Monday, October 20, 2008

True Freedom

Does a fish in a fish tank have true freedom? It may not know its habitat is not natural. It has water and food. But is it free? In the Pixar movie Finding Nemo, Nemo gets plucked from the ocean and sold to a dentist with a fish tank full of exotic fish. Nemo, having known freedom, is now trapped with these other fish. His situation worsens when he is to be sold to a spoiled child that would cause the demise of Nemo. His fellow captive fish aid him in obtaining his freedom.


Errant worldviews can make one as trapped as a fish in a fish tank. People can think they have freedom and swim all around enjoying life in a tank. Or they can bust out of their unnatural habitat and truly taste freedom. If Christianity is such a tank of entrapment then I am not free, but if Christianity is the river of life and I am in that river I am the most free. The more I become transformed to the proper habitat of life the freer I become.


We all need to test the walls of our worldview to see if it is entrapping us or truly freeing us. Had Nemo not been endanger of being given to the child he may have lived a happy life in the controlled environment of the tank. But he would have missed the exciting freeing life of the ocean where he belonged. He also grieved the loss of his father for he was now separated from him in his tank while his father was free in the ocean. However his father came to save him, risking his own freedom and life for that of his son’s. His father didn’t stop pursuing him even though they were an ocean apart.


The Bible says truth sets us free. Living in truth will always be a greater freedom than living outside truth. No one can fully get outside of truth for we all live in the real world. But we can live in the false habitat like a fish in a fish tank or we can live in the real habitat that we were designed to live in.


Some of us are fish in fish tanks. Others are fish out of water altogether. But let us strive to be the ones that are not content with that sort of life and who want to experience truth to its fullness.

87 comments:

Innovative Defense said...

I just wanted to drop by and say hello. Hope all things are well.

Grace,
Jeremy

William Fenholt said...

It's funny that you bring up the question of freedom when any decent philosophy 101 course will tell you that, especially in the case that xianity might be true, we have no freedoms at all.

William Fenholt said...

P.S. Before I bother to let you come up with some really silly nonsensical argument I figured I would post this from the god wiki.

"...God's omniscience implies that God knows how free agents will choose to act. If God does know this, their apparent free will might be illusory, or foreknowledge does not imply predestination; and if God does not know it, God is not omniscient."

This generally sums up what I was getting at.

How do you reconcile that? How do you not yet see that jesus is a dead cunt?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

William, while I agree with you, I don't see the need to use profanity. Honestly, it does nothing to strengthen your argument.

Karla, this post reminded me more of The Matrix than Finding Nemo.

Anonymous said...

"His situation worsens when he is to be sold to a spoiled child that would cause the demise of Nemo."

Um, given away to the dentist's niece, not sold away.

"We all need to test the walls of our worldview to see if it is entrapping us or truly freeing us."

How hypocritical for you to say this! You claim to have absolute certainty that you know the truth, that your way is correct. Then, you turn around and claim that we all need to test our worldview? Perhaps you meant that anyone that doesn't agree with you needs to do so? How arrogant.

Karla said...

anonymous, a worldview is bigger than it's foundation. There are foundational principals I am certain about like the existence of God and the truth claims of Christ. But a worldview stretches from that into every area of life and lots of times I find my self revising that part. I also find myself learning more about God and that changes things in my worldview as well. I did mention in the post that if I'm not in truth I'm really trapped in a fish tank myself.

Karla said...

Mike, yes the Matrix would have been a good analogy as well. Or The Truman Show.

Karla said...

William,

Do you think it impossible for God to foreknow something and not to be interfering in light of that knowledge?

I believe God has a will for our lives and yet we can live contrary to it by our free will and He does not force us to conform to His will if though that would be better for us than our will-- he still lets us be free. Sure He has the power to make us robots, but He doesn't exercise that power. That's the whole point of the fall. That He gave us the freedom to do the right thing OR the wrong thing. And yet His grace is still leading us back to what's best for us, but gently enough that our will is in control until we surrender it willingly. He doesn't take away our freedom, but the irony is that when we give it up we are more free than when we hold on the reigns of it.

Karla said...

typo "if though" should have been "even though"

Anonymous said...

Karla,
I'm glad to see that you are as dishonest as ever.

I've already dealt with free will, and you ran away from the book example that I gave you. Now, I see you back and simply repeating that free will can exist with an omni-max god without ever answering the objection. Good for you. I'm glad that you do such a good job of discrediting yourself and your intellectual integrity without much help from me.

"But a worldview stretches from that into every area of life and lots of times I find my self revising that part."

IOW, you already know all the answers, you just need to work out the fine details. You don't need to actually question your worldview, just the little sniggles. C'mon, who do you think you're kidding? If you can't put your foundational assumptions on the block for evaluation, then your whole schtick is hypocritical and useless.

Karla said...

anonymous, you are free to believe that about me if you desire.

Anonymous said...

