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Some thoughts about free will and god
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Posted 11/27/08

YouAreDumb wrote:


madlibbs wrote:



1. It causes suffering, but that doesn't mean it causes suffering needlessly.
All dictators had their "reasons". The question is of course whether these (undefined and unspecified) reasons are morally justified. In the case of an (allegedly) omnipotent being, a greater good never justifies suffering, because it could be reached without suffering as well.




2. You cannot be thankful for everything all the time. For example, a person could live his entire life without being thankful for his arms. But if his sister has one or both of her arms amputated, seeing the suffering that she is experiencing will make him thankful that he still has both of his arms. Knowing that evil things could happen is not always enough to be happy that things are good. Humans have a tendency to forget things over time. They forget about being thankful that the last evil thing did not happen to them, and need to be reminded again.
In any case, there are other ways to remind him that his arms could be gone, such as a movie using fake people created by god. ......... If humans require suffering in order to appreciate being happy, then how will they be happy in heaven which contains no suffering? If they will forget things as you claim then they will lose all ability to appreciate heaven. So if heaven exists it must be possible for humans as they currently exist, or in some other state altered by god, to appreciate good without suffering, or heaven or any sort of afterlife without suffering is hollow and meaningless.






3. I have given a potential reason for God to let the rape occur. Other people, as you mentioned in your hypothetical situation, were not present, and therefore could not do anything to stop the rape, regardless of whether or not they would've or should've. If God lets things like this happen for the reasons previously mentioned, that means that he/she intended those specific things to happen. It doesn't mean that God intends all potential evil things to happen.
God knows all events so if they happen he can not have intended them not to happen, unless someone changed what he knew would happen, so he is no longer all knowing.



I assume that you will then argue that if these reasons cause the greater good, then evil should occur whenever possible, to which I say that if thousands of people are raped every day, it will become so commonplace that it may not occur to others to feel compassion for them.
Then that is not the good god is seeking. If god stops evil when it has no purpose and allows those rapes then he thinks they serve a purpose. Maybe the raped women will come to faith because of her ordeal, which would save her from hell and so is the greatest possible good for her. So still allow them.





If you've ever seen some of the commercials on tv about the starving children, you know that watching one of those commercials may elicit compassion, but watching those commercials over and over again makes it less likely to elicit compassion. As for your question, I support using people as a means to an end under certain circumstances.
Then you and I disagree fundamentally about the value of human dignity. That is fine as long as you admit you are ok with human persons being reduced to objects, which you did.





4. How would such a force field work? If I tried to rob a bank, would the force field stop me from commiting the robbery? Or would it stop me from taking the money? If it stops me from committing the robbery, it does violate my ability to commit that action. If it stops me from taking the money, then I no longer have a reason to rob the bank, so the equation is changed.
It lets you go through with the actions as I said, but there is nothing that happens in the end. In the example you mention you will be able to rob the bank but the people you are trying to harm will magically heal like wolverine and and the money magically return to the safe.





5. As I said, it could be a test. And I'm not really sure what you mean by this sentence: "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." Could you rephrase or be more specific?
Sure. The god I posited in my OP only allows morality for a higher purpose. One such purpose can be claimed to be that people will intervene and stop the evil, however, if we are not going to stop the evil god would already know that since he is all knowing. Since he knows that then any evil situation which happens where we do not intervene, and god also allows to happen, must serve the greater good or it would not be allowed to occur by god.





6. Assuming his/her omniscience, God already knows how I will spend every minute of my life and why - everything I do, everything I think, etc. And yet I'm still alive and living this predetermined life, when I could just as easily never have existed. From this I must conclude that, for whatever reason, God wants to test me.
That does not follow. God setting you up in a predetermined life does not mean he wanted to test you at all. It means he set you up in a pre determined life.





7. A benevolent, morally justified God could not blame me for stopping him/her from fulfilling his/her purposes unless he/she told me specifically what those purposes were.
You haven't read the bible. The jews wiped out the people in Cannaan whose ancestors had settled there without telling them it was because god decried they were to have the land. God also sends people to hell who have never heard of Jesus. There are other examples.


And you cannot use the bible as objective proof of anything, as belief in the bible is subjective.
Yes, but if you are a Christian you can not argue against its use, and if you're a Muslim I will use the Qu'ran. If you're a deist your religion is pointless then my earlier arguments will suffice I suppose.



If one of the assumptions in this hypothetical situation is that the bible is absolutely and literally true, then the situation itself is flawed, because it presupposes that God condones sexism and cannibalism, among other things. I don't think you could reconcile that with the idea of a benevolent, morally justified God.
We are in total agreement. What is you religious affiliation (if any)?



