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The Nature And Relationship Of God And Creation


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Daniel wrote:  Which is more Just, to create only those who would choose him, or to create everyone, and allow them to actually make their own choices?

 

I want you to look closely at this second statement you made here.  I want to illustrate how poorly you have thought all of this out.  

 

God cannot create beings of free will Ex Nihilo, I clearly laid that out in the video and the post that had Hausam's quotes , and neither you or Saemo have been able to refute the arguments given ... but let me humor you for a moment.  Let's pretend for a moment that God can create beings who choose , let's say that God creates 20 of them.  And let's say that the even numbers will choose salvation and the odd numbers damnation.

 

Saved 2 Bob, 4 Frank, 6 Sara, 8 Marcus, 10 Isabel, 12Johnny, 14 Matilda, 16Joseph, 18Simon, 20 Karina

 

Unsaved , 1 Cain , 3 Matt, 5 Alicia, 7 Carmen, 9 Nathan, 11 Jeremy, 13 Candace, 15 Javier, 17 Jose, 19 Mary

 

Now, read that second statement of yours again above. 

 

Would those who chose salvation be any less free (would they not have free will) if God simply did not create unsaved?

 

-Stephen

 

 

They would be free if God created them that way. Your point? 

 

My point is that when you are responding to me, you haven't thought any of this through.  You probably didn't even bother to watch the first two videos I provided (otherwise you would not have made such an obvious error).

 

Again ...

 

Daniel wrote:  Which is more Just, to create only those who would choose him, or to create everyone, and allow them to actually make their own choices?

 

Here you imply that God had to create those who would not "choose" God, otherwise, those who would "choose" God wouldn't have had a real choice or real free will in the matter. 

 

However, it appears that in your last post to me, you realized (and rightly so) that your original argument did not hold.  You correctly state that IF those saved had free will, then it wouldn't matter if the others didn't exist, as that wouldn't give or take away the free will of those who were saved.

 

In other words, this is a correct admission that, since God can create any being that God wants (and God from refrain from creating any being that God does not want to create), then God could have created, out of nothing, ONLY the souls that God knew would freely choose Him.

 

-Stephen

Edited by stephenpurdy
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Wrong.  "Want" has nothing to do with it.  The "gist" comes from a logical "IF and THEN" proposition. 

 

IF God created every single aspect of our being and our very nature from God's own mind and created ex nihilo ....  THEN God ultimately determines what we will do. 

 

Let's say that a spirit will be born into a body in 3 seconds from now. Where will that spirit come from? What will the nature of that spirit be?  Why?

 

If God is able to create a free moral willed being, then your logical if then proposition is not as straight forward as you propose. 

 

What exactly prevents God from creating such a being? 

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If God is able to create a free moral willed being, then your logical if then proposition is not as straight forward as you propose. 

 

What exactly prevents God from creating such a being? 

 

That is explained in posts 22, 30 and 43.

 

 

Now, I wanted to go back to a topic that someone brought up, which is also pertinent the the thread.  This is the idea that many Christians believe concerning God living "outside of time". 

 

William Lane Craig actually addresses some ideas that LDS have been thinking about since the days of Joseph Smith (see the articles in the initial post).

 

William Lane Craig describes the arguments of the prize-winning physicist, P. C. W. Davies in his book God and the New Physics.

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

 

Davies argues that God can be neither temporal nor timeless. He says that God cannot be timeless because God, as described in the Bible, is a person; but persons are inherently temporal in nature. They act and react, they're conscious beings who deliberate and anticipate and remember. They think about things. They intend to do things and then carry out those projects. All of these are temporal activities, and therefore if God is personal, as the Bible claims, God cannot be atemporal, or timeless.

 

On the other hand, says Davies, neither can God be temporal. For if God exists in time, then He is subject to the laws of relativity theory which govern space and time, and therefore He cannot be omnipotent because he's under the laws of nature. So the theist is confronted with a dilemma. The theist believes that God is both personal and omnipotent; but if he is both of these he can be neither timeless nor temporal, and therefore such a God simply cannot exist. The God of the Bible does not exist.

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

 

Feel free to read on to see how he addresses these issues.  Then we will have even more to discuss than we already do!

 

-Stephen

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Most certainly we are born with some kind of personality characteristics, and some kind of nature.  Who created it?  Who created the "organic bit"? 

