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Author Topic:   Free Will and Biblical Prophecy: Are They Mutually Exclusive?
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 1 of 227 (494190)
01-14-2009 6:48 PM


Free Will and Biblical Prophecy: Are They Mutually Exclusive?
In the Sacrifice thread I asked whether or not Jesus had free-will regarding his crucifixion. Message 55
None of the theists in that thread were able to adequately answer that question.
The problem is this:
  • An infallible source of immutable truth has made it known that a certain future event will take place.
  • The key person in that event must at one point take the necessary “decisions” and actions in order for this event to actually physically occur.
  • This person is fully aware of the destiny that awaits him as a matter of immutable truth.
  • This predicted immutable truth is also known to many others and is indeed a matter of public record.
    How can the individual involved be said to have “free-will” regarding this event?
    They can only “decide” to take a single course of action. The sole course of action that results in the immutable future truth. How could this person even have the ability to do anything else given the immutability of the truth in question?
    If free-will is not the ability to choose between alternate future outcomes what is it?
    More generally - If we, as humans, can know certain future events as a matter of God given certainty how can we be said to have free-will regarding the actions required to make those outcomes happen?
    Surely we cannot?
    Does Biblical prophecy therefore necessarily compromise the whole idea of man's free-will?
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

  • Replies to this message:
     Message 3 by Stile, posted 01-15-2009 11:53 AM Straggler has replied
     Message 7 by ICANT, posted 01-15-2009 6:53 PM Straggler has replied
     Message 15 by Buzsaw, posted 01-16-2009 6:54 PM Straggler has replied

      
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    Message 2 of 227 (494283)
    01-15-2009 8:26 AM


    Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

      
    Stile
    Member (Idle past 120 days)
    Posts: 4295
    From: Ontario, Canada
    Joined: 12-02-2004


    Message 3 of 227 (494336)
    01-15-2009 11:53 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
    01-14-2009 6:48 PM


    Definitions
    You say that free will is “the ability to choose between alternate future outcomes.” And if we use that definition I agree with your conclusions. I do have another definition though, and I don't see why the following definition cannot equally be considered "Free Will".
    What if free will is “the ability to get what you want from the available alternate future outcomes?”
    That is.. let’s say there was no prediction yet the entire set of events occurred otherwise exactly as they did with the prediction. If there simply was no prediction, and Jesus still wanted to choose to die on the cross for whatever personal reasons . regardless of all other alternate future paths available to him . would that be free will?
    If that is free will . how is free will removed if the exact same situation occurs simply with the addition of an immutable prediction? Who cares if the immutable prediction is there? If Jesus is going to choose the same thing in any case . how is his free will or anything else removed?
    Of course . I understand that there’s no way to know if Jesus would have wanted to choose the same thing or not given some tasty alternatives. But the point is that Jesus quite possibly could have wanted the same thing. In which case I don’t see how the immutable prediction removes free will.
    No immutable prediction - Jesus dies on the cross as a sacrifice.
    With immutable prediction - Jesus dies on the cross as a sacrifice.
    If they’re both exactly the same, then I don’t see how you can say that free will was removed.
    I understand that you can say “if Jesus wanted to choose any other path at all, then an immutable prediction removes his free will”. But since there is a chance that Jesus did want to choose the exact same path . I do not think you can say “Immutable predictions remove free will in all possible cases”.
    Unless you have a problem with defining Free Will as “the ability to get what you want from the available alternate future outcomes?”

