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Free Will?

Skepticalone
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4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
popculturepooka
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4/14/2014 9:48:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Geberally speaking, there are two classes of Christians, those who do believe in libertarian free will (i.e. free will is not compatible with determinism, thus determinism is false) , and those who believe in compatibilistic free will (free will is compatible with determinism). We tend, for ease of use, to call the former group Arminians and the latter group Calvinists. That distinction us rough and not always applicable (I consider myself neither but that's because those views also tend to come packaged with other theological views I do not share).
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RoderickSpode
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4/14/2014 9:51:55 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
It depends what you mean by free will. I have free will to make certain choices like walk across a street, but I don't have free will to walk into the White House uninvited. The free part of my will may allow me to walk within a certain number of yards to the White House, but up to a certain point I'll be stopped.
bulproof
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4/14/2014 10:00:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:51:55 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
It depends what you mean by free will. I have free will to make certain choices like walk across a street, but I don't have free will to walk into the White House uninvited. The free part of my will may allow me to walk within a certain number of yards to the White House, but up to a certain point I'll be stopped.

How does god go about stopping you from approaching closer?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Dwint
Posts: 47
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4/14/2014 10:05:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:51:55 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
It depends what you mean by free will. I have free will to make certain choices like walk across a street, but I don't have free will to walk into the White House uninvited. The free part of my will may allow me to walk within a certain number of yards to the White House, but up to a certain point I'll be stopped.

That has nothing to do with God. Free will exists, but I don't see how that has anything to do with God. We don't need God to allow us to walk. I believe free will could only make sense in a religious way if it meant the liberty to obey or disobey God.
Hitchens is the way!
RoderickSpode
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4/14/2014 10:15:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 10:05:10 AM, Dwint wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:51:55 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
It depends what you mean by free will. I have free will to make certain choices like walk across a street, but I don't have free will to walk into the White House uninvited. The free part of my will may allow me to walk within a certain number of yards to the White House, but up to a certain point I'll be stopped.

That has nothing to do with God. Free will exists, but I don't see how that has anything to do with God. We don't need God to allow us to walk. I believe free will could only make sense in a religious way if it meant the liberty to obey or disobey God.
If God both gives life, and takes life, then just the breath we take is a result of God allowing us to breathe.

I could set out to walk across a narrow one-way street, get radio dispatch from a helicopter with an aerial view letting me know how far away the nearest car is to make sure I don't get hit, and if God doesn't want me to cross that street (for whatever reason), I'm not crossing that street no matter how much I will to do so.
Skepticalone
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4/14/2014 10:17:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:48:47 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Geberally speaking, there are two classes of Christians, those who do believe in libertarian free will (i.e. free will is not compatible with determinism, thus determinism is false) , and those who believe in compatibilistic free will (free will is compatible with determinism). We tend, for ease of use, to call the former group Arminians and the latter group Calvinists. That distinction us rough and not always applicable (I consider myself neither but that's because those views also tend to come packaged with other theological views I do not share).

Ok, so correct me if I have this wrong, Calvinist would believe since I am an atheist this was my 'destiny' all along? Determinism sounds like fate to me. Am I wrong in that? If that is the case, how can it be called "free will" since it does not appear to allow for freedom of will?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
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4/14/2014 10:21:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:51:55 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
It depends what you mean by free will. I have free will to make certain choices like walk across a street, but I don't have free will to walk into the White House uninvited. The free part of my will may allow me to walk within a certain number of yards to the White House, but up to a certain point I'll be stopped.

Well, I did post this on the religious forum and I talked about theists. I thought it would be obvious I was talking about free will associated with religion. I don't think either of your situations would interest your god unless your were committing a sin in the process. Am I wrong in this?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
SNP1
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4/14/2014 10:22:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

I actually like Daniel Dennett's explanation about free will, where it is something that we have naturally.
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bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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4/14/2014 10:36:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

There are two different parts to man. The created part is the invisible wavelengths called a spirit. The other part is the formed flesh that appears as an illusion from each created being's perspective. When a man becomes aware of himself in this world, he sees his flesh as being something real instead of knowing that he was only created as an invisible spirit of wavelengths of energy that will never perish. These wavelengths of energy are processed through God's plan called eternal life and the flesh appears to move according to this plan.

