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Asimov

Free Will...again! W00t

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Ok, so let's assume for a moment that the cosmological argument is true.

 

Let's say that God is the First Cause, and that nothing random ever happens.

 

If every effect must have a cause, and there must be a First Cause, that means every cause except the First Cause is an effect.

 

If everything that happens except for the First Cause is an effect, then every choice we make is an affect based off of that First Cause.

 

If that is true, then choice is simply an affect caused by God.

 

If all of that is true, then everything is caused by God.

 

Cosmological Argument and Free Will are mutually exclusive.

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Heck! I was not ever going to post on a free will thread again.

 

But I just had to! <_<

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Heck!  I was not ever going to post on a free will thread again.

 

But I just had to! <_<

 

 

 

TAP runs in and pulls Chef from the room..........kicking and screaming.....

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Ok, so let's assume for a moment that the cosmological argument is true.

 

Let's say that God is the First Cause, and that nothing random ever happens.

 

If every effect must have a cause, and there must be a First Cause, that means every cause except the First Cause is an effect.

 

If everything that happens except for the First Cause is an effect, then every choice we make is an affect based off of that First Cause.

 

If that is true, then choice is simply an affect caused by God.

 

If all of that is true, then everything is caused by God.

 

Cosmological Argument and Free Will are mutually exclusive.

 

Asimov it's sad that you use the name of such a briliant and creative man when you ramble on without an understanding of cosmology on the scale of what you speak.

 

Causality doesn't exist outside of time. The universe is completly contained within time and therefor needs a creator. God who is outside of time does not need a begining or a creator. The universe couldn't posibly have been created by any being bound within it's spacetime.

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I am a reformed Christian, and I agree, we do not have libertarian free-will. I most definately believe in a closed universe. I am also not a big fan of evidential apologetics, I am pressupositionalist myself, but that is a different topic.

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Riker, if God is totally outside the space-time world, how does he come into relation to the space-time world? Like many explanations that have recourse to positing a supernatural entity, I think yours creates more problems than it solves. Even if we try to account for Biblical phrases like "God repented" as accomodations to human understanding, we still are left with no salvation history if god is totally outside history.

 

Asimov, when I was a Christian, I arrived at full-blown Calvinism. I juggled the ball of God's sovereignty and the ball of human moral responsibility and ignored the dissonance that comes from denying the intuitive, human premise that "ought" implies "can." I was happy with double predestination: God predestines the unbelief of the wicked, and he is glorified in inflicting torment upon them for all eternity. In that worldview, there is no free will. Rational creatures are rewarded or punished for actions that their creator determines them to perform. How is this just? We know it is just because the bible tells us so, and without the bible, we have no foundation for logic, scientific knowledge, etc, blah blah (cf. TAG).

 

I am convinced that what the full-blown Calvinist worships in his conception of God is not goodness or the pattern of any moral virtue, it is raw power.

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I can understand Determinism being relevant, Asimov, but I'm not so sure about the Cosmological Arguments.

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Postulating a God that exists outside of time is postulating an idea that cannot possibly exist in the realm of human knowledge.

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Postulating a God that exists outside of time is postulating an idea that cannot possibly exist in the realm of human knowledge.

 

That is an interesting thought, would you flesh it out for me, because as it stands I do not see why that is so. I am sorry if it is obviouse, I just do not get it.

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I can understand Determinism being relevant, Asimov, but I'm not so sure about the Cosmological Arguments.

 

I'm making it relevant :D

 

I'm saying that determinism is a result of the cosmological argument. Which is another way of saying free will and the CA are mutually exclusive.

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That is an interesting thought, would you flesh it out for me, because as it stands I do not see why that is so. I am sorry if it is obviouse, I just do not get it.

 

And you have every right to ask for me to flesh it out further.

 

I'll try to do it fairly thoroughly once I get back to Berkeley. Currently I'm visiting my parents.

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Hmm. Okay, I think I understand your point, Asimov. I think it might be a little less confusing if you worked with the premises of the First Cause argument instead of bringing in the broad term of "Cosmology" into the fray.

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Hmm.  Okay, I think I understand your point, Asimov.  I think it might be a little less confusing if you worked with the premises of the First Cause argument instead of bringing in the broad term of "Cosmology" into the fray.

 

 

Sorry, Spook-meister. I just used the terminology as said by those such as Frank Turek. I'm not saying it's correct, I'm just saying that their argumentation negates free will, something they also believe in.

