1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

I'm sick of this forum.

Discussion in 'Member Announcements' started by Saint Frankenstein, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,395
    Ratings:
    +1,617
    Religion:
    zen Xian
    But man has not, and CAN not, make the world better--man can only do that which God has predestined him to do, at the time that he is predestined to do it. Man cannot change anything that God has determined (e.g., everything).

    But you're not comparing two different universes--one that has polio and one that does not--you're comparing the one universe to itself. The best of all possible universes is one in which polio existed for a time, and then it did not.

    Look, I'm not responsible for your inability to communicate clearly. Ending hunger is clearly different from ending starvation, which is different from ending malnutrition. Now you're trying to say that all you meant was FEEDING the hungry, which doesn't end hunger, doesn't end starvation, and doesn't end malnutrition--as the efforts that are already underway to feed the hungry should attest. Clearly, feeding the hungry is something that already exists in this, the best of all possible universes, so I fail to see how that would improve it in any way. And if you waffle and go back to ending starvation or malnutrition--or any of a million other "wishes" for a better universe--then you run into the same problem you have when you change ANYTHING about the best of all possible universes--it is not at all clear that the end result, including all unintentional consequences, would actually BE better than the universe that we have.

    Nah, I quit using dial-up modems years ago.

    Fine, but we're TALKING about God, in terms of the problem of evil and the creating the best of all possible universes. If you want to pivot midstream and say, "Well, the problem of evil doesn't matter anyway, since God doesn't exist," then fine--don't pose it as an issue if you don't believe that it is one. The problem of evil is only a "problem" if God exists, and it can be resolved if an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God exists. If not, then the problem is solved too--because it's no longer a problem. In either case, the problem of evil has been stripped of any consequence.

    Well, understanding your thinking errors and logical fallacies is a good place to begin. I'm glad I could help.

    No, to be consistent with Occam's Razor, a simpler explanation would also have to account for all relevant observed facts--such as the six billion people who believe that the universe has a god. The existence of God is a much simpler explanation--both for why we live in the best of all possible universes and for why 84% of all people on Earth agree that there is a God--than some complicated psychological explanation of a mass delusionary manifestation. Heck, you can't get 84% of the population to agree on gun control, abortion, or most any other position--the simplest explanation for this overwhelming agreement, if not the scientifc one--is that God exists.

    But this is also evidence for why Occam's Razor is not ironclad proof of truth--even though Occam's Razor favors the existence of God as the simplest explanation for why an overwhelming majority of people agree that one exists, it's still possible that a MORE complicated explanation is, in fact, the correct one.

    Any position is easily challenged. As you have found from challenging mine, some easily-challenged positions are indefatigable nonetheless.

    Please direct me to the "self-evidently incorrect" portions of my argument:

    An omnibenevolent God would WANT to create the best of all possible universes.
    An omniscient God would know HOW to create the best of all possible universes.
    An omnipotent God would have the POWER to create the best of all possible universes.

    Therefore, if an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God created our universe, we are logically constrained to conclude that we live in the best of all possible universes, and as a corollary, that any "bad stuff" we observe MUST be merely that amount of "bad stuff" that is necessary to the best of all possible universes.

    Insurmountable? I do not think that word means what you think it means. See above for the surmounting.

    No, I say that I have resolved the problem by formal reasoning (again, see above for the formal reasoning).

    Ok, but repeating your assertion over and over does nothing toward establishing it by evidence or reason. You have no idea what the ultimate consequences of even the most miniscule of changes to this universe would be--NO idea--let alone the macro changes you've proposed so far, like bringing all our loved ones back to life, not ever letting anyone die of starvation, and making every creature a herbivore.

    It makes perfect sense, given that wanting to be our own gods is what initially separated us from God in the first place.

    The bottom line is that it would be ridiculous for any of us to seriously believe that we have such an intimate understanding of the workings of the universe that we could ACTUALLY make it a better place (as opposed to the more likely alternative of reducing it to ashes within a month; you've seen how college students live, haven't you?)--and that is whether or not God exists, mind you!