In quantum physics, man has learned that energy flows in waves. These waves are nothing but masses of wavelengths of energy ( information ) that needs to be processed into illusions that make up the visible objects that each created being gets to see, hear, taste, smell, touch and feel emotionally. So think of one wave as one picture. In order for us created beings to get the sense of motion, these waves have to be processed like a movie film does at the rate of 24 frames per second.

Anyone who believes he has free will has to manipulate God's plan and change the planned invisible waves that have to be processed in order to meet their free will idea. All a man has to do is to try change the OS of Microsoft according to his own will and use this as an analogy that it is impossible that free will exists.
RoderickSpode
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4/14/2014 10:39:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 10:21:08 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:51:55 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
It depends what you mean by free will. I have free will to make certain choices like walk across a street, but I don't have free will to walk into the White House uninvited. The free part of my will may allow me to walk within a certain number of yards to the White House, but up to a certain point I'll be stopped.

Well, I did post this on the religious forum and I talked about theists. I thought it would be obvious I was talking about free will associated with religion. I don't think either of your situations would interest your god unless your were committing a sin in the process. Am I wrong in this?
That would certainly be one possibility as to why God might actively prevent someone from crossing a street. Under normal circumstances, we could assume God would not stop someone who made a personal choice to cross a street. Of course if someone expires just before stepping off the curb to walk across a street, we could say it was God's will (or that person's time) for that purpose to go, without any direct motive/reason to stop the person from walking to the other side of the street.

But that's why I'm wondering what exactly do you mean by free-will? What do the Christians who seem to suggest that we don't have free-will believe?
TheWarrior
Posts: 126
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4/14/2014 10:51:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

We do have free will. That free will is bound by our nature. Our nature is to sin, therefore we sin. Then, I quote Spurgeon, "God doesn't drag us to himself kicking and screaming, He simply changes our will." Everyone has free will to choose between right and wrong, but without God they will always sin. We naturally do not want God. So until God moves we will not come to Him. So yes there is free will, but it is limited.
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PureX
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4/14/2014 10:52:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

Free will is a matter of perspective, like most things. We are free to choose among the choices we have available to us. But if we don't control the choices available to us, then how free are we, really?

A lot of people tend to believe that God controls the choices available to us, and already knows which choices we will make. And so even though we think we are choosing, we are really only doing that which has been laid out for us to do, in advance.

My thought would be that it doesn't matter what God knows or does not know. It only matters what I know, or don't know, and what I choose to do with that.

I believe that I do have limited free will. And I have it because I am not omniscient as people presume God to be. My ignorance is my freedom.
Skepticalone
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4/14/2014 10:59:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 10:39:29 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 10:21:08 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:51:55 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
It depends what you mean by free will. I have free will to make certain choices like walk across a street, but I don't have free will to walk into the White House uninvited. The free part of my will may allow me to walk within a certain number of yards to the White House, but up to a certain point I'll be stopped.

Well, I did post this on the religious forum and I talked about theists. I thought it would be obvious I was talking about free will associated with religion. I don't think either of your situations would interest your god unless your were committing a sin in the process. Am I wrong in this?
That would certainly be one possibility as to why God might actively prevent someone from crossing a street. Under normal circumstances, we could assume God would not stop someone who made a personal choice to cross a street. Of course if someone expires just before stepping off the curb to walk across a street, we could say it was God's will (or that person's time) for that purpose to go, without any direct motive/reason to stop the person from walking to the other side of the street.

But that's why I'm wondering what exactly do you mean by free-will? What do the Christians who seem to suggest that we don't have free-will believe?

I will try to explain the Christian position as I understand it:
God gives everyone free will so they may choose to accept him of their own volition without coercement from him.