But apparently you will shy away from any question that actually tests your worldview and run away from any discussion that becomes uncomfortable for your preconceptions and the conclusions based on those. Having it shown to you that your god is impossible, that if he did exist he is immoral and unjust, and that the tenets you hold about him are logically impossible is just too much for you, isn't it? You'd rather just feel self-important and feel like you are such a great person for proselytizing because you just know that god is good and religion is good and it would be great if everyone could think like me, without ever having to actually think. Ignorance is bliss, isn't it? And, if anyone attempts to shatter that ignorance, you'll simply put your fingers in your ears and yell, "I'm not listening!"

This makes you a hypocrite. You continue to claim that you are about truth, but you are only about presenting your story to others and hoping they agree with you. You claim that you value examination of worldviews, but you are unwilling to do so - you only want others to examine their worldviews until they agree with you, and then they should stop as well. It's actually rather pathetic.

Karla said...

I answered it to William. See the post above.

William Fenholt said...

Karla your answer to me makes no sense.

Having a will and having a foreknowledge are completely different.

Please address the question at has. Does god have a foreknowledge of the events that will unfold in yours and the lives of everyone else? If he does not have that foreknowledge he is not the god that the bible claims him to be. If he does have that foreknowledge then that contradicts that he gave us free will, which also means he is not the god that the bible claims him to be.

Karla said...

I keep hearing this question. But I don't understand why you see foreknowledge and free will linked?

Yes God is omniscient. His omniscience does not effect our free will. I don't see how the two are linked. I think this was my contention in the past with anonymous. The truth of His having foreknowledge doesn't logically follow that He usurps free will.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Foreknowledge doesn't usurp free will, but if God had foreseen it, unless there are sc-fi like alternate timelines, and thus alternate possible outcomes that he has forseen, then it must occur.

William Fenholt said...

But once again, if there are outcomes that god hasn't foreseen and things turn out differently than he had intended, he isn't the omni-max deity that the bible claims he is.

William Fenholt said...

P.S.

Foreknowledge does indeed usurp free will. If you have already been given your end result, and if god already knows everything about you and where you're going without there being the possibility of god being wrong (which would once again bring is entire being into question), then your mind and decisions have been made long before you ever even had the opportunity to make them thus eliminating free will

William Fenholt said...

How 'bout this for an example.

I make a robot. I know all of the decisions this robot will make way before I ever turn it on for the first time because hell, I made it and know exactly how it's been programmed.

I turn on the robot. I don't interfere with it after I turn it on, but I definitely hit the power button and lo and behold, the robot does exactly what I had intended.

Does the robot have free will simply because I didn't interfere with it once it was turned on? No it does not. The robot does exactly what it was intended to do and thus has no free will.

Anonymous said...

"I answered it to William. See the post above."

No, you didn't. You simply rehashed the same, tired, old re-treads that I objected to in the first place.

You still can't answer the book example I gave. Perhaps I should repeat it so that everyone can share the question that you continually run away from?

Since god is omni-max, then god has the ability to write a book that will detail every single detail/thought/action/emotion/feeling/etc. that Karla will experience for the rest of her life. If god gives this book to Karla, and she reads it, does she have the capacity to do/think/feel/etc. something that is not in the book or something the opposite of what is in the book?

Absolute certainty of future events can only happen when those events are determined, thus eliminating free will. When god created the universe, he knew all things that would happen from the beginning. A slight change in god's mind would have caused the universe to unfold in some other way. Since god is omniscient, he had 100% foreknowledge at the time of creation, meaning that this universe was necessarily determined at the time of creation. This eliminates free will as a possibility for humans. There is no way around this logical conclusion. Karla, you can hem and haw all you like, and you can continue to lie that you have answered this objection, but you have not, and everyone here knows it.

Anonymous said...

Xians often claim that atheists don't want to know the truth, because they don't want to have to follow god - i.e. atheists want their freedom to do what they want to do.

How is it that having the correct belief actually makes one "free?"

CyberKitten said...

I find it very Orwellian that submission = freedom.

We are only truely be free when we submit ourselves to Gods will..... that seems to me to be neither logical nor rational....

Though I guess it makes you free from responsibility - a bit like being in prison which is why (its often stated) that people who can't cope with adult choices choose to commit petty crimes so they can spend time in institutions being told everything they need to do.

So is organised religion like being in prison....? Maybe....

Karla said...

William, Anonymous, and Mike,

God knowing what is going to happen before it happens doesn't set it in stone. If there were ten million possibilities of what our choices would be -- he would know the one we choose in the end. That doesn't mean he planned that choice or that he caused it. We aren't puppets on a string and we aren't robots.

Anonymous, if such a book existed and God gave it to me then that may change the end result if I knew the future. I don't think the future is in stone until it happens. Just because God knows our future doesn't mean it doesn't change and he knows that too.

This whole argument doesn't really bother me at all even if I thought it true. I trust Him implicitly. Still, I think you a reducing a complexity to a simplicity to understand it in our finiteness.

Anonymous, you keep accusing me of being dishonest. I am speaking from what I know and I don't know everything. I know somethings and I am learning others. I know enough to know I don't know a lot of things. I am learning and I am eager to learn. I know learning must take place from the proper starting point and since I do know that God exist, He is the most logically starting point since He is the author of all life.

