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Is evil required for free will?

Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?
Founder
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4/4/2013 1:00:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
J: At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I watched a debate between William Lane Craig and a professor at Purdue University. The professor proposed pretty much the same argument, and the problem of evil was pretty much his only argument against God. Craig won the debate: Judges -- Craig won 4-2. Audience -- Craig won by hundreds to about 54. Online -- 1000 to about 50 as well. I'm not too fond of Craig because of his blatant disregard for a literal Genesis, but I was impressed. I suggest trying to find that debate
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 1:17:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 1:00:11 PM, Founder wrote:
J: At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I watched a debate between William Lane Craig and a professor at Purdue University. The professor proposed pretty much the same argument, and the problem of evil was pretty much his only argument against God. Craig won the debate: Judges -- Craig won 4-2. Audience -- Craig won by hundreds to about 54. Online -- 1000 to about 50 as well. I'm not too fond of Craig because of his blatant disregard for a literal Genesis, but I was impressed. I suggest trying to find that debate

Craig wins almost every debate I see him in, but I disagree with most of what he says. Him being a good debater, does not reflect the truth of his position.
Founder
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4/4/2013 1:43:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 1:17:35 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:00:11 PM, Founder wrote:
J: At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I watched a debate between William Lane Craig and a professor at Purdue University. The professor proposed pretty much the same argument, and the problem of evil was pretty much his only argument against God. Craig won the debate: Judges -- Craig won 4-2. Audience -- Craig won by hundreds to about 54. Online -- 1000 to about 50 as well. I'm not too fond of Craig because of his blatant disregard for a literal Genesis, but I was impressed. I suggest trying to find that debate

Craig wins almost every debate I see him in, but I disagree with most of what he says. Him being a good debater, does not reflect the truth of his position.

I agree winning debates doesn't necessarily reflect the truth of someones position. I don't even agree with a lot of what he believes. I don't usually watch Craig, but he does an okay job, I guess. His debates are only philosophical and I usually can pick out points in his debates where I could of replied a lot better than he did.
popculturepooka
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4/4/2013 1:50:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 1:00:11 PM, Founder wrote:
J: At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I watched a debate between William Lane Craig and a professor at Purdue University. The professor proposed pretty much the same argument, and the problem of evil was pretty much his only argument against God. Craig won the debate: Judges -- Craig won 4-2. Audience -- Craig won by hundreds to about 54. Online -- 1000 to about 50 as well. I'm not too fond of Craig because of his blatant disregard for a literal Genesis, but I was impressed. I suggest trying to find that debate

Paul Draper? Draper > Craig on the PoE.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
medic0506
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4/4/2013 1:57:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I think it revolves around how you define "evil". I think the only legitimate way to define it is Biblically. Evil is sin, sin is going against God. If that's the case, then one must have the freedom to go against God, if we are to say that free will exists. That works for my definition of evil, but if someone defines evil differently then my view isn't going to work for them.

This is why the PoE isn't a problem for me, and the existence of evil proves God's existence.
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 2:50:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 1:57:24 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I think it revolves around how you define "evil".

Agreed.

I think the only legitimate way to define it is Biblically. Evil is sin, sin is going against God. If that's the case, then one must have the freedom to go against God, if we are to say that free will exists.

Why must one have the freedom to go against God for free will to exist? That makes no sense. I could still have the free will to chose Coke over Pepsi, even if I do not have the option of going against God.

That works for my definition of evil, but if someone defines evil differently then my view isn't going to work for them.

This is why the PoE isn't a problem for me, and the existence of evil proves God's existence.

Even if something could only be evil if God exists, that wouldn't nullify the PoE. For example, lets say you granted for the sake of argument that God would prevent suffering 'x', also, lets say that I granted that 'x' can only be evil if God exists, if 'x' exists, that would show that God doesn't exist, because he would have prevented it. We would be left with the conclusion that God doesn't exist, and that 'x' isn't really evil.
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 2:51:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 1:50:45 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:00:11 PM, Founder wrote:
J: At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I watched a debate between William Lane Craig and a professor at Purdue University. The professor proposed pretty much the same argument, and the problem of evil was pretty much his only argument against God. Craig won the debate: Judges -- Craig won 4-2. Audience -- Craig won by hundreds to about 54. Online -- 1000 to about 50 as well. I'm not too fond of Craig because of his blatant disregard for a literal Genesis, but I was impressed. I suggest trying to find that debate

Paul Draper? Draper > Craig on the PoE.

