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Free will?


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#46    aNoNymOus XO

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 02:24 AM

First i woould REALLY like to thank you all for commenting...you have ALL given me so much to think about.

just now reading these comments something came to my head and i wanted to share it with you.

I hope you are all aware of the story...Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

In the end mr wonka said to charlie (when he gave the candy back) he knew he would give the candy back. he knew he had the good heart.

mr wonka knew charlie was the boy yet he still had to go threw everything else like everybody else and yes he messed up with the bubble drink but he humbled himself in the end.

is this not an example of free will to? i think the problem with free will is poeple (i also include myself i donot judge anyone) want free will but do not "like" (for lack of a better term) the idea of the consiquences that follow our decisions.

please tell me if i have made no sense with this willie wonka idea cause i have it in my head but im having trouble expressing what is really in my mind at the moment.

thanks ^_^

Edited by Tiggs, 02 July 2010 - 03:06 AM.
Changed unfortunate typo that means something completely different


#47    XIV

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 02:43 AM

The answer to this question lies within the two statements:
Thy Will Be Done & My Will Be Done
The premise behind this topic is not about mundane quests such as "I think I'll turn right here. See, I am exercising my freedom of Will".
It is more about Being under the Will of God or Not Being.


XIV


#48    Trog

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 04:42 AM

Hey Empty heart .... Good question , one that most thinking people ask themselves at least once in their lifetime .

Two and a half thousand years ago a well informed Greek  invented a discipline called Philosophy , and a branch of that original philosophy we now call Numerology , this allows us to see the pathway we choose for each incarnation .... Yes we live many lifetimes .

Sometimes we deviate from that path , which is called Free Will , but mostly we are drawn back onto that path because in our Subconscious mind there is a memory of our past lives .... We have exercised Free Will in the past .

If we exercise our Free Will and abandon the chosen pathway , we then fail to learn the lessons that we agreed to in that particular incarnation .

When we reincarnate we enter into a contract with our creator that we will learn the lessons that we agreed to , for that particular lifetime .

There is no Escape Clause written in to that contract , therefore , if we break that contract , by exercising our Free Will , then there is a penalty to pay , which is , we get to repeat that life over and over again until the penny drops , and we knuckle down and learn those particular lessons .

So what does it all mean , it means that we are all on the treadmill trying to learn the lessons that will allow us to evolve into people who will  live in peace and happiness and total harmony , with no fences and no boundaries .... At least that's how I see it , and I guess eventually we'll find the truth.

The Ark of the Covenant was the sacred chest, overlaid with gold, which occupied the inner sanctum of the temple and symbolised God's covenant with his people.. Covenant= The promises that God made to his people as recorded in the bible. The Ark of the Covenant has never been found .

#49    Paranoid Android

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 07:01 AM

View PostIamsSon, on 02 July 2010 - 01:03 AM, said:

I refuse to believe that God is simply playing a more complex version of "The Sims" so there must be a way in which we reason and choose and yet God remains all knowing and His will is done.
Hey again, Iams.  I wouldn't necessarily put it in the same terms as you do (a more complex version of 'The Sims'), but what it does come down to is God's sovereign choice (not our choice).  As I said at the start, I am not averse to the idea of man's choice and God's choice working in harmony (free will and predestination coinciding together), but this is not what the conventional understanding of "free will" is. When we think of free will, we think of our conscious and individual choice to do something - in terms of salvation, to choose to follow God and believe his words, or to choose not to do this.  But the scriptures are clear that no one comes to God unless God chooses them, and who can resist the will of God?  In this sense, at the very least we can say that salvation is predestined by God's sovereignty, though it may be possible that some other actions are of our own free choice.

I'll share some passages on this in my next post to emptyheart, if you want to skip down to that post after this :tu:

View PostIamsSon, on 02 July 2010 - 01:03 AM, said:

Yes, it has been quite a while since we spoke!  Things are going well, my friend.  Hope you're doing well.
Indeed, I'm going fantastic down in Aussie-land.  Cheers,

~ PA

Edited by Paranoid Android, 02 July 2010 - 08:52 AM.

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#50    Paranoid Android

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:51 AM

View Postemptyheart, on 02 July 2010 - 01:47 AM, said:

The Bible says its Gods will for everybody to be saved (2peter 3:9)....but not all of us choose God. isnt that free will?
And Jesus said for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that WHO SO EVER believes in him should not
persisb but have everlasting life...thats mans choice is it not? (john 3:16)
Hi emptyheart,

I apologise in advance for the length of this post, but this topic is not exactly a short one to discuss from a biblical perspective.  In any case, before I begin I just wanted to comment on your reference/s to 2 Peter 3:9 and John 3:16.  First to quickly discuss John 3:16, I see what you are saying, but this comment is still true if God seeks us and calls us, then we who are called by God repent and believe - John 3 is still valid when we believe, but we believe because of God's sovereign choice.  Second, to 2 Peter, I would argue that he is making a different point than the conclusion you have drawn.  To quote that verse, for the benefit of those who are reading this post:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
~ 2 Peter 3:9

The author states that it is God's desire that all should reach repentance, but the facts of the matter are that not everyone will reach repentance.  Now remember that this passage is being written to those people who are asking why Jesus hasn't returned yet (2 Peter 3:4) - and Peter counters that God is working on a different time scale as we are (the famous "a thousand years is a day to the Lord" passage is just before this in verse 8).  Obviously not everyone will reach repentance, but God is guiding his plan in just the way he wants it in order to save everyone who is in his plan to save.

On the topic of Peter, his other New Testament book (1 Peter) has an interesting passage worth looking up:

"They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for."
~ 1 Peter 2:8

Verse 7 makes it clear that Peter is referring to non-Christians who stumble at Jesus' words, and here is made clear that those who stumble do so because that is what they were destined for.

