Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > >

Notices

Religion, God, and Theology Discussion of God, religion, faith, theology, and spirituality.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-14-2009, 09:16 PM   #1
Our House
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Our House's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: East of Westeros, West of Essos
Posts: 28,058
Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Isn't this a logical inconsistency?

Unless I'm missing something...if you believe that any of the predictions/prophecies of the Bible (that involve humans) are true, you can't simultaneously maintain the belief that all of us were given free will.
Our House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
Our House
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Our House's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: East of Westeros, West of Essos
Posts: 28,058
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

In other words, either ALL prophecies involving humans are false, or we don't have free will, or God is able to suspend free will whenever he wants.
Our House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
TruthHasNoEnd
journeyman
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 249
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Our House View Post
In other words, either ALL prophecies involving humans are false, or we don't have free will, or God is able to suspend free will whenever he wants.
I think the whole process of evolution shows us how free we are. We may be born into certain situations suck but we all could be free if we were united on that cause.
TruthHasNoEnd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 09:33 PM   #4
Jibninjas
Stuck in a While loop
 
Jibninjas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bluff-Calling
Posts: 11,507
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Our House View Post
In other words, either ALL prophecies involving humans are false, or we don't have free will, or God is able to suspend free will whenever he wants.
nah. Care to elaborate on how you came to this conclusion?
Jibninjas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 09:41 PM   #5
Our House
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Our House's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: East of Westeros, West of Essos
Posts: 28,058
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibninjas View Post
nah. Care to elaborate on how you came to this conclusion?
Very easily. Name a single valid Biblical prediction or prophecy and I will.
Our House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 09:46 PM   #6
bunny
will feast on your soul
 
bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: South Australia
Posts: 11,219
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Our House View Post
Isn't this a logical inconsistency?

Unless I'm missing something...if you believe that any of the predictions/prophecies of the Bible (that involve humans) are true, you can't simultaneously maintain the belief that all of us were given free will.
I know two approaches to addressing this:

1. There's nothing about knowing what you will choose which interferes with you freely choosing that thing. Think about it in the past - you may know what I freely chose to do yesterday or you may be ignorant about what I freely chose. The knowledge doesnt change anything - I still made a choice. Now why should God's knowledge of our future action constrain our choice in any way? We can freely choose either - he just happens to know which we are about to choose before we go ahead and make the decision (at which point he can nod wisely and say "I knew it"). The knowledge itself is not a constraint on us - it's a constraint on him (he cant know we'll choose X and at the same time make us choose Y). The fact that he knows I'm about to choose X doesnt mean I can't choose Y, it means I'm not going to.

2. In a many worlds interpretation, imagining you only have 1 choice to make at one instant (for simplicity). The world's are identical up until that point except for god. In one of them, he knows you're about to take option 1, in the other he knows you're about to take option 2. You arrive at the moment of truth and freely make your choice - at that point, if you choose option 1, you continue along in the actual world which happens to be the first (the second world was a possible world which didnt happen). God knew all along which was the actual world and which was the possible world (he's like that) whereas we were in the dark until the choice was made (since we have such a limited view of time).
bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 09:52 PM   #7
Our House
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Our House's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: East of Westeros, West of Essos
Posts: 28,058
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Bunny, the problem with either of those is that the results were published! Anyone could look at the Bible and find out what is supposed to happen, and then go against it...but that would make the prophecy false.

Let's say the OT accurately predicted Christ's crucifixion and Pilate got his hands on it and read it. Could he have ever decided not to crucify Jesus?
Our House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 09:59 PM   #8
Jibninjas
Stuck in a While loop
 
Jibninjas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bluff-Calling
Posts: 11,507
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Our House View Post
Bunny, the problem with either of those is that the results were published! Anyone could look at the Bible and find out what is supposed to happen, and then go against it...but that would make the prophecy false.

Let's say the OT accurately predicted Christ's crucifixion and Pilate got his hands on it and read it. Could he have ever decided not to crucify Jesus?
But you are forgetting that almost none of the prophecies include specific individuals.