    It's been a part of the best of all possible universes since its foundation.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    5,596
    Ratings:
    +5,959
    Religion:
    None
    Yet man has made the world better. Man has outperformed this alleged god, as virtually any man could. It's a very low bar.

    This is absurd. Thanks for your attention and effort, but we have no basis for discussion here.
     
  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    ""bad stuff" that is necessary to the best of all possible universes."

    Or that bad stuff exists because God gave man free will and God does not normally override human free will. :oops:
     
  4. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,395
    Ratings:
    +1,617
    Religion:
    zen Xian
    I would say that man has done nothing that God did not predestine him to do--so Who is really responsible?
     
  5. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,395
    Ratings:
    +1,617
    Religion:
    zen Xian
    That would make a lot more sense if it was compatible with an omniscient Creator, the fabric of spacetime, and a few dozen Bible verses that speak against free will.
     
  6. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Man has not outperformed God, because God does not perform.
    Man has used his free will to perform and make the world better, as God intended.
    Predestination does not preclude human free will.
    We simply act out the script God already knows we will act out, but we can alter that script if it is an impending script. :)
     
  7. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,395
    Ratings:
    +1,617
    Religion:
    zen Xian
    "God is in control of everything... except ME!"

    O prideful man...
     
  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    As I just posted, omniscience does not preclude free will.

    “Question.—If God has knowledge of an action which will be performed by someone, and it has been written on the Tablet of Fate, is it possible to resist it?
    Answer.—The foreknowledge of a thing is not the cause of its realization; for the essential knowledge of God surrounds, in the same way, the realities of things, before as well as after their existence, and it does not become the cause of their existence. It is a perfection of God........
    Therefore, the knowledge of God in the realm of contingency does not produce the forms of the things. On the contrary, it is purified from the past, present and future. It is identical with the reality of the things; it is not the cause of their occurrence.......
    The mathematicians by astronomical calculations know that at a certain time an eclipse of the moon or the sun will occur. Surely this discovery does not cause the eclipse to take place. This is, of course, only an analogy and not an exact image.”

    Some Answered Questions, pp. 138-139

    What are the Bible verses that speak against free will?
    If humans have no free will, how can we choose between good and evil, in which case how can we be held accountable for our actions? The entire justice system is based upon responsibility and accountability for our actions. God does not go on trial.
     
  9. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    I fully agree.... God is in control of everything, including ME.
    God is the gatekeeper who can either allow or disallow our free will decisions to pass through. :oops:
    EVERYTHING that happens is according to God's Will. :D
     
  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Correction: We simply act out the script God already knows we will act out, but God can alter that script if it is an impending script. :)
     
  11. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,395
    Ratings:
    +1,617
    Religion:
    zen Xian
    I don't care what you posted when, or who agrees with what, nonsense is still nonsense.

    Free will implies the ability to do something other than that which God knows one will do--otherwise the choice is not truly free. If you choose to stay in a locked room, that's not what one would commonly consider to be a "free choice," because you could not have done otherwise. If God knows you're going to Chicago tomorrow--you're going to Chicago tomorrow. You can't change your mind at the last minute and go to New York instead, thus making a fool out of God--you are locked into doing NOTHING OTHER than exactly what God knows you will do, and when you will do it.

    And that's just because of His omniscience. But there's a good reason why He knows everything about spacetime--He CREATED all of spacetime. So not only does God KNOW you're going to Chicago tomorrow, He actually created that event in spacetime just as He created every other inch of space and moment of time. So there's no possible way that anyone can say that a decision that has been made since the foundation of the world is really a free choice made by a human in that moment.

    Here are a couple dozen to get you started. Pay special attention to the lengthy passage from Romans 9, as it specifically addresses your concern about accountability.

    Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. --Psalm 139:16

    The Lord has made everything [to accommodate itself and contribute] to its own end and His own purpose--even the wicked [are fitted for their role] for the day of calamity and evil. --Proverbs 16:4

    A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. --Proverbs 16:9

    The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him]. --Proverbs 16:33

    Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand. --Proverbs 19:21

    Man's steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way? --Proverbs 20:24

    The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills. --Proverbs 21:1

    O Lord [pleads Jeremiah in the name of the people], I know that [the determination of] the way of a man is not in himself; it is not in man [even in a strong man or in a man at his best] to direct his [own] steps. --Jeremiah 10:23

    Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. --Jeremiah 1:5

    Since a man's days are already determined, and the number of his months is wholly in Your control, and he cannot pass the bounds of his allotted time --Job 14:5

    No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day. --John 6:44

    And He said, This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him [unless he is enabled to do so] by the Father. --John 6:65

    Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You choose and cause to come near, that he may dwell in Your courts! --Psalm 65:4a

    This Jesus, when delivered up according to the definite and fixed purpose and settled plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and put out of the way [killing Him] by the hands of lawless and wicked men. --Acts 2:23

    For in this city there actually met and plotted together against Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Whom You consecrated by anointing, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel, to carry out all that Your hand and Your will and purpose had predestined (predetermined) should occur. --Acts 4:27-28

    And when the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and glorified (praised and gave thanks for) the Word of God; and as many as were destined (appointed and ordained) to eternal life believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Jesus as the Christ and their Savior). --Acts 13:48

    We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]. --Romans 8:28-30

    And not only that, but this too: Rebecca conceived [two sons under exactly the same circumstances] by our forefather Isaac, and the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out God's purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them], it was said to her that the elder [son] should serve the younger [son]. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated (held in relative disregard in comparison with My feeling for Jacob). What shall we conclude then? Is there injustice upon God's part? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion (pity) on whom I will have compassion. So then [God's gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God's mercy. [It depends not on one's own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God's having mercy on him.] For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over. So then He has mercy on whomever He wills (chooses) and He hardens (makes stubborn and unyielding the heart of) whomever He wills. You will say to me, Why then does He still find fault and blame us [for sinning]? For who can resist and withstand His will? But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? Will what is formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus? Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use? --Romans 9:10-21

    And He made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes), --Acts 17:26

    What then [shall we conclude]? Israel failed to obtain what it sought [God's favor by obedience to the Law]. Only the elect (those chosen few) obtained it, while the rest of them became callously indifferent (blinded, hardened, and made insensible to it). As it is written, God gave them a spirit (an attitude) of stupor, eyes that should not see and ears that should not hear, [that has continued] down to this very day. --Romans 11:7-8

    But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased --Galations 1:15

    Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] --Ephesians 1:4-5

    [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth. In Him we also were made [God's] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will, --Ephesians 1:10-11

    For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. --Ephesians 2:10

    [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. --Phillippians 2:13

    Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false, in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe in [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely on] the Truth, but [instead] took pleasure in unrighteousness. But we, brethren beloved by the Lord, ought and are obligated [as those who are in debt] to give thanks always to God for you, because God chose you from the beginning as His firstfruits (first converts) for salvation through the sanctifying work of the [Holy] Spirit and [your] belief in (adherence to, trust in, and reliance on) the Truth. --2 Thessalonians 2:11-13

    It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you. --1 Peter 1:20

    And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, everyone whose name has not been recorded in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain [in sacrifice] from the foundation of the world. --Revelation 13:8

    The beast that you saw [once] was, but [now] is no more, and he is going to come up out of the Abyss (the bottomless pit) and proceed to go to perdition. And the inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been recorded in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they look at the beast, because he [once] was, but [now] is no more, and he is [yet] to come. --Revelation 17:8
     
  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Thanks for the Bible verses. I will get back to you on those later. Meanwhile, I have discussed this ad infinitum with myriad nonbelievers so I have scads of Word documents from posts I have written up on this subject. Here is one of the most recent and concise ones:

    In brief, no, we do not have any choice except to do what God knows we will do because what God knows what we will do is identical with what we will do. God knows what we will do because God is omniscient, but God does not cause it to happen, we do. Thus we play out our own script according to what God already knows we will do. God does not play out the script by causing things to happen; we cause things to happen by virtue of the free will decisions that we make and the actions that follow. God knows how the script will play out before it plays out because God is omniscient.

