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The Free Will Myth?

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posted on May, 22 2008 @ 09:46 AM
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So, what do you believe. Has God given man free will? Is this a myth brought about by the church. If so, why? If God gave man a free will, why?

This seems to be the most common thread amongst all religions. But is it correct? And if free will is a myth, what does this mean from the church's standpoint?

So, ATS members, let's discuss.

[edit on 22-5-2008 by Freenrgy2]




posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:00 AM
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This is an immensely debated idea in philosophy and has been for absolutely ages.

To put it simply, the outcome of what your take on the question is depends on other peripheral views you hold on other subjects such as the role of predetermination in unconscious motives etc.

I personally like R. Steiner's take on the question which is that all those who come to the conclusion that we have no free will are missing the idea that we are in fact endowed with the potential to think about thought itself and to interrogate unconscious impulses.

Concerning the widespread acceptance of free will in religion, I must say that if you conclude there is no free will then no other thought is then worth considering so naturally a religion demands that there be free will.

Sometimes I think that no matter what the truth is, free will is a necessary human perspective whether it is real or an illusion. Similar to the religious situation, we are better of believing it!

Hope that helps a little!



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:05 AM
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Well I am not looking for a debate from anyone on this, because it's my own belief, but I am for predetermination. I feel that a majority of people will believe in free-will, but the chosen ones of God will understand destiny as the truth. Neither are actually wrong, because what you believe actually determines your destiny. This may not sit well with some people, because they believe in an eternal judgment of either heaven or hell, yet for me it sits fine - I believe in an eternal judgment of spiritual heaven for believers and physical heaven on earth for non-believers.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:10 AM
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several things to consider

- if free will doesnt exist, then that means there are people doomed to destruction no matter what they do

- if it doesnt exist, then that means god is responsible for the ills in this world (a point the bible strongly disagrees with), because we would all sin because that is what god makes us do

- if it doesnt exist, then there is no personal responsibility.

- if there is no personal responsibility, how can god have any right to judge us.

- the bible is filled with scriptures that show that people have the ability to choose



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by miriam0566
several things to consider

- the bible is filled with scriptures that show that people have the ability to choose


Are those choices free from causes?

Why are we doomed to destruction?

Who causes all to happen?

[edit on 22-5-2008 by Freenrgy2]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by Freenrgy2
Are those choices free from causes?

Why are we doomed to destruction?

Who causes all to happen?


a cause for a choice doesnt take away free will. it may influence it, yes

doomed to descruction is anyone willingly sinning against holy spirity right? if they are destined for that path, is there life worth anything?

God was the original cause, but to say he is the cause for everything is to say he is the cause to evil too, which is just not true



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:25 AM
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Here's a snippet from a site that explains the myth. I use this and the author explains it much better than I ever could.



Free will does not actually and literally mean that one can make choices, create, change his mind, or reformulate ideas and data, etc., but that those choices and thought processes must themselves be free thoughts and free choices. "Free will" is only true if our choices are also free. But free from what? Why, free from being forced upon us against our will, or free from being caused by anyone or anything except our OWN will. And so, yes, man can think, process data, make choices, change his choices, etc. But none of these activities are free from internal or external CAUSES.

That man has a will, there is no debate. It is the teaching that man himself determines his own will, FREELY, without anything causing his will or his choices to be what they are. The idea of free will or free moral agency is that man can by himself unaided by anything else, originate his own choices of his will.

But does man actually possess such a power? And if he does, where is the proof? Now for all who have no confidence in the Scriptures, let me say that there is absolutely no scientific proof that man has a "free will" or the ability to make "uncaused choices." If such a freedom of the will existed, it should be possible to demonstrate it. But there is no such scientific demonstration that man can formulate thoughts and actions to which absolutely no cause whatsoever can be attributed.

And for all who do have confidence in the Scriptures, let me say equally dogmatically that there is absolutely no Scriptural proof for man having a "free will" or the ability to make "uncaused choices." In every case Scripture shows that it is God Who is behind the scene of all circumstances that influence and cause a man to make the one and only choice possible under any given circumstance. This law of "cause and effect" is stated and demonstrated time and again in Scripture. Ignorance of these behind the scenes causes does not disprove the fact that they are the actual and literal cause of our choices

There are laws of science that men do not wish to carry over into his private and spiritual life. Why? Well, because he doesn’t like the ramifications of these laws. He does not want to admit that he is bound and controlled by laws. He wants to be "free"—free to be his own god, free to determine his own destiny, free to override the rule and dominance of God, free to rebel or free to obey, but freedom of the will at all cost.