I will continue to think on this topic some more and do some research on it and maybe get back with you all in more detail.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"God knowing what is going to happen before it happens doesn't set it in stone"

Emphasis mine. If God is not temporally bound, it has already happened from his perspective, and there is no other outcome. The same moment a baby is born he sees them burning in hell, if that is where they are destined to go.

That doesn't mean he decreed that it happen, but the outcome is certain.

Karla said...

cyberkitten said "I find it very Orwellian that submission = freedom."

God's way is different from man's way. You must give up to gain.

cyberkitten said "We are only truely be free when we submit ourselves to Gods will..... that seems to me to be neither logical nor rational...."

Trust sets us free. Lies bind us. If we are living in truth we are free. If we are living in allegiance to a false way of thinking we are trapped.



cyber kitten said "Though I guess it makes you free from responsibility - a bit like being in prison which is why (its often stated) that people who can't cope with adult choices choose to commit petty crimes so they can spend time in institutions being told everything they need to do."

Yeah it's not like that. It's more like waking up and seeing the beauty of the world for the first time. Like a blind person who had never seen suddenly being able to experience sight. Or a deaf boy who has never heard finally hearing his mothers voice and the sounds of nature around him. A pastor friend of mine just recently prayed for this woman in Brazil who was born deaf and she was healed and she heard her children's voices for the first time and tears of joy ran down her face. This is the kind of freedom I'm speaking of in part. Words can't fully convey it. I'm sure that mother couldn't fully convey her experience in words.


cyber kitten said "So is organized religion like being in prison....? Maybe...."

Depends. I wasn't talking about religion. Religion can be bondage and imprisoning. Religion is something entirely different than what I am talking about.

Karla said...

Mike, I honestly don't know how to explain it better. But I don't think that's the way of it. I'm sorry I don't know how to give a better answer right now.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Ok, I'll argue assuming the Christian God exists for a moment.

God is the creator of all that is, including the laws of physics, time, etc.

Since he created all the laws he would be free to ignore them if he so chose. So, being outside time it is meaningless to him. A day is as a thousand years to the Lord. Now imagine being able to look at a time-line on a wall, except that the time-line was actually every day, past present, and future, and you could zoom into infinite level of detail at any point on the line. So to God, Adam's fall and Christ's resurrection are viewable simultaneously, since he created time, he is not bound by it, he is omnipresent within it.

Mind you, I'm not arguing that God's foreknowledge negates free will. I'm just saying that he knows the outcome, even if our individual choices lead us there, to him the outcome has always been known.

Karla said...

I think I agree except about the part of him breaking the laws. He can bend/break the laws of nature, but He can't be something other than what He is. Truth is His nature, goodness is His nature, so that wouldn't be something He creates that He can break, but something He is.

CyberKitten said...

mike aka said: Mind you, I'm not arguing that God's foreknowledge negates free will. I'm just saying that he knows the outcome, even if our individual choices lead us there, to him the outcome has always been known.

But surely if God knows (rather than just accurately predicts) *every* act you will ever perform and every thought that goes through your head before you do how can you possibly be said to have free will. Being a causal agent rather than just simply reacting to causal events means that we can be unpredictable even if you had perfect knowledge of the individual and the circumstances surrounding an act. If the cause originates with us - rather than the environment - it cannot be predicted. Perfect prediction of future events would indicate that we are merely mechanical beings in a mechanical universe. It is our unpredictability that makes us free.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Karla, I'm not talking about things that are his essence, like his goodness, etc. I'm talking about the laws that he created.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CyberKitten, imagine you bought a puppy, and then proceeded to set up cameras all throughout your home, every place the puppy could go, and you then kept a mammoth video archive of every single moment of the puppy's life, all the way through it's adulthood, to it's death. You have now observed it's entire life. Now hop in your DeLorean and make sure your flux capacitor is functional and go back to your past self, before you bought the puppy, and give your past self the video footage of the puppy's life. Now your past self knows every detail of the puppy's life. Does that change the puppy's free will? Of course, this only works if time travel is possible, and there is only one time-line. If you put on your sci-fi thinking cap it becomes easier to understand some of the theology folks believe.

CyberKitten said...

mike aka said: If you put on your sci-fi thinking cap it becomes easier to understand some of the theology folks believe.

Well, my fantasy thinking cap - but I get your drift [grin]

I think I get it now - its the difference between *linear* time as we experience it and the god-like ability to see all of time in an instant. No - it doesn't affect free will to be able to do that. It's just a matter of perspective.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I've run into more time travel stories in the sc-fi I've enjoyed over the years, than in fantasy, so that's why I always associate it with sci-fi.

Karla said...

Mike, I was with you until the end conclusion of that puppy analogy. How does knowing what the puppy would do by having the video tape mean that the owner suddenly made the puppy do it? That end part doesn't follow.

Have you ever read any Gene Edwards? Your analogy reminded me of something he wrote in the Chronicles of the Door series prequel Christ Before Creation.

Karla said...

