It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

For you rationalists out there, how do you argue this point?

page: 1
4
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 10:52 AM
link   
I placed this in general chat because the topic is on the nature of the debate/argument, rather than the actual implications behind it.

I'm very active in theological debating. Religion, to me, is nothing more than fairy tales for adults. I, personally, haven't found any evidence in the universe that suggests any form of deity had a hand in any of it; especially one tied to religious scripture (as the writings always contradict and disprove themselves).

So when a religion claims that their god is Omniscient, or "all knowing", they usually mean that this omniscience is constantly ongoing, and the god in question really does know everything about everything. They know the future, the past, the present, ever position of every atom in the universe and where they will all be in 1,000,000,000,000 years from now.

Those same religions tend to also claim that we have "free will".

The argument, of course, is that free will cannot exist when there is something out there that knows every decision that you will ever make, even years before you were born (or the planet formed, for that matter). If something knows every decision you will make, and they are an infallible being, then there is no way for us to escape their absolute knowledge of the future. There for rendering free will an illusion.

To me, this issue is beyond obvious. However, for the followers of the religions that believe this to be true, they have their ways of taking positions which don't really explain away the concept at all. They never fully grasp the problem at hand.

Now, I've tried every way I can imagine to explain how the two concepts cannot coexist, and still the conversation becomes entirely circular.

Perhaps I'm not finding the correct way to word my position, so I ask those who do understand the conflict to help me out here. How would you describe the issue to someone who is currently unable to accept it is an issue in the first place?

I understand that some people simply will reject all information in order to protect their belief system, those are not generally the ones I'm trying to help. It is the individuals who have simply been mislead and fed false information that are the individuals I'm trying to reach out to and converse with.




posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:04 AM
link   
For true free will, meaning your decision is yours and yours alone, one can take into account the multi-verse theory whereby all possible scenarios are played out in its own universe. It could be argued the god of one universe can not know everything about the other universe as they are not part of it.

I'm assuming there are god/s for the purpose of this thread but in all honesty I believe in no god so my free will is my own.

To argue your argument you would first have to prove the existence of god. Since we cannot, the argument can not be resolved.

a reply to: Ghost147



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:04 AM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

"Faith" is believing in something you've never have/will/can see and many are so rabid in that belief, that logic never enters in to it. You can make these points all day long and all you'll get is "Its God's plan" or something close to that. When faced with the fact that the Bible constantly contradicts itself, they'll just start quoting scripture, as if that proves something.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:05 AM
link   
a typical " argument " follows the structure :

the bible is the inerrant word of god

the bible says god is omnissient - ergo god is onmiscient

the bible says we have free will - ergo we have free will

see premise one

yup - it really is as daft as it looks - but that is the argument frequently used



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:05 AM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

Religion is a program that replaces free will. Sacrificing free will and biology in this world for a perfect life in another unseen, unobservable world.

That is the grand trade.

Religious programs, by virtue of their strict rules of conduct, prove the existence of free will. Don't bother asking operatives to introspect.

It's part of the rules that you assign all intuition and imagination to the meme.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:06 AM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147


The argument, of course, is that free will cannot exist when there is something out there that knows every decision that you will ever make, even years before you were born (or the planet formed, for that matter). If something knows every decision you will make, and they are an infallible being, then there is no way for us to escape their absolute knowledge of the future. There for rendering free will an illusion.


That's a bit of a strawman painted as philosophy.



God is all knowing...
There are infinite possible routes one can take...
God knows all possible routes but doesn't choose them...

Ergo, free will still exists.

I could have ignored your post...
God knows that...
I could have been extremely rude...
God knows that...
I could have been exceptionally polite...
God knows that...
I could have went on a diatribe in my explanation of the fallacy...
God knows that...
I chose to keep it short & sweet...
God knew that...


Free will is a pretty simple concept when this common argument against is left with a flat tyre.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:09 AM
link   
just to play devils advocate for a moment (ha! puns)....

Lets pretend that the universe is a library and lifetimes are books.
We, as these sort of entities in the library, are free to choose whatever book we wish to experience..once we choose though, we are destined to live out that book experience.

once we are done, we have the memories of that book, the feelings, etc. now, we can sit back and discuss the book with others if we want, chat with other people who read related spinoff books, etc.
Then we can go on over and read another book when we want.

