Free will and god?
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21-11-2013, 08:24 AM
RE: Free will and god?
(21-11-2013 08:11 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Free will can be viewed in this manner:

*Not even God's miracles really remove our free will. The sea parts and the Israelites choose to flee down it, the Egyptians to follow. The Flood comes and individuals decide their attitude - as Maslow reminds us, the choice of how we die is the last human choice.

*I see it as God allows us to exercise free will in the same way that when I give car keys to my children though I invite them to go grocery shopping I choose to give them enough power to drive to the bad side of town and buy crack.

*When we stand before God (or cower) for judgment, we can claim determinism or try but we all reading this recognizing we have tremendous power of choice, dozens of times daily or more.

Question: Is your god omniscient (all-knowing)?

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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21-11-2013, 08:30 AM (This post was last modified: 21-11-2013 08:34 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: Free will and god?
PJ: You're failing to step back and see the big picture.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” - Jeremiah 1:5

Your definition of free will seems to be: "The exercise of such actions as correspond to a being's own will.". If this book is correct then God knows and decides the beings that will be born onto this earth. He knows their future before they live it. No matter how much your actions might be in alignment to your own will, your will is the product of a plan set in motion before you existed. If your will is captive, the actions that correspond to your will are also captive.

To address the OP, I think this is the point: If my will is my own then I can have free will by the expression of my own actions. If my will is captive to a god, or to a universe that determines my will by natural processes... then my actions subservient to my will are in turn subservient to the universe I reside in.

That said, for practical purposes:



Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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21-11-2013, 08:55 PM
RE: Free will and god?
(20-11-2013 07:06 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  The question: Is free will logically impossible in a world where an omniscient god created the universe?

It depends on how you define free will. If you mean by free will contra-causal free will i.e. the ability to evade causal continuity, then no, that conception of free will is incompatible with an omniscient god. Contra-causal free will makes you into a "godling", an uncaused cause and God would be unable to know your behaviour in advance because it would be completely dissociated from all antecedent influences. If this God has the ability to read your mind then it would know what you intend to do only at the point at which you have formed an intention.

There is no universal agreement amongst philosophers about what free will means. In all (academic) books and papers on the topic it is always defined in advance of any discussion. If you are arguing with someone about free will then you need to ensure you are both talking about the same thing.
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21-11-2013, 09:06 PM
RE: Free will and god?
If God is Omniscient&Omnipotent he has powers to stop us in doing bad.. and yet people do bad proof that an omniscient&omnipotent God doesn't exist or perhaps can't exist.
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21-11-2013, 09:51 PM (This post was last modified: 21-11-2013 11:14 PM by Chippy.)
RE: Free will and god?
(20-11-2013 08:09 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWBtT-Gl4vQ
Ain't no "free will".

That presentation provided examples that contradict the notion of conscious free will. There is no good reason to equate conscious free will with a more general notion of free will. Results such as those from Libet and human mate selection studies demonstrate that we don't have conscious awareness of the machinations of our brains. The "subsconscious mind" that Eagleman refers to is you, it isn't a homunculus operating levers in your brain or a demonic spirit that has taken possession of your brain. It is you. In the absence of brain damage or severe mental illness all of your neurological functions--conscious and unconscious--are constitutive of your personhood, it is how humans "normally" function. Demonstrating that behaviours X, Y and Z are motivated by considerations that fall outside of conscious awareness doesn't represent a loss of freedom unless you regard parts of your own brain as external influences. Yes physical attraction--for example--appears to be based on a set modules/algorithms that seek fitness for procreation and we are completely oblivious to their "execution" and we provide ex post facto rationalisations for our pairings. But your "mating modules" are you, they aren't an external influence. What could they be an external influence upon? Looked at the level of the whole organism--in the absence of mental illness or brain damage--we have humans pursuing their evolved interests. Whether humans are "free" depends on how you define the term but I can't see a good reason to conclude that humans are less free merely because they lack conscious awareness of all of their brain's functions.

