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Argument From Free Will

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Argument From Free Will
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thenexttodiePosts: 894Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

[quote="Laurens"]

If I was a Christian and I prayed that my boss change their mind about something, and God intervenes to do so, he would have affected someone's free will.[quote]

I don't see how. I mean, it certainly is possible to change someones mind without affecting someones free will. Wouldn't you agree?



[
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:44 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 894Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

quote="Laurens"]Did God intend the Jesus die on the cross?[/quote] God didn't intend for man to rebel against him. If this had not happened, Jesus would not have been crucified. So no, I don't think so. At least not a first.

Laurens wrote:If so did Judas have a choice when it came to betraying him? Did Pilate have a choice


Yes. They both had a choice. But doubt it would have made much of a difference. It's not that hard to find someone who will betray you or even execute you. Especially if your a Christian. I'm sure could accomplish both in less than 72 hours.
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:46 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 894Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

I didn't see this post at first but I think I have already answered some of it.

Laurens wrote:
Does your theology not entail that Jesus was sent down in order to die on the cross for our sins?

You seem to be saying that God cannot in any way intervene with our free will. If that is the case do you accept that Pilate had a choice or not? Did God really leave all that up to chance and hope that all the players involved would freely choose the outcome that suited his plan? What would have happened if Pilate had freed Jesus, or the crowd had chosen to execute Barabbas and free Jesus?

You have to understand the number of choices entailed in coming out the right way. It entails that Judas would decide of his own accord to betray Jesus. What if he hadn't? What if the Jewish authorities had decided Jesus had not committed any crime? What if the aforementioned crowd chose to release Jesus rather than Barabbas? What if Pilate had decided to intervene and use his authority to call off his execution?
You forgot that Herod could have also executed Jesus, before Pilate. But he chose not to.

Laurens wrote:Are you really saying that God left that many elements of his universal salvation plan to human free choice?
Yes. Because we are so evil, the events surrounding Christs execution were all the more predictable.
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:21 pm
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 812Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

thenexttodie wrote:You forgot that Herod could have also executed Jesus, before Pilate. But he chose not to.

Herod didn't have the authority to execute Jesus (or anyone else), that power was reserved for the Romans. Even Bible mentions this in John 18:31.

Yes. They both had a choice. But doubt it would have made much of a difference. It's not that hard to find someone who will betray you or even execute you. Especially if your a Christian. I'm sure could accomplish both in less than 72 hours.

Firstly, Jesus wasn't a christians, his desiples weren't christians, christians came about decades after Jesus. Secondly, are you saying that your omnipotent and omniscient god needs a plan B?

I don't see how. I mean, it certainly is possible to change someones mind without affecting someones free will. Wouldn't you agree?

Yes. But if it's done with direct magical mindcontrol, like in Laurens example, it's a bit hard to see how that is not a violation of the subjects free will.

Bonus question; Can an allknowing and allpowerful god have free will?
Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:39 am
thenexttodiePosts: 894Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Visaki wrote:Herod didn't have the authority to execute Jesus (or anyone else), that power was reserved for the Romans. Even Bible mentions this in John 18:31.


It seems to me very likely he could have had Jesus executed, at least by proxy. Didn't he order John the Baptist to be killed? Didn't his father order the deaths of countless infants?


Yes. They both had a choice. But doubt it would have made much of a difference. It's not that hard to find someone who will betray you or even execute you. Especially if your a Christian. I'm sure could accomplish both in less than 72 hours.

Visaki wrote:Firstly, Jesus wasn't a christians, his desiples weren't christians, christians came about decades after Jesus.


I am a Christian. I was talking about me.

Visaki wrote:Secondly, are you saying that your omnipotent and omniscient god needs a plan B?
Bonus question; Can an allknowing and allpowerful god have free will?


The bible seems to make it clear that God in not omniscient in the most common use of the word.
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:34 pm
ExogenPosts: 56Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Dave B. wrote:Omniscience and free will seem, to me, to be mutually exclusive. Which of these two arguments seems more valid and why?

1. If free will exists then omniscience is not possible.
2. Free will exists.
3. An omniscient god is not possible.

Or...

1. If free will exists then omniscience is not possible.
2. God is omniscient.
3. Free will does not exist.


Omniscience would not be contradictory to free will. Let's look at determinism first, and then indeterminism.


If God (or whoever is the omniscient being) is not part of the system which is deterministic. If this being is part of a deterministic system, then knowing what one will do creates the potential to change it, given the distinction between what "will" and what "could" happen in consciousness. For this reason, many call this an 'epistemic' horizon that for example, Laplace's super intelligence could not get beyond and know the future of the universe on determinism, even if said intelligence was part of the very same system. If on the other hand, the omniscient being is 'not' part of the deterministic system, then obviously there is no problem with knowing what will happen.