That ties it both together, destiny and free will.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:14 AM
link   

originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs

There are infinite possible routes one can take...
God knows all possible routes but doesn't choose them...

Butterfly effect
route 1, I put down my gun and change my life for the better
route 2, I shoot that man, and spend my life on the run.


however
the man in question:
someone elses choice may end your life as you are trying to make your own way. you have no choice, his choice supersedes yours.

aka, it doesn't fit. either everyone has total free will, which removes the idea of finite routes, or nobody does, and it is all 100% scripted from beginning to end with no variation..not even a single atom in the entire universe doing something out of the pattern.

My thoughts, on the universal scale, its all predestined, but our minds are simply incapable of contemplating that, so we percieve free will.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:15 AM
link   

originally posted by: Ghost147
I placed this in general chat because the topic is on the nature of the debate/argument, rather than the actual implications behind it.

I'm very active in theological debating. Religion, to me, is nothing more than fairy tales for adults. I, personally, haven't found any evidence in the universe that suggests any form of deity had a hand in any of it; especially one tied to religious scripture (as the writings always contradict and disprove themselves).

So when a religion claims that their god is Omniscient, or "all knowing", they usually mean that this omniscience is constantly ongoing, and the god in question really does know everything about everything. They know the future, the past, the present, ever position of every atom in the universe and where they will all be in 1,000,000,000,000 years from now.

Those same religions tend to also claim that we have "free will".

The argument, of course, is that free will cannot exist when there is something out there that knows every decision that you will ever make, even years before you were born (or the planet formed, for that matter). If something knows every decision you will make, and they are an infallible being, then there is no way for us to escape their absolute knowledge of the future. There for rendering free will an illusion.

To me, this issue is beyond obvious. However, for the followers of the religions that believe this to be true, they have their ways of taking positions which don't really explain away the concept at all. They never fully grasp the problem at hand.

Now, I've tried every way I can imagine to explain how the two concepts cannot coexist, and still the conversation becomes entirely circular.

Perhaps I'm not finding the correct way to word my position, so I ask those who do understand the conflict to help me out here. How would you describe the issue to someone who is currently unable to accept it is an issue in the first ,place?

I understand that some people simply will reject all information in order to protect their belief system, those are not generally the ones I'm trying to help. It is the individuals who have simply been mislead and fed false information that are the individuals I'm trying to reach out to and converse with.


Your point is solid, that free will is difficult to exist if God already knows all of the future. There are a few moderations here.

There ARE religious people of various persuasions that believe in a more fate kind of viewpoint. I think the Calvinists within Christianity believe in more of a deterministic viewpoint about salvation. So those various sects or people would not have this conflict.

Also, there could be some who believe in what I call the "airplane" analogy. The universe and life are like being a passenger in an airplane, with the pilot being God. We can't really control where the plane will go, when the ride will be bumpy, if it will crash, etc, and in that sense the greater direction may be under a higher powers direction and knowledge (piloting). However, we can get up and move around in the cabin, switch seats, react well or poorly, talk to others or not, choose what we do to pass our time on the plane, and so on. So maybe lesser things are not determined? But the greater vehicle is?

I don't actually believe that this is true for sure. It's just a counterpoint.

However, I recognize that if even small actions are not determined and known in advance, then how can a higher power know all things?

I've actually considered this and some of the problems inherent, especially within Christian philosophy.

For example, if God has planned all of our lives before we were born, and each birth has a purpose, hence one cannot have an abortion, then how can a birth out of wedlock be a sin, or what happens in one's life? If god planned for those children to be born, then this means that God in fact created the very sin that the Bible claims that he is against.

This argument applies equally to all manners of problems and evil in the world.
edit on 5-6-2015 by Quetzalcoatl14 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:20 AM
link   

originally posted by: SaturnFX

originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs

There are infinite possible routes one can take...
God knows all possible routes but doesn't choose them...

