For the sake of argument let's grant two things:
1. Humans have immortal souls
2. God possess free will

If that's the case I dare to say god is fully responsible for whatever suffering that ever took place.

First of all I simply can't imagine how free will is supposed to work. The problem is very simple. Stage is always set before you're born. Even if you have immortal soul it does not change tha fact, that from the very beginning of your life you're being formed by your vicinity. How your brain develops fully depends on how your parents feed you, whether you live in clear neigborhood, whether recombination during your conception was fortunate enough etc. The moment you're aware enough to take your own actions you're already set in specific way by your environment. You were programmed for years, so now that you become conscious you just execute your programme. You may say that well, now that you're conscious you have choice but I don't think so. I see your choices as results of countless different factors that have occured until this point of your life. One drop of rain few years ago might have lower your body temperture low enough so you got cold. This cold caused you to skip your classess. It caused you to fail your test. It caused you to get worse job, this caused you to become communist, and then stallinist... That's just one smal factor, I think in some sense every particle influences us to some extent. Your current state of mind is result of previous one, and that is result of previous, and so on until before you were born. So we can't be free on two levels. Our start is fully independent from us. And even when we grow up we're still just responding to our environment.

I really don't see any space to swing a free will. To be honest I can't imagine how it may work. Thoughts just apper in our heads. For free will to exist, you would have to be able to consciously think of things you want to think of before you actualy think of them... It's not gonna work.

I can somehow imagine god having free will due to the fact there was never anything before to program him, however that means god is 100% responsible for absolutely all suffer. We may not have free will but we are conscious and we feel pain, so if god is going to torture us forever in hell it means he deliberately created us knowing we have zero chance to choose differently, yet he just wants us to suffer. Not a very loving god I think.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 06:27:15 pm by UnreasonableFaith »
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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 03:18:48 pm »
I guess we should suspend the Courts and the Justice System and let all prisoners go! Hallelujah! Nobody is to blame for anything. Everything is God's fault.
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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2016, 03:28:54 pm »
I guess we should suspend the Courts and the Justice System and let all prisoners go! Hallelujah! Nobody is to blame for anything. Everything is God's fault.

Why? It can only apply to agent with free will, in this case god.  In other words, omnibenevolent god shouldn't torture its creation given that he is ultimate cause of its conduct.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 03:30:29 pm by UnreasonableFaith »
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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2016, 07:14:23 pm »
I appreciate the dilemma you bring up in the OP: how is it free will is exercised if our choices aren't truly free?

When you reduce free will to nothing more than a response to stimuli, this implies a deterministic outlook on personal choices. The decision making process as a series of events that lead into the next, as though we're driving a car without a steering wheel in a single lane only going one direction.

Here's how free will works: we can't control what happens to us, but we can control our response. We can pre-program ourselves with meditation and visualization. This is similar to an athlete or a musician who practices and practices until he can do without thinking. I can also influence the way my environment gives me stimulus by filtering it with certain controls. For example: who or what decided to set your alarm clock in the morning? That question is unanswerable with our current understanding of consciousness.

If there truly is no human free will, then there is no such thing as a "choice" and "consequence" - we're just biological machines responding to stimulus in our environment. So if we have no control, then who or what does? If we have no control, then who can decide what is right and wrong? Imagine walking into a court room and using this as your defense to get exonerated...

"Your honor, according to the physical sciences, I have no free will, therefore, *I* did not rob that bank. An animal called by my name was stimulated by a series of uncontrollable stimuli and this animal subsequently made a series of uncontrollable choices in response to that stimuli. This animal cannot assume personal responsibility for robbing the bank, because we cannot establish any wrongdoing. This case must be put to rest."

I would encourage you to check out a debate EvolutionaryPsychologist and I did that dances around this topic: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/community-debates-forum/does-the-self-exist-gt-v.-ep-6035121.0.html
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Al Graham

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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2016, 04:09:14 pm »
I really don't see any space to swing a free will. To be honest I can't imagine how it may work. Thoughts just apper in our heads. For free will to exist, you would have to be able to consciously think of things you want to think of before you actualy think of them... It's not gonna work.

I hope you are not expecting anyone to agree with you?  Why should we?  According to your own way of thinking - clearly articulated in the OP - your views about free will are merely the result of deterministic factors acting on your brain.  So why expect anyone to believe what you say?

Do you understand what I am getting at?  You have made an exception of your own view about free will in order to attempt to convince us that everything we are is merely determined.  If everything is determined and therefore subjective, then so is your view about free will.

