Free Will Argument
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27-02-2014, 06:35 AM
RE: Free Will Argument
(27-02-2014 06:29 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(26-02-2014 06:10 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Absolutely........ Wrong.

For your statement to have any merit, you still have to be arguing from a position that god exists.
Er, yes, that's the position atheists are arguing from regarding omniscience v. free will. For them it's a hypothetical. Some people are capable of discussing concepts which they don't believe to be true.

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27-02-2014, 06:53 AM
RE: Free Will Argument
(26-02-2014 06:54 PM)Zephiel16 Wrote:  That's another way of using it, but the reason we brought up free will was because the professor was addressing the counter argument to the "problem of evil", which states that God allows evil because he doesn't want to affect free will. So the question became: "Do we really have free will?" And he was using the argument to prove that we can't have free will if God exist, therefore God couldn't be allowing evil to preserve free will, being that we don't even have it.
But as I suggested, if we don't have free will, then there is no PoE in the first place. No one cares that Steven King allows evil in his books. Without free will, existence is nothing more than a very detailed book.
Quote:On your other point, omniscience means all knowing, which in itself implies the future as well, since knowledge of the future is a form of knowing, thus if you know all, you must therefore know the future. But even if I'm wrong about omniscience implying knowledge of the future, I'm not the one making the claim about God knowing the future, theists are, and if they're right then free will doesn't exist.
Actually it's your professor making the claim. Some theists would agree with it, some wouldn't. You seem to be missing the point though. If omniscience means that you know everything all at once, then there is no such thing as future and past to an omniscient being. Future and past are only meaningful from our point of view.
Quote:Could you explain exactly what you mean by "processes." I would love to try and approach it from that angle to see the outcome.
Why would we think we have free will in the absence of an omniscient god? Because we have processes which lead to actions - we (ideally) consider alternative courses, weigh their merits, and make choices. There are several interesting thought experiments regarding free will.

Suppose I consider the merits of X and ~X and decide to do X. There is no omniscient god. According to your professor I have free will in this matter.

Now suppose that in the future we discover a means of looking back through time. A future person views me performing X. He then views me earlier, contemplating X. He knows that I will choose X. Have I lost free will in the matter?

Suppose further that backward time travel is invented. The future person travels back in time to a point just after X. Do I Have free will? Then he travels back in time to a point before I contemplate X. He has nothing to do with me, but he knows I'll do X from his previous viewing of me. Have I lost free will? Some will say that yes, I have. Others will think that no, the process I used was the same regardless. The existence of someone with knowledge of the outcome doesn't change the process which we previously thought to indicate free will.

The evil neurosurgeon scenario is another interesting look at PAP (principle of alternative possibilities) but I don't have time to type it up right now. I believe you'll find it (and a bunch of other arguments you can impress or anger your professor with) here:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/free-w...knowledge/
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27-02-2014, 06:54 AM
RE: Free Will Argument
(26-02-2014 09:31 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Bucky speaks knowledge. But even for arguments sake we grant that free will exists, putting an all knowing god into the equation renders it illogical.
You do it here yourself, dumbass.
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27-02-2014, 07:45 AM
RE: Free Will Argument
(27-02-2014 06:53 AM)alpha male Wrote:  Without free will, existence is nothing more than a very detailed book.

Reality is what it is. Get over it. If you don't like it, that doesn't give you the right to make up shit to make it appear all warm and fuzzy.

(27-02-2014 06:53 AM)alpha male Wrote:  If omniscience means that you know everything all at once, then there is no such thing as future and past to an omniscient being. Future and past are only meaningful from our point of view.

No idiot, it doesn't. No human claims omniscience. It's claimed about a DEITY. Knowing something is going to happen, doesn't mean it's already happening.

You clearly didn't (and can't) address the content of the videos, Zedmale.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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27-02-2014, 08:27 AM
RE: Free Will Argument
(27-02-2014 07:45 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Reality is what it is. Get over it. If you don't like it, that doesn't give you the right to make up shit to make it appear all warm and fuzzy.