This is the clearest single-verse in the Bible that speaks of people being destined to stumble, but the most comprehensive outline on this issue is found in the book of Romans (chapter 9).  In this section, Paul asks (and answers) many questions on the issue of predestination that I think every Christian must at least deeply consider before making their judgements on this topic (I have heard some counters to the verse, but I have yet to find one of them convincing).  The section I'll be focusing my discussion on is Romans 9:10-24, but it won't hurt to familiarise yourself with the rest of Romans (if you haven't already).  Anyway, I'll pick up from verse 10:

10 Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13 Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

Paul starts in verse 10 by appealing to the Old Testament story of Esau and Jacob.  In this Old Testament story, Esau lost his birthright to Jacob, even though he was the firstborn and therefore rightful heir.  Paul states clearly in verse 11 - before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad - in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works.....  Again this is a very clear statement concerning God's purpose of election in choosing one over the other, not because of anything they had done (works), indeed before they were born or had done anything to deserve it or not, God had chosen one over the other.  One could argue that it related specifically to Esau and Jacob and does not directly relate to us today (a valid observation, but for the rest of the passage - which broadens the context to beyond Old Testament patriarchs)..... Continuing on to the next set of verses:

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

Paul again draws on Old Testament references, quoting the story of Pharaoh and Moses from Exodus 33 in stating "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy".  He repeats this in various wording in this section multiple times.  And in verse 17, again talking of Pharaoh - I (God) raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power.....  Did Pharaoh have a choice in the matter?    I would argue that he did not, especially when Exodus notes that Pharaoh was about to let the Israelites go, except for God's intervention in hardening Pharaoh's heart (however, there is a point worth raising on this issue - I'll discuss this shortly).  Moving on to verse 19, and this is where I find the passage getting really interesting:

19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Paul specifically addresses the argument that many today use - "if God made me like this, how can God still blame me for my actions".  And the simple answer Paul gives - who are you to talk back to God.  God, the King, the creator.  You can't understand God.  He's too big for you, you're just a human.  It's not an answer a lot of people like (heck, I don't like it either, and I'm a Christian).  It's not exactly an ideal answer, and I sure wish anywhere in the Bible there was a better answer provided, but this is the answer given.  Paul then uses an analogy that any in the day could understand - how can a pot say to a potter "why did you make me like this".  The potter can make grand pots or common use pots (a decorative vase, or a chamber pot for example).  The pot has no say in the matter - it's all up to the creator of the pot!  God, the creator.  In any case, I'm going to move on to the next few verses:

22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

I'll end my discussion here after these verses.  Here, Paul theorises why people are actually created for destruction - why would God make people destined for destruction?  What if God created these "objects of his wrath - prepared for destruction" to show the "riches of his mercy" to those whom he "also prepared in advance for glory".  He prepared certain people for destruction, in order to show glory to those who also were prepared for glory - in other words, how can we who are saved truly appreciate the massive gift of eternal life that God has given us if we didn't have an alternative (destruction) to compare it to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With all that said and done, I'll repeat my earlier comments that I am not completely averse to the idea of predestination and free will existing in some form on God's plane of existence. In an earthly world, one cannot have both, but with God all things are possible.  There is some evidence of this dual predestination/free will issue in the book of Exodus.  As mentioned above in my discussion on Romans 9, Pharaoh is said to be close to releasing the Israelites, and he very well might have, except for the matter that "God hardened Pharaoh's heart".  There are several occasions where this happened - Exodus 4:21, 7:3-4, 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8, 14:17.  However - it must also be noted here that while God did harden Pharaoh's heart, there are also other places where Pharaoh hardened his own heart (sometimes within the same section that God hardened it.  For examples of this, see - Exodus 8:15, 8:32, 9:34 - see also 1 Samuel 6:6.

Considering this dual hardening, it is possible to argue that both free will and predestination exist, but it is impossible for us to say that we choose, for this is simply not the case. God chooses.

If it helps at all, I would like to point out that I used to believe in free will also, but after studying these passages I have simply found it is impossible to reconcile complete free will in context of God's sovereign rule.  As I mentioned, I've tried looking at this passage from other directions, heard people give ideas as to why they feel that way, but I haven't been able to agree with anyone yet. I'm always happy to take other interpretations of scripture, as long as they are contextually accurate (and yes, from time to time it does happen that other valid interpretations are given; sometimes even valid enough to change my opinions) - if you feel there is a better explanation than the one I provided, I'd be most appreciated if you shared it.

Anyway, I once again apologise for the length of this post.  I sincerely hope you've had a chance to read through it, even if you still arrive at different conclusions.

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android, 03 July 2010 - 04:28 AM.
edited typo

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#51    Mr. Miyagi

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 12:33 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 02 July 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

Thats a belief and a self fulfilling one. Concerting/ disconcerting has no effect on reality. How i feel about predestination determinism is irrelevant. Logically, given the nature of sapience it is impossible (of course you can define determinism in ways which sound pluasiblw but it is only a human philosophical construct , itself built upon human understandings  which may be either correct or incorrect.

And what exactly leads you to believe that what you refer to as free will is not a human construct? What other understandings are you refering to here? This seems an attempt to steer your argument back toward God given free will. Which for the rest of us mere mortals constitutes a belief as well. One as exaulted as yourself obviously doesn't have to worry much about insignificant human philosophical constructs. lol.

View PostMr Walker, on 02 July 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

  Slave to reason is a catchy phrase but silly. Reason frees one rather than enslaves one. A n entity without self awareness, abilty to see future and past, and to act on reason, is a slave to circumstance and determinism. However any sapaient entity is not, and cannot be. You are saying that  a person will always decide something the same way and for the same reason.

Not "slave to reason" That phrase has a different meaning and is a blatant try at misrepresenting my position. That's not appreciated. I said we are a slave to the reasons that cause us to do things. Perhaps we are having a misunderstanding here. What I'm stating is that no matter what decision you think you've made it is influenced by that initial impulse. That reason to do or not to do anything. That is what you are a slave to and if you dig back far enough, often that initial impulse is not within your control.

View PostMr Walker, on 02 July 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

This is logically false. While, once a decisionis made, it becomes the only decision made, until it is made all possibilities are open. No one can know what decision would be made. If it was possible we would have a multiverse with an infinite number of umniverses. Because of the nature of time this is impossible. Yet theoretically in the future a multiverse exists it merely solidifies into our universe through the passge of time from future through present to future.

And all these "possibilities" are undeniably linked to your first impulse which you will act upon or not act upon. If you act upon it. there is a reason for it. If you do not act upon it there is a reason for that as well. Those reasons are always linked to that impulse... there's a reason you had that impulse too...

View PostMr Walker, on 02 July 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

The true illusion is that we do not have choices via our ability to think and act. Of course previous forces can influence a persons decisions That does not determine them or make them inevitable A multitude of potential chpices exisst . Only when one is chosen does it become determined Thus only yhthe past and present are determined the future cannot be.

Determinism says that from the beginning of the universe only one pathway time line is possible. That simply is not true.

Again, I never said anything about future being already determined and I told you why. You are putting words in my mouth and miscontruing my actual argument. It is still unappreciated. Perhaps you are confusing this with pre-determinism?

View PostMr Walker, on 02 July 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

Reasons do not impact on will. Will determines choice of reasons.

Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel more comfortable. I would suggest actually using this philosophy to better understand "yourself".

View PostMr Walker, on 02 July 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

Its not a feeling, its a knowledge. Of course there are things i cant control They are not a part of will free or otherwise but where i have choice they are consequential on the exercise of free will. Whether i like a piece of music or not(or whether i was born tone deaf) does not impact on my knowledgemy will or on my freedom to chose. reasons for choice do not restrict freedom of choice.