    To say that we have no free will is the same as saying that we cannot make any of our own choices, which would means that God (or something else) is making our choices for us. If God is making our choices, that would mean we are puppets on a string, programmed robots.

    The fact that God is omniscient and knows what the future will be is not what causes the events to happen. Free will decisions human make cause things to happen. For example, more people were on the road that day, so traffic was bad so the bus was late. The fact that God knew that would happen (since God is omniscient) is not what caused it to happen. God's knowledge surrounds all things, before during and after their existence, but it is not the cause of their existence. It is identical with the reality of things.

    God’s knowledge of what will happen in the future does not CAUSE it to happen, not any more than the astronomer’s knowledge of an eclipse causes the eclipse to happen.

    In short, unless an outside force is forcing us to do something, we are “choosing” to do it. What actually “causes” us to choose is the combination of factors noted above and our choices are also constrained by those factors. However, I do not believe God makes us do anything although God might intervene and prevent us from doing something we are attempting to do. It is also possible that God might put thoughts in our head that help us decide what to do, but that is a bit of a stretch for this believer. [​IMG]

    I believe God is omnipresent and omniscient so God knows everything that we are thinking at every moment, but that does not mean God interferes with our free will choices.

    The way I see it, God can override a free will choice we are trying to make, which simply means that the action we intended will not result and we will have to make another choice upon which we act. So in that sense God is like a gatekeeper of choices and he blocks some and lets others through. Since we can never know what God is doing it is best not to think about it and act according to our own morality, knowing that God is in complete control at all times, so whatever we do we do at God’s behest.

    Question.—Is man a free agent in all his actions, or is he compelled and constrained?
    Answer.—This question is one of the most important and abstruse of divine problems. If God wills, another day, at the beginning of dinner, we will undertake the explanation of this subject in detail; now we will explain it briefly, in a few words, as follows. Some things are subject to the free will of man, such as justice, equity, tyranny and injustice, in other words, good and evil actions; it is evident and clear that these actions are, for the most part, left to the will of man. But there are certain things to which man is forced and compelled, such as sleep, death, sickness, decline of power, injuries and misfortunes; these are not subject to the will of man, and he is not responsible for them, for he is compelled to endure them. But in the choice of good and bad actions he is free, and he commits them according to his own will.

    For example, if he wishes, he can pass his time in praising God, or he can be occupied with other thoughts. He can be an enkindled light through the fire of the love of God, and a philanthropist loving the world, or he can be a hater of mankind, and engrossed with material things. He can be just or cruel. These actions and these deeds are subject to the control of the will of man himself; consequently, he is responsible for them.
    Some Answered Questions, p. 248
     
  13. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,395
    Ratings:
    +1,617
    Religion:
    zen Xian
    Yeah, you should have read the Bible verses first. In them, you will find all of your arguments countered and neutralized.
     
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    What you are saying is that we are not FREE to do anything other than what God knows we will do. That is true, but how does what God knows we will do happen if we do not make the choice to do it? The only other alternative is that God is controlling everything that we do, which would make us God’s robots, puppets on a string.

    I think your Bible verses are referring to fate and predestination and I see that as separate from what causes things to happen. God does not cause things to happen simply because God knows they will happen, before during and after they happen.

