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God and freewill?

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posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by Sidhe
This is getting close to simply a restatement of the original problem, but the thought that guides me is that if God had wanted free willed individuals who grew free of his interference, he'd make it possible for that to happen.


Then he would have created everything, but let it grow seperate of him. Would this not mean that he does not control everything and thus is not omnipotent?




posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by kinglizard
God gives us many examples of our freedom of choice. He gives us his law but ultimately we have freewill to choose which path we follow. God said to Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge, but they were seduced by the words of evil and decided to eat the fruit.


That is all fine and good but I am talking about the logic of it and not the words of a questionable book that man has writen.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by Sidhe



There's a slight problem with this, which is, before God created you he would have known where you would end up.

So here's the question. Say you were an artist, and you knew that you could create fifteen masterpieces and a thousand pieces of crap. You knew this before you even picked up your paintbrush.

Why would you make the crap?


Because I would never know when I was going to make those 15 masterpieces. Just knowing I am going to make them, does not I am going to get all 15 the 1st time. I would be making decisions with every stroke of the brush. And some of my decisions would be wrong.

But to some extant freewill is an illusion, I suppose. We make the decisions but god would already know what decision we are going to make anyways. Its one of those questions that can really make your mind spin.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:12 AM
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Genesis 4:8-12

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"

"I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."

God asks Cain Where is your brother, What have you done?. Proof that he gave us freewill over the choices we make in life. If God knew that Cain would kill Able when he created him he wouldnt have asked what he did, he would have already known.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:17 AM
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The best explanation I have ever heard, is from a book, which I will quote here. Two people are talking here, a priest and a guard . Priest will be in italics, guard will not

"You are confused because the Bible describes God as being an omnipotent and benevolent deity"

"Exactly"

"Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all powerful and well-meaning"

"I understand the concept. It's just there seems to be a contradiction"

"Yes the contradiction is pain. Man's starvation,war, sickness etc"

"Exactly Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all powerful and well meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain wouldn't he?"

"Would He?"

"Well, if God loves us and can protect us, He would have to . It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring or benevolent and powerless to help"

"Do you have children Lieutenant?"

"No Signore"

"Imagine you had an 8 year old son, would you love him?"

"Of course"

"Would you do everything in your power to prevent pain in his life?"

"Of course"

"Would you let him skateboard?"

"Yeah I guess, but I would tell him to be careful"

"So as this childs father you would give him some basic good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes"?

"I wouldn't run behind him and coddle him if thats what you mean"

"But what if he fell and skinned his knee?"

"He would learn to be more careful"

"So although you have the power to interfer and prevent your childs pain, you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?"

"Of course . Pain is a part of growing up. It's how we learn"

"Exactly"

Hope that helps....



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:23 AM
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We also have the choice to be born again by baptism. Again its our freewill that gives us the choice. Baptism is a choice and by definition freewill.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:28 AM
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I look at the story of the Tree of Knowledge as a symbolic story to represent man's choice to do good or evil. But I don't believe that man did not have some sort of freewill before eating the fruit.
The serpent merely suggested that Adam and Eve took the fruit. He didn't force them to take it and therefore the matter of choice is raised. They were seduced by the serpent's words but they could still have refused to take the fruit as they were aware of God's command. In my opinion, it took freewill to take the apple.

According to the Bible, God created man in his own image. I don't believe that this means a physical image but rather a copy of God's spiritual image which is contained within the soul. I believe freewill was created with man.

I don't believe we are all on a predetermined path. Although God is always there watching, and whatever the eventuality, he knows what is going to happen, we are by and large, the masters of our own destinies.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by kinglizard
Genesis 2:15-17

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

God gives us many examples of our freedom of choice. He gives us his law but ultimately we have freewill to choose which path we follow. God said to Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge, but they were seduced by the words of evil and decided to eat the fruit.


Leveller,

I quote myself because that is what I said.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:40 AM
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Ugh! This thread has really taken the wrong track. I am not interested in what 'they' tell you to think via some book that people cling to like a life preserver. What I am interested in is a LOGICAL discusion on if god and freewill can exist together. Quoting from the bible proves nothing here. I'm asking you to think rationally about the subject.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by Jonna
Ugh! This thread has really taken the wrong track. I am not interested in what 'they' tell you to think via some book that people cling to like a life preserver. What I am interested in is a LOGICAL discusion on if god and freewill can exist together. Quoting from the bible proves nothing here. I'm asking you to think rationally about the subject.