Oh, it sure does. You're telling me that whether or not you like a piece of music has no impact on your "choice" of whether or not to listen to it? Lulz indeed. How about food? Same question. You think whether or not you like or dislike a type of food has no impact in your "choice" to eat it or not? There are no reasons for choice. There are reasons for doing or not doing things. Again, you are either misconstruing my argument so that you may better defend your own position or you do not understand what I am saying.

View PostMr Walker, on 02 July 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

There is nothing about super powers in this. Ive read since childhood. As a reader i have explored many possible future worlds and histories Inmy dreams and imaginations i have explored others. I have ridden light ships throughthe centr of the universe and been transformed into various forms of sentience. There is nothing super[powered or magical in this. Read some of turtledoves alternative world histories and you will see what i mean. Any future is open to me and to all people.

I understand your disinterest in superpowers lol

As a reader of fiction, you've read about many wonderful places. You've obviously dreamed them as well. we all have. You're right. To characterize yourself as having actually done these things based upon reading and dreaming them... That's not super powers. It's dishonest imho. You actually think Turtledove is presenting these alternate histories as reality??!! He's a fiction writer.

Thanks again. Unless you can present a new argument, rather than restate you previous one ad nauseum, I think we're done. Well, I'm done anyway. You either get it or you don't. As usual, I have no desire to hop on an internet carousel. You understand.... And there's a reason for that lol. :P

Have a good one.

Edited by Mr. Miyagi, 02 July 2010 - 12:39 PM.


#52    aNoNymOus XO

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 05:12 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 02 July 2010 - 08:51 AM, said:

Hi emptyheart,

I apologise in advance for the length of this post, but this topic is not exactly a short one to discuss from a biblical perspective.  In any case, before I begin I just wanted to comment on your reference/s to 2 Peter 3:9 and John 3:16.  First to quickly discuss John 3:16, I see what you are saying, but this comment is still true if God seeks us and calls us, then we who are called by God repent and believe - John 3 is still valid when we believe, but we believe because of God's sovereign choice.  Second, to 2 Peter, I would argue that he is making a different point than the conclusion you have drawn.  To quote that verse, for the benefit of those who are reading this post:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
~ 2 Peter 3:9

The author states that it is God's desire that all should reach repentance, but the facts of the matter are that not everyone will reach repentance.  Now remember that this passage is being written to those people who are asking why Jesus hasn't returned yet (2 Peter 3:4) - and Peter counters that God is working on a different time scale as we are (the famous "a thousand years is a day to the Lord" passage is just before this in verse 8).  Obviously not everyone will reach repentance, but God is guiding his plan in just the way he wants it in order to save everyone who is in his plan to save.

On the topic of Peter, his other New Testament book (1 Peter) has an interesting passage worth looking up:
"They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for."
~ 1 Peter 2:8


~ Regards, PA

First i would like to thank you for giving so much time to this topic =) this was well written and versed! ^_^
I would also like to apoligize for the caps and run on sentences lol i dont know how to bold print or break up the post like others do. if you could explain how that would be great ^_^

Regarding 1 peter 2:8 please note that the word DESTINED in greek is TITHEMI- which means "to put"
it does not mean anything before hand. why were they destined, (appointed, or put)? because they were disobedient. This is the destiny of all the disobedient. God didnt make them disobedient. The fact that God knows our choice before hand does not preclude him from giving us every opportunity to hear the Gospel message and be saved. But the choice is still ours. The same sun that melts the wax, hardens the clay. We all have wicked hearts (no offense) that is why we must be born again. This comes with repentence. This is Gods will for all to come to repentence. It is not that God cant make everyone repent, His heart longs for repentence. But we must choose.

"CHOOSE this day whom you will serve" joshua 24:15
"Come now and let us reason together says the Lord" isaiah 1:18
"whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" revelation 22:17

all these and a multitude of other scriptures show God allowing man to CHOOSE.
ie- could cain not have chosen to offer God what was pleasing to God? and if God was not pleased, isnt that Gods choice? and if able chose his own way, why was cain mad at God and why did he kill abel? all these were choices. God even came to cain to help him choose as a parent would a child. But when one chooses to be dissobedient one must also choose to accept the conscquences. We cant have it both ways. This is what seperates us from robots and pupets who have no choice. Im sure they wish they had lol but you and I have the great gift of choosing we can choose whatsoever or whomsoever we will serve. We must all be willing to accept the conscequences of our choices.
Please choose life...Deuteronomy 30:19

Now to address pharoh. It is true God hardened pharohs heart. But this is after pharoh hardened his own heart first (exodus 7:13, 8:18,19,32)
God knew what was in pharoh just like he knew what was in judas heart. They both had the opportunity to repent. God didnt make them dissobedient anymore then he made satan dissobedient. The fact that he knew and said it before hand only shows that he is God. Which one of us knowing that information, would still give judas, pharoh, or even satan this kind of patience.

Finally i believe the issue here is one of justice. I believe the only truly just person in this universe is God. He doesnt have to prove it to me. The fact that i am still living is proof enough. We have our own sence of justice which is why we try to understand Gods justice, But they are incomprable for one simple reason...He is Holy, Pure, and Righteous in all His ways and thoughts. None of us are.

wow i think you just helped me find my own answers to my own problems lol :tu:

PS. the only good thing this earth has ever seen walked amoung us and was crusified. He never did anything wrong. Where is the justice. if this is how we treat things that are good, God help us all .


^_^


#53    IamsSon

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 06:26 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 02 July 2010 - 07:01 AM, said:

Hey again, Iams.  I wouldn't necessarily put it in the same terms as you do (a more complex version of 'The Sims'), but what it does come down to is God's sovereign choice (not our choice).  As I said at the start, I am not averse to the idea of man's choice and God's choice working in harmony (free will and predestination coinciding together), but this is not what the conventional understanding of "free will" is. When we think of free will, we think of our conscious and individual choice to do something - in terms of salvation, to choose to follow God and believe his words, or to choose not to do this.  But the scriptures are clear that no one comes to God unless God chooses them, and who can resist the will of God?  In this sense, at the very least we can say that salvation is predestined by God's sovereignty, though it may be possible that some other actions are of our own free choice.

I'll share some passages on this in my next post to emptyheart, if you want to skip down to that post after this :tu:

Indeed, I'm going fantastic down in Aussie-land.  Cheers,

~ PA
PA, I found an article that may actually satisfy both of us.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

Quote

What does the Bible say about salvation, God’s sovereignty, and        man’s free will?
     by Pastor Ron Jones, D.D. © Titus Institute 2003

     NOTE: This is a difficult subject dealt with by  many godly        Bible teachers, this article represents my best effort at  explaining what        I believe is the Biblical position.