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Straggler, posted 01-14-2009 6:48 PM Straggler has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 4 by Straggler, posted 01-15-2009 12:32 PM Stile has replied

      
    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 142 days)
    Posts: 10333
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (1)
    Message 4 of 227 (494347)
    01-15-2009 12:32 PM
    Reply to: Message 3 by Stile
    01-15-2009 11:53 AM


    Re: Definitions
    Unless you have a problem with defining Free Will as “the ability to get what you want from the available alternate future outcomes?”
    The point of immutable prophecy is that there is no choice.
    Whether you believe that your actions are of your own choosing, whether you have the illusion of free-will, is not the point. In the absence of genuine choice at the point of making a decsion how can free-will be claimed?
    If ones actions are immutably known before the "decision" to take them then even if the actions taken are those that the deciding agent "wants" then it just means that the wants and desires of the "deciding" agent are as predetermined as the actions themselves.
    You are effectively saying that everybody can know what someone wants before he even knows the choice that needs to be taken.
    How can that be free-will by any definition?

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 3 by Stile, posted 01-15-2009 11:53 AM Stile has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 5 by Stile, posted 01-15-2009 1:17 PM Straggler has replied

      
    Stile
    Member (Idle past 120 days)
    Posts: 4295
    From: Ontario, Canada
    Joined: 12-02-2004


    Message 5 of 227 (494358)
    01-15-2009 1:17 PM
    Reply to: Message 4 by Straggler
    01-15-2009 12:32 PM


    Re: Definitions
    Straggler writes:
    The point of immutable prophecy is that there is no choice.
    Agreed.
    Whether you believe that your actions are of your own choosing, whether you have the illusion of free-will, is not the point. In the absence of genuine choice at the point of making a decision how can free-will be claimed?
    Free Will can be claimed if we define Free Will to be "the ability to get what you want from the available alternate future outcomes" and the one making the choice gets what they want.
    I think I need to add some clarification here. I do not mean "available alternate future outcomes" in the sense that the immutable prophecy leaves just one choice so that this situation is therefore still Free Will. I mean it in the same sense as it would be applied if an immutable prophecy did not exist. That is, if the subject would choose the same path without an immutable prophecy, then adding an immutable prophecy does not remove Free Will (since nothing has changed). However, if the subject would choose an alternate path if the immutable prophecy was not in place, then I agree that Free Will is removed. I only add the world "available" so as to disallow the ability of choosing alternatives that are simply impossible for the situation. Like having a choice between chocolate or vanilla ice-cream... not being able to choose mint doesn't remove Free Will, it's just that mint is not available.
    The problem arises that we are unable to know what someone would "really want" without the presence of an immutable prophecy. However, this problem does not remove the possibility that the two may be in agreement. In which case, we cannot say that immutable prophecy automatically removes Free Will.
    I agree with you that if you define Free Will to be simply "the ability to choose between alternatives", then you cannot claim Free Will.
    But that's my whole point. What about "the ability to get what you want from the available alternate future outcomes" is not also Free Will?
    If ones actions are immutably known before the "decision" to take them then even if the actions taken are those that the deciding agent "wants" then it just means that the wants and desires of the "deciding" agent are as predetermined as the actions themselves.
    Why? Why can't it simply mean that the wants and desires of the "deciding" agent happen to coincide with the predetermined action?
    You are effectively saying that everybody can know what someone wants before he even knows the choice that needs to be taken.
    Only if the wants and desires are as predetermined as the action itself. But what if they aren't? Why can't they simply match because of coincidence? Or some other reason that is not as you say?
    I agree with what you say. But you have not shown that what you say is the only way things must be.
    How can that be free-will by any definition?
    I agree with you that the precise situations you are describing are absolutely not Free Will, by your definition, and cannot be called such. That's why I'm offerring alternate definitions and alternate situations.
    Why is my definition not Free Will?

