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Some thoughts about free will and god
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Posted 11/24/08
I have been thinking about the problem of evil lately and have a few thoughts which I guess I will share. I guess I get tired of this "free will defense" hand waving.


I shall focus on one particular activity (rape) that is commonly viewed as evil It is not that the issue of rape has any particular personal connection but that it serves as a device for assisting us to think specifically and prevent us from being too general. Firstly, some opening statements.

Situations exist where people are raped by one or more persons and no-one else except God is around to help.

God has the capacity to stop the rape.

When a person is raped their free will (freedom to choose who to have sexual relations with and when) is being violated.

Clearly, in such situations, the safeguarding of free will can't be the reason why the rape is allowed to occur because allowing the event is resulting in free will being violated!

Now clearly, if God intervened to stop the rape then he would be violating the free will of the perpetrators but if he fails to act then the free will of the victim will be violated.

So the problem of evil can then be put in the form of the following questions.

Given that allowing evil results in the violation of free will, why does God safeguard the free will of evil perpetrators over and above the free will of their victims? Is it consistent to realize that a being does this and to continue to view that being as benevolent?

Now, another possible response might be that God has a greater but benevolent and unknown purpose for allowing such occurrences and the reasons are beyond our understanding. Anticipating this answer, I will make a brief response here in the opening post. If God is morally constrained to produce a greater good from evil that is allowed to occur than the good that would be produced by stopping it then why should we make any effort to stop evil? After all, the good that God would achieve (even if we can't know what it is) from our allowing evil would be far greater than the good we could achieve by stopping it and our act of allowing the evil to occur is no different from God's allowance of it. In other words ...

If God is morally justified in allowing evil to achieve a greater unknown purpose then we are equally morally justified in allowing evil so that God can achieve a greater and unknown purpose.

My argument is thus. The above assumption actually removes our basis for stopping evil and the only solid basis for working to prevent evil is the assumption that it doesn't serve a greater, unknown purpose.
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Posted 11/24/08 , edited 11/24/08
If we were to allow evil to run wild, leaving it to God for His greater unknown purpose, well wouldn't it be testing Him? just like when Jesus was tempted by the Devil to jump off the highest point of the temple telling Him that God would not have Him harmed. Who are we to test God?

Will we be able to watch evil run free? Do we have the conscience to allow it?

There was a time when we left everything unto God, but Adam and Eve had to eat the fruit. With thta, we could separate good from bad, giving us the free will over our actions. God may intervene in our lives preventing us from falling into danger, but the last decision is made by us. That's the free will hHe has given to us.
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Posted 11/24/08

makimaki_sataandagi wrote:

If we were to allow evil to run wild, leaving it to God for His greater unknown purpose, well wouldn't it be testing Him?
By fulfilling his purpose? No.



just like when Jesus was tempted by the Devil to jump off the highest point of the temple telling Him that God would not have Him harmed. Who are we to test God?
Jesus is god in Christian theology. Nor are we testing him. We are simply allowing his purpose to be achieved.





Will we be able to watch evil run free? Do we have the conscience to allow it?

There was a time when we left everything unto God, but Adam and Eve had to eat the fruit. With thta, we could separate good from bad, giving us the free will over our actions. God may intervene in our lives preventing us from falling into danger, but the last decision is made by us. That's the free will hHe has given to us.
You really ignored my post didn't you?

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Posted 11/24/08

YouAreDumb wrote:


makimaki_sataandagi wrote:

If we were to allow evil to run wild, leaving it to God for His greater unknown purpose, well wouldn't it be testing Him?
By fulfilling his purpose? No.



just like when Jesus was tempted by the Devil to jump off the highest point of the temple telling Him that God would not have Him harmed. Who are we to test God?
Jesus is god in Christian theology. Nor are we testing him. We are simply allowing his purpose to be achieved.





Will we be able to watch evil run free? Do we have the conscience to allow it?

There was a time when we left everything unto God, but Adam and Eve had to eat the fruit. With thta, we could separate good from bad, giving us the free will over our actions. God may intervene in our lives preventing us from falling into danger, but the last decision is made by us. That's the free will hHe has given to us.
You really ignored my post didn't you?