    “O thou who art the fruit of My Tree and the leaf thereof! On thee be My glory and My mercy. Let not thine heart grieve over what hath befallen thee. Wert thou to scan the pages of the Book of Life, thou wouldst, most certainly, discover that which would dissipate thy sorrows and dissolve thine anguish.

    Know thou, O fruit of My Tree, that the decrees of the Sovereign Ordainer, as related to fate and predestination, are of two kinds. Both are to be obeyed and accepted. The one is irrevocable, the other is, as termed by men, impending. To the former all must unreservedly submit, inasmuch as it is fixed and settled. God, however, is able to alter or repeal it. As the harm that must result from such a change will be greater than if the decree had remained unaltered, all, therefore, should willingly acquiesce in what God hath willed and confidently abide by the same.

    The decree that is impending, however, is such that prayer and entreaty can succeed in averting it.

    God grant that thou who art the fruit of My Tree, and they that are associated with thee, may be shielded from its evil consequences.”

    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 132-133

    So what that passage says to me is that an irrevocable decree cannot be changed but an impending decree can be changed if God chooses to change it, according to our prayers and entreaties. The fact that God is omnipotent means God can change anything God wants to change (as it says in the passage above, God can even change an irrevocable fate although He doesn’t). But since God’s essential knowledge surrounds the realities of all things, God knows what He will change and when, before it it is changed in this material earth world. God knows the beginning and end of things as it is termed by men.

    Time only exists in the material world where it is measured by the sun, but time does not exist for God in the spiritual world, so there is really no such thing as before during and after. That is just how we think because it applies to the material world.
     
  15. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    I have no arguments. I just have beliefs. I read the Bible verses and they concur with what I believe about predestination, but they do not counter what I believe about free will. Moreover, my Christian friend who reads the same Bible you are reading believes exactly as I do about free will. How do you explain that?
     
  16. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    59,587
    Ratings:
    +20,373
    Religion:
    God is in the Rain
    I doubt you want to open that can of worms, because it means Hitler was predestined by god to be so vicious and cruel that we came up with the word genocide to describe the amount of people he killed.
    Italy was not the best it could be before Mussolini took over, and then not suddenly the best when Mussolini took over, and the best yet after the decline of Mussolini's Fascism.
    Pre-polio wasn't the best we could have, because if it was the best we wouldn't have had polio. There is this idea that goes we have to work with what we have. That doesn't imply nor should it suggest we have the best possible scenario/situation. It's what we have. And as far as medical treatments are concerned, we are still years and years and decades away from having "the best," if we can even ever perfect our methods and treatments for healing people.
    This is a fine example of splitting hairs.
    God has nothing to do with it. Morality is something that even atheists concern themselves about. It's a far cry to believe it's somehow exclusive to theists and god.
    That isn't using Occam's Razor, but making an appeal to popularity, something that serves only to prove how popular something is.
    I'm glad software and hardware designers do not have that attitude, because if they did we wouldn't not have patches and updates to improve such things once they are released. Something may be "the best" we have now, but there is always room for improvement.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    5,596
    Ratings:
    +5,959
    Religion:
    None
    I didn't say that your argument was fallacious. I said that your position regarding this being the best of all possible worlds appeared to be self-evidently incorrect. That is, your argument is valid, but not sound. Yes, we would be living in the best of all possible worlds if an omnisicient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent god exists. I'm with you so far.

    But then I looked up from my computer at the world around me and saw that I do not live in that world. I'm assuming that you understand what the implications of that are for the existence of such a god.

    Your argument depends on it being the case that no change to the world can makes it better, and you're making it in an age when man has already made countless changes that have made life longer, healthier, safer, easier, and more interesting. What we are doing right now - communicating by computer from though possibly thousands of miles apart - is an obvious example.




    That's a religious belief - one I don't share - and one irrelevant to the matter of whether ours is or has ever been the best of all possible worlds. Are you still arguing that our world is and always has been that? If so, it's because you have painted yourself into a corner by attempting to defend an indefensible position that is self-evidently incorrect.

    modus tollens - the rule of logic stating that if a conditional statement (“if p then q ”) is accepted, and the consequent does not hold ( not-q ), then the negation of the antecedent ( not-p ) can be inferred.

