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Archived => Problem of Evil => Topic started by: Robert Harris on March 14, 2011, 09:39:32 am

Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Robert Harris on March 14, 2011, 09:39:32 am
I have read a lot about how ahtheists hate the free will defense. "...and don't give me any of that free-will defense garbage." I have read numerous times, or have read something to the same affect.

Why is it so hated? I think it is logical and rational but cannot understand why an ahtheist would have problems with it. I can understand if they didn't think it was good or valid, but they don't say that. They say 'they don't want to hear anything about it.' Why is that?

Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 14, 2011, 10:22:15 am

RobertH wrote: I have read a lot about how ahtheists hate the free will defense. "...and don't give me any of that free-will defense garbage." I have read numerous times, or have read something to the same affect.

Why is it so hated? I think it is logical and rational but cannot understand why an ahtheist would have problems with it. I can understand if they didn't think it was good or valid, but they don't say that. They say 'they don't want to hear anything about it.' Why is that?


The free will defense works if we assume some very unlikely facts.
Firstly: the FWD a-only works is libertarian free will is possible, which is not even accepted among Christians. Moreover, it is proposed by a proponent of molinism, which already entails an important reduction on what libertarian free will is.
And finally:  the free will defense may work for some generic God who is 3-omni, but it does not work for the God of most varieties of Christianity, because it fails to give a reason why heaven is such a good place although people's free will is violated there.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Robert Harris on March 14, 2011, 10:35:14 am
belorg wrote:
The free will defense works if we assume some very unlikely facts.
Firstly: the FWD a-only works is libertarian free will is possible, which is not even accepted among Christians. Moreover, it is proposed by a proponent of molinism, which already entails an important reduction on what libertarian free will is.


Unfortunately, what you have stated is just not accurate. Libertarian free will does not have to be assumed. Can you tell me why it has to be libertarian free will?

How is Libertarian free will "not even accepted among Christians"? I am a Christian and I accept it and I know a bunch of Christians that are not self-defined molinists, arminians, or calvinist.


And finally:  the free will defense may work for some generic God who is 3-omni, but it does not work for the God of most varieties of Christianity, because it fails to give a reason why heaven is such a good place although people's free will is violated there.


What "most varieties of Christianity" are you talking about? What are these varieties? Can you support your claim that Heaven violates people's free will or is it just a bare assertion?

It's fine that the free will defense can work for a "generic God." How does this count against it being useful?

---
I want to draw your attention to the main thrust of my question: Why do ahtheists not even want to hear the FWD? They act like it is some cheap shot and I do not understand why that is.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 14, 2011, 01:39:50 pm

RobertH wrote:
Quote from: belorg

The free will defense works if we assume some very unlikely facts.
Firstly: the FWD a-only works is libertarian free will is possible, which is not even accepted among Christians. Moreover, it is proposed by a proponent of molinism, which already entails an important reduction on what libertarian free will is.


Unfortunately, what you have stated is just not accurate. Libertarian free will does not have to be assumed. Can you tell me why it has to be libertarian free will?


Because under compatibilist free will, God can determine every outcome He wants without violating people's free will. So, He can create a world in which no-one will ever choose evil  and He cannot use free will as 'a morally significant reason for allowing evil'.

How is Libertarian free will "not even accepted among Christians"?


Sorry, my mistake. What I wanted to say is that not every Christian denomination accepts LFW.

I am a Christian and I accept it and I know a bunch of Christians that are not self-defined molinists, arminians, or calvinist.


Yes, of course. But Calvinists do not believe in LFW.


And finally:  the free will defense may work for some generic God who is 3-omni, but it does not work for the God of most varieties of Christianity, because it fails to give a reason why heaven is such a good place although people's free will is violated there.


What "most varieties of Christianity" are you talking about? What are these varieties?[/QUOTE]

Most varieties that accept heaven as a place with no evil.


Can you support your claim that Heaven violates people's free will or is it just a bare assertion?


Maybe heaven does not violate people's free will, but then there is no morally significant reason for God to allow evil.
Heaven is defined (by most Christians, that is) as a place without evil and with free will (although not every Christian accepts the 'free will' in heaven.
But if it is possible for God to create a world in which people freely choose not to do evil, there is no reason why God should choose to create a world in  which people freely do choose to do evil.
And if there is no free will in heaven it's vary herd to see why God would value free-will more than absense of evil, if the place where every Chrsitian wants to go to does not have free will.

It's fine that the free will defense can work for a "generic God." How does this count against it being useful?


It may be useful in that it suggests there might be a very far-fetched possibility for some kind of tri-omni God to co-exist with evil. So, that way, if sound (which I still very much doubt), the FWD is a defense against the logical PoE, which says that no type of tri-omni God can co-existt with evil, but it does not work against the types of Gods most Christians believe in.
---
I want to draw your attention to the main thrust of my question: Why do ahtheists not even want to hear the FWD? They act like it is some cheap shot and I do not understand why that is.


Oh, I do not know whether that is true. I don't find the FWD convincing in any sort of way, but I wouldn't say I don't want to hear it.
And I wouldn't call it a cheap shot. Personally I would call it a weak argument, but not 'a cheap shot'.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Robert Harris on March 14, 2011, 02:18:52 pm
You talk about Calvinism, ok, that is one thing. But don't make a strawman and narrow your responses to a perceived calvinist problem. Calvinism =/= Christianity; Calvinism = some portion of Christians.

Maybe heaven does not violate people's free will, but then there is no morally significant reason for God to allow evil. Heaven  is defined (by most Christians, that is) as a place without evil and  with free will (although not every Christian accepts the 'free will' in  heaven. But if it is possible for God to create a world in which  people freely choose not to do evil, there is no reason why God should  choose to create a world in  which people freely do choose to do evil. And  if there is no free will in heaven it's vary herd to see why God would  value free-will more than absense of evil, if the place where every  Chrsitian wants to go to does not have free will.


You are conflating Earth and Heaven. You just don't know how things will be in Heaven; how it will be free from evil/pain/suffering/etc.

It doesn't matter if you think the FWD is a bad one. You have to give reasons why it is. But this is really detracting from what I am getting at. I can understand when people like you say "it's a weak argument." That's fine, that is a debatable point. But I do not understand why ahtheists say, "don't give me any of that FWD garbage." I have read it on these forums and seen it on youtube videos and other places. It has just been moving around in my mind for a while now and wanted to bring it up.

Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Archsage on March 14, 2011, 02:26:38 pm
Honestly, if there is free will (will without any causal restraint) that does not line itself with the the Will of God, then there is bound to be 'clashes'. I thought this was common knowledge already...
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 15, 2011, 12:48:52 am

RobertH wrote: You talk about Calvinism, ok, that is one thing. But don't make a strawman and narrow your responses to a perceived calvinist problem. Calvinism =/= Christianity; Calvinism = some portion of Christians.


Well, you asked me to explain why the FWG requires libertarian free will.



You are conflating Earth and Heaven. You just don't know how things will be in Heaven; how it will be free from evil/pain/suffering/etc.


Of course I don't know how it will be free from..., but  that doesn't matter. If Heaven is free from evil and has free will then the FWD fails for any sort of tri-omni God who created Heaven
And if there is no free will in Heaven, then free will cannot be used as 'a significant moral reason for allowing evil'

It doesn't matter if you think the FWD is a bad one. You have to give reasons why it is. But this is really detracting from what I am getting at. I can understand when people like you say "it's a weak argument."
That's fine, that is a debatable point. But I do not understand why ahtheists say, "don't give me any of that FWD garbage."


Probably because theists use the FWD as a champion argument, and most people do not even know what the FWD is really about, and also because all objections against the FWD have been repeated ad nauseum, and the FWD still keeps coming up.



Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Robert Harris on March 15, 2011, 08:54:26 am
belorg wrote:

Of course I don't know how it will be free from..., but  that doesn't matter. If Heaven is free from evil and has free will then the FWD fails for any sort of tri-omni God who created Heaven
And if there is no free will in Heaven, then free will cannot be used as 'a significant moral reason for allowing evil'


Of course it matters how things will be in Heaven! Not to mention that Christians believe when we have our resurrection bodies we will not desire the things sinful things we lust in the bodies we have now!


Probably because theists use the FWD as a champion argument, and most people do not even know what the FWD is really about, and also because all objections against the FWD have been repeated ad nauseum, and the FWD still keeps coming up.


Theists think the FWD is a great argument. But, theists also think that the cosmological, teleological, moral, Resurrection, and Ontological are great arguments too but the ahtheist doesn't say, "don't give me that _____ argument garbage either."
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 15, 2011, 10:28:14 am

RobertH wrote:
Of course it matters how things will be in Heaven! Not to mention that Christians believe when we have our resurrection bodies we will not desire the things sinful things we lust in the bodies we have now!


Which proves my point.
Christians believe that Heaven is a perfect place, or, at least, a place where they long to be.
So God can create a perfect place for humans (or human souls) where they have free will and  do not desire sinful things and where, as a result, evil does not exist.
Or God can create a perfect place for humans (or human souls) do not have free will and do not desire sinful things and where, as a result, evil does not exist.

In both cases, there is no need for 'a sufficnient moral reason to allow evil' and the FWD fails.


Probably because theists use the FWD as a champion argument, and most people do not even know what the FWD is really about, and also because all objections against the FWD have been repeated ad nauseum, and the FWD still keeps coming up.


Theists think the FWD is a great argument. But, theists also think that the cosmological, teleological, moral, Resurrection, and Ontological are great arguments too but the ahtheist doesn't say, "don't give me that _____ argument garbage either."
[/QUOTE]

I do not know whether lots of ahtheists say those things, unless  by "garbage" they mean "a very weak argument", in which case they will probably also say the same about the KCA, the OA, the resurrection argument etc.

One reason why they might be more inclined to use it against the FWD could be that it's one of the most popular defenses in theism, in the non-academic world, that is. How often don't we hear the "God does not want robots" mantra? Sometimes this can get quite annoying, hence, perhaps this reaction.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Robert Harris on March 15, 2011, 10:54:18 am
belorg wrote:
Which proves my point.
Christians believe that Heaven is a perfect place, or, at least, a place where they long to be.
So God can create a perfect place for humans (or human souls) where they have free will and  do not desire sinful things and where, as a result, evil does not exist.
Or God can create a perfect place for humans (or human souls) do not have free will and do not desire sinful things and where, as a result, evil does not exist.

