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Does Free Will Exist in Christianity?

Valkrin
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10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." - Vaarka
Skynet
Posts: 674
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10/7/2015 11:02:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

God gave man free will in our creative capacity. He set Adam and Eve on Earth to take care of it, but gave them no specific instructions on how, he left it up to them. There are things God does not approve of that are possible simply because God has specific identifiable characteristics that contrast with what He is not. If God just was everything and no possibility or characteristic was outside himself, he would have no identifying characteristics, and he wouldn't be an individual.
God did not necessarily ordain that I ordered a sandwich instead of a wrap. Maybe he did, I don't know, but there are many times in the Bible where God tells people to "do whatever your hand finds for you to do," (1 Sam. 10:7) and uses the word "if" when talking about the actions of people. (2 Sam. 12:8, Gen. 11:6)
That doesn't mean God is not sovereign because he does not micromanage or ordain every action, and I use this analogy: Whether I break the law or not, the law is still sovereign over me.
And if I choose to follow God or not, he is still King of the Universe, and his will will ultimately prevail. I have freedom of movement, but I can't spoil his plan. He may sweep anyone into his plan at any time, though.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
BluePaul96
Posts: 6
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10/8/2015 1:56:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

Does free will exist in christianity? In my opinion technically yes but mostly no. Everyone has the freedom to decide what is right and wrong, and we are free to do whatever we like. And in that sense a christian, even the ones that literally interpret the bible exercises free will.

But I don't believe that those who choose to live their lives strictly based on the rules and principles of the Bible are truly free. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they are slaves of this book that they hold in such high regard. As a homosexual myself who grew up in a religious home, I could have very easily repressed my orientation and chose to live a life dedicated to christ where I married a woman just for the sake of satisfying the rules in this book. In fact I almost did choose that road, but through looking into things myself and through many discussions with friends and mentors I ended up doing otherwise. I don't see how people in similar situations who chose differently than I have truly exercise their free will.

Can you be christian and have free will? Of course you can to a certain extent. Look at all of the more liberal christians nowadays who cherry pick what is and what is not true in the bible. These individuals live on a system of belief which is a result of their own morals and concepts of what is wrong and what is right, what makes sense and what doesn't etc... But the same cannot be said for those who consider themselves "true christians" who literally interpret and live by what the bible says. These are people who base their entire moral code on what a book says and base their lifestyle on whatever the bible tells them to do. And although the more mild variants of christians don't do this; Christianity is still what decides how they spend their Sunday mornings and still loosely influences them morally.

So TL;DR: free will is still absent to a certain extent based on how strictly one follows Christianity.

A common thing I hear theists say is that "There is much to lose by being an atheist if God is real. And little to none to lose for a theists if he does not exist"

The problem with this, aside from the fact that Religion has been a detriment to mankind throughout history, and that if god isn't real the whole world is believing in something false, is simple. If god isn't real and you live your life by an old book, you could be giving up your sunday mornings, any possibility of a moral code based on your own experience, and living your life on false pretenses. Because of this I don't think anyone who lives a life of Christ, Allah, or any other religious dogma is truly free.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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10/9/2015 1:00:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

That's not accurate, there are many more scriptural references that God is not omniscient, and the ones typically seen to attribute omniscience to God are nebulous at best, the idea that God is omniscient is more philosophical than scriptural.

The God of the Bible is traditionally understood to be spatially and temporally transcendent, which is to say God is spatially and temporally omnipresent. In such a view, all moments of time, past, present, and future, exist simultaneously in the eternal perspective of God. In contrast, the human point of view is strictly temporal, and the contradiction of your argument is only an "apparent" contradiction from the temporally limited human perspective, it does not exist in the eternal perspective of a transcendent being as it is presented in Scripture.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

Even if one interprets scripture to match the philosophical conception of an omniscient being, your analysis still doesn't logically follow.