What if God's purpose was for you to aid that rape victim, if you just so happen to be passing by. You, with a conscience would aid the person knowing that someone is in need of help. By saving that person, you fulfilled God's purpose. but if you were to let it be by not leaving a finger to help, it wouldn't be fulfilling God's purpose now would it. The thing is not whether you fulfill His purpose or not, because we, do not know what it is. By being oblivious to our surroundings, we go against the fact that John the Baptist said that if we have a shirt, give it to one who does not have.
For your information I did not ignore your post but I have to admit that I'm in a state of confusion right now. What I'm saying is that the reason we have free will because of sin. If its like what you've said, which is leaving everything unto God, we would be accountable for the danger that is upon the victim, we would be judged not only by God but by the law. In the beginning, before the fruit thing, we didn't know what is good or bad thus resulting in leaving everything to God, unable to judge and to follow God's will.
Perhaps I'm not in the right mind to explain myself properly but my conclusion is, is that we are clueless about God's purpose, all we can do is to try our best to aid others in ways that are pleasing unto Him.
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Posted 11/24/08
oh come on , free will was made in order to have a loop hole in the bible, since the bible was written by man, the one thing man is good for and thats exagerating the truth, free will is just an excuse for why there is bad in the world,

to say god lets suffering happen to test us is crazy, why do people put there faith in something that might be wrong, or fake

somebody has to have the wrong religion, so who is it, christians, jews, buddists, there are alot of religions floating around, so why must the bible be the right one???

i have read the bible and find it a facinating read, but i find it hard to believe that it acually happened, i mean come on the book was written a long time after the events were to have happened,, so im sure the story got changed a little,

opps i have gotten off topic again, sorry

but just to say it again, free will is just used as a scapegoat in the bible, for why god lets us suffer



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Posted 11/24/08

makimaki_sataandagi wrote:





What if God's purpose was for you to aid that rape victim, if you just so happen to be passing by. You, with a conscience would aid the person knowing that someone is in need of help. By saving that person, you fulfilled God's purpose.
That does not make sense. If god could save that person, then the only thing he would accomplish by having me do it is to cause that person to suffer until I saved them. More to the point, we can assume god has some higher purpose and knows what will happen. I can rest easy knowing if I do not save them god did not plan for me to do so because he knows all, and that if it lets it happen he is either evil or has a good reason for it.



but if you were to let it be by not leaving a finger to help, it wouldn't be fulfilling God's purpose now would it.
Yes



The thing is not whether you fulfill His purpose or not, because we, do not know what it is. By being oblivious to our surroundings, we go against the fact that John the Baptist said that if we have a shirt, give it to one who does not have.
Do we? I don't see how that verse applies to the situation I mentioned. I also note that in the bible people allow evil for gods purposes. A good example is the killing of the children in Egypt which the Jews did nothing to stop even though they knew rams blood on the door was a way to ward of the plague. We can assume for the reasons I listed god has a good reason for allowing this evil and let it pass.






For your information I did not ignore your post but I have to admit that I'm in a state of confusion right now. What I'm saying is that the reason we have free will because of sin. If its like what you've said, which is leaving everything unto God, we would be accountable for the danger that is upon the victim, we would be judged not only by God but by the law. In the beginning, before the fruit thing, we didn't know what is good or bad thus resulting in leaving everything to God, unable to judge and to follow God's will.
Perhaps I'm not in the right mind to explain myself properly but my conclusion is, is that we are clueless about God's purpose, all we can do is to try our best to aid others in ways that are pleasing unto Him.


What is more pleasing to him than allowing his purpose to be fulfilled? In this case by allowing evil...........
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Posted 11/24/08

YouAreDumb wrote:



makimaki_sataandagi wrote:





What if God's purpose was for you to aid that rape victim, if you just so happen to be passing by. You, with a conscience would aid the person knowing that someone is in need of help. By saving that person, you fulfilled God's purpose.
That does not make sense. If god could save that person, then the only thing he would accomplish by having me do it is to cause that person to suffer until I saved them. More to the point, we can assume god has some higher purpose and knows what will happen. I can rest easy knowing if I do not save them god did not plan for me to do so because he knows all, and that if it lets it happen he is either evil or has a good reason for it.


How can it not make sense? The reason you were at that place was so that you can save that person.
God can save a person through different methods, He may use you.



but if you were to let it be by not leaving a finger to help, it wouldn't be fulfilling God's purpose now would it.
Yes
Please do not quote my sentence by sentence. The whole paragraph explains the whole meaning.




The thing is not whether you fulfill His purpose or not, because we, do not know what it is. By being oblivious to our surroundings, we go against the fact that John the Baptist said that if we have a shirt, give it to one who does not have.
Do we? I don't see how that verse applies to the situation I mentioned. I also note that in the bible people allow evil for gods purposes. A good example is the killing of the children in Egypt which the Jews did nothing to stop even though they knew rams blood on the door was a way to ward of the plague. We can assume for the reasons I listed god has a good reason for allowing this evil and let it pass.