The question then becomes, if the omniscient being which is outside an 'indeterministic' system, can he know the future outcome? If God is in time, then his knowledge would not be 'causal' knowledge, as no such rationally derived causal knowledge could exist if indeterminism is true, other than a probabilistic conclusion. God's foreknowledge then would be a kind of perfect guess, where God is never wrong, for some inexplicable reason. Nonetheless, such 'knowledge' would not be incompatible with indeterminism and therefore not with free will.

What if God is outside of time though? In that case, though the indeterministic universe would unfold in its evolution in succession, God would be outside of time to see at each point, the connection between events is not precisely fixed by causal laws. He could see that things 'could' have been otherwise, but weren't, relative to a past-directed point in time 'inside' the universe, to which he is not located.

So it appears that God's omniscience is not incompatible with with free will, because no incompatible with indeterminism, although depending on the theology as one which posits God as being inside time or outside, the omniscience would be either a kind of universal coincidence that God always guesses right, or a rationally based knowledge if God is outside of time and observe all events in the indeterministic spatiotemporal world from his atemporal perspective.

A hybrid view may also exist where God is posited as both an atemporal and temporal being, in that he inhabits both temporal realms (temporal and a temporal), in which case he would have his cake and be eating it too, 'at the same time.' Little joke there.
Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:26 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2458Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Exogen wrote:A hybrid view may also exist where God is posited as both an atemporal and temporal being, in that he inhabits both temporal realms (temporal and a temporal), in which case he would have his cake and be eating it too, 'at the same time.' Little joke there.



Yup, this one is fine, and always remains so. Basically, it's the 'mysterious ways' clause.

If God supersedes all categories, then God evades all obligations to make sense... but similarly, also evades all capacity for humans to posit or know meaningfully.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:46 am
ExogenPosts: 56Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:
Yup, this one is fine, and always remains so. Basically, it's the 'mysterious ways' clause.

If God supersedes all categories, then God evades all obligations to make sense... but similarly, also evades all capacity for humans to posit or know meaningfully.


While I'm not a theist, I'm not sure the theist is in logical trouble here. I was a theist once upon a time, and it was actually this SAME issue which I couldn't reconcile that made me reject theism in favor of Socratic ignorance.

The funny thing is, while my views and understanding has evolved from those many years ago when that occurred, I have since come to question if there is in fact an issue with God being both temporal and atemporal. Allow me to explain.

Let's suppose we take two concepts of God, one is atemporal. So on this theology, God would be a sort of supra-consciousness which would be the consciousness of all possibilities all in one, wrapped up in a non-redundant unity, something truly so advanced in scope that it isn't even to fathom how such a consciousness could be 'personal.' However, on the second conception, God is a temporal being, and again a supra-consciousness by our standards, but much more limited in scope. This consciousness may be at the 'roof' as it were, of the temporal ceiling as far as complexity of consciousness goes, with respect to temporal worlds.

It is not my goal here to defend either of these God concepts individually as stand-alone theologies, but only to point out that IF such concepts existed, merely based on the fact that one is temporal and the other isn't, doesn't actually mean that such a state of affairs is logically incoherent.

If you exist at time T1, and later at time T1000, there is no contradiction in saying that, on either A or B theory of time. On any theory of time, there is no contradiction because you would be existing at 'different' times. And it doesn't matter if your core identity is identity at those times or has changed, although your identity not being the same raises questions on continuity of identity through time, and gets into stuff about evolution and logical overlap. However, let's assume that there is some 'essence' of some core identity, which makes God who is is, that is common to both.

The atemporal God would be 'outside' of time, the meaning is 'not' part of the temporal universe, and therefore not subject to an evolution of states. One and the same essence exists in the temporal universe, or at least in the temporal domain, perhaps one which presides directly over the affairs of the temporal universe, and he exists 'in' time at various times as a consequence. But 'outside' of time, and 'inside' of the time do not contradict one another. Thus God can be both outside and inside of time, and this is not a contradiction.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:18 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2458Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
Yup, this one is fine, and always remains so. Basically, it's the 'mysterious ways' clause.

If God supersedes all categories, then God evades all obligations to make sense... but similarly, also evades all capacity for humans to posit or know meaningfully.


While I'm not a theist, I'm not sure the theist is in logical trouble here. I was a theist once upon a time, and it was actually this SAME issue which I couldn't reconcile that made me reject theism in favor of Socratic ignorance.

The funny thing is, while my views and understanding has evolved from those many years ago when that occurred, I have since come to question if there is in fact an issue with God being both temporal and atemporal. Allow me to explain.

Let's suppose we take two concepts of God, one is atemporal. So on this theology, God would be a sort of supra-consciousness which would be the consciousness of all possibilities all in one, wrapped up in a non-redundant unity, something truly so advanced in scope that it isn't even to fathom how such a consciousness could be 'personal.' However, on the second conception, God is a temporal being, and again a supra-consciousness by our standards, but much more limited in scope. This consciousness may be at the 'roof' as it were, of the temporal ceiling as far as complexity of consciousness goes, with respect to temporal worlds.