Butterfly effect
route 1, I put down my gun and change my life for the better
route 2, I shoot that man, and spend my life on the run.


however
the man in question:
someone elses choice may end your life as you are trying to make your own way. you have no choice, his choice supersedes yours.

aka, it doesn't fit. either everyone has total free will, which removes the idea of finite routes, or nobody does, and it is all 100% scripted from beginning to end with no variation..not even a single atom in the entire universe doing something out of the pattern.

My thoughts, on the universal scale, its all predestined, but our minds are simply incapable of contemplating that, so we percieve free will.


There actually are physicists who believe that free will is an illusion and even our actions may be part of vastly complex chain reactions, as you say beyond our ability to comprehend.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:22 AM
link   

originally posted by: ignorant_ape
a typical " argument " follows the structure :

the bible is the inerrant word of god

the bible says god is omnissient - ergo god is onmiscient

the bible says we have free will - ergo we have free will

see premise one

yup - it really is as daft as it looks - but that is the argument frequently used


And if you bring up a counterpoint that is intelligent, then the next weapons come out: "God has seen fit to confound the wise and raise up the humble." Things like that. That the thinkers, scholars, rationalists are "blinded" by god to not see the truth...

They say this for most of Christian theology.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:24 AM
link   
a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

The only issue with free will and god, is that the inference that god is omniscient may only be applied to inside the universe, and not in whatever realm he exists in. The religious always make a point to consider god outside reality that we know it, there for we cannot truly know him until we are accepted into heaven, or what have you.

Let's assume that his omniscience spreads into his realm as well, though. Sure, he can know every possible outcome of every choice he could make, but only chooses one action. However, If he is omniscient, he would have already known which action he was going to choose before he even evaluated all the other options (that is of course if an omniscient being could evaluate in the first place, considering that evaluating is just a form of studying the unknown). So again, his omniscience kind of minds himself and his "choices" to his omniscience as well.

In other words, God is bound by the concept of omniscience too. Almost a slave to it, if you will.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:25 AM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

Surely you understand that this is somewhat like a quantum query? There is evidence that observing the quantum scale of the universe, actually affects the outcome of any observed event in on that scale.

In the same way, it is only if WE know our fate, and cannot act to change it if we should so wish, that free will evaporates. Furthermore, free will allows us to decide not what HAPPENS to us, but how we act, and react in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Free will and destiny, are after all, totally seperate things. One could describe destiny as being that which God knows of us, that we cannot know yet because of the nature of time. Free will though, that is the tool which we use to decide how we arrive at the point where we learn what God knows of us.

From moment to moment, the fact (as my beliefs would have it) that God knows my future, that every second I cannot surprise him, does not change my path in life. But if I knew what God knows, about tomorrow, about next year, about the year after that, that might change my path, and at that point free will would evaporate as I struggled to avoid a fate which for all I know would be unavoidable.

Because I can only know what I know about tomorrow, my free will is not affected. Do you get where I am coming from?



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 12:10 PM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

I will explain with a human analogy so you can see this is not a contradiction.

You are playing a Sims game. You have created your Sims and then set the them on auto, allowing them to do as the please inside of the program.

They can procreate, build, eat, work and even cause harm to one another.

But this is just a computer simulation. So at times when you look at the monitor and see your Sims misbehaving, you send them instructions/prophets, to correct thier behavior.

Now at what point in the game does the Sim see everything happening?

No matter what the creator of the simulation has done, pause, rewind, or played the simulation to the end only the creator knows where the Sim is within the program.

The Sim only knows what is presently before him. If his past has been changed the Sim is unaware. If his future is known the Sim is unaware.

So if we can create AI within a simulated environment, then so could God.

And since we are the Sims we only see what is before us. But the game is already over and the father is resting, only we can not perceive it as such, any more than the computer simulation could perceive us and what we might know.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 12:24 PM
link   
God would know every possible decision you could ever make and the outcomes which lead to every further possible decision you could make. His vast understanding encompasses all that is possible. For you to use free will to travel his roadmap of possibilities is too hard for you to understand? The freewill unit that is you was only possible to exist by others who came before you and their use of freewill.

It would only take subtle intervention at chosen points in time to influence this vast scale and still leave free will in tact. This leaves the overall outcome over large timescales to be predetermined while retaining individual free will.