"I think I get it now - its the difference between *linear* time as we experience it and the god-like ability to see all of time in an instant. No - it doesn't affect free will to be able to do that. It's just a matter of perspective."

So you understand that free will and God's omniscience don't contradict or are you being facetious?

Karla said...

Mike, I'm sorry I misread what you wrote. I thought the "of course" was in answer to your question. Ignore my last post to you.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Karla,

I wrote "Does that change the puppy's free will? Of course," My question was hypothetical and I did not answer it with "Of course", that was the beginning of another sentence. We are in agreement that foreknowledge does not mean the subject was forced to do anything.

Karla said...

Yeah, I gotcha now. Thanks for sharing that analogy.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

It's hard to go wrong with puppies. ;-)

William Fenholt said...

Wow. You guys really have no solid logic and it's almost painful to see how you can argue things that make no sense.

Karla, if there are ten million possibilities but god knows ahead of time the only one you're going to choose doesn't that make only one possibility true negating all others?

Mike, your god sees the baby burning in hell the second it is born argument once again supports the lack of free will position.

Your puppy analogy is also bullshit. Buying a puppy and recording its life is a lot different than creating a puppy and it's nature, creating its environment knowing the decisions that it will and won't do before you ever recorded them, continuing to finish creating the puppy anyways and then making it burn in hell for infinity for acting out the nature that you personally made natural for it in the first place.

Karla said...

William said, "Karla, if there are ten million possibilities but god knows ahead of time the only one you're going to choose doesn't that make only one possibility true negating all others?"

That's the key is it. That I choose it.

William, Mike is an atheist. He's not arguing for God's existence. He's arguing that there is no contradiction between free will and God's omniscience.

William Fenholt said...

Well then you and Mike need to take a Philosophy 101 course.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"Anonymous, if such a book existed and God gave it to me then that may change the end result if I knew the future. I don't think the future is in stone until it happens. Just because God knows our future doesn't mean it doesn't change and he knows that too."

And, you have failed to answer the questions. If it changed the future result, then the book would be in error, and god would not be omniscient. Would you be able to do something not in the book? It seems that you are claiming that you could, yet that contradicts the ability that god has to write the book in the first place. IOW, you are flat wrong.

"Anonymous, you keep accusing me of being dishonest."

Well, that's because you are.

"I am speaking from what I know and I don't know everything."

Um, yeah, that's why you claim to "know" that god exists even though you can't possible know that.

"I know somethings and I am learning others."

Actually, I'm straining to figure out what it is that you actually know, considering that you seem to know nothing of history, science, logic, philosophy, etc.

"I am learning and I am eager to learn."

That's BS. You don't want to learn anything that doesn't reinforce your already preconceived conclusions.

"I know learning must take place from the proper starting point and since I do know that God exist, He is the most logically starting point since He is the author of all life."

Tell me how belief in god helps us learn how to make computers or any other piece of technology. Tell me how belief in god helps us to learn how to think rationally. Tell me how belief in god helps us to learn about anything empirical at all.

"Trust sets us free. Lies bind us. If we are living in truth we are free. If we are living in allegiance to a false way of thinking we are trapped."

Why? How?

And, here's the tough question. If this is true, then why does god allow Satan to mislead people and lie to them?

"Religion is something entirely different than what I am talking about."

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Mike aka,
Your puppy analogy is flawed and here is why.

Ever heard of Schrodinger's cat? In QM, once you make a measurement you change the state of the system from indeterminate to determined. When you go back and hand the video tape to your former self, you've changed the state of affairs and the puppy will no longer act in exactly the same way as before, so you no longer have 100% knowledge of everything the puppy will do.

In order to have 100% predictive power, the events in question must be determined. When god created the universe, since he knew all that would happen from start to end at the time of creation, it was all set in stone. If you truly had the choice to choose A or B tomorrow, then god would not have had that knowledge before creation began, even if god is outside of time. The act of creation set us in a determined path.

Mike, try the book example and see if you can't come to the same conclusion.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

William said: "Wow. You guys really have no solid logic and it's almost painful to see how you can argue things that make no sense."

Yes, you are very smart. Thank you for gracing us with your presence.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Anonymous, yes, many years ago I had several lengthy conversations about Schroedinger's cat. In fact this conversation reminds me of those days, because we are all having difficulty getting others to understand our positions.

Anonymous said...

Mike aka,
My book example shouldn't be that hard to follow. I suggest that you give it a shot and see what you think.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Anonymous, I read the one that you repeated in this thread, but couldn't find the previous telling of it.

As I read it it seems you present God as an author, writing out the details of people's lives and then presenting them with the book detailing the rest of their lives.

You questioned: "If god gives this book to Karla, and she reads it, does she have the capacity to do/think/feel/etc. something that is not in the book or something the opposite of what is in the book?"

That's a good question and it would depend on how God made Karla and why he gave her the book. Is this a Christmas Carol style warning so she can change something about her life or does it serve some other purpose?