    That's what faith can do. Come by your positions based on reason applied to evidence, and they will likely be be correct, meaning reality will support them. Believe something because it is comfortable or appealing to believe it, and you will likely have guessed incorrectly, which will be followed by reality contradicting you. You began with axioms and a theorem derived from them that reality (relevant evidence) contradicts. You're in the same boat as the anti-evolution creationists.

    =======

    That's an interesting take. Of course, if God exists and does nothing, anything that performs outperforms God, right?

    @Axe Elf has proclaimed the opposite. Which of you is to be believed? These kinds of religious proclamations are difficult to discern from guesses.

    I've never heard anybody take that position but a believer who needs for both divine omniscience and free will to exist, and therefore needs for them to be compatible. For such people, they simply are by fiat. Pretty much all others recognize that the ideas are mutually exclusive. @Axe Elf is a great example of that. His theology doesn't require that free will exist, but that divine omniscience does, and he comes to the same conclusion as the rest of us - they are incompatible.
     
  18. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,395
    Ratings:
    +1,617
    Religion:
    zen Xian
    And that is exactly the case, as the Bible verses I posted clearly state.

    That's where original sin comes in; people can't stand to think that they're not in control; they want to be their own gods.

    There's someone else making this same error in another discussion I'm having somewhere on these forums right now.

    The fact that God knows what will happen does in fact limit the number of possible outcomes to one, thus removing any basis for calling one's choice "free." Choosing to stay in a locked room when you couldn't leave if you chose to is not a free choice. However, knowledge of what things will happen should never be confused with causing things to happen. Only the being that CREATED all of spacetime can be said to have caused its composition--oh yeah, that was God too. So God does not cause things to happen simply because God knows they will happen--that would be silly--but God does cause things to happen because He created them to happen in the first place (which also helps explain how He knows what will happen).

    This whole passage talks about time as if it is fluid and malleable until after we pass a moment, and only then does the moment become fixed and unalterable. God has a plan in mind, but if some human prays to Him with a better idea, God might grant the prayer and "change" the future. But your final statement, in accordance with common sense, denies this illusion:

    Absolutely correct. For those moments already passed, we understand that they are fixed in time like a fly trapped in amber--but our unwillingness to feel that way about moments yet to come is based only in our inability to examine future moments now. For God, everything that happens in the future, as well as in the past, is eternally fixed in its moment like those flies trapped in amber--all the moments that have already been experienced by man, and all the moments that are yet to be experienced by man, always exist, have always existed, and will always exist, exactly as He created them.
     
  19. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,395
    Ratings:
    +1,617
    Religion:
    zen Xian
    No valid ones, anyway.

    Then maybe you should review them, because they most certainly deny your free will. Shall we review a few together?

    A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. --Proverbs 16:9

    The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him]. --Proverbs 16:33

    Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand. --Proverbs 19:21

    Man's steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way? --Proverbs 20:24

    Ah, the wisdom of Solomon. Does it sound to you like what a man plans and chooses is what will happen, or does it sound more like what the Lord has created will stand instead? (I'm going to assume you give the correct answer here and move on.)

    O Lord [pleads Jeremiah in the name of the people], I know that [the determination of] the way of a man is not in himself; it is not in man [even in a strong man or in a man at his best] to direct his [own] steps. --Jeremiah 10:23

    A prophet weighs in with a similar account.

    We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]. --Romans 8:28-30

    Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] --Ephesians 1:4-5

    [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth. In Him we also were made [God's] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will, --Ephesians 1:10-11

    For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. --Ephesians 2:10

    We're not even responsible for our own salvation. What good would it be to have free will if we can't even make that most fundamental choice freely?