In both cases, there is no need for 'a sufficnient moral reason to allow evil' and the FWD fails.


It didn't prove your point; you missed the point. We are humans desiring sinful things, that is what we are. In other words, that is our nature: sinful human nature. When the believers go to Heaven their faith in God is rewarded, in part, by resurrection bodies. As we both admitted to previously, we do not know how this causes us not to lose the desire sin, but the believer's nature is changed to  (according to Christian theology, of course) so that this is no longer a problem.

What you are trying, I think, to get at is if God could change people's natures then why He can't just do that now and there would be no reason for sin, evil, etc. But God doesn't just change people's natures, He doesn't just change who people are. He only changes those that want to be with Him and try to faithfully follow Him. If He just changed ever person He would be violating people's free will which would be evil itself and God cannot do that.


I do not know whether lots of ahtheists say those things, unless  by "garbage" they mean "a very weak argument", in which case they will probably also say the same about the KCA, the OA, the resurrection argument etc.

One reason why they might be more inclined to use it against the FWD could be that it's one of the most popular defenses in theism, in the non-academic world, that is. How often don't we hear the "God does not want robots" mantra? Sometimes this can get quite annoying, hence, perhaps this reaction.


Heh, there are certainly a lot of things that can get quite annoying! I am sure we would both agree to this. I dispute your claim that it is a popular layman defense but not something popular in the academic world. Hasn't Plantinga done a ton of work on this? Also, I know I have heard WLC use it/discuss it.

--
I think part of the problem here is that I am failing to communicate what I really want to say. Perhaps I should just spend some time and find some of the quotes I was talking about and share that. Then maybe you would see my point.

Of course people could just say, "don't give me ____ garbage" and by saying that they are implying that it is a weak argument/cliche/boring/rebutted/whatever else. But, that doesn't mean there are not counter-rebuttals or other things.

This thread isn't really supposed to be about whether the FWD is a good defense or even good philosophy. It is just about the narrow claim "Don't give me the FWD garbage." I want to know what that means and why a lot of ahtheists say it; I do not hear it being said regarding other arguments/theological points. This leads me to believe there is some non-philosophical reason for the claim "Don't give me the FWD garbage."

Btw, am I making myself clear at all? I hope I am not babbling to you
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 15, 2011, 11:50:25 am

RobertH wrote:

What you are trying, I think, to get at is if God could change people's natures then why He can't just do that now and there would be no reason for sin, evil, etc. But God doesn't just change people's natures, He doesn't just change who people are. He only changes those that want to be with Him and try to faithfully follow Him. If He just changed ever person He would be violating people's free will which would be evil itself and God cannot do that.


If I want to be a bird, then God violates my free will by not lettiong me be a bird?



Heh, there are certainly a lot of things that can get quite annoying! I am sure we would both agree to this. I dispute your claim that it is a popular layman defense but not something popular in the academic world. Hasn't Plantinga done a ton of work on this? Also, I know I have heard WLC use it/discuss it.


I didn't mean it wasn't popular in the academic world, but that the otherv arguments are not so popular in the non-acadelic world.
Plantinga's version e.g. is so sophisticated hardly anyone in the non-academic world  actually knwo what it's about. Most of them haven't even read it.
--

I think part of the problem here is that I am failing to communicate what I really want to say. Perhaps I should just spend some time and find some of the quotes I was talking about and share that. Then maybe you would see my point.


I think I do see your point, and there are atheists who  wouol say it's garbage, jus as there are theists who says such things about atheist's arguments. But is it really such a big problem.

Of course people could just say, "don't give me ____ garbage" and by saying that they are implying that it is a weak argument/cliche/boring/rebutted/whatever else. But, that doesn't mean there are not counter-rebuttals or other things.


No, of course that does not mean that there are no counter-arguments. I don't think Plantinga's FWD is particularly weak e.g. but I do think the popular 'God wants no robots' defense is extremely weak. I do not call peaople's arguments, no matter how poor or weak they are, garbage.

This thread isn't really supposed to be about whether the FWD is a good defense or even good philosophy. It is just about the narrow claim "Don't give me the FWD garbage." I want to know what that means and why a lot of ahtheists say it; I do not hear it being said regarding other arguments/theological points.


I have heard it about the KCA, e.g., and about the ontological argument too.


This leads me to believe there is some non-philosophical reason for the claim "Don't give me the FWD garbage."


Does any non-theistic philosopher say this? I would think this is something non-philosphers would say.

Btw, am I making myself clear at all? I hope I am not babbling to you


No, you are not babbling. But I cannot give you a straight answer, because, honestly, I do not really know the answer.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Robert Harris on March 15, 2011, 11:59:03 am

If I want to be a bird, then God violates my free will by not lettiong me be a bird?


lol.

That isn't one of the options
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Archsage on March 15, 2011, 03:00:17 pm
Wanting and Willing are two completely different things.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 16, 2011, 01:18:29 am

Archsage wrote: Wanting and Willing are two completely different things.

OK, I will to become a bird.

Satisfied now?
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Archsage on March 16, 2011, 05:23:17 pm
OK, I will to become a bird.

Satisfied now?

See, now you have free will! You can will whatever you want -- it doesn't mean that you will get it. I can will for world peace... but is it going to happen because I will for it? Of course not. But my will is still free.

You understand?
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 16, 2011, 09:23:27 pm
Although I am a christian, (a calvinits), I can understand why someone would not be satisfied with the free-will defence. It is because the argument that God could logically create a world, where everyone freely chooses good rather than evil, is a logical problem.
Heaven is supposed to be a world where people freely choose good rather than evil, therefore God could create such a world. It matters not what the mechanics of creating such a world would be, -- all that matters is that such a world is logically possible, ie. it is a possible world.

If God really wants the best possible world to be actualized, then why does God not actualise a perfect world, where everyone freely chooses good?

P1) If God is omnipotent, then God can do everything which is not logically impossible.
P2) A perfect world, ie. heaven, is a possible world.
Therefore, God could have actualized a perfect world, where everyone freely chooses good rather than evil.

P3) God did not actualize a perfect world.
P4) God is omnipotent.
Therefore, either God did not want to create a perfect world, ie. is not omnibenevolent.

P5) God is omnibenevolent, ie. God wanted to create a perfect world.
P6) God did not create a perfect world.
Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

The molinistic FWD presupposes that God could not create a perfect world, or atleast that we can't know that God could create a perfect world. The atheist quite correctly, points out that if heaven is a perfect world, then God can in fact create a perfect world.

The molinist ends up implicitly saying that we can't know if God can create heaven, or worse, that He can't create heaven.

Ofcourse, the atheist assumes that it is wrong for God to create a world where people suffer, and logically implies that it is wrong for me to learn that the icecream I am eating does not go right down to the bottom of the cone

Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 16, 2011, 09:24:12 pm
I don't
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Jack on March 16, 2011, 11:24:12 pm
I think one of the reasons why people might feel the free-will defense isn't a good reply is because it is only half the story. It defeats (in some instances, as previously discussed) the logical problem of evil, but not the evidential one. By ignoring the very real suffering and evil existing in the world, the Christian appears shallow and dismissive of what should be a very troubling challenge to the benevolence of God. Even if some evil may logically exist on Christianity, some effort should be made to account for the actual amount of suffering we see, and what level of intervention we expect God to have in our world, even with free will.

To give an example, it is very difficult to see how babies dying of small-pox is a result of man exercising his free will. For the Christian to dismiss this simply because its logically possible that God has sufficient reasons for allowing innocent babies to die of something which humanity could not have prevented seems like ignoring the real problem.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 17, 2011, 01:56:20 am

Archsage wrote:
OK, I will to become a bird.

Satisfied now?

See, now you have free will! You can will whatever you want -- it doesn't mean that you will get it. I can will for world peace... but is it going to happen because I will for it? Of course not. But my will is still free.

You understand?


Great. So, suppose it's my free will to kill somebody. And for some reason I cannot do that. Is that a violation of my free will?
You say no.
Then the FWD fails altogether because God could create a world in which everybody wills evil things but no evil thing actually happen.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 17, 2011, 02:06:18 am

troyjs wrote:
Ofcourse, the atheist assumes that it is wrong for God to create a world where people suffer, and logically implies that it is wrong for me to learn that the icecream I am eating does not go right down to the bottom of the cone


Well, I don't see why it wouldn't be wrong for an omnibenevolent God to create such a world. Now, I understand that most calvinists do not believe that God is omnibenevolent. And it could be argued that allowing suffering is the only way for God to create some 'greater good'.
But it strikes me as a bit of an inconsistency to claim (as calvinists do) that there is not only temporal suffering, but that suffering continues eternally for those who happen to be 'unchosen', because those people quite literally cannot help being unchosen.


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 17, 2011, 02:10:41 am
noseeum wrote: I think one of the reasons why people might feel the free-will defense isn't a good reply is because it is only half the story. It defeats (in some instances, as previously discussed) the logical problem of evil, but not the evidential one. By ignoring the very real suffering and evil existing in the world, the Christian appears shallow and dismissive of what should be a very troubling challenge to the benevolence of God. Even if some evil may logically exist on Christianity, some effort should be made to account for the actual amount of suffering we see, and what level of intervention we expect God to have in our world, even with free will.

To give an example, it is very difficult to see how babies dying of small-pox is a result of man exercising his free will. For the Christian to dismiss this simply because its logically possible that God has sufficient reasons for allowing innocent babies to die of something which humanity could not have prevented seems like ignoring the real problem.


Well, it doesn't look like the FWD works against natural evil in the world, unless, as Plantinga once suggested (and I still hope his suggestion was merely an attempt to be funny) natural evil is the result of free-willed actions by supernatural beings (demons etc). God does not want to violate the FW of those creatures either.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Archsage on March 17, 2011, 06:38:35 am
Great. So, suppose it's my free will  to kill somebody. And for some reason I cannot do that. Is that a  violation of my free will?
You say no.
Then the FWD fails  altogether because God could create a world in which everybody wills  evil things but no evil thing actually happen.