     God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Free Choice

     I. God is sovereign over all he has created.

     God is the sovereign ruler over all creation as the creator and  owner of        everything.

     1 Chron.29:11-12 God owns all and rules all.

     This means that whatever happens must be under God’s rule. God  either        does it or allows it to happen. When God allows something to  happen that        does not mean that he condones it just that he has chosen not to  stop it        from happening.

     Ps.115:3 God does whatever he pleases (wills).

     Isa. 43:13 No one can reverse or thwart what God chooses to do.

     These verses show God’s absolute sovereignty over all his  creatures        (includes angels, good and evil, and human beings) and what they  desire        and/or choose to do. They also show that if God makes a choice to  do something,        no one can stop him and it is done. Everything God chooses to do  is accomplished.

     II. Under God’s sovereign rule and within his sovereign will, he        allows man to make free choices.

     In Gen.2:15 Adam is an example of this. Adam was told not to eat  of the        fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but he could  eat freely        of the fruit of any of the other trees. Adam had free choice to  eat whatever        other fruit he wanted and when he wanted to eat it. Adam had many  other        free choices as well. Adam was created to make free choices under  God’s        sovereign rule.

     Free choice does not mean that God allows us to do whatever we  freely choose        without him intervening nor does it mean that God allows us to do  whatever        we choose without consequences.

     For example, we may go into someone’s house and we have free  choice        to knock over a lamp or sit down and read the paper. However, the  owner        of the house may not choose to allow us to do that. After all, it  is his        house. If he does not stop us, he can force us to face the  consequences        in court. After all, it’s his house.

     Free choice only means that when we were created, we could freely  choose        to do something. The reason we could make free choices is that  Adam was        created with a free will. A free will is a will that is not  controlled by        anyone, but the person whose will it is. After Adam sinned, his  will was        enslaved to sin and he was blinded by Satan, yet he still makes  free choices.        He is not a robot.

     III. God has chosen in eternity to prepare a plan where he has  determined        everything that he is going to do or allow to happen throughout  all time        in the lives of his creature.

     Eph.1:11 God works according to the plan in conformity to the  purpose of        his will.

     Within this plan, which reflects his sovereign will, God allows  human beings        free choice in many areas. Since he is in eternity and knows all  things,        he sees everything that we are going to freely choose. He knows  all alternatives        to our actions if and when he was to intervene. He can move people  and things        into our paths as he chooses.

     God has determined to give to us a lot of room within his  sovereign will        to make choices such as what we eat, what we wear, what jobs we  have, etc.

     I think of it like a fenced in yard where the father looks upon a  bunch        of kids, some his children and others not his children, but all  under his        care and rule. He gives them free choice to interact and steps in  wherever        he chooses or deems wise. Sometimes he may let a child hit another  child,        another time he may prevent it. Everyone in that yard has a  certain amount        of free choice, yet no one is free to do whatever he wants; only  the father        is. Those children make many free choices where the father simply  allows        them to do whatever they want. But when the father determines he  may act        and he will accomplish what he desires by that action because he  is rules        and is more powerful than the children.

     This is so important to understand. Only God can do whatever he  chooses        by his free will and choice. Man never can. Nobody in the universe  has the        free will to do whatever he chooses except God. The biggest  mistake human        beings make regarding this issue is thinking that “free will”        means one can do whatever one wants to do without intervention or  consequences        by God.

     In fact, that has never existed. It doesn’t exist anywhere on  earth.        Even in America, a “free” country. We are not “free”        to do whatever we want whenever we want. That reality has never  existed        for human beings. The only “free will” human beings have ever        had is freedom to choose within the parameters the sovereign God  of the        universe has determined.

     IV. God chooses some to be saved by his sovereign will.

     What about salvation, God’s sovereignty and man’s free choice?

     The first thing we must realize is that God gave Adam both a free  will        and the free choice to choose to live within the boundaries that  God had        set or not to. God did not control Adam’s will. Adam was to free  to        choose to eat of any of the other trees, but not the tree of the  knowledge        of good and evil. God would not prevent Adam from exercising his  freedom        to freely follow God or not to follow him.

     As said, earlier, Adam had plenty of free choice to eat of any of  the trees        in the garden except one. There was a lot of freedom there. God  simply set        a boundary of his will. Those in authority over others always have  some        boundary that cannot be crossed. Again, no situation has ever  existed where        there were no boundaries for humans. If two people were completely  alone        on a desert isle, each would set certain boundaries, the other  shouldn’t        cross. Each has the free choice to decide if he or she will cross  the boundary.        If a boundary is crossed, there will be consequences.

     Adam chose to defy God’s boundary and disobey. This is how man  lost        his free will in the sense that he became enslaved to sin. After  the fall,        human beings were enslaved to sin. His will is a slave of fleshly  desires

     Rom.6:6-7 Man is enslaved to sin.

     Eph.2:1-3 Man follows the world, Satan, and his fleshly desires.

     2 Cor.4:4 Man is blinded to Satan.

     Because of this he has lost his “free will” in the sense that        he is dominated by the world, Satan, and the flesh. Adam was not  dominated        by these, but all his descendents were and are. Human beings still  have        free choices in the sense that they can still choose what they  will do or        not do. They are not robots. But they are dominated by the world,  the flesh,        and Satan. They are blinded to truth and what is really going on  in the        spiritual realm. This blindness means they cannot freely choose to  believe        in Christ. They are blind; they cannot see the true value of and  the need        to come to him for salvation. They can intellectually understand  these truths,        but see no value in them.

     My best interpretation of these verses is that human beings  cannot open        their minds and hearts to Christ apart from a sovereign act of God  who must        open them himself or no one could be saved.

     The only way man could be saved is if God lifted the veil of  blindness        and opened his heart to Jesus Christ.

     Jn.6:44 God the Father draws certain people to believe in the Son  and the        Son raises everyone of those individuals to eternal life on the  last day.

     Jesus says that no one can come to him unless the Father draws  him. The        drawing is when the Father opens up one’s heart to Christ. Jesus  also        says that he will raise him up on the last day.

     When God draws someone, he lifts the veil of blindness so that  they can        see the glory of Christ and believe in him.

     2 Cor.5-6 God made the light of Christ shine in our (Christians’)         hearts.

     God breaks the domination of the world, sin and the flesh in our  lives.        We are no longer under their domination.

     Rom.6:5-14 We are dead to sin, thus we have been freed from the  domination        of sin

     ‘Dead to sin” means “separated from sin’s domination.”        “Freed,” means “freedom from the domination of sin.”        They mean the same thing. Sin no longer dominates the Christian.  We know        that we still have a sin nature and can still sin (1 Jn.1:8-10).  We know        that we still have fleshly desires that are strong (Gal.5:17) But  we now        are new creations, who can turn away from sin and follow God’s  moral        will (2 Cor.5:17). We have been given new values and beliefs by  the Holy        Spirit to influence us toward righteousness (Rom.8:9-11).

