Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
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09-02-2011, 11:36 PM
 
Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?

Destiny is the predetermined or inevitable course of events. Destiny is one view for how our lives are decided, another view is free will. The majority of Christians I have met believe that God gives everyone free will, and believe God has a divine plan. Can free will and destiny work together? I don’t believe they can logically work with each other. The Christian religion believes in destiny, not free will.

First, Why cant someone have free will, and a destiny? If it was your destiny to go to college, you would not have the free will to make your own decision. If you were able to make the choice to not attend college, then it was not your destiny to go to college. Do we have free will or destiny? That is a question that cant be answered. There is no way to know if the actions we take are from our choices, or if we were to make those decisions.

Second, According to the bible, we follow our destiny. There are verses in the bible which God admits to hardening the heart of people so they can’t make their own decision, and even punishes them for making those decisions. In the Bible, God declares, “When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go” (Exodus 4:21, NLT). Also, “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts— so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them”(John 12:40, NLT). Clearly these people did not have the choice to make their own decisions. Also, the Bible never claims that Christians have free will. Christianity believes in destiny, not free will.

Third, God’s knowledge of the future and perfection prevents people from having free will. Lets pretend there are two doors, one to the left and another to the right. If God knows you will take the door to the left, then you have to take the left door. If you chose the right door, then God would have been wrong. Christians needs to accept they don’t have free will, the imperfection of God, or God’s limited power. However, the Bible does speak of God’s power and perfection. So a Christian really needs to let go of free will, or discredit the Bible. If a Christian discredits the Bible, then they have no basis for their faith. In conclusion, Christians needs to accept their destiny, and stop saying they have free will.

In contrast, a counter example could be, “ God had hardened the hearts of those people as a sacrifice for the greater good. God took the free will from those people, so it could cause events that will lead to more followers.” First, this argument requires a person to decide the criteria for a reasonable reason to take free will. How many people need to convert as a result to make the lost of free will reasonable? Is one person becoming a Christian worth taking another persons free will? Additionally, there are other quotes within the Bible, which shows the Bible’s support for destiny. In addition to the other verses, the Bible says, “Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[a] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan” (Ephesians 1:11) and, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10). Clearly, God has a plan, or destiny, already created for each person. Another counter example may be close to, “ God would not punish us for our choices, if our choices were already predetermined, and are not real choices.” To respond to this, we would simply look back at my previous quote. God was willing to harden the heart of the pharaoh, then punish all of Egypt. If God is willing to do it to them, why would he be unwilling to do the same for any other person?

In conclusion, the Christian religion does not believe in free will. Why does this matter? Many of the Christians I have met believe that people who do not believe in their beliefs, will go to hell when they die. If we can accept that Christianity is based on destiny, then we have to ask ourselves, “ Would an all-loving God really send people to hell, even if they did not have the free will to make their own decisions?” This is a question Christians need to ask themselves, if they believe people will go to hell for not following their beliefs. I believe it is important for a person to question their beliefs. If their beliefs cant stand up to questioning, then they should consider if the belief is really worth following. People should question their beliefs, and this is one way for many Christians to begin questioning.

This was just something I've been thinking about lately. Of course, this would not work with all Christians. There are too many types of Christians to cover all of their beliefs.
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09-02-2011, 11:46 PM
RE: Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
If the bible is true then god is the most diabolical being ever. He decides what people think and do, and then rewards or punishes everyone based on the things that HE MADE THEM DO and believe. This would mean that we are nothing but puppets to be played with for god's blood-thirsty amusement.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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10-02-2011, 12:51 AM
RE: Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
The best treatment and explanation of free will vs destiny that I have come across is from a christian philosopher from the early 6th century called Boethius. He said that because the christian god was eternal, his relationship to time is different than ours. He is outside and above time, and does not exist in time. In this way, he is able to perceive our past, present and future simultaneously, and while we make our own decisions, he already knows what they are/will be because he sees every step of the process simultaneously. This was based on an argument about eternal or infinity that dates back to the ancient Greeks. Eternal things, they said, cannot be broken up at all. Time is theoretically broken down into hours, minutes, seconds, etc, and because the "eternal" christian god cannot be broken down, Boethius claimed he was outside time.

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10-02-2011, 01:49 AM
 
RE: Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
Interesting. However, I realized a verse that questions God's ability to see into the future.