    The most likely explanation is that neither of you are prophets. The role of original sin in wanting to be your own gods probably plays a part as well.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    11,009
    Ratings:
    +2,588
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    I was with you so far, but then I realized that your statement is not logical. The reason it is not logical is because what you see around you is not the determinant of what is. It is just your perception of what you see, how you interpret what you see, so it is one man’s opinion, thus subject to error. Moreover, how do you know this is not the best of all possible worlds if you do not know what would be better, or how it could be better, or who would make it better?
    God did not make man do what He did simply because God knew it would happen. Man is responsible for what happens, both good and bad, not God. By that argument of some theists God is responsible for the Holocaust, so the benevolent God just went right out the window. :rolleyes:
    I fully agree. If a religious believe cannot be supported by reason it is based upon emotion or I want or at its worst it is mere superstition.
    That is true, logically speaking. :)
    The problem is that we cannot know what God is doing or not doing at any time. :oops:
    Which one makes more sense to you? How can humans do anything if they do not have free will? If we have no free will then we are essentially robots controlled by God. Does that make sense?
    It is not about what I need. Why would I need that? It is all about what makes sense and what is actually the reality.
    But not all Christians believe that way. I have a good friend who is a Christian and he believes just like I do about free will and God’s omniscience, and he knows his Bible very well.

    Can you come up with a reasoned argument as to why free will cannot coexist with an omniscient God? How does the fact that God knows what we will do cause things to happen? Unless we are robotically controlled by God we are causing what happens to happen by making a choice to do something. We are choosing to do what God knows we will do. That is my definition of free will. Below is my write-up on the subject:

    In brief, no, we do not have any choice except to do what God knows we will do because what God knows what we will do is identical with what we will do. God knows what we will do because God is omniscient, but God does not cause it to happen, we do. Thus we play out our own script according to what God already knows we will do. God does not play out the script by causing things to happen; we cause things to happen by virtue of the free will decisions that we make and the actions that follow. God knows how the script will play out before it plays out because God is omniscient.

    To say that we have no free will is the same as saying that we cannot make any of our own choices, which would means that God (or something else) is making our choices for us. If God is making our choices, that would mean we are puppets on a string, programmed robots.

    The fact that God is omniscient and knows what the future will be is not what causes the events to happen. Free will decisions human make cause things to happen. For example, more people were on the road that day, so traffic was bad so the bus was late. The fact that God knew that would happen (since God is omniscient) is not what caused it to happen. God's knowledge surrounds all things, before during and after their existence, but it is not the cause of their existence. It is identical with the reality of things.

    God’s knowledge of what will happen in the future does not CAUSE it to happen, not any more than the astronomer’s knowledge of an eclipse causes the eclipse to happen.

    In short, unless an outside force is forcing us to do something we are “choosing” to do it. What actually “causes” us to choose is the combination of factors such as childhood upbringing, heredity, education, adult experiences, and present life circumstances and our choices are also constrained by those factors. However, I do not believe God makes us do anything although God might intervene and prevent us from doing something we are attempting to do. It is also possible that God might put thoughts in our head that help us decide what to do, or that God can put others in our life that help us decide what to do.

    I believe God is omnipresent and omniscient so God knows everything that we are thinking at every moment, but that does not mean God interferes with our free will choices.

    If what we are choosing to do is not in accordance with God’s will for us and in accord with what God has predestined for us (which are one and the same thing), then God can override a free will choice we are trying to make, which simply means that the action we intended will not result and we will have to make another choice upon which we act. So in that sense God is like a gatekeeper of choices and he blocks some choices and lets others through, according to what has been predestined for us. That explains why if we are living according to God’s will (whether we are a believer or not) we do not hit that many brick walls and life goes more smoothly. It is like we are going with the tide as opposed to going against it.

    Since we can never know what God is doing it is best not to think about it and act according to our own morality, knowing that God is in complete control at all times, so whatever we do we do at God’s behest.
     
Loading...