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 4 by Straggler, posted 01-15-2009 12:32 PM Straggler has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 6 by Straggler, posted 01-15-2009 5:43 PM Stile has replied

      
    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 142 days)
    Posts: 10333
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (1)
    Message 6 of 227 (494394)
    01-15-2009 5:43 PM
    Reply to: Message 5 by Stile
    01-15-2009 1:17 PM


    Re: Definitions
    Straggler writes:
    The point of immutable prophecy is that there is no choice.
    Agreed.
    Stile writes:
    Free Will can be claimed if we define Free Will to be "the ability to get what you want from the available alternate future outcomes"
    .
    Alternate future outcomes? What "alternate future outcomes" are there if the future is known as an immutable truth? None. Obviously.
    Why is my definition not Free Will?
    Because in the face of an immutable truth there are no alternatives possible.
    How can free-will exist if only one future outcome, one "decision", one "choice" is even possible?
    There is no choice to make under such circumstances.
    There is no free-will by any definition.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 5 by Stile, posted 01-15-2009 1:17 PM Stile has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 10 by Stile, posted 01-16-2009 9:43 AM Straggler has replied

      
    ICANT
    Member (Idle past 103 days)
    Posts: 6769
    From: SSC
    Joined: 03-12-2007


    Message 7 of 227 (494403)
    01-15-2009 6:53 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
    01-14-2009 6:48 PM


    Re: Free Will
    Hi Straggler,
    Straggler writes:
    If free-will is not the ability to choose between alternate future outcomes what is it?
    Freewill is having the opportunity to choose.
    The first man in the garden had the opportunity to choose to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
    He exercised that option.
    You don't have that option.
    Straggler writes:
    In the Sacrifice thread I asked whether or not Jesus had free-will regarding his crucifixion.
    Yes.
    The decision was made before the heaven and the earth was created and the first man was formed from the dust of the ground.
    God not being limited as we are could see the end from the beginning and everything in between just as He still does today.
    He knew every decision every man was going to make and still made man.
    He knew you was going to ask this question and He knew I was going to try to answer it.
    So in answer to your question did Jesus have free will.
    Yes Jesus had free will and He exercised His choice before man was formed from the dust of the earth.
    That is what makes it so wonderful to me. He knew every mistake I would ever make, every time I would disobey Him and He was still willing to suffer separation from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit so I would not have to.
    My friend laid down His life for me.
    God Bless,

    "John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Straggler, posted 01-14-2009 6:48 PM Straggler has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 8 by Straggler, posted 01-15-2009 7:00 PM ICANT has replied

      
    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 142 days)
    Posts: 10333
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (1)
    Message 8 of 227 (494405)
    01-15-2009 7:00 PM
    Reply to: Message 7 by ICANT
    01-15-2009 6:53 PM


    Re: Free Will
    OK.
    At what point in his life did Jesus make the decision to be crucified?
    At what point in the bible is he notified of his fate and what is his reaction (feel free to quote the appropriate passages to me - I am keen to hear)?
    Can man exert his freewill such that future biblical prophecies can be avoided?
    If the future is known with absolute certainty how can we have the "opportunity to choose"?

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 7 by ICANT, posted 01-15-2009 6:53 PM ICANT has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 9 by ICANT, posted 01-15-2009 8:13 PM Straggler has replied

      
    ICANT
    Member (Idle past 103 days)
    Posts: 6769
    From: SSC
    Joined: 03-12-2007


    Message 9 of 227 (494412)
    01-15-2009 8:13 PM
    Reply to: Message 8 by Straggler
    01-15-2009 7:00 PM


    Re: Free Will
    Hi Straggler,
    Straggler writes:
    At what point in his life did Jesus make the decision to be crucified?
    From Message 7:
    quote:
    The decision was made before the heaven and the earth was created and the first man was formed from the dust of the ground.
    Straggler writes:
    At what point in the bible is he notified of his fate and what is his reaction
    You act like Jesus was a mortal man.
    He was not He was God in the flesh.
    He came into the world for the purpose of paying my sin debt that was placed upon me by my ancestor the first man when he chose to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
    And anyone else that would accept the offer of a full free pardon.
    As I first posted the decision was made before the world was created.
    Jesus chose before man was every formed from the dust of the earth to be the substitute for whosoever will.
    Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
    — the plural God. God the Father, God in the flesh Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit.
    Chose to adopt everyone as children who would receive the free gift of a full pardon through the sacrifice of God in the flesh Jesus, receiving the forgiveness of sins through His blood.
    They pre-determined to do this before creating the universe, earth, and mankind.
    Straggler writes:
    Can man exert his freewill such that future biblical prophecies can be avoided?
    No prophecy of God will not come to pass. God's prophecies are history told in advance. He saw them happen.
    Straggler writes:
    If the future is known with absolute certainty how can we have the "opportunity to choose"?
    If every choice that was ever made is known in advance how does that keep you from choosing.
    You chose but that choice was known in advance.
    Now if the one that knew what your choice was, changed the outcome of your choice, then you would not have free will.
    God Bless,

