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NOW WHERE IS YOUR GOD?!. Posters annoy.

Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by False Joe, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. zabu of nΩd

    zabu of nΩd Free Insultation

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    @ Ack and Cyth:

    Sorry, I may put off responding here for a while. I really wasn't looking to get into a gigantic philosophical debate right now, so it may be some time before I catch the right mood.
     
  2. Unfaithfully Metalhead

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    Exactly.
     
  3. genocide roach

    genocide roach DOOOOOOOOOOM

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    ~gR~
     
    #103 genocide roach, Jan 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2015
  4. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    I'm not sure that I fully understand what you're saying, but I'll take a shot at a response. Let's assume that (1) God chose to create this world because this world will turn out in such and such a way, (2) God knows this world will turn out in such and such a way, and as a consequence of (2), (3) This world will turn out in such and such a way.

    Statement (3) does not mean the same thing as the following:

    (4) It is necessarily the case that this world will turn out in such and such a way.

    Just because the world will turn out in such and such a way doesn't mean that it couldn't have turned out otherwise. If that opens up the possibility for the sort of contingency that free will requires, then couldn't God create a world that will turn out in such and such a way, and know it will turn out in such and such a way (because he's omniscient), and yet couldn't said world be one in which there is freedom of the will? Maybe one would object on the grounds that one couldn't know that the world would turn out in such and such a way if there were some ways the world would turn out that aren't necessitated. But all it takes is one step from that point and we're back on the freedom/foreknowledge problem.

    edit: But of course, God's choosing to create this world certainly doesn't seem to be consistent with his supposed benevolence.
     
  5. AchrisK

    AchrisK Weakling

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    That's cool. I almost abandoned this thread myself last night for similar reasons.
     
  6. AchrisK

    AchrisK Weakling

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    But again, what do you or I really understand about the nature of the plan and the bigger picture? We talk about benevolence from a human perspective, inside of time, without understanding eternity or the true nature of God. We can point to many things and say that if God hadn't created this world, that bad thing would not have happened. But how many good things have also occurred? What is the eternal implication of each thing? I have no clue, and I think this is an aspect of faith for those who believe.
     
  7. AchrisK

    AchrisK Weakling

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    Fortunately for me, this is not the current debate :)
     
  8. Valerie

    Valerie ¯\(ツ)/¯

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    Fortunately for us, you can't prove it anyway.
     
  9. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    What I'm basically saying is that (given the assumptions already made) God has already chosen that we will act as we do given the world that he chose to create. We act the way we do because of the world that God created and the way that God wanted us to act. This is not free will, since our actions were already determined to be as they are deliberately. My point is that God can't be both what we assume him to be and also be able to grant free will, which is a contradiction. In all honesty, I'm not interested in how this supposition works out in a formal logical proof.
     
  10. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    I thought I already explained how God's creating the world to be such and such a way could be consistent with free will. Actually, it's not even obvious that that there needs to be contingency in some strong sense in order for there to be free will. Furthermore, I already acknowledged that even granting those points, they seem inconsistent with the notion of God as omnibenevolent (or at least they render it highly mysterious). I just don't think free will is inconsistent with God's omniscience or his choosing to create a world that will turn out in such and such a way.

    edit: So basically I'm on board with you concerning the idea that the set of attributes that, say a Christian, would want to ascribe to God is probably inconsistent with our having free will. I just think that all you have to do is jettison one of those attributes and you end up with consistency. Of course, that's not the kind of victory a theist is looking for, but I don't even care about that.

    The logical notions I introduced were intended to demonstrate a relevant point but of course you're more than welcome to keep pursuing these matters at the level of your ever so reliable intuitions.
     
  11. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    How are you defining free will?
     
  12. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    Honestly, I've been operating at the level of intuition so far when talking about free will. Actually, given that I think freely doing x is consistent with not having been able to do something other than x, then it turns out that the notion of free will is pretty hard for me to formulate in precise terms. Let me think about it more.
     
  13. Unfaithfully Metalhead

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    Armand: I know nothing of God, or the Devil. I have never seen a vision nor learned a secret that will damn or save my soul.
     