You mean, God creates a world where we have no power to do anything? Why would God want that? Remember, it isn't our actions that are evil, no, evil comes from our very will.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Filip Prsic on March 17, 2011, 06:43:17 am
I explain here why the free will defense makes no sense to me.

It seems to me that in the end, for it to work, you have to say that special rules apply to God--God can be loving while watching all the suffering in the world without helping but no one else can. This is one of the points made in the Tale of Twelve Officers.

But, since I'm a complete lay man (and a minor), it's entirely possible that I don't know what I'm talking about. But I'd like to hear someone actually crticize the argument I give there.

Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 17, 2011, 11:01:39 am

Archsage wrote:
Great. So, suppose it's my free will to kill somebody. And for some reason I cannot do that. Is that a violation of my free will?
You say no.
Then the FWD fails altogether because God could create a world in which everybody wills evil things but no evil thing actually happen.


You mean, God creates a world where we have no power to do anything? Why would God want that? Remember, it isn't our actions that are evil, no, evil comes from our very will.


How is that relevant to the PoE? Our will is evil, yes, but for our will to affect anybody else, we'll have to perform evil actions. And God can prevent those evil actions from happening without influencing our free will.
And if He finds delight in seeing some of us burn in hell, He can just send us there because of our evil intentions
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Archsage on March 17, 2011, 03:20:14 pm
How is that relevant to the PoE? Our  will is evil, yes, but for our will to affect anybody else, we'll have  to perform evil actions. And God can prevent those evil actions from  happening without influencing our free will.
And if He finds delight in seeing some of us burn in hell, He can just send us there because of our evil intentions

1) It isn't relevant to PoE, it's just true.

2) Why would God have to prevent us from carrying out our will?

3) God doesn't send us to Hell because of 'evil intentions', we are Judged based solely on the Christ.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 18, 2011, 01:46:21 am
But it strikes me as a bit of an inconsistency to claim (as calvinists do) that there is not only temporal suffering, but that suffering continues eternally for those who happen to be 'unchosen', because those people quite literally cannot help being unchosen.


We don't say that people go to hell because they are not chosen, but rather because they are sinners. But the retort is usually, "but we can't help but to be sinners."

It is then important to define what a sinner is, and also to ask if it is necessary that all sinners are responsible for their sin.

If it is necessarily true that all sinners are responsible for their sin, then the predicate of responsibility can be attached to all x, where x is all possible sinners. Every x, is a personal agent which desires to be x. It is incoherent therefore for x to complain for being x, where x is x by identity and also since x is x by agentival will.

Explaining why x is x, and that by the law of identity x is x, and can not not be x, does not remove the necessary predicate of responsibility.

It therefore follows that rather than to commit the genetic fallacy, all and every possible x is responsible, and therefore has no complaint against being in hell.

Where the real problem lies, is where all possible x's are responsible, that there are some x that do not go to hell. In other words, "why do some sinners go to heaven?"

With sinners who go to hell, it is by the law of identity, and the necessary predicate of responsibility that sinners go to hell. But why do some not go there? It is because of the concept of derivation, and the predicate of justification.

Because x is responsible to God, due to derivation, x is derivative and all possible relations between x and God are contingent on God. God therefore can attach the predicate of justification to every possible x, which is derived from God.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ -- Romans 5:1


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 18, 2011, 02:49:33 am

troyjs wrote:


If it is necessarily true that all sinners are responsible for their sin, then the predicate of responsibility can be attached to all x, where x is all possible sinners. Every x, is a personal agent which desires to be x. It is incoherent therefore for x to complain for being x, where x is x by identity and also since x is x by agentival will.


This is false. I am a personal agent, belorg, but I do not desire to be belorg. I am belorg and there is no way for me not to be belorg.


Explaining why x is x, and that by the law of identity x is x, and can not not be x, does not remove the necessary predicate of responsibility.


I am in no way responsible for being me.

Where the real problem lies, is where all possible x's are responsible, that there are some x that do not go to hell. In other words, "why do some sinners go to heaven?"


That's 'the real problem' for calvinists, but it isn't the real problem for me. the real problem for me is not that you might not go to hell but that I will go to hell.

With sinners who go to hell, it is by the law of identity, and the necessary predicate of responsibility that sinners go to hell. But why do some not go there? It is because of the concept of derivation, and the predicate of justification.

Because x is responsible to God, due to derivation, x is derivative and all possible relations between x and God are contingent on God. God therefore can attach the predicate of justification to every possible x, which is derived from God.



In plain English: people go to hell because they happen to be unchosen by God not to go to hell. Which happens to be exactly what you denied


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 18, 2011, 08:04:47 pm
Because the context of the argument has to do with choice, sin, and free-will, where x chooses to be x, I mean x chooses to do what x chooses to do.

This is false. I am a personal agent, belorg, but I do not desire to be belorg. I am belorg and there is no way for me not to be belorg.

You amount to saying that you are not responsible for the choices you make, because you couldn't help but want to choose that particular way. You would have to deny that you don't really desire or choose, what you actually desire or choose.

"I wanted to kill him, but I didn't want to want to kill him". Self-referential choice or identity is properly basic.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 19, 2011, 01:58:24 am
troyjs wrote: Because the context of the argument has to do with choice, sin, and free-will, where x chooses to be x, I mean x chooses to do what x chooses to do.
Yes x chooses to de what x chooses to do, but x does not choose who x is.
Quote
This is false. I am a personal agent, belorg, but I do not desire to be belorg. I am belorg and there is no way for me not to be belorg.

You amount to saying that you are not responsible for the choices you make, because you couldn't help but want to choose that particular way. You would have to deny that you don't really desire or choose, what you actually desire or choose.

"I wanted to kill him, but I didn't want to want to kill him". Self-referential choice or identity is properly basic.

Since , acoording to calvinism, my wanting to kill him was programmed by God and I can't change my programming I am not responsible for anything.
God is responsible for everything that happens. I don't know why this is such a big problem. God is the boss, He decides what happens. So, why calvinists go to all the trouble trying to make excuses for God is completely beyond me.
God does not need an excuse if He wants to torture people for eternity. If He likes to do that, who are we to say He can't?
After all: might makes right.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 19, 2011, 04:59:30 am
es x chooses to de what x chooses to do, but x does not choose who x is.

In my initial post, I defined x as being a sinner. x is a sinner because x sins, and  x sins because x chooses to sin.

x is a sinner because x chooses to sin, therefore x implicitly chooses to be a sinner.
x murders p because x chose to murder p, therefore x chooses to be a murder of p.
Obviously I don't mean that x can choose to be a bird or a car -- the context is regards to sin and will.

Since , acoording to calvinism, my wanting to kill him was programmed by God and I can't change my programming I am not responsible for anything.

You commit the genetic fallacy. Explaining how something is the case, does not refute the idea that something is in fact the case.

Analyse this analytic statement:
If God creates person x who is responsible for his actions, then person x is responsible for his actions.

God is responsible for everything that happens. I don't know why this is such a big problem. God is the boss, He decides what happens. So, why calvinists go to all the trouble trying to make excuses for God is completely beyond me.

Read A W Pink's 'The Sovereignty of God', then tell me that calvinists make excuses for God. Of course God is responsible for everything. It is just that you deny the possibility of God using sinners for Holy causes.

God determines to destroy 2 particular murderers. God uses each murderer to kill the other out of their individual murderous nature. God destroys both murderers in just judgement, and the murderers kill each other in sin. In the one act, the murderers are committing sin, while God is acting according to righteousness.

God does not need an excuse if He wants to torture people for eternity. If He likes to do that, who are we to say He can't?

Because God has an unchanging character, and He has revealed His character to us, then God will not do anything in contradiction to what He has revealed to us. He has revealed why people will suffer in hell for eternity. It is because sinners are responsible for their sin, while God is responsible for His judgement upon sinners in their judgement, which is good.


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 19, 2011, 10:02:10 am
troyjs wrote:
es x chooses to de what x chooses to do, but x does not choose who x is.

In my initial post, I defined x as being a sinner. x is a sinner because x sins, and  x sins because x chooses to sin.

x is a sinner because x chooses to sin, therefore x implicitly chooses to be a sinner.
x murders p because x chose to murder p, therefore x chooses to be a murder of p.
Obviously I don't mean that x can choose to be a bird or a car -- the context is regards to sin and will.
The question is: can , under calvinism, x, who God predetined to sin  choose not to sin?
If he can, then he is not predestined. If he cannot, then he doesn't choose.

Quote
Since , according to calvinism, my wanting to kill him was programmed by God and I can't change my programming I am not responsible for anything.

You commit the genetic fallacy. Explaining how something is the case, does not refute the idea that something is in fact the case.
Of course not, my explaining how predistination is the case does not refute the idea that predstination is the case.
Analyse this analytic statement:
If God creates person x who is responsible for his actions, then person x is responsible for his actions.
That is logically impossible. It is impossible to create actions and not be responsible for them.

Quote
God is responsible for everything that happens. I don't know why this is such a big problem. God is the boss, He decides what happens. So, why calvinists go to all the trouble trying to make excuses for God is completely beyond me.

Read A W Pink's 'The Sovereignty of God', then tell me that calvinists make excuses for God.
I do not know whether Pink does, but you seem to do so.
Of course God is responsible for everything. It is just that you deny the possibility of God using sinners for Holy causes.
No, I don't. I don't deny the possibility of someone using a hammer to kill somebody either.
God determines to destroy 2 particular murderers. God uses each murderer to kill the other out of their individual murderous nature. God destroys both murderers in just judgement, and the murderers kill each other in sin. In the one act, the murderers are committing sin, while God is acting according to righteousness.
You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
Quote
God does not need an excuse if He wants to torture people for eternity. If He likes to do that, who are we to say He can't?

