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Free will
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24 / M / Guess
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Posted 5/18/12 , edited 5/18/12

Holofernes wrote:

Longf[e]nglim,

The way you define fideism is to suggest that God's ways are beyond the mind of man, this is only Fideism if it suggests that faith and reason in God are incompatible. Your application is incorrect.

My position is that the attributes of God, which you bring into question by the way you insist that God's existence entails non-freedom, is far more complicated because of their nature than you think they are. This does not put them beyond understanding. It does put them in a separate category, because the properties of eternal, omniscient, and omnipotence cannot be improperly used. They exist on different planes, and thus relate to the wold in a different manner because that world does not contain those properties. St Augusintine made this point, in his confessions. I don't see this one being put on the Catholic index.

I have not said that all this cannot be understood, indeed I am just parroting other theologians that understand enough of it not to get caught in some illogical assumptions about God. What you have done however is misrepresent God in the questions you have asked.



So, your position, if I understand it, is we view the universe from the optics of this plane, whereas God exist beyond this plane, by the necessity of his properties, but that does not mean that we cannot understand him, but at the same time, we must, however, still accept that he works in ways simply unfanthomable to us. This position is now even more incoherent, for it contridicts itself even upon its basic premise- we either are able to know how God works or we don't.



You state that the existence of God does not allow for freedom. Why is that? Because freedom cannot exist if God predetermines my actions? This is where you get everything goofed up. God does not predetermine your actions. If you have read my posts you would have caught this factor.

What is actually predetermined? My actions, or the creation in which my actions take place. If one, than we have determinism. If the other, than we do not. This is neither compatibalist, nor is it deterministic, nor is it fatalistic. The reality that is predetermined is not the individual but something much broader. While the world runs in a linear timeline, it cannot relate the the same way that it does within itself to God who does not run on a linear timeline. God exists as an eternal reality, and thus action and consequences do not relate in the same way.


I never said that God actively predetermines my action, but that my actions are predetermined regardless, for if the world exist in such a way that this is predetermined, then, my actions, too, are predetermined, for it is my action the causes the world to behave in such a way, and, if I were to perform another action, the world would turn out another way. God may be free from this, assuming that he exist, but it does not exempt me or you or anybody from this linearity, and so, if anything, my position that we have no freewill is strenghtened.



The premise you give in a movie theater does not work, because the actions of Alebard and Liz are not determined by God, they are determined by Alebard and Liz. Certainly, they had to take place somewhere. They had to exist in a world in which both of them could encounter each other, but the event they caused was guided by their own hands.

If an outside perspective of the universe were to gaze within, and see all of the actions people made, is it right to assume that all actions are predetermined? Just because an action happened that way does not mean it was predetermined to happen that way. It is an assumption, not a fact of reality.


Alebard and Liz had no freedom in acting the way they did, nor did Peter, Susan, or Jacob, because all things within that system work, in a predetermined fashion, to enact a predetermined end. They had no ability to act otherwise, there is absolutely no possibility of the movie ending with Jacob in the arms of Alebard, of Liz at the altar beside Peter, though, should our character have free will, such things should be possible. Consider it within our world, our Alebards and our Lizs and our Peters, Susans, and Jacobs, if God knows what will happen at the end, or what will happen the moment before the end, and what happens right after they made the choice, as you say, but he is entirely passive, it is evident that they cannot act in any other way.


Take this example. If I created a statue and then zapped it to life and freewill with a life and freewill zapping ray. I then provided a test to see if the subject has any freedom at all. My motives are simple, without freedom true love is impossible. My desire is an agent capable of true love.

So now I have empowered my statue with a freedom zapper ray-gun. This statue has two choices, either to leave the laboratory in which I created it, or to remain alone in the lab never to enjoy its freedom. Does it have its own freedom to choose what to do? Of course it does. Does the fact that I created it in a lab, and then gave it a choice to leave said lab entail that I have taken away its freedom? Not in the least, because how else would you say that it was free other than by its getting up of its own free will and walking with me out the door. If I did not create it in a lab, I certainly would have had to use a some kind of space. If I did not, where was the context for its exercise of choice? It is possible to create a robot who would follow me out of the room, but such robots would never question the possibility of their own freedom. There would be no reason to endow any reason in a living creation. They would not rebel against God and state that he cannot exist.


Fallacious, my argument that should God exist, there would be no free will, rests upon the fact that he knows the beginning, middle, and end. You do not. If you create a living Statue with the knowledge that it will leave the laboratory, it really does not have any liberty, for liberty implies that other possibilities are possible, and that it has the ability to act upon it, rather than the single possibility of it leaving your laboratory. Your golem is not free, not is there any reason to suspect freedom.

Equally Fallacious, you argue that because we can think that we have freedom, or that we can rebel against God, we therefore must be free. It is an absurd argument, for the first, I can percieve of believing in something without that something being true, for example, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, in the same manner, I can also percieve that that believing that we have freedom is not enough to even show that it is true- assume the conditions of my nature and my eviorons are such that I am not able to believe but that my will is free, then, I would believe in free will, but that I am not free because this belief is already determined by the condition imposed upon me. The latter argument is equally absurd, as, under another set of conditions, I may become a rebel without any need of freedom.


You state that it is fate. I'm telling you that you have the whole example wrong. We are given a reality of choices. We are not fated with our outcomes predetermined for us.


When we can act only upon one choice, and that choice is known and determined, there is no freedom. There is no reality of choices, there is no forked garden, Alebard still falls in love with Liz and the Golem still leaves your Laboratory, and, though it appears that they can choose otherwise, they can't, they are never able to act on other possibilities, we know they will go through the same action in the end, there is no freedom.



You still have not proved to me that there is a connection between these thoughts.
    God knows our future actions
    Our actions are predetermined.



Simple:
One, God knows our future action.
Two, it follows that our future action must occur.
Three, because it must occur, it is determined.
Four, God exist beyond time and space, therefore he knows our action before, during and after we are to perform this action.
Five, Therefore, this action can be said to be predetermined, as it is already determined prior to our acting it.
Six, Because it is determined, and predetermined, we are not able to act in any other way.
Seven, Liberty of will entails that we must be able to act in any other way.
Eight, We, therefore, do not have free will if God knows our future action.

QED■.


One idea has to necessitate the other, and simply stating that "because God knows our actions they are predetermined" is a goofed up position. God's knowledge of our actions does not imply that they are predetermined, because from God's perspective, everything is one act. From our perspective, all the world has yet to be decided upon, because realities like "yet" only exist in this universe.


If God knows our action, and he exist beyond time, it is then, necessary, to say that he exist with this knowledge before, during, and after the event within our perspective, and, therefore, in our perspective, he has foreknowledge of the event. While we do not know, and the world seems full of 'ifs' and 'mays', because it is yet to happen, these 'ifs' are an illusion, for there is no 'ifs', there is only a 'will', that God knows, but we do not. Simply because we do not know this 'will', doesn't mean that we are any more free from going to this 'will'. As Paul says in his Epistle to the Thessalonians,


2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth
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