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Previously, I made the following claim:

 

Postulating a God that exists outside of time is postulating an idea that cannot possibly exist in the realm of human knowledge.

 

And our new member areformedthinker replied...

 

That is an interesting thought, would you flesh it out for me, because as it stands I do not see why that is so. I am sorry if it is obviouse, I just do not get it.

 

The matter certainly isn't obvious, and AFT has every intellectual right to remain skeptical of my claim if I don't care to substantiate it. Thus, I will do so here. My claim was in response to Riker's assertion:

 

Causality doesn't exist outside of time. The universe is completly contained within time and therefor needs a creator. God who is outside of time does not need a begining or a creator. The universe couldn't posibly have been created by any being bound within it's spacetime.

 

 

Many attempts to solve the problems of theology have been to postulate that the reason of humans is inapplicable, that is, to describe God by detailing what he is NOT. God is Supernatural (NOT of nature), immutable (NOT subject to change), and, in Riker's assertion drawn from Saint Augustine of Hippo in his attempt to solve the Problem of Evil, God is nontemporal (NOT within time).

 

This Negative Method of defining things is all well and good in some ways... after all, a dog is not just defined by its dog-ness, but also by its quality of NOT being a horse, cat, human, etc. However, there is a huge problem that the Theist unwittingly runs into: the Negative Method of definition has some use, but he takes it to the extent of removing God's nature from everything within the human context of knowledge. We understand things in terms of nature (ordered and measurable empirical reality), in terms of causality/change (which is the very driving force of empirical knowledge a la Kant), and as a result we think of things in terms of TIME.

 

God therefore reduces to "A thing unlike anything you know of, with qualities you can never possibly comprehend, and a nature that is unintelligible."

 

As a result, the Negative Method in terms of theology at best describes God in an incomprehensible manner, at the worst it is nonsense. He is something that cannot possibly exist in the realm of human knowledge. While theology is all about the incomprehensible, it is for this reason that God, if defined as such, can never pass the epistemic standards that would render it a rational belief, and therefore an objective belief.

 

I therefore take the theologian at his word. If God is outside of time, nature, change, and all other elements of human thought, God is incomprehensible and indescribable. Thus, I say to the theologian: Okay. Then stop trying to comprehend him, and stop trying to describe him. Consign yourself to silence and end your quest to rationally and objectively present your view.

 

This is the major problem that philosophical metaphysics ran into at the end of the Modern Philosophical era via Kant. He demonstrated quite well that metaphysics can only take place within the realm of the human epistemic context, and thus Speculative Metaphysics in the styles of Berkeley, Hume, etc., fall apart as irrelevant, irrational nonsense. Such is the same with theology.

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I would just add that intellect is impossible without a time sense. A time sense is impossible without time. Intellect works by detecting change. The self exists as an entity composed of memory of certain changes. If you are asked who you are, you tell a story. This is what I was, this is what happened, this is what I am now. That happens in time. An immutable being cannot be a self. Indeed something outside of time cannot "be" which requires existence in time by definition.

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Asimov, let me try and anser your specific question, although Riker is right. The Universe lives by the law of causality, everything has a cause. And the Universe as a whole needs a cause or else it would be eternal (which cannot be shown right now). The Universe lives according to the law of causality because 1) it lives in time and 2) it has an order within, and it is governed by the laws of nature. That's my reasoning. However, remember that God made us in His image? We can also be the first causes of things -- we create, we decide, we choose.

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Asimov, let me try and anser your specific question, although Riker is right. The Universe lives by the law of causality, everything has a cause. And the Universe as a whole needs a cause or else it would be eternal (which cannot be shown right now). The Universe lives according to the law of causality because 1) it lives in time and 2) it has an order within, and it is governed by the laws of nature. That's my reasoning.

 

I'll assume for the sake of argument that what you say is true (it's not, though).

 

However, remember that God made us in His image? We can also be the first causes of things -- we create, we decide, we choose.

 

You haven't demonstrated that is true, however. You're just making things up.

 

You can spout pseudo-philosophical jargon all you want about us being made in God's image.

 

What does that mean? Nobody really knows, everyone has different ideas on it. So unless we come to some idea as to what image means, then you have a problem.

 

Either the cosmological argument is false, and free will is true, or vice versa, that is all I'm saying.

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So, you're up for a debate, really, I thought you only were interested in the opinions :HaHa: I had two tests yesterday, so forgive me for being a little inconsistent.