    "John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 8 by Straggler, posted 01-15-2009 7:00 PM Straggler has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 38 by Straggler, posted 01-18-2009 9:58 AM ICANT has replied

      
    Stile
    Member (Idle past 120 days)
    Posts: 4295
    From: Ontario, Canada
    Joined: 12-02-2004


    Message 10 of 227 (494469)
    01-16-2009 9:43 AM
    Reply to: Message 6 by Straggler
    01-15-2009 5:43 PM


    Trying Again
    Straggler writes:
    Alternate future outcomes? What "alternate future outcomes" are there if the future is known as an immutable truth? None. Obviously.
    You're not understanding what I'm trying to say. Which is, of course, my fault. My entire previous post was supposed to explain this confusion. I will try again.
    Let's say there is no immutable truth of the future known. Person A has 3 choices. They choose #2.
    You agree they have Free Will, correct?
    Now let's add an immutable prophecy of the future. I agree with you that if we add an immutable prophecy that Person A will choose #1, we will have removed Free Will.
    But what if the immutable prophecy is that Person A will choose #2? How can you say that Person A's Free Will was removed? Without the immutable prophecy.. they certainly would have chosen #2. Nothing is changed in the scenario.
    By saying that the mere presence of the immutable prophecy removes Person A's Free Will even if it results in the same choice they would have made anyway... you're saying that if Being B can tell what Person A wants then they are removing their Free Will. This is ridiculous.
    Let's say Being B is simply a very good friend of Person A. Let's say Person A really likes chocolate ice-cream, and Person B knows this having eaten out with Person A on many occassions. It's another night out, and Person B "predicts" that Person A is going to choose chocolate ice-cream for dessert. Are you seriously saying that Person B has removed the Free Will of Person A? Of course not, since it just so happens that Person B's prediction coincides with what Person A is going to choose anyway.
    Now, you're going to say that an all-knowing, cannot-be-wrong God makes a difference. But, does it really? What difference does it make? Why are you unable to show me this difference? If Person A wants chocolate-ice-cream anyway, what does it matter who predicts such a thing? Even an all-knowing, cannot-be-wrong God?
    "But what if one day Person A wants vanilla?"
    If on this day the immutable prophecy happens to say chocolate... then I agree with you, Free Will was removed.
    But, if the immutable prophecy says vanilla at exactly the same point in time that Person A would have chosen to have vanilla anyway... then Free Will is still intact.
    If every outcome for every choice in your life is exactly what you want, and no one forces you into any alternative you don't approve of... how can you possibly say that you do not have Free Will?
    I agree with you that if you hear of an immutable prophecy, and are unable to choose an alternative that you would have liked to take... then your Free Will is removed. But what if you just happen to be the kind of person that ends up doing what the prophecy says anyway? Why do you assume that such a person or situation cannot possibly exist?
    Why cannot the definition of Free Will be:
    "Having the ability to get exactly what you want from every situation presented to you."
    How is that not Free Will?
    If this is an acceptable definition of Free Will, then it is possible to have immutable prophecies known to the world and have everyone keep their Free Will intact. I have no idea how we would know if the Free Will is still intact since this would involve knowing what the person would choose without the immutable prophecy... but it's certainly not impossible.
    How can free-will exist if only one future outcome, one "decision", one "choice" is even possible?
    I agree with your statement here... but this is not the scenario I am discussing. I am discussing that all choices are certainly possible, it just so happens that the immutable prophecy coincides with what the chooser decides upon anyway. I don't see what would prevent an all-knowing, a-temporal God from being able to mimic this "coincidence", for ALL choices if He so desired.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by Straggler, posted 01-15-2009 5:43 PM Straggler has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 11 by Blue Jay, posted 01-16-2009 10:49 AM Stile has replied
     Message 37 by Straggler, posted 01-18-2009 9:53 AM Stile has replied

