Free will without proof isn't really free will

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by astralgoldfish, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. In theory we all have free will and can choose to worship god or not. But without at least some reasonably convincing evidence to prove the authenticity of any of the many holy texts, we haven't been given all the facts. To have complete freedom over any choice, you need to know definitively what the choices are.

    True free will would be if god unambiguously laid down what he wanted done (the bible is ambiguous due to the many contradictory texts, all claiming their own authenticity equally).

    The need for faith (which seems to basically mean "beleiving even though you can't be sure") devalues free will completely, as you cannot be 100% sure what choices you are actually making.

    You have the free will to accept the bible, but do not ever really know if that means accepting god's holy writings, or an ancient storybook written by man.

    God should have left something solid if he wanted us to have any real, intelligent freedom to choose whether or not to follow what he says, or rebel.
  2. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    I am crossing the desert...dying of thirst. I come to a fork in the path I am following which leads to an oasis. Do I go left or right? If I go the wrong way, I won't get to the water. I can have no certain knowledge which is the right track. I have to decide. It is my descision which will determine if I live or die.

    So I am having to use freewill with no knowledge of which is more likely to be the correct descision.

    If I believe in God perhaps I'd pray to Him in such a strait to guide me.
  3. HuckFinn

    HuckFinn Senior Member

    First, I contend that we have absolute certainty of little or nothing in life. We contantly rely on the authority/knowledge of others in matters that are way over our heads. Moreover, the choice not to believe in God is clearly a leap of faith.

    Finally, I reject your unfounded claim that the Bible is "ambiguous and contradictory."
  4. Kharakov

    Kharakov ShadowSpawn

    If you believe in God you would just pick the path you would rather take and expect God to have prepared it (your path) before you (even if it leads through death).
  5. Kharakov

    Kharakov ShadowSpawn

    If you had faith in God you would know that whatever path you choose (despite everyone around you telling you that the path leads to hell) is laid out by God, and God will make sure you get to a good destination (a destination that is right for you). This means you do not have to be 100% sure about the outcome of the choices you make, because you do know that they will be good for you. Eat your vegetables!!!
  6. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    Kharakov - I thought for a moment or two before adding that last line to my post - about praying to God for guidance. I nearly deleted it, and perhaps I should have done because maybe it distorts slightly the meaning I was trying to convey.

    My point is that in that situation, you'd have to make a willed descision with no real information to go on - thus, I hoped, showing the falsity of the claim that without certainty can be no free will.
  7. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    Thats one definition of faith.
    Another would be that faith 'is an assent of the being to the highest truth revealed to it'.
  8. Kharakov

    Kharakov ShadowSpawn

    lol Maybe if you prayed.. :)
    I see.

    I think its important to clarify which definition of free will we are talking about(voluntary choice being one, and a choice without prior cause or divine intervention being the other).

    The latter being the one most often discussed by philosophers and 'theosophers'.

    Since voluntary choices are made based upon the mood, knowledge, and inclinations of the individual to make them, we must acknowledge that voluntary choices are made with prior cause(s) (including the cause that the choice exists). As people do not control the forces that create/ mold them (their environment), they cannot be held responsible for the voluntary choices they make, which makes it necessary to add deterrents to the list of prior causes that guide our voluntary choices.

    A deterrent is one of the prior causes that influence the decision making process. It is useful, as a deterrent, to visibly punish people for choices they make that cause harm to society (or their own self). The threat of hell was a successful deterrent in primitive superstitious societies, but by no means is it the only deterrent necessary to prevent disruptive actions. As deterrents we have cops, internal affairs (to deter cops from being bad), wars to remove disruptive leaders, the threat of exile (from early societies) which progressed to the threat of prison in modern global society (prisoners being the example of the modern exile of society).
  9. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    So in my example of the dry dusty desert, would I be using free will to decide which path to follow?
  10. TrippinBTM

    TrippinBTM Ramblin' Man

    No, free will doesn't exist. There is a cause for every action. If you didn't pick a road because of water, you chose it for another reason, consciously or not. Chemical influences in your electrochemical brain, all that, you know...
  11. You haven't understood me at all. We do not any certain knowledge about the existance of god or his religious preferences. I never mentioned "everything in life"

    The bible isn't ambiguos or contradictory on it's own, but god leaving it and then allowing so many other holy texts to be written, all claiming to be the only word of god. Makes the message overall ambiguos and contradictory.

    Bill, you choose left or right. You can see left, you can see right. You know the difference. You use your free will to decide.

    You do not have the free will to choose whether or not to head for the water, because you don't know where it is. Just as you do not have the free will to choose to follow the path to god.

    You must have "faith" (ps. I don't understand your redefinition of faith) and follow the path you severely hope has the water at the end. You don't get the free will to choose (eternal) life or death.
  12. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    We are simply automata then?
  13. Kharakov

    Kharakov ShadowSpawn

    I don't think the word automata is appropriate for beings that have "feelings" as one of the causes of their actions.

    Feelings, both caused and a cause in their own right, seem to be of a higher order than the word automata conveys (at least I feel this way). Automata, to me, do not have feelings as one of their causes of action (although this is only a matter of personal opinion).
  14. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    It all depends on your definition of 'automata' as you say.
    But feelings too could be just an automatic process. Interesting that it is possible to go against our feelings though (as in self-denial etc). That might be some evidence for free will.
  15. TrippinBTM

    TrippinBTM Ramblin' Man

    I agree, it's a hard concept to accept, but I can't see any way it could be otherwise. Our brains are electrochemical in nature, and we make decisions with our brain. I'm not sure how it could be that we have free will, because that implies we are not bound by any determinants in decision making...when very obviously we are.
  16. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    I think it depends on whether it is believed that consciouness can or does function independently of the body or not. If not, then clearly, all religion is vain.

    In the view of empirical materialist science, consciousness can be seen as a product of the brain and body only, which in turn owes it's existence to purely materieal (or ultimately energetic) causes. In this view, consciousness is simply an 'epi-phenomeneon' - a device we have evolved in order to further our survival on the planet.

    In the spiritual, religious and occult world-views, things are generally seen somewhat differently. Here, consciousness is thought to be capable of functioning independently of the body and brain, after death, and also to a degree at least in phenomena such as 'astral projection', out of body experiences etc.. In such a view of things, consciousness may not be completely conditioned by the brain etc. Or it may be possible to arrive at a state of consciousness where one is free.

    I agree that most of what people do is wholly conditioned. But perhaps it is possible to attain to an un-conditioned state of consciousness. Certainly that is the claim of mystics throughout the ages, and of all cultures, inc. Christianity.
  19. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    It wasn't me made the post you were replying to!! so far as I can see looking back over the thread it was Huck Finn.

    But if there is something you'd like me to address I'll be happy to do so.
  20. Kharakov

    Kharakov ShadowSpawn

    My parents have a fish named Rocky who does tricks for food, so I will bite.

    God purposefully places people in different faiths to show them different ways of looking at God. Each person is drawn to the faith that God want's them to be drawn to. Some people are drawn to atheism or agnosticism.

    I am curious about all of these holy texts that claim to be the only word of God.. can you give me names and specific quotes from them that show that the text itself has this claim in it? I have talked to a few proselytizers, and they said this to me "Well, read our text, and if it feels right to you, consider joining our church." Of course, they say their church is the best, because they love it (sorta like some people love their home town, their football team, their wife, or whatever...).

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice