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Author Topic:   Free will vs Omniscience
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1023 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 420 of 1406 (782748)
04-28-2016 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 399 by Blue Jay
04-25-2016 12:42 PM


Re: Puppets or Prodegies?
BlueJay writes:

Perfect prognostication works only if the future is set in stone.
Free will implies that the future is not set in stone.
The two phenomena are not compatible.

I agree with much of what Stile has been saying, except that I disagree with your first claim above.

Perfect prognostication also works if someone has perfect knowledge, even where free will is active.

Suppose I know that you hate liver&onions, but that you love chocolate cake. If someone gives you a menu with just these two items, I can know with a very high degree of confidence that you will choose the chocolate cake. (And if I truly had perfect knowledge of your thoughts and inclinations, I could know this perfectly.). Yet you are free to choose either one. Your free will is not impacted or reduced.

I suppose you could say that even though you have free will, the future is "set in stone" by your own inclinations and desires. In this case, I agree with Stile: you still have free will.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 399 by Blue Jay, posted 04-25-2016 12:42 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 421 by PaulK, posted 04-28-2016 12:23 PM kbertsche has responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1023 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 423 of 1406 (782785)
04-28-2016 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 421 by PaulK
04-28-2016 12:23 PM


Re: Puppets or Prodegies?
PaulK writes:

So you're saying that perfect prognostication can work if the future isn't set in stone - as long as it isn't perfect. There's a bit of a problem with the logic of that argument.


No, that's not what I'm saying.

I think there's a problem with the phrase "set in stone". It's unclear and ambiguous. Can you please explain/define what you mean by the phrase? (E.g. If my own internal preferences and desires influence or determine my free decision, is my decision "set in stone"? Or does "set in stone" always imply an external forcing of my decisions?)


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 421 by PaulK, posted 04-28-2016 12:23 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 424 by PaulK, posted 04-29-2016 12:55 AM kbertsche has not yet responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1023 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 437 of 1406 (784194)
05-13-2016 10:53 PM
Reply to: Message 435 by New Cat's Eye
05-13-2016 3:30 PM


Re: Definition of free will
CatSci writes:

The issue is that if the future is knowable, then we are powerless to change it and therefore do not have free will.


I disagree. You are implicitly making knowledge of the future the cause of the future. Instead, suppose that our free will is the cause, and knowledge of the future is an effect. Then the future can be knowable and we can still have free will.

Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 435 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-13-2016 3:30 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 438 by PaulK, posted 05-14-2016 2:32 AM kbertsche has responded
 Message 439 by AZPaul3, posted 05-14-2016 5:22 AM kbertsche has responded
 Message 447 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-16-2016 10:25 AM kbertsche has responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1023 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 440 of 1406 (784215)
05-14-2016 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 439 by AZPaul3
05-14-2016 5:22 AM


Re: Definition of free will
AZPAul3 writes:


So, if I understand the concept you hold, you’re saying your god does not force or direct your decisions but knows what decisions you will make. He has given us unguided free will already knowing where that path of our free will is going to lead. That means that millennia ago your god knew that the decisions that would be made by all my ancestors would eventually lead to my conception and that the decisions I make would lead him to condemn me to hell for all eternity; that he allowed this course of events, without his intervention or direction, to unfold willingly and knowingly. The outcome is already known, my torture in the lake of fire, though not directed by him, was already known to him at the creation of the world.
Since your god made the world to work this way how does this differ from a directed, predetermined, world absent of free will?


First, I was not presenting "my view". I was putting forth a "thought experiment" that I hoped anyone could consider:
quote:
Instead, suppose that our free will is the cause, and knowledge of the future is an effect. Then the future can be knowable and we can still have free will.

Second, there is a huge difference. In a directed, predetermined world with no free will, we would be automatons, with no input or choice in what happens. In what I suggested, we would have free will and would be able to affect the course of events. Whether or not someone knows ahead-of-time what we will decide has no affect on our ability to choose or cause.