It is not my goal here to defend either of these God concepts individually as stand-alone theologies, but only to point out that IF such concepts existed, merely based on the fact that one is temporal and the other isn't, doesn't actually mean that such a state of affairs is logically incoherent.

If you exist at time T1, and later at time T1000, there is no contradiction in saying that, on either A or B theory of time. On any theory of time, there is no contradiction because you would be existing at 'different' times. And it doesn't matter if your core identity is identity at those times or has changed, although your identity not being the same raises questions on continuity of identity through time, and gets into stuff about evolution and logical overlap. However, let's assume that there is some 'essence' of some core identity, which makes God who is is, that is common to both.

The atemporal God would be 'outside' of time, the meaning is 'not' part of the temporal universe, and therefore not subject to an evolution of states. One and the same essence exists in the temporal universe, or at least in the temporal domain, perhaps one which presides directly over the affairs of the temporal universe, and he exists 'in' time at various times as a consequence. But 'outside' of time, and 'inside' of the time do not contradict one another. Thus God can be both outside and inside of time, and this is not a contradiction.



All agreed but still within the context I meant. If we can simply define God in such a way as to circumvent all logical restrictions then of course, the definition itself can still hold up given sufficient leeway. But it then makes the notion of God being a necessary entity, whether inductively or deductively, terminally flawed - we can't derive this entity's existence from anything within the universe; it's contrary to all we know. A definition that subsumes its own contradiction is not something we should be positing as a serious idea, only as a fun notion of playing with our thoughts.

Similar examples include the fudge escape of the omnipotence paradox: God creates an unbreakable shield, then creates an irresistible sword. At the time the shield was created, it was necessarily unbreakable, but then God superseded it. Again, to me this is more about how we can play with ideas than something which should be taken as valuable in understanding what is.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:32 pm
ExogenPosts: 56Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:


All agreed but still within the context I meant. If we can simply define God in such a way as to circumvent all logical restrictions then of course, the definition itself can still hold up given sufficient leeway. But it then makes the notion of God being a necessary entity, whether inductively or deductively, terminally flawed - we can't derive this entity's existence from anything within the universe; it's contrary to all we know. A definition that subsumes its own contradiction is not something we should be positing as a serious idea, only as a fun notion of playing with our thoughts.


I'm not sure I agree with this. Perhaps some more elaboration if you don't mind. You see, you mention induction or deduction, but also "we can't derive this entity's existence from anything within the universe" which would be 'inductive' would it not be, given the fact of regularities? In any event, what I'm getting at is that theism is generally based in rationalism, so a case for theism wouldn't be 'exclusively' empirical, given that theism has largely absorbed the Platonic tradition (whether or not it really goes hand in hand). The theist would have to start from some sort of rationalist argument, and perhaps then combine that with facts about the world, like for example the contingency argument.


Sparhafoc wrote:
Similar examples include the fudge escape of the omnipotence paradox: God creates an unbreakable shield, then creates an irresistible sword. At the time the shield was created, it was necessarily unbreakable, but then God superseded it. Again, to me this is more about how we can play with ideas than something which should be taken as valuable in understanding what is.


Oh that's a new one. I'm more familiar with the paradox of the stone, which is the same argument. Can God create a stone so heavy even he cannot lift? If he cannot lift such a stone, then there is something he cannot do, violating omnipotence. If he can, then there is something he cannot do, namely create such a stone, violating omnipotence. So he isn't omnipotent either way.

The theist response is to say God can only do what is logically possible, so the creation of such a stone that even he cannot lift would be impossible.

However, the theist may say that the temporal vs. atemporal versions of God, which are one and the same being, just inside or outside of time and therefore differently expressed, allows the atemporal (unlimited) God to create a situation where he is limited by virtue of existing in time (limited) with respect to his temporal manifestation, which would resolve the paradox.

In my honest opinion, I think these issues are actually getting at deeper metaphysical problems which were highlighted by Plato and others prior to the middle period developments in Christianity, as most of that theology was more or less a rehashing of the philosophy from antiquity anyway. I once attended a panel discussion and lecture lead by the famous British cosmologist Martin Rees, and a handful or philosophers and theologians, although I forget the exact title of the discourse, though I recall it was about the limits of science and knowledge generally pertaining to the questions of our very existence. While Rees highlighted the limits of science in particular regard to our inability to pursue the question past the event horizon of light and the radiation echo from the big bang, one Hinhu theologian from the Vedic tradition posed a very interesting question which I thought was itself echoed not only in the Platonic tradition note notably but in other mystical traditions and philosophical problems elsewhere, as well as a latent problem in Western philosophy given the comments by Whitehead about the entire history of Western philosophy being a footnote to Plato. What the Hindu theologian said was that the Vedic view is that you have two metaphysical truths, which appear to be irreconcilable. First, is that you have the temporal reality, which is time flowing like a river, always going, always flowing. Second, is the static unity, the eternal unchanging. The Vedic view is that both of these are actually the same in some sense.