What I don't understand is determinism applied to the Christian God. Am I wrong to think determinism is synonymous with fate or destiny? If so, it seems kind of depressing to me. Everyone was destined to be an atheist or theists before they were born, and theists are basically slaves since they had no say in the matter. At least, so it seems to me.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,090
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4/14/2014 11:04:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 10:51:57 AM, TheWarrior wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

We do have free will. That free will is bound by our nature. Our nature is to sin, therefore we sin. Then, I quote Spurgeon, "God doesn't drag us to himself kicking and screaming, He simply changes our will." Everyone has free will to choose between right and wrong, but without God they will always sin. We naturally do not want God. So until God moves we will not come to Him. So yes there is free will, but it is limited.

Ok, this would also have baby with the same evil nature as adults. I don't believe this is possible. How could a baby sin? The other problem (to me) is how would one explain theist -> atheist? Did god change his mind and move away? I don't mean to offend, just trying to wrap my head around the different views.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,090
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4/14/2014 11:08:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 10:52:57 AM, PureX wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

Free will is a matter of perspective, like most things. We are free to choose among the choices we have available to us. But if we don't control the choices available to us, then how free are we, really?

A lot of people tend to believe that God controls the choices available to us, and already knows which choices we will make. And so even though we think we are choosing, we are really only doing that which has been laid out for us to do, in advance.

My thought would be that it doesn't matter what God knows or does not know. It only matters what I know, or don't know, and what I choose to do with that.

I believe that I do have limited free will. And I have it because I am not omniscient as people presume God to be. My ignorance is my freedom.

Okay, so you are calling it "limited" because you believe god has limited your choices. How do you think this happens? Could you give me an example?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,371
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4/14/2014 11:27:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 10:59:47 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 10:39:29 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 10:21:08 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:51:55 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)
It depends what you mean by free will. I have free will to make certain choices like walk across a street, but I don't have free will to walk into the White House uninvited. The free part of my will may allow me to walk within a certain number of yards to the White House, but up to a certain point I'll be stopped.

Well, I did post this on the religious forum and I talked about theists. I thought it would be obvious I was talking about free will associated with religion. I don't think either of your situations would interest your god unless your were committing a sin in the process. Am I wrong in this?
That would certainly be one possibility as to why God might actively prevent someone from crossing a street. Under normal circumstances, we could assume God would not stop someone who made a personal choice to cross a street. Of course if someone expires just before stepping off the curb to walk across a street, we could say it was God's will (or that person's time) for that purpose to go, without any direct motive/reason to stop the person from walking to the other side of the street.

But that's why I'm wondering what exactly do you mean by free-will? What do the Christians who seem to suggest that we don't have free-will believe?

I will try to explain the Christian position as I understand it:
God gives everyone free will so they may choose to accept him of their own volition without coercement from him.

What I don't understand is determinism applied to the Christian God. Am I wrong to think determinism is synonymous with fate or destiny? If so, it seems kind of depressing to me. Everyone was destined to be an atheist or theists before they were born, and theists are basically slaves since they had no say in the matter. At least, so it seems to me.
The doctrine of pre-destination is undoubtedly controversial. It may very well depress even Christians. I personally think even scholars at times may rack their brains over it unnecessarily (I think even R.C. Sproul has admitted to this).

http://www.ligonier.org...

Sometimes however some of the more simpler answers are more satisfying (not that Sproul's are not).

J. Vernon McGee put it this way (paraphrasing):

"Is sonship determined by free choice or predestination? Well, it's both. And if you make the choice to be a believer, you can be sure that you are one of the elect".

Another radio talk show host explained it simply as because God knows the future, therefore He is able to use terminology like "predestination", "the elect", etc.

Yes, there are those I would say who take predestination to an extreme to where no one but a predetermined few have a chance. Basically, that there may be some who even if they wanted to be a child of God, they cannot if they weren't pre-elected.

