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How is it really "free will"

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posted on Nov, 3 2004 @ 07:40 PM
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Originally posted by Dasher
fallible it is to take a spiritual thing and force it into a literal understanding. is there really a sea where all the dead reside? can someone be "in" death? or are these things non-literal explainations of something beyond our understanding or simply hard to understand? thusly, how do we claim to understand something by reading only this one scripture? my prior arguements contained many verses to consider. they do not cancel out things such as "according to your own works," they divide the understanding further.

Gratuitous cut 'n' pastes snipped


I'm not sure your post addresses my point. At least, I am not able to understand your position based on what you posted.

Does the Book of Revelation claim that all men will be judged by their works or not?

I request an answer in modern, non-King-James English, if that is at all possible, and "yes" or "no" would be ideal, with or without elaboration.




posted on Nov, 3 2004 @ 10:45 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5
Dasher

Excellent post, I was already looking up the same quotes prior to reading your post. You saved me the trouble. I voted you up for that.


Lady V this relates to our last conversation, as to why not all Christians feel the need to preach endlessly to those that will not listen. If their Hearts are hardened to what you are saying, then this may be what God has chosen for them, or what God has chosen for them at this point in their life. What good does it do to show up at someone like that’s door every Sunday morning, you cannot change that persons heart, only God can.


thanx for the encouragement. but i must say . . . your post is nearly correct, but i think it might be neglecting that we are commanded to give a reason for the faith that is in us. also, since we do not know who is blinded, or who is going to be given faith, we are to make the calling of the Lord to all and not stop because we think it is not productive. maybe if we are tired ourselves we may pass on an "opportunity," but we are not allowed to judge others spiritually in that way and give up. The calling is given to all by the scriptures-
Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

this calling is simply that, a calling. it is not a choosing or giving of love. we can know this by refering to what God thinks about those who do not "believe."

Psa 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day.

Psa 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

so does He love everyone and still destroy those whom He loves? wouldn't that mean that those who believe make themselves better in that they receive eternal life and not death as those whom He loves but yet they don't believe? that would be a work-based salvation.

is it possible that the calling is made in general to those whom He loves throughout the entirety of earth's timeline and distances and since we do not know who is to be saved, some will hear the calling in which it does not apply? and that when you believe, it is an indicator rather than a trial? is faith about those who can make the grade? or about God who gives? i reaffirm that it is a calling to those who would believe according to a fore-ordained gift and many will hear the calling but not be given faith.

Mat 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

i personally thought for a long time that the answer was in the fact that God is "outside of time." but it is stated that we are chosen before anything was created and therefore before time had any relevance. this being said, we can throw out the "time" arguement.

if anything is learned in the scripture, it should be that God is not in subjection to man. therefore God cannot be surprised. therefore He does not blind Himself. if this logic is not enough . . .

Hbr 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hbr 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.


the "self-blindness" arguement is gone as well.


again, these are arguements from a biblical standpoint, so to those who do not put faith in the Word, these would not be fair arguements for you and i understand that. no worries.

daved



posted on Nov, 3 2004 @ 11:03 PM
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Let me throw my two cents on this one.

Christian Free Will...

God creates man and a morale doctrine that man should follow. God promises man that if he follows the doctrine that he will be rewarded and if he does not follow the doctrine that he will be punished. The doctrine itself is simple. Jesus came to the world and told us to follow two rules.

1. Love thy God above all else.
2. Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

God makes it clear that anything against his morale doctrine is a sin, - evil. The definition of evil from the Bible is to rebel against God. If you knowingly commit evil acts you are rebelling against God.

Free will in itself does not lead to evil. Free will means making choices freely with full consent of the will and of the mind. The freedom to commit evil is always there but the freedom to never commit evil is also there. The original choice towards evil was simply a choice between oneself and God. Christians see evil similar to the actions of a bratty child – meaning God is in control, but “the child” wants to be in control so they rebel or lash out against God by creating evil.

God isn’t stupid. God created free will knowing perfectly well that some people will choose evil. God also understands that people will be weak and fall once in a while. That’s why they say God hates sin and not the sinner. The struggle to stay on the “right path” builds character and a spiritual maturity.