Do you believe some form of the PoE to be sound?
philochristos
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4/4/2013 3:11:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

Some people simply define free will as the ability to do good or evil. With that definition, evil doesn't follow necessarily from having free will. It's only possible under free will.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 3:16:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:11:44 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

Some people simply define free will as the ability to do good or evil. With that definition, evil doesn't follow necessarily from having free will. It's only possible under free will.

I can agree with that; without the ability to at least attempt to do evil, the will can't really be considered "free", as it's hobbled from an entire set of actions.
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Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 3:17:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:11:44 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

Some people simply define free will as the ability to do good or evil. With that definition, evil doesn't follow necessarily from having free will. It's only possible under free will.

Actually, with that definition, evil would follow necessarily from free will. How could one have the ability to do evil, if evil didn't exist? However, people cannot just make up their own definitions. Free will means the ability to choose freely between two options, which means evil does not need to exist for free will to exist. I could still choose to watch The Goodfellas over The Godfather, even if I didn't have the ability to stab someone for fun. I could still make free choices based on my will, even if evil didn't exist. Thus, it seems that evil is not required for free will.
philochristos
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4/4/2013 3:21:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:16:51 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:11:44 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

Some people simply define free will as the ability to do good or evil. With that definition, evil doesn't follow necessarily from having free will. It's only possible under free will.

I can agree with that; without the ability to at least attempt to do evil, the will can't really be considered "free", as it's hobbled from an entire set of actions.

I think "free will" can be construed a number of different ways. A person who was determined to only make good decision could be considered free from evil. A person whose actions are always determined by his strongest desire or motivation could be considered free to do what he wants. I think "freedom" always has to be in reference to something. You have to answer the question, "Free to do what?" because nobody who subscribes to any version of free will thinks people are free to do just anything whatsoever. We are limited, at least, by our physical abilities.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 3:27:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:21:38 PM, philochristos wrote:

I think "free will" can be construed a number of different ways. A person who was determined to only make good decision could be considered free from evil. A person whose actions are always determined by his strongest desire or motivation could be considered free to do what he wants. I think "freedom" always has to be in reference to something. You have to answer the question, "Free to do what?" because nobody who subscribes to any version of free will thinks people are free to do just anything whatsoever. We are limited, at least, by our physical abilities.

Not in our wills, though. I can will to fly, even though it's physically impossible for me to do so (without a device, of course). If we accept free will, it is that we can want/desire/intend anything, though, of course, whether that can actually happen is another matter entirely.
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bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 3:29:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:17:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Actually, with that definition, evil would follow necessarily from free will. How could one have the ability to do evil, if evil didn't exist? However, people cannot just make up their own definitions. Free will means the ability to choose freely between two options, which means evil does not need to exist for free will to exist. I could still choose to watch The Goodfellas over The Godfather, even if I didn't have the ability to stab someone for fun. I could still make free choices based on my will, even if evil didn't exist. Thus, it seems that evil is not required for free will.

But how could it be impossible for you to stab someone for fun? I suppose there could be some kind of "morality field" which, when one tries to do an immoral action, prevents you from doing so; then, you'd have the ability to will such a thing, but not the capacity to do it.
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philochristos
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4/4/2013 3:38:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:17:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:11:44 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

Some people simply define free will as the ability to do good or evil. With that definition, evil doesn't follow necessarily from having free will. It's only possible under free will.

Actually, with that definition, evil would follow necessarily from free will. How could one have the ability to do evil, if evil didn't exist?

Oh, I see what you're saying. You're saying that before I can be free to choose some option, that option has to be available to me. So, before I could have the ability to choose evil, there would have to be evil for me to choose, right?

I'm afraid this conversation is about to devolved into semantics. Is evil a "thing" that's "out there" in some sense? Or is evil an action that people do?

