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Doesn't God get bored? Options
AnthA1G
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 5:34:36 AM

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While reading some threads in a philosophy forum, I stumbled upon something that made me think of WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE. Now I would really like to know your opinions on the matter, because I don't see why to argue with it.

The something I found:
"
How can God be omniscient all-knowing if we have free will? If we can be free to make our own choices, and these are not pre-determined in any way, then God cannot know what we will do before we do it. So doesn't this mean that God is not all-knowing? How can God be omniscient if he doesn't know what we will do? And if God doesn't know everything, doesn't this mean that God is imperfect?

And if he does know what we will do, doesn't this mean that we do not really have free will? But if we don't have the free will to make our own choices, how can we be eternally judged for those choices? And if God knows what we will do before we do it, then it is pre-determined what we will do before we do it - so therefore we are not "free" to "choose", because no matter what happens we will end up doing exactly what we will do, there is no other option. Thus, doesn't the knowledge of God's absolute omniscience (assuming he knows what we will do) mean we have to resign ourselves to the realization that we can never deviate from doing what we were always going to do? Isn't this the antithesis of "free will"?

And even if God "knows" what we will do, but we are still somehow "free" to choose that thing we do, doesn't this mean that God sanctions everything we do? If God knows what we will do in advance, why bother letting us live our lives at all, why not just judge us before we are even born, because it is inevitable that God knows even at that point whether or not we will be good or bad, go to heaven or hell. What is the purpose in playing out a tragic comedy of humanity if God already knows with certainty what we will do, which of us will go to heaven and which will not? Why not spare all the human suffering and pain of life and death and just judge us all before it even happens, since (whether or not we have "free will") he already knows the outcome of everything that will ever happen? Doesn't the fact that God knows this ultimate outcome for everything but still lets the suffering and horrible pain of so many innocent people continue mean that God has no concern for our suffering and pain? He could end it with no change in the ultimate consequences or outcome, so why doesn't he?" -- The Last Man (Philosopher)

PS: The text above is, in a way, ignoring that God also creates the wicked ones (everything); but then again, like Luftmarque puts it, "Evil in the world? His ways are mysterious."


Anxious Angel
dingdong
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 5:42:39 AM
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I'd rather have a cup of tea.
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:16:59 AM
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While reading some threads in a philosophy forum, I stumbled upon something that made me think of WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE. Now I would really like to know your opinions on the matter, because I don't see why to argue with it.

The something I found:
"
How can God be omniscient all-knowing if we have free will? If we can be free to make our own choices, and these are not pre-determined in any way, then God cannot know what we will do before we do it. So doesn't this mean that God is not all-knowing? How can God be omniscient if he doesn't know what we will do? And if God doesn't know everything, doesn't this mean that God is imperfect?

And if he does know what we will do, doesn't this mean that we do not really have free will? But if we don't have the free will to make our own choices, how can we be eternally judged for those choices? And if God knows what we will do before we do it, then it is pre-determined what we will do before we do it - so therefore we are not "free" to "choose", because no matter what happens we will end up doing exactly what we will do, there is no other option. Thus, doesn't the knowledge of God's absolute omniscience (assuming he knows what we will do) mean we have to resign ourselves to the realization that we can never deviate from doing what we were always going to do? Isn't this the antithesis of "free will"?

And even if God "knows" what we will do, but we are still somehow "free" to choose that thing we do, doesn't this mean that God sanctions everything we do? If God knows what we will do in advance, why bother letting us live our lives at all, why not just judge us before we are even born, because it is inevitable that God knows even at that point whether or not we will be good or bad, go to heaven or hell. What is the purpose in playing out a tragic comedy of humanity if God already knows with certainty what we will do, which of us will go to heaven and which will not? Why not spare all the human suffering and pain of life and death and just judge us all before it even happens, since (whether or not we have "free will") he already knows the outcome of everything that will ever happen? Doesn't the fact that God knows this ultimate outcome for everything but still lets the suffering and horrible pain of so many innocent people continue mean that God has no concern for our suffering and pain? He could end it with no change in the ultimate consequences or outcome, so why doesn't he?" -- The Last Man (Philosopher)



And perhaps there is no God, and we DO have the chance of exercising free will, except that is there is an element of chance which is a mathematical probability and not some metaphysical complex phenomenon that we need to tear our hair about?? Just food for thoughtSpeak to the hand
redsxz
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:48:01 AM
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That's absolutely brilliant and I will use it from now on to test my religious friends.
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 7:53:11 AM

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Does god get bored? Well according to an explanation I heard some forty years ago, yes and that explains us. God, being eternal, got eternally bored and so broke himself up into billions of pieces, each with situational amnesia. Once we all remember that we are collectively god, then poof we'll be god again, and have to come up with some other amusement.