Now, let me say that Christians are humans. No man/woman is prefect, and each Christian has a different level of spiritual maturity. There is a starting line that Christians first must cross – Christians must come forward and say I believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that he died on the cross for our sins. But that does not make a Christian spiritually mature. The road of spiritual maturity runs from the day you become a Christian until the day you die. Some Christians will make it very far down the road and learn true compassion and wisdom and sadly other Christians will not make it far from where they started. But again, that is free will. Free will is not a trap like some people here will post. Free will is the freedom to decide how far one will go down the road toward the wisdom of God.






Some quotes from a couple great Philosophers on free will, good and evil.

Plato: Virtue is the determination of the will by the knowledge of the good; it is true freedom. The wicked man is ignorant and a slave.

Socrates: Every man necessarily wills his greatest good, and his actions are merely means to this end. He who commits evil does so out of ignorance as to the right means to the true good.



posted on Nov, 3 2004 @ 11:43 PM
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Originally posted by zerotime
Let me throw my two cents on this one.

(Excellent post follows)


Yours is one of the better-reasoned explanations of a Christian approach to Freewill that I have read.

I still see Christian dogma in terms of "service or death", however, yours is one of the more rational ways of reconciling the concepts.

Nicely done!

[edit on 11/3/2004 by Majic]



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 12:02 AM
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Originally posted by Majic
I'm not sure your post addresses my point. At least, I am not able to understand your position based on what you posted.
Does the Book of Revelation claim that all men will be judged by their works or not?
I request an answer in modern, non-King-James English, if that is at all possible, and "yes" or "no" would be ideal, with or without elaboration.


Phl 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

worketh = works = energeo(greek):
-to be operative, be at work, put forth power
-to display one's activity, show one's self operative

we are judged according to the works which we do according to God's ordination.

daved



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 12:22 AM
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The human will is the most powerfull force on this planet . The most conequental of all laws is : Nothing can be acomplished in a persons life without the consent of his (or hers) WILL . Freewill is therefore crucial. It
is a sad thing indeed that so few posses it.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by zerotime
Let me throw my two cents on this one.
God creates man and a morale doctrine that man should follow. God promises man that if he follows the doctrine that he will be rewarded and if he does not follow the doctrine that he will be punished. . . .
God makes it clear that anything against his morale doctrine is a sin, - evil. The definition of evil from the Bible is to rebel against God. If you knowingly commit evil acts you are rebelling against God.
Free will in itself does not lead to evil. Free will means making choices freely with full consent of the will and of the mind. The freedom to commit evil is always there but the freedom to never commit evil is also there. The original choice towards evil was simply a choice between oneself and God. Christians see evil similar to the actions of a bratty child – meaning God is in control, but “the child” wants to be in control so they rebel or lash out against God by creating evil.
That’s why they say God hates sin and not the sinner.


Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,


restated for those who have trouble discerning - man is naturally corrupt by sin since adam and is therefore incapable of true good. conversely cleansing of this situation is given by Christ.

evil is not simply breaking a law, but the lacking of spiritual submission to God through the gift of faith by grace. death awaits those who are lacking faith at all times. He is not pleased with, nor, in an effectual manner, loves sinners. but the calling of His love is effectual in that the gospel is spread and not held from anyone intentionally. so it can be said that He loved the world(as a general calling) and gave a gift so that life may occur, but it cannot be said that He specifically loves Person "A" since no one knows if that love is truly effectual for them unless there is sanctification. sanctification is a whole seperate subject so i shall not address it here, but simply explained - salvation = spiritual birth / santification = spiritual growth.

daved



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 02:43 AM
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Dasher: It's good that you have such zeal for the subject, but I think you have a problem in one area. You have to learn to touch people’s hearts before bombarding Bible verses that are confusing to people and often pulled out of context. You seem to know your Bible verses very well, but I think you lack a real understanding for the meanings of the lines you quote. I don’t mean this as a flame to you and please don't take it personal. It is just something that I think you should think about to help with your future posts. If you want to move people to God then you have to talk to them in a down to earth voice that they can understand.



[edit on 4-11-2004 by zerotime]



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 03:01 AM
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I would like to chime in on zerotime's post with an "Amen".

Putting this as delicately as I can, myself and many other ATSers tend to skip posts full of cut-n-pasted Bible verses.