This is the same paradox found in Plato, which is probably one of the greatest metaphysical distinctions ever produced in Western philosophy, that of 'being vs. becoming.' How can we reconcile these two? I see the theistic claim of the atemporal God and the temporal God being one and the same being as itself just another iteration of that same formal problem arrived at by Plato, and many others throughout history and culture. Thus, even if we dispense with the iteration as it manifests in theism, we still find ourselves confronted with the two-horned dilemma. And that is a nod to your point here about the paradox and larger talk of God as being merely a segway to what may be, larger, more looming problems, which is precisely what I would argue.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:12 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3179Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

I don't agree with the idea that a creator can be both temporal and atemporal.

How could (some aspect of) a creator be bound by time - temporal - given it's something he's created? Unless you're going to use the same escape-clause as theists - that God can break the rules without consequence. Which doesn't make sense.

At least with my explanation of omniscience earlier, there aren't any contradictions: God is atemporal in that He experiences the Eternal NOW of Eastern philosophy. As such, for God, there's no past/present/future: He knows everything. It's only temporal beings, like us, who experience God as a temporal entity - "He's with us now", whenever "now" is in human history (the proverbial omnipresence).

Bear in mind that this is in the context of the traditional Abrahamic view of God as Perfect - hence, God doesn't change, He is the Perfect Being.

Even so, omniscience runs into its own contradictions when paired with omnibenevolence: can a all-good God create souls that a all-knowing God knows are going to burn in Hell for all eternity?

Unless you mean something completely different when you say "in" and "out" of time.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:18 pm
ExogenPosts: 56Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Hello Dragon Gias

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

I don't agree with the idea that a creator can be both temporal and atemporal.

How could (some aspect of) a creator be bound by time - temporal - given it's something he's created? Unless you're going to use the same escape-clause as theists - that God can break the rules without consequence. Which doesn't make sense.


I think the theist has to answer here that it isn't that an 'aspect' of God is both atemporal and temporal per se, but specifically that his 'essence' is both temporal and atemporal. So the atemporal and temporal would be expressions of the same essence, just one being outside of time and the other inside. I don't see how that would be incoherent, as accidental or temporally (or atemporally) contextual specifications would be made with respect to said expressions. So you could say that the essence of him would be the same in time and well as outside of it, though the mode of expression which would be accidental depending on temporal context, would differ depending.


Dragan Glas wrote:
At least with my explanation of omniscience earlier, there aren't any contradictions: God is atemporal in that He experiences the Eternal NOW of Eastern philosophy. As such, for God, there's no past/present/future: He knows everything. It's only temporal beings, like us, who experience God as a temporal entity - "He's with us now", whenever "now" is in human history (the proverbial omnipresence).



I follow you exactly here. Our temporal perspective would make one appear differently depending.

Dragan Glas wrote:
Bear in mind that this is in the context of the traditional Abrahamic view of God as Perfect - hence, God doesn't change, He is the Perfect Being.

Even so, omniscience runs into its own contradictions when paired with omnibenevolence: can a all-good God create souls that a all-knowing God knows are going to burn in Hell for all eternity?

Unless you mean something completely different when you say "in" and "out" of time.

Kindest regards,

James


I do mean as in unchanging, eternal, but not the 'external now.' See, 'we' are actually experiencing the external now, because though things are changing, it is 'always' now. This is what Husserl refers to as 'standing streaming.' Imagine standing in a stream where 'you' are not moving, but the water around you (the river of time) is. God, in the atemporal sense, on the other hand, would be more akin here to the 'static' Parmenidean One, which just "is," without distinction between 'now, before, and yet-to-come.'
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:34 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2458Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Exogen wrote:I'm not sure I agree with this. Perhaps some more elaboration if you don't mind. You see, you mention induction or deduction, but also "we can't derive this entity's existence from anything within the universe" which would be 'inductive' would it not be, given the fact of regularities?


Yes, it's a continuation of the same point.


Exogen wrote: In any event, what I'm getting at is that theism is generally based in rationalism,...


I am not sure I agree with that. It may be the case for the well known theologians, but doesn't seem to be the case for the mass.


Exogen wrote: so a case for theism wouldn't be 'exclusively' empirical, given that theism has largely absorbed the Platonic tradition (whether or not it really goes hand in hand). The theist would have to start from some sort of rationalist argument, and perhaps then combine that with facts about the world, like for example the contingency argument.



You can't have a rationalist argument that is predicated on definitions that supersede all known quantities; if God can be both temporal and a-temporal, then we have no possible experience of such a being to posit it. Thus, it's not experience driving the position, and experience actually couldn't posit such a characteristic.


Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
Similar examples include the fudge escape of the omnipotence paradox: God creates an unbreakable shield, then creates an irresistible sword. At the time the shield was created, it was necessarily unbreakable, but then God superseded it. Again, to me this is more about how we can play with ideas than something which should be taken as valuable in understanding what is.