I will admit that it is a real shock when we first come to understand that of ourselves we cannot make one "free" choice to do good. Something must cause that choice, but the carnal mind hates to be "caused" to do anything. "God gave all men free will," he shouts. God gave man no such thing. Free will is a phantom illusion that has deceived the whole world.

But how could most of the population of the entire world for the whole history of the world believe something as fundamental as "free will," if such a thing does not even exist? Well, that’s a fair question, and before I get into dozens and dozens of specific proofs that free will does not exist, let me just show you two very broad and Scriptural statements that would certainly be indicators that maybe what is popularly believed and taught is generally not true:

Enter ye in at the strait [narrow] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [narrow] is the gate, and narrow [cramped or difficult] is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it [Gk: ‘are finding it’]" (Matt. 7:13-14).

"Where is the wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the disputer [debater] of this world? Has not God made foolish [Gk: ‘stupid’] the wisdom of this world?" (I Cor. 1:20).

Notice that it is not the "foolishness" of this world that God says is stupid, but rather it is the "wisdom" of this world that is stupidity to God! And one of the most profound philosophical and theological pieces of wisdom that is universally agreed upon in this world is the belief that man possesses free will or free moral agency. Virtually everyone in all ages have believed this teaching of free will, and yet not one of them has ever seen it proved either Scientifically or Scripturally.


Incidently, nothing on this site is copyrighted and may be freely distributed.



[edit on 22-5-2008 by Freenrgy2]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:27 AM
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Originally posted by miriam0566
God was the original cause, but to say he is the cause for everything is to say he is the cause to evil too, which is just not true


Excellent, but didn't God create EVERYTHING? Did SATAN exist BEFORE GOD? Who created SATAN? God created the DARKNESS and the LIGHT.


GOD THE CREATOR OF EVIL

“That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I made peace [good], and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isa. 45:6-7).


[edit on 22-5-2008 by Freenrgy2]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:34 AM
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If man doesn't have free will, then neither does God.

The way I see it is like this: there are certain things that are already set (cycles of time), but we can choose to perceive them differently. It's like taking one of many possible paths to the end goal where all paths meet.

The universe is mathematical and logical, so often the choices are simple... but there are sometimes splits in the math. 50/50s, or 3 way splits, or 5 way, 7 way... It's these places where choice is made. But the ultimate conclusion will be the same regardless of which path we choose to take.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 11:51 AM
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Originally posted by Freenrgy2
Excellent, but didn't God create EVERYTHING? Did SATAN exist BEFORE GOD? Who created SATAN? God created the DARKNESS and the LIGHT.


yes, god created the being we now call satan, but he wasnt satan when god created him.

satan is an example of free will. satan was perfect and a son of God. you can say that his decision to rebel was from his selfishness, but he was the one who developed that selfishness.

adam and eve showed free will by partaking the fruit. they had no particular reason to rebel, they just did.

not to mention that saying GOD is responsible for the evil in the world goes in direct violation with the bible.

---------------------------------------

i readed your article and i disagree.

this man is saying that free will is a choice made independant of influence.

it is true that circumstances can ¨push¨someone to make a choice over another, but it doesnt not mean that a person is ¨destined ¨to make that choice

---------------------------------------

some scriptures about free will

we are made in god´s likeness. god has free will

gen 1:[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

if we didnt have free will, why would god give us the ability to desern and reason?

heb 5:[14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

we have a choice to serve god.

1 peter 2:[15] For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
[16] As free, and not using your liberty (or freedom of choice) for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

again, we have the choice to serve god

duet 30:[19] I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
[20] That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

our actions do have an effect on our life.

gal 6:[7] Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

why would god tell people to turn from his evil way if there was no free will.

jer25:[5] They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:
[6] And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.

the whole consept of repentance becomes pointless if you take out free will

acts 3:[19] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

matt 22:[14] For many are called, but few are chosen.

if some are not chosen, why would god call them in the first place?

this scripture would be pointless if there was no free will

heb 10:[26] For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 12:10 PM
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As Kupios points out the free will debate has been raging for centuries.

The debate held particular importance to medieval philosophers, (because the religions that sprang from the "middle east," Christianity, Judaism, and Islam held so much power in that time frame) because "free will" is needed to explain how there can be "evil" in the world if God is "perfect" and omniscient.

As someone else pointed out, the religious problem is that; if we have a perfect God who is "good" and "loving" and the creator of all that is, where could Satan (evil) have come from? Only from God, of course. And so, free will is necessary as the source of Satan's evil inclinations in order that we avoid the logical conclusion that God created evil, and that evil is in fact part of the will of God.