Your argument makes the implicit presumption that foreknowledge somehow equates to compulsion without providing the chain of reasoning that connects God"s unrevealed foreknowledge to such compulsion, and simply putting these concepts side by side in an argument does not by itself establish a causal or logical connection. Consequently, your argument presents a "spurious relationship" logical fallacy in which two premises have no logical connection and yet, it is implied that they do. It is not necessarily a logical proposition that foreknowledge of the choices individuals will make means that we have no free will to make those choices, it is just knowledge of the future event, it doesn't bring it about.

If you examine your argument from the two opposed points of view, one in which God has foreknowledge and one in which God did not see the future, a free agent would still make the same choices, seeing the future does not alter free will because there is no causality implied by the fact of foreknowledge.

If a psychic predicts with certainty that a meteor will strike your backyard tomorrow and then it happens, there is certainly no logical reason to conclude that the psychic was the cause of the meteor landing in your backyard.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Valkrin
Posts: 2,046
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10/9/2015 1:29:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/9/2015 1:00:55 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

That's not accurate, there are many more scriptural references that God is not omniscient, and the ones typically seen to attribute omniscience to God are nebulous at best, the idea that God is omniscient is more philosophical than scriptural.

The God of the Bible is traditionally understood to be spatially and temporally transcendent, which is to say God is spatially and temporally omnipresent. In such a view, all moments of time, past, present, and future, exist simultaneously in the eternal perspective of God. In contrast, the human point of view is strictly temporal, and the contradiction of your argument is only an "apparent" contradiction from the temporally limited human perspective, it does not exist in the eternal perspective of a transcendent being as it is presented in Scripture.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

Even if one interprets scripture to match the philosophical conception of an omniscient being, your analysis still doesn't logically follow.

Your argument makes the implicit presumption that foreknowledge somehow equates to compulsion without providing the chain of reasoning that connects God"s unrevealed foreknowledge to such compulsion, and simply putting these concepts side by side in an argument does not by itself establish a causal or logical connection. Consequently, your argument presents a "spurious relationship" logical fallacy in which two premises have no logical connection and yet, it is implied that they do. It is not necessarily a logical proposition that foreknowledge of the choices individuals will make means that we have no free will to make those choices, it is just knowledge of the future event, it doesn't bring it about.

If you examine your argument from the two opposed points of view, one in which God has foreknowledge and one in which God did not see the future, a free agent would still make the same choices, seeing the future does not alter free will because there is no causality implied by the fact of foreknowledge.

If a psychic predicts with certainty that a meteor will strike your backyard tomorrow and then it happens, there is certainly no logical reason to conclude that the psychic was the cause of the meteor landing in your backyard.

I didn't intend for my post to be an argument, instead it was meant for discussion.
But thank you for your post regardless. It was very informative.
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." - Vaarka
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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10/9/2015 2:46:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/9/2015 1:29:15 PM, Valkrin wrote:
At 10/9/2015 1:00:55 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

That's not accurate, there are many more scriptural references that God is not omniscient, and the ones typically seen to attribute omniscience to God are nebulous at best, the idea that God is omniscient is more philosophical than scriptural.

The God of the Bible is traditionally understood to be spatially and temporally transcendent, which is to say God is spatially and temporally omnipresent. In such a view, all moments of time, past, present, and future, exist simultaneously in the eternal perspective of God. In contrast, the human point of view is strictly temporal, and the contradiction of your argument is only an "apparent" contradiction from the temporally limited human perspective, it does not exist in the eternal perspective of a transcendent being as it is presented in Scripture.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

Even if one interprets scripture to match the philosophical conception of an omniscient being, your analysis still doesn't logically follow.

Your argument makes the implicit presumption that foreknowledge somehow equates to compulsion without providing the chain of reasoning that connects God"s unrevealed foreknowledge to such compulsion, and simply putting these concepts side by side in an argument does not by itself establish a causal or logical connection. Consequently, your argument presents a "spurious relationship" logical fallacy in which two premises have no logical connection and yet, it is implied that they do. It is not necessarily a logical proposition that foreknowledge of the choices individuals will make means that we have no free will to make those choices, it is just knowledge of the future event, it doesn't bring it about.