 

There is something you cannot escape Saemo:  With Ex Nihilo, God Himself created every single aspect of existence and every single aspect of every single being.  The result would be exactly the Universe and beings that God imagined it to be.  Nothing more and nothing less.  That Universe would be nothing more and nothing less than an extension and representation of God's own mind.  PanENtheism.

 

 

-Stephen

Again, you leave out free will. You may think ex nihilo and free will do not exist together, that is your premise, that I don't agree with.

 

731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude. 

 

That is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is kind of like the Westminster Confession, but for Catholics.

 

So yes, I agree, God created us, even personality as that is part of who we are, but personality is not set at birth. It is shaped by experience, our culture, family, etc. That is not to say God is absent from our experiences. If you are asking where our created aspect of personality begins and then where does it end at the nurturing aspects, there is no answer for that. That is why I describe it as "organic", which is my own way of viewing how the Holy Spirit works in my own life. It just is, and where what God has done, meets up with what I choose to do, is not a place you can pinpoint and put under a microscope, because I believe God is attentive to what He has created. I am not a deist.

 

We are also gifted by God with the ability to reason, and are created as rational creatures. But we aren't born as scientists, engineers, or parents. We grow and mature, our lives shaped by our families, education, relationships and other experiences. 

 

Maybe dynamic, vs static, would be a better word usage than organic. I'll think on that first before switching to it permanently.

 

So, it is a boring argument you make in my POV, that we are born as static beings, and never grow in life and experience. It is an argument that defies reality. I don't know why you would think that is what I believe, or something that I need to escape, when what you are delivering is nonsense.

Edited by saemo
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Panentheism? I had to look that one up. Needs more time to be fleshed out (theologically speaking), as far as I can tell, and will be done by people smarter than I am. So, I have no argument for it or against it. :)

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Saemo wrote:  As I said, we start with different premises.

 

Correct.  You start with the premise that God created everything "out of nothing".  LDS start with the premise that God created everything "out of something".

Well that is obvious, I meant your premises regarding ex nihilo are not the same as mine.

 

 

 

Saemo: Your argument is that you don't want to be ultimately created by God without your permission. That's your main gist, and everything else comes from that.

 

Wrong.  "Want" has nothing to do with it.  The "gist" comes from a logical "IF and THEN" proposition. 

 

IF God created every single aspect of our being and our very nature from God's own mind and created ex nihilo ....  THEN God ultimately determines what we will do. 

 

Let's say that a spirit will be born into a body in 3 seconds from now. Where will that spirit come from? What will the nature of that spirit be?  Why?

 

"Want" is what I see.

 

No, God does not ultimately determine what we will do. He ultimately knows what we will do (omnipresence) but you are leaving out free will still.

 

God will create the soul and the nature of the soul is spirit. Why, what?

 

 

 

Saemo: You see being created sans permission (ex nihilo) as a violation of free will. So, the teenager who stomps his feet and says, "I didn't ask to be born." You reply, "Yeah, you did." And you believe that every rotten or good thing ever occurring to you and everyone else, was agreed to before you were born.

 

Hey?  I never thought about that aspect of it.  Great point!  Yet another reason to reject ex nihilo.  Thanks!

 

See, I know LDS arguments better than you.  :diablo:

But it is not a great point. Do you really, honestly believe, that a young child who goes without food, for so long, that they die of starvation, agreed to this? Do you really think, the parents of that child agreed to the suffering they experience while they watch their child suffer and die? Really?? You believe people are agreeable to this type of thing? And you really believe God would be agreeable to people being agreeable, to this type of thing? "Great, you're set for your earthly experience, where you have agreed to suffer while your child suffers and dies of starvation. Please sign here."

 

 

 

Saemo:  You think being self-fated solves the problem of suffering, is what I'm guessing, though you haven't said.

 

Oh Absolutely.  The problem of evil and suffering that plagues ex nihilo theologians is not nearly as big a problem for the LDS.  It is still there, but significantly diminished.

 

Plague? Overstate much? 

 

 

 

Saemo:  Ex nihilo also chafes against your individualism. No one is absolute sovereign over you! Including God. How's that?

 

You are absolutely wrong on this.  It is the opposite.  With LDS theology, we are all in it together, and we have been all in it together from before the creation of the world.  Each individual influencing other individuals and God being the greatest influence of all.