However, as some philosophers point out, if God is also Omniscient, (or knows everything) then God would also have had to have known at the time he created Satan, (or us for that matter) that he would choose to do evil. If God did NOT see this coming, then by definition God is not perfect or omniscient. So, the logic goes, if God creates a being, knowing that being will choose to be evil, is that not God creating evil? And if God creates this being knowing that being will choose to be evil, can that being then be said to have free will?

Of course there are many more arguments pro and con the free will issue. Spinoza actually has a very well laid out argument against free will. But take an aspirin before beginning it.
It is long and quite complicated, though he does a wonderful job of taking each point in turn and following fine argumentative form.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by miriam0566
I read your article and i disagree.

this man is saying that free will is a choice made independant of influence.

it is true that circumstances can ¨push¨someone to make a choice over another, but it doesnt not mean that a person is ¨destined ¨to make that choice.


First, not my article but my belief.

So, are you saying that you can make a choice that is independent of CAUSES? Really?

Can your will, which is so potent, chose not to die? If you WILL yourself to be a millionaire and it never comes to pass, what happened? If mankind has such a potent WILL to chose between good and evil freely from outside influences, temptations, urges, causes, etc.. then why can't we chose to live forever? After all, it sounds like our WILL is the most powerful thing we have.

I've read that what most people mean by free will and the same is expressed in this thread, and that is the idea that man is by nature neutral and therefore able to choose either good or evil, which is not true.

Jeremiah asked, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil" (Jer. 13:23).

Your will is the servant of your heart, and your heart is evil. "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5).

"No one does good, not even one" (Rom. 3:12).

It is contrary to nature. God created mankind spiritually weak, but did so for a great purpose...HIS purpose.

It is God's grace that changes the heart, not man's WILL.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)

So, whose will was it? Ours or God's?





[edit on 22-5-2008 by Freenrgy2]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by Freenrgy2

They were made sinners by VIRTUE OF THE FACT THAT THEY RECEIVED ADAM'S MORTALITY [DEATH] NOT HIS SIN. We sin because we are mortal [dying]. We have NO SPIRITUAL STRENGTH to combat our carnal, sinning, DYING, FLESH. Hence all sin because THEY ARE MORTAL. Adam sinned because HE WAS MORTAL. "It is appointed unto ALL men once to die"


un....believable.

i have never saw someone twist the scriptures in such a perverted way just so as to justify a belief.

let me get this straight, what you saying is that GOd created adam weak enough that he couldnt avoid sinning? and so because adam couldnt stay faithful he was condemned to death and held responsible for something he had no control over? are you also implying that mankind is in the same situation?



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by Freenrgy2
So, are you saying that you can make a choice that is independent of CAUSES? Really?


whether you can or cannot is inconsequential. you are working on the premise that influence or cause is what determines the outcome of a choice. it has a part, but it by no means determines it, you do.

your dumbing it down too much.

if you see a car about to hit you, of course you will jump out of the way (cause and effect), but that doesnt change the fact that you have the chioce not to jump. go ahead try it, i garantee you can choose not to jump.


Can your will, which is so potent, chose not to die? If you WILL yourself to be a millionaire and it never comes to pass, what happened? If mankind has such a potent WILL to chose between good and evil freely from outside influences, temptations, urges, causes, etc.. then why can't we chose to live forever? After all, it sounds like our WILL is the most powerful thing we have.


free will doesnt mean our will can do anything. you are still bound by the laws and phyisical restrictions god put into place. however i fail to see how what that has to do with choosing good or evil.


I've read that what most people mean by free will and the same is expressed in this thread, and that is the idea that man is by nature neutral and therefore able to choose either good or evil, which is not true.

Jeremiah asked, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil" (Jer. 13:23).

Your will is the servant of your heart, and your heart is evil. "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5).

"No one does good, not even one" (Rom. 3:12).


true, true, true and true. we are inclined to sin. the same way we are inclined to obey the law of gravity. however, that doesnt mean that god created us this way.

when the book of genesis says that god looked at his work and saw that it is perfect, you are right, it is according to his purpose. but god is love. his purpose was never pain and suffering.

it agrivated me to read you say

It is contrary to nature. God created mankind spiritually weak, but did so for a great purpose...HIS purpose.

it shows a fundemental lack of understanding on your part on the nature of god.

seriously, id like you to answer this,

how can a god of love punish people for something they couldnt help but do?



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by miriam0566
un....believable.

i have never saw someone twist the scriptures in such a perverted way just so as to justify a belief.

let me get this straight, what you saying is that GOd created adam weak enough that he couldnt avoid sinning? and so because adam couldnt stay faithful he was condemned to death and held responsible for something he had no control over? are you also implying that mankind is in the same situation?


Yes, I am saying that God created us for a perfect purpose and that we were created spiritualy weak. It was God's intent from day one that man sin.



seriously, id like you to answer this,

how can a god of love punish people for something they couldnt help but do?