So I do not understand what the issue is.
Jibninjas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:04 PM   #9
Jibninjas
Stuck in a While loop
 
Jibninjas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bluff-Calling
Posts: 11,507
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
1. There's nothing about knowing what you will choose which interferes with you freely choosing that thing. Think about it in the past - you may know what I freely chose to do yesterday or you may be ignorant about what I freely chose. The knowledge doesnt change anything - I still made a choice
In your analogy about the past you need to look at it the opposite way. Me knowing that you did X yesterday does not hinder your free will, but that what happens when I know that you will do X tomorrow? You are no more capable of changing tomorrow then you are of changing yesterday. And if you cannot change what you are going to do, then you do not have free will.
Jibninjas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:06 PM   #10
bunny
will feast on your soul
 
bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: South Australia
Posts: 11,219
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Our House View Post
Bunny, the problem with either of those is that the results were published! Anyone could look at the Bible and find out what is supposed to happen, and then go against it...but that would make the prophecy false.
I agree that this would be troubling for literalists/biblical prophecy followers/whatever - if the bible makes a prophecy and people freely choose actions which result in the prophecy not coming true then it implies that the bible is not an infallible guide to the future.

You're not saying that this is what has happened though - you're saying that the very existence of foreknowledge precludes free choice and that doesnt follow. The trouble is we are stuck in a newtonian way of thinking of time - a rigid space evolving as time passes, with ourselves (and every observer we can imagine) experiencing one moment at a time, sequentially.

Someone who knows the future and who sees time all-at-once (or for whom every instant is equally accessible), is not experiencing the universe like that.
Quote:
Let's say the OT accurately predicted Christ's crucifixion and Pilate got his hands on it and read it. Could he have ever decided not to crucify Jesus?
Yes - but he wouldnt have. If he did crucify jesus, the bible would be proved true, if he didnt the bible would be proved false. The existence of the prophecy doesnt mean he can't choose whether to fulfill it or not - if it's a true prophecy, then we wont know that prior to his choice (although god will) but when the time comes we'll see that it "came true" - someone looking at the universe as a whole isnt looking at one moment, then the next, then the one after that - they see all of time at once, as a static list of many events (some of them freely chosen).
bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:07 PM   #11
bunny
will feast on your soul
 
bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: South Australia
Posts: 11,219
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibninjas View Post
In your analogy about the past you need to look at it the opposite way. Me knowing that you did X yesterday does not hinder your free will, but that what happens when I know that you will do X tomorrow? You are no more capable of changing tomorrow then you are of changing yesterday.
Yes I am - if I do what you expect, you'll be right. If I don't then you'll be wrong.
Quote:
And if you cannot change what you are going to do, then you do not have free will.
I can (although if you're right about my future choice, then I'm not going to).
bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #12
Jibninjas
Stuck in a While loop
 
Jibninjas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bluff-Calling
Posts: 11,507
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

I brought these up before, but not much was talked about. These are 5 philosophical arguments why God cannot have eternal definite foreknowledge. There are just briefs of them, if you would like to read the essay you can CLICK HERE. I think that you should like these OH.

Quote:
P1) If God possesses EDF, the definiteness of all events eternally precedes their actual occurrence.

P2) Actuality is distinct from possibility in that actuality is characterized by definiteness, while possibility is characterized by indefiniteness.

P3) Thus, all events are actual before they are actual.

Conclusion: It is absurd to say that an event is actual before it is actual, thus (reductio ad absurdem) God does not possess EDF.
Quote:
P1) Nothing contingent is uncaused.

P2) The definiteness of the actual world is contingent.

P3) The definiteness of the world is caused (from P1).

P4) If God possesses EDF, the world was perfectly definite (in God’s mind) an eternity before the world existed.

P5) The world can’t be the cause of its own definiteness, for it did not exist from eternity.

P6) God must be the sole cause for the world’s definiteness, or the world is not contingent.

Conclusion: I cannot be the cause of the definiteness of my own actions: I cannot be self-determining.
Quote:
a) the past by logical necessity cannot be changed;

b) we are not free in relation to what we cannot change; and

c) we cannot change God’s knowledge (which, by definition, is perfectly accurate).
Quote:
P1) Self-determination means that the self determines its actions, or it has no clear meaning. Regarding any genuinely free act, in other words, by definition the free agent ultimately determined that an action within the category of possibilities (“possibly this or possibly that”) would become something within the category of actualities (“certainly this and certainly not that”).