So you want to have a logical conversation about God, dismissing his actions and words? How is this possible?

[Edited on 3-3-2004 by kinglizard]



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by kinglizard
So you want to have a logical conversation about God, but not his actions and words? How is this possible?


Because unless you have personally spoken to god, you do not know what he is saying. The bible was written and revised by man and thus is subject to falacy.

Can the concept of an omnipotent god, in a christian sense, coexist with the concept of human freewill?



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 11:56 AM
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I think you are right JONNA.

Especially if you are talking about the Jehovah God in the Bible, where everyones names that will be there are ALREADY written in the lamb's book of life.

This is a very mechanistic viewpoint and basically puts us in a film that God created, directed, produced, and edited. Freewill does not play a large role in this view of existence.

The other 'problem' I think is of great importance is the problem of evil. For a benevolent God to have CREATED anything that in any way is or becomes evil, means that
the concept of evil was in God's Consciousness. Think about this. (Reiterate) That a Creator could create anything that had even the slightest propencity for evil denotes the awareness of said evil in the creator's consciousness. There can be no seperation.

Three of many possible explanations:

God is aware of the evil in his nature, but fights it off to remain benevolent.

God, like man is stricken with the dualities of existence.

Evil to God is like a leaf falling from a tree. We make up our own meanings.

All three of these possiblities go against the judeo christian concept of God. For any of the fundamentalists on this board: If you are so bent on God, the unmoved mover, the has been always will be, as the creator of this universe, how can you account for the problem of evil?


If anyone has a viable theory to this I would love to debate it. Freewill is not a viable theory.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by Joseph Knecht

The other 'problem' I think is of great importance is the problem of evil. For a benevolent God to have CREATED anything that in any way is or becomes evil, means that
the concept of evil was in God's Consciousness. Think about this.
For any of the fundamentalists on this board: If you are so bent on God, the unmoved mover, the has been always will be, as the creator of this universe, how can you account for the problem of evil?


Without freewill evil couldn't have fallen from an angel. Satin is simply a jealous and envious fallen angel. Lucifer was created with a freedom to choose just as we are. God gave angels and people the choice of good or evil. But, even though God permits the devil to do his work in this world, God is still in control. And Jesus has complete power over Satan--he defeated Satan when he died and rose again for the sins of mankind.

You know what I find interesting? Evil and the desperate lives that it leaves in its wake is probably the number one reason people search out God. Evil can actually lead people to the Lord. Since god created good and evil, he probably knew that it would.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by Jonna


Can the concept of an omnipotent god, in a christian sense, coexist with the concept of human freewill?


Although I'm not a Christian, I believe that it can.
But it is a question that cannot be answered thoroughly without giving definitions.
For example: what is the definition of evil or love? What is the definition of freewill itself?
Unless you can define the meaning of these things and how they interact, the question is too broad. Personally, I don't believe that the Bible gives enough information on this subject and is therefore open to many interpretations.

Obviously the Bible is not a concrete piece of evidence. But it is the best piece of evidence available to Christians and therefore it cannot be discounted.

You are on very uncertain ground when you try to tie in an illogical subject with a logical answer. It cannot necessarily be proven 100% but it also definitely cannot be refuted.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by Leveller
For example: what is the definition of evil or love? What is the definition of freewill itself?
Unless you can define the meaning of these things and how they interact, the question is too broad.


Main Entry: Evil
Pronunciation: 'E-v&l, British often and US also 'E-(")vil
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): eviler or eviller; evilest or evillest
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English yfel; akin to Old High German ubil evil
1 a : morally reprehensible : SINFUL, WICKED b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct
2 a archaic : INFERIOR b : causing discomfort or repulsion : OFFENSIVE c : DISAGREEABLE
3 a : causing harm : PERNICIOUS b : marked by misfortune

Main Entry: Love
Pronunciation: 'l&v
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old English lEof dear, Latin lubEre, libEre to please
1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of love
2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
3 a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration b (1) : a beloved person : DARLING -- often used as a term of endearment (2) British -- used as an informal term of address
4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person's adoration of God
5 : a god or personification of love

Main Entry: free will
Function: noun
1 : voluntary choice or decision
2 : freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by Leveller
You are on very uncertain ground when you try to tie in an illogical subject with a logical answer. It cannot necessarily be proven 100% but it also definitely cannot be refuted.