As far as the problem caused for the concept of freewill, by the attributes of most western interpretations of god, I have always thought that omniscience was redundant, after omnipresence and that in turn redundant after eternalness. (God if ever a sentence proved the necessity of coffee before writing that is it.)
If god is eternal then he must exist throughout and outside of time, therefore, from god's frame of reference, everything has already happened, or everything is happening all the time, but in any case one is again confronted with problems with the concept of freewill.
Cat
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 8:59:57 AM

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In my household, I am god. I know what choices my kids have, but not necessarily which choice they'll make. But I know the variables. Therefore, they think I have eyes on the back of my head and am omniscient. Sometimes I tell them what their choices are just to give them a head's up. I don't know which choice they'll make, although I know them both well enough to guess well. Even so, I let them make their choices even if it means they make a bad one. I tell them repeatedly that they will learn more from their errors than from their successes. So, yes. They have free will. I only step in when there's a "safety issue". Hence, I am god, not GOD. I, personally, do not believe GOD intervenes. I know many disagree with me. I speak to GOD, who is inside me, and ask for wisdom. When the answer comes to me, that's what I do or how I think. This is what works for me, but I've never met another person for whom it also works.
Babezy
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 9:00:14 AM
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I thought the idea was that God stood outside of time, and so wasn't bound to the old "what happens next?" rules. Wasn't that the point of God saying, "I Am Who Am" and the whole "a thousand years is but a moment to God" and all that? I think people are bound to chronology and so have all these concerns about free will and destiny, but God is part of something that's both eternally happening and constantly existing--different ballgame. Seeing all time at once and everything that's happening from cell division to the motions of the galaxies would be endlessly fascinating, I'd imagine.
sammywhammy
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 9:00:53 AM
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if you think about that kinda stuff then god's already won.
chitta chatta
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 9:09:22 AM
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AnthA1G quoted The Last Man:
(1) "How can God be omniscient all-knowing if we have free will?
(2) What is the purpose in playing out a tragic comedy of humanity if God already knows with certainty what we will do, which of us will go to heaven and which will not?
(3) Doesn't the fact that God knows this ultimate outcome for everything but still lets the suffering and horrible pain of so many innocent people continue mean that God has no concern for our suffering and pain?
C/c says: [1] I was undecisive most my life about atheism/Higher Power until I started to think about the current technological world. Holy Bible says everything we do is written in our book. And, computers have a chip. Plus, we live with our own electrical energy source that ceases when we're dead. Therefore, is it not possible that we also have a type of computer-chip inside us, too? (This was explored in some part through the "Matrix" movie series).
C/c says: [2] Several years ago, I was told an interesting story of the original Heaven. There was a bad angel who became so vain and conceited that he thought he could do a better job than God. He was already leading 1/3 of the others astray who were mesmerised by his "mighty words" and "good looks". Whilst the other loyal 1/3 supported God, there was yet the need for the final 1/3 who couldn't decide (i.e. wouldn't take either side). To put down the rebellion, God created the Earth where,inside it, the bad guy and 1/3 bad angels were imprisoned. In fairness, God is giving the other 1/3 UN-DECISIVE GROUP a second chance to "choose" which side to whom their loyalties lay. So, our purposein life is to make a decision on WHOM has our best interests at heart - is it the one with clever-words/swarmy personality/easy,short-term choices. OR, the one who offers us a straight, but narrow path that will ultimately protect us from harm with long-term rewards.

C/c says: [3] Speaking from personal experience, "EMOTIONAL/FINANCIAL" suffering and pain most often occurs due to poor decisions (i.e. bad "choice"). On the other hand, PHYSICAL suffering/pain is part of our test - (i.e. (a) "internal" personal challenges of our faith/loyalty, (b) "external" world-challenges of our respect to help our fellow human-beings).