You have, by implication, contradicted yourself, if you are trying to present any kind of argument here.
To understand that logic must be valid is to see at once that mind cannot be alien to the nature of the universe. Many people think this is due to the fact that Nature produced the mind. But on the assumption that Nature is herself mindless, this provides no explanation. CS Lewis (abridged)

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jayceeii

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uf:

For the sake of argument let's grant two things:
1. Humans have immortal souls
2. God possess free will

If that's the case I dare to say god is fully responsible for whatever suffering that ever took place.

jc:

God is responsible for the suffering that has taken place, but only indirectly. God created the souls, allowing them to have experience of both joy and sorrow, but in the human realm it is mischief and neglect of one another that causes most of the suffering. You can argue that God has made the souls poorly, since they abuse one another; but as one in the class of humans, you could only be one of those abusers, to argue this. If you can claim that you have risen authentically to a place where you do not abuse others, you are arguing either that some souls are made better than others, or that the souls evolve, and it would have to be over vast time since it is obvious no one is changing quickly in one life.

uf: First of all I simply can't imagine how free will is supposed to work. The problem is very simple. Stage is always set before you're born.

jc: This can be an objection to my argument above, where I might be comparing career criminals with devoted monks, and you would assert all this is due to cultural influence. The world has been missing any significant means of comparing personalities before now, nor was it ever suggested anyone attempt it, by the religions. One of the ways to resolve this question is careful observation of children, in particular when the environment in which they are raised is superior to their current level of development. In such a case, if you find the children acting in ways that could never stem from the parents, it is a proof the soul is born with traits and evolving slowly across lifetimes.

uf: Even if you have immortal soul it does not change the fact, that from the very beginning of your life you're being formed by your vicinity.

jc: Contrarily, if the children are “good” souls, even if they’re surrounded by a harsh environment they can surmount it. You must admit this is plausible, but also that nobody has cared much or observed carefully, before now. No one has looked for the stable traits.

uf: How your brain develops fully depends on how your parents feed you, whether you live in clear neighborhood, whether recombination during your conception was fortunate enough etc.

jc: This is a premise of yours, not an established fact. From this premise, you “cannot imagine” how freewill is supposed to work, but those who do not share the premise might not only imagine it, but observe and document it. You equate soul to brain here, showing you have no clear idea of spirit apart from body. If you are your brain, how does it feel?

uf: The moment you're aware enough to take your own actions you're already set in specific way by your environment.

jc: Again, this is a premise of yours, but the world has not had scientists who care or have the ability to inquire into this question. In my observations many families are composed of children with a wide mix of stable traits, but the parents don’t notice and wouldn’t care if they were told. In fact it isn’t hard to see the grand sweep of traits in adulthood, or how these arose during youth, but my guess is you don’t care, and it wasn’t a serious question.

uf: You were programmed for years, so now that you become conscious you just execute your program.

jc: You propose a certain degree of mindlessness to the human situation, to which I would not disagree in general principle. However the context to answer such questions, cannot also occur in the mindless condition. Someone would need to care, but such I have not found. It is of the greatest urgency if an individual is separable from his experience.

uf: You may say that well, now that you're conscious you have choice but I don't think so. I see your choices as results of countless different factors that have occurred until this point of your life.

jc: Such an argument would require substantial and serious documentation, to try to prove every effect had an external cause and there is no inner individual separable from his experiences, who can make different choices under similar circumstances to other individuals. It’s a machine world you try to prove, and to a certain extent I would agree.

uf: One drop of rain few years ago might have lower your body temperature low enough so you got cold. This cold caused you to skip your classes. It caused you to fail your test. It caused you to get worse job, this caused you to become communist, and then stallinist...

jc: This is a list of non-sequiturs, not a proof that humans are no more than the sum of their sense experience. Is it really the case you haven’t yet accepted the germ theory? Does anyone lose a career because of one test? For most kids colds have no effect on test scores, so you seem to positing an unreal type of kid, unlike those found on college campuses. Saying people become communist or Stalinist on the basis of a bad job is bizarre. Perhaps you have an argument you aren’t presenting, or did not care very much.

uf: That's just one small factor, I think in some sense every particle influences us to some extent.

