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briansoupy
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#11
03-26-2011
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Quote:
It is applicable to any religion that assumes the universe was created by a totally omniscient and omnipotent deity.
No it's not. It's applicable to any religion that asserts an omniscient and omnipotent being and asserts free will. So not really a refutation of Calvinism, along with some other religions I'm sure. Also point #2 is dense and if I am understanding you correctly, false. It sounds like you are saying God must be bound by logic because people use logic. That doesn't really follow.

But yeah true enough besides those points.

oh and besides that using reason to refute something is an exercise in futility if said thing claims to transcend reason. Before you guys come at me guns ablaze, I agree that for all pragmatic purposes humanity ought to act out of reason, but if faith is kept personal (ie non-evangelical and non-political) than there is no reason why it should abide to logic and reason.
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to say god, is to sing god
to sing to god, is to draw near to god
to the nearness that is god

Last edited by briansoupy; 03-26-2011 at 10:19 PM.
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#12
03-26-2011
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oh lord here it comes



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#13
03-27-2011
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Originally Posted by briansoupy View Post
No it's not. It's applicable to any religion that asserts an omniscient and omnipotent being and asserts free will. So not really a refutation of Calvinism, along with some other religions I'm sure. Also point #2 is dense and if I am understanding you correctly, false.
Ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by briansoupy View Post
oh and besides that using reason to refute something is an exercise in futility if said thing claims to transcend reason. Before you guys come at me guns ablaze, I agree that for all pragmatic purposes humanity ought to act out of reason, but if faith is kept personal (ie non-evangelical and non-political) than there is no reason why it should abide to logic and reason.
Our logic is the only tool we have for deducing anything. If something is not bounded by our logic, we cannot understand anything about it. Nothing can be deduced within the topic. If your notion is correct, it is hypocritical and downright foolish to say anything other than "I don't know".

Quote:
Originally Posted by briansoupy View Post
It sounds like you are saying God must be bound by logic because people use logic. That doesn't really follow.
If God is not bounded by logic, we cannot know anything about him. Since most religions assign particular attributes and concepts to god, that creates quite a contradiction.

Last edited by FraGTaLiTy; 03-27-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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#14
03-27-2011
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Just throwin' in some comments on this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGTaLiTy View Post
Here is my step-by-step explanation on why free will cannot exist if the universe was created by an omnipotent and omniscient god. Despite the title's name, this isn't exclusive to Christianity. It is applicable to any religion that assumes the universe was created by a totally omniscient and omnipotent deity.

Quote:
1. God is omniscient. This means there cannot be anything that he does not know. He knows all.

2. God is omnipotent. This means there cannot be anything he cannot do. He is all powerful. However, we must assume his omnipotence is bounded by logic. Reason being, if his power isn't bounded by logic, we cannot deduce anything about him because our method of deduction is "restricted" by logic. Since religion inherently deduces characteristics of god, religious people must believe god is restricted by logic. Otherwise, they contradict their own beliefs.

3. God created life and the universe. This means god existed before life and the universe existed.

4. God could have created life and the universe in any way that is logically consistent because he is omnipotent.

5. God knows the entire future of every potential design for life/universe. There is nothing within each potential design he does not know, nor is there anything that will result of each potential design that he does not know. Otherwise he is not omniscient.

6. By choosing one design over others, he is not just choosing what the design is. He is inherently choosing what the future will entail.

7. God chose one design over all the others, knowing in advance the entire future that will result of this design. He chose this design AND this future over other potential designs and corresponding futures.
This one's a pretty big jump. You sort of have to take this as an assumption to use it, and it seems to be a rather big one. We don't and can't know if one design was chosen over others.
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8. By choosing the future, it follows necessarily that the future will unfold as he foresaw it. Otherwise, he did not chose the future.
I'm not entirely sure the whole time thing follows. If G_d created the universe, and time along with it, then in reality, wouldn't all of time be essentially the same from G_d's perspective? More like a complete thing, with time being something of an artifact we observe. I don't really know how to argue in an arena where time and causality are essentially meaningless. Mostly, just that you have to be very careful with using time in these sorts of arguments.
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9. Free will, by definition, is the philosophical doctrine stating that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not determined by physical or divine forces (source). Consequently, free will requires that our choices cannot be predestined by anything. Our choices are free, independent, voluntary, and not dictated by any outside source.
That doesn't seem like much of a definition to me. It looks more like calling free will by a different name. Anyways, personal choice is influenced greatly by external forces.
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Quote:
10. Humans are part of the creation that god chose.

11. The future of humans must unfold exactly as god foresaw it, which was foreseen before this universe was even created.
From a timeless viewpoint, this essentially becomes a tautology.
Quote:
12. Humans cannot make a decision that defies this "future". Every decision, thought, and action, and anything else that exists within the universe/life must happen exactly according to what he foresaw.
I don't quite agree with this. This seems to go with the definition that free will exists because we could have made alternative decisions, however, these alternatives could never have actually happened from the choice that we make. The impossibility of other actions having happened here is a product of the choice, not of the knowledge of the choice.
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13. The conduct of humans is determined by the future that god choose before we even existed.