Say, for example, that I have a cat sitting beside me, and I have the freedom to either pet the cat or stab the cat. Petting the cat would be good, but stabbing the cat would be evil.

If I have the freedom to do good or evil in that case, it doesn't entail that something evil already exists. The cat isn't evil. The knife isn't evil. Rather, I bring evil into existence if I choose to stab the cat. It's the action that's evil. The action doesn't have to exist before I take it. It only has to be possible.

Now, if you are defining "evil" as mere potential, or as "possible action" or something along those lines, then sure, evil is necessary for there to be freedom to choose between good and evil.

Or, maybe there are things in this world that actually are evil. Say, I have to choose sides between Dumbledore and Voldemort. Dumbledore is good and Voldemort is evil. Before I can choose between them, they both must exist, so there's a sense in which evil must exist before I can choose between good and evil.

So I agree with you in a sense. It all depends on how we define our terms.

However, people cannot just make up their own definitions.

The various meanings of "free will" are pretty well-established in the history of philosophy. We don't have to invent our own definitions. "Free will" actually is used in a variety of ways.

Free will means the ability to choose freely between two options, which means evil does not need to exist for free will to exist. I could still choose to watch The Goodfellas over The Godfather, even if I didn't have the ability to stab someone for fun. I could still make free choices based on my will, even if evil didn't exist. Thus, it seems that evil is not required for free will.

Given your definitions, I agree with this. We can have free will within a limited scope. That scope can exclude evil choices. So, the ability to choose evil is not necessary for free will.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
medic0506
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4/4/2013 3:45:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 2:50:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:57:24 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I think it revolves around how you define "evil".

Agreed.

I think the only legitimate way to define it is Biblically. Evil is sin, sin is going against God. If that's the case, then one must have the freedom to go against God, if we are to say that free will exists.

Why must one have the freedom to go against God for free will to exist? That makes no sense. I could still have the free will to chose Coke over Pepsi, even if I do not have the option of going against God.

Do you agree that you do have the freedom to go against God?? That's what I mean by free will. Coke vs. Pepsi doesn't have anything to do with free will.

That works for my definition of evil, but if someone defines evil differently then my view isn't going to work for them.

This is why the PoE isn't a problem for me, and the existence of evil proves God's existence.

Even if something could only be evil if God exists, that wouldn't nullify the PoE. For example, lets say you granted for the sake of argument that God would prevent suffering 'x', also, lets say that I granted that 'x' can only be evil if God exists, if 'x' exists, that would show that God doesn't exist, because he would have prevented it. We would be left with the conclusion that God doesn't exist, and that 'x' isn't really evil.

Refer back to my definition of evil. If evil can be shown to exist objectively, then that necessitates God's existence. Without an objective lawmaker, there is no such thing as objective evil. Evil, as I define it, requires God's existence.

With that established, it's easy to see how man's decisions are the root cause of the existence of evil. God exists and tells us how to conduct ourselves. We disobey, and evil is the result. Saying that God would prevent evil is to say that God must take away free will.
philochristos
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4/4/2013 3:48:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:27:45 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
If we accept free will, it is that we can want/desire/intend anything, though, of course, whether that can actually happen is another matter entirely.

Do you think our desires and intentions are things we choose? Because it seems to me that leads to an infinite regress since all of the choices we make on purpose are made because of some desire or intention. If a desire comes before every choice, but a choice becomes before every desire, then we'd have an infinite regress. There's only one of two ways to halt the infinite regress, and that's to either (1) have an original desire that we did not choose, or (2) have an original choice that is not based on any desire.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 3:54:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:48:40 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:27:45 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
If we accept free will, it is that we can want/desire/intend anything, though, of course, whether that can actually happen is another matter entirely.

Do you think our desires and intentions are things we choose? Because it seems to me that leads to an infinite regress since all of the choices we make on purpose are made because of some desire or intention. If a desire comes before every choice, but a choice becomes before every desire, then we'd have an infinite regress. There's only one of two ways to halt the infinite regress, and that's to either (1) have an original desire that we did not choose, or (2) have an original choice that is not based on any desire.