      
    Blue Jay
    Member (Idle past 2774 days)
    Posts: 2843
    From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
    Joined: 02-04-2008


    Message 11 of 227 (494483)
    01-16-2009 10:49 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by Stile
    01-16-2009 9:43 AM


    Re: Trying Again
    Hi, Stile.
    After the discussion with Percy, I think I've understood what it is that causes the contradiction.
    I will interpret "free will" and "determinism" as opposites. Determinism indicates that the outcomes of all events are inevitable consequences of past events. Free will indicates that the outcomes of at least some events are independent of previous events.
    Thus, determinism is a world of formulaic patterns, and free will is a world of spontaneity.
    -----
    Stile writes:
    Let's say Being B is simply a very good friend of Person A. Let's say Person A really likes chocolate ice-cream, and Person B knows this having eaten out with Person A on many occassions. It's another night out, and Person B "predicts" that Person A is going to choose chocolate ice-cream for dessert. Are you seriously saying that Person B has removed the Free Will of Person A? Of course not, since it just so happens that Person B's prediction coincides with what Person A is going to choose anyway.
    What do you call this: the "Lucky God Hypothesis?"
    If Person B is making a prediction of the future based on past evidence, obviously this is different from having a perfect knowledge of the future. See, predictions necessarily utilize some element of determinism: the assumption is that the past wields some influence on the future; otherwise, the prediction is just a shot in the dark. But, in the case of free will, the assumption is not necessarily valid, because it's always possible that Person A will choose something completely out of the blue. This means that predictions based on the past, in a universe where even a modicum of free will exists, can never be absolute knowledge. The outcome of an event remains uncertain until the event happens, and no amount of power and intelligence on the part of God can change this fact, because free will necessarily means that He is not in the driver's seat.
    So, God's prophecies in such a universe would be nothing more than predictions that have only statistical relevance to the future (even if the margin of error is infinitesimally minute). This idea could certainly coexist with free will, but no pious Christian is going to believe that God's prophecies have even a 0.00000000001% chance of not coming to pass, so it's not really relevant to the question that Straggler posed.

    I'm Bluejay.
    Darwin loves you.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by Stile, posted 01-16-2009 9:43 AM Stile has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 12 by Stile, posted 01-16-2009 11:15 AM Blue Jay has replied

      
    Stile
    Member (Idle past 120 days)
    Posts: 4295
    From: Ontario, Canada
    Joined: 12-02-2004


    Message 12 of 227 (494487)
    01-16-2009 11:15 AM
    Reply to: Message 11 by Blue Jay
    01-16-2009 10:49 AM


    God's Smart
    Manis writes:
    I will interpret "free will" and "determinism" as opposites. Determinism indicates that the outcomes of all events are inevitable consequences of past events. Free will indicates that the outcomes of at least some events are independent of previous events.
    Thus, determinism is a world of formulaic patterns, and free will is a world of spontaneity.
    Definitions accepted. By "a world of spontaneity" I take it that you mean "at least some spontaneity" exists in decisions as opposed to "all decisions are completely 100% spontaneous". Those are, actually, the same definitions I use.
    What do you call this: the "Lucky God Hypothesis?"
    Heh... may as well be. I tend to think of it more in the sense of "smart enough that we cannot tell the difference" though. My arguement is not to say that such a thing exists, or is even likely. (Personally, I don't think God exists at all) My arguement is to say that such a thing is not impossible.
    If Person B is making a prediction of the future based on past evidence, obviously this is different from having a perfect knowledge of the future.
    Okay... can you show me where this difference is? Assuming, of course, the things I've been talking about like if the choices of Person A in a universe where Person B has perfect knowledge matches exactly the same choices of Person A in a universe where Person B does not have perfect knowledge (or perhaps doesn't even exist).
    See, predictions necessarily utilize some element of determinism: the assumption is that the past wields some influence on the future; otherwise, the prediction is just a shot in the dark.
    Why is that? Where can you show this to be true? I agree that any predictions we as humans make necessarily utilize some element of determinism. But this is not what we're talking about. We're talking about an all knowing, all powerful, never-wrong, a-temporal God. Why are you putting such a limit on such a being? Are you claiming all-encompasing knowledge of this universe such that you know for sure that there is absolutely no possible way for an omnipotent God to make predictions in any other manner?
    This means that predictions based on the past, in a universe where even a modicum of free will exists, can never be absolute knowledge.
    I agree. But I'm not talking about any predictions based on the past. I'm not sure what an all-powerful, a-temporal, all-knowing God may base His predictions on. Are you telling me you absolutely know that it's impossible for predictions to be made in any other way? Especially for a God that does not require the past since He is capable of seeing the future?
    The outcome of an event remains uncertain until the event happens, and no amount of power and intelligence on the part of God can change this fact, because free will necessarily means that He is not in the driver's seat.
    I completely agree. And I also must state that "He is not in the driver's seat" in all of the scenarios I have presented as well.
    So, if God is not in the driver's seat, even with an immutable prediction about a certain situation... isn't that Free Will still there?
    So, God's prophecies in such a universe would be nothing more than predictions that have only statistical relevance to the future (even if the margin of error is infinitesimally minute). This idea could certainly coexist with free will, but no pious Christian is going to believe that God's prophecies have even a 0.00000000001% chance of not coming to pass, so it's not really relevant to the question that Straggler posed.
    I would say your calculations on calculating how God makes his prophecies are based off of incomplete information. Mostly because I do not believe you know how an omnipotent God makes His predictions.
    I'll ask you too:
    If every outcome for every choice in your life is exactly what you want, and no one forces you into any alternative you don't approve of... how can you possibly say that you do not have Free Will?
    Why cannot the definition of Free Will be:
    "Having the ability to get exactly what you want from every situation presented to you."
    I have shown that the above definitions can exist along with an immutable prophecy. I certainly think it's difficult since the immutable prophecy would be required to exactly match the choice the being would make without the immutable prophecy in place. I just don't think that such a problem is that big of a deal for an all-knowing, all-powerful, a-temporal God.
    Note: I am not saying that if any immutable prophecy exists, then we still automatically keep Free Will. I am saying that there is only 1 single special case where immutable prophecy can co-exist with Free Will. That 1 single case is where the immutable prophecy exactly matches the decision that would have been made if the immutable prophecy was not present. This 1 case, however, makes the statement "immutable prophecy cannot co-exist with Free Will" to be false.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 11 by Blue Jay, posted 01-16-2009 10:49 AM Blue Jay has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 13 by ICANT, posted 01-16-2009 6:16 PM Stile has replied
     Message 14 by PaulK, posted 01-16-2009 6:25 PM Stile has replied
     Message 17 by Blue Jay, posted 01-16-2009 11:52 PM Stile has replied

      
    ICANT
    Member (Idle past 103 days)
    Posts: 6769
    From: SSC
    Joined: 03-12-2007


    Message 13 of 227 (494538)
    01-16-2009 6:16 PM
    Reply to: Message 12 by Stile
    01-16-2009 11:15 AM


    Re: God's Smart
    Hi Stile,
    Stile writes:
    I have shown that the above definitions can exist along with an immutable prophecy. I certainly think it's difficult since the immutable prophecy would be required to exactly match the choice the being would make without the immutable prophecy in place. I just don't think that such a problem is that big of a deal for an all-knowing, all-powerful, a-temporal God.
    I think you have it nailed down pretty close.
    The problem everybody has with a prophecy given by God is that they limit God to time as we are limited.
    God can see the beginning of the universe and the end of the universe at the same time. We say but that is billions of years.
    To us it is billions of years but to God it is all right now. He views the beginning and the end and everything in between all the time.
    So anything that God says is going to happen He see's it happening when He speakes it. To Him it is history even if it is billions of years in the future to us.
    Its kinda like when you have seen a movie and then go back the second time with someone and you keep spoiling the movie for them because you keep telling them what is going to happen next.
    God Bless,

    "John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 12 by Stile, posted 01-16-2009 11:15 AM Stile has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 18 by Stile, posted 01-17-2009 10:03 AM ICANT has not replied
     Message 42 by Straggler, posted 01-18-2009 12:50 PM ICANT has replied

      
    PaulK
    Member
    Posts: 17838
    Joined: 01-10-2003
    Member Rating: 4.1


    Message 14 of 227 (494539)
    01-16-2009 6:25 PM
    Reply to: Message 12 by Stile
    01-16-2009 11:15 AM


    Re: God's Smart
    Here's a thing to think about. If someone is told what they are going to do, can they change it ? Under any circumstances ? If not, then how could we be said to have free will ?

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 12 by Stile, posted 01-16-2009 11:15 AM Stile has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 16 by Buzsaw, posted 01-16-2009 7:32 PM PaulK has not replied
     Message 19 by Stile, posted 01-17-2009 10:05 AM PaulK has replied

      
    Buzsaw
    Inactive Member


    Message 15 of 227 (494542)
    01-16-2009 6:54 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
    01-14-2009 6:48 PM


    Re: Free Will and Biblical Prophecy: Are They Mutually Exclusive?
    Straggler writes:
    More generally - If we, as humans, can know certain future events as a matter of God given certainty how can we be said to have free-will regarding the actions required to make those outcomes happen?
    Straggler, my friend, this question has been answered but you're not paying close attention.
    It's not God giving certainty. It's man's free will exercise and God in his omniscient knowledge knows what man will do.
    Did Jesus have free will relative to the crucifixion. Yes. He, the son, sharing the same spirit with God, the father; the Holy Spirit of the Trinity, had the same purpose and plans for the universe as God to effect the eventual demise of evil in the universe and establish a heavenly kingdom on earth.
    The OT prophecies relative to Jesus had no effect upon the free will of Jesus, though Jesus was fully aware of them, being an avid student of scripture, including the prophecies. But Satan temped Jesus, nevertheless, hoping that he would exercise his free will and opt for the easy way out on the short haul. The devil, Satan knew that Jesus had free will. Otherwise he wouldn't have bothered to try. He knew also that if Jesus remained faithful to his mission, he, the devil's status would end and it would be curtains for him. Jesus didn't buy it and moved on to fulfill the purpose for which he was born. Jesus knew the prophecies concerning him and tried to convey them to his enemies, the rejectors of his messianic status.
    Straggler, here's another point. Over the centuries of Christianity, including the present; especially the present, millions of people, knowing full well of the consequences of persecution, torture and death, determined to receive Jesus, the savior and die, if need, for the privilege of becoming children of God, the resurrection etc and receive eternal life. Jesus was fully aware at the temptations that if he abandoned his mission and submitted to Satan, likely he would escape the cross but loose his status as inheritor of God's kingdom on earth and his eternal life as well.

    BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
    The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Straggler, posted 01-14-2009 6:48 PM Straggler has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 41 by Straggler, posted 01-18-2009 12:38 PM Buzsaw has not replied

      
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