  14. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    Alright, more on the free will thing:

    The fact that God picked just this world out of all the other logically possible worlds to instantiate is not exactly what would rule out the possibility of free will (I'm not saying that it's actually true that God exists and that he created our world, I'm just assuming for the sake of dicussion). Let's assume that God picked this world to instantiate, and that he picked it because it's the world which turns out in such and such a way (it's the world in which such and such human actions are performed). If God picked it for that reason and he knows that this world will turn out in such and such a way, then it must be true that this world will turn out in such and such a way. Let's assume that propositions about future free actions have truth values (they are either true or false). If such propositions have truth values then it is either true or false now that I will in the future drive to the grocery store, but assuming that is true now, then there can be no possibility of me ever doing otherwise since if I were to do otherwise, then the proposition that I will in the future drive to the grocery store is false, and we can see the manifest contradiction there.

    Now the above is not some special problem having to do with the relation between the idea of God's creating this world and the notion of free will. Suppose that our world simply popped into existence all by itself. Then assuming that propositions about future free actions have truth values, apply the same reasoning. You can say now that there is some specific way that the world will turn out (or to put it another way, a proposition about precisely which logically possible world this one is (with respect to its past present and future) has a truth value. But you can see immediately now that the same problem in this case is going to arise for free will. It also seems clear to me that this reasoning can be extended to any logically possible world you consider, so that in this way we are just ruling out the possibility of free will a priori. It has nothing to do with God.

    How would one escape this quandary? The most obvious thing is to deny that propositions about future free actions (provided that there are such actions) have truth values. That is, deny that such propositions are either true or false. If they don't have truth values, then with respect to future free actions, there is nothing to know. That would seem to clear up the supposed problem with omniscience and free will, since free will on this conception would be consistent with a being's knowing everything there is to know. But it blocks the possibility of God creating this world for the reason that this world will turn out in such and such a way, since there really is no particular way it will turn out. This response though is pretty counterintuitive (to me at least).

    Dodens, if I understand your point correctly then I actually agree with you but I don't think it's a problem having to do with God. I think free will is just problematic regardless of whether or not we assume God created this world.

    edit: Maybe the problem doesn't arise if freely doing x is consistent with the absence of the possibility of not doing x. But that idea is really weird and it's hard to wrap your head around what free will would be if that were true.
     
  15. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    This is what I was thinking as I began to read your post as well. Indeed, whether or not God created the world in a specific way is irrelevant, since regardless of that, the world IS a specific way, and as such results in certain actions occurring.
     
  16. Vimana

    Vimana Member

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    .

    Some of the really religious teachers at my school probably worry about how I will burn or something when the rapture comes. We always have these friday night bible studies and during them I used to question everything I felt like questioning and I was told by the pastors daughter that she would act depressed afterwards (which is why I stopped apart from how they would make me be quiet whenever they were losing a debate). One time though she was talking about the rapture and was starting to cry a little and said "if there is a god, wouldn't salvation be important?" and I knew it was directed at me because she looked at me as she said "if there is a god."

    I guess I had shaken her belief a little and I felt sort of bad for doing it. Even though I am a strong atheist I'm not going to attack someone's belief if it is important to them.

    Anyway I feel much better as an Atheist. I feel much better not relying on some being to do shit. And also I feel much better believing that I won't get zapped for having sex or any other sin I may be committing.
     
  17. AchrisK

    AchrisK Weakling

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    I have a problem with your bolded statement above, and it could be adding to why we disagree. It can almost be guaranteed that the way we all assume God to be is flawed to varying degrees.
     
  18. AchrisK

    AchrisK Weakling

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    ...and what does anyone think of my model of this relationship of free will and God?
     
  19. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    Well I think that goes without saying, but my objective here was to contradict the general notion of what God is to begin with, so I guess you could say that that was exactly what I was setting out to suggest. :)
     
  20. AchrisK

    AchrisK Weakling

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    I agree with your suggestion, but I am sure we come to different conclusion from this agreement. I assume your conclusion is that either God doesn't exist or has no interest in this world. Mine is that he exists and is good, but that his ways, reasoning and vision are so far above ours, it is hard for us to reconcile everything from our perspective.
     

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