PDA

View Full Version : Do you believe in free will?



.aeterna
04-22-2004, 07:37 AM
I'm pretty sure this will bring quite a bit of discussion, since it's mentioned in like every other religious thread...

Personally, I believe in free will, but a persons life will always end up the way God intended. All Christians believe that they are living their lives according to Gods plan and what his will is for us. If it is for us to die when we're 34 from a car accident, so be it. Obviously we, as humans, dont know this so we continue to live our lives.

Ultimately, i think that from the day a person is born, that person has a set plan by God. How that person comes about fulfilling God's will is entirely up to that person, but in the end, God's will IS fulfilled.

Now some of you may be wondering what was God's plan for fetus's dying in a pregnant woman, or a child dying at birth. This is entirely by opinion as i'm not THAT knowledgeable on the bibles standpoint, but i think that the reason God allows them to die is to give a kind of "wake-up" call to us and show that people in fact, DO DIE and that we should reassess our lives.

Just a side note however, may be off topic: There is no such thing as a perfect a world, a utopia so to say. Even the Greek definitions for "utopia" contradicts itself. The Greek definitions for "utopia" is "a perfect world" and "an impossible world."

Everything was created in a balance. As there is good, there is evil. And the list goes on...

bts327
04-22-2004, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by .aeterna
Personally, I believe in free will, but a persons life will always end up the way God intended. All Christians believe that they are living their lives according to Gods plan and what his will is for us. If it is for us to die when we're 34 from a car accident, so be it. Obviously we, as humans, dont know this so we continue to live our lives.

Ultimately, i think that from the day a person is born, that person has a set plan by God. How that person comes about fulfilling God's will is entirely up to that person, but in the end, God's will IS fulfilled.


So which is it? There can only be one or the other; God's will or your own "free" will. If God's will is ultimately imposed upon us all then free will doesnt exist and vise versa. I honestly do not see how you can have both as they contradict one another.

How can the fullfilling of God's will be up to the individual? It is God's will after all isnt it? Is this to say that the individual has the power to direct God's will?

You cant have it both ways. Either the person is acting free of direction or they are under the direction of a supreme being. How can you possibly have it both ways at the same time?

EDIT: Perhaps "God's" will and "free" will are one in the same? Is this what you are trying to say?

.aeterna
04-22-2004, 09:36 AM
Hm..it may have seemed a little confusing..I just woke up :O. What i meant to say was that people DO have free will in that they can live their lives in whatever direction they want, but ULTIMATELY, their lives will lead to a single point where God intended them to be.

It could be as simple as a regular Christian going to a foreign country and then deciding to be a missionary.

CITADEL
04-22-2004, 09:39 AM
Yes, everyone has free will. I don't believe god plays any role on the outcome of our lives. People who hear god in their heads telling them what to do are what we call mentally insane.

Cogar
04-22-2004, 10:05 AM
If people did not have free will, they would end up where God determined they would end up. There would be no point in churches or Jesus' "great commission" (Matthew chapter 28, verses 16-20) since these would not affect the outcome (whether people are "saved" or not).

bts327
04-22-2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by .aeterna
What i meant to say was that people DO have free will in that they can live their lives in whatever direction they want, but ULTIMATELY, their lives will lead to a single point where God intended them to be.

It could be as simple as a regular Christian going to a foreign country and then deciding to be a missionary.

If God has intended them to reach a "single point" regardless of any action they may take then they can not have free will. No matter what they do their life will still have the same outcome, right? So, no free will.

As for the central question at hand, its all a matter of interpretation. If someone is hungry then they must eat. You could call this the will of God. This person may choose not to eat and die. You could call this free will. Then again you could say that it was ultimately God's will for the man to choose not to eat and die, this would of course negate the idea of free will. Why would he choose not to eat if he has free will? Only a fool would do so. If he has chosen not to eat he must have done so for a particular reason, or idea. If this is so then this idea has once again stripped him of his own free will. The logical choice would be to eat. Is this the will of God or of the man?

I think we have free will to the extent of our powers of observation and how well we are aware of the inner workings of the mind. Just because someone "freely" chooses something does not mean that they are not bound by ideas which lead them to that choice.

LordNeon
04-22-2004, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by bts327
As for the central question at hand, its all a matter of interpretation. If someone is hungry then they must eat. You could call this the will of God. This person may choose not to eat and die. You could call this free will. Then again you could say that it was ultimately God's will for the man to choose not to eat and die, this would of course negate the idea of free will. Why would he choose not to eat if he has free will? Only a fool would do so. If he has chosen not to eat he must have done so for a particular reason, or idea. If this is so then this idea has once again stripped him of his own free will. The logical choice would be to eat. Is this the will of God or of the man?