jc: Ah, the butterfly effect. This argument does attract many people, most of whom are looking for ways to avoid responsibility for their choices and actions. What proves free choice, is when an individual arises who can choose what is clearly not recommended by the senses, though all selfish and evil acts are. As a brief example, a sage annoyed by his taste buds might choose to eat the most unpalatable foods he can find, for a month. Especially if he never heard of anyone doing such a thing, as I have not, he must be free.

uf: Your current state of mind is result of previous one, and that is result of previous, and so on until before you were born.

jc: You are not defining “mind” in a significant way, just as you don’t know if you’re speaking about soul or brain (or care either). To make this argument it is required to define what “state of mind” means, and then to prove how these are connected with no input from beyond sense experience. Continuity within the mind does not imply a lack of freedom; in fact this is what defines the personality! To argue for mindlessness or total lack of awareness, you should show what is taken into the mind from the senses, simply turns around without any input from above or apart from the senses. This is ‘bondage.”

uf: So we can't be free on two levels. Our start is fully independent from us. And even when we grow up we're still just responding to our environment.

jc: Importantly, humans respond selfishly to their environment. That is to say they’re looking around for what is available to grab, then grabbing without thinking. A fully free person would be able to juggle what the senses present, not grabbing. This is “liberation.” No examples of liberated persons or societies have been presented on Earth.

uf: I really don't see any space to swing a free will.

jc: Again, to say that you don’t see it, is not to say it isn’t so. Others who do not share your premises, may see it, and document it. From what you’ve written it is evident your models for soul, mind and brain are not profound, well-considered, or accurate. Had you presented clear and compelling models and examples, this sentence might have weight.

uf: To be honest I can't imagine how it may work. Thoughts just appear in our heads. For free will to exist, you would have to be able to consciously think of things you want to think of before you actually think of them... It's not gonna work.

jc: Thoughts do not just appear, they must have a source, they must be generated somehow. You not only haven’t seen the thought-generator, you haven’t guessed it might exist. The skill you relate, of being able to consciously think of things you want to think of before you actually think them, is I think usual for a certain class of entities, but not the humans. This is why Ramakrishna spoke of the bound, the liberated and the ever-free.

uf: I can somehow imagine god having free will due to the fact there was never anything before to program him, however that means god is 100% responsible for absolutely all suffering.

jc: Why are the “programmed” entities driving themselves into suffering? Isn’t it a rather common story that some people sink to their “lowest point,” before giving up addictions? Indeed, the ability to leave an addiction would seem to argue for a type of freedom, even on the human plane of general sensate response. The way you describe things, that everyone is a mindless brain, it seems that everyone should be getting addicted all the time. Some people choose never to try drugs because they see it will interfere with their native blissful condition. Obviously, those who try them must not have such a condition.

uf: We may not have free will but we are conscious and we feel pain, so if god is going to torture us forever in hell it means he deliberately created us knowing we have zero chance to choose differently, yet he just wants us to suffer. Not a very loving god I think.

jc: The idea men have they’d be tormented in hell makes an unwarranted presumption the human body will always be theirs. God may not have made them eternal humans, and hell may mean the other option is actualized, that involves no torture, instead restoring the bliss they knew before. You make an interesting point, for God is indeed not loving as men demand it. This has been a tragic error in the religions. God loves those who make themselves lovable. When you say, “God is not loving,” it can be analyzed as a type of whining, that you demand God must love you, as you are. Yet, who can love the tiger?

I can just add in here that in general the human mind has an undercurrent of what you might call hostility, which is part of what makes it impossible for them to be truly happy. This hostility I think you will not be able to trace to the brain, and it can be hard to see since people grow skilled at keeping it hidden in public venues. In any case there may be a subpopulation who, unlike yourself, rather than cursing God for the misery existence in the human body is causing them, praise Him for creating their souls and for giving them a fully blissful life. Perhaps it took some work to get there; but nobody cares much today.

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Maxximiliann

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The RCC doctrine that God demoniacally tortures billions of immortal spirits for all eternity in a blazing sea of perpetual fire is a Satanic Antichrist mendacity that defames God. As a God of justice and love, he would never create such a vicious and barbaric realm much less prescribe infinite punishment for a finite crime no matter how wicked.
1+1+1=3 NOT 1

"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry ​YOU​ off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8

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Maxximiliann

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The capability of asking "Why" is not to be taken for granted for there is absolutely no "Why," simply no curiosity, without Free Will. There's only acceptance. Free Will creates dissatisfaction. It's what is at the core of our consciousness, our identity. Contrast that with the substances of our material reality. There's simply no doubting. Everything operates just as the rules and regulations of nature's laws determine. So systematically is this adherence that it is possible to outline those principles simply by studying these substances.
 