Off-topic question: Were you either very short or bullied (whether physically/mentally/emotionally) as a child?
No



1. Without evil, no one would appreciate good.

2. You presuppose the existence of heaven, belief in which is subjective. As for your example, if humans were shown such a movie, I doubt that their reaction to it would be at all comparable to witnessing the situation in person. People watch people in movies die horribly gruesome deaths and laugh, but if it happened in person their reaction would be quite different.

3. God knows what his/her plan is. Human beings do not. Therefore we cannot assume that we should do evil as part of God's plan.

4. How do you know that any paraticular rape does or does not serve a purpose? To my knowledge, human beings have not yet found a way to determine evil that God intends from evil that he does not. Therefore, it is a safer bet to try to prevent the evil, and if God intends the evil to happen, he/she will provide a way for the evil to occur. And belief in hell is also subjective.

5. Perhaps I should've been more specific. I believe that when faced with a decision you should choose the option with the greatest positive consequence or the least negative consequence. If this requires using someone as a means to an end, then that is certainly unfortunate, but also necessary.

6. If such a force field were to exist, it would remove any motivation to commit evil (except, of course, boredom), leading to the world becoming a virtual utopia. If God's intention is to test humans via temptation to commit evil, that would be highly problematic. Additionally, once people realized that utopia is almost as bad as hell, they would commit evil out of sheer boredom. Just out of curiosity, from the perspective of the evildoer, would the force field remove the negative consequences (going to jail) as well as the positive consequences (getting the money)? And if the evildoer were shot while trying to rob the bank, would he be cured like the others?

7. Thank you for clarifying that.

8. You're right. I apparently was not thinking clearly when I typed that, and I'm not even sure where I was going with that.

9. I have indeed read the bible. It says all those things and more like them. That is precisely why I do not believe it to be infallible. My previous statment still stands: "A benevolent, morally justified God could not blame me for stopping him/her from fulfilling his/her purposes unless he/she told me specifically what those purposes were".

10. I am a monotheist. I believe in a personal God. I believe that blind faith in anyone or anything, especially with religious or political affiliation, is indefensibly moronic. I do not believe in heaven or hell - I believe that if there is an afterlife, it is thoroughly incomprehensible to humans, at least as of the present date. That should suffice for the purposes of this conversation.

11. Then why are you so angry?
Posted 12/15/08
If god is all seeing and all knowing creator of the universe and everything in it then there is no free will. Since god knows everything that will happen you have no free will to choose what to do in life meaning that god knew Hitler would have killed millions of people who prayed to him for help and salvation. Knowing this doesn’t that make god a crawl god and not the god we are told about? Abandoning his people in time of need
If god exists then there is no free will on the planet making god responsible for every crime and war ever done making him the root of all evil because god created all us and what we will do since we have no free will.
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Posted 12/15/08

Nemesis_Tsuki wrote:

If god is all seeing and all knowing creator of the universe and everything in it then there is no free will. Since god knows everything that will happen you have no free will to choose what to do in life meaning that god knew Hitler would have killed millions of people who prayed to him for help and salvation. Knowing this doesn’t that make god a crawl god and not the god we are told about? Abandoning his people in time of need
If god exists then there is no free will on the planet making god responsible for every crime and war ever done making him the root of all evil because god created all us and what we will do since we have no free will.


That happens to be pretty close minded logic... Just because another being knows whats going to happen, doesn't necessarily take away free will. If you all of a sudden had all the knowledge of the universe, does my free will disappear then? Simply put, no it doesn't. I don't know how you came around to that logic, but I hope the believers in the forum pay no attention to it. Also, the idea that the Holocaust did happen means that we do have free will. If God forced Hitler to change his mind, then there would be no free will. The idea is that God gives us free will, and because of that we can be good or/and evil. Although evil is a terrible thing, there is no such thing as good without the ability to be evil. If you are a programmed being and you give someone money, is it good? Not on your part, because it was not your decision. It is only good because you had a choice, and you chose the one that would benefit another person. Terrible things happen in the world, simply because this isn't heaven, its Earth... I think that in many religions, God has already made that clear. BTW I don't necessarily believe one way or the other, so this is more of an unbiased opinion if anything. I just thought your logic was stupid.
Posted 12/15/08
yes i know my logic may look stupid but i didnt really exsplain it properly lol so i found somehtig of a really good site that exsplains my point

The problem here is that God knows everything that has happened and everything that will happen. Its knowledge cannot be wrong. There is not a single event that it has not foresaw. Given that it created the Universe the way it did, do we have free will? Consider that when God made the Universe it could see every possible result of what it was doing. Which means: it could not create something without knowing what the results would be, and without knowing how it would be affected (and effect) the things around it.

