Ultimate Accountability and The Loss of Free Will
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14-08-2011, 04:54 AM
 
Ultimate Accountability and The Loss of Free Will
I have recently started thinking about a subject that I have not seen discussed on YouTube or in literature (although I am positive it is out there somewhere). Here is my argument:

It is my position that ultimate accountability to God negates free will. In order for free will to be truly "free", our decision to hold a belief and to accept or reject God cannot have an eternal reward or punishment, as a truly sincere belief is not born out of coercion. God's system of ultimate accountability is fundamentally flawed, for it destroys free will and makes genuine belief impossible.

I have foreseen several counter arguments to my claim, which I have addressed in a lengthy essay. In fact, the more I began to think about this subject the more holes I had to plug. Admittedly, I am new to philosophy and never had the chance to take it in college. Could anyone point me to a resource on this subject or would anyone like to read my essay and provide feedback? (I am not sure if I should post the entire essay here).

Thank you.
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14-08-2011, 09:49 AM
RE: Ultimate Accountability and The Loss of Free Will
(14-08-2011 04:54 AM)DiscoveringReligion Wrote:  ...sure if I should post the entire essay here...
Post a link

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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14-08-2011, 02:07 PM
RE: Ultimate Accountability and The Loss of Free Will
You could save yourself a lot of effort by asking what kind of/which god you're supposed to answer to, evaluating the chosen god's reputation, and deciding whether he has the credibility and/or moral right to take you to task.
Of course, then you'd still have to slog through all the how-free-is-will-given-evolutionary-and-environmental-constraints folderol.
I suppose it's a worthwhile project to carry out once in a lifetime.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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14-08-2011, 06:03 PM
RE: Ultimate Accountability and The Loss of Free Will
(14-08-2011 04:54 AM)DiscoveringReligion Wrote:  It is my position that ultimate accountability to God negates free will. In order for free will to be truly "free", our decision to hold a belief and to accept or reject God cannot have an eternal reward or punishment, as a truly sincere belief is not born out of coercion. God's system of ultimate accountability is fundamentally flawed, for it destroys free will and makes genuine belief impossible.
Part of the reason you don't see this argument brought up very often is that Christian theology is not very reliant on the free-will argument in its more serious philosophical strains. Indeed, St. Paul, St. Augustine and Calvin could all be considered Christian determinists of one sort or another.

The lay arguments of modern fundamentalists aside, Christianity historically has never really cared that much about whether human beings actually had free will or not.

If you are arguing that we have free will and therefore Christianity is wrong, you may want to examine your initial assumption a bit closer. I do not think it is a given that human beings have free will. In fact, much of the modern science on the subject certainly gives one pause when arguing that in fact there is such a thing as free will. (See especially Freedom Evolves by Daniel Dennett)

for a general descrip0tion of various types of philosophical free-will and determinism try this link: http://tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/religi...terminism/
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14-08-2011, 06:42 PM
 
RE: Ultimate Accountability and The Loss of Free Will
(14-08-2011 06:03 PM)BadKnees Wrote:  for a general descrip0tion of various types of philosophical free-will and determinism try this link: http://tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/religi...terminism/

Thank you very much for the link! I will read over it now.

I just want to make sure my reasoning is not in error and that I am correctly approaching this topic. The focus of my essay is on the doctrine of ultimate accountability and how it FORCES individuals to believe in God, rather than believing in God of our own accord (free will).

My essay: http://discoveringreligion.net/?p=464

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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