 

While you simultaneous espouse that true freedom only exists when you are free from being created wholly, and completely, by God. There is a conflict within you, I feel it. (j/k...lame Star Wars moment.)

 

 

 

Saemo:  I don't think you understand my posts, generally, because you keep framing them in your premises.

 

Example?

 

How many times can I say, you leave out free will and you go on arguing like I never said it. It's like talking to a rock.

 

 

 

Saemo:  I think I understand what you are saying, but that you cannot understand my replies (and I mean cannot, as in something deep rooted preventing). So we go nowhere.

 

I have answered and responded to all of your replies.  I even listened to (and even transcribed) the audio that you presented and explained exactly why it does not address the issues.  (Speaking of which, I wanted to add something about this notion that  God lives outside of time.  I will address that in my next post.)

 

The same cannot be said for you.  So far, it appears that you listened to the first couple minutes, and then rather than addressing the main issues of the video, you stopped and simply started complaining that I didn't address the "Trinity", but instead I only focused on God being the only single eternal Being/substance.

 

Oh come now. You ignore anything I say about the love of God, His desire for us, our destiny is God, your perceived "problem" is solved by God through Jesus, etc. which all defy what you posit ex nihilo means, but you go on with arguing ex nihilo sans free will. 

 

Ex nihilo discussed outside of any of these aspects of Christian teaching, is just a secularist mental exercise. I'm not an atheist.

 

Sorry, I know you probably put a lot of effort into your videos, and think they're spot on, but I can't get past the misrepresentations. Sort of like asking you to watch "The Godmakers". I don't think the Peter Kreeft audio you listened to is comparable.

If your opening points aren't important to your argument, then why did you make them?

Edited by saemo
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Again, you leave out free will. You may think ex nihilo and free will do not exist together, that is your premise, that I don't agree with.

 

 

You haven't even thought about it. 

 

You haven't considered WHY I don't believe that they cannot exist together. 

 

You haven't looked into the logical backing to that premise.

 

You haven't analyzed the arguments that I have provided for it.

 

So, of course you are just going to say , "I don't agree".

 

It's like plugging your ears and shouting LA! LA! LA! LA!

 

 

 

Saemo:  No, God does not ultimately determine what we will do. He ultimately knows what we will do (omnipresence) but you are leaving out free will still.

 

That is correct.  I am purposefully leaving out free will still.  I am leaving out free will in Ex Nihilo theology, because free will does not exist IF God creates Ex Nihilo.

 

See posts 22, 30 and 43.

 

 

 

-Stephen

Edited by stephenpurdy
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Sorry, I know you probably put a lot of effort into your videos, and think they're spot on, but I can't get past the misrepresentations. Sort of like asking you to watch "The Godmakers". I don't think the Peter Kreeft audio you listened to is comparable.

If your opening points aren't important to your argument, then why did you make them?

 

The opening is just a "thought experiment".  William Lane Craig did the same exact thing in the article I just posted,

 

"Let's conduct a thought experiment: imagine that God had refrained from creating the world. Imagine God existing without creation. We can think of a possible world in which God alone exists, solitary, alone, without any universe or created order whatsoever."  - William Lane Craig

 

I did not misrepresent anything, you simply missed the point altogether.  You began arguing between a "temporal" God VS a God who is "timeless".  (Something that isn't even settled among Christians themselves.)  
 
Also, you began saying, "well in Trinitarian thought, God isn't really alone".  
 
Well, it IS a single Being/Substance according to that theology, and WLC said it in the same way.  So, get past it, and look at what the videos were actually designed to illustrate.
 
Again, these two topics you side tracked on isn't the issue in the first two videos.  You are purposefully dodging the real issues.  
 
Furthermore, my argumentation concerning Ex Nihilo and free will are valid either way -  Temporal VS Timeless or Trinity VS Non-Trinity.  The reasoning behind it all is quite sound.  See for yourself.
 
Stephen wrote: The problem of evil and suffering that plagues ex nihilo theologians is not nearly as big a problem for the LDS.  It is still there, but significantly diminished. 

Saemo:  Plague? Overstate much?

 
No.  It is not an overstatement.  It is the biggest problem that faces classical theism.
 
Stephen wrote: With LDS theology, we are all in it together, and we have been all in it together from before the creation of the world.  Each individual influencing other individuals and God being the greatest influence of all. 