Young people don't know what the past held. However, in my60+ lifetime, I have seen a rapid development in the Seven-Deadly-Sins:- homosexuality and erotica; witchcraft/warlocks and all things s.a.t.a.n.i.c.; bigger personal-possessions (1. cars, houses, boats, etc), (2. endless house-clutter [i.e.lastest fashion, furniture, computers, Playstation, CD's DVD's, toys, etc], (3. increase in personal-substances [i.e. alcohol in food-shops/smoking/every manner of drug]; (4. world-wide decrease in church followings/UNLESS forced. Yet, when I was a kid, lucky if you got one small-toy at Christmas, +one for your birthday. Even luckier - if you had Christmas Dinner. Less than 100 years back, Australian children from poor families wore clothes made from sugar-bags! So, when studying our history, there is NO DOUBT IN MY MIND this barrage of "consumerism" is because WE ARE CONSTANTLY BEING "TESTED"!!

No criticisms to any one, as I have also lived a bad/good life. My life changed when I began listening to my internal voice/s more often. Now, I truly believe in a good God, a good Son, and a good Holy Ghost - WHY DO I BELIEVE THIS?? (i) Maybe "cloning" was not created first by man... and, (ii) because, if I don't.... what is the other "alternative"?
Isaac Samuel
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 10:51:09 AM
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AnthA1G:

Why do you have to get preoccupied with Omniscience or Omnipotence when the existance of God in itself is still a hypothesis? Relax and have a cup of tea with me and dingdong.
dingdong
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 11:07:11 AM
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Isaac Samuel wrote:
AnthA1G:

Why do you have to get preoccupied with Omniscience or Omnipotence when the existance of God in itself is still a hypothesis? Relax and have a cup of tea with me and dingdong.


I like to have a biscuit with mine, and maybe a piece of toast ... I wish.
Cat
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 11:34:05 AM

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Wondering is not the same as preoccupied. Keep asking questions and you'll keep finding answers...Ms Frizzle (The Magic School Bus).
worldsclyde
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 12:08:51 PM
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I think this is like the old paradox of "if God can do anything, can he make a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it?" Its more a faulty question than evidence of anything. This from someone who is devoutly agnostic (99.99% athiest). I am pondering this over way too much coffee so excuse any typos.
avatar
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 12:50:18 PM
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God (religion) and rationality are mutually exclusive. All this intellectual gymnastic is futile.
HWNN1961
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 1:53:25 PM
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I don't think God gets bored. Hindu friends here can correct me, but didn't the Vedas describe God someplace as having the mind and soul of a playful child. God never gets bored with Her imagination. And, if She thinks it, the word becomes flesh.
TL Hobs
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 1:59:08 PM
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Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, struggled with this question in his book Mysterious Stranger. He wrote several versions of it over a period of years, changing perspective each time.

Questions like this are good for mental masturbation, but I don't see much value in it otherwise.
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 2:24:24 PM
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TL Hobs wrote:


Questions like this are good for mental masturbation, but I don't see much value in it otherwise.


Eh?
grammargeek
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 2:37:12 PM
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avatar wrote:

God (religion) and rationality are mutually exclusive. Al this intellectual gymnastic is futile.


The intellectual gymnastics may indeed go in circles, but I must disagree with your other point.

Many rational people believe in God, though their definitions of God may differ. In the S&T thread on Darwinism yesterday morning, the thread had "evolved" to this same kind of dichotomy: religion vs. science. There I posed a question that has yet to get a response, so I will pose it again here.

Into which group would you place a "religious scientist"?

For example, how do you explain the existence of Christian and Jewish physicians?*


*This is not meant to exclude other religions or other areas of science, but to keep the question succinct.
worldsclyde
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 3:12:01 PM
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grammergeek wrote: Into which group would you place a "religious scientist"?

as a non-religious person I have to repy "a scientist that could do better" since he/she has an obvious bias from the start. This is not meant to offend, just an unavoidable conclusion from my point of view. I think that the word "faith" (requiring no evidence) in this context is the opposite of "science" (based only on evidence). If a person of faith is 100% correct on the subject of that faith then they are just damn lucky. If this is the case after I die, I'll admit it openly.
AnthA1G
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 3:27:49 PM

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kisholoy mukherjee wrote:

And perhaps there is no God, and we DO have the chance of exercising free will, except that is there is an element of chance which is a mathematical probability and not some metaphysical complex phenomenon that we need to tear our hair about?? Just food for thoughtSpeak to the hand


I don't get you, sarcasm?Think


redsxz wrote:
That's absolutely brilliant and I will use it from now on to test my religious friends.