It's not that the Bible isn't necessarily relevant (I skip anything that seems unnecessarily cut-n-pasted), more that it's not a substitute for fresh and candid dialog between members.

It's reminiscent of talking to someone reading the newspaper, and getting back quotes from news stories in reply to questions.

Also, there's the communication problem that arises from the fact that no two Biblical interpretations are the same. Thus whatever meaning you are hoping to convey is lost due to differing interpretations of the same material.

Where Bible quotes are necessary, I recommend their sparing use with plenty of explanation to accompany them.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 05:59 AM
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It makes me so upset that my threads never gain this much attention!


Has anyone actually come to a conclusion yet? i have a lack of inspirational thought to add anything constructive to this thread tonight, so I might exercise my freedom and play some computer games for a while!


*edit poor poor spelling*

[edit on 4-11-2004 by shmick25]



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 08:53 AM
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Free will: choice, choice = which means it is UPTO YOU what you choose, not upto someone else, and NO ONE can tell you WHAT to choose, because you have free will to do as you WILL.

To try influence you or force you to choose something else, by using blackmail or any other techniques (like temptation), is to violate and therefore not respect your free will. The "God" of religions says: "It's my way or the highway" basically. There is no free will there! It is a method of CONTROLLING you, and control is obviously contradictory to free will.

If truth sets you free, then lies, being the opposite of truth, imprison you. Whenever you believe a lie, you give up your free will, because you allow yourself to be controlled by whomever created the lie, and by the lie itself. You submit your will to know the truth, and to CHOOSE based on that knowledge. Because choices based on lies don't exist, they are illusions, since lies are "illusions of truth". So if you try to make choices based on illusions, your choices will be also illusions, meaning, you don't HAVE any choices.

The only way to have free will, is to choose based on reality, based on KNOWLEDGE.

So whenever someone asks you to BELIEVE something or in something, they are asking you to surrender your free will to KNOW the truth of it, and base your choices/actions based on that KNOWLEDGE, if you are able to obtain it. The Bible is all about "belief" and "faith" in something other than yourself. It's about forcing you to comply by using threats of Hell and temptations of Heaven. Same as our government is forcing people in this country to comply with its murderous policies by using threats of Terrorism.

Adolf Hitler said:

"Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death."

Imagine how great a weapon threats of Hell are, the ULTIMATE in "pain and suffering", which is supposedly MUCH worse than terrorism. It is used to shut down your thinking processes and force you to submit while overcome with fear.
---------------------------------------------------

Also, consider the idea that nothing would exist without free will. Existance itself is the product of the FREE WILL of the Creator to create it. Free will is at the root of all existance. And at the same time, free will is the PRODUCT of existance, as the concept of "free will" has to EXIST. So existance and free will are intertwined and unseparable, in a non-linear way.

So nothing could ever exist without FREE WILL. And free will is SOMETHING, so it couldn't exist if NOTHING existed. So you cannot separate the Creator from the Creation, they are one and the same, or you run into a contradiction.

The Creator couldn't create al of existance without first having FREE WILL. But FREE WILL is a product OF existance, so it HAD to first be "created as a concept" itself. Unless the creator and creation are one and the same, just infinite consciousness that had no beginning or end, and by virtue of its own existance, has free will.

All religions are extremely limiting, and filled with lies and contradictions and fear tactics, designed to control primitive beings such as humans, who are easily controlled by their own "fear of the unknown". They would much rather submit to a lie that scares them, than have courage to FACE it and seek the truth, retaining their free will.

The forces behind religions are selfish, they are designed for their own benefit, to control humanity. The question is: who the hell ARE those forces, and what do they want with us? The "truth" is a lot closer than most people think


-Mike



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 09:10 AM
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Originally posted by riley

Originally posted by bet555
I would have never understood that unless it was put just like that ... God is outside of the time spectrum ... So he sees things as they happen. That makes more sense to me then anything I have ever heard. Would that set up the fact that there are alot of spectrums of time ??? Different things happening on different spectrums or is that why people even question it. If god can see all the spectrums then why can't I kinda ideaology. hmm ... Maybe ... TTYL .. GREAT POST !!!! WHOEVER POSTED THAT AMAZING LITTLE SHORT AMAZING POST !!!!