P2) Retroactive causality does not occur.

P3) Hence, the determinateness given to an action by a self-determining agent cannot precede that agent’s self-determination (let alone eternally precede it!).

Conclusion: The determinateness of the acts which an agent self-determines cannot exist before the agent gives these acts determinateness. Hence the determinateness of such acts are not there to be known by God or anyone else as anything other than possibilities prior to the agent’s act of self-determination (let alone an eternity prior!).
Quote:
P1) The fundamental distinction between possibility and actuality is that of indefiniteness and definiteness.

P2) Self-determination is the power to change possibility into actuality, thus indefiniteness into definiteness.

P3) If EDF is the case, then every event is definite before it occurs.

P4) There is no indefiniteness to the future.

Conclusion: The self has no power to change possibilities into actualities, indefiniteness into definiteness. That is, the self has no self-determination.
Jibninjas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:12 PM   #13
Jibninjas
Stuck in a While loop
 
Jibninjas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bluff-Calling
Posts: 11,507
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Yes I am - if I do what you expect, you'll be right. If I don't then you'll be wrong.
In this scenario I cannot be wrong. I know for a fact what you are going to do tomorrow, just like I know for a fact what you did yesterday.
Jibninjas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:14 PM   #14
bunny
will feast on your soul
 
bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: South Australia
Posts: 11,219
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibninjas View Post
In this scenario I cannot be wrong.
If you're right then I'll freely choose to do what you believe I do (and I expect there's another possible world in which there's a "you" infallibly knowing that I'm going to choose the opposite - and a me freely choosing the opposite).

EDIT: Also, I'm not talking about you (a temporally bound entity) knowing the future, in case it matters. I'm talking about God who does not exist within time.
bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:16 PM   #15
madnak
Cooler than Sammy Hagar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 19,743
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

I'm not with you on this, OH. I don't believe in free will, as per the SMP thread, but I don't think it's incompatible with divine knowledge.

"Prior knowledge" seems a bit nonsensical to apply to God, but the ability to predict an outcome doesn't imply that the outcome isn't "free" or undetermined.

The prophecies themselves are different because they represent action based on prediction. But it's possible for nondeterministic events to occur within a limited context such that certain general outcomes are inevitable.

On the other hand, some restrictions must apply. If everyone chooses to kill themselves tonight, then the human race will be gone and the prophecies of the Bible cannot be fulfilled. Thus, if God knows that the human race will not die out tonight, then the implication is that not all humans are able to choose suicide tonight. This implies that some have their free will restricted in what seems a very unusual way (or that God isn't completely certain of his own prophecies after all).
madnak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:19 PM   #16
bunny
will feast on your soul
 
bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: South Australia
Posts: 11,219
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by madnak View Post
If everyone chooses to kill themselves tonight, then the human race will be gone and the prophecies of the Bible cannot be fulfilled. Thus, if God knows that the human race will not die out tonight, then the implication is that not all humans are able to choose suicide tonight.
It doesnt. It implies that not all humans will choose suicide tonight. They could have (and God would have known they were going to, in that case).
bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 10:27 PM   #17
RoundGuy
Banned daily at 8:00 pm
 
RoundGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: My role in WW? Good luck with that
Posts: 7,951
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Would a Bible believer please explain to me the following passage? Do we have freewill, or don't we?

From Romans 9:

13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."[e]

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[f] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[g] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[h] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?




Seems pretty clear to me that God is in charge, not us.
RoundGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 11:48 PM   #18
metsandfinsfan
cake eater
 
metsandfinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: waiting for well named
Posts: 146,368
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Our House View Post
Isn't this a logical inconsistency?