Genesis 6:6 "So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. "
Ephesians 1:11"Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[c] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan."
Ephesians 2:10"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

The first quote doesn't make sense, if God knows the future. If God knew the past, present, and future at the same time, then why would He regret creating humans? The other quotes show that He does know the future, since he chose them in advance. Either Genesis, Ephesians, or both must be wrong. If these stories can be wrong, then the entire bible could be wrong. If the bible is wrong, then there is no basis for Christianity. However, finding contradictions in the Bible isn't new. I suppose this simply adds to the list?
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10-02-2011, 06:45 AM
RE: Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
I honestly don't use biblical contradiction in my reasoning as to christianity isn't worth believing. It has been edited, translated, retranslated, interpreted reinterpreted and editorialized so many times who knows what it originally said. And I have read that the first of the gospels was written 40 years after the historical death of jesus so who knows how many errors there were to begin with. I think adecent philosophical look at reality and religion is enough to convince the rational mind that christianity contains more holes than a colander.

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10-02-2011, 09:33 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2011 02:01 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
The point of biblical fallacies though is to be able to go back to someone who quotes from a translation of the bible with the same translation stating you have proof in the bible that brings to question the truth of their quote. In essence it's simply to state that, scripture is not so easily perfect, because they have to admit some sort of error occured. You'll never convince someone to denounce their religion due to a fallacy, but you can keep them quiet for a while, and occasionally convince them to think more about what they're reading. In the end, any time you have a theological discussion with someone who does not agree with your beliefs, the general desire is to get them thinking.

Also I like your opinion on free will being against the Christian Bible. I would normally think that is proven without even the bible by the fact that one of the main views held by most Christians is that when they die and transcend to their heavenly paradise, they will spend their time worshipping their god. No matter how nice heaven sounds I can't believe anyone can really fall in line for an eternity of enslavement to a being that created them simply to end up doing this.

If you do succeed in convincing someone that Christianity is based on destiny, tell them to stop preaching to everyone because obviously we're all doing what we'll do no matter what.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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10-02-2011, 05:45 PM
 
RE: Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
I don't just use the bible contradictions when I argue, they are just extras. Like what Lilith was saying, it wont make someone denounce their religion, but it will get them to think. Also, if you can get them to claim the bible has errors, then it should stop them from using circular logic with the bible to prove their points. I didnt realize the Christian view of heaven was to spend their time worshipping their God. That seems odd. Getting Christians to stop preaching, especially to children, would be great, but probable not very likely to happen.
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10-02-2011, 06:25 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2011 06:28 PM by cfhmagnet.)
RE: Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
The thing is that the most dangerous christian, the evangelicals, are brainwashed and pig-headed enough that they either explain your contradictions away, or just plug up their ears and yell "nuh uh nuh uh nuh uh....." Biblical contradictions are interesting debate topics, but not much in the way of provoking thoughts in the thoughtless.

That said however, when the bible is cited for hateful purposes, it is a decent idea to throw the christian holy book back in their faces.

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11-02-2011, 02:13 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2011 05:12 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Christianity: Free Will or Destiny?
(10-02-2011 05:45 PM)Tonydatiger Wrote:  I didnt realize the Christian view of heaven was to spend their time worshipping their God. That seems odd.

If someone with more experience than me in this field cares to differ feel free. From what I know of Christian heaven, it is a place where you will be reunited with loved ones of the past. Where sickness and strife do not exist. And where you will be free to spend an eternity praising the lord.

Which to me says, there will be a lot of other Christians there and you get to talk to them. You're not going to get sick or hungry. And, since in all points of the bible prayer is something you choose to do because it is right, even though it's also a demanded requirement of your faith, it stands to reason that being free to worship the lord for all eternity means you will be worshipping the lord for all eternity.

Remember just like any salesman trying to convince you their item is going to change your life. Christians want the golden apple of Christianity, (maybe that's a bad analogy since Christians relate apples to sin) to sound unbelieveably wonderful. This may be my own personal view on the idea, but it is also the tried and true Christian dogma towards earthly Christianity, which is the only form I can objectively discuss.

Also Magnet, I agree and the serious issue there is that the dangerous Christians are rarely ever swayed. Due to the fact that Christianity holds many empirical advantages for them. The most that discussion can do (outside of the criminalization of faith which in itself is a bad idea) is to convince those on the fringe, and continue working in from the outside. The dangerous religious zealots are going to be the same no matter what. But their impact on the world will change greatly if they lose their sane and rational followers.

I asked a Christian friend of mine if my description of Christian heaven was accurate and they won't stop talking about religion!!!! They did agree with the first paragraph though so in the least it seems i'm not alone in my description of Christian heaven.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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