Hmm. The thing about varying spectrums of time is that it would mean there would be no need for an actual begginning to all of creation and the universe wouldn't need a god to kickstart it.


Using the recent string theory I have been studying the theoretical existance of a multiverse (existance with more than one universe). If a multiverse does exist then the answer is yes. It is true that saying that there is a beginning to existance would be pointless. Time varries from universe to universe and the entire multiverse exists outside of time.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by zerotime

Dasher: It's good that you have such zeal for the subject, but I think you have a problem in one area. You have to learn to touch people’s hearts before bombarding Bible verses that are confusing to people and often pulled out of context. You seem to know your Bible verses very well, but I think you lack a real understanding for the meanings of the lines you quote. I don’t mean this as a flame to you and please don't take it personal. It is just something that I think you should think about to help with your future posts. If you want to move people to God then you have to talk to them in a down to earth voice that they can understand.
[edit on 4-11-2004 by zerotime]



Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

as i said. my beliefs are my beliefs. the only people my beliefs should be relevant to are those who believe in the bible. if you have a problem with the scriptures, then my views do not apply to you and that is completely fine. i am not speaking in order to argue people into agreeing with me. i argue in order to make the truth known. this shall be my departure unless there are reasonable questions asked. thanx for not flaming too hard.

daved



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by Dasher

Originally posted by zerotime

Dasher: It's good that you have such zeal for the subject, but I think you have a problem in one area. You have to learn to touch people’s hearts before bombarding Bible verses that are confusing to people and often pulled out of context. You seem to know your Bible verses very well, but I think you lack a real understanding for the meanings of the lines you quote. I don’t mean this as a flame to you and please don't take it personal. It is just something that I think you should think about to help with your future posts. If you want to move people to God then you have to talk to them in a down to earth voice that they can understand.
[edit on 4-11-2004 by zerotime]



Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

as i said. my beliefs are my beliefs. the only people my beliefs should be relevant to are those who believe in the bible. if you have a problem with the scriptures, then my views do not apply to you and that is completely fine. i am not speaking in order to argue people into agreeing with me. i argue in order to make the truth known. this shall be my departure unless there are reasonable questions asked. thanx for not flaming too hard.

daved


I WISH THAT I WAS THIS CLOSE TO GOD @!!!! Dasher ... you can tell your walk with god is close. I was really close for a while then I am not sure what exactly happend. But anyhow... I know exactly what happend I guess. But anyways ... Thanks for letting me know that there are still strong real REAL "christ like people" or people striving to be like christ.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by LadyV
What's this "free will" thing? How is it free will!? You are free to chose, but if you do, you get in trouble? How is that free will? Isn't that still a means of controlling what you think is free will?


There is no contradiction of freewill here. One has freewill to chose as they decide too. However, if one choses what christian beliefs are against one is punished and if the choice is to enforce christian beliefs one is praised. it is two separate things here. Freewill=choice where as obedience=punishment or praise.

However the argument that I have never seen validated is freewill being a possibility if there is an all-powerful, omnipotent, conscious god. But there are many other threads on that.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 09:55 PM
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Lady V,

Freewill is simply choice. God made us with freewill because without it you cannot truly love. God wanted us to love him by choice, He didn't want a bunch of robots that loved Him because they had to. He wants us to love Him by our own choice, He doesn't force us to do anything we don't want to.

I know I quote a lot from CS Lewis, but the fact is he is an excellent writer and explains the things of God exceptionally well. Here is a quote from one of his books 'Mere Christianity';
Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what you and I are going to do tomorrow. But if He knows I am going to do so-and-so, how can I be free to do otherwise? Well, here once again, the difficulty comes from thinking that God is progressing along the Time-line like us: the only difference being that He can see ahead and we cannot. Well, if that were true, if God foresaw our acts, it would be very hard to understand how we could be free not to do them. But suppose God is outside and above the Time-line. In that case, what we call 'tomorrow' is visible to Him in just the same way as what we call 'today'. All the days are 'Now' for Him. He does not remember you doing things yesterday; He simply sees you doing them, because, though you have lost yesterday, He has not. He does not 'foresee' you doing things tomorrow; He simply sees you doing them: because, though tomorrow is not yet there for you, it is for Him. You never supposed that your actions at this moment were any less free because God knows what you are doing. Well, He knows your tomorrow's actions in just the same way - because He is already in tomorrow and can simply watch you.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 10:32 PM
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I have seen no logical explanation in this thread thus far to explain free will. As I have expressed in another, from which this thread likely originated, the concept of free will is that of human ideology, not God’s as some like to say, because s/he has not addressed same. What s/he did address was his/her order to you:

”See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgements…”

Now you might still look at that and say, yes, he did give us free will. In fact he has not, for if you believe in the Bible, then the destiny of every man, woman and child to have ever lived has been set:

”And I retreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”

If you still are not convinced, then consider:

” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:”

Obviously the names of the first 144,000 are known, perhaps, those names were prior to revelations you might say. Which leads us to:

”And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;…”

That equates to the 100 millions out of how many that have lived and died to date? Therefore, if 1700 years ago whoever wrote revelations sees only that many, then free will has nothing over destiny. the book of life has been written and has concluded a set number. The fact is, that until those among us decide not to just accept that the Bible is the word, and search for the truths and deceptions within it, will we learn what it is really all about. Therein lies the rub. We have been told to accept it as the word of God or else.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 11:12 PM
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free ( P )
adj. fre•er, fre•est
Not imprisoned or enslaved; being at liberty.
Not controlled by obligation or the will of another: felt free to go.

will ( P )
n.

The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action: championed freedom of will against a doctrine of predetermination.
The act of exercising the will.


By these definitions from the dictionary, freedom in the physical sense is dictated by authority. i.e. A person in prison behind bars has limited freedom. He can not go to the beach for instance.

‘Will’ is not limited by physical constraints, but upon mental constraints. I have a 'will' to make some pop corn, or, I have decided to make pop corn. What is stopping me making popcorn? The physical.. I may not have corn or a means to warm up the corn cornels and make them pop!!

So in terms of freedom of will, we are really talking about the physical, as the only way we are really 100% free is if we can exercise everything that our will desires.

Unfortunately, this is not the case, as there are restraints in place that stop us from doing this. I have a will, to fly into space on top of a giant strawberry. Unfortunately this will never happen (unless I am on a really good acid trip) as the laws of this earth prohibit this from happening.

So, we can now put the thread in the context of 'the Christian' perspective.

Much like the earth, God has put some rules in place as well, for without some sort of rules, it would be chaos and no order could be maintained. (Look at IRAQ at the moment) Does the word anarchy spring to mind? What does this mean???!!

For instance: You can come to my 60’s fancy dress party. The condition is, you HAVE to be dressed up in that era to be allowed in. An example of a rule.

Freedom of will is not forcing people to come to your party or making them get dressed up in 60’s clothing if they do not feel like it. They have the will to stay at home. They may also have the ‘will’ to turn up in normal clothes. Unfortunately, because of the rules of the party, they will not be allowed in.

Question: Is this unfair? I would argue no. How is the true theme of a 60’s party maintained if people are there in normal clothes? Why would a person want to be different and come in plain clothes anyway? Would it still be a 60s party if nobody wore 60s clothes?

I believe God has a set of rules in place that we MUST obey in order to be saved, however, much like the party, he has given us the freedom or will to decide if we want to obey these or not.

This rules are in place to ensure that only those that want to be in heaven are there, and only those that really believe in what God says are there also.

In response to the questions about predestination and God knowing everything:

Humans have an inability to comprehend an omnipotent being, as we are mortal and finite with only a limited comprehension of the current environment we are in. How then can we even begin to judge (outside of what has told us through his inspired word)* what God is and how he should act? To do so is exposing our ignorance and arrogance for all to see.

*Assuming you have faith that the Bible is the inspired word of God.

As soon as I claim to comprehend the vastness of God, I have placed him into a box of mortal understanding, and then he fails to be a being of infinite complexity.

Wow, deep!



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 11:30 PM
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Well then Schmick, from what you are trying to portray, it is not free will at all, but a matter of defined choice, or choice with defined boundaries.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 11:48 PM
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I guess it is how you pecieve it. It is free will up to a 'point'.

Obviously God has to direct humans like sheep to a degree, else they would all get lost.

So in short, I have no problem in accepting the logic you state, and happy to live by those rules.




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