"Knowledge" is not "determination" or "causation"; it is simply "knowledge".


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 439 by AZPaul3, posted 05-14-2016 5:22 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 441 by PaulK, posted 05-14-2016 12:19 PM kbertsche has not yet responded
 Message 442 by Percy, posted 05-14-2016 12:36 PM kbertsche has not yet responded
 Message 443 by AZPaul3, posted 05-14-2016 12:40 PM kbertsche has not yet responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1023 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 444 of 1406 (784220)
05-14-2016 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 438 by PaulK
05-14-2016 2:32 AM


Re: Definition of free will
You're failing to understand Cat Sci's position. Cat Sci has a view of free will that is incompatible with foreknowledge. If you want to argue against his position you need to argue for an alternative conception of free will.

I suspect you are right; I probably don't agree with his concept of "free will".

ABE: I looked at all of Cat Sci's posts in this thread, but don't see his definition of "free will." Could he or someone else please explain what it is? (I only see his definition of "omnipotence", which is not the orthodox Christian view and which I disagree with.)

Edited by kbertsche, : Added ABE


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 438 by PaulK, posted 05-14-2016 2:32 AM PaulK has not yet responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1023 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 448 of 1406 (784319)
05-16-2016 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 447 by New Cat's Eye
05-16-2016 10:25 AM


Re: Definition of free will
Cat Sci writes:


kbertsche writes:


Cat Sci writes:


The issue is that if the future is knowable, then we are powerless to change it and therefore do not have free will.


I disagree. You are implicitly making knowledge of the future the cause of the future. Instead, suppose that our free will is the cause, and knowledge of the future is an effect. Then the future can be knowable and we can still have free will.

No, I'm not making the knowledge the cause. Our will can still be the cause, but if what we are going to will in the future is locked in and cannot be changed, then that will is not free.

Sorry, I misunderstood you. If our will is truly the "cause", I think this would imply that our will is NOT locked in and that it CAN be changed. Otherwise, our will would not be truly the "cause", but merely an inevitable intermediate step due to some other cause.

Again, suppose that our free will is the cause, and knowledge of the future is an effect. Then the future can be knowable and we can still have free will. The future would not be "fixed" until we "fix" it with our actions and choices. But a being who transcends time and can see the future from the past can have perfect forknowledge of what will occur.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 447 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-16-2016 10:25 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 449 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-17-2016 9:44 AM kbertsche has responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 1023 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 451 of 1406 (784352)
05-17-2016 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 449 by New Cat's Eye
05-17-2016 9:44 AM


Re: Definition of free will
Cat Sci writes:


kbertsche writes:

If our will is truly the "cause", I think this would imply that our will is NOT locked in and that it CAN be changed.


Then, does the foreknowledge of those causes change with the will?

The foreknowledge would depend on the will. The will would be the cause, the foreknowledge the effect.
Cat Sci writes:

And if so, doesn't that make the knowledge wrong at some points?


Why would it do so?
Cat Sci writes:

Can we really call that "knowing" what is going to happen if it is subject to change?


But why is it "subject to change"? Why can't a transcendent being see our future choices and know them ahead of time?

Cat Sci writes:


kbertsche writes:

The future would not be "fixed" until we "fix" it with our actions and choices. But a being who transcends time and can see the future from the past can have perfect forknowledge of what will occur.


Does the foreknowledge evolve along with the whims of our will as we go through time fixing choices with our decisions?

What does an ever changing foreknowledge really even know?


Why would foreknowledge need to "evolve" or "change"?

I think most of these conundrums come about because we try to make God a temporal being, subject to time as we are. But if He created time and transcends it, He would not be subject to it as are His creatures. For a God who transcends time and can see the timeline of human history all at once, concepts such as "before" and "after" are not very meaningful; everything to God is essentially "now".


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 449 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-17-2016 9:44 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 453 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-17-2016 1:41 PM kbertsche has not yet responded

  
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