Saemo:  While you simultaneous espouse that true freedom only exists when you are free from being created wholly, and completely, by God.

 
Correct.  The idea that God creates every aspect of our being from God's own mind (ie "out of nothing") precludes the idea that we have free will. 
 
Stephen:  Let's say that a spirit will be born into a body in 3 seconds from now. Where will that spirit come from? What will the nature of that spirit be?  Why? 

Saemo:  God will create the soul and the nature of the soul is spirit. Why, what?

 
Why are you trying to dodge the question?  There is a spirit that dwells within the body of a human being.  Where does the spirit come from?
 
Saemo:  So yes, I agree, God created us, even personality as that is part of who we are, but personality is not set at birth. It is shaped by experience, our culture, family, etc.
 
Correct.  So, in creation Ex Nihilo theology,  God created every aspect of our being, out of nothing, AND God created our environment, out of nothing.   All of this was discussed in the videos that you refuse to watch and/or refuse to try and understand.  Try doing that first, before you attempt to address the topic we are discussing here..
 
Saemo:  Do you really, honestly believe, that a young child who goes without food, for so long, that they die of starvation, agreed to this? Do you really think, the parents of that child agreed to the suffering they experience while they watch their child suffer and die? Really?
 
We may not have known the specifics, however, we knew that there would be sadness in opposition to happiness.  We knew there would be trials.  However, we trusted in God that the eternal benefits would outweigh the temporary suffering.
 
Let's flip it around.  Do you really, honestly believe that God forces beings into existence who will be damned for eternity?  Wouldn't it be better if they never existed in the first place?
 
-Stephen
Edited by stephenpurdy
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You haven't even thought about it. 

 

You haven't considered WHY I don't believe that they cannot exist together. 

 

You haven't looked into the logical backing to that premise.

 

You haven't analyzed the arguments that I have provided for it.

 

So, of course you are just going to say , "I don't agree".

 

It's like plugging your ears and shouting LA! LA! LA! LA!

 

 

 

Saemo:  No, God does not ultimately determine what we will do. He ultimately knows what we will do (omnipresence) but you are leaving out free will still.

 

That is correct.  I am purposefully leaving out free will still.  I am leaving out free will in Ex Nihilo theology, because free will does not exist IF God creates Ex Nihilo.

 

See posts 22, 30 and 43.

 

 

 

-Stephen

Round and round we go.

I already made it clear, that I'm a Catholic, and so I think it is obvious MY theology, is aligned to Catholic teaching.

MY theology does not leave out free will from ex nihilo.

I've read the whole thread, and haven't responded because Daniel has your points covered. I don't see the point in rewriting what has already been presented by someone else, unless you're looking for me to write, "what he said".

I haven't seen a logical representation, but did see someone did go to the ultimate logical conclusion of leaving God out of our creation. Nihilism. That was honest, and posted like a great aha moment, even applauded. I find applauding nihilism to be abhorrent, even frightening, but hey, it's all "logical".

Your "logic" is based on premises that I don't hold to! Including premises about God.

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Would those who chose salvation be any less free (would they not have free will) if God simply did not create unsaved?

 

-Stephen

Obviously, if there is not a choosing of God, over not, then there is not an exercise of free will.

Edited by saemo
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Saemo:  Plague? Overstate much?

 

No.  It is not an overstatement.  It is the biggest problem that faces classical theism.

 

I don't believe so.

 

 

Stephen wrote: With LDS theology, we are all in it together, and we have been all in it together from before the creation of the world.  Each individual influencing other individuals and God being the greatest influence of all. 

Saemo:  While you simultaneous espouse that true freedom only exists when you are free from being created wholly, and completely, by God.

 

Correct.  The idea that God creates every aspect of our being from God's own mind (ie "out of nothing") precludes the idea that we have free will.

 

It does when you make certain assumptions.

 

 

Stephen:  Let's say that a spirit will be born into a body in 3 seconds from now. Where will that spirit come from? What will the nature of that spirit be?  Why? 

Saemo:  God will create the soul and the nature of the soul is spirit. Why, what?

 

Why are you trying to dodge the question?  There is a spirit that dwells within the body of a human being.  Where does the spirit come from?

 

I already answered. God will create the soul and the nature of the soul is spirit. 

 

 

Saemo:  So yes, I agree, God created us, even personality as that is part of who we are, but personality is not set at birth. It is shaped by experience, our culture, family, etc.