     The “drawing,” the “making the light shine in our hearts,”        and the resultant “freedom from the domination of sin” is a        sovereign act of God based on nothing a human does. If a human is  blind        and in unbelief and dominated by the world, Satan, and the flesh,  what could        he or she do to merit or cause God to want to save that person.  All are        equally in sin and equally blind.

     God must do the choosing. There is no other way a human can be  saved.

     Yes, God chooses those who will be saved, because everyone is  doomed and        cannot save themselves, therefore he has to choose some or no one  would        be saved. Yes, God opens up their hearts to be saved because they  cannot        open up their own hearts. Yes, everyone whose heart God opens up  will be        saved.

     Can a human being resist God’s drawing or opening up his or her  heart?

     No. Jesus says in Jn.6:44 that he will raise up everyone the  Father draws.        That means that everyone the Father draws will come to Jesus  Christ and        Jesus Christ will bring them to heaven. There are no exceptions.  There is        no one the Father draws that does not come to heaven with Christ.

     This shows that the Bible does not support the idea that God  opens up the        hearts of people and some reject and some accept. Jn.6:44 shows  all accept        Christ whom God draws.

     The Jesus will raise up everyone the Father draws. That means  that everyone        the Father draws will come to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ will  bring them        to heaven. There are no exceptions. There is no one the Father  draws that        does not come to heaven with Christ.

     V. God does not choose others to be saved, but they choose to  rebel against        him.

     What about those whom God does not choose? They receive the due  penalty        of their sin. Everyone deserves hell for his or her sin. Because  we have        been chosen does not mean that those who have not been deserve  hell any        less.

     We were only saved by God’s grace.

     Eph.2:8-9 God’s grace is freely giving us what we do not deserve.

     Why can’t God save everyone? Because in Gen.2:15 and Gen.3 he  said        that humans will pay the penalty for their sin and die spiritually  forever.        If God saved everyone, God would contradict the very curse he  gave.

     Now where does free choice fit in? Here is the mystery.

     Can a just God hold accountable unbelievers who are enslaved to  sin? Yes.        In fact, he can and does, but does not tell us exactly how he can.

     He does tell us:

     1. Everyone who rejects Jesus Christ wants to reject him.

     Those who reject Christ want to reject him. No one will enter  hell saying,        “I’m sorry I did it. If I had only known, I would have accepted        Christ.”

     Jesus said that there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The  gnashing        of teeth refers to the grinding of teeth in anger against God. The  weeping        is the sorrow that comes from being punished. Unbelievers enter  hell in        anger against God.

     Matt.13:42-50 In the fiery furnace, there will be weeping and  gnashing        of teeth.

     Nowhere does the Bible ever say anyone will even want to repent  after they        die. That is a false. People who do not accept Christ, have chosen  to rebel        against God and they continue that rebellion after they die.

     No one enters hell with anything less than a prideful rebellious  heart.        Paul says that what is really amazing is that God doesn’t crush  all        his rebellious creatures, but instead endures their sin in order  to show        his mercy to some. Nobody could be saved unless God saved him or  her.

     Rom.9:19-25

     How could God allow one person in heaven who is rebelling against  him?        He can’t and won’t.

     2. Death entered the human race through Adam.

     Rom.5:12

     Once Adam sinned, the whole human race was lost because all human  beings        descended from Adam. Paul says that is how sinned entered the  human race.        God didn’t enslave humans to sin as a result of the fall. Adam and         Eve were created to bear children with their nature. Once their  nature became        enslaved to sin, all the descendents were born enslaved.

     Also, Adam represented every human being who ever lived. If you  had been        Adam would you have chosen to obey God? The reality is no. Adam  did what        we all would have done. Think about it. The only two pure and  innocent human        beings God created sinned against him. We would have done the same  thing!        God knows that.

     3. When people come to Christ they do not sense anyone forcing  them. They        desire to come to Christ. In their perception, they freely chose  to do it,        but later they find out that God gave them that desire out of his  grace        and mercy toward them. We all praise him for that!

Source

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#54    danielost

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:02 PM

perhaps god knows the outcome.  but we have the ability to change the outcome.

I am a Mormon.  If I don't use Mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
I am not perfect and never will be. I do strive to be true to myself. I do my best to stay true to the Mormon faith. Thanks for caring and if you don't peace be with you.

#55    Paranoid Android

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 04:37 AM

View Postbeatingheart, on 02 July 2010 - 05:12 PM, said:

First i would like to thank you for giving so much time to this topic =) this was well written and versed! ^_^
I would also like to apoligize for the caps and run on sentences lol i dont know how to bold print or break up the post like others do. if you could explain how that would be great ^_^

Regarding 1 peter 2:8 please note that the word DESTINED in greek is TITHEMI- which means "to put"
it does not mean anything before hand. why were they destined, (appointed, or put)? because they were disobedient. This is the destiny of all the disobedient. God didnt make them disobedient. The fact that God knows our choice before hand does not preclude him from giving us every opportunity to hear the Gospel message and be saved. But the choice is still ours. The same sun that melts the wax, hardens the clay. We all have wicked hearts (no offense) that is why we must be born again. This comes with repentence. This is Gods will for all to come to repentence. It is not that God cant make everyone repent, His heart longs for repentence. But we must choose.
Hi again,

Thanks for the response, and for putting the time into the response.  First, I would like to say that I agree with you on the Greek tithemi.  I had actually thought I'd mentioned that point, but I've written this type of response out so often that sometimes I overlook the occasional detail - while I wouldn't go as far as to suggest that it cannot mean "destined" but rather "appoint" or "to put" (as you used), I certainly agree that the Greek does not necessarily convey the same finality that "destined" does in English.

Nevertheless, this was still just one verse in scripture - Romans 9 is a much more detailed account, going into great detail on being chosen by God's sovereign choice - I would like to hear your thoughts on that, if you don't mind :)

View Postbeatingheart, on 02 July 2010 - 05:12 PM, said:

"CHOOSE this day whom you will serve" joshua 24:15
"Come now and let us reason together says the Lord" isaiah 1:18
"whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" revelation 22:17

all these and a multitude of other scriptures show God allowing man to CHOOSE.
ie- could cain not have chosen to offer God what was pleasing to God? and if God was not pleased, isnt that Gods choice? and if able chose his own way, why was cain mad at God and why did he kill abel? all these were choices. God even came to cain to help him choose as a parent would a child. But when one chooses to be dissobedient one must also choose to accept the conscquences. We cant have it both ways. This is what seperates us from robots and pupets who have no choice. Im sure they wish they had lol but you and I have the great gift of choosing we can choose whatsoever or whomsoever we will serve. We must all be willing to accept the conscequences of our choices.
Please choose life...Deuteronomy 30:19
I see what you are trying to say, but these passages don't change in their application if we consider the illusion of free will.  You see, assuming that free will is an illusion, then whatever action we CHOOSE to make was already planned.  Thus if we "choose" whether we serve God, or choose to worship one of the gods of the nations around them (such as suggested in Joshua 24:15), then it may have been destined to be that way, but we still have to make that choice - we don't know what is going to happen, only God knows this.  So to us, I would argue that the illusion of free will is just as strong as if free will were to actually exist.  