To test them how?Silenced

Cat wrote:
In my household, I am god. I know what choices my kids have, but not necessarily which choice they'll make. But I know the variables. Therefore, they think I have eyes on the back of my head and am omniscient. Sometimes I tell them what their choices are just to give them a head's up. I don't know which choice they'll make, although I know them both well enough to guess well. Even so, I let them make their choices even if it means they make a bad one. I tell them repeatedly that they will learn more from their errors than from their successes. So, yes. They have free will. I only step in when there's a "safety issue". Hence, I am god, not GOD. I, personally, do not believe GOD intervenes. I know many disagree with me. I speak to GOD, who is inside me, and ask for wisdom. When the answer comes to me, that's what I do or how I think. This is what works for me, but I've never met another person for whom it also works.


How can God give you ANY answers if he doesn't intervene at all?

TL Hobs wrote:
Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, struggled with this question in his book Mysterious Stranger. He wrote several versions of it over a period of years, changing perspective each time.

Questions like this are good for mental masturbation, but I don't see much value in it otherwise.


Even thouhh I strongly disagree with you, I can see why you don't see the value in it.
AnthA1G
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 3:45:35 PM

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chitta chatta wrote:
AnthA1G quoted The Last Man:
(1) "How can God be omniscient all-knowing if we have free will?
(2) What is the purpose in playing out a tragic comedy of humanity if God already knows with certainty what we will do, which of us will go to heaven and which will not?
(3) Doesn't the fact that God knows this ultimate outcome for everything but still lets the suffering and horrible pain of so many innocent people continue mean that God has no concern for our suffering and pain?
C/c says: [1] I was undecisive most my life about atheism/Higher Power until I started to think about the current technological world. Holy Bible says everything we do is written in our book. And, computers have a chip. Plus, we live with our own electrical energy source that ceases when we're dead. Therefore, is it not possible that we also have a type of computer-chip inside us, too? (This was explored in some part through the "Matrix" movie series).
C/c says: [2] Several years ago, I was told an interesting story of the original Heaven. There was a bad angel who became so vain and conceited that he thought he could do a better job than God. He was already leading 1/3 of the others astray who were mesmerised by his "mighty words" and "good looks". Whilst the other loyal 1/3 supported God, there was yet the need for the final 1/3 who couldn't decide (i.e. wouldn't take either side). To put down the rebellion, God created the Earth where,inside it, the bad guy and 1/3 bad angels were imprisoned. In fairness, God is giving the other 1/3 UN-DECISIVE GROUP a second chance to "choose" which side to whom their loyalties lay. So, our purposein life is to make a decision on WHOM has our best interests at heart - is it the one with clever-words/swarmy personality/easy,short-term choices. OR, the one who offers us a straight, but narrow path that will ultimately protect us from harm with long-term rewards.

C/c says: [3] Speaking from personal experience, "EMOTIONAL/FINANCIAL" suffering and pain most often occurs due to poor decisions (i.e. bad "choice"). On the other hand, PHYSICAL suffering/pain is part of our test - (i.e. (a) "internal" personal challenges of our faith/loyalty, (b) "external" world-challenges of our respect to help our fellow human-beings).

Young people don't know what the past held. However, in my60+ lifetime, I have seen a rapid development in the Seven-Deadly-Sins:- homosexuality and erotica; witchcraft/warlocks and all things s.a.t.a.n.i.c.; bigger personal-possessions (1. cars, houses, boats, etc), (2. endless house-clutter [i.e.lastest fashion, furniture, computers, Playstation, CD's DVD's, toys, etc], (3. increase in personal-substances [i.e. alcohol in food-shops/smoking/every manner of drug]; (4. world-wide decrease in church followings/UNLESS forced. Yet, when I was a kid, lucky if you got one small-toy at Christmas, +one for your birthday. Even luckier - if you had Christmas Dinner. Less than 100 years back, Australian children from poor families wore clothes made from sugar-bags! So, when studying our history, there is NO DOUBT IN MY MIND this barrage of "consumerism" is because WE ARE CONSTANTLY BEING "TESTED"!!

