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Author Topic:   Free will, or is it?
tesla
Member
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 136 of 163 (456489)
02-18-2008 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by iano
02-18-2008 10:15 AM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
in the garden, when the father of man disobeyed God. that was the first cause.

individually; ask God, i do not have the answer. but if you deny the body, the body will deny you. and reject you, and cast you into the waste.

for a being that IS of faith, doubt is poison. how then can doubt exist? i do not have the answer, and God can do what i cannot. why ask me at what point is a man forever dead? i do not know your hearts. but only what God makes known to me concerning you. if i have done any good, or said any truth concerning him, it is not my words i have said. i am no better than you. but only tell you what truth i am aware of.


keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 10:15 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 10:55 AM tesla has responded

  
rstrats
Member (Idle past 78 days)
Posts: 123
Joined: 04-08-2004


Message 137 of 163 (456491)
02-18-2008 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 134 by tesla
02-18-2008 10:15 AM


Re: Free will. As in problems with
tesla,

re: “what is the choice you have?”

There are three choices or options with regard to belief:

1. To believe that someone or something exists or that a certain proposition is true.

2. To believe that someone or something doesn’t exist or that a certain proposition isn’t true.

3. To have no belief either way.

re: “...with your life potentially on the line by what you have been told, should you not look for evidence?”

Again, that would fall under the “prudent” part of my comment. But if beliefs can be consciously CHOSEN, you do not HAVE to look for evidence.

Edited by rstrats, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 10:15 AM tesla has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 10:56 AM rstrats has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 138 of 163 (456492)
02-18-2008 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 136 by tesla
02-18-2008 10:24 AM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
tesla writes:

in the garden, when the father of man disobeyed God. that was the first cause. individually; ask God, i do not have the answer.

How do you suppose death by individual choice if you don't know the answer as it pertains to the individual


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 10:24 AM tesla has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 10:58 AM iano has responded

  
tesla
Member
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 139 of 163 (456493)
02-18-2008 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 137 by rstrats
02-18-2008 10:45 AM


Re: Free will. As in problems with
There are three choices or options with regard to belief:

1. To believe that someone or something exists or that a certain proposition is true.

2. To believe that someone or something doesn’t exist or that a certain proposition isn’t true.

3. To have no belief either way.

re: “...with your life potentially on the line by what you have been told, should you not look for evidence?”

Again, that would fall under the “prudent” part of my comment. But if beliefs can be consciously CHOSEN, you do not HAVE to look for evidence.

do you believe because your heart will reject what you do not understand that you have no free will? are these three things the only power of choice you have ?

if your house is on fire, do you have the choice to extinguish the small flame, or run form the large flames? to call for help, or watch it burn?

a man can consciously choose to believe a weather sites forecast. there is his choice. and he acts in faith :

its going to be sunny tomorrow, so meet me at 7 am at the last job site, we will get much done today.

and by his faith in the caster, he started work, and a storm came, and not much was accomplished. was he a fool? or just misinformed?

what are you saying when you say you cannot make a conscious decision?

you consciously type to me at your keyboard, because you have faith in your fingers and the keyboard are real, you see it. thats a conscious effort of action based on belief of what you know to be true.

but on the topic of God, you believe its just a decision made because someone said so? or do you say: who can believe just because someone said so? but the power to believe and have faith is your choice in what you have faith in.

the better question i could answer for you is : how do you obtain true faith and have belief?

i misunderstand you? or do i answer you with an explanation?


keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by rstrats, posted 02-18-2008 10:45 AM rstrats has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by rstrats, posted 02-19-2008 1:40 PM tesla has responded

  
tesla
Member
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 140 of 163 (456495)
02-18-2008 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 138 by iano
02-18-2008 10:55 AM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
i told you what pertains to all, but individually, only God sees your heart.

what pertains to all pertains to the individual. but what the individual has accepted or not, God knows.


keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 10:55 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 11:08 AM tesla has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 141 of 163 (456498)
02-18-2008 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 140 by tesla
02-18-2008 10:58 AM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
tesla writes:

there are two paths, and those dead in sin are only dead by their choice,

I asked when this choice was made. You seem to be saying that they (eg: people living today) made a choice way back in the garden - before they even existed.

Or that Adams choice is their choice too - even though they weren't there to chose themselves.

Fair enough if you believe that is the case. But it doesn't make any rational sense. The idea of me choosing requires me to be around to chose in the first instance


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 10:58 AM tesla has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 11:15 AM iano has responded

  
tesla
Member
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 142 of 163 (456500)
02-18-2008 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 141 by iano
02-18-2008 11:08 AM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
i see.

the people today have evidence before them that God IS.

under examination, they will make their choice.

the people of today have medicine supplied in the body of the true God, that they might not die in reality, but live in the body of God as God truly is. God is of faith, and with no faith, you cannot be a part of faith. so then did God come in Jesus, that we might know him and the truth of existing. that by understanding, the body will be healed of the poison of doubt.

the choice is made by the individual when they observe the evidence. they choose to ignore it, or to accept it. and then do you either choose to live or die by the truth or lie you choose to accept for yourself.


keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 11:08 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 1:11 PM tesla has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 143 of 163 (456511)
02-18-2008 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by tesla
02-18-2008 11:15 AM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
tesla writes:

i see.

I don't think you do, to be honest. You seem to have an irrational belief that people freely chose death-in-their-sins. I say irrational because they supposedly do so at some indeterminate point in time prior to their even being born.

the people today have evidence before them that God IS. under examination, they will make their choice.

They also have a clatter of evidence that other gods are. And that no gods are.

Described as blind, enslaved-to-sin, dead-to-God, God-hating enemies one could only conclude the deck is stacked against their choosing correctly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 11:15 AM tesla has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 1:16 PM iano has responded
 Message 148 by Blue Jay, posted 02-18-2008 3:14 PM iano has responded

  
tesla
Member
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 144 of 163 (456512)
02-18-2008 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by iano
02-18-2008 1:11 PM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
mankind caused the problem in the first sin. all mankind are dead because of it.

God gave us medicine, because he loved us, and did not wish for us to die. this means, although dead, you can now yet live, because of the medicine that is taken individually.

They also have a clatter of evidence that other gods are. And that no gods are.

so what is the truth? what i believe may not be what you choose to believe. but the truth is the truth.


keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 1:11 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 1:35 PM tesla has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 145 of 163 (456514)
02-18-2008 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by tesla
02-18-2008 1:16 PM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
mankind caused the problem in the first sin. all mankind are dead because of it.

I'll leave this particular irrational merry-go-round be. I'm getting too dizzy.

:)

God gave us medicine, because he loved us, and did not wish for us to die. this means, although dead, you can now yet live, because of the medicine that is taken individually.

I agree. It would be more accurate to say that God made this "medicine" available. "God gave" implies that we have taken it.

They also have a clatter of evidence that other gods are. And that no gods are.

so what is the truth? what i believe may not be what you choose to believe. but the truth is the truth.

The truth is that you're not particularily keen on addressing points made but prefer to touch base only very sporadically.

The point made was that biblically (at least), the dice is heavily loaded against a choice for God being made. Such a thing renders the notion of free-willed choice a bit of a nonsense.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 1:16 PM tesla has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by tesla, posted 02-18-2008 2:21 PM iano has not yet responded

  
tesla
Member
Posts: 1199
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 146 of 163 (456516)
02-18-2008 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by iano
02-18-2008 1:35 PM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem

The truth is that you're not particularily keen on addressing points made but prefer to touch base only very sporadically.

The point made was that biblically (at least), the dice is heavily loaded against a choice for God being made. Such a thing renders the notion of free-willed choice a bit of a nonsense.

then what more can i say? i have told you as i can. what choice you make concerning the truth, and what to believe, is yours to make.


keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides

This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 1:35 PM iano has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1037 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 147 of 163 (456519)
02-18-2008 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by iano
02-18-2008 6:26 AM


Re: Free will. As in problems with
iano writes:

That is: your salvation (or whatever the carrot happens to be) depends on your working for it.