The verse does apply, it means to help others who are in need. The reason why the children were killed was because Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go. If a person was a slave and was taken from his home, having no rights at all, do you think that he would save his enemies? He wouldn't. The plague was punishment on the Egyptians because God indeed did harden Pharaoh's heart just like Sodom and Gomorrah. So I agree on the fact that it was His purpose and men could do nothing about it. But, who are we to fulfill His purpose? If we knew of His purpose, we wouldn't put an effort in helping others. We would rely on Him to get everything done. But if that were the cause, we wouldn't have a chance to decide our actions, to make our own decisions. Meaning that we wouldn't have the freedom to enhance ourselves, and so when temptations arrive, we are unprepared, weak because we have been depending on God all this time.







For your information I did not ignore your post but I have to admit that I'm in a state of confusion right now. What I'm saying is that the reason we have free will because of sin. If its like what you've said, which is leaving everything unto God, we would be accountable for the danger that is upon the victim, we would be judged not only by God but by the law. In the beginning, before the fruit thing, we didn't know what is good or bad thus resulting in leaving everything to God, unable to judge and to follow God's will.
Perhaps I'm not in the right mind to explain myself properly but my conclusion is, is that we are clueless about God's purpose, all we can do is to try our best to aid others in ways that are pleasing unto Him.


What is more pleasing to him than allowing his purpose to be fulfilled? In this case by allowing evil...........



When God's purpose is fulfilled, it doesn't mean that it'll result in suffering. I can't give an example now but if you say that He does indeed allow evil. Well missionaries have reached out to victims of disasters. Another example is that perhaps if the girl was raped, she could have been a non believer before the rape, but after what had happened to her made her realise the gospel and resulted in her convertion to Christianity. The joy of gaining eternal happiness, isn't it more rejoicing? To add another member to the kingdom of God. By experiencing pain and suffering, men repent and reignite their beliefs. Because we humans, will never change our ways unless we're facing a problem that can't be solve. Sure one might experience shock and depression or shame, but if it would save a life. This world after all is just temporary, what is important is the life after.

To sum it all
We do not know what God' s purpose is therefore we try our best to do according to the bible / so that we will not be guilty.
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Posted 11/24/08 , edited 11/24/08

makimaki_sataandagi wrote:



How can it not make sense? The reason you were at that place was so that you can save that person.
Really? Thats stupid because god could save them in a second without letting them suffer. As I point out, letting me save them is illogical.



God can save a person through different methods, He may use you.
But it makes no sense to do so, and would violate my free will.




] Please do not quote my sentence by sentence. The whole paragraph explains the whole meaning.
Deal with it





The reason why the children were killed was because Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go. If a person was a slave and was taken from his home, having no rights at all, do you think that he would save his enemies? He wouldn't
I would save innocent children. I do not think of them as my enemies, and it was them who died. So if you want to defend the slaying of children, then please go ahead and do so. Secondly, god could have saved them in a instant with his power but choose to let them suffer as slaves. So if god is good it must have been good for them to stay as slaves.




. The plague was punishment on the Egyptians
Yes, those innocent children deserved to die awful deaths because their parents did something bad.



because God indeed did harden Pharaoh's heart just like Sodom and Gomorrah. So I agree on the fact that it was His purpose and men could do nothing about it. But, who are we to fulfill His purpose? If we knew of His purpose, we wouldn't put an effort in helping others. We would rely on Him to get everything done. But if that were the cause, we wouldn't have a chance to decide our actions, to make our own decisions.
Sure we would. Not saving someone does not change my power to make my own choices if I have it.



Meaning that we wouldn't have the freedom to enhance ourselves, and so when temptations arrive, we are unprepared, weak because we have been depending on God all this time.
? We were dicussing not saving people from evil because god must have a purpose in allowing it.




When God's purpose is fulfilled, it doesn't mean that it'll result in suffering.
Then all this suffering so far has been for nothing? Wow, thats one fucked up idea.



I can't give an example now but if you say that He does indeed allow evil. Well missionaries have reached out to victims of disasters.
They have also reached out to people living normal lives. Also, the people who dies in the disaster were lsot forever to hell because they did not come until after the diaster happened.



Another example is that perhaps if the girl was raped, she could have been a non believer before the rape, but after what had happened to her made her realise the gospel and resulted in her convertion to Christianity.
Wow! So we should allow the rape after all because it has a higher purpose! I knew we were on the same page.