If you examine your argument from the two opposed points of view, one in which God has foreknowledge and one in which God did not see the future, a free agent would still make the same choices, seeing the future does not alter free will because there is no causality implied by the fact of foreknowledge.

If a psychic predicts with certainty that a meteor will strike your backyard tomorrow and then it happens, there is certainly no logical reason to conclude that the psychic was the cause of the meteor landing in your backyard.

I didn't intend for my post to be an argument, instead it was meant for discussion.
But thank you for your post regardless. It was very informative.

Thanks, I saw a chain of reasoning that I'd refer to as an argument, the idea is presented as a philosophical argument pretty often, but it always strikes me as somewhat backwards thinking. The existence of free will is clearly a central tenet of Christianity, but the idea of omniscience is not by any stretch of the imagination.

Right out of the starting gate in Genesis, God is depicted as explicitly not omniscient, Adam and Eve hid and God had to go find them and then he had to ask them questions, God had to "come down" to see what was up with the Tower of Babel, and he had to ask Jacob what his name was after they wrestled, God is clearly not being depicted as omniscient, and as I said, the typical references to omniscience in scripture are quite a stretch, the very definition of transcendence negates logical analysis in spatial and temporal terms.

The philosophical ideas of omniscience, omnipotence and especially omni-benevolence raise some very interesting philosophical discussions, but those premises just aren't very scripturally based.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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10/9/2015 5:42:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

fate and free will are relative to the knowledge of the observer.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,870
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10/13/2015 4:21:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/9/2015 2:46:50 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 10/9/2015 1:29:15 PM, Valkrin wrote:
At 10/9/2015 1:00:55 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

That's not accurate, there are many more scriptural references that God is not omniscient, and the ones typically seen to attribute omniscience to God are nebulous at best, the idea that God is omniscient is more philosophical than scriptural.

The God of the Bible is traditionally understood to be spatially and temporally transcendent, which is to say God is spatially and temporally omnipresent. In such a view, all moments of time, past, present, and future, exist simultaneously in the eternal perspective of God. In contrast, the human point of view is strictly temporal, and the contradiction of your argument is only an "apparent" contradiction from the temporally limited human perspective, it does not exist in the eternal perspective of a transcendent being as it is presented in Scripture.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

Even if one interprets scripture to match the philosophical conception of an omniscient being, your analysis still doesn't logically follow.

Your argument makes the implicit presumption that foreknowledge somehow equates to compulsion without providing the chain of reasoning that connects God"s unrevealed foreknowledge to such compulsion, and simply putting these concepts side by side in an argument does not by itself establish a causal or logical connection. Consequently, your argument presents a "spurious relationship" logical fallacy in which two premises have no logical connection and yet, it is implied that they do. It is not necessarily a logical proposition that foreknowledge of the choices individuals will make means that we have no free will to make those choices, it is just knowledge of the future event, it doesn't bring it about.

If you examine your argument from the two opposed points of view, one in which God has foreknowledge and one in which God did not see the future, a free agent would still make the same choices, seeing the future does not alter free will because there is no causality implied by the fact of foreknowledge.

If a psychic predicts with certainty that a meteor will strike your backyard tomorrow and then it happens, there is certainly no logical reason to conclude that the psychic was the cause of the meteor landing in your backyard.

I didn't intend for my post to be an argument, instead it was meant for discussion.
But thank you for your post regardless. It was very informative.

Thanks, I saw a chain of reasoning that I'd refer to as an argument, the idea is presented as a philosophical argument pretty often, but it always strikes me as somewhat backwards thinking. The existence of free will is clearly a central tenet of Christianity, but the idea of omniscience is not by any stretch of the imagination.

Right out of the starting gate in Genesis, God is depicted as explicitly not omniscient, Adam and Eve hid and God had to go find them and then he had to ask them questions, God had to "come down" to see what was up with the Tower of Babel, and he had to ask Jacob what his name was after they wrestled, God is clearly not being depicted as omniscient, and as I said, the typical references to omniscience in scripture are quite a stretch, the very definition of transcendence negates logical analysis in spatial and temporal terms.