Now, imagine if every element of the universe could ask "Why"? Suppose they were able to decide if to abide by those laws or perhaps act in another way? It is this reality precisely which sets us apart. Our minds are designed to evaluate information and make choices based upon it. The final result is not contingent upon how the natural laws govern the behavior of the atoms that make up our brains. Without Free Will, we would certainly have no more volition than a waterway has in deciding its actual course. There is absolutely no "Why." There is certainly no wondering. There's simply doing - like water running down its riverbed.
 
1+1+1=3 NOT 1

"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry ​YOU​ off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8

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Maxximiliann

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God promised Adam and Eve, “As for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.” (Genesis 2:17)

In turn Satan disaffirmed, “YOU positively will not die.” (Genesis 3:4)

Who do you believe? Jehovah God or Satan?

Are Adam and Eve dead or alive?
1+1+1=3 NOT 1

"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry ​YOU​ off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8

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jayceeii

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The RCC doctrine that God demoniacally tortures billions of immortal spirits for all eternity in a blazing sea of perpetual fire is a Satanic Antichrist mendacity that defames God. As a God of justice and love, he would never create such a vicious and barbaric realm much less prescribe infinite punishment for a finite crime no matter how wicked.
The properties of God are not known to the creatures, and as they hypothesize, “God must be like us, He would never put us into hell,” they are simultaneously excusing and allowing all their evil practices.

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Maxximiliann

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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2019, 09:22:27 am »
The RCC doctrine that God demoniacally tortures billions of immortal spirits for all eternity in a blazing sea of perpetual fire is a Satanic Antichrist mendacity that defames God. As a God of justice and love, he would never create such a vicious and barbaric realm much less prescribe infinite punishment for a finite crime no matter how wicked.
The properties of God are not known to the creatures.

This is valid only for anyone who has never perlustrated the Bible in its entirety.
1+1+1=3 NOT 1

"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry ​YOU​ off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8

11

jayceeii

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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2019, 05:43:43 pm »
The RCC doctrine that God demoniacally tortures billions of immortal spirits for all eternity in a blazing sea of perpetual fire is a Satanic Antichrist mendacity that defames God. As a God of justice and love, he would never create such a vicious and barbaric realm much less prescribe infinite punishment for a finite crime no matter how wicked.
The properties of God are not known to the creatures.

This is valid only for anyone who has never perlustrated the Bible in its entirety.
It would seem a guarantee of spiritual knowledge is being made to anyone who can grind through the relatively short tome that is the Bible. Either that, or mm knows how to stop a debate by asking something most would find difficult, irrelevant, or at least inconvenient. Since there are hundreds of millions of Christians who have read the whole Bible, it would seem we have hundreds of millions of Christians who know the properties of God!

I’d say this theory, “Read a book and be holy,” or, “Read a book and obtain all knowledge,” is disproved by the Christian sects, all of whom have humans who read the whole Bible, and every one of which disagrees about its interpretation. It’d be great if a book could be written to unify the human masses, but the best we can hope for is greater toleration. As the Bible said the human mind is given to disputation, “as the sparks fly upward.” The Bible also does not list God’s properties, or even those of a selfless person.

The point of my objection is that it really isn’t known what God is like, i.e. whether He will condemn some souls to an eternally unfortunate fate. The people who presume God must save them if He is a “good person” as they define a good person, may be unaware they are offending God every minute and have no hope of salvation. The fact I’m having tremendous difficulties getting small points across at this forum, illustrates the problem. There are things men would need to hear that they would deny, if they wanted salvation.

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Tom Paine

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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2019, 05:40:31 am »
I guess we should suspend the Courts and the Justice System and let all prisoners go! Hallelujah! Nobody is to blame for anything. Everything is God's fault.

I tend to agree with the poster, but it does not follow that we get rid of personal responsibility. It has to be assumed as a matter of social imperative. Knowing that one faces possible punishment for ones actions also is going to be a factor in the decisions people make whether they are made freely or not.

Also even if ultimately the causal chain that leads to the decisions we make stretches back to the initial conditions of the universe with perhaps a good dose of quantum indeterminacy thrown in, it's still the case that the decisions are made by some faculty within our persons and there is some degree of freedom there in the sense that our decisions are not directly determined by any other being. I think it also make sense to think in terms of gaining a degree of freedom from impulsive behaviors that can be socially or self-destructive by becoming more deliberative in our decision making and this requires a certain amount of self-cultivation, disciplining of the mind and taking responsibility for one's decisions. I call this proximal free will, which is a kind of compatibilist view of free will, I guess.