Oh that's a new one. I'm more familiar with the paradox of the stone, which is the same argument. Can God create a stone so heavy even he cannot lift? If he cannot lift such a stone, then there is something he cannot do, violating omnipotence. If he can, then there is something he cannot do, namely create such a stone, violating omnipotence. So he isn't omnipotent either way.

The theist response is to say God can only do what is logically possible, so the creation of such a stone that even he cannot lift would be impossible.


As I said, there are ample theist responses that actually run: God could create a stone too heavy for 'him' to lift, and then lift it.

That was my point therein.


Exogen wrote:However, the theist may say that the temporal vs. atemporal versions of God, which are one and the same being, just inside or outside of time and therefore differently expressed, allows the atemporal (unlimited) God to create a situation where he is limited by virtue of existing in time (limited) with respect to his temporal manifestation, which would resolve the paradox.


I am not disputing that the theist could say it, I am pointing out how it is ultimately self-defeating to contrive such definitions. If that's what we need to posit, then God is not obvious and actually can't be known in any way that is relevant to any human ever.


Exogen wrote:In my honest opinion, I think these issues are actually getting at deeper metaphysical problems which were highlighted by Plato and others prior to the middle period developments in Christianity, as most of that theology was more or less a rehashing of the philosophy from antiquity anyway. I once attended a panel discussion and lecture lead by the famous British cosmologist Martin Rees, and a handful or philosophers and theologians, although I forget the exact title of the discourse, though I recall it was about the limits of science and knowledge generally pertaining to the questions of our very existence. While Rees highlighted the limits of science in particular regard to our inability to pursue the question past the event horizon of light and the radiation echo from the big bang, one Hinhu theologian from the Vedic tradition posed a very interesting question which I thought was itself echoed not only in the Platonic tradition note notably but in other mystical traditions and philosophical problems elsewhere, as well as a latent problem in Western philosophy given the comments by Whitehead about the entire history of Western philosophy being a footnote to Plato. What the Hindu theologian said was that the Vedic view is that you have two metaphysical truths, which appear to be irreconcilable. First, is that you have the temporal reality, which is time flowing like a river, always going, always flowing. Second, is the static unity, the eternal unchanging. The Vedic view is that both of these are actually the same in some sense.

This is the same paradox found in Plato, which is probably one of the greatest metaphysical distinctions ever produced in Western philosophy, that of 'being vs. becoming.' How can we reconcile these two? I see the theistic claim of the atemporal God and the temporal God being one and the same being as itself just another iteration of that same formal problem arrived at by Plato, and many others throughout history and culture. Thus, even if we dispense with the iteration as it manifests in theism, we still find ourselves confronted with the two-horned dilemma. And that is a nod to your point here about the paradox and larger talk of God as being merely a segway to what may be, larger, more looming problems, which is precisely what I would argue.


All very interesting - I admit I feel like my previous answer basically still covers this - but I enjoyed reading it anyway. As I said in that other thread, for me philosophy is really about inspecting our thoughts, the boundaries of thought, and novel thoughts always intrigue me even if I can't lend them any actual credence.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:39 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2458Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Dragan Glas wrote:How could (some aspect of) a creator be bound by time - temporal - given it's something he's created? Unless you're going to use the same escape-clause as theists - that God can break the rules without consequence. Which doesn't make sense.


It would need to work like this:

You are unbounded.

You make a restraint.

You allow part of yourself to be restrained.

You don't allow the rest of yourself to be restrained.

In physical terms, you make a doorway only big enough for part of you to fit through, then use the part that fits through to interact with what's beyond the doorway.

In imaginary terms; God was atemporal, then made time and allowed part of 'himself' to become restrained by time in order to do stuff that is restricted to temporality while not being subject to it for the rest.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:46 pm
ExogenPosts: 56Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:

I am not sure I agree with that. It may be the case for the well known theologians, but doesn't seem to be the case for the mass.


A fair point, I'm talking about the former, for sure, so please appreciate my statements in 'that' context, rather than the understanding of the masses.



Sparhafoc wrote:
You can't have a rationalist argument that is predicated on definitions that supersede all known quantities; if God can be both temporal and a-temporal, then we have no possible experience of such a being to posit it. Thus, it's not experience driving the position, and experience actually couldn't posit such a characteristic.


Perhaps, though recall I'm saying that the singular essence of God would run through both the temporal and atemporal domains. Now whether or not that essence is open to experience is another question. There are lots of things that are within the temporal domain but 'not' open to experience, such as for example, the experience of counting impossible numbers whose computing power may exceed the scope of the entire temporal universe. Yet we do know such numbers rationally. So the theist might say that 'emperically' we may not be able to directly experience this essence (emperically), though may we can, but 'rationally' we can know such things.


Sparhafoc wrote:
As I said, there are ample theist responses that actually run: God could create a stone too heavy for 'him' to lift, and then lift it.