This is a little confusing for me, because it is the exact opposite of part of what you wrote in post #104 (which was one impetus for my post in the first place):

Firstly, a person exercising their free will has contributed in no short measure to their salvation. My understanding is that the Bible excludes any and all notions of a person contributing in any way, shape or form to their salvation. (emphasis added)

The two statements in the above quote are also contradictory to one another, thus contributing even more to my confusion. You seem to believe that we can contribute to our salvation, and you say you do (and that most other world religions also belive that), yet you also state that the Bible clearly denies this possibility (which I disagree with anyway).

Dealing with a theistic evolutionist is quite a different thing to dealing with a agnostic or atheistic evolutionist. The latter, in supposing their brain to be the product of purely deterministic/accidental processes can only go in circles whilst figuring out how to objectively trust anything that organ tells them.

I am not a theistic evolutionist. And, the word "accidental" is a vast misconception. There are tons of threads in the science forums that deal with this exact topic, so I won't discuss it further here.

You seem to be implying that lack of free choice (as traditionally understood: me faced with a left turn or right turn and being freely able to chose to go in either direction) renders God a manipulative God.

Let's dissect this, then. If I choose to turn right, I made the choice myself (at least, I seem to have, and I can't come up with any reason to believe that I didn't). However, it is possible that I only chose to go right because it was the will of God working through me. If this is the case, God has caused me to do something without making me aware that it was He, and not me, that made the choice. That, I believe, is the epitome of manipulativeness. That is what my religion (and my personal view) objects to.

You are, however, correct in saying that I can't actually demonstrate the truth of the matter. However, there are only three possible interpretations of the scenario that I see:

1. I made the choice myself
2. God made me do it without letting me in on His involvement (i.e., He manipulated me)
3. I am too stupid to recognize the evidence that He was actually working through me.

From my interactions with religious people, interpretation #3 seems to be the most commonly accepted view. If that is the case, I would request that people intelligent enough to recognize the evidence point it out to me. Here are my thought processes on the matter:

I do not see any reason why God wanted me to go right instead of left. Nothing major seemed to have occurred in my life as a direct result of my turning right instead of left. Furthermore, the decisions I ultimately make seem to be leading me in very random directions (some of which are dead-ends, and some of which contradict the directions in which previous decisions were leading me), which I wouldn't expect if my every action was being guided by the unseen hand of God.

The only refutation of this would be that it's impossible for me to see how all the seeming randomness that occurs in my life ties into the overall plan of God (which is the logic that I use in refuting the teleological view of evolution). If that be the case, though, there is no reason to believe anything that happens in my life is actually 'directed' in any way, because, even the direction of God manifests itself as randomness.

My conclusion in this matter would then be that God's will is random.

This ties back into the "bootstraps" stuff you mentioned in post #104:

The reason people believe anything is due to their having a reason to believe it. For something as fantastic as Gods existance, the reason for/evidence of his existing would have to be pretty compelling BEFORE the person could be expected to believe.

Asking a person to exercise their will unto belief - when the reason/evidence for God's existance is not at all compelling (from their perspective) is like asking them to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps - a completely unreasonable and irrational request.

The God I know is neither. (emphasis added)

From what I see, if God's will manifests as complete randomness (as it seems to from my perspective), there is no compelling evidence that He is involved in the decisions I make. Therefore, if He is involved, He is deliberately hiding it from me (or at least not making it obvious to me, which violates your principles for compelling evidence as stated in the above quote), which is, by definition, manipulative. For that reason, I prefer to believe in a more laissez-faire God, who allows me to act on my own.

iano writes:

I just disagree that man-as-born has free will.

Then, we'll have to agree to disagree here. I can't back this up with anything that you would accept as authoritative, so I'll have to accept your view as equally valid.