I don't have a problem with the presumed contradiction because we are dealing with a Creator not bound by the laws of time like we are. Time related contradictions are inevitable even if we remove the idea of a time-less creator.
Skepticalone
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4/14/2014 12:03:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 11:27:14 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/14/2014 10:59:47 AM, Skepticalone wrote:

What I don't understand is determinism applied to the Christian God. Am I wrong to think determinism is synonymous with fate or destiny? If so, it seems kind of depressing to me. Everyone was destined to be an atheist or theists before they were born, and theists are basically slaves since they had no say in the matter. At least, so it seems to me.
The doctrine of pre-destination is undoubtedly controversial. It may very well depress even Christians. I personally think even scholars at times may rack their brains over it unnecessarily (I think even R.C. Sproul has admitted to this).

http://www.ligonier.org...

Was there a particular one you want me to pay attention to? I'll be honest, Im not going to listen to an entire teaching series.

Sometimes however some of the more simpler answers are more satisfying (not that Sproul's are not).

J. Vernon McGee put it this way (paraphrasing):

"Is sonship determined by free choice or predestination? Well, it's both. And if you make the choice to be a believer, you can be sure that you are one of the elect".

That seem kind of circular, no? You know you are chosen by god because you chose to believe in god?

Another radio talk show host explained it simply as because God knows the future, therefore He is able to use terminology like "predestination", "the elect", etc.

Yes, there are those I would say who take predestination to an extreme to where no one but a predetermined few have a chance. Basically, that there may be some who even if they wanted to be a child of God, they cannot if they weren't pre-elected.

I don't have a problem with the presumed contradiction because we are dealing with a Creator not bound by the laws of time like we are. Time related contradictions are inevitable even if we remove the idea of a time-less creator.

For the purposes of this conversation, I don't have an issue with an omniscient god knowing your choices before you do. I would still consider this to be free will if your choices were not limited by the same god.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
PureX
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4/14/2014 1:30:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 11:08:59 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 10:52:57 AM, PureX wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

Free will is a matter of perspective, like most things. We are free to choose among the choices we have available to us. But if we don't control the choices available to us, then how free are we, really?

A lot of people tend to believe that God controls the choices available to us, and already knows which choices we will make. And so even though we think we are choosing, we are really only doing that which has been laid out for us to do, in advance.

My thought would be that it doesn't matter what God knows or does not know. It only matters what I know, or don't know, and what I choose to do with that.

I believe that I do have limited free will. And I have it because I am not omniscient as people presume God to be. My ignorance is my freedom.

Okay, so you are calling it "limited" because you believe god has limited your choices. How do you think this happens? Could you give me an example?

All I know is that my choices are limited. I cannot, for example, choose to levitate right now. And not only that, I cannot choose any options that I am not even aware of as a possibility. In fact, my choices are quite limited at any given moment. But I do have some, and those I choose will define, bit by bit, who I am. So even though my choices are limited, the freedom I do have is significant.
Skepticalone
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4/14/2014 1:41:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 1:30:59 PM, PureX wrote:
At 4/14/2014 11:08:59 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 10:52:57 AM, PureX wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

Free will is a matter of perspective, like most things. We are free to choose among the choices we have available to us. But if we don't control the choices available to us, then how free are we, really?

A lot of people tend to believe that God controls the choices available to us, and already knows which choices we will make. And so even though we think we are choosing, we are really only doing that which has been laid out for us to do, in advance.

My thought would be that it doesn't matter what God knows or does not know. It only matters what I know, or don't know, and what I choose to do with that.

I believe that I do have limited free will. And I have it because I am not omniscient as people presume God to be. My ignorance is my freedom.

Okay, so you are calling it "limited" because you believe god has limited your choices. How do you think this happens? Could you give me an example?

All I know is that my choices are limited. I cannot, for example, choose to levitate right now. And not only that, I cannot choose any options that I am not even aware of as a possibility. In fact, my choices are quite limited at any given moment. But I do have some, and those I choose will define, bit by bit, who I am. So even though my choices are limited, the freedom I do have is significant.