And that's why consciousness and free will are weird!

I do think emotions and desires aren't wholly under our control, but we can will for some change to that condition if it's present (I can WANT to not have a crush on X, though I can't actually force myself not to have that crush, which is a form of desire). So some desires are expressions of our personality, part and parcel of the inherent nature of the "operating system", and some are more than that; it is the ones that are more than that that are our free choices. But I don't think we understand consciousness, or will, enough to be certain of any of that. In the end, "I have to believe in free will, I have no choice in the matter".
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Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 3:54:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:29:30 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:17:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Actually, with that definition, evil would follow necessarily from free will. How could one have the ability to do evil, if evil didn't exist? However, people cannot just make up their own definitions. Free will means the ability to choose freely between two options, which means evil does not need to exist for free will to exist. I could still choose to watch The Goodfellas over The Godfather, even if I didn't have the ability to stab someone for fun. I could still make free choices based on my will, even if evil didn't exist. Thus, it seems that evil is not required for free will.

But how could it be impossible for you to stab someone for fun? I suppose there could be some kind of "morality field" which, when one tries to do an immoral action, prevents you from doing so;

Why not?

then, you'd have the ability to will such a thing, but not the capacity to do it.

There are plenty of things we do not have the capacity to do. Does that mean, we do not have free will right now?
bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 4:00:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:54:57 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:29:30 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:17:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Actually, with that definition, evil would follow necessarily from free will. How could one have the ability to do evil, if evil didn't exist? However, people cannot just make up their own definitions. Free will means the ability to choose freely between two options, which means evil does not need to exist for free will to exist. I could still choose to watch The Goodfellas over The Godfather, even if I didn't have the ability to stab someone for fun. I could still make free choices based on my will, even if evil didn't exist. Thus, it seems that evil is not required for free will.

But how could it be impossible for you to stab someone for fun? I suppose there could be some kind of "morality field" which, when one tries to do an immoral action, prevents you from doing so;

Why not?


then, you'd have the ability to will such a thing, but not the capacity to do it.

There are plenty of things we do not have the capacity to do. Does that mean, we do not have free will right now?

I guess what I'm asking is, how could you have a coherent physical universe that prevented evil? Good and evil are qualitative judgements on events; we can all agree on what some forms of "evil" are, but the labels don't imbue the actions with any inherent difference.

That "field" I proposed, if it existed, would fix the problem and still allow free will, but I can't see how that "field" could actually exist.

I guess, if God existed, he could directly intervene every time someone wanted to do a bad thing; we'd still have the will to do it, but it would never actually happen. I actually don't agree with the idea that preventing the evil from occurring removes our free will. I'm just not clear on how it's feasible.

I'm reminded of "The Demolished Man", if anyone's read it.
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Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 4:04:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:38:52 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:17:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:11:44 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

Some people simply define free will as the ability to do good or evil. With that definition, evil doesn't follow necessarily from having free will. It's only possible under free will.

Actually, with that definition, evil would follow necessarily from free will. How could one have the ability to do evil, if evil didn't exist?

Oh, I see what you're saying. You're saying that before I can be free to choose some option, that option has to be available to me. So, before I could have the ability to choose evil, there would have to be evil for me to choose, right?

I'm afraid this conversation is about to devolved into semantics. Is evil a "thing" that's "out there" in some sense? Or is evil an action that people do?

Say, for example, that I have a cat sitting beside me, and I have the freedom to either pet the cat or stab the cat. Petting the cat would be good, but stabbing the cat would be evil.

If I have the freedom to do good or evil in that case, it doesn't entail that something evil already exists. The cat isn't evil. The knife isn't evil. Rather, I bring evil into existence if I choose to stab the cat. It's the action that's evil. The action doesn't have to exist before I take it. It only has to be possible.

Now, if you are defining "evil" as mere potential, or as "possible action" or something along those lines, then sure, evil is necessary for there to be freedom to choose between good and evil.

Or, maybe there are things in this world that actually are evil. Say, I have to choose sides between Dumbledore and Voldemort. Dumbledore is good and Voldemort is evil. Before I can choose between them, they both must exist, so there's a sense in which evil must exist before I can choose between good and evil.