Here's another question, since robots have been brought up. Can humans create truly thinking artificial intelligence with free will? I'm not trying to set up an argument here, I'm looking for opinions. If it is possible, then how would this differ from God creating our intelligence?

fatblue said...

You're an idiot Mike. You are a closeted Christian.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Nice ad hominem fatblue. I assure you, I am not a Christian. I deny the holy spirit. I deny Christ, and I deny God the father. Any questions?

fatblue said...

Mike you are an idiot. You can type what you like about being an athiest, but your blog posts show otherwise.

Quote from idiot-Mike's blog, Oct 1st:
'Mom and I are still attending Rivertree and really enjoying it. I'd like to become more involved, but between work and school, I don't feel I have enough time. It's sad how I can always find excuses to not serve the one who died on a cross to save me.'

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

That's not from this year, genius. If I recall, that's from 2006.

I became an ex-Christian and declared myself an atheist in February of this year, 2008.

Anonymous said...

Mike aka,
"That's a good question and it would depend on how God made Karla and why he gave her the book."

No, actually it doesn't matter. If god is omniscient, then he can write such a book. When he presents it to Karla, for any reason what-so-ever, can she do anything different than what is written? If she can, then god is not omniscient, because he could not accurately predict her actions. If she can not, then her life is determined and she does not have free will. As you can see, it has nothing to do with god's intentions.

Now, perhaps god might give someone a book that they read in order to cause them to change their ways. But, this would still be problematic. Either it violates the question, because god would not be writing a book that had the actual thoughts/actions/etc. of the person in question, but instead would be writing a false book. Either that, or god would be demonstrating that he is not omnipotent, because he would truly think that those actions will come to pass unless the person changes their ways, which would demonstrate that he doesn't know what the person will do.

Anonymous said...

fatblue,
I see no reason not to take Mike at his word. He very well could be an atheist and not see the inherent contradiction between an omni-max god and free will.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Thanks, Anonymous.

Due to years of reading sci-fi, fantasy, and being a Christian, I still tend to see possibilities where there should be none. ;-)

I think we agree that if God exists, and he foretells the future, that the future is then inevitable. So, no choice could ever change the outcome because the future has already been written. Going further, each person, since there is only one time-line, and it has been foreseen by God, will only do what has been foreseen. Are we getting closer to agreement?

Thank you for your patience.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

And yes "being a Christian" was meant in past tense. Years past of being a Christian.

fatblue said...

Mike you're not as dumb as I thought. You're half way there...

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

fatblue, you have contributed so much to this conversation. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Mike aka,
If the future is already laid out, then no choice exists, because anything that I do that deviates from what is fore-ordained for me to do would change the future. So, if god knows all and the future is pre-ordained, then I do not have free will, since my actions are all determined. Are you coming around to agree with us on this?

Karla said...

William said it best when he said "Karla, if there are ten million possibilities but god knows ahead of time the only one you're going to choose doesn't that make only one possibility true negating all others?"

You can't get away from our choices. Just becuase God knows what choice we will make doesn't mean He causes us to make it. That's not logical.

Also William and Anonymous name calling isn't necessary if you have a solid argument. You ought to be able to defend your position without resorting to insulting the intellegence of the one giving the opposing view.

Also Anonymous if God didn't exist I don't think there would be logic, reason, and rationality. Rationality only comes from rational sources not irrational ones.

Karla said...

William said it best when he said "Karla, if there are ten million possibilities but god knows ahead of time the only one you're going to choose doesn't that make only one possibility true negating all others?"

You can't get away from our choices. Just becuase God knows what choice we will make doesn't mean He causes us to make it. That's not logical.

Also William and Anonymous name calling isn't necessary if you have a solid argument. You ought to be able to defend your position without resorting to insulting the intellegence of the one giving the opposing view.

Also Anonymous if God didn't exist I don't think there would be logic, reason, and rationality. Rationality only comes from rational sources not irrational ones.

Karla said...

Mike,

Anonymous gave me the book analogy last month some time repeatedly. So that is what he is refering too. He thinks I am being dishonest to still maintain my position on it after his giving me such an example.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I don't think anyone ever wins this argument.

I just see a huge leap between God knowing it was going to happen, and God usurping ones free will and making it happen.

I'm sure fatblue will call me an idiot again.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"You can't get away from our choices. Just becuase God knows what choice we will make doesn't mean He causes us to make it. That's not logical."

I'm glad that you are going to use a semantic argument based on a mis-statement to try and make your case instead of tackling the actual objections. It makes it so much easier for me when you make yourself ridiculous.

"Also William and Anonymous name calling isn't necessary if you have a solid argument. You ought to be able to defend your position without resorting to insulting the intellegence of the one giving the opposing view."

It's a good thing for me that I didn't do that then, huh? I can easily turn this around as well. If you have a solid argument, then you should be able to defend it, which you are obviously unable to do.

"Also Anonymous if God didn't exist I don't think there would be logic, reason, and rationality. Rationality only comes from rational sources not irrational ones."

Thank you for your unsupported and unevidenced opinion which to all intents and purposes looks like it is false (and you can't show that it is true, so there you go). Now, mind actually tending to the objections on the table?