Ok, fair enough, I agree we are limited in this way, but everyone is limited in this way whether there is a god or not. This is basically attributing limitations imposed by a god when one is not necessary (it could be explained by natural laws). I was thinking you might say god had limited you in some specific personal way.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

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PureX
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4/14/2014 3:07:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 1:41:43 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 1:30:59 PM, PureX wrote:

All I know is that my choices are limited. I cannot, for example, choose to levitate right now. And not only that, I cannot choose any options that I am not even aware of as a possibility. In fact, my choices are quite limited at any given moment. But I do have some, and those I choose will define, bit by bit, who I am. So even though my choices are limited, the freedom I do have is significant.

Ok, fair enough, I agree we are limited in this way, but everyone is limited in this way whether there is a god or not. This is basically attributing limitations imposed by a god when one is not necessary (it could be explained by natural laws). I was thinking you might say god had limited you in some specific personal way.

I don't think we have any idea what is 'necessary' in this instance. I certainly can't imagine an existence with everyone doing anything they choose, all the time.

Also, you are assuming that nature is not a mechanism of the divine. I am assuming that it is. So that what nature dictates regarding my choices, is also the will of God. And as I have grown older, I have come to realize that my limitations are actually a great blessing. I am very happy NOT to be omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent. If that is a description of God, I am extremely grateful not to be It.
Composer
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4/15/2014 4:26:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
The biblical god(s) give NO freewill -

freewill: The power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies (WordWeb)

From Story book Adam onwards in bible Story book land there has been absolutely NO freewill!

We also know that so called believers apparently Freely choose to remain malignant sinners!
ironsmile360
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4/15/2014 8:14:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

Didn't Jesus address this already with the Parable of the Prodigal Son?

Luke 15:11-32

11 "Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, "Father, give me my share of the estate." So he divided his property between them.

13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 "When he came to his senses, he said, "How many of my father"s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants." 20 So he got up and went to his father.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 "The son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son."

22 "But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let"s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." So they began to celebrate.

25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 "Your brother has come," he replied, "and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound."
Ironsmile360
Skepticalone
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4/16/2014 12:11:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/15/2014 8:14:09 PM, ironsmile360 wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

Didn't Jesus address this already with the Parable of the Prodigal Son?

Luke 15:11-32

11 "Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, "Father, give me my share of the estate." So he divided his property between them.

13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 "When he came to his senses, he said, "How many of my father"s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants." 20 So he got up and went to his father.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 "The son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son."

22 "But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let"s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." So they began to celebrate.

25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 "Your brother has come," he replied, "and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound."

Ok, so I take it you believe in free will, and free will consists of choosing God the father or a desolate hopeless life? Sounds kind of like a threat to me! :-)
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
TheWarrior
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4/16/2014 10:24:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 11:04:10 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 10:51:57 AM, TheWarrior wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

We do have free will. That free will is bound by our nature. Our nature is to sin, therefore we sin. Then, I quote Spurgeon, "God doesn't drag us to himself kicking and screaming, He simply changes our will." Everyone has free will to choose between right and wrong, but without God they will always sin. We naturally do not want God. So until God moves we will not come to Him. So yes there is free will, but it is limited.

Ok, this would also have baby with the same evil nature as adults. I don't believe this is possible. How could a baby sin? The other problem (to me) is how would one explain theist -> atheist? Did god change his mind and move away? I don't mean to offend, just trying to wrap my head around the different views.
No offense taken. You are right a baby is born with the same sinful nature as adults. This does not mean that babies go to hell when they die. They are unable to make a conscious decision to follow the Lord. Until they are able to make that disicion I don't believ God will send them to hell. As for the theist - atheist dilemma. I would suggest that the theist was never truly a theist or God is still working on their hearts. I would say the later is more probable. This is because God doesn't change his mind.
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philochristos
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4/16/2014 11:34:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

I agree with what popculturepooka said. There are two different definitions of free will--the libertarian kind, and the compatibilist kind.

According to libertarianism, there are no conditions whatsoever prior to and up to the moment of choice that determines what that choice will be. When a person makes a choice that is free in the libertarian sense, they could have done otherwise even if all of their desires had been exactly the same.