14. God is a divine source, thus human conduct was already determined by a divine source long before we even existed.

15. Free will, by definition, cannot exist within such a god's creation because it is a logical contradiction with god's characteristics. God cannot do anything contradictory because his omnipotence is bounded by logic.
Here is a simpler one that someone else wrote:

Quote:
1. You have a choice between A and B.
2. God knows what decision you will make.
3. God had the power to create a universe in which he knew you would choose A.
4. God had the power to create a universe in which he knew you would choose B.
5. God is never wrong.
6. God created the current universe in which he knows you will choose A.
7. You cannot make a decision that would violate God's perfect knowledge.
8. Therefore, you cannot choose B. Your decision was predetermined by God's creation of this universe.
Any thoughts or refutations?
Time is weird. Also, quantum is weird. Especially the absolute necessity of randomness, which sort of throws a monkey wrench in a lot of this determinism stuff :/ Not only do we not know of any way to remove the randomness, but local effects are not capable of removing it and remaining consistent with observations, and non-local effects don't seem to do it either. Not that I'm an expert in the field.

On a personal note, I'm pretty sure time is just a government conspiracy.
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#15
03-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briansoupy View Post
No it's not. It's applicable to any religion that asserts an omniscient and omnipotent being and asserts free will. So not really a refutation of Calvinism, along with some other religions I'm sure. Also point #2 is dense and if I am understanding you correctly, false. It sounds like you are saying God must be bound by logic because people use logic. That doesn't really follow.
Calvinism isn't a religion it's a sect.

Quote:
oh and besides that using reason to refute something is an exercise in futility if said thing claims to transcend reason. Before you guys come at me guns ablaze, I agree that for all pragmatic purposes humanity ought to act out of reason, but if faith is kept personal (ie non-evangelical and non-political) than there is no reason why it should abide to logic and reason.
I may be misunderstanding you, but the abundance of people who use the term "faith" as a means to shrug away logic and reasoning just irks me.
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#16
03-27-2011
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I think the bigger leap is accepting determinism and trying to reconcile that with a futile belief in free will.


Why is free will so important?
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#17
03-27-2011
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a definition IS another name for something. just so happens to be a rather large name.

although you made some interesting points on the conception and application of time.



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briansoupy
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#18
03-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sC DeLAy View Post
I may be misunderstanding you, but the abundance of people who use the term "faith" as a means to shrug away logic and reasoning just irks me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGTaLiTy View Post
Our logic is the only tool we have for deducing anything. If something is not bounded by our logic, we cannot understand anything about it. Nothing can be deduced within the topic. If your notion is correct, it is hypocritical and downright foolish to say anything other than "I don't know".
Well okay maybe it will be more clear with an example. Like if I were to say I believe in a creator and blah blah blah, I could say that my belief is founded in intuition, in a feeling. It's not logical, I never proved or even attempted to prove it logically. I just feel it. I could see how that would irk you, that's why I am saying this behavior is justified as long as it is kept relatively personal. Such disregard for logic and reason has no place in policy, government, etc. However to say that even in the confines of their own minds, everyone has to embrace logic and reason while rejecting emotion is evangelical and annoying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davobrosia View Post
I think the bigger leap is accepting determinism and trying to reconcile that with a futile belief in free will.


Why is free will so important?
Interesting. It seems to me that free will guarantees personal responsibility and accountability. I remember reading you in some other thread saying that you had realized determinism and responsibility are not actually in conflict, I'd be interested in hearing how that is.
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#19
03-27-2011
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First, we'll define free will in the libertarian (not American libertarian, but the original meaning of the word) sense as "the ability to do otherwise," essentially. This is the common man's understanding of free will and is really the definition of free will used by the arguments given thus far.

Here is the original paper, if you have JSTOR access:
http://www.jstor.org/pss/2023833

(edit: I put it on Scribd. Enjoy. http://www.scribd.com/doc/51662055/F...-Possibilities)

Basically, it comes down to this:

Quote:
Suppose someone—Black, let us say—wants Jones to perform a certain action. Black is prepared to go to considerable lengths to get his way, but he prefers to avoid showing his hand unnecessarily. So he waits until Jones is about to make up his mind what to do, and he does nothing unless it is clear to him (Black is an excellent judge of such things) that Jone4 is going to decide to do something other than what he wants him to do. If it does become clear that Jones is going to decide to do something else, Black takes effective steps to ensure that Jones decides to do, and that he does do, what he wants him to do. Whatever Jones's initial preferences and inclinations, then, Black will have his way.
Here's a specific example of this from SEP:
Quote:
Jones has resolved to shoot Smith. Black has learned of Jones's plan and wants Jones to shoot Smith. But Black would prefer that Jones shoot Smith on his own. However, concerned that Jones might waver in his resolve to shoot Smith, Black secretly arranges things so that, if Jones should show any sign at all that he will not shoot Smith (something Black has the resources to detect), Black will be able to manipulate Jones in such a way that Jones will shoot Smith. As things transpire, Jones follows through with his plans and shoots Smith for his own reasons. No one else in any way threatened or coerced Jones, offered Jones a bribe, or even suggested that he shoot Smith. Jones shot Smith under his own steam. Black never intervened.

In this example, Jones shot Smith on his own, and did so unencumbered—did so freely. But, given Black's presence in the scenario, Jones could not have done otherwise than shoot Smith.
Even though Jones couldn't have not done whatever, we still hold him morally responsible for it.


The fallout of this paper was a reevaluation of what exactly was meant by "free will."
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#20
03-27-2011
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The free will argument from my perspective stems back to god's initial reasoning on creating life. If free will doesn't exist either way, why would a just deity create anyone knowing that they would not follow him? It doesn't add up.
 

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