Because God has an unchanging character, and He has revealed His character to us, then God will not do anything in contradiction to what He has revealed to us.
I have never said that God does anything in contradiction to what he has revealed to us.
He has revealed why people will suffer in hell for eternity. It is because sinners are responsible for their sin, while God is responsible for His judgement upon sinners in their judgement, which is good.
God judges that people deserve eternal punishment for a sin that they could not avoid.
Is there a possible world in which, if God has predestined that x kills y, x can choose not to kill y?
Then the 'choice' to kill x is not a choice after all.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 19, 2011, 10:23:39 pm
I wrote:
Of course God is responsible for everything.

Then you replied:
I do not know whether Pink does, but you seem to do so.
(In saying that calvinists make excuses for God  (i) )

(i)
God is responsible for everything that happens. I don't know why this is such a big problem. God is the boss, He decides what happens. So, why calvinists go to all the trouble trying to make excuses for God is completely beyond me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
No I maintain that x is an agent created by God who is responsible for his actionsm and that God is responsible for His actions.

You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
I maintain that God creates x, where x is a sinner and responsible for his actions. I don't deny that God is responsible for what happens in the universe --- I am a calvinist after all.. It would be wrong if God caused a murderer to kill someone who is innocent in God's sight, but no one is in fact innocent in God's sight. You agree that God can use sinners to meet out His justice, but I think our disagreement is whether God can create a person who is by nature a sinner, and both responsible for his actions. Am I correct?

quote:

God judges that people deserve eternal punishment for a sin that they could not avoid.
Is there a possible world in which, if God has predestined that x kills y, x can choose not to kill y?
Then the 'choice' to kill x is not a choice after all.

---------------------------------------------------

I think this is the main issue:
The claim: A predetermined choice is not a choice after all.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I view you to believe that the idea of a predetermined choice is contradictory. If this is so, then we should begin by defining our terms.

choice: An act of a personal being, whereby a selection is preferred over an alternative.

I would like for you to demonstrate why a predetermined act of a personal being whereby a selection is preferred over an alternative, is not a choice.

Thanks for discussing this topic with me.



Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 20, 2011, 08:36:17 am
troyjs wrote:
----------------------------------------------------------------------

You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
No I maintain that x is an agent created by God who is responsible for his actionm and that God is responsible for His actions.
That's why I say you make excuses for God. You say God is responsible for His actions, but you forget that God is also responsible for x's actions.

Quote
You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
I maintain that God creates x, where x is a sinner and responsible for his actions. I don't deny that God is responsible for what happens in the universe --- I am a calvinist after all.. It would be wrong if God caused a murderer to kill someone who is innocent in God's sight, but no one is in fact innocent in God's sight. You agree that God can use sinners to meet out His justice, but I think our disagreement is whether God can create a person who is by nature a sinner, and both responsible for his actions. Am I correct?
Yes


God judges that people deserve eternal punishment for a sin that they could not avoid.
Is there a possible world in which, if God has predestined that x kills y, x can choose not to kill y?
Then the 'choice' to kill x is not a choice after all.

---------------------------------------------------

I think this is the main issue:
The claim: A predetermined choice is not a choice after all.
Well, I think it would be better to say that a predetermined agant is not responsible for his choice if he couldn't have avoided it.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I view you to believe that the idea of a predetermined choice is contradictory. If this is so, then we should begin by defining our terms.

choice: An act of a personal being, whereby a selection is preferred over an alternative.
That is one definition of choice, a compatibilist definition of choice.
And, you may be surprised to hear, but I am actually a compatibilist, because whatever I choose is according to my preferences and from my point of view, the fact that this choice may have been inevitable from a cosmic POV, is not relevant.
However, from a cosmic POV, the difference is relevant, because from that POV ( which would be God's POV) I am not responsible for my choice.
Compatibilist free is only relevant when one only takes into account our own limited POV, in which eternal reward or punishment does not enter the picture. If one argues for that, one has to broaden the perspective. And then not only 'choice' matters, but also culpability. And there just isn't any way for a human being to be culpable from a cosmic POV.

I would like for you to demonstrate why a predetermined act of a personal being whereby a selection is preferred over an alternative, is not a choice.
It is a choice, but since it is made on the basis of a pre-programmed preference for which there was no choice, the person making that sort of choice cannot be held culpable.

Thanks for discussing this topic with me.
You're welcome. I always enjoy an irenic discussion.


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 21, 2011, 12:01:04 am
That's why I say you make excuses for God. You say God is responsible for His actions, but you forget that God is also responsible for x's actions.


According to calvinism (and the Bible), God is responsible for everything that happens.


It is a choice, but since it is made on the basis of a pre-programmed preference for which there was no choice, the person making that sort of choice cannot be held culpable.


I think we disagree on the definition of compatibilism.

This is why I maintain that we are morally culpable for our actions:


The moral imperative stems from the telos, or purpose, of our existence. God's purpose in our existence is the promotion of what is good, holy, and pure and the destruction, abasement, and dishonour of what is evil.

Since this then, is the purpose of our wills, we 'ought' to desire that which is in conformity to the purpose of our existence. To act according to a desire not in conformity to our purpose, is to act in conformity to the principle of evil. Such acts assume that it is meaningful to act in contradiction to their ultimate purpose, like a passenger on a train, for whatever reason not wanting to reach the destination, walks the length of the train in the opposite direction of travel.

Ultimately, all created beings will fulfill their purpose of existence, whether they be sinner or saint. The sinner then, with the purpose of his existence in mind, should actually desire his own destruction. This would be 'willing' in accordance to the purpose of his existence.

So then, it is the obligation of sinners to desire their own destruction, in accordance to their telos, and it is the obligation of those justified, to desire and hope in their own salvation, according to their telos. And both the vessel made unto honour, and the vessel made unto dishonour, rather than questioning God, "Why have you made me as such", both have their part to play in the promotion of what is good, holy, and pure, and the destruction, abasement, and dishonour of what is evil.


It is a choice, but since it is made on the basis of a pre-programmed preference for which there was no choice, the person making that sort of choice cannot be held culpable.


Please show why you believe that free-will is a necessary condition for culpability.

Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 21, 2011, 02:03:52 am

troyjs wrote:
According to calvinism (and the Bible), God is responsible for everything that happens.

But not culpable, and therein lies the inconsistency in calvinism.
God is also culpable for everything.



So then, it is the obligation of sinners to desire their own destruction, in accordance to their telos, and it is the obligation of those justified, to desire and hope in their own salvation, according to their telos. And both the vessel made unto honour, and the vessel made unto dishonour, rather than questioning God, "Why have you made me as such", both have their part to play in the promotion of what is good, holy, and pure, and the destruction, abasement, and dishonour of what is evil.


So, if I desire my own destruction, I will be saved?
Or I will be destroyed, just like someone who does not desire his own desctuction.
This is all good and fine, God is sovereign and decides who is 'the vessel made into honour' and who is 'the vessel made into dishonour'. That is not what I'm questioning here. What I'm quetioning is that the 'vessel made into dishonour' is culplable of being a 'vessel made into dishonour'. He isn't.

Please show why you believe that free-will is a necessary condition for culpability.


Because I am not to blame for something somebody else did. To be culpable of something, it is necessary that there was a logically possible way for you to avoid it.
Your biew comes down to God playing with toys, and, for His own pleasure or whatever, throwing some of them into the fire and saying: "well, they are to blame because, you see, they were wearing a blue jacket, and we all know that wearing a blue jacket means you are culpable"



Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 21, 2011, 07:17:31 pm
But not culpable, and therein lies the inconsistency in calvinism.
God is also culpable for everything.

I disagree with you on this. Culpability has to do with minds and the reasons for which a mind chooses certain actions as opposed to other actions.


So, if I desire my own destruction, I will be saved?
Or I will be destroyed, just like someone who does not desire his own desctuction.


No, desiring your own destruction or the destruction of the wicked does not save you from your sins, because the good which we do, is that which we should do anyway.

That is not what I'm questioning here. What I'm quetioning is that the 'vessel made into dishonour' is culplable of being a 'vessel made into dishonour'. He isn't.


People are morally responsible for their actions, because their desire to commit those actions for the reason they did commit those actions, and their knowledge that they should not have done so.

Because I am not to blame for something somebody else did.

I agree with you. Sinners are not to blame for creating a world in which sinners sin. But that doesn't mean that sinners don't in fact desire to commit sin, while they know that their acts are wrong.


In an earlier post I asked:
Please show why you believe that free-will is a necessary condition for culpability.

Your answer was:
To be culpable of something, it is necessary that there was a logically possible way for you to avoid it.

Again, I think this is the main issue that needs to be addressed before we can continue making caricatures of each other's positions.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'logically possible to avoid it'. It seems that this is a necessary condition of what it means to have free-will, or even a definition of free-will in which case you haven't quite answered the question.

So then, what do you mean by 'logically possible to avoid it', and why is this necessary?
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 22, 2011, 03:53:59 am

troyjs wrote:
But not culpable, and therein lies the inconsistency in calvinism.
God is also culpable for everything.

I disagree with you on this. Culpability has to do with minds and the reasons for which a mind chooses certain actions as opposed to other actions.

Yes, and God has a mind and has reasons to choose certain actions as opposed to other actions. God's creates sinners, so God is culpable of creating sinners.


No, desiring your own destruction or the destruction of the wicked does not save you from your sins, because the good which we do, is that which we should do anyway.


So you think I am culpable for choosing to do what I shouldn't do?
But I cannot choose to do what I should do, can I?

People are morally responsible for their actions, because their desire to commit those actions for the reason they did commit those actions, and their knowledge that they should not have done so.


I do not have knowledge that I should not have done so, so I am not culpable. And I think in most cases, most people do not have knowledge that they should have done anything else than what they did.

I agree with you. Sinners are not to blame for creating a world in which sinners sin. But that doesn't mean that sinners don't in fact desire to commit sin, while they know that their acts are wrong.


I would like to hear an argument that shows that people desire to do things that they know they shouldn't. I agree, this may happen sometimes, but certainly not in lots of cases. And it always involves something they could have avoided.
e.g. I do not desire to be an atheist, I just happen to be one. And I most certainly do not know that I shouldn't be an atheist. So, even under your definition of culpable, I am not culpable.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'logically possible to avoid it'. It seems that this is a necessary condition of what it means to have free-will, or even a definition of free-will in which case you haven't quite answered the question.