 

Correct.  So, in creation Ex Nihilo theology,  God created every aspect of our being, out of nothing, AND God created our environment, out of nothing.   All of this was discussed in the videos that you refuse to watch and/or refuse to try and understand.  Try doing that first, before you attempt to address the topic we are discussing here..

 

*sigh* Probably not going to happen, so I'll leave your discussion. :)

 

 

Saemo:  Do you really, honestly believe, that a young child who goes without food, for so long, that they die of starvation, agreed to this? Do you really think, the parents of that child agreed to the suffering they experience while they watch their child suffer and die? Really?

 

We may not have known the specifics, however, we knew that there would be sadness in opposition to happiness.  We knew there would be trials.  However, we trusted in God that the eternal benefits would outweigh the temporary suffering.

Edited by saemo
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Most certainly we are born with some kind of personality characteristics, and some kind of nature.  Who created it?  Who created the "organic bit"? 

 

There is something you cannot escape Saemo:  With Ex Nihilo, God Himself created every single aspect of existence and every single aspect of every single being.  The result would be exactly the Universe and beings that God imagined it to be.  Nothing more and nothing less.  That Universe would be nothing more and nothing less than an extension and representation of God's own mind.  PanENtheism.

 

 

-Stephen

 

Another thing to note is that what we experience as "ourselves" now is what is coming through our perception and through the physical filter of our brains.  With this filter, some of us, like with mental illness, are less capable of connecting to the societal aspect of the physical world.  Without this filter, experience and perception are vastly different. To get an idea of what I'm talking about, listen to neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor in "Stroke of Insight" as she describes her experience of having a stroke and what happens when a hemisphere of your brain shuts down.

 

Something that gets me about these logical arguments is that logic, again, is only a tool.  It cannot tell us The Truth, only at best the necessary and possible outcomes of certain premises.

 

When we start with us as being co-eternal with God,  this seems to me to feel closer to a paradigm where all we know fits better together.

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From post 22 and 43, where you claim "this has been answered." 

 

So, Hausam goes on to explain that essentially, Arminians wanted to have their cake and eat it too, which is what modern mainstream Christianity tries to do as well.  On one hand, they want to say that God created every aspect of our existence which logically determines outcomes, yet on the other hand want to claim that the created creatures are responsible for their own natures, which God himself created.  In Ex Nihilo, it is absurd that God creates creatures who are ignorant, disobedient, discontent and easily deceived and then God punishes those who He created for being that way.  

 

 

Simply claiming that God can't create a free will out of nothing is not called answering or explaining why, rather it's called an assertion. You have asserted that it can't happen, you haven't explained why. 

 

You can use whatever word you want.  If you want me to say "God could have created a perfectly loving being with free will", when then there you go.

 

If God is "all powerful" and creating any kind of possible being out of God's own mind, then it is logically possible to create a being that is filled with so much love, that the being would always express free will choices which reflect that perfect love.

 

If you didn't read the quotes I provided by Mark Hausam, I would encourage you to do so.  Read them carefully, and then address the actual points being made in the video, rather than these peripheral issues.

 

For starters:

 

"Even proponents of libertarian freedom will admit, although paradoxically, that the choices we make are the results of the motivations, desires, loves, values, priorities, beliefs, etc., that constitute who we are, that make up the real essence of our actual being. That is why our choices reveal who we are. If our choices were not produced from the essence of our being, they would not be our choices fundamentally and would not reveal anything about who we are."

 

Why are we who we are?   In your theology, we are exactly what God created us to be, because every single detail of our being was designed from God's own mind.  Our essence, our characteristics, EVERYTHING comes from Gods creative imagination with Ex Nihilo theology.  There is no getting around it.

 

-stephen

 

Everything comes from God, even our free will. 

 

The closest anyone came to explaining why the LDS believe that God can't create free will is when it was explained that Joseph Smith didn't believe it. 

Edited by danielwoods
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Everything comes from God, even our free will. 

 

Once you adopt this position, then Calvanistic predestination makes perfect sense. God elects those who he intends to save. The rest are damned. Who does he elect? Well, those that choose him. Who chooses him? God made some people with a free will in such a way that they would choose him. Some he made in a way that they would exercise their free will and not choose him. It is logically coherent. Morally reprehensible perhaps, but at least logically coherent.