Consider the alternative. Consider that you were fully aware of all of your brain's calculations and weighings of variables that you hitherto were completely oblivious. So when you looked at a woman you were consciously aware of the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) calculation module operating. That would not alter that you would find women with a WHR ~0.7 attractive compared to those with a more masculine WHR. Maybe your response will be that it is the attraction to the ~0.7 WHR that deprives you of your freedom. In what sense is that a deprivation of your freedom? The "you" that wants the ~0.7 WHR has an interest that is--from an evolutionary perspective--more important and authentic than any arbitrary preference you could consciously invent. Is the freedom to have sex with a woman you find physically unattractive when you had the option of having sex with a physically attractive woman an expression of a valuable freedom? From an evolutionary standpoint that answer is a firm no.
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21-11-2013, 10:01 PM
RE: Free will and god?
(20-11-2013 11:15 AM)Stevil Wrote:  If you can work out how to move an electron or cause a chemical reaction by willing it, contrary to the influencing forces of gravity, electromagnetic, strong or weak nuclear forces, then maybe we have free will.

But then you need to explain why you can only "will" the electrons and chemical reactions within your own brain? Why not excerpt mind control on others?

If you think someone else's brain is too complex to control, maybe you can will a flow of electrons through a light bulb which is turned off, get it to glow.

Maybe you can will a bolt of lightening from the sky to hit your enemy?

Oh, am I being ridiculous?
Free will is ridiculous!

Thanks for that. It's all clear now.
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21-11-2013, 10:07 PM
RE: Free will and god?
(20-11-2013 08:16 AM)Monster_Riffs Wrote:  but if we don't have free will why do we spend so much energy and time trying to influence or change things?

Some determinists would answer simply that we are determined to "spend so much energy and time trying to influence or change things" and we are determined because we suffer an illusion of conscious control.

Before you can state that we do or don't have free will it is necessary to define free will.
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21-11-2013, 10:09 PM
RE: Free will and god?
(21-11-2013 09:06 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  If God is Omniscient&Omnipotent he has powers to stop us in doing bad.. and yet people do bad proof that an omniscient&omnipotent God doesn't exist or perhaps can't exist.

No it doesn't. The omniscient and omnipotent God could be malevolent.
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22-11-2013, 02:36 AM
RE: Free will and god?
(21-11-2013 10:01 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(20-11-2013 11:15 AM)Stevil Wrote:  If you can work out how to move an electron or cause a chemical reaction by willing it, contrary to the influencing forces of gravity, electromagnetic, strong or weak nuclear forces, then maybe we have free will.

Thanks for that. It's all clear now.
It is about Cause and Effect.

Unless you have a belief in supernatural powers then you must recognise that all events are governed by the forces of nature.

Our mind is merely a conscious observer,
every thought, every choice determined by the forces of gravity, electromagnetic, strong or weak nuclear forces (maybe some random influence by quantum activity) but certainly nothing supernatural, no conscious magic spell or mind control supernaturally moving electrons around.
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22-11-2013, 03:18 AM
RE: Free will and god?
(22-11-2013 02:36 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Unless you have a belief in supernatural powers then you must recognise that all events are governed by the forces of nature.

That is trivially true.

Quote:Our mind is merely a conscious observer,
every thought, every choice determined by the forces of gravity, electromagnetic, strong or weak nuclear forces (maybe some random influence by quantum activity) but certainly nothing supernatural, no conscious magic spell or mind control supernaturally moving electrons around.

You are presenting a false dichotomy between particle physics and supernaturalism. You are also exhibiting what Dennett has termed greedy reductionism. Organisms have properties that sub-atomic particles lack. You will not arrive at a description of evolution by natural selection by studying physics. The information that organisms carry exists only at the molecular biological level not at the level of particle physics or physical chemistry. Systems emerge from the particular assembly and configuration of their constitutive parts but they can't be reduced to those parts.

Your mind can't be "merely a conscious observer" on your account because it has a physical substrate in the brain and the brain is composed of matter so if you are going to practice greedy reductionism then it too is just more sub-atomic particles and it does whatever you are claiming sub-atomic particles do and nothing more. You can't make arbitrary exceptions for your greedy reductionism. Mind is an emergent property of neuronal network assembly it doesn't exist at the level of atoms or even molecules. If there were any merit in your position then we would need nothing more than particle physics to explain everything even price inflation.
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