No criticisms to any one, as I have also lived a bad/good life. My life changed when I began listening to my internal voice/s more often. Now, I truly believe in a good God, a good Son, and a good Holy Ghost - WHY DO I BELIEVE THIS?? (i) Maybe "cloning" was not created first by man... and, (ii) because, if I don't.... what is the other "alternative"?


[1]If we have a computer-chip-like inside us and everything is written in The Book, then, based on that, we don't have free will. Comparing us to computers gets us nowhere, since computers are programmed and they do what we want them to do, they don't have free will.

[2]No need to reply to this one.

[3]Then, again, we don't have free will. If he already knows what's going to happen, why the need to test us? What about the people who don't have a chance in life and are brought to this world just to suffer?

Babezy pointed out that God is not bound to chronology, but I can't see how anythibg makes sense then.

If God doesn't intervene, how did we end up with the Bible?
xsmith
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 3:46:54 PM
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Who assigned these attributes to God? Why is there a conflict about what attributes God possesses? It seems that the answers to these questions strongly suggests that humankind over the centuries is responsible for injecting these traits. I believe that the concept of Creator God is more believable than a lot of this other stuff.
TL Hobs
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 4:55:01 PM
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AnthA1G wrote:


Even thouhh I strongly disagree with you, I can see why you don't see the value in it.


Well, it is not something that can be proven, or not. One believes what is accepted on faith. It is pointless to debate your faith against another's. You cannot win or loss the debate. You can only stipulate what you believe and have faith in. I for one find the whole idea of a creator to be rather ridiculous. But, it matters not to you or anyone else what I believe in that regard. You are entitled to your beliefs and if they give you comfort, or make you a better person for it, then it is fine by me.

However, if you find it necessary to kill me because we disagree, then Houston, we have a problem.
Cat
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 5:02:43 PM

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AnthA1G wrote: How can God give you ANY answers if he doesn't intervene at all?

I can ask someone for input. That doesn't imply intervention. I still have a choice of whether to listen or not, act on the input or not.
Cat
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 5:09:52 PM

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xsmith: I am making it up as I go along. I'm trying for a theory that fits the situation(s). My perspective and experience becomes embroiled in my theory. Hence, it's difficult for any two people to agree totally. The idea of this post, I believe, is to air our ideas and see what we can learn from others. It's not necessary for anyone to change their mind or be convinced of another theory. Just brainstorming.
Luftmarque
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:06:53 PM

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Sure there are scientists who believe in God, and superstitious atheists too. Our brains are capable of major inconsistencies.
Ellenrita
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:26:13 PM
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Well, this person agrees with Babezy-With God not in time or place how can we imagine how the Creator thinks?feels???
schrodinger's cat
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:49:10 PM
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First of all, AnthA1G, this is brilliant and I'm currently experiencing one of those: Why didn't I think of this before moments.

My answer: What if he simply doesn't care? What if he created us, got bored and went to vacation elsewhere, which allows us to have a free will. Of course, as self-centred as we are, we would believe that he's watching over us and evaluating everything we do. Instead, he's sun-bathing somewhere on the other end of the universe.

Historical answer: The Ancient Greeks believe that their fate is set in stone, if I remember correctly, Fate was even superior to the deities of the time. As it was, it was a convenient excuse: a person did something evil and then blamed it on the fate, as it is something you cannot escape (Think of Oedipus).

Scientific answer: I've read somewhere that we technically don't have free will, that is, our actions are-predetermined. However, much less than a second after (can't remember the specific time) this pre-determined decision is set to motion, we CAN decide whether to follow it or not, so we kind of have a free will after all. I wonder where does God fit into this. He implants that decision in us, but we can change it because we are more powerful than God? Or perhaps, both decisions are really his and then we're back to your arguments. Any thoughts on that one?

And as the answer to your third paragraph I'd say that his aim is that we learn. Though, honestly, how much can you learn in one lifetime? That is why I prefer the Buddhist concept of rebirth, you try, try and try until you succeed.