This is completely wrong. Merely asking someone "where are you" doesn't logically only include a lack of knowledge where those people are, it also includes the attempt at discerning if a person will lie as to where they are, if the asker knows the answer to the question, then seeing if a lie is a response is also an aspect. And knowing before hand if they would lie is also a lesson for them, not for God ,or showing a lack of anything in regards to what God knows. So, you equating this as lack of knowledge shows a misunderstanding of intent in regards to the question(s). I'm sure your parents asked you questions they knew the answer to when you were a child to see if you would lie. The following inquiries also follow a perfectly logical line of reason. God is always represented as omniscient in the Bible, if one understands what is being said and taught.
Free will is also a duality issue. Will of the soul and will of the body/soul. Will of the body/soul is determined by 2 components, one of which is a stifled spiritual wisdom because of the physicality of existence. Will of the soul only includes wisdom that has been learned while in body/soul. Even Christ upon becoming Christ had free will, but his was to only do what God showed or willed for him to do. As the verse goes. Jesus said, "I do nothing lest I see the father do it first". Example of free will working to only do as God wills. But the decision to wait for God to show Jesus what to do would still be Jesus' will.

The philosophical ideas of omniscience, omnipotence and especially omni-benevolence raise some very interesting philosophical discussions, but those premises just aren't very scripturally based.
treeless
Posts: 64
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10/13/2015 6:04:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/13/2015 4:21:45 AM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 10/9/2015 2:46:50 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 10/9/2015 1:29:15 PM, Valkrin wrote:
At 10/9/2015 1:00:55 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

That's not accurate, there are many more scriptural references that God is not omniscient, and the ones typically seen to attribute omniscience to God are nebulous at best, the idea that God is omniscient is more philosophical than scriptural.

The God of the Bible is traditionally understood to be spatially and temporally transcendent, which is to say God is spatially and temporally omnipresent. In such a view, all moments of time, past, present, and future, exist simultaneously in the eternal perspective of God. In contrast, the human point of view is strictly temporal, and the contradiction of your argument is only an "apparent" contradiction from the temporally limited human perspective, it does not exist in the eternal perspective of a transcendent being as it is presented in Scripture.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

Even if one interprets scripture to match the philosophical conception of an omniscient being, your analysis still doesn't logically follow.

Your argument makes the implicit presumption that foreknowledge somehow equates to compulsion without providing the chain of reasoning that connects God"s unrevealed foreknowledge to such compulsion, and simply putting these concepts side by side in an argument does not by itself establish a causal or logical connection. Consequently, your argument presents a "spurious relationship" logical fallacy in which two premises have no logical connection and yet, it is implied that they do. It is not necessarily a logical proposition that foreknowledge of the choices individuals will make means that we have no free will to make those choices, it is just knowledge of the future event, it doesn't bring it about.

If you examine your argument from the two opposed points of view, one in which God has foreknowledge and one in which God did not see the future, a free agent would still make the same choices, seeing the future does not alter free will because there is no causality implied by the fact of foreknowledge.

If a psychic predicts with certainty that a meteor will strike your backyard tomorrow and then it happens, there is certainly no logical reason to conclude that the psychic was the cause of the meteor landing in your backyard.

I didn't intend for my post to be an argument, instead it was meant for discussion.
But thank you for your post regardless. It was very informative.

Thanks, I saw a chain of reasoning that I'd refer to as an argument, the idea is presented as a philosophical argument pretty often, but it always strikes me as somewhat backwards thinking. The existence of free will is clearly a central tenet of Christianity, but the idea of omniscience is not by any stretch of the imagination.

Right out of the starting gate in Genesis, God is depicted as explicitly not omniscient, Adam and Eve hid and God had to go find them and then he had to ask them questions, God had to "come down" to see what was up with the Tower of Babel, and he had to ask Jacob what his name was after they wrestled, God is clearly not being depicted as omniscient, and as I said, the typical references to omniscience in scripture are quite a stretch, the very definition of transcendence negates logical analysis in spatial and temporal terms.