Unless I'm missing something...if you believe that any of the predictions/prophecies of the Bible (that involve humans) are true, you can't simultaneously maintain the belief that all of us were given free will.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Our House View Post
In other words, either ALL prophecies involving humans are false, or we don't have free will, or God is able to suspend free will whenever he wants.
i think most theists believe the suspend free will theorem. Or that people have free will but god already knows what they will choose because he is omnicient (sp)
metsandfinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 12:53 AM   #19
madnak
Cooler than Sammy Hagar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 19,743
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by bunny View Post
It doesnt. It implies that not all humans will choose suicide tonight. They could have (and God would have known they were going to, in that case).
That's true, I suppose.
madnak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 02:05 AM   #20
NotReady
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Building for the Kingdom
Posts: 10,527
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Our House View Post
Isn't this a logical inconsistency?

Unless I'm missing something...if you believe that any of the predictions/prophecies of the Bible (that involve humans) are true, you can't simultaneously maintain the belief that all of us were given free will.
Very briefly, this is the same issue regarding Open Theism which is currently a hot topic among conservative Christians.

I think the simple answer is God's foreknowledge of free will decisions is non-causal. Read Craig's comments on Newcombe's paradox and his booklet, What Does God Know?. There's a difference between certainty and necessity.
NotReady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 03:05 AM   #21
BigLawMonies
Pooh-Bah
 
BigLawMonies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Charm City
Posts: 3,584
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

P1) If the universe is physically determined the definiteness of all events eternally precedes their actual occurrence.

P2) Actuality is distinct from possibility in that actuality is characterized by definiteness, while possibility is characterized by indefiniteness.

P3) Thus, all events are actual before they are actual.

Conclusion: It is absurd to say that an event is actual before it is actual, thus (reductio ad absurdem) the universe is not physically determined

The point is that P2 is unsound: possibility describes a vista on reality characterized by incomplete knowledge. Another way to put it is that "possibility" is a conclusion about the likelihood of future events based on our incomplete knowledge about definite future events.

Last edited by BigLawMonies; 01-15-2009 at 03:10 AM.
BigLawMonies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 03:13 AM   #22
BigLawMonies
Pooh-Bah
 
BigLawMonies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Charm City
Posts: 3,584
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

P1) Nothing contingent is uncaused.

P2) The definiteness of the actual world is contingent.

P3) The definiteness of the world is caused (from P1).


I don't understand the way the author used the words in these propositions
BigLawMonies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 03:17 AM   #23
BigLawMonies
Pooh-Bah
 
BigLawMonies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Charm City
Posts: 3,584
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundGuy View Post
Would a Bible believer please explain to me the following passage? Do we have freewill, or don't we?
16 "Not of him that willeth"... That is, by any power or strength of his own, abstracting from the grace of God.

17 "To this purpose"... Not that God made him on purpose that he should sin, and so be damned; but foreseeing his obstinacy in sin, and the abuse of his own free will, he raised him up to be a mighty king, to make a more remarkable example of him: and that his power might be better known, and his justice in punishing him, published throughout the earth.

18 "He hardeneth"... Not by being the cause or author of his sin, but by withholding his grace, and so leaving him in his sin, in punishment of his past demerits.

http://www.drbo.org/chapter/52009.htm
BigLawMonies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 01:01 PM   #24
AKA Squared
journeyman
 
AKA Squared's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: away from home without a deuce
Posts: 269
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Calvinism ftw.
AKA Squared is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 01:04 PM   #25
AKA Squared
journeyman
 
AKA Squared's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: away from home without a deuce
Posts: 269
Re: Biblical Prophecies + Human Free Will = Does Not Compute

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundGuy View Post
Would a Bible believer please explain to me the following passage? Do we have freewill, or don't we?

From Romans 9:

13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."[e]

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[f] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[g] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[h] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?




Seems pretty clear to me that God is in charge, not us.
What's to explain? It means what it says and you seem to understand it reasonably well already.

I would only clarify that in ancient Semitic usage (which Paul is reflecting here, since he's quoting the Old Testament), "love" and "hate" were relative rather than absolute terms. So if you have two choices and choose A over B, they would say you loved A and hated B, even if, in our terms, you loved both and just barely went with A, or hated both and decided A was the lesser evil. Luke 14:26 is an example of this.

Last edited by AKA Squared; 01-15-2009 at 01:14 PM. Reason: A little more.
AKA Squared is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2008-2017, Two Plus Two Interactive
 
 
Poker Players - Streaming Live Online