Cat:I can ask someone for input. That doesn't imply intervention. I still have a choice of whether to listen or not, act on the input or not.

The word input implies change of information, which is an intervention. If there is any change to a system (information, energy, etc) then the situation will evolve differently than it would have without that change. Ergo, God does interfere in your case and if he is truly omniscient than he knows what his intervention will bring and therefore you don't have a free will.
oxymoron
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 7:01:42 PM
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I'll forgoe the tea, coffee and biscuits and have a very large red and a few wafers. Inomini Patri, Et Fili, Et Spiritu SanctiPray Not talking
TYSON
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 8:55:20 PM
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I have asked that myself many times. However nobody seems to know. Ive tried asking GOD, but I recieved no answer. I guess He was busy doing something. Saving himself from being bored possibly.
chitta chatta
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 9:39:47 PM
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Predetermination -v- Free Will

A god(anyone)CAN ONLY KNOW pre-determination of another's soul "IF" HE/she (for some) had already personal, existing experience of you - hence, see my earlier thread [(espec(No.2)] above. OR, with re-incarnation (previously mentioned) would come experience/pre-determination.

Within myself I find there is my own inner voice (i.e.1st/ free-will) - THEN comes the other (2nd) voice which gives advice/warning on my "free-will" choice (just like parent/child relationship). Ultimately, the final choice is mine.

Depending on the matter, NOT ALL bad choices create endless pain/suffering... At first, they may. But, if one takes ownership/responsibility for the problem, then later-on it can bring un-expected happiness (i.e. child out of wedlock = shame/humiliation /ostracised by society. However, child(+grandchild) gives unconditional love/acceptance = profound joy/happiness.

If it were possible to take America's 911 situation and placed it in an atheist/communist country (i.e. old Russia/Stalin)... Take out ALL the Americans/etc who said "Oh, my God" and give it to Russians; would they say "Oh, my Stalin!"? Or maybe, "Oh, my Darwin!"? Doesn't quite slip off the lips so easily. Although my search began slightly earlier to 911, this was the crux of my decision that there is a god. Why else would it be the first thing people always cry-out when they are confronted with a threatening personal/world climaxical change?
vrangel999
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 10:35:33 PM
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Our free will is a one-time decision we make, which is to choose to have God as the ruler of our life, and which we sometimes have to come back to over and over again.
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 2:26:37 AM

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vrangel999 wrote:
Our free will is a one-time decision we make, which is to choose to have God as the ruler of our life, and which we sometimes have to come back to over and over again.

?
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 2:32:40 AM

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Returning to and paraphrasing the OP, there is a contradiction awaiting the deist who wants to believe in both God's omniscience and free-will. If humans have real free-will, then they can make genuine meaningful decisions (and bear the responsibility for those decisions). But then God cannot know what decision they will make. But then God is not omniscient. All this muddle arises from torturing words to describe unreal states, IMNSHO. If we start from the position of no-god, then we have only the philosophical conundrums around free-will to contend with. That seems better to me.
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 2:43:51 AM

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schrodinger's cat wrote:
Scientific answer: I've read somewhere that we technically don't have free will, that is, our actions are-predetermined. However, much less than a second after (can't remember the specific time) this pre-determined decision is set to motion, we CAN decide whether to follow it or not, so we kind of have a free will after all. I wonder where does God fit into this. He implants that decision in us, but we can change it because we are more powerful than God? Or perhaps, both decisions are really his and then we're back to your arguments. Any thoughts on that one?

This sounds similar in some way to the experiments demonstrating that there are clear and reliable precursors of brain activity that occur just before we have the feeling of "making a decision." So that, in theory, a privileged observer could know what you were going to decide before you did. I find that interesting but not really surprising. Why wouldn't there be a lot of stuff going on in the brain prior to consciousness of a "decision?"

The other thing your paragraph reminds me of is how, in the evolution of the brain, what permitted our "higher" functioning (the ability to make long-range plans, for instance) was the development of inhibitory circuits--not more, better, or faster "do something" circuits but circuits interposed between desires and actions, that can give us just the sort of little time needed to avoid acting on our first or strongest impulse.
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