"He thinks I am being dishonest to still maintain my position on it after his giving me such an example."

No, I'm calling you dishonest for ignoring it repeatedly and simply re-asserting your erroneous opinions over and over.

Anonymous said...

Mike aka,
"I don't think anyone ever wins this argument.

I just see a huge leap between God knowing it was going to happen, and God usurping ones free will and making it happen."

Then point out what is wrong with my logic. If you can't do that, then you should be willing to say that the logic holds and be willing to change your position based on the inescapable argument put in front of you. IOW, one can show that certain things are impossible or contradictory and "win this argument." Why are you not dealing with the book example that I've given? For you to be right, there must be a hole in the logic, so where is it? It's not OK to simply agree to disagree when you are factually wrong (sorry if that sounds harsh).

Karla said...

"then god has the ability to write a book that will detail every single detail/thought/action/emotion/feeling/etc. that Karla will experience for the rest of her life. If god gives this book to Karla, and she reads it, does she have the capacity to do/think/feel/etc. something that is not in the book or something the opposite of what is in the book?"

God having the ability and God doing it are two different things. I agree God has the ability to control our every action because He is all powerful. I don't believe that He does this because it is against His nature to be corrupt to handle us that way.

However your argument is that

God knows every action, thought, feeling etc, I will ever make.

Therefore I can't make anything other than what He knows.

That doesn't mean He caused those actions, only that He knows them. If He didn't know them I would still be making the same actions, thoughts and feelings and I would be just as free as if He did know them. His knowledge does not change my actions. This is where you are not being logical.

I was not giving a semantic argument. If He is recording my actions, they are still mine. If He knows all the choices I will make, they are still my CHOICES.

When I wrote these new post, I was not speaking in ignorance of your book example. I just don't see your conclusions as logical. It has not proved to me to be logical. Therefore I would be remiss if I didn't continue to speak truth. I am sorry it bothers you so much.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"God having the ability and God doing it are two different things."

Thanks, but that's not what we are talking about. Why do you continue to avoid this question?

"I don't believe that He does this because it is against His nature to be corrupt to handle us that way."

Yet, you can't provide any evidence or reason to believe that your assertions about his nature are correct. Also, you can't defeat the logic of the argument.

"That doesn't mean He caused those actions, only that He knows them."

Yes, actually it does. When he created the universe, your actions were set in stone due to the way he created it. Again, the book example speaks for itself. Answer the questions.

"If He didn't know them I would still be making the same actions, thoughts and feelings and I would be just as free as if He did know them. His knowledge does not change my actions. This is where you are not being logical."

Who is talking about changing your actions? Your actions were set in stone when god created the universe. They were determined. Your assertion does not defeat the logic of the argument. You are simply asserting that I'm wrong without providing counter-logic that answers the questions at hand or pointing out what is wrong with the thought experiment. Can god write that book or not? You have to answer "yes" or else god is not omniscient. Since he can write the book, if you read it, could you do anything different? If you answer "no" then you don't have free will because your actions are determined. If you answer "yes" then god is not omniscient, since he didn't know what you would do.

"I was not giving a semantic argument."

Yes you were. Don't try to weasel out of this one. You claimed that his argument was defeated by his choice of words. That's pretty poor integrity on your part to try and deny it now.

"I just don't see your conclusions as logical."

Then, answer the questions and point out where the example falls apart. Don't just state that it is wrong, but show how it is wrong.

"It has not proved to me to be logical."

Because you've already made up your mind that it is wrong and won't entertain that you could be wrong about anything. It's a familiar refrain.

"Therefore I would be remiss if I didn't continue to speak truth."

You are remiss in not dealing with the objection on the table and ignoring it instead. To claim that you speak the truth while there is a serious challenge on the table that you can not answer is arrogant and intellectually bankrupt.

Karla said...

anonymous, I think Mike already answered it for you and he is of the same worldview as you and you won't accept his response. I don't think you will accept any response.

Anonymous said...

No, actually he hasn't. In fact, he clearly stated that he simply sees a huge leap, but he never answered the conundrum that was proposed.

To make matters worse for you, whether he is an atheist or not has no bearing on whether he is correct or not, or whether my example is logical or not. For me to simply accept what he says simply because he is also an atheist would be an inappropriate appeal to authority.

But, hey, you can continue to dodge the question that you know you can't answer and continue to be bankrupt both morally and intellectually if you want, but I will call you out on it.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I'm in the middle of moving right now, so it will be a while before I analyze the book story and respond.

Quixote said...

Anonymous said:"I've already dealt with free will, and you ran away from the book example that I gave you. Now, I see you back and simply repeating that free will can exist with an omni-max god without ever answering the objection."

Anon,

I searched for your book example but was unable to find it. I'd like to have a look at it.

Nevertheless, free will is not contradictory, nor even inconsistent with, an omni-max conception of God. For example, even a skeptic of epic philosophic clout, David Hume, concluded that free choice is compatible with determinism, a system arguably more constrained than classic Theism. Hence, the philosophic system termed compatibilism.