View Postbeatingheart, on 02 July 2010 - 05:12 PM, said:

Now to address pharoh. It is true God hardened pharohs heart. But this is after pharoh hardened his own heart first (exodus 7:13, 8:18,19,32)
God knew what was in pharoh just like he knew what was in judas heart. They both had the opportunity to repent. God didnt make them dissobedient anymore then he made satan dissobedient. The fact that he knew and said it before hand only shows that he is God. Which one of us knowing that information, would still give judas, pharoh, or even satan this kind of patience.
Was it really after Pharaoh had hardened his own heart that God acted?  The first time in Exodus that shows Pharaoh with a hardened heart, it is because of God - see Exodus 4:21, where God states that he will harden Pharaoh's heart. It is then repeated again in Exodus 7:3.  Your quote from Exodus 7:13 doesn't actually show Pharaoh hardening his heart. The passage just says his heart was hardened.  The first time it is specifically noted that Pharaoh hardened his own heart is from Exodus 8:15, four chapters after God says he will harden Pharaoh's heart..

However, I did address this in my last post to you. This issue with Pharaoh is one reason why I am not against the idea of both free will and predestination existing together on a spiritual level.  I'll copy a bit from my last post to cover this....- There is some evidence of this dual predestination/free will issue in the book of Exodus. As mentioned above in my discussion on Romans 9, Pharaoh is said to be close to releasing the Israelites, and he very well might have, except for the matter that "God hardened Pharaoh's heart". There are several occasions where this happened - Exodus 4:21, 7:3-4, 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8, 14:17. However - it must also be noted here that while God did harden Pharaoh's heart, there are also other places where Pharaoh hardened his own heart (sometimes within the same section that God hardened it). For examples of this, see - Exodus 8:15, 8:32, 9:34 - see also 1 Samuel 6:6.    

Hope this clarifies my point a little :tu:

View Postbeatingheart, on 02 July 2010 - 05:12 PM, said:

Finally i believe the issue here is one of justice. I believe the only truly just person in this universe is God. He doesnt have to prove it to me. The fact that i am still living is proof enough. We have our own sence of justice which is why we try to understand Gods justice, But they are incomprable for one simple reason...He is Holy, Pure, and Righteous in all His ways and thoughts. None of us are.

wow i think you just helped me find my own answers to my own problems lol :tu:

PS. the only good thing this earth has ever seen walked amoung us and was crusified. He never did anything wrong. Where is the justice. if this is how we treat things that are good, God help us all .


^_^
I agree - God is the only truly Just being in this universe.  I'm glad this discussion has helped you to formulate your own views and find answers, whatever they may be (though as mentioned above, I would like to hear your views on Romans 9, which I discussed).  Best wishes,

~ Regards, PA

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#56    Paranoid Android

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 04:54 AM

View PostIamsSon, on 02 July 2010 - 06:26 PM, said:

PA, I found an article that may actually satisfy both of us.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

Source
An interesting article.  A few minor theological inconsistencies, in my opinion, but overall I would say that it is a well thought out article.  Essentially, the overriding view presented is that our individual actions are freely chosen, but the act of salvation is a sovereign choice of God's, not in any way ours.  I have considered this, but so far I have yet to decide whether it is theologically appropriate (I'm not sure it is, but it is sound).

One particular section that stood out to me was the author's comment that "Because we have been chosen does not mean that those who have not been deserve hell any less".  Ignoring the minor point that I think the author has provided a misconception of "hell", he does hit on a very great issue that I think many people misunderstand.  People often look at this in terms of "Why would God be so cruel as to send his creation to hell".  I think the reverse stance should be taken - "Why is  God so loving and merciful that he would choose to save some of us". *as I said, leaving aside the point that I think he's provided a misunderstanding of "hell", I can see where he's coming from and think it worth pointing out again.

Thanks for sharing, Iams :tu:

~ Regards, PA

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#57    Mr Walker

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 06:10 AM

View PostTiggs, on 02 July 2010 - 12:57 AM, said:

Is that an opinion, or do you have evidence for that?
Which ? That this is the definition of determinism , or that more than one path is possible.

I got my defn. of wikipedia which had a whole page of related definitions. Not really an academic source but in this case accuratee enough

For the second, its simple logic. We ONLY think things are predetermined because of the way we sit in /connect to, the linear pathway of time.
Determinism is nothing more than an intellectual construct, formed from  the subjective ideas and beliefs of human minds, and when you understand the motivations/drivers behind its construction, you can see why we created it, and why it is false. :devil:

For us, the past is fixed And the present is the process of "fixing" the past.  Because we can see and understand how that past comes about, we assume it had to happen that way, But of course, it did not.
Show me a mathematical or scientific equation, formula, or theorem which proves the validity of determinism. It is no more than an idea.

MAny pasts were always possible. Once we free ourselves from the idea that the past is/was fixed, we can see that it cannot determine the future. At this moment NO true/one future exists, in human terms.

Something which does not exist cannot be determined except via human ability to extrapolate and manipulate. Thus humans can imagine and create a variety (almost a myriad) of futures.

As sapient beings our minds, through many abilities including imagination and logical thought, can create optional pathways.

ALL those pathways, at this point of time, are possible, even if some have a higher probability than others. Just because, eventually, only one pathway will solidify into the present and the past, does not mean that, at this moment, it is inevitably the only pathway possible. A lot better minds than mine have discussed this and written books about it.

What worries me is the way both some  deists and some athiests try to use the concept of determinism to avoid personal repsonsibilities. Because i you and everyone can and will create our own future, and thus the future of the world, of course we have to act in this knowledge.

That is true of an ethical athiest or humanist as much as any deist.  I (and you) will not only create/shape/ form ourselves as the people we chose to be, we will in small or large  part create/ shape/ form the future of the world, and of humanity, through our minds and our actions.
It is no wonder so many chose to shelter from this knowledge /realisation in the illusion that they have no free will, and  that the future is determined by an external force (be it god or determinism)

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#58    Mr Walker

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 07:14 AM

View PostMr. Miyagi, on 02 July 2010 - 12:33 PM, said:

And what exactly leads you to believe that what you refer to as free will is not a human construct? What other understandings are you refering to here? This seems an attempt to steer your argument back toward God given free will. Which for the rest of us mere mortals constitutes a belief as well. One as exaulted as yourself obviously doesn't have to worry much about insignificant human philosophical constructs. lol.