For the vast majority of people, 'culpability' entails a logical possibility to have done something else.
I think what is typical of calvinists is that they try to redefine words.
'Good' under calvinsim is completely different from what 'good' means in plain English a,d so is 'culpable'.

So then, what do you mean by 'logically possible to avoid it', and why is this necessary?


Well, is a rock culpable for being a rock? If not, then I am not culpable of anything.

Anyway, if you want salvation to be based on anything more profound than a  lottery, you 'll have to come up with something much better.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 23, 2011, 09:52:34 pm
For the vast majority of people, 'culpability' entails a logical possibility to have done something else.


Is this your answer to my question?
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 23, 2011, 10:08:20 pm
belorg

we are dealing with theology, so you can't bar me from using scripture, and I believe that all sinners have a conscience, and hence sin while knowing while they should not. Calvinists believe that the Bible clearly teaches that all sinners know that they sin, so if you want to argue with me hermeneutically, that is fine.

Well, is a rock culpable for being a rock? If not, then I am not culpable of anything.


Rocks don't have minds. But, if we want to ask why is a rock a rock, then philosophically a rock is in fact responsible for being a rock, by law of identity. I take the position that in order to ask why x exists, we must first assume x exists unless we define x as non-existent. If x is a rock, then x is a rock necessarily.
Why is a rock, a rock? Because of the law: If x, then x.

I am still waiting for a substantive answer to my question.

Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 24, 2011, 01:52:34 am

troyjs wrote: belorg

we are dealing with theology, so you can't bar me from using scripture, and I believe that all sinners have a conscience, and hence sin while knowing while they should not. Calvinists believe that the Bible clearly teaches that all sinners know that they sin, so if you want to argue with me hermeneutically, that is fine.


Well, the Bible may teach that all sinners know that thye sin, but in this case, the Bible is 100% dead wrong. And that's not something I just believe or think, it's something I know for certain.
If you want to personally insult me by calling me a liar, that's your choice, But it's the only way you can save your theology. Because let me repeat this once again: I don't know that I sin. So, even if what the Bible says is true for all other people, which I very much doubt , but I admit is logically possible, it's still 100% false in my case, and if the Bible says that all sinners know that they sin, the Bible is simply wrong.

Well, is a rock culpable for being a rock? If not, then I am not culpable of anything.


Rocks don't have minds. But, if we want to ask why is a rock a rock, then philosophically a rock is in fact responsible for being a rock, by law of identity. I take the position that in order to ask why x exists, we must first assume x exists unless we define x as non-existent. If x is a rock, then x is a rock necessarily.
Why is a rock, a rock? Because of the law: If x, then x.



No philospoher I know would say that a rock is responsible for being a rock, let alone 'culplable' of being a rock.

I am still waiting for a substantive answer to my question.



I am not going to discuss some self-made definition of a word. We know what the word 'culpable' means and under the normal use of culpable, nobody is in fact culpable from a metaphysical POV. If you are going to use it in another sense, then use another word.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on March 24, 2011, 06:56:07 pm

I am not going to discuss some self-made definition of a word. We know what the word 'culpable' means and under the normal use of culpable, nobody is in fact culpable from a metaphysical POV. If you are going to use it in another sense, then use another word.

A meaning assigned to a word does not entail meaningfulness, and the relationship between culpability and free-will is very much discussed and debated.

The Bible also say that people deceive themselves into thinking that they don't sin, so your case is accounted for also. You have to provide philosophical reasons to justify your claims if you want to show that calvinism is self-referentially incoherent.

No philospoher I know would say that a rock is responsible for being a rock, let alone 'culplable' of being a rock.

Rocks don't have minds. But I think you are quite wrong -- I think some neo-platonists would happily affirm that rocks are responsible for being rocks, while many other philosophers might say that it is meaningless to ask why a rock is a rock, as the fact of a rock being a rock, is reason enough.


My single question to you was:

Why is free-will necessary for a being to be held culpable?

Your answers:
"Because I am not to blame for something somebody else did. To be culpable of something, it is necessary that there was a logically possible way for you to avoid it."

"For the vast majority of people, 'culpability' entails a logical possibility to have done something else."

"Well, is a rock culpable for being a rock? If not, then I am not culpable of anything."
"We know what the word 'culpable' means and under the normal use of culpable, nobody is in fact culpable from a metaphysical POV."

You keep restating your position but since all culpability means is: the moral or legal ability to be held accountable, why must we hold that your own philosophical justifications of culpability, are true?

This is what I am wanting to address, why is free-will a necessary condition for culpability? I understand a lot of people believe this to be true, but a lot of people do not, and there is no synonymity between your view and the standard definition of the word.





Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on March 25, 2011, 04:55:19 am
troyjs wrote:
I am not going to discuss some self-made definition of a word. We know what the word 'culpable' means and under the normal use of culpable, nobody is in fact culpable from a metaphysical POV. If you are going to use it in another sense, then use another word.

A meaning assigned to a word does not entail meaningfulness, and the relationship between culpability and free-will is very much discussed and debated.


I've never heard any non-calvinist argue that culpability on a metaphysical scale does not require free will.

The Bible also say that people deceive themselves into thinking that they don't sin, so your case is accounted for also.


I assure you I did not decieve myself into thinking I don't sin.
Bottom line: either you call me a liar, or you admit that you are wrong.
Now, I do not mind if you call me a liar or not. I still know with 100% certainty that you are wrong and that the Bible is wrong. That is not a point of discussion, that is a fact.

You have to provide philosophical reasons to justify your claims if you want to show that calvinism is self-referentially incoherent.


Weel, the philosophical reason is that there is at least one exception to what is stated as a rule with no exceptions. No, you cannot look into my mind, so you can still have your doubts as to whether I'm honest, so I cannot prove to you I am right. But I do know that I am right.



Quote
No philospoher I know would say that a rock is responsible for being a rock, let alone 'culplable' of being a rock.

Rocks don't have minds. But I think you are quite wrong -- I think some neo-platonists would happily affirm that rocks are responsible for being rocks, while many other philosophers might say that it is meaningless to ask why a rock is a rock, as the fact of a rock being a rock, is reason enough.


I do not know any neo-platonist philosopher, so it's still true that no philosopher I know claims this.
And I in fact agree that it's meaningless to ask why a rock is a rock. Point is; to a calvinist, this question is not meaningless, because the answer is: the rock is a rock because God made it so.

My single question to you was:

Why is free-will necessary for a being to be held culpable?



Because under the normal definition of culpability free will is required. Now I'm willing to grant you your ad hoc definition of culpable and agree that 'culpable' means something like 'Doing something you shouldn't have done' or even 'Thinking something you shouldn't have thought'.  even if you couldn't have thought or done otherwise. But the point is, under calvinism it is impossible to do something you shouldn't have done.

Everything we do, we do because God wants us to do it and has arranged things so that we would do it.
So, who decides that 'we shouldn't have done something'? God? No, because he wanted us to do it. Somebody else who is more powerful than God? Impossible under the standrad definition of God. We? Who are we to decide we shouldn't have done something when our perfect Creator wanted us to do it?

You simply do not have a case for any sort of culpability.


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Robert Harris on March 28, 2011, 12:14:08 pm
troyjs wrote: Although I am a christian, (a calvinits), I can understand why someone would not be satisfied with the free-will defence. It is because the argument that God could logically create a world, where everyone freely chooses good rather than evil, is a logical problem.
Heaven is supposed to be a world where people freely choose good rather than evil, therefore God could create such a world. It matters not what the mechanics of creating such a world would be, -- all that matters is that such a world is logically possible, ie. it is a possible world.

If God really wants the best possible world to be actualized, then why does God not actualise a perfect world, where everyone freely chooses good?

P1) If God is omnipotent, then God can do everything which is not logically impossible.
P2) A perfect world, ie. heaven, is a possible world.
Therefore, God could have actualized a perfect world, where everyone freely chooses good rather than evil.

P3) God did not actualize a perfect world.
P4) God is omnipotent.
Therefore, either God did not want to create a perfect world, ie. is not omnibenevolent.

P5) God is omnibenevolent, ie. God wanted to create a perfect world.
P6) God did not create a perfect world.
Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

The molinistic FWD presupposes that God could not create a perfect world, or atleast that we can't know that God could create a perfect world. The atheist quite correctly, points out that if heaven is a perfect world, then God can in fact create a perfect world.

The molinist ends up implicitly saying that we can't know if God can create heaven, or worse, that He can't create heaven.

Ofcourse, the atheist assumes that it is wrong for God to create a world where people suffer, and logically implies that it is wrong for me to learn that the icecream I am eating does not go right down to the bottom of the cone



I think the problem here is understanding Heaven. People will have their own free will while not sinning in Heaven (or be able to sin). It will be perfect because people will no longer have their sinful flesh. The people that believe in God will be changed because they want to be with God and long for the day that they receive their new and transformed bodies. People choose God and so it does not violate their will when they are changed; the fact of the matter is that people's will is to be changed to be able to live with God.

The Molinist does not imply that God cannot create a perfect world.

I am not going to argue calvinism vs other concepts here.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Composer on March 31, 2011, 02:51:55 am
RobertH wrote:  I think the problem here is understanding Heaven.

The concept of ' heaven going for all believers is NOT legitimately found in the bible story book.

I would love to see what alleged evidence any have for the christian concept of ' heaven going for all believers? '

RobertH wrote:  People will have their own free will while not sinning in Heaven (or be able to sin).

True Free-Will is the ability to sin or not sin at pleasure without fear of reprisals.

RobertH wrote:  It will be perfect because people will no longer have their sinful flesh.

I thought some at least of you so called christians believed your jesus was like one of us, having sinful flesh (inherited from Mary) but able to overcome that sinful flesh and not sin and left that example for others? (1 Pet. 2:21 - 22) KJV Story book

RobertH wrote:  The people that believe in God will be changed because they want to be with God and long for the day that they receive their new and transformed bodies.