The Bible gives the outcome in "a new heaven and a new earth".




King James Bible Revelation 21:1

1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.


That encompasses all life, heavenly life, land and air life, and sea life.

So the overall outcome is given, your free will can never change that outcome but your freewill will determine your inclusion or exclusion from this when it comes to pass.

Follow the story if you want to discuss this stuff that you say you have no interest or belief in.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 12:31 PM
link   
Free will is an illusion, even in the bible...
Exodus 9

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 For if you refuse to let them go, and still hold them, 3 behold, the hand of the Lord will be on your cattle in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the oxen, and on the sheep—a very severe pestilence...


12 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.


16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

Romans 9

15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.


20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

Sorry for all the biblical text, but it was the best way I could think of to demonstrate the point.
Romans 8

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

While some may say Romans 8 is debatable, it still shows forethought on God's part because of his omniscience. Therefore he has predestined not only those he knew would become Christian, but also those he knew would not. Which is a bit of a paradox, in and of itself.

edit on 6/5/2015 by Klassified because: eta

edit on 6/5/2015 by Klassified because: bolding for clarification



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 12:37 PM
link   
I'll make it even simpler.

How can an infallible being make a fallible one? It's a complete paradox.

Ask a Christian this one:

Man A - Killed his whole family in a fit of rage, been in prison many years, repented, and accepted Jesus as his savior.
Man B - Lived a good life, always helped his fellow man, lives in rural China, and never even heard of Christianity, so never accepted Jesus.

Who goes to Heaven?
Who goes to Hell?

From a purely scriptural standpoint, Man A goes to Heaven, Man B goes to Hell. WTF???

Something seriously wrong with such a belief system.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 12:50 PM
link   
a reply to: Gazrok
Agreed. Though some Christians believe man B will be presented with the "gospel" either before he dies, or right after, and be given a choice to accept it.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 12:53 PM
link   

originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Ghost147
From moment to moment, the fact (as my beliefs would have it) that God knows my future, that every second I cannot surprise him, does not change my path in life. But if I knew what God knows, about tomorrow, about next year, about the year after that, that might change my path, and at that point free will would evaporate as I struggled to avoid a fate which for all I know would be unavoidable.

Because I can only know what I know about tomorrow, my free will is not affected. Do you get where I am coming from?


The issue is that it wouldn't make a difference if we knew what "our path" was or not. Because if god is all knowing, he would have seen the future in which we would discover our path and thus opt to change it. Although considering god knows everything, he would have already known that we would change our path and what the successive years to come would be for us. Thus the path that we would have been on if we were to not have discovered that we would go that way anyway never really existed because god already knows that we would choose a different path.

There is no alternative path, in other words, and free will would still be an illusion. That is of course, if god is never wrong and is truly omniscient.


a reply to: Isurrender73

Your scenario isn't parallel to the whole god/omniscience thing though. In your scenario the person playing the sims doesn't know every outcome, they are not omniscient, they are just playing. God is supposed to be omniscient, so him viewing the universe isn't merely about editing what is going on within it, he intrinsically knows everything from past, present, and future.

This is not the same thing.


originally posted by: TinfoilTP
God would know every possible decision you could ever make and the outcomes which lead to every further possible decision you could make. His vast understanding encompasses all that is possible. For you to use free will to travel his roadmap of possibilities is too hard for you to understand? The freewill unit that is you was only possible to exist by others who came before you and their use of freewill.


You aren't understanding the issue. Sure, god knows all possibilities, but those are irrelevant considering that he also has absolute knowledge on what you will most definitely choose. Again, you don't have a choice in the matter if he is all knowing. You would have a set path that you would take in life, and the choices are moot because they really aren't an option anyway. That is, if god knows everything and is infallible. You cannot step outside his previewed version of our lives, otherwise he is then not omniscient.

Again, that is the problem. Omniscience and free will cannot possible exist alongside each other.

If something is omniscient, they know everything that you will do, the other options that you see before you are thus an illusion because you are bound by that omniscience to do what has been foreseen.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 01:02 PM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

Old religions are just hypocritical. You have to abandon some forms of logic to believe in them.



new topics

top topics



 
4
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join