This is completely wrong. Merely asking someone "where are you" doesn't logically only include a lack of knowledge where those people are, it also includes the attempt at discerning if a person will lie as to where they are, if the asker knows the answer to the question, then seeing if a lie is a response is also an aspect. And knowing before hand if they would lie is also a lesson for them, not for God ,or showing a lack of anything in regards to what God knows. So, you equating this as lack of knowledge shows a misunderstanding of intent in regards to the question(s). I'm sure your parents asked you questions they knew the answer to when you were a child to see if you would lie. The following inquiries also follow a perfectly logical line of reason. God is always represented as omniscient in the Bible, if one understands what is being said and taught.
Free will is also a duality issue. Will of the soul and will of the body/soul. Will of the body/soul is determined by 2 components, one of which is a stifled spiritual wisdom because of the physicality of existence. Will of the soul only includes wisdom that has been learned while in body/soul. Even Christ upon becoming Christ had free will, but his was to only do what God showed or willed for him to do. As the verse goes. Jesus said, "I do nothing lest I see the father do it first". Example of free will working to only do as God wills. But the decision to wait for God to show Jesus what to do would still be Jesus' will.

I do not see why this makes free will a duality issue of soul and body. The question is if free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,870
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10/13/2015 6:40:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/13/2015 6:04:08 AM, treeless wrote:
At 10/13/2015 4:21:45 AM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 10/9/2015 2:46:50 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 10/9/2015 1:29:15 PM, Valkrin wrote:
At 10/9/2015 1:00:55 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 10/7/2015 10:07:59 PM, Valkrin wrote:
Just so it's clarified, the definition of "free will" I'm using is: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

In my English class, we recently read Oedipus Rex and looked at the theme of fate vs free will, and this lead me to think about the representation between free will and fate in Christianity.

It is stated many times throughout the Bible that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc., and that he is aware of the past, present, and future. That also implies the future of every single one of our choices; he knows the choices we made, we're currently making, and that we will make.

That's not accurate, there are many more scriptural references that God is not omniscient, and the ones typically seen to attribute omniscience to God are nebulous at best, the idea that God is omniscient is more philosophical than scriptural.

The God of the Bible is traditionally understood to be spatially and temporally transcendent, which is to say God is spatially and temporally omnipresent. In such a view, all moments of time, past, present, and future, exist simultaneously in the eternal perspective of God. In contrast, the human point of view is strictly temporal, and the contradiction of your argument is only an "apparent" contradiction from the temporally limited human perspective, it does not exist in the eternal perspective of a transcendent being as it is presented in Scripture.

Which leads me to ask: does free will exist in Christianity? It seems like that it would at first glance, given that God will not force anyone to love him, but looking into it, it's a huge gray area. If he knows every decision we will make, aren't we just fulfilling it by living out our day-to-day lives? It may seem similar to free will, but if he does know about all of the decisions we will ever make, do we truly have a choice in the matter? Just because we struggle with the process of "deciding" what to do, weighing the consequences, etc., does that truly mean that we make our own choices, or has he already made them and we're just fulfilling them?

Even if one interprets scripture to match the philosophical conception of an omniscient being, your analysis still doesn't logically follow.

Your argument makes the implicit presumption that foreknowledge somehow equates to compulsion without providing the chain of reasoning that connects God"s unrevealed foreknowledge to such compulsion, and simply putting these concepts side by side in an argument does not by itself establish a causal or logical connection. Consequently, your argument presents a "spurious relationship" logical fallacy in which two premises have no logical connection and yet, it is implied that they do. It is not necessarily a logical proposition that foreknowledge of the choices individuals will make means that we have no free will to make those choices, it is just knowledge of the future event, it doesn't bring it about.

If you examine your argument from the two opposed points of view, one in which God has foreknowledge and one in which God did not see the future, a free agent would still make the same choices, seeing the future does not alter free will because there is no causality implied by the fact of foreknowledge.

If a psychic predicts with certainty that a meteor will strike your backyard tomorrow and then it happens, there is certainly no logical reason to conclude that the psychic was the cause of the meteor landing in your backyard.