I know that I will not get THE answer, but that does not make me any less curious as to the reasoning of others on topics that I do not see having the ability to coexist.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 12:22 PM
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Kinglizard wrote: Evil can actually lead people to the Lord. Since god created good and evil, he probably knew that it would.


And you think that lucifer is the evil one. What a self serving God. I tend to be in league with the gnostics in their belief that the creator or demiurge of this universe is a god, but not the GOD. It would make sense if you look at the problems throughout history.


'I am a jealous God'

Thou shall have no other gods before me' --- Who are these other gods? I don't think they are materialistic impulses.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Joseph Knecht
Kinglizard wrote: Evil can actually lead people to the Lord. Since god created good and evil, he probably knew that it would.


And you think that lucifer is the evil one. What a self serving God.


Why, because he gave everyone freewill and the ability to chose their own path in life. Sounds like love to me. Would you prefer no choices in life?



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 12:54 PM
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Infinite Regress here. But for posterity's sake: How is there freewill if God already knows everything you are going to do? Remember the lamb's book of life? Your name is or is not already written.


And one more thing: You acknowledged that God created Good and Evil. HOW COULD A BENEVOLENT GOD CREATE ANYTHING OTHER THAN GOOD? HE IS NOT CAPABLE OF EVIL BUT CAN CREATE SENTIENT BEINGS WHO ARE?



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by kinglizard

Originally posted by Leveller
For example: what is the definition of evil or love? What is the definition of freewill itself?
Unless you can define the meaning of these things and how they interact, the question is too broad.


Main Entry: Evil
Pronunciation: 'E-v&l, British often and US also 'E-(")vil
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): evil?er or evil?ler; evil?est or evil?lest
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English yfel; akin to Old High German ubil evil
1 a : morally reprehensible : SINFUL, WICKED b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct
2 a archaic : INFERIOR b : causing discomfort or repulsion : OFFENSIVE c : DISAGREEABLE
3 a : causing harm : PERNICIOUS b : marked by misfortune

Main Entry: Love
Pronunciation: 'l&v
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old English lEof dear, Latin lubEre, libEre to please
1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of love
2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
3 a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration b (1) : a beloved person : DARLING -- often used as a term of endearment (2) British -- used as an informal term of address
4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person's adoration of God
5 : a god or personification of love

Main Entry: free will
Function: noun
1 : voluntary choice or decision
2 : freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention



I see definitions of words. But not definitions that give a specific enough answer.
For example, let's take love.

1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of love.

All that gives you is more questions on definitions. What is "affection"? You are always going to be left with a question that is too broad. You can take it down to grammatical definitions or analysis of chemical reactions but in the end you are trying to define the undefineable.
Love cannot be defined precisely by words. Evil cannot be defined precisely words. Both can only be defined through your own personal experience with them and that is the only basis you can have for an answer.
And that's where your problem lies with this question. It's answer can only be defined by yourself. You know what these emotions represent to you, what your god represents to you and what freewill represents to you. Somebody else's outlook might be totally different but cannot be disproved just as your own feelings cannot.

Personally, I believe that with my God, freewill sits just fine. I don't believe in the God as the Church or Bible defines him, so have been able to come up with my own conclusions. Don't forget also that in general Christianity is open to interpretation by it's followers and they can come to their own conclusions as well. None of these can be discounted.

As I stated before, it's almost impossible to give a logical answer to an illogical question. As you can see, there are too many illogical quandaries within the question and any answer has to be given on a basis of personal belief.

My personal belief is that God created us with freewill. Freewill existed before man was created and it is a part of Truth as God created it. God is Truth and therefore freewill is a part of him. Therefore both can coexist happily together side by side.



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