No idiot, it doesn't. No human claims omniscience. It's claimed about a DEITY. Knowing something is going to happen, doesn't mean it's already happening.
You note yourself that it's claimed about a deity. How do you know that an omniscient deity experiences time as we do?
Quote:You clearly didn't (and can't) address the content of the videos, Zedmale.
I don't watch videos. If they have great arguments, type them up.
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27-02-2014, 09:06 AM
RE: Free Will Argument
(27-02-2014 06:54 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(26-02-2014 09:31 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Bucky speaks knowledge. But even for arguments sake we grant that free will exists, putting an all knowing god into the equation renders it illogical.
You do it here yourself, dumbass.

Fuck your mother, douchehammer. That's exactly what I was saying, the argument is absurd if an omniscient god is proposed as real. Nothing to do with whether he can judge me or not.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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27-02-2014, 05:06 PM
RE: Free Will Argument
(26-02-2014 08:32 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(26-02-2014 07:58 PM)Impulse Wrote:  My reply would be yes the choices did exist even though God knew. Think of it this way: A week ago, you didn't know what would happen today. But, a week ago, if you could have fast-forwarded time somehow and observed today and then returned to a week ago, then you would know what would happen today a week beforehand. Yet, all the choices that people made between a week ago and today still would have happened and still would have been free will choices. You would just have foreknowledge of them. In my theist days, this is what I would have argued and it's why I don't agree that the concept of God knowing the future automatically rules out free will.

I've been going over this for a minute and still can't wrap my head around the logic.

If you were to know what was going to happen in a week, would you be able to make decisions or take actions that would change the outcome? If not, then you wouldn't have free will.
I see your point, but I don't agree. I think the difficulty in explaining or comprehending it is we're talking about a very strange and probably impossible concept of seeing into the future. But if God could see what was going to happen in a week, then God would simply know what choices you will make between now and then. If your choices were between choosing a red vs. blue car and choosing water vs. soda, there are 4 possible outcomes: red/water, blue/water, red/soda, blue/soda. Each choice would be a free will choice. God would see into the future and would know the choices you would make. Does that mean you couldn't choose differently? No. But it does mean you wouldn't. Tongue

Maybe it's a little like a student taking a test. The teacher doesn't know beforehand how the student will perform. But, once the test is in hand, then the teacher knows the outcome of how the student freely answered the questions. Well, what if the teacher was able to see that completed test paper beforehand by some vision of the future? Would that preclude the students' free will anymore than if the teacher hadn't seen it? I don't see how it would make any difference in that regard. It's simply knowledge, not any kind of influence over the actions.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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27-02-2014, 05:15 PM
RE: Free Will Argument
(26-02-2014 08:58 PM)Zephiel16 Wrote:  
(26-02-2014 07:58 PM)Impulse Wrote:  My reply would be yes the choices did exist even though God knew. Think of it this way: A week ago, you didn't know what would happen today. But, a week ago, if you could have fast-forwarded time somehow and observed today and then returned to a week ago, then you would know what would happen today a week beforehand. Yet, all the choices that people made between a week ago and today still would have happened and still would have been free will choices. You would just have foreknowledge of them. In my theist days, this is what I would have argued and it's why I don't agree that the concept of God knowing the future automatically rules out free will.

That's why I brought the situation to this forum. I feel like there's a hole in this argument and I just want to find it. So I will pick at your point a bit.