But the fact that we are theoretically capable of making bad decisions doesn't prove the idea of free will. If you don't believe in free will (and I don't) you would respond to this simply by saying that the man would never, ever choose not to eat - unless perhaps there was some personal psychological payoff to him for not eating (for example, if he were on a hunger strike, or he believed God directed him to fast, or whatever). However, if that was the case, then he was not necessarily exhibiting "free will", but merely following what the workings in his brain directed him to do - namely, opt for one choice over the other.

Any choice that a person makes can be argued to simply be the result of the physical state of his brain and body. If so, free will is an illusion.

(edit for minor errors)

Cogar
04-22-2004, 10:52 AM
Comparing salvation with eating (or breathing, etc.) is a logical fallacy. You do not have to be saved any more than you have to be a bodybuilder. You do have to eat.

Kane Fan
04-22-2004, 11:13 AM
I believe in God
but I also belive God is not an idiot
following that he would have no purpose to create us if we DIDN'T have Free Will
cus he'd control what we were going to do
so why would he do that?
makes no sence
so of course free will exisits

bts327
04-22-2004, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by Cogar
Comparing salvation with eating (or breathing, etc.) is a logical fallacy. You do not have to be saved any more than you have to be a bodybuilder. You do have to eat.


How so? I thought it was the perfect example. Technically you do not have to eat, the choice is yours. You must eat to stay alive and because you are hungry, but whos will is this? If you choose to eat, which most everyone will, then you dont have free will because your action is initiated by a condition which forces your will. If you choose not to eat then your action is also initiated by a condition which forces your will, probably mental illness. In either case free will does not exist.

Salvation is an idea, eating is a fact of life. So which one makes more sence as a model when discussing will? Perhaps salvation is the more appropriate theme as "free" will is an idea as well.

In the end does it really matter if something is God's will or your own? Just eat the ****ing food, if you dont you will die! :D

bts327
04-22-2004, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by LordNeon
But the fact that we are theoretically capable of making bad decisions doesn't prove the idea of free will. If you don't believe in free will (and I don't) you would respond to this simply by saying that the man would never, ever choose not to eat - unless perhaps there was some personal psychological payoff to him for not eating (for example, if he were on a hunger strike, or he believed God directed him to fast, or whatever). However, if that was the case, then he was not necessarily exhibiting "free will", but merely following what the workings in his brain directed him to do - namely, opt for one choice over the other.

Any choice that a person makes can be argued to simply be the result of the physical state of his brain and body. If so, free will is an illusion.

(edit for minor errors)


I agree. Whether or not the man chooses to eat or not his action is forced by conditions other than his own "free" will.

.aeterna
04-22-2004, 11:44 AM
Free will is defined by having the choice to do whatever you want, right? I don't want to put these words in the discussion, but i guess 'fate' and 'destiny' are the ways to kind of intrepret things as well. God sets our destinies for us, how we go about fulfilling those destinies are ENTIRELY up to us. But in the end, we come to it.

bts327
04-22-2004, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by .aeterna
Free will is defined by having the choice to do whatever you want, right? I don't want to put these words in the discussion, but i guess 'fate' and 'destiny' are the ways to kind of intrepret things as well. God sets our destinies for us, how we go about fulfilling those destinies are ENTIRELY up to us. But in the end, we come to it.

Again you have negated free will if in the end we can not choose our own destiny.

Cogar
04-22-2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by bts327
How so? I thought it was the perfect example. Technically you do not have to eat, the choice is yours. You must eat to stay alive and because you are hungry, but whos will is this? If you choose to eat, which most everyone will, then you dont have free will because your action is initiated by a condition which forces your will. If you choose not to eat then your action is also initiated by a condition which forces your will, probably mental illness. In either case free will does not exist.

Salvation is an idea, eating is a fact of life. So which one makes more sence as a model when discussing will? Perhaps salvation is the more appropriate theme as "free" will is an idea as well.

In the end does it really matter if something is God's will or your own? Just eat the ****ing food, if you dont you will die! :D
Comparing salvation to eating is a logical fallacy termed Reification or Hypostatization. Reification occurs when an abstract concept is treated as a concrete thing. In other words, treating salvation (an abstract thing) as though it was eating (a concrete thing) is a fallacy. I understand that concrete things may be used as analogies of abstract things for instructional purposes, but that same technique is not adequate to prove a point in a discussion.