There you go again (not you personally) but people tend to judge and categorise one element of my life by reference to another. I read and learned about  these things long before  i met god and while a n athiest /secular humanist. I talked about them with people from childhood, and walked beneath the stars for hours, alone and with others, discussing them with aspects of my self or with other people.

Free will is not a construct of humans, although like many things it requires human level intelligence to recognise.It is an innate possession/ facility of sapience.

As sapience evolves via evolution, free will contributes to the construction of sapience and also sapience creates the ability to have and utilise free will.

An artificial intelligence or a sapient monkey would have free will. It would also inherently, in my definition, possess a soul becuase it could recognise alternate actions as having alternate consequences; it could identify some consequences as productive and some as destructive. In making free willed choices it would determine both its own physical destiny and that of its spirit/ soul or nature.

There is no need for god at all in this process, only spaient self awareness, somewhere about cromagnon level or above.

Quote


Not "slave to reason" That phrase has a different meaning and is a blatant try at misrepresenting my position. That's not appreciated. I said we are a slave to the reasons that cause us to do things. Perhaps we are having a misunderstanding here. What I'm stating is that no matter what decision you think you've made it is influenced by that initial impulse. That reason to do or not to do anything. That is what you are a slave to and if you dig back far enough, often that initial impulse is not within your control.



If i am confused it is because to me you are confusing two things. No sapient entity is controlled by organic or environmental factors in the same way that a non sapient entity is. That is simple fact. I dont even have to keep breathing if i chose not to. Sure we are restrained in some ways biologically or physically but ultimately our mind will give us a way to circumvent those restraints.

SO no, neither you nor i is  constrained by past events or manipulated by anything unless we allow ourselves to be. Humans can recognise every biological emotion and they can eliminate, control and manipulate them via conscious choice and will.

One of the great tenets of my life is that  Nothing and no one controls my emotions or thoughts other than my will. No one can make me angry or sad unless i chose that response

That is why human level sapience is differnt and changes the physical evolutionary responsivenss of non sapient entities to internal and external environments. If humans cannot learn this ability then we will inevitably destroy ourselves.
And reason is not a master of our will but a servant of it. I think i agree with you on that It is reason which complements free will The ability to reason and the attribute of free will evolved together each allowing the other to grow. If i cant chose via reason then i have no fre will A rock or a plant can neither reason nor exercise will.

As one grows the other is inevitably linked to it.


Quote

And all these "possibilities" are undeniably linked to your first impulse which you will act upon or not act upon. If you act upon it. there is a reason for it. If you do not act upon it there is a reason for that as well. Those reasons are always linked to that impulse... there's a reason you had that impulse too...

Sure, but reasoned actions complement free will, not restrain it.

The exercise of a free will and choice depends on the ability to make reasoned, informed choices (but it also allows us to make other forms of choices as well)

I can act from reason, intition, emotion, belief, superstiton, etc But always i am aware and my choice and for the drivers behind it.  It is my own choice, unconstrained by either external or internal forces beyond my control. A reasoned choice is as free as an unresoned one if not more so. This is true for you too, or at least potentially true. Free will means a will unconstrained by other forces. What forces negate your free will, or take it away from you?



Quote

Again, I never said anything about future being already determined and I told you why. You are putting words in my mouth and miscontruing my actual argument. It is still unappreciated. Perhaps you are confusing this with pre-determinism?

Ten i dont understnad . If we have no free will, then we are subject to determinism. ANd if this is the case, then the future is determined. How do you separate out lack of free will from a future which you can control through an act of free will?



Quote

Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel more comfortable. I would suggest actually using this philosophy to better understand "yourself".
lol Why would it make me feel comfortable? And why do you think comfort is a driver in my life ?  

I t is the way i see the world and my self throughthe application of intelligence and informed through reading and discuassion it might be wrong but it is coherent and makes logical sense which is good enough for me The concept of determinism does not fit withthe true nature of humans time or the universe.
Comfortable or not, it makes sense. certainly it throws greater responsibilty and duty onme as a human being Not sure if imcomfortable withthat . it means that i can logically plot my life and see how my actions benefit or har myself and thse around me.

Imo Any human who does not act and think in this way is limiting, if not harming, them selves, and the future of those around them.
I chose not to limit my self.

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Oh, it sure does. You're telling me that whether or not you like a piece of music has no impact on your "choice" of whether or not to listen to it? Lulz indeed. How about food? Same question. You think whether or not you like or dislike a type of food has no impact in your "choice" to eat it or not? There are no reasons for choice. There are reasons for doing or not doing things. Again, you are either misconstruing my argument so that you may better defend your own position or you do not understand what I am saying.
Sure as i said reason emotions intitiosn beliefs knowledge all inform free choice and will But once one is ware then one can no longer be COMPELLED Tha tis the differnce

I talk to manychildren up to 18 years of age who honestly believe that other people can make them angry or sad. That is so limiting.Not to mention dangerous

They feel compelled to act or speak from an anger they do not recognise a s a choice but as a compulsion.

And yet it is not. If you get angry that is a choice you make. One can recognise anger, and a chld can be taught to recognise both its emotional symptoms  its triggers, even  its biological symptoms and cut it off, eliminate or (more constructively) redirect it into productive energies.

Humanns capable of destroying their world cant be allowed to go on thinking that they are forced to respond to triggers around them. They are not. They are capable of chosing wise, productive, and constructive, alternatives which will shape and save themselves and their world.

But perahps you do not believe this. If you dont think humans have the evolved potential to survive prosper and expand, then what do you see for their future?



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As a reader of fiction, you've read about many wonderful places. You've obviously dreamed them as well. we all have. You're right. To characterize yourself as having actually done these things based upon reading and dreaming them... That's not super powers. It's dishonest imho. You actually think Turtledove is presenting these alternate histories as reality??!! He's a fiction writer.

Two things here Again because i read  fantasy along with almost every genre does not make me incapable of differnrtiating reality from fantasy it enhances the ability to differntiate. It does however allow me acces to thousands of human minds /voices and the worlds they create.
Most science fiction writers have an excellent knowledge not jus tof cotemporary science but of how the applications of such sciences may play out though an understanding of sociology history or humanity. One can lear a great deal about peole and the world by reading science fiction.
my point with turtle dove was to illustrate the constructed and engrained nature of   "determinism" or "lack of free will"

Turtle dove, among many, simply illustrates that this is all such beliefs are. Reading such writers works of fictions lets one see that here is no physical reason why even our pasts were fixed or determined (by extrapolating alternatives based on one or more quite minor variations in  singularity.)  It thus reinforces even more clearly the impossibilty that our past, let  our present or our future was/is fixed in any way.

