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Author Topic:   Prophecy vs Free will
frako
Member
Posts: 2814
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 1 of 168 (629662)
08-19-2011 7:04 AM


If we have free will then prophecy is impossible because by using free will billions of changes can accrue in a vision of the future because someone decides to take a different choice. And the same goes if prophecies are true then we have no free will we always make our choices the same as the visions of prophecy foresee.

Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

Jesus was a dead jew on a stick nothing more


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Message 2 of 168 (629664)
08-19-2011 7:07 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Prophecy vs Free will thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1685 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 3 of 168 (629668)
08-19-2011 8:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by frako
08-19-2011 7:04 AM


Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
If people can predict how someone is going to behave given certain situations, surely a god can also.

When I see your name in the PNT, I can predict that the post will probably contain little substance. I'm not usually disappointed. Does that interfere with your free will? No. You can still choose to write a better OP or you can do what you normally do.

Since the majority of the Bible Prophecies are written after the fact, freewill was not obstructed.

We may have free will but we are still creatures of habit.

It is clear in the OT that mankind is not free from being influenced by God.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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CosmicChimp
Member
Posts: 306
From: Muenchen Bayern Deutschland
Joined: 06-15-2007


Message 4 of 168 (629671)
08-19-2011 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 8:08 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
If people can predict how someone is going to behave given certain situations, surely a god can also.

Is the prediction always accurate? If yes, then where is anyone free to choose?


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15319
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


(3)
Message 5 of 168 (629672)
08-19-2011 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 8:08 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
I'm afraid that you have managed a worse post than the OP - even the title is a strawman. It is not the act of prediction, but the ability to do so that is the issue (although making such a prediction to one of the people involved does raise related issues)

Firstly, let's make the point that prophecy is supposed to be absolutely reliable. That sets it apart from ordinary predictions of human behaviour.

Prophecy, then, requires a degree of fatalism - the prediction must come true no matter what anyone does. This might or might not interfere with concepts of free will, depending on what is predicted and how much it depends on human actions. Any dependence at all would call libertarian free will into question, if absolute reliability were required.

The most extreme example I know of the Bible is the prediction attributed to Jesus, that Peter would deny him three times before the cockerel crew. This certainly seems at odds with any idea of libertarian free will, relying on Peter to not work against the prediction and that exactly three people would ask and meet denials in a quite limited timeframe. Even a fully deterministic view of the universe would make it hard to be able to make such a prediction, even for a being capable of modelling all the relevant factors to test what would happen if such a prediction were made. Thus, such a prediction would call even compatibilist views of free will into question, at least with regard to this event.


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frako
Member
Posts: 2814
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 6 of 168 (629674)
08-19-2011 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 8:08 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
Prediction is not necessarily prophecy and a prediction does not always come true.

Lets say the bible has a prophecy that says purple dawn will walk in front of a bus on august the 20tieth and die.

If you do walk in front of a bus and die then that is strong evidence of no free will because you would always make the same choice free will would only be an illusion a belief that you actually can choose what to do, but the choice is always the same as the one predicted.

But if you would not walk in front of the bus then that would be evidence to support that there is no such thing as prophecy and that you have the free will to chose what to do all the time.

To put it more in context with the bible at the end of times after the good guys have been raptured the rest follows Satan to wage the last battle at Armageddon, do these humans that where left behind the atheists who finally got some evidence that god exists dont have a choice to say no belzebos you go and fight your own battle im staying behind, the just blindly follow the guy in to battle knowing they will loose.

Edited by frako, : No reason given.


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

Jesus was a dead jew on a stick nothing more


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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 333 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 7 of 168 (629679)
08-19-2011 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
08-19-2011 8:33 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
Prophecy, then, requires a degree of fatalism - the prediction must come true no matter what anyone does.

Or the prediction is of what people actually do.


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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1685 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 8 of 168 (629685)
08-19-2011 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by CosmicChimp
08-19-2011 8:33 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
quote:
Is the prediction always accurate? If yes, then where is anyone free to choose?
Even if it is always correct, a prediction has no impact on one's choices unless of course one knows about the prediction and makes choices to try and change the outcome.
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5586
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


(1)
Message 9 of 168 (629686)
08-19-2011 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by frako
08-19-2011 8:53 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
frako writes:
Lets say the bible has a prophecy that says purple dawn will walk in front of a bus on august the 20tieth and die.

No, you are getting completely wrong. That's not how prophecy works.

The correct way is to wait until Aug 21. Then, if something happened on the 20th, you look for an obscure biblical verse whose meaning you can distort and misconstrue so as to make it look as if it predicted that event on Aug 20. You then announce that as a biblical prophecy that has been fulfilled.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1685 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 10 of 168 (629691)
08-19-2011 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
08-19-2011 8:33 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
quote:
Firstly, let's make the point that prophecy is supposed to be absolutely reliable. That sets it apart from ordinary predictions of human behaviour.
Doesn't matter. God can watch human behavior.

quote:
Prophecy, then, requires a degree of fatalism - the prediction must come true no matter what anyone does.
Where is that rule?