How utterly selfish what they want for themselves and earn brownie points to try to get it, also maintaining they will be able to be joyous and content for eternity even aware that their earthly alleged ' loved ones ' who won't believe the story book are eternally punished?


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Dan Stewart on April 14, 2011, 01:08:37 am
belorg wrote:

Quote from: Archsage
Wanting and Willing are two completely different things.

OK, I will to become a bird.

Satisfied now?

This wasn't addressed to me, but I do find the confession satisfactory.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: TheQuestion on April 28, 2011, 12:44:40 am
RobertH wrote: I have read a lot about how ahtheists hate the free will defense. "...and don't give me any of that free-will defense garbage." I have read numerous times, or have read something to the same affect.

Why is it so hated? I think it is logical and rational but cannot understand why an ahtheist would have problems with it. I can understand if they didn't think it was good or valid, but they don't say that. They say 'they don't want to hear anything about it.' Why is that?



It's hated because it's laughably bad.  It limits the capabilites of god, making him not omnipotent, making it not the god of Christianity.  That's not even even touching the obvious issues of limiting capabilities to inflict suffering/to suffer not being equivalent to limiting free will.

Seriously, Platinga's free will defense is a joke.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Composer on April 30, 2011, 07:17:13 pm
TheQuestion wrote:  It's hated because it's laughably bad.  It limits the capabilites of god, making him not omnipotent, making it not the god of Christianity.  That's not even even touching the obvious issues of limiting capabilities to inflict suffering/to suffer not being equivalent to limiting free will.

Seriously, Platinga's free will defense is a joke.

Actually christianity is a joke and the Story book itself proves your christian god is NOT all knowing and NOT omnipresent -

As I correctly proved on another Thread - Obviously your god is NOT omnipresent and NOT ' all knowing ' and had to physically ' go down to earth ' to see for itself and find out what it didn't already know. Proofs: -

And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. (Gen. 18:20-21, cf. Gen. 11:5,) KJV Story book

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Gen. 3:8) KJV Story book (My Bolds)

They were smarter than you suppose being able to hide from your (alleged) omnipresent christian god. LOL!


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: TheQuestion on April 30, 2011, 09:04:10 pm
Composer wrote:
Actually christianity is a joke and the Story book itself proves your christian god is NOT all knowing and NOT omnipresent -

As I correctly proved on another Thread - Obviously your god is NOT omnipresent and NOT ' all knowing ' and had to physically ' go down to earth ' to see for itself and find out what it didn't already know. Proofs: -

And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. (Gen. 18:20-21, cf. Gen. 11:5,) KJV Story book

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Gen. 3:8) KJV Story book (My Bolds)

They were smarter than you suppose being able to hide from your (alleged) omnipresent christian god. LOL!




Um.  I'm an atheist, dude.  So, I don't know what all this "your god" nonsense is.  
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Composer on May 01, 2011, 02:50:09 am

TheQuestion wrote:
Quote from: Composer

Actually christianity is a joke and the Story book itself proves your christian god is NOT all knowing and NOT omnipresent -

As I correctly proved on another Thread - Obviously your god is NOT omnipresent and NOT ' all knowing ' and had to physically ' go down to earth ' to see for itself and find out what it didn't already know. Proofs: -

And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. (Gen. 18:20-21, cf. Gen. 11:5,) KJV Story book

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Gen. 3:8) KJV Story book (My Bolds)

They were smarter than you suppose being able to hide from your (alleged) omnipresent christian god. LOL!




Um.  I'm an atheist, dude.  So, I don't know what all this "your god" nonsense is.  

I was supporting you and I did make it clear I was referring to those claiming to be christians and I started off by saying - " Actually christianity is a joke and the Story book itself proves your christian god is NOT all knowing and NOT omnipresent - "

The references was purely to them!


Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on May 01, 2011, 07:32:14 am

TheQuestion wrote:
Quote from: RobertH
I have read a lot about how ahtheists hate the free will defense. "...and don't give me any of that free-will defense garbage." I have read numerous times, or have read something to the same affect.

Why is it so hated? I think it is logical and rational but cannot understand why an ahtheist would have problems with it. I can understand if they didn't think it was good or valid, but they don't say that. They say 'they don't want to hear anything about it.' Why is that?



It's hated because it's laughably bad.  It limits the capabilites of god, making him not omnipotent, making it not the god of Christianity.  That's not even even touching the obvious issues of limiting capabilities to inflict suffering/to suffer not being equivalent to limiting free will.

Seriously, Platinga's free will defense is a joke.


Well, I disagree with that. I think there are things wrong with Plantinga's FWD, but it most certainly isn't 'a joke'. It is, in fact, a rather complicated argument and I seriously doubt whether most of the Christians praising it or most of the atheists rejecting it have actually read it. It's much more sophisticated than 'God does not want robots'.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: troyjs on May 12, 2011, 08:14:12 pm
I don't think belorg and I are going to come to any sort of agreement, but at least I can respect his civility. He doesn't pretend to know more christian theology than he does, or show any misunderstanding of anthropomorphisms in the Bible. The reason why we do not believe that God is not omniscient from reading those passages, is the same reason why we do not believe that God has wings or feathers.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Ps 91:4
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: neil meyer on August 24, 2011, 09:54:01 am
Honestly, if there is free will (will  without any causal restraint) that does not line itself with the the  Will of God, then there is bound to be 'clashes'.


Their is a word for these clashes it called.

Wait for it

Drum roll please

Sin

Seriously, Platinga's free will defense is a joke.


I'm sure you are much more qualified in Philosophy then Mr. Platinga. Harvard is clearly a place for the intellectually weak. I'm also sure your on the verge of giving us a soul crushing defeat of his arguments. I await your reasoning as to why his arguments are false.

You don't think little of yourself if you think you are going to debunk such a great philosopher's theories, but please inform us why this theory is a "joke"

As to the OP's question to why this thoery is hated it is hated because it debunks one of the old singing tunes of atheists.

Why would a all loving God permit evil in the world? How many times have we not heard this. Atheist almost rejoice in thinking of evil in the world and saying HAH your God did that.

Atheist it does not disprove Theism.

Deal with it
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Thomas Larsen on October 15, 2011, 05:05:30 am
belorg wrote: The free will defense works if we assume some very unlikely facts.
Firstly: the FWD a-only works is libertarian free will is possible, which is not even accepted among Christians. Moreover, it is proposed by a proponent of molinism, which already entails an important reduction on what libertarian free will is.
And finally:  the free will defense may work for some generic God who is 3-omni, but it does not work for the God of most varieties of Christianity, because it fails to give a reason why heaven is such a good place although people's free will is violated there.


Plantinga's free-will defence shows the logical problem of evil, which stipulates that the existence of both God and evil are incompatible, to be invalid. If it is even possible that all evils might be caused freely by creatures with libertarian free will, and that a good, all-loving God might permit those creatures to exist, then the logical argument doesn't work.

Of course, the sceptic might respond, "It's unlikely, given the amount of evil in the world, that God exists," but that is a different problem altogether.

So the theist doesn't need to argue for libertarian free will. The sceptic needs to show that libertarian free will is impossible, or that God could have no reasons at all for permitting free creatures to exist in the first place, in order to establish the validity of the logical problem of evil.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on October 15, 2011, 07:49:42 am

tlarsen wrote:
Quote from: belorg
The free will defense works if we assume some very unlikely facts.
Firstly: the FWD only works if libertarian free will is possible, which is not even accepted among Christians. Moreover, it is proposed by a proponent of molinism, which already entails an important reduction on what libertarian free will is.
And finally:  the free will defense may work for some generic God who is 3-omni, but it does not work for the God of most varieties of Christianity, because it fails to give a reason why heaven is such a good place although people's free will is violated there.


Plantinga's free-will defence shows the logical problem of evil, which stipulates that the existence of both God and evil are incompatible, to be invalid. If it is even possible that all evils might be caused freely by creatures with libertarian free will, and that a good, all-loving God might permit those creatures to exist, then the logical argument doesn't work.


That's true.

Of course, the sceptic might respond, "It's unlikely, given the amount of evil in the world, that God exists," but that is a different problem altogether.



Yes, that's the evidenyial PoE.


So the theist doesn't need to argue for libertarian free will.


If the logical problem of evil is attacked ny a molinist like e.g. WL Craig, then he sure needs to argue for LFW, because under (Craig's variety of) molinism, LFW is impossibible.

The sceptic needs to show that libertarian free will is impossible, or that God could have no reasons at all for permitting free creatures to exist in the first place, in order to establish the validity of the logical problem of evil.


In order to really make a case, the theist nneds to show that, although God is omnipotent, there is something He cannot do.
The default position is that God can do anything but the logically impossible. While I agree there might be some mystreious reason for God to be forced into allowing evil, I have never seen any satisfying suggestion. The question always arises: is a God who values the evil choices of people over the lack of evil, to be considered a perfectly good God? Under most definitions of 'good' I do not think He is.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Thomas Larsen on October 15, 2011, 08:58:55 am
belorg wrote:
Quote from: tlarsen
So the theist doesn't need to argue for libertarian free will.


If the logical problem of evil is attacked ny a molinist like e.g. WL Craig, then he sure needs to argue for LFW, because under (Craig's variety of) molinism, LFW is impossibible.

I actually disagree with you that Molinism is incompatible with libertarian free will. But one doesn't have to affirm Molinism to be a theist, so let's bracket this issue for the time being.

belorg wrote:
Quote from: tlarsen
The sceptic needs to show that libertarian free will is impossible, or that God could have no reasons at all for permitting free creatures to exist in the first place, in order to establish the validity of the logical problem of evil.


In order to really make a case, the theist nneds to show that, although God is omnipotent, there is something He cannot do.
The default position is that God can do anything but the logically impossible. While I agree there might be some mystreious reason for God to be forced into allowing evil, I have never seen any satisfying suggestion. The question always arises: is a God who values the evil choices of people over the lack of evil, to be considered a perfectly good God? Under most definitions of 'good' I do not think He is.

Well, I don't think the theist even has to give a suggestion for why God might permit creatures who do evil to exist—if it's even possible that God has a reason for permitting evil, then the logical problem of evil is unsuccessful. And you agree with me, I think, that God might have such a reason.

