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Free will

muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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2/10/2013 9:40:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I was reading the "why did god make temptation" thread, in the religion section, when this thought came to me. Free will, as a theist using it as an argument for why their god did some such thing, can only refer to the free will to choose from a list of thing. Else wise we would have to be given the choice to do anything. But what is the difference between the list a theist might purport, and the same list missing the item listed as "evil deeds". What is so special about the ability to do evil, that it has to make the free will list for it to really be free will, but destroying god doesn't have to? Or becoming gods long lost uncle Peter, who happens to be more powerful? What is the difference between these two acts, and being evil and sinfully, that means they don't have to make the list?
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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2/10/2013 9:57:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/10/2013 9:40:04 PM, muzebreak wrote:
I was reading the "why did god make temptation" thread, in the religion section, when this thought came to me. Free will, as a theist using it as an argument for why their god did some such thing, can only refer to the free will to choose from a list of thing. Else wise we would have to be given the choice to do anything. But what is the difference between the list a theist might purport, and the same list missing the item listed as "evil deeds". What is so special about the ability to do evil, that it has to make the free will list for it to really be free will, but destroying god doesn't have to? Or becoming gods long lost uncle Peter, who happens to be more powerful? What is the difference between these two acts, and being evil and sinfully, that means they don't have to make the list?

I am not a theist, but what you're having problems with is the difference between intent and action.

One can intend anything; that's the nature of free will. Now, killing god (or whatever) is not physically possible for us (of course, from my perspective it's because he doesn't exist, but that's not the point here); however, we can intend to do so, and attempt to find ways to do so. God could allow us to choose evil, but simply prevent it from ever happening, but if he did that, it would require his direct intervention, as what prevents us from killing god is the same that prevents a short kid from reaching the top shelf, while what would prevent us from doing evil would have to be some heretofore nonexistent principle. After all, swinging your arm is neutral, but swinging it into someone's face for no reason is evil; what mechanism would allow the first but prevent the second?
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muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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2/10/2013 10:09:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/10/2013 9:57:41 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 2/10/2013 9:40:04 PM, muzebreak wrote:
I was reading the "why did god make temptation" thread, in the religion section, when this thought came to me. Free will, as a theist using it as an argument for why their god did some such thing, can only refer to the free will to choose from a list of thing. Else wise we would have to be given the choice to do anything. But what is the difference between the list a theist might purport, and the same list missing the item listed as "evil deeds". What is so special about the ability to do evil, that it has to make the free will list for it to really be free will, but destroying god doesn't have to? Or becoming gods long lost uncle Peter, who happens to be more powerful? What is the difference between these two acts, and being evil and sinfully, that means they don't have to make the list?

I am not a theist, but what you're having problems with is the difference between intent and action.

One can intend anything; that's the nature of free will. Now, killing god (or whatever) is not physically possible for us (of course, from my perspective it's because he doesn't exist, but that's not the point here); however, we can intend to do so, and attempt to find ways to do so. God could allow us to choose evil, but simply prevent it from ever happening, but if he did that, it would require his direct intervention, as what prevents us from killing god is the same that prevents a short kid from reaching the top shelf, while what would prevent us from doing evil would have to be some heretofore nonexistent principle. After all, swinging your arm is neutral, but swinging it into someone's face for no reason is evil; what mechanism would allow the first but prevent the second?

Ok, I see. Thanks for helping me with that. Though I think the problem still stands, just changed. There is still the issue of the ability for evil actions, but not certain other actions, like becoming gods uncle Peter. I think my objection is still valid to an extent, but I have a better understanding of it.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.