 

 

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From post 22 and 43, where you claim "this has been answered." 

 

Simply claiming that God can't create a free will out of nothing is not called answering or explaining why, rather it's called an assertion. You have asserted that it can't happen, you haven't explained why. 

 

 

Everything comes from God, even our free will. 

 

The closest anyone came to explaining why the LDS believe that God can't create free will is when it was explained that Joseph Smith didn't believe it. 

 

Your god is a monster. For his own enjoyment he deliberately creates people so he can torture them for eternity.

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Once you adopt this position, then Calvanistic predestination makes perfect sense. God elects those who he intends to save. The rest are damned. Who does he elect? Well, those that choose him. Who chooses him? God made some people with a free will in such a way that they would choose him. Some he made in a way that they would exercise their free will and not choose him. It is logically coherent. Morally reprehensible perhaps, but at least logically coherent.

 

You can't at one point agree with me that God made a free will, and then undermine your own statement and say that God didn't actually give them a "free" will, he made it "not so free", so that they would or would not choose him. 

 

Sorry, but a misrepresentation does not make a good argument. 

Edited by danielwoods
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Daniel wrote: In other words you can't explain how God can't create a free willed being. Got it.

 

Um ... I did explain it.  I explained it in the videos and in the posts, and neither Daniel nor Saemo have even attempted to address the specific arguments presented therein.

 

This in itself shows how messed up we can become arguing about words words words and their definitions.

 

In fact, I am on your side.

 

My point was that Daniel's post was so convoluted with double negatives and vague terms as to be totally irrational, and yet he seemed to be happy with its irrationality.

 

These issues have been sliced and diced by philosophers trained in the nuances of the arguments for hundreds of years without concluding anything practical in making decisions on a daily basis.

 

Whether or not one agrees on free will OR determinism, one will still be able to decide whether or not to answer or ignore this post.  If that decision is an illusion or not doesn't "really" matter more than a hill of beans, because we still find people responsible for their decisions.

 

When we decide to abolish prisons because people's choices were determined and therefore everyone is not guilty by reason of determinism, we will have a problem. 

 

Until then, it's all words and nothing more.

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In the off chance anyone is interested in the history of this argument and what philosophers have said, here is a good link:

 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/

  
Better yet, it would be interesting to see a post in this format: 

"As (philosopher abc shows...) determinism can be seen as (xyz) but then philosopher (ghi) countered with argument (def)

 

I think that this argument is flawed because (cvb)"

 

This argument has a history and it would not hurt to be aware of the history and refer to it.  Otherwise we are just repeating ideas that others have already made and improved.

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Your god is a monster. For his own enjoyment he deliberately creates people so he can torture them for eternity.

This is where things end up when we have no clue about the history of this discussion.

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This in itself shows how messed up we can become arguing about words words words and their definitions.

In fact, I am on your side.

My point was that Daniel's post was so convoluted with double negatives and vague terms as to be totally irrational, and yet he seemed to be happy with its irrationality.

These issues have been sliced and diced by philosophers trained in the nuances of the arguments for hundreds of years without concluding anything practical in making decisions on a daily basis.

Whether or not one agrees on free will OR determinism, one will still be able to decide whether or not to answer or ignore this post. If that decision is an illusion or not doesn't "really" matter more than a hill of beans, because we still find people responsible for their decisions.

When we decide to abolish prisons because people's choices were determined and therefore everyone is not guilty by reason of determinism, we will have a problem.

Until then, it's all words and nothing more.

From the law enforcement point of view, as long as the restriction/punishment is appropriate for the crime and in securing the public, it doesn't matter whether freewill is an illusion or not.

In fact, we can still be like ultra-recuperative societies with or without.

Personally, the question is much like the one a young child poses herself. "Am I real? Is the world?" When I asked myself, I decided it that it only makes sense to assume both as facts until further notice.

In other words, the assumptions of freewill and existence are useful tools that facilitate conscientious, deliberate living.

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From the law enforcement point of view, as long as the restriction/punishment is appropriate for the crime and in securing the public, it doesn't matter whether freewill is an illusion or not.

In fact, we can still be like ultra-recuperative societies with or without.

Personally, the question is much like the one a young child poses herself. "Am I real? Is the world?" When I asked myself, I decided it that it only makes sense to assume both as facts until further notice.