According to compatibilism, all of our choices are determined by antecedent mental states, especially our desires, intentions, plans, beliefs, biases, inclinations, etc. Freedom in the compatibilist sense means freedom to do what you want, or freedom from being forced by external causes to act contrary to your desires.

I think compatibilism makes more sense. I don't think you can be free in any meaningful sense unless you have control over your actions. Libertarian acts are hard to distinguish from random spontaneous events. But it seems to me we have control over our acts to the degree that they correspond to our desires and intentions. The more hand our own desires and motives play in bringing about our choices, the more those choices are under our control. We have the most control over our actions when our desires and motives have everything to do with why we act the way we do, and that happens when our desires and motives determine our actions.

Besides that, the Bible seems to support compatibilism in a number of places.
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Skepticalone
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4/17/2014 12:00:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/16/2014 10:24:26 AM, TheWarrior wrote:
At 4/14/2014 11:04:10 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/14/2014 10:51:57 AM, TheWarrior wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

We do have free will. That free will is bound by our nature. Our nature is to sin, therefore we sin. Then, I quote Spurgeon, "God doesn't drag us to himself kicking and screaming, He simply changes our will." Everyone has free will to choose between right and wrong, but without God they will always sin. We naturally do not want God. So until God moves we will not come to Him. So yes there is free will, but it is limited.

Ok, this would also have baby with the same evil nature as adults. I don't believe this is possible. How could a baby sin? The other problem (to me) is how would one explain theist -> atheist? Did god change his mind and move away? I don't mean to offend, just trying to wrap my head around the different views.
No offense taken. You are right a baby is born with the same sinful nature as adults. This does not mean that babies go to hell when they die. They are unable to make a conscious decision to follow the Lord. Until they are able to make that disicion I don't believe God will send them to hell. As for the theist - atheist dilemma. I would suggest that the theist was never truly a theist or God is still working on their hearts. I would say the later is more probable. This is because God doesn't change his mind.

Again, sinful natured babies still seems like a contradiction. "Babies are just like adults, but they won't go to Hell". (I'm paraphrasing correctly I hope) Well, then they're not just like adults, are they? This is special pleading to make an exception for the extreme innocence of infants simply because the alternative would show an unreasonable god. Does the Bible state babies are above the law? As far as the theist -> atheist situation, I can tell you from my own personal experience it is not appropriate to say theists who become atheists were never theists. If you choose to believe God is still working on atheists, well I won't fault you for that, even if I consider it to be extremely unlikely.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
pozessed
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4/17/2014 3:14:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

I believe we have free will, I don't think I'd enjoy life as much as I do if I didn't. I also believe that the universe has a definite fate and we are all part of a bigger plan that can not be altered regardless of the choices we make.
bulproof
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4/17/2014 4:48:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/17/2014 3:14:46 AM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

I believe we have free will, I don't think I'd enjoy life as much as I do if I didn't. I also believe that the universe has a definite fate and we are all part of a bigger plan that can not be altered regardless of the choices we make.

You have free will but the choices you make are meaningless because of predestination.

I get it...................................whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
pozessed
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4/17/2014 4:54:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/17/2014 4:48:27 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 4/17/2014 3:14:46 AM, pozessed wrote:
At 4/14/2014 9:35:17 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
In a few discussions I have had with theists, I have noticed some believe we do not have free will (*anymore), while others believe we have free will now. I had assumed all Christians believed in the concept of free will, but obviously I was mistaken. Which makes more sense to you guys?

(*Free will was present before the fall)

I believe we have free will, I don't think I'd enjoy life as much as I do if I didn't. I also believe that the universe has a definite fate and we are all part of a bigger plan that can not be altered regardless of the choices we make.

You have free will but the choices you make are meaningless because of predestination.

I get it...................................whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

I said the universe has a definite fate, not us individually. Do you think the dinosaurs were not needed for this planet to sustain life the way it does now? Their lifetime was meaningless except to allow life to exist as it does, therefore freewill exists, but its meaningless.