And I can, in fact, think of some possible reasons. Perhaps all of the possible worlds in which every creature freely chooses to worship God have overwhelming deficiencies: maybe, in every possible world with more than ten free creatures, at least one creature freely chooses to rebel against God and His purposes (and it makes no sense to speak of God creating an impossible world, and God thinks it better to create a world with some evil and much good than no world at all). Or perhaps God has created every possible world containing more good on balance than evil (so that as many creatures as possible can enjoy Him, say), and we happen to live in a world that contains a significant amount of evil.

Of course, these suggestions don't deal with the practical, existential issue of how creatures like us are to live in a world containing so much suffering and evil. For that, we need to seek God and the joy, peace, and hope He offers, and contemplate Gethsemane and the cross.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on October 15, 2011, 12:35:46 pm
tlarsen wrote: I actually disagree with you that Molinism is incompatible with libertarian free will. But one doesn't have to affirm Molinism to be a theist, so let's bracket this issue for the time being.


I was taling about WL Craig's variety of Molinism, which he himself demonstrated to be incompatible with libertarian free will in his latest Q&A.
But the point is, the FWD is often used by people who do not belive in one of its main premises. If one does not believe in LFW, or if one holds to a doctrone that is contrary to LFW, then one should not use the FWD.


Well, I don't think the theist even has to give a suggestion for why God might permit creatures who do evil to exist—if it's even possible that God has a reason for permitting evil, then the logical problem of evil is unsuccessful. And you agree with me, I think, that God might have such a reason.



I do not actually think that the God usually described by Christians can have such a reason, but since that is very difficult, if not impossible to prove, I concede that the logical problem of evil is unsuccessful. That does not mean the problem of evil isn't a huge problem for mmost barnds of Christianity, though.


Perhaps all of the possible worlds in which every creature freely chooses to worship God have overwhelming deficiencies: maybe, in every possible world with more than ten free creatures, at least one creature freely chooses to rebel against God


If there is a possible world in which every creature freely chooses to worship God, then it is not the case that if there are more than 10 creatures, one of them will rebel. And there is no reason why a world in which everybody freely chooses to worship God would have overwhelming deficiencies.
And this might work for some generic tri-omni God, it most certainly does not work for the God of most Christian denomonations, because they explicitly hold to a possible world in which everybody chooses to worship God without any deficiencies, namely Heaven.

Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Thomas Larsen on October 16, 2011, 02:29:36 am
belorg wrote:
Quote from: tlarsen
Well, I don't think the theist even has to give a suggestion for why God might permit creatures who do evil to exist—if it's even possible that God has a reason for permitting evil, then the logical problem of evil is unsuccessful. And you agree with me, I think, that God might have such a reason.


I do not actually think that the God usually described by Christians can have such a reason, but since that is very difficult, if not impossible to prove, I concede that the logical problem of evil is unsuccessful. That does not mean the problem of evil isn't a huge problem for mmost barnds of Christianity, though.


I respectfully disagree with your final claim. The practical issue of how creatures are to live in a world containing significant evil and suffering is a problem that every human being must face, and Christian theism is entirely compatible with possible explanations for why there is so much evil in the world. As I suggested before, perhaps our universe is part of a multiverse made up of many, or all, of the possible universes that contain more good than evil on balance—it seems quite plausible to me that God might create such an ensemble. And Christianity provides resources for understanding and dealing with evil: the person of Jesus; the doctrine of human rebellion; hope, both present and eschatological; and so on.

belorg wrote:
Quote from: tlarsen
Perhaps all of the possible worlds in which every creature freely chooses to worship God have overwhelming deficiencies: maybe, in every possible world with more than ten free creatures, at least one creature freely chooses to rebel against God


If there is a possible world in which every creature freely chooses to worship God, then it is not the case that if there are more than 10 creatures, one of them will rebel. And there is no reason why a world in which everybody freely chooses to worship God would have overwhelming deficiencies.
And this might work for some generic tri-omni God, it most certainly does not work for the God of most Christian denomonations, because they explicitly hold to a possible world in which everybody chooses to worship God without any deficiencies, namely Heaven.


Why think there are any possible worlds containing more than ten people in which every creature worships God and does not fall into rebellion? I'm not saying that no such world exists; but possibly no such world exists. To be honest, I don't think either of us have enough counterfactual knowledge to know whether there are any possible worlds with more than X people who do not rebel against God and His purposes, for a large number of X.

Creatures do not "go to heaven" when they die. Or, at least, heaven is not the final destination of creatures on the orthodox Christian view. "Heaven is important, but it's not the end of the world," as N. T. Wright likes to put it. The New Testament generally uses heaven to refer to God's space and earth to refer to the physical realm occupied by His creatures. Accordingly, the Christian eschatological vision is one of new heavens and a new earth, a resurrected universe filled with the presence of God.

Of course, Christians believe that this new universe will be perfect, and that no creatures will rebel in it; but it is quite plausible that God will so overwhelm creatures in this world with His loving, holy presence that they will lose the practical ability—indeed, the freedom—to rebel against Him (see, for instance, Philippians 2.5–11). So I just don't think it's true that the new creation will be a place where people continue to choose to worship God.

Moreover, why do you assume that God's only purpose in creating the world—this universe, or perhaps multiple universes—is to see His creatures worship Him without falling into sin, rebellion, or imperfection? Perhaps a world in which creatures struggle to worship God, and God extends His grace to them, is better than a world in which creatures are created perfect, infallible, and without the real freedom to choose to worship God. I don't know. Both of us are likely to end up in speculation and guesswork if we keep pursuing this topic.
Title: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: belorg on October 16, 2011, 09:42:08 am

Originally posted by tlarsen

I respectfully disagree with your final claim. The practical issue of how creatures are to live in a world containing significant evil and suffering is a problem that every human being must face, and Christian theism is entirely compatible with possible explanations for why there is so much evil in the world.



Maybe, but (most brands of )Christian theism aren't compatible with the FWD as a 'possible explanation' for why there is so much evil in the world.


As I suggested before, perhaps our universe is part of a multiverse made up of many, or all, of the possible universes that contain more good than evil on balance—it seems quite plausible to me that God might create such an ensemble.


A God who is 'more good than evil on balance' might have created such an ensemble, but the Christian God is not just 'more good than evil', the Christian God is said to be 'prefectly good', and would only create such an ensemble if there is no logically possible way to create something better. But as you yourself say:

Accordingly, the Christian eschatological vision is one of new heavens and a new earth, a resurrected universe filled with the presence of God.


It's obvious that, according to most Christians, creating something better is NOT logically impossible, hence, God should have created this.


Moreover, why do you assume that God's only purpose in creating the world—this universe, or perhaps multiple universes—is to see His creatures worship Him without falling into sin, rebellion, or imperfection? Perhaps a world in which creatures struggle to worship God, and God extends His grace to them, is better than a world in which creatures are created perfect, infallible, and without the real freedom to choose to worship God. I don't know.



I don't know either, but Christians do seem to know what God's purpose is. And the question isn't, "Why can't God have some other purpose?", because, obviously, God can have whatever purpose He wants. The question is,"In what way can we call this purpose of God 'good'?"
And then we arrive at the good old Euthrypho Dilemma.

Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Noah Hawryshko on December 18, 2014, 12:34:38 pm
To answer the original question, the reason and the free-will defense is so inconceivable by itself is that is does not cover natural evils in it's explanatory scope. Take things like a volcano or an earthquake or a tidal wave killing a group of people, for instance. This has nothing to do with any kind of human free will whatsoever, nor could human free will (reasonably) stop it from happening. I personally hold that God is at least the greatest conceivable being, and for this to be true, then it would mean that God would be obligated to commit an evil of some instance if it were necessary for a greater good of some sort (such as greater knowledge of God) to then follow from it. Aside from these bizarre left-field snowball theories about how "x evil can happen and then y evil can happen and then that can lead to z evil and 100 people could become Christians, making it good in the end", I hold that we needn't even go this far, but we rather just have to say that any kind of emotional turmoil, even that which has no outside effect on anybody else, almost always comes with a strong sort of self-reflection, whether it be grief, search for true, or other things that might make a given person come to knowledge of Jesus Christ. This kind of "search for truth" or whatever we may call it, is something so powerful for God's kingdom that the atheist simply cannot say that these kind of evils, even if horrible in their own context, cannot somehow lead to the knowledge of God. I would hold that the burden of proof is on the atheist to justify their premise that evil that may be neccessary to result in knowledge of God could be bad, all things considered. This is, I think, an appropriate alternate theory, which can either be used in conjunction with the free-will defense, or without the free will defense, depending on what your other theological axioms are. Thoughts? and sorry to bump an old thread but I just saw no proper answer at all here for this question.
Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Questionaire on March 30, 2015, 12:05:36 pm
I have read a lot about how ahtheists hate the free will defense. "...and don't give me any of that free-will defense garbage." I have read numerous times, or have read something to the same affect.

Why is it so hated? I think it is logical and rational but cannot understand why an ahtheist would have problems with it. I can understand if they didn't think it was good or valid, but they don't say that. They say 'they don't want to hear anything about it.' Why is that?

They have to say free will doesnt exist, and seek to redefine it in other ways which isnt true, because it is their soloution to  keep not agreeing with theists in arguements like, why does evil exist.

Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Simplelogic on April 22, 2015, 06:49:06 pm
I am refreshed to hear many of the opinions on this forum regarding free will. My beliefs are a bit unique in that I hold the Tanakh (OT) and the words of Jesus as reliable while rejecting all Pauline letters (including Hebrews which was pauline inspired at least). I am thoroughly convinced that the only logical argument for the ultra-sovereign God concept such as Calvanism is Paul's letters. Romans 9 to be more specific.