Also, reading science fiction opens ones mind to alternatives. For me that changes me, and it changes my will and purpose. Stuff i read 50 years ago, like asimovs foundation series or clarkes and heinleins socio political works of science fiction, has shaped and influenced mylife.

Stuff i read from the 20's and t30's helped me understand wha tit was like for people living in those times and how the cultures influenced their psyches. You can see the conflict betwee nationalism and pacifism. In the great space operas of thaose decades, with fleets of ever more powerful warcraft, you can trace the rearmament and the belief that conflicts can be solved by pure military supremacy.
Tha tdoes not affirm determinism however. It provided me with alternative knowledge views and attitudes. I am well aware say of how the writings of sf were influenced by contemporary geo politics from pre world war 2 through the cold war period and th e eco sensitive period, into a new optimistic vision of a technologically driven utopia. I dont have to believe or accept any of the views in my reading but they open up further potential and creat differnt options for growth development and action.
Any one wh reads contemporsrty sf will hve seen for at least a decade the coming technological supereiority of both china and India over the west This creates multiple future pathways ranging from world hegemony under one through to a very destructive world war. The actual future depends on individauls how we chose and how we act.
Books like enders war and enders game help illustrate this point.

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Thanks again. Unless you can present a new argument, rather than restate you previous one ad nauseum, I think we're done. Well, I'm done anyway. You either get it or you don't. As usual, I have no desire to hop on an internet carousel. You understand.... And there's a reason for that lol. :P

Have a good one.
Np
You could argue this is a good case for determinism and lack of free will but i see it differntly.

I know and understand why i reach the conclusions i do. I asume you are in the same position.

That does not mean those views are/were either inevitable nor predestined. It does not mean that  i cannot modify or alter them through reasoned debate or just at a whim. It does not even mean that they are the only, unequivocal, or even  genuine, views i hold on this matter. I chose to select points for the purpose of the momen. That is, again, an exercise of free will.

And just remember my favourite sport is calvin ball. This also reflects my core attitude to life. In calvin ball there is no dependency/ determinism. The rules are arbitrary and subject to change at any moment, for any reason.It is impossible to predict the outcome. But its fun.

Edited by Karlis, 05 July 2010 - 01:54 PM.
Fix quote link

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#59    IamsSon

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 02:17 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 03 July 2010 - 04:37 AM, said:

Hi again,

Thanks for the response, and for putting the time into the response.  First, I would like to say that I agree with you on the Greek tithemi.  I had actually thought I'd mentioned that point, but I've written this type of response out so often that sometimes I overlook the occasional detail - while I wouldn't go as far as to suggest that it cannot mean "destined" but rather "appoint" or "to put" (as you used), I certainly agree that the Greek does not necessarily convey the same finality that "destined" does in English.

Nevertheless, this was still just one verse in scripture - Romans 9 is a much more detailed account, going into great detail on being chosen by God's sovereign choice - I would like to hear your thoughts on that, if you don't mind :)

I see what you are trying to say, but these passages don't change in their application if we consider the illusion of free will.  You see, assuming that free will is an illusion, then whatever action we CHOOSE to make was already planned.  Thus if we "choose" whether we serve God, or choose to worship one of the gods of the nations around them (such as suggested in Joshua 24:15), then it may have been destined to be that way, but we still have to make that choice - we don't know what is going to happen, only God knows this.  So to us, I would argue that the illusion of free will is just as strong as if free will were to actually exist.  

Was it really after Pharaoh had hardened his own heart that God acted?  The first time in Exodus that shows Pharaoh with a hardened heart, it is because of God - see Exodus 4:21, where God states that he will harden Pharaoh's heart. It is then repeated again in Exodus 7:3.  Your quote from Exodus 7:13 doesn't actually show Pharaoh hardening his heart. The passage just says his heart was hardened.  The first time it is specifically noted that Pharaoh hardened his own heart is from Exodus 8:15, four chapters after God says he will harden Pharaoh's heart..

However, I did address this in my last post to you. This issue with Pharaoh is one reason why I am not against the idea of both free will and predestination existing together on a spiritual level.  I'll copy a bit from my last post to cover this....- There is some evidence of this dual predestination/free will issue in the book of Exodus. As mentioned above in my discussion on Romans 9, Pharaoh is said to be close to releasing the Israelites, and he very well might have, except for the matter that "God hardened Pharaoh's heart". There are several occasions where this happened - Exodus 4:21, 7:3-4, 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8, 14:17. However - it must also be noted here that while God did harden Pharaoh's heart, there are also other places where Pharaoh hardened his own heart (sometimes within the same section that God hardened it). For examples of this, see - Exodus 8:15, 8:32, 9:34 - see also 1 Samuel 6:6.    

Hope this clarifies my point a little :tu:

I agree - God is the only truly Just being in this universe.  I'm glad this discussion has helped you to formulate your own views and find answers, whatever they may be (though as mentioned above, I would like to hear your views on Romans 9, which I discussed).  Best wishes,

~ Regards, PA
PA, the illusion of free will may address these verses because in essence they refer to human perception/experience, but what about 1 Timothy 2:4

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1First of all, then, I  urge that entreaties and prayers,  petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,  2for kings and all who are in  authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all  godliness and dignity.

3This  is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the  truth.

5For there  is one God, and one mediator also between God  and men, the man Christ Jesus,

6who gave Himself as a ransom for  all, the testimony given at the proper time.

To me this passage is endlessly troublesome if free will is an illusion.  If free will is an illusion, then this verse indicates that the Bible is not a trustworthy source on God since it is stating something which is not true about God's desire, or at least puts into question the majority of the New Testament since Paul wrote this and it would put into question every other book written by him.  Or if free will is an illusion then this verse indicates God is not omnipotent--since apparently He is incapable of making His desire come true in a universe He created and where no other decision maker has any impact-- which contradicts other passages in Scripture and so not only puts the nature of God into question but also the validity of Scripture.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#60    Nims

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 07:47 PM

View Postnorwood1026, on 29 June 2010 - 05:51 PM, said:

I do not believe that  free will and predestination go hand in hand when it comes to Christianty I think it's an illusion.  IF God does know what our future is then how can we choose our own path?  I think people want to believe thatGod would never interfer with thier lives like that.  I've heard that God has a plan for everyone so if that is the case then we dont have a choice.

I'm with you there.  A definate contradiction.

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The individual has to find an aspect of myth that relates to his own life.- Joseph Campbell




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