That was my point therein.


Right, but if we took all those many possible theistic responses, we would notice that some of them are subject to being trapped in contradictions whereas others are not, hence the response of 'God can only do what is logically possible' becomes the better strategy on part of the theist is all i'm saying.


Sparhafoc wrote:
I am not disputing that the theist could say it, I am pointing out how it is ultimately self-defeating to contrive such definitions. If that's what we need to posit, then God is not obvious and actually can't be known in any way that is relevant to any human ever.


I don't see why that follows that such a being couldn't be known though in principle? So as I said above, maybe this essence which is continuous through time and etemporality can be directly experienced or cannot be. In either case, that doesn't mean we cannot rationally know it.


Sparhafoc wrote:
All very interesting - I admit I feel like my previous answer basically still covers this - but I enjoyed reading it anyway. As I said in that other thread, for me philosophy is really about inspecting our thoughts, the boundaries of thought, and novel thoughts always intrigue me even if I can't lend them any actual credence.


I do think philosophy is about what you said it is in regard to thought, but I also think it is about the larger search for understanding, truth, and beyond that, to tackle the questions, which aims at wisdom. And beyond that, I would argue with Plato, to wrestle with the existential and logical problems associated with the human condition, and therefore confront our deep existential anxieties in a meaningful way to find peace of mind, thereby preparing one for death in any eventuality. Just my two cents there.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:58 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2458Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:

I am not sure I agree with that. It may be the case for the well known theologians, but doesn't seem to be the case for the mass.


A fair point, I'm talking about the former, for sure, so please appreciate my statements in 'that' context, rather than the understanding of the masses.


Ahh ok, then I understand your point much more clearly.



Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
You can't have a rationalist argument that is predicated on definitions that supersede all known quantities; if God can be both temporal and a-temporal, then we have no possible experience of such a being to posit it. Thus, it's not experience driving the position, and experience actually couldn't posit such a characteristic.


Perhaps, though recall I'm saying that the singular essence of God would run through both the temporal and atemporal domains. Now whether or not that essence is open to experience is another question. There are lots of things that are within the temporal domain but 'not' open to experience, such as for example, the experience of counting impossible numbers whose computing power may exceed the scope of the entire temporal universe. Yet we do know such numbers rationally. So the theist might say that 'emperically' we may not be able to directly experience this essence (emperically), though may we can, but 'rationally' we can know such things.


Well, I would say that any and all human experience is necessarily predicated on temporality. We can't experience atemporality because all of our experiences require time in order to be experienced, and we can't experience being both temporally restricted and atemporal.

As such, it's irrelevant in my opinion that there are things within the temporal domain that we can't experience, rather we can only experience things within the temporal domain, so positing a characteristic of experience in the atemporal cannot be rationally based. It's a leap that is not inductive - cannot be. There is similarly no way to attain this deductively. So whence does it come?



Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
As I said, there are ample theist responses that actually run: God could create a stone too heavy for 'him' to lift, and then lift it.

That was my point therein.


Right, but if we took all those many possible theistic responses, we would notice that some of them are subject to being trapped in contradictions whereas others are not, hence the response of 'God can only do what is logically possible' becomes the better strategy on part of the theist is all i'm saying.


Do you mean 'from a best reading'?

Honestly, I am not sure that it is the best reading. I think its more consistent to have a god who made the laws of the universe not actually be subject to any of those laws. That god must be able to have created universes differently - ones where what is logically possible is completely different than what is logically possible in this one - otherwise, god had no actual creative control over the formation of this universe and its necessary rules, and could only have been an initiator of a process outside of 'his' control.

If God could only make this and could never have made anything else, then I don't see in what way it is really a god.



Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
I am not disputing that the theist could say it, I am pointing out how it is ultimately self-defeating to contrive such definitions. If that's what we need to posit, then God is not obvious and actually can't be known in any way that is relevant to any human ever.


I don't see why that follows that such a being couldn't be known though in principle? So as I said above, maybe this essence which is continuous through time and etemporality can be directly experienced or cannot be. In either case, that doesn't mean we cannot rationally know it.


Please see above for my reasoning why not. For clarity, I am only actually arguing about how, under the premise of the foundation of knowledge being experience, that a simultaneously temporal and atemporal god could be posited. I would say not. I would say something else is needed there than experience.



Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
All very interesting - I admit I feel like my previous answer basically still covers this - but I enjoyed reading it anyway. As I said in that other thread, for me philosophy is really about inspecting our thoughts, the boundaries of thought, and novel thoughts always intrigue me even if I can't lend them any actual credence.


I do think philosophy is about what you said it is in regard to thought, but I also think it is about the larger search for understanding, truth, and beyond that, to tackle the questions, which aims at wisdom.


I like that idea in the abstract, I just don't know whether it's obtainable. Truth, for example, is a very difficult quality from my perspective. Is there a single absolute truth? Or is it just as possible that there are domains of nearly isolated truth which only infrequently interact with each other and therefore can avoid mutual obliteration? Can we, for example, expect to reconcile the quantum universe with special relativity? I hope so, but if we can't then that's possibly even more interesting than if we can.



Exogen wrote: And beyond that, I would argue with Plato, to wrestle with the existential and logical problems associated with the human condition, and therefore confront our deep existential anxieties in a meaningful way to find peace of mind, thereby preparing one for death in any eventuality. Just my two cents there.


Now that I agree with wholeheartedly. It is to be alive, and thus I am obliged to do it, regardless of whether I also take great pleasure from it. :)
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:23 pm
ExogenPosts: 56Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:

Well, I would say that any and all human experience is necessarily predicated on temporality. We can't experience atemporality because all of our experiences require time in order to be experienced, and we can't experience being both temporally restricted and atemporal.


I think that generally, this is true, although states of deep meditation, are described almost universally by mediators as timeless. I myself have experienced this, and much in the same way I can say that at some point you just 'slip into sleep' and at some point you just 'emerge from' it, both of which mark transitional phases, the experience of deep meditation is one of stillness without thought or experience of duration. Granted, this is somewhat inconclusive at face value.

However, even granting the notion that our experience is exclusively temporal, it wouldn't mean that there couldn't be a singular essence which would be the essence of God, which can be both temporally expressed or atemporally expressed, given the fact that God is not us, and therefore wouldn't be subject to the same limitations, assuming our exclusivity as it pertains to the temporality of consciousness.

Sparhafoc wrote:As such, it's irrelevant in my opinion that there are things within the temporal domain that we can't experience, rather we can only experience things within the temporal domain, so positing a characteristic of experience in the atemporal cannot be rationally based. It's a leap that is not inductive - cannot be. There is similarly no way to attain this deductively. So whence does it come?


Two things. First is that just because our consciousness is temporal, it does not follow that all consciousness is temporal. Unless we identify the 'essential structure' of consciousness, we wouldn't have a reason to categorically limit consciousness to exclusively the temporal domain in principle. Second, I would argue along the lines of Husserl's phenomenology on the notion of a flow of time (A-theory of time) that all conscious experience presupposes an unchanging absolute structure which in itself being atemporal could account for atemporal experience if there be any.



Sparhafoc wrote:



Do you mean 'from a best reading'?

Honestly, I am not sure that it is the best reading. I think its more consistent to have a god who made the laws of the universe not actually be subject to any of those laws. That god must be able to have created universes differently - ones where what is logically possible is completely different than what is logically possible in this one - otherwise, god had no actual creative control over the formation of this universe and its necessary rules, and could only have been an initiator of a process outside of 'his' control.

If God could only make this and could never have made anything else, then I don't see in what way it is really a god.


I don't mean the best reading of a particular text but instead the best strategy among the many theists out there. I'm not saying God would be subject to the laws he creates, just as a computer programmer isn't subject to the laws of the program, but I think if we get more specific, the 'atemporal' expression of God wouldn't be subject to the laws of the temporal universe, though the temporal God may be subject to 'some' of those laws, if at very least temporality.


Sparhafoc wrote:
Please see above for my reasoning why not. For clarity, I am only actually arguing about how, under the premise of the foundation of knowledge being experience, that a simultaneously temporal and atemporal god could be posited. I would say not. I would say something else is needed there than experience.


But what about the example of numbers which could never be counted? We know there are such numbers, but we could never reach these through any successive addition, or any finite mathematical process, as there will always be numbers that are so large that counting them exceeds the all the time in the universe, given that the number line is infinite.



Sparhafoc wrote:


I like that idea in the abstract, I just don't know whether it's obtainable. Truth, for example, is a very difficult quality from my perspective. Is there a single absolute truth? Or is it just as possible that there are domains of nearly isolated truth which only infrequently interact with each other and therefore can avoid mutual obliteration? Can we, for example, expect to reconcile the quantum universe with special relativity? I hope so, but if we can't then that's possibly even more interesting than if we can.


I don't think there is a single absolute truth, but that doesn't make truth relative either. For instance, it could be that the truth is something that anyone perspective could never define, hence all statements will be incomplete, and the whole of the truth is transcendent. I think the theist would agree there, but they would think the buck would stop with God, whereas I would argue it could not. As for compartmentalized truth, I think not. I say that because the boundary between each domain would be some sort of categorical distinction, thereby one categoery would give rise to the other, given by the very fact that they are different i.e. where one thing ends, the other begins.


Sparhafoc wrote:
Now that I agree with wholeheartedly. It is to be alive, and thus I am obliged to do it, regardless of whether I also take great pleasure from it. :)


"The unexamined life is not worth living."

Plato
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:17 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3179Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

Exogen wrote:Hello Dragon Gias

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

I don't agree with the idea that a creator can be both temporal and atemporal.