So I agree with you in a sense. It all depends on how we define our terms.

Exactly. I feel no need to get into this debate with regards to semantics, I just wanted to make the point that I do not think evil is necessary for free will.


However, people cannot just make up their own definitions.

The various meanings of "free will" are pretty well-established in the history of philosophy. We don't have to invent our own definitions. "Free will" actually is used in a variety of ways.

Fair enough. However, the most common definitions of free will are:

"Free Will" is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. - http://plato.stanford.edu...

Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention. - http://www.merriam-webster.com...

The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one"s own discretion. - http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Basically, by far the most common definition means free will to be simply the ability to choose between multiple different options. One could have this ability, even if the option to do evil did not exist.


Free will means the ability to choose freely between two options, which means evil does not need to exist for free will to exist. I could still choose to watch The Goodfellas over The Godfather, even if I didn't have the ability to stab someone for fun. I could still make free choices based on my will, even if evil didn't exist. Thus, it seems that evil is not required for free will.

Given your definitions, I agree with this.

To be fair to me, it's not just my definition. It's the most common definition by far, and I have yet to see one define free will as the ability to do evil. If we can do that, I can just define free will as the ability to jump to Saturn in a single leap without external devices, since we cannot do that, we do not have free will under that definition...

We can have free will within a limited scope. That scope can exclude evil choices. So, the ability to choose evil is not necessary for free will.

I'm glad you agree with me on this :)
philochristos
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4/4/2013 4:06:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:54:05 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:48:40 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 4/4/2013 3:27:45 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
If we accept free will, it is that we can want/desire/intend anything, though, of course, whether that can actually happen is another matter entirely.

Do you think our desires and intentions are things we choose? Because it seems to me that leads to an infinite regress since all of the choices we make on purpose are made because of some desire or intention. If a desire comes before every choice, but a choice becomes before every desire, then we'd have an infinite regress. There's only one of two ways to halt the infinite regress, and that's to either (1) have an original desire that we did not choose, or (2) have an original choice that is not based on any desire.

And that's why consciousness and free will are weird!

And that's why philosophy is fun!
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 4:14:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 3:45:05 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 2:50:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:57:24 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I think it revolves around how you define "evil".

Agreed.

I think the only legitimate way to define it is Biblically. Evil is sin, sin is going against God. If that's the case, then one must have the freedom to go against God, if we are to say that free will exists.

Why must one have the freedom to go against God for free will to exist? That makes no sense. I could still have the free will to chose Coke over Pepsi, even if I do not have the option of going against God.

Do you agree that you do have the freedom to go against God??

No, because that would mean God exists. I do not know if God exists or not.

That's what I mean by free will. Coke vs. Pepsi doesn't have anything to do with free will.

Yes it does. If I have the freedom to choose Coke over Pepsi and Mountain Dew, then free will exists. If the option to go against God, didn't exist, I could still choose between Coke or Pepsi freely, without contradiction.


That works for my definition of evil, but if someone defines evil differently then my view isn't going to work for them.

This is why the PoE isn't a problem for me, and the existence of evil proves God's existence.

Even if something could only be evil if God exists, that wouldn't nullify the PoE. For example, lets say you granted for the sake of argument that God would prevent suffering 'x', also, lets say that I granted that 'x' can only be evil if God exists, if 'x' exists, that would show that God doesn't exist, because he would have prevented it. We would be left with the conclusion that God doesn't exist, and that 'x' isn't really evil.

Refer back to my definition of evil.

I did. What's your point?

If evil can be shown to exist objectively, then that necessitates God's existence.

Only under your definition. The PoE isn't dealing with your definition, it's dealing with the common definition, which has nothing to do with necessitating a God.

Without an objective lawmaker, there is no such thing as objective evil.

Says who? Why should one believe that.

Evil, as I define it, requires God's existence.

Nobody cares how you define it. I can define "evil" as that which entails the non-existence of God. The PoE deals with the most common definition of evil. Also, even if evil could only exist if God did, the PoE would still work as I already explained (you just ignored it, and asked me to refer to your definition for some reason)


With that established, it's easy to see how man's decisions are the root cause of the existence of evil.