It's hard to word, but this would be my reply (I'm using the definition of free will that implies freedom of choice):
"Think of this scenario: I see an ice cream truck. Now God knows that I will buy that ice cream, he knew this even before he created the universe(This is a key point to consider when thinking about this), and this man is never wrong. Now keep in mind that God didn't go to the future in order to confirm that I would actually buy the ice cream (Correct me if I'm wrong. but to my knowledge, the bible never said anything about God time travelling), he just knows this, before even creating anything, and he can't be wrong. Is it then possible that I could chose to not buy that ice cream? Thus making this perfect being, who can't be wrong, wrong Consider, and if he can be wrong, how can he be all knowing? And if I can't chose to not buy the ice cream, how can I have free will?"
Please see my reply to evenheathen. I think it will help clarify. But to address a couple of other things, whether God simply knows the future or travels forward in time to see it doesn't make any difference to the point. He would know what will happen in the future either way which is the bottom line. And I agree with you that he supposedly just knows it without the time traveling. Also, as I said to evenheathen, yes you could still choose not to buy the ice cream, but you won't and that's what God would know beforehand. It wouldn't be because God made you buy it or influenced your decision in any way. He would just know what your decision would be.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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27-02-2014, 05:27 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2014 05:38 PM by Zephiel16.)
RE: Free Will Argument
(27-02-2014 06:53 AM)alpha male Wrote:  You seem to be missing the point though. If omniscience means that you know everything all at once, then there is no such thing as future and past to an omniscient being. Future and past are only meaningful from our point of view.

I'd have to disagree. There is such a thing as future and past to an omniscient being. It exists within time and space, and it is aware of the passing of time, now it may not give meaning to the passing of time as it is eternal, but it is aware of the existence of time.

Quote:Why would we think we have free will in the absence of an omniscient god? Because we have processes which lead to actions - we (ideally) consider alternative courses, weigh their merits, and make choices. There are several interesting thought experiments regarding free will.

Suppose I consider the merits of X and ~X and decide to do X. There is no omniscient god. According to your professor I have free will in this matter.

Now suppose that in the future we discover a means of looking back through time. A future person views me performing X. He then views me earlier, contemplating X. He knows that I will choose X. Have I lost free will in the matter?

Suppose further that backward time travel is invented. The future person travels back in time to a point just after X. Do I Have free will? Then he travels back in time to a point before I contemplate X. He has nothing to do with me, but he knows I'll do X from his previous viewing of me. Have I lost free will? Some will say that yes, I have. Others will think that no, the process I used was the same regardless. The existence of someone with knowledge of the outcome doesn't change the process which we previously thought to indicate free will.

Impulse gave a similar argument, and I responded with this:
The time traveler has already seen you make your choice, he has confirmed that X would happen, so yes you still have free will. However, that is not the same as an omniscient being believing infallibly that X will occur. It's different because this being did not have travel to the future to confirm this belief for it is infallible. This is a being is in the past, before your existence or the existence of anything for that matter, believing infallibly that X will occur. So now I present the same questions that I gave to Impulse. Can you choose ~X, despite this infallible being's prediction? Thus making this being wrong. And if you cannot choose ~X, how then do you have free will? So either this being is fallible, thus not omniscient, or we have no free will.

(27-02-2014 05:15 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Please see my reply to evenheathen. I think it will help clarify. But to address a couple of other things, whether God simply knows the future or travels forward in time to see it doesn't make any difference to the point. He would know what will happen in the future either way which is the bottom line. And I agree with you that he supposedly just knows it without the time traveling. Also, as I said to evenheathen, yes you could still choose not to buy the ice cream, but you won't and that's what God would know beforehand. It wouldn't be because God made you buy it or influenced your decision in any way. He would just know what your decision would be.

Consider That's an interesting point. I may have been right about there being a flaw in this argument after all.

Does anyone have a counter to Impulse's response? Because I can't find any.
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27-02-2014, 06:28 PM
RE: Free Will Argument
(27-02-2014 05:06 PM)Impulse Wrote:  I think the difficulty in explaining or comprehending it is we're talking about a very strange and probably impossible concept of seeing into the future.
That's why the logic of it is hard to grasp. In my mind the argument fails right there because it is an impossible concept of seeing into the future. There are just too many questions about it that go unanswered for your argument to be effective to me.

But then again: gawd... Rolleyes

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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