Ah, been waiting for this. This is the fundamental precept that the Christian church use as basis for free will. Surely, God can't be responsible for evil in the world when he created it and we can't control ourselves. To believe this is also to believe that people will go to hell forever and ever, which is also false. I assume that this is what you mean by punish. But, that is another topic.

It's the same thing as "why does God let bad things happen to good people." Why? Because God has a plan and that plan is ALL WILL be saved. If God WILLS something, it WILL be done. This post could go on for 100 more pages, but the simple truth is that God didn't create man, take his hands off and turn us lose. God did not screw up HIS creation. A perfect God could not create a perfect being that then decided on its own to not be perfect. This alone would constitute that God was in no way reponsible for his own creation. How can this be? The fact is, and what churches don't want you to believe is that God is in complete control and has been in control of HIS creation since day one. Mankind was designed so that it had to sin.

I found this, which is quite interesting.



THE MYTH OF FREE WILL

by Newton Joseph, Ph.D.

"The concept of free will has only one purpose, to defend and protect God from blame and responsibility and put the burden of responsibility on its hapless victims who buys into this concept.

Free will means there is nothing in our upbringing, nothing in our environment when we were children. There were no genetic predispositions that shaped and influenced us in any way or our temperament when we were born. Free will denies psychological factors such as influence and persuasion when we are young and easily influenced by authority figures. (All who are religious were conditioned in the manner of Pavlov's dogs) Do you naively think that a child exposed to the catholic catechism will be a free thinker with free will or will he be a brainwashed child seduced into the catholic faith, who can no longer think free or have free will?

Free will is the Christian concept of humankind's depravity and their way to manipulate and control those who are under its spell and seduced by the concept of free will.

Christians are too eager to put the blame on themselves to protect their father in the sky. Even this is not free will but a conditioned response after years of brainwashing."



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by miriam0566
free will doesnt mean our will can do anything. you are still bound by the laws and phyisical restrictions god put into place. however i fail to see how what that has to do with choosing good or evil.


What?!?!?

Free will doesn't mean our will can do anything? But, it is by the same token that most Christians state that it is our free will that allows us to chose between good and evil.

And if we are bound, how can any part of our WILL be free? We don't have a WILL and FREE WILL.

No wonder the church confuses people.


your dumbing it down too much.


No, it is unscriptural nonsense, such as free will, that is predicated by the church that is dumbing down mankind.

[edit on 22-5-2008 by Freenrgy2]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by Freenrgy2
Ah, been waiting for this. This is the fundamental precept that the Christian church use as basis for free will. Surely, God can't be responsible for evil in the world when he created it and we can't control ourselves. To believe this is also to believe that people will go to hell forever and ever, which is also false. I assume that this is what you mean by punish. But, that is another topic.


you assume wrong. and i dont go to church either, sorry.


It's the same thing as "why does God let bad things happen to good people." Why? Because God has a plan and that plan is ALL WILL be saved. If God WILLS something, it WILL be done.


where in the bible does it say all will be saved? so me a scripture that even implies that everyone will be saved and i will show you 10 that say otherwise.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by Freenrgy2

No wonder the church confuses people.


why do you keep mentioning the church, this has nothing to do with the church.

its logic. you can go around in circles with any senario says the choice you made is the choice you were going to make, but its simply not true. you always had the other options

in philosophy, i can understand you bringing this debate up, but you involve the bible which is mind numbing to understand.

the bible clearly states that you are accountable for your actions and that you CAN make the wrong choice.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 04:28 PM
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Originally posted by miriam0566
where in the bible does it say all will be saved? so me a scripture that even implies that everyone will be saved and i will show you 10 that say otherwise.


2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

1 Tim 4:10 "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."

So, if God WILLS something and God is the SAVIOR of ALL, don't you think it WILL be done? God does not have some secret plan. He's made it very clear to us.

I'm not a universalist either.

Your turn...10 scriptures that say otherwise.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by miriam0566

Originally posted by Freenrgy2

No wonder the church confuses people.


why do you keep mentioning the church, this has nothing to do with the church.

its logic. you can go around in circles with any senario says the choice you made is the choice you were going to make, but its simply not true. you always had the other options

in philosophy, i can understand you bringing this debate up, but you involve the bible which is mind numbing to understand.

the bible clearly states that you are accountable for your actions and that you CAN make the wrong choice.


It has EVERYTHING to do with the church. And a choice is simply selecting the best alternative. I'm not suggesting NOT being accountable for one's own actions. And my 'logic' hardly goes around in circles. You may not know the choice you were going to make, but God already forsaw the choice you were going to make.



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