God's choices are the root cause of evil. He knew that if he created us, evil would emerge, but he chose to create us anyway. He could have created free creatures, without the will to go against God, or do any evils.

God exists and tells us how to conduct ourselves.

Why should one think God exists?

We disobey, and evil is the result. Saying that God would prevent evil is to say that God must take away free will.

No it's not. Free will, by the most common definition, could still exist if evil didn't. Nobody is meddling with your made up definitions, we are going with the real definitions. Rewriting the English language isn't a good rebuttal to the PoE.
matt.mcguire88
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4/4/2013 4:46:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I have not read through these comments yet, but I plan to do so. I would say as a christian that "free will" is needed for the ability to commit evil, rather than "the ability to do evil is needed for free will".
Our choices are what manifest good or evil. Our intentions and motives are manifested John 3:19-21. God supplies the restrictions (whether by written word, conviction, instict ect.) but we are always free to choose. I believe that the temptation to commit evil is not of God James 1:13-15 and that we have an adversary Ephesians 6:10-18. But we do not have to be overcome by temptation because God gives a way out 1 Corinthians 10:13, we have the ability to turn from our evil and be changed, renewed and redeemed Isaiah 1:18, Acts 3:19.

I rambled, just ignore that last part lol
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 5:56:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 4:46:18 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I have not read through these comments yet, but I plan to do so. I would say as a christian that "free will" is needed for the ability to commit evil, rather than "the ability to do evil is needed for free will".
Our choices are what manifest good or evil. Our intentions and motives are manifested John 3:19-21. God supplies the restrictions (whether by written word, conviction, instict ect.) but we are always free to choose. I believe that the temptation to commit evil is not of God James 1:13-15 and that we have an adversary Ephesians 6:10-18. But we do not have to be overcome by temptation because God gives a way out 1 Corinthians 10:13, we have the ability to turn from our evil and be changed, renewed and redeemed Isaiah 1:18, Acts 3:19.

I rambled, just ignore that last part lol

One could make the argument that free will is necessary for evil, but I was speaking about evil being necessary for free will. These two are not the same.
matt.mcguire88
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4/4/2013 6:20:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 5:56:20 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 4:46:18 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I have not read through these comments yet, but I plan to do so. I would say as a christian that "free will" is needed for the ability to commit evil, rather than "the ability to do evil is needed for free will".
Our choices are what manifest good or evil. Our intentions and motives are manifested John 3:19-21. God supplies the restrictions (whether by written word, conviction, instict ect.) but we are always free to choose. I believe that the temptation to commit evil is not of God James 1:13-15 and that we have an adversary Ephesians 6:10-18. But we do not have to be overcome by temptation because God gives a way out 1 Corinthians 10:13, we have the ability to turn from our evil and be changed, renewed and redeemed Isaiah 1:18, Acts 3:19.

I rambled, just ignore that last part lol

One could make the argument that free will is necessary for evil, but I was speaking about evil being necessary for free will. These two are not the same.

I see, which one do you agree with?
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/4/2013 6:26:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 6:20:29 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 5:56:20 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 4:46:18 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I have not read through these comments yet, but I plan to do so. I would say as a christian that "free will" is needed for the ability to commit evil, rather than "the ability to do evil is needed for free will".
Our choices are what manifest good or evil. Our intentions and motives are manifested John 3:19-21. God supplies the restrictions (whether by written word, conviction, instict ect.) but we are always free to choose. I believe that the temptation to commit evil is not of God James 1:13-15 and that we have an adversary Ephesians 6:10-18. But we do not have to be overcome by temptation because God gives a way out 1 Corinthians 10:13, we have the ability to turn from our evil and be changed, renewed and redeemed Isaiah 1:18, Acts 3:19.

I rambled, just ignore that last part lol

One could make the argument that free will is necessary for evil, but I was speaking about evil being necessary for free will. These two are not the same.

I see, which one do you agree with?