 

I was just trying to say that God made us free, meaning, to be the little "first causes" for things like He is the First Cause. What exactly troubles you here?

 

What does it mean to be in the image? Hm, I am trying to answer that question for myself. But I do know that freedom is a part of that image, the image of a free God.

 

 

I'll assume for the sake of argument that what you say is true (it's not, though).

Why?

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So, you're up for a debate, really, I thought you only were interested in the opinions  :HaHa:   I had two tests yesterday, so forgive me for being a little inconsistent.

 

I can see in your hear that you are truly not repentant of sinning against me. You will go to Asimov-hell and be tickled by fat old men for eternity!!

 

I was just trying to say that God made us free, meaning, to be the little "first causes" for things like He is the First Cause. What exactly troubles you here?

 

It troubles me, because it doesn't make sense. Humans are contingent, God is not. We can cause things to happen, but our causes are effects of other causes, and so on until God, the First Cause.

 

What does it mean to be in the image? Hm, I am trying to answer that question for myself. But I do know that freedom is a part of that image, the image of a free God.

 

We aren't free, though. We have limited power, making limited choices, based on little or no information. We are as clay to God.

 

I'll assume for the sake of argument that what you say is true (it's not, though).

Why?

 

If one accepts Quantum Theory, then there is no need for a first cause. And the universe has to have always existed. As far as I know, there is no such thing as absolute nothingness.

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Asimov it's sad that you use the name of such a briliant and creative man when you ramble on without an understanding of cosmology on the scale of what you speak. 

 

Causality doesn't exist outside of time.  The universe is completly contained within time and therefor needs a creator.  God who is outside of time does not need a begining or a creator.  The universe couldn't posibly have been created by any being bound within it's spacetime.

 

 

God is outside of time? Um mm, please quote the Biblical support for that opinion.

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Dear Webmaster! Can you explain to me what is happening to the picture under my avatar? Should I pm you or somebody? Sorry for off-top.

 

 

Asimov:

 

I can see in your hear that you are truly not repentant of sinning against me. You will go to Asimov-hell and be tickled by fat old men for eternity!!

 

:lmao: I love that

 

 

It troubles me, because it doesn't make sense. Humans are contingent, God is not. We can cause things to happen, but our causes are effects of other causes, and so on until God, the First Cause.

 

Meaning, you say pleasure or avoidance of punishment drives our actions? What about higher morality? Are you able to do a noble action which would cause harm to yourself?

 

 

If one accepts Quantum Theory, then there is no need for a first cause. And the universe has to have always existed. As far as I know, there is no such thing as absolute nothingness.

 

What in particular in Quantum Theory says that the Universe has to be without beginning? I have a question for you: what's beyond the edge of the Universe?

 

 

We aren't free, though. We have limited power, making limited choices, based on little or no information. We are as clay to God.

 

We are free because we can either choose our own way or follow God. If you weren't free (suppose there is God) then we wouldn't be able to do that, we would all be in Eden now eating the fruits of life and always smiling, with no forbidden fruit to chew on. That is called gilded cage.

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If one accepts Quantum Theory, then there is no need for a first cause. And the universe has to have always existed. As far as I know, there is no such thing as absolute nothingness.

 

I have a question for you: what's beyond the edge of the Universe?

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Meaning, you say pleasure or avoidance of punishment drives our actions? What about higher morality? Are you able to do a noble action which would cause harm to yourself?

 

I wasn't aware I said that. Morality exists only in social structures, humans, for instance...animals that live together in a group have a social structure, a way of behaving, that way of behaving allows the animals to survive together. That is morality, as I see it anyway.

 

Our actions are driven by purpose. Threat of punishment or promise of reward is a poor way to regulate someones behaviour. So, in that way, God fails. Christianity is not about justice, though, it's about being saved by grace, or God's will.

 

We are free because we can either choose our own way or follow God. If you weren't free (suppose there is God) then we wouldn't be able to do that, we would all be in Eden now eating the fruits of life and always smiling, with no forbidden fruit to chew on. That is called gilded cage.

 

I don't see anything wrong with being in Eden, always smiling, with no forbidden fruit.

 

We are not free, because if we do not follow God, we are punished, and if we do follow God, then the standard is impossibly high (according to the bible) so that we must be saved by God's mercy. God has mercy on whomever he wants. Having two choices like that isn't freedom, it's an ultimadem.

 

You can either shoot yourself, or follow me. That is called the illusion of free will. We are still arguing in the case of the cosmological argument being true.

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