.aeterna
04-22-2004, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by bts327
Again you have negated free will if in the end we can not choose our own destiny.

Bleh, you're not getting my point. I'm not saying we have free DESTINY. More like free direction to do what we want, but ultimately end up in one place planned by God.

BigKazWSM747
04-22-2004, 01:18 PM
you have to define free will before you can decide if it is real or not.

TheSplat
04-22-2004, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by .aeterna
Bleh, you're not getting my point. I'm not saying we have free DESTINY. More like free direction to do what we want, but ultimately end up in one place planned by God.


No. If we ultimately ended up in a place planned by God, then how would there be so many sinners? So many premature babies? So many wrecked lives?

Free will is why we were created. I believe we are here as a "free will" experiment. I don't think there is destiny, fate, or a soulmate.

Cogar
04-22-2004, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by TheSplat
No. If we ultimately ended up in a place planned by God, then how would there be so many sinners? So many premature babies? So many wrecked lives?
This is correct. For example 1 Timothy chapter 2 states:

3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The problem is that man chose against God (Adam and Eve) and continues to do so for the most part (by sinning). Although God created everything to be good (Genesis chapter 1), the "deal was off," so to speak, when we broke our half of the bargain (Genesis chapter 3). As a result, we have the ruined world we "asked for." Although the world cannot be saved, the people can, through exercising their free will, by choosing to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. At least this choice gives those people the ability live a good life once this one is over.

The Kurgan
04-22-2004, 02:04 PM
I am not a Christian so I can't approach this from a believer's stance, but logically if the world operated under God's plan, then it would be as perfect and as benevolent as he is?

BIONIC MAN
04-22-2004, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by .aeterna
I'm pretty sure this will bring quite a bit of discussion, since it's mentioned in like every other religious thread...

Personally, I believe in free will, but a persons life will always end up the way God intended. All Christians believe that they are living their lives according to Gods plan and what his will is for us. If it is for us to die when we're 34 from a car accident, so be it. Obviously we, as humans, dont know this so we continue to live our lives.

Ultimately, i think that from the day a person is born, that person has a set plan by God. How that person comes about fulfilling God's will is entirely up to that person, but in the end, God's will IS fulfilled.

Now some of you may be wondering what was God's plan for fetus's dying in a pregnant woman, or a child dying at birth. This is entirely by opinion as i'm not THAT knowledgeable on the bibles standpoint, but i think that the reason God allows them to die is to give a kind of "wake-up" call to us and show that people in fact, DO DIE and that we should reassess our lives.

Just a side note however, may be off topic: There is no such thing as a perfect a world, a utopia so to say. Even the Greek definitions for "utopia" contradicts itself. The Greek definitions for "utopia" is "a perfect world" and "an impossible world."

Everything was created in a balance. As there is good, there is evil. And the list goes on... good points yes we have free will for him to be righteous he gives us choice he does not force us to love him. and he has a plan whether you recognize it or not , even the wicked fit in his plan he will use evil to bring about good . if one rejects him he will hand his possesions over to the good. quote-the wealth of the wicked is layed up for the righteous un-quote see there are wicked folks stealing and working 7 days a week 16 hours a day making money and piling it up living wicked just so they can lose it then the money be transferred over to the righteous. a lot of the rich dudes they give away money to scholarships ,hospitals and such which will pay for going to schoool or medical care for poor people . god allowed king davids first son by bathsheba to die david fasted and weeped but the sin had been committed david prayed and god heard so the second son was a blessing to israel . so staying faithful is the plan if a loss occurrs god will bless you to where all your tears will be wiped away . bad things do and will happen but god will supply look at job lost it all then got back alot more thats faith.

CITADEL
04-22-2004, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by BIONIC MAN
good points yes we have free will for him to be righteous he gives us choice he does not force us to love him. and he has a plan whether you recognize it or not , even the wicked fit in his plan he will use evil to bring about good . if one rejects him he will hand his possesions over to the good. quote-the wealth of the wicked is layed up for the righteous un-quote see there are wicked folks stealing and working 7 days a week 16 hours a day making money and piling it up living wicked just so they can lose it then the money be transferred over to the righteous. a lot of the rich dudes they give away money to scholarships ,hospitals and such which will pay for going to schoool or medical care for poor people . god allowed king davids first son by bathsheba to die david fasted and weeped but the sin had been committed david prayed and god heard so the second son was a blessing to israel . so staying faithful is the plan if a loss occurrs god will bless you to where all your tears will be wiped away . bad things do and will happen but god will supply look at job lost it all then got back alot more thats faith.