Let's say that Fred has a choice that will save his life, to accept God or not to accept God and the final choice is to be made tomorrow. God knows already what choice he will make - God cannot be wrong therefore Fred cannot choose otherwise to what God has predicted. When God created the chain of events that made Fred it also knew that it was making Fred's choice for him, and knew how the various circumstances and character would make him choose either right or wrong. Fred would go forth and make that very decision that God knew he would make, and by virtue that God knowingly set up all the factors that affected his decision, it was not up to Fred but to God to decide how Fred would fare.

This argument does not imply that God does not exist. It leaves us with three results, two of which have to be wrong.

1. God created everything with full knowledge and we have no free will to change it
2. God does not have full knowledge
3. God did not make the Universe or there is no God
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Posted 12/15/08
So basically what you are saying is that as soon as God created the universe a certain way, certain atoms and molecules would be directed in a path in which would make up the future, and that would be our fate. It would be pre-determined and thus with a fixed future, we possess no free will. There are philosophers who study these concepts and there is much debate between them. That concept is something that children will even ponder upon. Although it makes sense from that point of view, many do believe otherwise, and that based on the rules and principles of our existence, we still do have free will. There are many things that seem to be a certain way, but in fact, are totally opposite to what we believe.

The next part is mathmatical so ignore it if its annoying

Think of the idea of kinetic energy, we say that something with a velocity and a mass has kinetic energy. When we dont think our of the box, we will say that an object going 20m/s at 5 kg has 100KE. But in reality, its not going 20 m/s, because our planet, solar system, and galaxy is also moving as a crazy speed. This makes KE huge which doesn't make sense with the rules we have applied. Just recently, Einstien adressed this and its part of his theory of relativity, but it was sort of a misunderstanding for a long long tme... We don't always see things for what they are. Humans have limited intelligece so they don't necessarily percieve things correctly.

Whats the point of that unrelated topic? We don't really know what time actually is. It seems like we do... a day, year, month, but those are only measurements. Things like that, gravity, black holes, dark matter, are processes we don't understand and we try to put measurements and labels on them.

Ok, so you are trying to prove God's existence/and/or/knowledge with concepts that are far beyond human thought. To do this can be misleading. Sometimes its best to stand back and say, ok, this isnt a concept I can fully understand... So Im not gunna make any drastic decisions with it.
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Posted 12/15/08
Damn damn damn this is a hell of a topic but anyways most of your are correct on your theories about the free will and stuff but what if say the victim of the evil free will is lost in the process killed or so emotionally damaged that they kill themselves where was the greater good in that? Hitler had the free will to not try and exterminate that Jews but he did it anyways and Millions of people where killed. In egypt with the blood and stuff; did the egptians deserve to die? Not all of them the regular common folk had nothing to do with the jeweish oppression just the royalties. So that was unjust and unfair. I cant believe how so many blinded people(opinion thank you) can believe whole heartedly in a god they cannot see nor hear. some say have faith well if i put a gun to your head and say "Let your god save you" then my negative free will will cause your life tto cease. A supernatural being creating us and the universe is just unfucking believable but hey its just a safe haven for people to believe in so that their wildest dreams can be put to rest. There is No God there never was never will be. Karma yes. A God as such as the one claimed by Millions would not and could not let all the suffering and death in this world take place. Greater good my ass more like just and excuse to rid people from this earth. Fuck religion ---Fuck politics<----nothing to with anything
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Posted 12/15/08

threnagyn wrote:


Nemesis_Tsuki wrote:

If god is all seeing and all knowing creator of the universe and everything in it then there is no free will. Since god knows everything that will happen you have no free will to choose what to do in life meaning that god knew Hitler would have killed millions of people who prayed to him for help and salvation. Knowing this doesn’t that make god a crawl god and not the god we are told about? Abandoning his people in time of need
If god exists then there is no free will on the planet making god responsible for every crime and war ever done making him the root of all evil because god created all us and what we will do since we have no free will.


