own and Fit into the Predetermined choices at the same time.

However, the case will still be concerned no free will, according to definition (cuz its predetermined)
So your example is still considered no free will

Umm.. am I on the right track here ?
Posted by philochristos 8 months ago
philochristos
What does "TvT" and "OuO" mean?

If I understand you right, you're saying that if God is omnipotent and wants to stop sin, then we shouldn't expect there to be any sin because God would prevent it. And if God prevented sin, he would be fixing the outcome and elminating free will.

But even if we grant your premises, it wouldn't follow that there was no free will. Suppose there are two people who both have free will. God know ahead of time that if left to themselves, one of the person will freely do right, and the other will freely do wrong. But God wants both of them to do right. In that case, God would only need to impose his power over the will of the one who would otherwise freely do wrong. He can leave the other one alone, and that one will freely do right.

So even if it's true that God would always prevent sin, it doesn't follow that there's no free will.
Posted by Jack_Dead 8 months ago
Jack_Dead
Share your knowledge to the world OuO
Posted by Jack_Dead 8 months ago
Jack_Dead
Come on TvT,
I am just asking for advice...
Posted by philochristos 8 months ago
philochristos
Jack, maybe we can debate that some time in the future.
Posted by Jack_Dead 8 months ago
Jack_Dead
Great debate Con!
I know that this is an old debate, but can anyone clear my thoughts ?
I believe the pro side also wanted to express this as well :

1)IF God dont want sins
2)People can sins
3)IF God is omnipotence, [and are willing to stop sins (1)]
4)Then people can no longer sins
5)The outcome is fixed, hence no freewill
(free acts are determined or caused by prior events or states in the agent - God's will)

In that case where we can confirm God dont want sins and he is omipotent, dosent that mean Pro is correct ?
Posted by philochristos 10 months ago
philochristos
Why, thank you, Max.
Posted by MaxLamperouge 10 months ago
MaxLamperouge
Cool debate, well structured Con.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by illegalcombat 10 months ago
illegalcombat
FreeYourMindphilochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeits 2/3, Conduct to Con.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 10 months ago
dsjpk5
FreeYourMindphilochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff many times, so conduct to Con.