The joy of gaining eternal happiness, isn't it more rejoicing? To add another member to the kingdom of God. By experiencing pain and suffering, men repent and reignite their beliefs.
But god could easily appear on Earth and prove he exists without causing anyone to suffer, so it doesn't matter very much.



Because we humans, will never change our ways unless we're facing a problem that can't be solve.
Thats false. Many people decide to change their lives for reasons other than that.



Sure one might experience shock and depression or shame, but if it would save a life. This world after all is just temporary, what is important is the life after.
Then let the rape happen.




To sum it all
We do not know what God' s purpose is therefore we try our best to do according to the bible / so that we will not be guilty.

You are guilty. Romans 3:11
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Posted 11/24/08
God gives us free will, if someone wants to rape then they have the choice to excercize their free will and do it. Of course they will have to suffer the punishment for it too. People want God to be some candy giver in the sky, but they won't do as He wants and repent. God can't be manipulated.
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Posted 11/24/08

YouAreDumb wrote:

I have been thinking about the problem of evil lately and have a few thoughts which I guess I will share. I guess I get tired of this "free will defense" hand waving.


I shall focus on one particular activity (rape) that is commonly viewed as evil It is not that the issue of rape has any particular personal connection but that it serves as a device for assisting us to think specifically and prevent us from being too general. Firstly, some opening statements.

Situations exist where people are raped by one or more persons and no-one else except God is around to help.

God has the capacity to stop the rape.

When a person is raped their free will (freedom to choose who to have sexual relations with and when) is being violated.

Clearly, in such situations, the safeguarding of free will can't be the reason why the rape is allowed to occur because allowing the event is resulting in free will being violated!

Now clearly, if God intervened to stop the rape then he would be violating the free will of the perpetrators but if he fails to act then the free will of the victim will be violated.

So the problem of evil can then be put in the form of the following questions.

Given that allowing evil results in the violation of free will, why does God safeguard the free will of evil perpetrators over and above the free will of their victims? Is it consistent to realize that a being does this and to continue to view that being as benevolent?

Now, another possible response might be that God has a greater but benevolent and unknown purpose for allowing such occurrences and the reasons are beyond our understanding. Anticipating this answer, I will make a brief response here in the opening post. If God is morally constrained to produce a greater good from evil that is allowed to occur than the good that would be produced by stopping it then why should we make any effort to stop evil? After all, the good that God would achieve (even if we can't know what it is) from our allowing evil would be far greater than the good we could achieve by stopping it and our act of allowing the evil to occur is no different from God's allowance of it. In other words ...

If God is morally justified in allowing evil to achieve a greater unknown purpose then we are equally morally justified in allowing evil so that God can achieve a greater and unknown purpose.

My argument is thus. The above assumption actually removes our basis for stopping evil and the only solid basis for working to prevent evil is the assumption that it doesn't serve a greater, unknown purpose.


"If God is morally constrained to produce a greater good from evil that is allowed to occur than the good that would be produced by stopping it then why should we make any effort to stop evil?"

What if the fact that humans try to prevent the evil is the greater good? Or that the evil makes people greater appreciate good? Or, in this particular case, what if the compassion that people would feel towards the rape victim is the greater good? What if one person feels compassion toward that person, and expresses that compassion by doing something good for someone else?

What would happen if God did intervene? It would solve the immediate problem (the rape would not occur), but it would lead to other problems. If God decided to intervene in every evil situation, humans would no longer have free will. And there is a big difference between God taking away free will (even if only temporarily) and human beings taking away free will.

"If God is morally justified in allowing evil to achieve a greater unknown purpose then we are equally morally justified in allowing evil so that God can achieve a greater and unknown purpose."

Let's assume that evil can serve a higher purpose and that "God is morally justified in allowing evil to achieve a greater unknown purpose". It is still our duty as moral beings to oppose evil, since we really don't know if the evil is God's plan or if it's a test. If God really wants an evil act to occur, it will occur, regardless of human intervention. For example, if I see someone about to be hit by a car, and I save him/her, then maybe it was a test of whether I would risk my life to save another human being, or maybe it was God's will that that person die, in which case God will still have ample opportunity to kill him/her by another means. Even if it was God's will that the person die, assuming of course that God is truly benevolent, God could not blame me for trying to save the person.
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Posted 11/24/08

madlibbs wrote:

"If God is morally constrained to produce a greater good from evil that is allowed to occur than the good that would be produced by stopping it then why should we make any effort to stop evil?"

What if the fact that humans try to prevent the evil is the greater good?
Why is that good? It forces humans to be in scary situations and causes suffering needlessly.