So, no, realizing that libertarian free will is a myth does not logically lead to the abandonment of personal responsibility, law or justice. But even if it did, that wouldn't make the idea of libertarian free will any more coherent or true. However, realizing that it is a myth does mess with certain theodicies that depend on it. It also may change our ideas of justice in ways that I think should actually be socially constructive, as it should encourage a system that is less retributive and more restorative/rehabilitative or better yet preventative. As we come to understand that the causes of criminal behavior are not be found in the souls of individuals but in the physical nature of human beings and the structure of society.

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Tom Paine

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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2019, 05:51:37 am »
I appreciate the dilemma you bring up in the OP: how is it free will is exercised if our choices aren't truly free?

When you reduce free will to nothing more than a response to stimuli, this implies a deterministic outlook on personal choices. The decision making process as a series of events that lead into the next, as though we're driving a car without a steering wheel in a single lane only going one direction.

Here's how free will works: we can't control what happens to us, but we can control our response. We can pre-program ourselves with meditation and visualization. This is similar to an athlete or a musician who practices and practices until he can do without thinking. I can also influence the way my environment gives me stimulus by filtering it with certain controls. For example: who or what decided to set your alarm clock in the morning? That question is unanswerable with our current understanding of consciousness.

If there truly is no human free will, then there is no such thing as a "choice" and "consequence" - we're just biological machines responding to stimulus in our environment. So if we have no control, then who or what does? If we have no control, then who can decide what is right and wrong? Imagine walking into a court room and using this as your defense to get exonerated...

"Your honor, according to the physical sciences, I have no free will, therefore, *I* did not rob that bank. An animal called by my name was stimulated by a series of uncontrollable stimuli and this animal subsequently made a series of uncontrollable choices in response to that stimuli. This animal cannot assume personal responsibility for robbing the bank, because we cannot establish any wrongdoing. This case must be put to rest."

I would encourage you to check out a debate EvolutionaryPsychologist and I did that dances around this topic: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/community-debates-forum/does-the-self-exist-gt-v.-ep-6035121.0.html

But. let's say the robber was born into a crime infested inner city neighborhood where the only way to survive, he rightly or wrongly saw as to join a gang and as part of the gang he was coerced into taking part in the robbery. We can say that he could have freely chosen not to take part. But is that realistic? Is this kid not also a victim of injustice himself? Sure there may be a social imperative to hold him responsible and we must. But at the same time is there not also a responsibility for the society to try and remedy the situation that causes people who might otherwise have become good citizens to become criminals?

Is not a more realistic understanding of the real dynamics of how a person becomes a criminal more likely to lead to a better solution than a mythological understanding that makes the individuals soul the ultimate source of the evil that they perpetrate.

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jayceeii

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Re: Humans have no free will, god is fully responsible for all suffering.
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2019, 09:25:15 am »
But. let's say the robber was born into a crime infested inner city neighborhood where the only way to survive, he rightly or wrongly saw as to join a gang and as part of the gang he was coerced into taking part in the robbery. We can say that he could have freely chosen not to take part. But is that realistic? Is this kid not also a victim of injustice himself? Sure there may be a social imperative to hold him responsible and we must. But at the same time is there not also a responsibility for the society to try and remedy the situation that causes people who might otherwise have become good citizens to become criminals?

Is not a more realistic understanding of the real dynamics of how a person becomes a criminal more likely to lead to a better solution than a mythological understanding that makes the individuals soul the ultimate source of the evil that they perpetrate.
There may be a few who are trapped this way, but by and large the culture of gangs is an extension from tribes, and those local people are generating the society they can support. You’re looking for a larger part of society to fix the smaller parts of society, when the larger parts should be the sum of the smaller parts and the real question is why the smaller parts do not fix themselves. Pockets of depravity exist in every country and city in the world, therefore this is a deep intransigent problem for which you have no solution.

From my perspective it is interesting there are no pockets of virtue, which is to say places where you could go and know the others hate crime as you do, therefore you no longer need to lock your doors at night. Our world is not that kind of a world. The people do not hate crime enough to generate such safe cities, and this is one measure of the fall of man. You lament that some are born into bad situations, I lament there are no good situations. All humans share similar weaknesses, and this isn’t something you can fix by legislation.