Hmmm... rich people do not give there money away in the amounts you might think they do, and no one is going to make them do that so I have no idea what point you were trying to make with that. And just so you know, working 7 days a week 16 hours a day isn't a sin, it's called not being a lazy ass. As for god blessing every person who has been wronged, please tune into reality and step outside the bubble you are living in.

BIONIC MAN
04-22-2004, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by CITADEL
Hmmm... rich people do not give there money away in the amounts you might think they do, and no one is going to make them do that so I have no idea what point you were trying to make with that. And just so you know, working 7 days a week 16 hours a day isn't a sin, it's called not being a lazy ass. As for god blessing every person who has been wronged, please tune into reality and step outside the bubble you are living in. if you have to work that much your either greedy or have a lot of credit cards. and if wronged faith is your hope without it all hope is gone , bad things do happen to good people and good things happen to bad people but faith and persistance will prevail if i die broke in this life god will make it up to me in the next.

CITADEL
04-22-2004, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by BIONIC MAN
if you have to work that much your either greedy or have a lot of credit cards. and if wronged faith is your hope without it all hope is gone , bad things do happen to good people and good things happen to bad people but faith and persistance will prevail if i die broke in this life god will make it up to me in the next.

Or you have a family to support or you have a very strong desire to succeed. You are the first person I've ever heard call a strong work ethic a sin. I guess both my parents are sinners, as will I be one day. If you die broke it's because you are a moron and wasted away the abilities 'god' gave you.

Ruthless4Life
04-22-2004, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by .aeterna
Ultimately, i think that from the day a person is born, that person has a set plan by God. How that person comes about fulfilling God's will is entirely up to that person, but in the end, God's will IS fulfilled.


If God's willl is for you to go to either heaven or hell, doesn't that mean a person is already judged before he was born?

BIONIC MAN
04-22-2004, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by CITADEL
Or you have a family to support or you have a very strong desire to succeed. You are the first person I've ever heard call a strong work ethic a sin. I guess both my parents are sinners, as will I be one day. If you die broke it's because you are a moron and wasted away the abilities 'god' gave you. if your parents worked 16 hours a day and seven days a week how do you even know them thats bankruptcy from a family standpoint. a strong work ethic and gods wisdom will allow you to accomplice more in less time. look at actors and stars travel the world making movies gone all the time then when there kids overdose on dope they wonder why? but they have plenty of money just no kids to leave it too. or a man who works all his life then says to his soul soul build bigger barns and store goods up and soul take they rest soul rest becuase you have layed up lots of goods to do you in your old age ,but god says fool your soul is required of you now. this happens everyday people amass huge 401ks and save and work then at retirement drop dead. yes work is good but everything in moderation work seven days a week and work 16 hours a day and see how long wife and kids will hang around for absentee father.

BIONIC MAN
04-22-2004, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by Ruthless4Life
If God's willl is for you to go to either heaven or hell, doesn't that mean a person is already judged before he was born? gods will is all be saved,you decide where you live in eternity. yes you were born under sins curse but its through salvation that sin is forgiven . you can reject gods gift its your choice not mine or anybodys to make only you.

.aeterna
04-23-2004, 07:06 AM
Originally posted by BIONIC MAN
gods will is all be saved,you decide where you live in eternity. yes you were born under sins curse but its through salvation that sin is forgiven . you can reject gods gift its your choice not mine or anybodys to make only you.

Good answer :]

Cogar
04-23-2004, 08:52 AM
Let me add a comment on the recently introduced topic of work ethic. Life should be balanced and the Bible teaches this. On one hand, the Bible tells us not to be sluggards (lazy bums). One example is in Proverbs chapter 6:

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer, [And] gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep --
11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.

And this one from 1 Timothy chapter 5:

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

On the other hand, the Bible tells us not to work greedily after wealth. One example in Psalms 127:

1 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 [It is] vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; [For] so He gives His beloved sleep.

And this most famous example from Mark chapter 10:

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
18 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one [is] good but One, [that is,] God.
19 "You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother.' "
20 And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth."
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me."
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"
24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Although people should work diligently, 16 hours a day, 7 days a week--the example we have been using--is completely out of balance. That is a life that is only work with enough time for sleep.

CerealKiller
04-26-2004, 08:55 PM
Do We Have Free Will?

We really don't know.

In order to KNOW if we do or don't -- we would have to KNOW what the reality of existence is -- and that, at the present time, seems beyond our grasp.