In other words, the assumptions of freewill and existence are useful tools that facilitate conscientious, deliberate living.

Well for what my opinion is worth- nothing- you get the gold star.

 

When you think of all the people in the world who have been confused on this non-question and what it has resulted in, it just becomes a tragedy actually that we get so confused by words.

 

All these discussions and what they lead to- like Calvinism, like controversies on the Trinity- lead to schisms and hatred and worry and people actually killing each other over one's interpretation of words on a page written by men like themselves.

 

There is that cartoon of someone feverishly pounding the keyboard and the caption reads "No, wait Martha- I can't come to bed now- THERE'S SOMEONE WRONG ON THE INTERNET!"

 

The reality is that it goes back long before the internet- every theological controversy known to man has been the same.  One can imagine the same cartoon, but this time with Martin Luther will a quill pen or Aristotle with.... whatever he used to write.

 

Religion is about creating MEANING in our lives which lead to creating our own view of God and the universe which gives our lives a direction for self improvement.

 

When it does not lead to self improvement, or leads one to believe that self improvement is impossible, or leads one to argue with others etc, religion becomes totally useless.

 

Religion does not tell us how to build houses, or boil water, or get to the moon.  Its only use is to enable us to love each other and base our lives on a plan to make us happy.  There is a reason we call our beliefs "The Plan of Happiness" precisely because THAT IS WHAT RELIGION IS FOR!

 

"Live THIS what and you will be happy"

 

It is not about alleged "facts" which cannot be proven or falsified,  that God has condemned 99% of humanity to hell just because he felt like it.

 

It is not about teaching us that because we got baptized in the "right church" we have nothing to worry about and now we will become like god. 

 

Both of those views deny religion any value whatsoever.  Both end up saying "Nothing matters"

 

I love your phrase "conscientious, deliberate living."

 

As far as I am concerned, that is all that matters.   The rest is confused nonsense and why I should leave this board.   I really need to examine that.

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Surely a few random people on the internet can have it figured out in a handful of posts even though philosophers haven't been able to after a few thousand years (unexaggerated number).

You are totally right and indeed the number is unexaggerated.

 

This is a quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/

 

 

“Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Which sort is the free will sort is what all the fuss is about. (And what a fuss it has been: philosophers have debated this question for over two millennia, and just about every major philosopher has had something to say about it.) Most philosophers suppose that the concept of free will is very closely connected to the concept of moral responsibility. Acting with free will, on such views, is just to satisfy the metaphysical requirement on being responsible for one's action. (Clearly, there will also be epistemic conditions on responsibility as well, such as being aware—or failing that, being culpably unaware—of relevant alternatives to one's action and of the alternatives' moral significance.) But the significance of free will is not exhausted by its connection to moral responsibility. Free will also appears to be a condition on desert for one's accomplishments (why sustained effort and creative work are praiseworthy); on the autonomy and dignity of persons; and on the value we accord to love and friendship. (See Kane 1996, 81ff. and Clarke 2003, Ch.1; but see also Pereboom 2001, Ch.7.)

 

Notice that it says that the discussion is to "SATISFY THE METAPHYSICAL REQUIREMENT ON BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR ONE'S ACTION"

 

Underline that word "metaphysical"!

 

Now look that word up in the same encyclopedia

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/

 

 

It is not easy to say what metaphysics is. Ancient and Medieval philosophers might have said that metaphysics was, like chemistry or astrology, to be defined by its subject matter: metaphysics was the “science” that studied “being as such” or “the first causes of things” or “things that do not change”. It is no longer possible to define metaphysics that way, for two reasons. First, a philosopher who denied the existence of those things that had once been seen as constituting the subject-matter of metaphysics—first causes or unchanging things—would now be considered to be making thereby a metaphysical assertion. Second, there are many philosophical problems that are now considered to be metaphysical problems (or at least partly metaphysical problems) that are in no way related to first causes or unchanging things—the problem of free will, for example, or the problem of the mental and the physical.

 

In other words, in a very competent and well regarded source on philosophy it essentially says that the free will discussion is about metaphysics, but no one is sure what metaphysics IS, or whether or not the free will question is about metaphysics or not!

 

In other words, many philosophers themselves don't know what this discussion is about or whether or not it is important.

 

For me, that's a definite problem when I think about how to decide what to worry about in my life.

 

Let's talk about recipes.   At least that would be a practical discussion.

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