That happens to be pretty close minded logic... Just because another being knows whats going to happen, doesn't necessarily take away free will. If you all of a sudden had all the knowledge of the universe, does my free will disappear then? Simply put, no it doesn't. I don't know how you came around to that logic, but I hope the believers in the forum pay no attention to it. Also, the idea that the Holocaust did happen means that we do have free will. If God forced Hitler to change his mind, then there would be no free will. The idea is that God gives us free will, and because of that we can be good or/and evil. Although evil is a terrible thing, there is no such thing as good without the ability to be evil. If you are a programmed being and you give someone money, is it good? Not on your part, because it was not your decision. It is only good because you had a choice, and you chose the one that would benefit another person. Terrible things happen in the world, simply because this isn't heaven, its Earth... I think that in many religions, God has already made that clear. BTW I don't necessarily believe one way or the other, so this is more of an unbiased opinion if anything. I just thought your logic was stupid.


Of course your logic would be correct if God was non-interventionist.

But he's not, so you're still wrong.
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Posted 12/15/08
Again, try not to confuse the existance of a greater power with specific relgions. Its really ignorant to say, "theres no way Adam and Eve could have happened, so God must not exist". You do just that with assuming God's intentions and bringing up the Moses story. Just because one religion is bullsh*t does not mean theres no God. Thats like saying that atoms and molecules are not real because early philosophers interpretations of them were proved to be incorrect. F*ck politics? R you kidding? Are you some sort of dumbsh*t. Don't you understand that with so many people living, there would be no way to live without a government. We have reached a point that we cannot live off of an unorganized society, politics is a way of managing that. It may be corrupt, but its something we need. But little kids with their radical conspiracy theories and their marijuana don't understand that, do they. PEACE
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Posted 12/15/08

leviathan343 wrote:


threnagyn wrote:


Nemesis_Tsuki wrote:

If god is all seeing and all knowing creator of the universe and everything in it then there is no free will. Since god knows everything that will happen you have no free will to choose what to do in life meaning that god knew Hitler would have killed millions of people who prayed to him for help and salvation. Knowing this doesn’t that make god a crawl god and not the god we are told about? Abandoning his people in time of need
If god exists then there is no free will on the planet making god responsible for every crime and war ever done making him the root of all evil because god created all us and what we will do since we have no free will.


That happens to be pretty close minded logic... Just because another being knows whats going to happen, doesn't necessarily take away free will. If you all of a sudden had all the knowledge of the universe, does my free will disappear then? Simply put, no it doesn't. I don't know how you came around to that logic, but I hope the believers in the forum pay no attention to it. Also, the idea that the Holocaust did happen means that we do have free will. If God forced Hitler to change his mind, then there would be no free will. The idea is that God gives us free will, and because of that we can be good or/and evil. Although evil is a terrible thing, there is no such thing as good without the ability to be evil. If you are a programmed being and you give someone money, is it good? Not on your part, because it was not your decision. It is only good because you had a choice, and you chose the one that would benefit another person. Terrible things happen in the world, simply because this isn't heaven, its Earth... I think that in many religions, God has already made that clear. BTW I don't necessarily believe one way or the other, so this is more of an unbiased opinion if anything. I just thought your logic was stupid.


Of course your logic would be correct if God was non-interventionist.

But he's not, so you're still wrong.


Do we know that God is an interventionist or not? Can we just say some stupid sh*t like if God does exist he has to be non-interventionist, otherwise he cannot exist? Does it HAVE TO BE ONE OR THE OTHER? I don't think so buddy. But tell me, do you believe in God or not? Because if you dont and I ask you why God has to be a non-interventionist and you say the dumb*ss idea, "well most religions say got intervenes", then you are truly an idiot. I hate when people say God can't exists because some1's religion is wrong. So please tell me you do follow a religion so I won't consider you a dumbass.(Because in that case your saying god is an interventionist because of your religion and not because of your "A or B" logic).
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Posted 12/15/08
i hate religion! its too dumb!
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Posted 12/15/08
Good point. The next time I see someone doing a massacre, I'll just have to remember that they have the right to free will.
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Posted 12/15/08

sillysia63377 wrote:

Good point. The next time I see someone doing a massacre, I'll just have to remember that they have the right to free will.


I am hoping that it wasn't supposed to be sarcastic. Good and evil is a balance. If there was no evil and suffering, there would be no good. What is the point in donating money to the poor if there aren't poor people. One leads to the other. Also, there is no free will without the ability to make good and bad decisions. Its sad to see a massacre, but truly if God intervened every time someone was going to do something like that, then there also wouldn't be a free will.