I didn't intend for my post to be an argument, instead it was meant for discussion.
But thank you for your post regardless. It was very informative.

Thanks, I saw a chain of reasoning that I'd refer to as an argument, the idea is presented as a philosophical argument pretty often, but it always strikes me as somewhat backwards thinking. The existence of free will is clearly a central tenet of Christianity, but the idea of omniscience is not by any stretch of the imagination.

Right out of the starting gate in Genesis, God is depicted as explicitly not omniscient, Adam and Eve hid and God had to go find them and then he had to ask them questions, God had to "come down" to see what was up with the Tower of Babel, and he had to ask Jacob what his name was after they wrestled, God is clearly not being depicted as omniscient, and as I said, the typical references to omniscience in scripture are quite a stretch, the very definition of transcendence negates logical analysis in spatial and temporal terms.

This is completely wrong. Merely asking someone "where are you" doesn't logically only include a lack of knowledge where those people are, it also includes the attempt at discerning if a person will lie as to where they are, if the asker knows the answer to the question, then seeing if a lie is a response is also an aspect. And knowing before hand if they would lie is also a lesson for them, not for God ,or showing a lack of anything in regards to what God knows. So, you equating this as lack of knowledge shows a misunderstanding of intent in regards to the question(s). I'm sure your parents asked you questions they knew the answer to when you were a child to see if you would lie. The following inquiries also follow a perfectly logical line of reason. God is always represented as omniscient in the Bible, if one understands what is being said and taught.
Free will is also a duality issue. Will of the soul and will of the body/soul. Will of the body/soul is determined by 2 components, one of which is a stifled spiritual wisdom because of the physicality of existence. Will of the soul only includes wisdom that has been learned while in body/soul. Even Christ upon becoming Christ had free will, but his was to only do what God showed or willed for him to do. As the verse goes. Jesus said, "I do nothing lest I see the father do it first". Example of free will working to only do as God wills. But the decision to wait for God to show Jesus what to do would still be Jesus' will.

I do not see why this makes free will a duality issue of soul and body. The question is if free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive.

Depends on what you think free will entails or how you define it. If you think free will is people have the choice to decide whether their soul goes to heaven or hell, then lets put it this way. Its an impossibility that the wisdom of the soul will not understand evil and good far beyond what you currently understand it as. How you react or make a decision is based on your level of wisdom.(in this life) Currently it isn't equivalent to what it will be when you are in soul only. So your free will to decide in this life is a mere response to a level of wisdom. God is fully aware of your level of wisdom and lets you decide and knows how you are going to react to external stimuli and digest it. You then decide to act upon it based on your current level of wisdom. God also is fully aware of the future wisdom in which your experience will eventually evolve into. One is spiritual wisdom ,one is as I explained, wisdom hindered by the physical body. God knows what is necessary, what is the ultimate goal of existence, and everything about the future. The plan is a necessity and fully known by God. You could argue predestination, but I'm not opening that can of worms because again its a matter of duality.
treeless
Posts: 64
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10/13/2015 8:28:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago

I do not see why this makes free will a duality issue of soul and body. The question is if free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive.

Depends on what you think free will entails or how you define it. If you think free will is people have the choice to decide whether their soul goes to heaven or hell, then lets put it this way. Its an impossibility that the wisdom of the soul will not understand evil and good far beyond what you currently understand it as. How you react or make a decision is based on your level of wisdom.(in this life) Currently it isn't equivalent to what it will be when you are in soul only. So your free will to decide in this life is a mere response to a level of wisdom. God is fully aware of your level of wisdom and lets you decide and knows how you are going to react to external stimuli and digest it. You then decide to act upon it based on your current level of wisdom. God also is fully aware of the future wisdom in which your experience will eventually evolve into. One is spiritual wisdom ,one is as I explained, wisdom hindered by the physical body. God knows what is necessary, what is the ultimate goal of existence, and everything about the future. The plan is a necessity and fully known by God. You could argue predestination, bu

I could argue predestination, as you say. Care to finish the thought?