One thing that I forgot to mention in my last post was that Mormons also do not believe in the Calvinistic "TULIP". In fact, I think we disagree almost completely with every one of the five points. Particularly, with the first; our second article of faith states: "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression." Therefore, we are not automatically corrupted and sinful at birth, but only become so through our own actions (which is impossible to rationalize with the idea that our actions are just manifestations of the will of God).


Signed,
Nobody Important (just Bluejay)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 6:26 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 4:55 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1037 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 148 of 163 (456520)
02-18-2008 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by iano
02-18-2008 1:11 PM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
iano writes:

You seem to have an irrational belief that people freely chose death-in-their-sins.

I never thought I would ever say anything even remotely like this, but, I'll grit my teeth and say it anyway:

I agree with tesla.

That took a lot of will power. :)

I think the point he's trying to make is that, we're all dead-in-our-sins because of the Fall of Adam (This is not the part I agree with, because it's a contradiction to one of the basic tenets of my religion; but, it seems to be something you (iano) agree with). He further asserts that we have the option of choosing to be saved, by belief in Christ (This is the part I agree with, and you seem to agree, too). Because believing is an option, not believing is also an option. Therefore, if you don't believe (and are therefore dead-in-your-sins), it is because you didn't choose to.

Look! I'm translating Teslanese! I must be getting smarter!

I don't agree completely with this, though. I was a missionary in Taiwan for two years a while back. Most of the people I met there were obviously Buddists/Taoists/Confucianists who hadn't really been presented with the choice of following Christ (because Christianity is very small in Taiwan, limiting its exposure). I would argue that these people did not choose to be in their state of Christ-lessness, so unbelief is not necessarily tied to choice.

As a side note, my religion addresses this sort of problem, too: we perform necessary ordinances by proxy for people who weren't given the option of being Mormons during their life on earth. This doesn't necessarily save them, though, because we believe they still have the freedom to reject the ordinances (agency is an eternal principle, in our view).


Signed,
Nobody Important (just Bluejay)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 1:11 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by iano, posted 02-18-2008 3:42 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 149 of 163 (456521)
02-18-2008 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by Blue Jay
02-18-2008 3:14 PM


Re: Jerusalem, Jerusalem
bluejay writes:

That took a lot of will power.

You mean freewill power...:)

I think the point he's trying to make is that, we're all dead-in-our-sins because of the Fall of Adam...it seems to be something you (iano) agree with).

I do...in the sense of being born a sinner and progressing to do what sinners do. Sin

He further asserts that we have the option of choosing to be saved, by belief in Christ (This is the part I agree with, and you seem to agree, too).

I don't agree at all. Sinless Adam had a free will. Faced with two (arguably) equally weighted options his will decided upon disobedience. In so doing he lost free will and became a dead man walking. Dead men don't have such a thing as free will. In so far as a dead man expresses his will he can only will death and sin.

Biblically, it's called enslavement to sin.

Because believing is an option, not believing is also an option. Therefore, if you don't believe (and are therefore dead-in-your-sins), it is because you didn't choose to.

Biblically the language used to describe the lost is such as to render notions of freewill fantastical at best. If tesla could pick some adjectives applied to the lost state, that illustrated notions of free will then I might reconsider. As it is, the language used offers no hope of man as anything other than helpless.

Most of the people I met there were obviously Buddists/Taoists/Confucianists who hadn't really been presented with the choice of following Christ (because Christianity is very small in Taiwan, limiting its exposure). I would argue that these people did not choose to be in their state of Christ-lessness, so unbelief is not necessarily tied to choice.

Which is the kind of issue that tesla ignores. He says the evidence is there when it patently is not.

No-choice-for-style Christianity circumvents such problems by placing the onus on God to save - not on the person. God can reach a confucianist as easily as he can anyone else. There is no requirement that the confucianist hears the gospel of Christ. Were it so that the gospel must be heard - then Abraham couldn't have been saved.