Simply put, if I always choose what I want, in accordance with my strongest desire--and we all do without exception--I am choosing what I want, and exactly what I want, from a range of perceived desires, despite and in conjunction with the influences around, above, or even within me. What else could we mean by free will?

Karla said...

Quixote here is the book argument anonymous makes quoted below verbatim.

"No, actually it doesn't matter. If god is omniscient, then he can write such a book. When he presents it to Karla, for any reason what-so-ever, can she do anything different than what is written? If she can, then god is not omniscient, because he could not accurately predict her actions. If she can not, then her life is determined and she does not have free will. As you can see, it has nothing to do with god's intentions.

Now, perhaps god might give someone a book that they read in order to cause them to change their ways. But, this would still be problematic. Either it violates the question, because god would not be writing a book that had the actual thoughts/actions/etc. of the person in question, but instead would be writing a false book. Either that, or god would be demonstrating that he is not omnipotent, because he would truly think that those actions will come to pass unless the person changes their ways, which would demonstrate that he doesn't know what the person will do."

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
Hume is wrong.

If god is, in fact, omni-max, then our path was pre-set at the moment of creation. Whether you think you have choices or not doens't mean that you actually do.

The book example in more detail:

god writes a book that he gives to you that details everything that you will ever do/think/feel/etc. for the rest of your life. If you read that book, can you do anything that is not listed in the book or can you do something that is different from what is in the book? Let's say that the first line says, "Quixote receives this book and opens it to read this sentence while thinking, 'Yeah, right.'" Do you think that you would be able to not open the book while thinking that? If it further stated that that night you would go to dinner at such and such restaurant and order steak, do you think you could go to a different restaurant and order chicken?

Quixote said...

Anon said: "Hume is wrong."

Anon, this comment speaks for itself.

For the book, then. I'm willing to accept your proposition that God ordains all that comes to pass. Thereby, I am not only accepting omniscience, but omnipotence and omniprescence as well.

Let me ask you this first, to ensure we are arguing the same thing. What is your definition of free will?

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"Anon, this comment speaks for itself."

He is if he thinks free will is compatible with an omni-max deity.

"Let me ask you this first, to ensure we are arguing the same thing. What is your definition of free will?"

Non-determinism to begin with. If my choices are determined, then I don't actually have any choices do I? (And, no Karla, the fact that I used the word "choices" does not mean that I'm saying we have choices.) Free will is the ability to decide to actualize our own choices based on our desires, given an actual set of choices. I would say that in the case of an omni-max deity, we have apparent free will, in that we think we are making choices, but we are not.

I still don't see anyone answering the book challenge.

Quixote said...

OK, I'm good with that definition. Given that, the characters in your book, or in life under the gaze of a God who ordains all things, always choose in accordance with their strongest desire for any particular act of volition. Since they always choose in accordance with their strongest desire, they always choose exactly what they want, which is to say, they exercise their wills, freely in a compatibilist manner. Free will is compatible with omniscience.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"Given that, the characters in your book, or in life under the gaze of a God who ordains all things, always choose in accordance with their strongest desire for any particular act of volition. Since they always choose in accordance with their strongest desire, they always choose exactly what they want, which is to say, they exercise their wills, freely in a compatibilist manner. Free will is compatible with omniscience."

Nice assertion, but it doesn't answer the mail. Please answer the actual book question. If god writes a book that details all that you will ever think/say/do/feel/etc. and gives it to you, do you think you can deviate from what is in that book? In order to have "choices" one must have more than one option. If the universe is determined, no choice exists. Simply because I desire to stay attached to the Earth instead of floating into space doesn't mean that when I fall off a ladder that I choose to hit the ground. This is an action we have no control over, despite our wishes/desires. Same with a universe formed by an omni-max deity. We have no control despite our desires.

Quixote said...

"Please answer the actual book question. If god writes a book that details all that you will ever think/say/do/feel/etc. and gives it to you, do you think you can deviate from what is in that book?"

Please take the time to read with comprehension, my friend. I already affirmed that God ordains all that comes to pass, which is the equivalent to answering your question by saying no, I don't think I can deviate from it.

But compatibilism allows for free choice within determinism or philosophic necessity. It's not something I made up. It's a historical position maintained by plenty of great thinkers of all stripes, both skeptic and faithful. It's more than enough warrant to hold that position--and with it, your book analogy fails.

I also noticed you failed to deal with my answer head on. If everyone chooses exactly what they desire, how are they not choosing exactly what they want, which is the free will you seek under a deterministic system.

Moreover, a determined system does not imply that there is only one choice. It implies that one choice is actualized over a range of choices, not that it would make any difference if someone only had one choice, given that the choice made is exactly what they wanted, which choices always are.

Anonymous said...

"Please take the time to read with comprehension, my friend. I already affirmed that God ordains all that comes to pass, which is the equivalent to answering your question by saying no, I don't think I can deviate from it."

Then in what way do you have free will? Even given new information, you do not have the power to change your mind or desire something new, hence you have no free will.