I believe that free-will is necessary for the traditional sense of what evil is. I mean, it would be hard to hold someone morally responsible for something logically, if it is all determined. That doesn't mean, that bad things cannot happen if determinism is true, just that the traditional sense of moral accountability would be lost.

I do not believe, however, that evil is necessary for free-will. Free-will could exist, even if the ability to chose, and carry out evil did not.
matt.mcguire88
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4/4/2013 6:35:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 6:26:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 6:20:29 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 5:56:20 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 4:46:18 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I have not read through these comments yet, but I plan to do so. I would say as a christian that "free will" is needed for the ability to commit evil, rather than "the ability to do evil is needed for free will".
Our choices are what manifest good or evil. Our intentions and motives are manifested John 3:19-21. God supplies the restrictions (whether by written word, conviction, instict ect.) but we are always free to choose. I believe that the temptation to commit evil is not of God James 1:13-15 and that we have an adversary Ephesians 6:10-18. But we do not have to be overcome by temptation because God gives a way out 1 Corinthians 10:13, we have the ability to turn from our evil and be changed, renewed and redeemed Isaiah 1:18, Acts 3:19.

I rambled, just ignore that last part lol

One could make the argument that free will is necessary for evil, but I was speaking about evil being necessary for free will. These two are not the same.

I see, which one do you agree with?

I believe that free-will is necessary for the traditional sense of what evil is. I mean, it would be hard to hold someone morally responsible for something logically, if it is all determined. That doesn't mean, that bad things cannot happen if determinism is true, just that the traditional sense of moral accountability would be lost.

I do not believe, however, that evil is necessary for free-will. Free-will could exist, even if the ability to chose, and carry out evil did not.

Yeah I do not believe that our choices are determined or predestinated.

So you are suggesting the idea that maybe our choices could be confined only to good ones? Like maybe partial free will lol.
popculturepooka
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4/4/2013 6:49:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 2:51:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:50:45 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:00:11 PM, Founder wrote:
J: At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I watched a debate between William Lane Craig and a professor at Purdue University. The professor proposed pretty much the same argument, and the problem of evil was pretty much his only argument against God. Craig won the debate: Judges -- Craig won 4-2. Audience -- Craig won by hundreds to about 54. Online -- 1000 to about 50 as well. I'm not too fond of Craig because of his blatant disregard for a literal Genesis, but I was impressed. I suggest trying to find that debate

Paul Draper? Draper > Craig on the PoE.

Do you believe some form of the PoE to be sound?

No, but I think some forms are really good.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/4/2013 7:21:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 6:35:01 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 6:26:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 6:20:29 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 5:56:20 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 4:46:18 PM, matt.mcguire88 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:01:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I would say, of course not. However, many Christians make the claim that the ability to do evil is needed for free will. Why is this so?

I have not read through these comments yet, but I plan to do so. I would say as a christian that "free will" is needed for the ability to commit evil, rather than "the ability to do evil is needed for free will".
Our choices are what manifest good or evil. Our intentions and motives are manifested John 3:19-21. God supplies the restrictions (whether by written word, conviction, instict ect.) but we are always free to choose. I believe that the temptation to commit evil is not of God James 1:13-15 and that we have an adversary Ephesians 6:10-18. But we do not have to be overcome by temptation because God gives a way out 1 Corinthians 10:13, we have the ability to turn from our evil and be changed, renewed and redeemed Isaiah 1:18, Acts 3:19.

I rambled, just ignore that last part lol

One could make the argument that free will is necessary for evil, but I was speaking about evil being necessary for free will. These two are not the same.

I see, which one do you agree with?

I believe that free-will is necessary for the traditional sense of what evil is. I mean, it would be hard to hold someone morally responsible for something logically, if it is all determined. That doesn't mean, that bad things cannot happen if determinism is true, just that the traditional sense of moral accountability would be lost.

I do not believe, however, that evil is necessary for free-will. Free-will could exist, even if the ability to chose, and carry out evil did not.

Yeah I do not believe that our choices are determined or predestinated.

So you are suggesting the idea that maybe our choices could be confined only to good ones? Like maybe partial free will lol.

If our choices were only confined to good ones, that would still completely be free will, not partial.