Anything we say about whether or not we have "free will" seems to be a guess.

Heavily Armed
04-26-2004, 09:10 PM
Free will? The Bible says we'll be judged by our actions and decisions. Ours, not decisions made for us. Since we'll be held accountable by God, it sure sounds like free will to me.

CerealKiller
04-26-2004, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Heavily Armed
Free will? The Bible says we'll be judged by our actions and decisions. Ours, not decisions made for us. Since we'll be held accountable by God, it sure sounds like free will to me.

The bible may be right --- and then again it may be dead wrong.

Same goes for the atheistic perception.

Our will is certainly not entirely free, since it is constrained by self- and culturally-imposed rules as well as biological imperatives (try holding your breath for 3 minutes). I do think that we have some control over our choices, but that sense of control may be illusory since every decision is a product of our past experiences and biological makeup, which we had little or no control over.

blaker00
04-26-2004, 11:08 PM
I would like to say yes but all the evidence is contrary to that. The answer is no, Sorry.

bigunit66
04-26-2004, 11:15 PM
Free will only existed prior to the advent of the state. Once man invented the state, he handed over his sovereignty and freedom in order to attempt his goal...a slothful existence. Theses days we cant even imagine what free will is. None of us have it, or ever will. We just go along with our lives believing that the decisions we make are of our own free will when in actuallity they are imposed on us by our state and our society. And remember, the bible was written by man, and I'm sure that the various contributors to it had no self interest.

Ninecansurgeman
04-27-2004, 05:55 AM
sorry but this is a pointless argument based on all the different views.

.aeterna
04-27-2004, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by Ninecansurgeman
sorry but this is a pointless argument based on all the different views.

Um, hence the point of DISCUSSION.

Honestly..if you got nothing to contribute, get out and stay out.

Kane Fan
04-27-2004, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by TheSplat
No. If we ultimately ended up in a place planned by God, then how would there be so many sinners? So many premature babies? So many wrecked lives?

Free will is why we were created. I believe we are here as a "free will" experiment. I don't think there is destiny, fate, or a soulmate.

that's a theory I had after reading a comic book about the beyonder...
I figured God got bored, and created us with Free Will just so he could watch what we'd do!
then of course he'll judge us based on what we did

.aeterna
01-06-2006, 10:44 PM
bump , i love this topic and i wanna hear more of what pppl think of it...

mind you all its almost 2yrs old of a thread. my views are somewhat similar but mayve changed a bit

~Serpent~
01-06-2006, 10:48 PM
Causality ignores the persecutory illusions of free will.

NicVJ
01-06-2006, 11:33 PM
I believe in God
but I also belive God is not an idiot
following that he would have no purpose to create us if we DIDN'T have Free Will
cus he'd control what we were going to do
so why would he do that?
makes no sence
so of course free will exisits

What is nonsensical may not be what is impossible. Especially when the supernatural is concerned.

NicVJ
01-06-2006, 11:38 PM
Just food for thought - if we don't have free will, ie, we are created with a planned destiny, then Judas must be one of the most maligned person ever to have lived. The other candidate could probably be Hitler. Imagine, being created for the sole purpose of betraying Jesus and then committing suicide because of the guilt and leaving behind a name which is synonymous with betrayal.

draco
01-07-2006, 09:18 AM
The topic of Free Will and if it exists is a topic I have been debating for awhile now.

Usually when I hear the word "free" and I think in terms of true freedom, to have complete control over our lives. Another person's definition may be different, but my perspective follows this definition.

Supposedly when God created Adam and Eve, he created them with free will. But almost instantly he imposed himself upon them with his rules over their actions with the forbidden tree. It says that Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil before eating the fruit. So God tells them it's bad to eat from the tree.

But can you teach an individual who has no knowledge of right and wrong what it is to do something bad? You can, but only through the use of fear. If you impose fear upon the individual, they will not commit it out of fear of punishment. So since the person is in fear to make a choice, their "Free Will" is inhibited. This, according to my definition, is not essentially free will.

The same scenario is shown today. If we make a decision to do something evil, that's what it is considered, and we will be punished by going to Hell even if it is legal. To make this choice imposes fear into our hearts and souls. It inhibits our decision through fear which inhibits "free will."

So basically, what I want to say is, we all have will, but it is not free. To have true free will, a punishment for making a decision must not exist, and therefore right and wrong cannot exist.

We all have the burden of morality and must do the right thing.

basement iron
01-07-2006, 10:38 AM
Not having free will would be sad and pathetic.