"But compatibilism allows for free choice within determinism or philosophic necessity. It's not something I made up. It's a historical position maintained by plenty of great thinkers of all stripes, both skeptic and faithful. It's more than enough warrant to hold that position--and with it, your book analogy fails."

I don't care where it comes from, and no simply because some people think it makes sense doesn't mean that the book analogy fails. The book analogy does not fail. If your actions are determined, even if you know ahead of time what they will be, then you do not have free choice. Let's say that the book claims that you will die by walking out into the street and being careless by not looking both ways and getting hit by a car. You know the time/date/etc. Do you really wish to say that you, having this information, would still careless walk into the road without looking both ways and get hit by a car? Do you think that you would really desire to die in this way, especially if the book told you that it was going to be agonizingly painful and you would linger for days before finally dying in a horrible manner? Of course not. Therein lies the reason why compatibilism does not work.

"If everyone chooses exactly what they desire, how are they not choosing exactly what they want, which is the free will you seek under a deterministic system."

There is no free will in a determined system, only apparent free will. I made that part of my definition - you must have missed that part.

"Moreover, a determined system does not imply that there is only one choice."

No, it implies that there is no choice.

"It implies that one choice is actualized over a range of choices, not that it would make any difference if someone only had one choice, given that the choice made is exactly what they wanted, which choices always are."

So, now you have to argue that you will choose to die a horrible, agonizing death due to a careless mistake because that's what the book said. Sorry, but your assertions are failing. If your path is determined, then you do not have a choice, whether you think you do or not. It matters not what my desire is, because in a determined system my desires have been determined as well. Sorry, but your dog won't hunt.

Quixote said...

"Do you really wish to say that you, having this information, would still careless walk into the road without looking both ways and get hit by a car?"

This comment is fatal to your position, since no one actually does this unless they want to commit suicide.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I'm getting an odd urge to go watch Stranger Than Fiction again. ;-)

J.L. Hinman said...

your post says either it's true or its not. OK we knew that.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"This comment is fatal to your position, since no one actually does this unless they want to commit suicide."

No, it's fatal to YOUR point. In the book, it's completely by accident. You were careless, so you walk out in front of a car and get hit and die. Now that you've read the book, will you choose to be careless and walk out in front of the car? I take it from your comment that you would not. Hence, if you have free will, then the book is not accurate because you will not do what is in the book, meaning god is not omni-max.

I believe that you've been defeated.

Karla said...

If God looks into the future and sees all the choices we make because He is looking after we have made them to know what we have made and not projecting those to us because He determined them to happen that way then I don't see where this violates free will.

If He sees all of time before it happens because He is greater than the time having existed before time and will exist after time and always exist in the present. And we are living time as it happens in the linear time line that doesn't mean He has usurped our freedom to make choices. It only means He sees the end from the beginning. His sight does not rob us of our freedom.

However, naturalism would make us less free for we are merely products of chance and invironment and not free agents. So I would think your worldview binds the freedom of humans more so than mine ever could.

Quixote said...

Anon said: "Now that you've read the book, will you choose to be careless and walk out in front of the car?'

In other words, if I get extra information before I cross thhe street will it change my choice? That's exactly what I am saying: I, and you, and everyone who has ever chosen, chooses according to their strongest desire. the extra info only serves that purpose.

Mr(s) Anon,

It seems we finally were able to settle on one thread, but we are just too far apart on these other two. I propose that we wait for a new thread. I like a good discussion, but we're arguing right past each other, which makes these type discussions fairly futile. Perhaps in the new one, we might find some common ground :)

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"In other words, if I get extra information before I cross thhe street will it change my choice? That's exactly what I am saying: I, and you, and everyone who has ever chosen, chooses according to their strongest desire. the extra info only serves that purpose."

Then, face it, you are defeated. If god writes a book that details all your actions/etc. and then you do something other than what was in the book, you've shown that god is not omni-max, because god didn't actually know what you would do! If god is outside of space and time, then he should know what you do, and any extra information that you receive would matter not one bit, because it is a determined system and you have no choices.

Once again, you are defeated.

"It seems we finally were able to settle on one thread, but we are just too far apart on these other two."

Because you refuse to actually look at the argument in front of you and how you've lost it. Face it, you're beaten. Free will is not compatible with an omni-max god.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
"If God looks into the future and sees all the choices we make because He is looking after we have made them to know what we have made and not projecting those to us because He determined them to happen that way then I don't see where this violates free will."

Pathetic. Look at the book example. Would you walk out in front of a car and die knowing ahead of time that this is what would happen to you? Of course not. Face it, you are dead wrong. The book example has been the undoing of both you and Quixote.

"However, naturalism would make us less free for we are merely products of chance and invironment and not free agents. So I would think your worldview binds the freedom of humans more so than mine ever could."

That's actually quite funny, considering that your worldview leads to a determined universe where god has made all of our choices for us. Mine is undetermined meaning the possibility for choice. It might be true that we are ruled by our genes/make-up/etc. and that we don't have free choice, but at least without god scripting our every move there's the chance that we have it. Once again you show a lack of ability to think things through.