So I am happy but a bit perplexed at how people have arrived at these conclusions while maintaining Paul's logic in Romans 9. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Simplelogic on April 22, 2015, 07:11:41 pm
Actually christianity is a joke and the Story book itself proves your christian god is NOT all knowing and NOT omnipresent -

As I correctly proved on another Thread - Obviously your god is NOT omnipresent and NOT ' all knowing ' and had to physically ' go down to earth ' to see for itself and find out what it didn't already know. Proofs: -

And <B>the LORD said</B>, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 <B>I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know</B>. <I>(Gen. 18:20-21, cf. Gen. 11:5,) KJV Story book</I>

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and <B>Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden</B>. <I>(Gen. 3:8) KJV Story book (My Bolds)</I>

<B><FONT face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">They were smarter than you suppose being able to hide from your (alleged) omnipresent christian god. LOL!</FONT></B>

<IMG border=0 hspace=0 alt="" align=baseline src="http://i43.servimg.com/u/f43/12/43/81/32/velvet10.gif">

I actually agree with you that God is not omnipresent in this world. He clearly isn't. I don't see this as a negative thing as you do though. It actually is a testament to God's desire for this world to be out of His control, so to speak. I like it. By the way, here is a more comprehensive list of scriptures which prove that God has limited His knowledge:

Scriptures that indicate God has limited His knowledge.

There are many passages in the Bible that indicate God does not necessarily know what man will do. The following are just a few of them. This picture of a creator who chooses to not know what his creature will do shows up right at the beginning of the Bible in the creation account itself . 

"Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them." Genesis 2:19

If God is all-knowing of what man will do, why was He so inquisitive of what Adam would do?

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth,... for I regret that I have made them." Genesis 6:5-7

How can a wise God do something that He knows He will regret in the future? This passage clearly implies that, had God known when He created man that he would become as evil as he did, He would not have created him! Thus, He did not know. God knew it was a possibility that man could turn toward ultimate evil. That is part of the risk He took in relinquishing control and giving man a free will. But that is not the same as knowing man would become as evil as he did.  God had higher hopes for His creation.

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, "Indeed, the people are one and they all have one language..." Genesis 11:5,6

Gathering information again! And obviously, it was information He didn't completely possess before.

And the Lord said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know." Genesis 18:20,21

It sounds like He didn't know for sure and was going on a fact-finding mission again!

But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Genesis 22:11,12

Again, "now I know", as though He wasn't completely sure before.

Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." 1Samuel 15:11

How can an intelligent God do something He knew He would wish He hadn't done?

"And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin." Jeremiah 32:35 (see also Jeremiah 7:31 and 19:5)

God said Himself that it never came into His mind!!

Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: aleph naught on April 22, 2015, 11:30:53 pm
I have read a lot about how ahtheists hate the free will defense. "...and don't give me any of that free-will defense garbage." I have read numerous times, or have read something to the same affect.

Why is it so hated? I think it is logical and rational but cannot understand why an ahtheist would have problems with it. I can understand if they didn't think it was good or valid, but they don't say that. They say 'they don't want to hear anything about it.' Why is that?

I guess it's a little late for me to jump into this but... First of all no one hates the freewill defense. Second of all, it assumes some things that not everyone finds plausible, like the possibility of transworld depravity. Thirdly, even if it's successful, it's a snore. It's not as if anyone thinks Mackie's argument from evil is very strong anymore. The freewill defense is attacking an argument no atheist would even use. It's all about the evidential arguments, these days.
Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: KingVoid on May 18, 2015, 04:19:25 pm
Regarding this whole "Free Will Defense", what about natural disasters (such as the earthquake in Nepal) which are the cause of the deaths of thousands of innocent people, and thousands more are injured and hurt?

Tectonic plates aren't people. As they are inanimate objects, there is no free will to disturb. Why did an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God not stop this tragedy from occurring?
Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Domagoj on September 02, 2015, 01:55:58 pm
Hello to all! :) :) I'm having trouble with this

Do you think that  people who reject God on emotional basis (because of their suffering) will go to hell? I think many people who reject their faith, reject it just because of that. That is a lot of people! How can I blame them if the burden is too heavy? Why did God permitted that much suffering that goes beyond ones reason and lefts Him with emotional rejection? 
 
Also, is free will worthy of that? It seems to me that 90% of all people have to go to hell for eternity. So how is God all-good and all-loving if he created world permeated by evil and most of people that he created have to go to hell. You can say we all deserve hell which is true- but He created us susceptible to sin! He also knew that we would reject Him. Couldn't he create the world of free creatures but also do something like ordaining the stars in the sky to have cross shape and that due to some reactions once a year, in Easter they shine with differed colors or something similar. Isn't that worthy of salvation even just one more person than without it? Much more people would be saved I think. That is why I struggle. Majority of true Christians also have doubts from time to time. There are very few people who don't weaver- because it is hard to believe when you see al that! 
Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: Noah Hawryshko on September 07, 2015, 05:44:45 am
Hello to all! :) :) I'm having trouble with this

Do you think that  people who reject God on emotional basis (because of their suffering) will go to hell? I think many people who reject their faith, reject it just because of that. That is a lot of people! How can I blame them if the burden is too heavy? Why did God permitted that much suffering that goes beyond ones reason and lefts Him with emotional rejection? 
 
Also, is free will worthy of that? It seems to me that 90% of all people have to go to hell for eternity. So how is God all-good and all-loving if he created world permeated by evil and most of people that he created have to go to hell. You can say we all deserve hell which is true- but He created us susceptible to sin! He also knew that we would reject Him. Couldn't he create the world of free creatures but also do something like ordaining the stars in the sky to have cross shape and that due to some reactions once a year, in Easter they shine with differed colors or something similar. Isn't that worthy of salvation even just one more person than without it? Much more people would be saved I think. That is why I struggle. Majority of true Christians also have doubts from time to time. There are very few people who don't weaver- because it is hard to believe when you see al that!

The theists answer to this would be that God in having Molinist middle knowledge knows what every given person will do in every given situation, and therefore only chooses to actualize the souls of those who will reject Him no matter what evidence is given. These are the people who "have never heard". God does not "create people to go to hell", He just foreknows what they will do even if they have been given much evidence and doesn't give them the evidence, because it doesn't matter if they receive it or not.
Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: aleph naught on September 07, 2015, 10:49:11 am
Hello to all! :) :) I'm having trouble with this

Do you think that  people who reject God on emotional basis (because of their suffering) will go to hell? I think many people who reject their faith, reject it just because of that. That is a lot of people! How can I blame them if the burden is too heavy? Why did God permitted that much suffering that goes beyond ones reason and lefts Him with emotional rejection? 
 
Also, is free will worthy of that? It seems to me that 90% of all people have to go to hell for eternity. So how is God all-good and all-loving if he created world permeated by evil and most of people that he created have to go to hell. You can say we all deserve hell which is true- but He created us susceptible to sin! He also knew that we would reject Him. Couldn't he create the world of free creatures but also do something like ordaining the stars in the sky to have cross shape and that due to some reactions once a year, in Easter they shine with differed colors or something similar. Isn't that worthy of salvation even just one more person than without it? Much more people would be saved I think. That is why I struggle. Majority of true Christians also have doubts from time to time. There are very few people who don't weaver- because it is hard to believe when you see al that!

The theists answer to this would be that God in having Molinist middle knowledge knows what every given person will do in every given situation, and therefore only chooses to actualize the souls of those who will reject Him no matter what evidence is given. These are the people who "have never heard". God does not "create people to go to hell", He just foreknows what they will do even if they have been given much evidence and doesn't give them the evidence, because it doesn't matter if they receive it or not.

You really believe there are souls who would reject God no matter what evidence is given? Moreover you believe there are so many of them to explain the massive numbers of rational nonbelievers? And even worse, you think God creates these people knowing they are destined for Hell, rather than just not creating them in the first place? Surely you see how silly this all looks to an someone who is not desperate for an explanation of divine hiddenness. (And then there's molinism..)
Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: jayceeii on March 03, 2020, 07:46:24 am
I have read a lot about how ahtheists hate the free will defense. "...and don't give me any of that free-will defense garbage."
Evil is not a free choice, but a bound choice. Only those choose evil who are too weak and impure to take the higher road of supporting the universal joy. It can be called a form of blindness, that they are not taking their own existence to heart, seeing they are one soul among many other created souls and rejoicing that such souls with wisdom can create harmony. It can also be called a reaction from a state of misery, since the human body and society are difficult burdens for the weak souls to bear, and they turn any way they can to try to relieve this misery, including into ideas if others suffer they’re made happier.

People have been asking the question of why there is evil, and the answer has been because God allowed free will. No. These choices are those made by those bound by selfish desire. The truly free never choose evil. It isn’t a form of freedom to create harm or misery in those around oneself. Though such souls feel powerful, they are exulting in destruction because their minds are too feeble to build. A violent man is weak in spirit. Jesus said it wrong. He said, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” when among mankind the flesh is willing but the spirit is weak. Yet all of this avails not against a gun. God has not initiated protection of the meek before now. It’d be a great day if He begins.
Title: Re: The Free-Will Defense
Post by: jayceeii on March 03, 2020, 10:42:04 am
I am refreshed to hear many of the opinions on this forum regarding free will. My beliefs are a bit unique in that I hold the Tanakh (OT) and the words of Jesus as reliable while rejecting all Pauline letters (including Hebrews which was pauline inspired at least). I am thoroughly convinced that the only logical argument for the ultra-sovereign God concept such as Calvanism is Paul's letters. Romans 9 to be more specific.

So I am happy but a bit perplexed at how people have arrived at these conclusions while maintaining Paul's logic in Romans 9. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
God is presented as imperious and man’s fate as sealed in the Bible, because men don’t rise high enough in intelligence to be able to hear the real terms of justification. Humans are very “smart,” but they lack what you might call “situational awareness,” to know themselves as created souls on a planet of limited resources, ill-suited to the animalistic vision of finding life’s central meaning through procreation. There was a path of justification available to the creatures but it was not given in religion. These do not guide.

So it doesn’t matter what a man does or doesn’t do, when God sees what he is calling good choices are fundamentally evil. Humans run their race on a course they designed themselves, from which there is no exit coming from any of them, nor an exit dropped down from God. Christianity has called this the “fallen” state of man, but the cure it offers is empty and fruitless. To be honest God needed some cooperation to make this planet fully successful, but the humans are destructive where they should be constructive.