There are OT prophecies that didn't come about because the people changed their behavior. See the story of Jonah.

IMO, only when God has made it clear that he has interfered with humans can one say that free will was denied.

quote:
The most extreme example I know of the Bible is the prediction attributed to Jesus, that Peter would deny him three times before the cockerel crew. This certainly seems at odds with any idea of libertarian free will, relying on Peter to not work against the prediction and that exactly three people would ask and meet denials in a quite limited timeframe. Even a fully deterministic view of the universe would make it hard to be able to make such a prediction, even for a being capable of modelling all the relevant factors to test what would happen if such a prediction were made. Thus, such a prediction would call even compatibilist views of free will into question, at least with regard to this event.
The story doesn't tell us that Peter tried not to deny and was unable to. It just an accurate prediction assuming that Jesus could see what Peter would do. The story doesn't present any outside influence on Peter.

Odds are it wasn't a real prediction anyway.


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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1685 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 11 of 168 (629695)
08-19-2011 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by frako
08-19-2011 8:53 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
quote:
Prediction is not necessarily prophecy and a prediction does not always come true.
A prophecy that tells of something that is to happen in the future is a prediction.

quote:
If you do walk in front of a bus and die then that is strong evidence of no free will because you would always make the same choice free will would only be an illusion a belief that you actually can choose what to do, but the choice is always the same as the one predicted.

But if you would not walk in front of the bus then that would be evidence to support that there is no such thing as prophecy and that you have the free will to chose what to do all the time.


The games we play with imagination.

If someone makes such a specific prediction, they are probably making it after the fact.

Whether i get hit by a bus or not is not evidence for or against prophecy. It would be evidence concerning the reliability of the prophet though. That's why Jonah got mad when God didn't follow through.

Also whether I can change the course of things depends on whether I know the prediction or not and whether I believed it or not. I can refuse to believe it and not change my actions or I can choose to believe it and mind where I walk or drive.

quote:
To put it more in context with the bible at the end of times after the good guys have been raptured the rest follows Satan to wage the last battle at Armageddon, do these humans that where left behind the atheists who finally got some evidence that god exists dont have a choice to say no belzebos you go and fight your own battle im staying behind, the just blindly follow the guy in to battle knowing they will loose.
Given that what you just wrote has no basis in the Bible, I doubt if free will is thwarted.
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15319
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 12 of 168 (629697)
08-19-2011 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 10:26 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
quote:

Doesn't matter. God can watch human behavior.

Yes, it does matter. If libertarian free will is correct, it should be impossible to perfectly predict human behaviour.

quote:

There are OT prophecies that didn't come about because the people changed their behavior. See the story of Jonah.

IMO, only when God has made it clear that he has interfered with humans can one say that free will was denied.


Yes, but that's because contrary to the popular modern view of prophecy as prediction, Biblical prophecies are generally statements of intent from God, and in some traditions at least, God does not know what He will actually do when the time comes. However, this topic is about the popular modern view.

quote:

The story doesn't tell us that Peter tried not to deny and was unable to. It just an accurate prediction assuming that Jesus could see what Peter would do. The story doesn't present any outside influence on Peter.

And you miss the point. How could Jesus be sure that Peter would not make the effort or that it would take him three failures to realise what he had done or even that the third question would not come a little too late, after cockcrow? Where did I even suggest any outside influence is mentioned in the story ?

quote:

Odds are it wasn't a real prediction anyway.

That isn't the point either. The point is that this represents the predictive ability attributed to God. The case where a person is presented with a prediction that he will do something and is motivated to NOT do it is the most problematic for reconciling prophecy and Free Will.


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Bailey
Member (Idle past 2598 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 13 of 168 (629700)
08-19-2011 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 10:06 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
quote:
Is the prediction always accurate? If yes, then where is anyone free to choose?
pd writes:

Even if it is always correct, a prediction has no impact on one's choices unless of course one knows about the prediction and makes choices to try and change the outcome.

Even providing one knew of the prophecy and actively campaigned against it with the result being their efforts amiss, would their freewill have been necessarily impinged? Did they not have the ability to act on their expressed desire?

The same could be said to the contrary regarding one's efforts with prophetic success, yet ...

As a people we accomplish tremendous and amazing feats, but let's face it - some shits just not ever gone happen no matter how hard you try. So, are failure and success necessarily evidence of the futility of human freewill?

Or just evidence of humans

One Love


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2887
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 14 of 168 (629716)
08-19-2011 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 10:26 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
deleted. responded to wrong post

Edited by 1.61803, : No reason given.


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2887
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 15 of 168 (629717)
08-19-2011 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by nwr
08-19-2011 10:08 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
NWR writes:

No, you are getting completely wrong. That's not how prophecy works.
The correct way is to wait until Aug 21. Then, if something happened on the 20th, you look for an obscure biblical verse whose meaning you can distort and misconstrue so as to make it look as if it predicted that event on Aug 20. You then announce that as a biblical prophecy that has been fulfilled.

This. +1
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