:)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by Blue Jay, posted 02-18-2008 3:14 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 150 of 163 (456533)
02-18-2008 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by Blue Jay
02-18-2008 2:37 PM


Re: Free will. As in problems with
iano writes:

That is: your salvation (or whatever the carrot happens to be) depends on your working for it.

bluejay writes:

This is a little confusing for me, because it is the exact opposite of part of what you wrote in post #104 (which was one impetus for my post in the first place):

The confusion is easily cleared up. I was responding to a piece by you which indicated mormonism to be a works-based religion. I included it with all the other works-based religions thus:

iano writes:

Thus Mormonism shares a core principle of all of the following: Islam, Hinduism, Jehovahs Witness, Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Christadelphianism, Wicca, etc., etc.,...

That is: your salvation (or whatever the carrot happens to be) depends on your working for it.

The above in contrast to biblical Christianity which would argue that it is alone amongst all world religions in posing that man makes no contribution at all to his salvation / right relationship with God (Christianities "carrots").

.
.
.
.
.

From what I see, if God's will manifests as complete randomness (as it seems to from my perspective), there is no compelling evidence that He is involved in the decisions I make. Therefore, if He is involved, He is deliberately hiding it from me (or at least not making it obvious to me, which violates your principles for compelling evidence as stated in the above quote), which is, by definition, manipulative. For that reason, I prefer to believe in a more laissez-faire God, who allows me to act on my own.

It might be worth mentioning from the outset that the specific area of freewill whose existance I deny, has to do with mans relationship and position and response wrt God / sin / salvation etc. In areas such as "which colour suit should I wear today" free will is (for want of biblical evidence to the contrary) free to operate. That said, I don't suppose Gods sovereign insistance that you wear the charcoal suit (for it is the one that will best catch the eye of the girl God has in mind for you to meet that day) would be taken as an objectionable intrusion by anyone.

Thus, when I said this....

You seem to be implying that lack of free choice (as traditionally understood: me faced with a left turn or right turn and being freely able to chose to go in either direction) renders God a manipulative God.

...I meant it to illustrate how freewilled choices would be made in the category relating directly and indirectly to sin, salvation, God. For example:

A lost man is tempted to commit adultery on a business trip away. He struggles with it and finally succeeds in overcoming the temptation. He arrives home unscathed and kiss his wife, conscience clean. The man is said to express his freewill by those who suppose the existance of such a thing in a lost man

Clearly the area involved is the law of God and the mans response. My argument would differ from your in noting that the man, in arriving home, has not made any free willed choice in the matter of his near-illicit-act, even though that is how he (and you) perceives things to be. What has prevented him from committing adultery is (in fact) a combination of two things:

a) God's truth (and the sense behind that truth) revealed to him by God. God has effectively presented argumentation aimed at convincing the man to goodness through the medium of conscience. All without God revealing who is behind God's truth. The man could be a Confucianist from Taiwan coming back from a business trip to Tibet

b) Man will not expressing itself. I'm assuming man possessing a depraved nature here. A Calvinistic T (although I am not a Calvinist). A sinful nature the Bible calls it. And the sinful nature, whenever it expresses itself, can express itself only in one way: to move a man to sinful acts. And the mechanism by which it achieves this is described biblically as "suppressing truth". To suppress the truth is to bury the restraining argument supplied by God. Once buried there is no restraint and the persons mind and body slide in the direction the sinful will would desire for it.

Hopefully this example makes clear that the good husbands will not expressing itself in this case is not a choice he made. It's his sinful will doing absolutely nothing at all. A will doing nothing at all cannot be said to be chosing either left or right.

It follows that in the measure the depraved will is silenced by Gods argument, Gods action will draw men to act according to his truth. It follows also that in the measure the sinful nature suppresses God's truth, the will will push men to act contra to God's truth

I've to step out bluejay, hopefully this clarifies things for openers. I'll get back to your post asap

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by Blue Jay, posted 02-18-2008 2:37 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by Blue Jay, posted 02-18-2008 6:14 PM iano has responded

  
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