How could (some aspect of) a creator be bound by time - temporal - given it's something he's created? Unless you're going to use the same escape-clause as theists - that God can break the rules without consequence. Which doesn't make sense.

I think the theist has to answer here that it isn't that an 'aspect' of God is both atemporal and temporal per se, but specifically that his 'essence' is both temporal and atemporal. So the atemporal and temporal would be expressions of the same essence, just one being outside of time and the other inside. I don't see how that would be incoherent, as accidental or temporally (or atemporally) contextual specifications would be made with respect to said expressions. So you could say that the essence of him would be the same in time and well as outside of it, though the mode of expression which would be accidental depending on temporal context, would differ depending.

The problem here is that one runs into the same difficulties as with the Holy Trinity - the triune nature of God, where God the Son is described as being of "one and the same essence" as God the Father.

It is simply incoherent.

In case you haven't gathered it yet, I was brought up Roman Catholic, although I'm not a theist anymore, so my perspective on a deity is coloured by my religious upbringing. Hence, God is Perfect, and can't change because he doesn't need to do so in any regard, which has an effect on your later post.

Exogen wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:At least with my explanation of omniscience earlier, there aren't any contradictions: God is atemporal in that He experiences the Eternal NOW of Eastern philosophy. As such, for God, there's no past/present/future: He knows everything. It's only temporal beings, like us, who experience God as a temporal entity - "He's with us now", whenever "now" is in human history (the proverbial omnipresence).

I follow you exactly here. Our temporal perspective would make one appear differently depending.

Dragan Glas wrote:Bear in mind that this is in the context of the traditional Abrahamic view of God as Perfect - hence, God doesn't change, He is the Perfect Being.

Even so, omniscience runs into its own contradictions when paired with omnibenevolence: can a all-good God create souls that a all-knowing God knows are going to burn in Hell for all eternity?

Unless you mean something completely different when you say "in" and "out" of time.

Kindest regards,

James

I do mean as in unchanging, eternal, but not the 'external now.' See, 'we' are actually experiencing the external now, because though things are changing, it is 'always' now. This is what Husserl refers to as 'standing streaming.' Imagine standing in a stream where 'you' are not moving, but the water around you (the river of time) is. God, in the atemporal sense, on the other hand, would be more akin here to the 'static' Parmenidean One, which just "is," without distinction between 'now, before, and yet-to-come.'

"External now"?

I understand, and accept, the rest of what you're saying but am not sure if you meant "eternal now".

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:50 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3179Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:How could (some aspect of) a creator be bound by time - temporal - given it's something he's created? Unless you're going to use the same escape-clause as theists - that God can break the rules without consequence. Which doesn't make sense.

It would need to work like this:

You are unbounded.

You make a restraint.

You allow part of yourself to be restrained.

You don't allow the rest of yourself to be restrained.

In physical terms, you make a doorway only big enough for part of you to fit through, then use the part that fits through to interact with what's beyond the doorway.

In imaginary terms; God was atemporal, then made time and allowed part of 'himself' to become restrained by time in order to do stuff that is restricted to temporality while not being subject to it for the rest.

But if God were unbounded, and then bound himself in some way, this would go against his being Perfect - he'd be making himself Imperfect (less than Perfect). It would also suggest that he's not omnipotent if he has to do that to accomplish certain things. And if he's omniscient, why would he need to do anything since he'd know what the outcome would be? Not to mention that, if he is Perfect, he can't do anything since that entails change (if he's Perfect, he doesn't need to change, does he?).

See just how incoherent is a Perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, omni-benevolent God?

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:00 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3179Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

Exogen wrote:

Sparhafoc wrote:
Similar examples include the fudge escape of the omnipotence paradox: God creates an unbreakable shield, then creates an irresistible sword. At the time the shield was created, it was necessarily unbreakable, but then God superseded it. Again, to me this is more about how we can play with ideas than something which should be taken as valuable in understanding what is.

Oh that's a new one. I'm more familiar with the paradox of the stone, which is the same argument. Can God create a stone so heavy even he cannot lift? If he cannot lift such a stone, then there is something he cannot do, violating omnipotence. If he can, then there is something he cannot do, namely create such a stone, violating omnipotence. So he isn't omnipotent either way.

The theist response is to say God can only do what is logically possible, so the creation of such a stone that even he cannot lift would be impossible.

Firstly, since God is supposed to be omniscient, he'd know that the shield would have to be as strong as the sword he'll create later.

Either way, in your rendition, Spahafoc, this shows that God can't be omniscient; in mine, the same contradiction occurs - either the shield foils the sword or the sword breaks the shield, hence, God is not omnipotent.

Again, the apologists' response that, "When we say God's omnipotent, we don't mean literally! (nervous laughter)" fails - miserably.

With regard to Exogen's point, that the theists will say "God can only do what is logically possible", fails as well, since if God can only do what's logically possible, he is bound by the laws of logic.

Whence these laws, if God is the Creator Of All Things?

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:15 pm
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