Or that the evil makes people greater appreciate good?
Good can be appreciated by people anyway. Knowing that evil things *could* happen is enough to be happy things are good. This is why we are usually happy even though we have not experienced such situations. However, if this is not so so go ahead and allow evil things for the greater good. You have given a reason to let the rape occur.






Or, in this particular case, what if the compassion that people would feel towards the rape victim is the greater good? What if one person feels compassion toward that person, and expresses that compassion by doing something good for someone else?
Again, let the rape happen. You don't get it-if god lets these things happen for the reasons you mention we should allow them to occur. That was the point of my second argument. Anyway, in th example you give the rape victim is used as a means to an end. Her good if sacrificed for another persons good. Do you support using people as a means to an end?






What would happen if God did intervene? It would solve the immediate problem (the rape would not occur), but it would lead to other problems. If God decided to intervene in every evil situation, humans would no longer have free will And there is a big difference between God taking away free will (even if only temporarily) and human beings taking away free will.
What is it? I don't see a difference. God can not allow evil to protect free will if the actualization of evil itself takes away free will. Nor does god taking part actually remove free will. God could simply cause a magic force field to surrounds you when you tried to do something evil that would stop the effects of that action from happening magically, but not violate your desire or ability to commit that action. Your ability to cause harm is gone, but not your free will itself.






Let's assume that evil can serve a higher purpose and that "God is morally justified in allowing evil to achieve a greater unknown purpose". It is still our duty as moral beings to oppose evil, since we really don't know if the evil is God's plan or if it's a test.
If god can only let it happen for the greater good then logically all must be part of his plan. Otherwise he is allowing it to occur for no good purpose, which is not something the god in our example would do if he is morally justified. The mere fact we are not going to step in is enough to prove that god has a purpose for allowing the evil act to occur. So your argument fails.




If God really wants an evil act to occur, it will occur, regardless of human intervention. For example, if I see someone about to be hit by a car, and I save him/her, then maybe it was a test of whether I would risk my life to save another human being,
God has no need to test you. He already knows if you would or not because he is omniscience. He knows how you will act in any possible situation that can arise.




or maybe it was God's will that that person die, in which case God will still have ample opportunity to kill him/her by another means. Even if it was God's will that the person die, assuming of course that God is truly benevolent, God could not blame me for trying to save the person.

Sure he could. God can blame people for stopping him from fulfilling his purposes, and does so often in the bible.
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Posted 11/25/08
there's a reason for everything.....

people choose to do what they want so God let them... in the case of the rapist, God allowed him to do it because that's what he want... in the case of the rape victim, it would be a useful one if she choose to see it that way. God allowed it to happen so the faith of the girl will grow and she will become stronger in walking the path of life. evils will be punished on the judgement day... and those who suffer and yet stay with God, will have eternal life full of happiness.
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Posted 11/25/08
This is pretty annoying to hear sometimes, if it's God's fault then why do you believe in him? Why do you believe in a God that brings pain and suffering to his people only to have latter generations prosper? Isn't this like he's playing a game with humanity? The idea of God is cute and all for everyone to follow guidelines and be good, but it's too idealistic to become reality. Free will doesn't exist, only power, if a person chooses to do something with his own power then he can do it unless another person with greater power does not allow him. Power is either rank in society such as policemen and that, or just plain strength, intelligence, influence and more. Free will doesn't exist and neither does God. If he is a perfect being, then why create Earth? Why create people? It has no purpose and all we do is live, he gains no benefit so its like doing something pointless. A perfect being who wants peace and prosperity for the land only exists in story books and dreams, so lets leave it to sleeping people and writers to think of such absurd things like free will and God.
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Posted 11/25/08
Actually it's the other way around. Man wants to toy with God, but God doesn't let that happen. We read what we sow. God gives us free will, but knows the choices we will make. It's part of the Mind of God that us, as the inferior creation, cannot fully grasp about the Superior Creator.
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Posted 11/25/08 , edited 11/25/08

digs wrote:

Actually it's the other way around. Man wants to toy with God, but God doesn't let that happen. We read what we sow. God gives us free will, but knows the choices we will make. It's part of the Mind of God that us, as the inferior creation, cannot fully grasp about the Superior Creator.


That made 0 Sense. Your logic is really warped.

For one if god made us, he made us the way we are, so if we are toying with him like you say we are, its only do to him making us that way. Knowing what will happen? Yet goofing up and restarting what 3 times in the bible. Why for someone supposable all knowing, he seems to have trouble making us the way he wants us. (yet he knew it was going to happen?) Thats logical (NOT!)
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