In my eyes, I also believe that if there is a God, he would not make himself presently known. If every1 knows that he exists and knows for sure there is a heaven and hell, then they will obviously do the right thing... but for their own sake... out of fear for their own afterlife. By making himself hidden and only understood through faith, good acts are still meaningful. I believe that (if there is a God) thats the way it will need to remain as well for there to be truly good actions.
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Posted 12/15/08

threnagyn wrote:


sillysia63377 wrote:

Good point. The next time I see someone doing a massacre, I'll just have to remember that they have the right to free will.


I am hoping that it wasn't supposed to be sarcastic. Good and evil is a balance. If there was no evil and suffering, there would be no good. What is the point in donating money to the poor if there aren't poor people. One leads to the other. Also, there is no free will without the ability to make good and bad decisions. Its sad to see a massacre, but truly if God intervened every time someone was going to do something like that, then there also wouldn't be a free will.

In my eyes, I also believe that if there is a God, he would not make himself presently known. If every1 knows that he exists and knows for sure there is a heaven and hell, then they will obviously do the right thing... but for their own sake... out of fear for their own afterlife. By making himself hidden and only understood through faith, good acts are still meaningful. I believe that (if there is a God) thats the way it will need to remain as well for there to be truly good actions.


I was being half-sarcastic. You have a point, but I'd use my own free will to kick their ass to prison. Since I'm atheist, when a Christian asks "Since you don't believe in God, how can you have morals?" I get pissed, since if the only reason people be kind is so they can go to heaven, then they really aren't that great either.
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Posted 12/15/08

sillysia63377 wrote:


threnagyn wrote:


sillysia63377 wrote:

Good point. The next time I see someone doing a massacre, I'll just have to remember that they have the right to free will.


I am hoping that it wasn't supposed to be sarcastic. Good and evil is a balance. If there was no evil and suffering, there would be no good. What is the point in donating money to the poor if there aren't poor people. One leads to the other. Also, there is no free will without the ability to make good and bad decisions. Its sad to see a massacre, but truly if God intervened every time someone was going to do something like that, then there also wouldn't be a free will.

In my eyes, I also believe that if there is a God, he would not make himself presently known. If every1 knows that he exists and knows for sure there is a heaven and hell, then they will obviously do the right thing... but for their own sake... out of fear for their own afterlife. By making himself hidden and only understood through faith, good acts are still meaningful. I believe that (if there is a God) thats the way it will need to remain as well for there to be truly good actions.


I was being half-sarcastic. You have a point, but I'd use my own free will to kick their ass to prison. Since I'm atheist, when a Christian asks "Since you don't believe in God, how can you have morals?" I get pissed, since if the only reason people be kind is so they can go to heaven, then they really aren't that great either.


Nicely put... shows the level of character that some people have as well as their true intentions.
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Posted 12/15/08 , edited 12/15/08

threnagyn wrote:

Do we know that God is an interventionist or not? Can we just say some stupid sh*t like if God does exist he has to be non-interventionist, otherwise he cannot exist? Does it HAVE TO BE ONE OR THE OTHER? I don't think so buddy. But tell me, do you believe in God or not? Because if you dont and I ask you why God has to be a non-interventionist and you say the dumb*ss idea, "well most religions say got intervenes", then you are truly an idiot. I hate when people say God can't exists because some1's religion is wrong. So please tell me you do follow a religion so I won't consider you a dumbass.(Because in that case your saying god is an interventionist because of your religion and not because of your "A or B" logic).


Don't talk down to me.

Does God intervene in the world? Sure he does; he CREATED it.

Omniscience does not negate free will only in the case when the mentioned deity has not directly/indirectly affected any events that it is aware of. Obviously since the Christian God created all of existence, complete free will is impossible.

No, I don't believe in God.


threnagyn wrote:

I am hoping that it wasn't supposed to be sarcastic. Good and evil is a balance. If there was no evil and suffering, there would be no good. What is the point in donating money to the poor if there aren't poor people. One leads to the other. Also, there is no free will without the ability to make good and bad decisions. Its sad to see a massacre, but truly if God intervened every time someone was going to do something like that, then there also wouldn't be a free will.

In my eyes, I also believe that if there is a God, he would not make himself presently known. If every1 knows that he exists and knows for sure there is a heaven and hell, then they will obviously do the right thing... but for their own sake... out of fear for their own afterlife. By making himself hidden and only understood through faith, good acts are still meaningful. I believe that (if there is a God) thats the way it will need to remain as well for there to be truly good actions.


Wrong. Good and evil are not defined by their negatives.

Good acts are absolutely meaningless if they are done out of self-preservation. Even if God is only believed through faith, this still applies. Truly good actions can only occur when there is no guarantee of a reward.
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