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Free will. What is it? Does God of the Bible offer it to us?


midniterider
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What does free will mean to you? Does Bible God offer it to us? How do you define extortion? Does Bible God offering humanity either Heaven or Hell really provide people with free will? Or is it simply extortion? 

 

 

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It's odd to look at a choice of satisfy someone's ego or else burn in torment forever as a free will choice. There is a choice to be made, but actual free will would seem to entail that if you chose NOT to praise someone's ego that you would not be punished for it. You'd be free to go about your business unharmed. You'd be free, in other words. 

 

That's like looking to a communist regime and concluding that the government gave it's citizens free will: 

 

Either bow to a supreme leader or face the firing squad. 

 

An apologist for the regime could try and argue that two choices were given. Bow or die. But that really isn't a free will choice. You'd need to be able to choose not to bow with no consequence and live in freedom, not some type of forced coercion. 

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If a man takes his son to the candy store and tells him, "son, you can have anything in this store you want; but if you don't choose what I want you to choose, I'll beat you 'til you're black, red, and blue".  It would not be long before that man got his ass thrown in prison and his kids taken away from him.

 

"And if you, who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more the Father who is in heaven?"

 

How are we the evil ones when we are more moral than god?

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At law, an activity which requires a license is by definition a privilege.

A privilege is the precise legal opposite of a right.

A privilege is conditional and may be withdrawn or revoked by the party granting the privilege. That's why the state (here in the U.S.) continually reiterates that "driving is not a right, it is a privilege".

 

This lies at the center of the (legal) issue around licensing firearms ownership...

If you have a right, then no one can convert that to a privilege via requirement to take a license. No one has that legal authority over you, by definition. Else it is not in reality "a right".

 

God either gives you free will, or he grants some degree of license to do as you will within the limits He imposes. Choose one. You cannot in honesty believe it both ways.

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To me, free will is a choice, without coercion, between/among two or more logical choices, each of which are performable by the chooser.

 

That being said, I don't like the adjective modifier "free" and consider the term "will" imprecise.  In addition, the term "free will" has become somewhat toxic to discuss.

 

A more accurate and benign term would be "actual choice".

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An armed robber gives their victim a choice: gimme the money or die. Jesus does something similar. 

 

But of course in the eyes of the Christian, when God does evil he has a good reason for it that we cant understand. So it's not really evil, even it's the same exact behavior as an evil human being. 

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3 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

I like that! 

 

The question should be framed: 

 

Did god give Adam & Eve an actual choice?

 

I think a different way to frame the question is, "Did Adam and/or Eve have actual choice(s)?"  I separate Adam from Eve because the story indicates they did not receive identical information beforehand.

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I think they did in one sense... that they were free to decide, to choose.  Don’t think that is the issue.  “When she saw” suggests she at that point reasoned and surmised.... and potentially chose “good” for she and Adam.  And then Adam got caught not being obedient to what he knew, God. 
 

I personally think Eve’s choice was innocence, but Adam’s, I have to reread and  think about it.

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18 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

I think they did in one sense... that they were free to decide, to choose.  Don’t think that is the issue.  “When she saw” suggests she at that point reasoned and surmised.... and potentially chose “good” for she and Adam.  And then Adam got caught not being obedient to what he knew, God. 
 

I personally think Eve’s choice was innocence, but Adam’s, I have to reread and  think about it.

According to the story, humans as represented by Adam and Eve were created by God - with his full knowledge - to fail. The belief that people are born defective, evil and incomplete is a very sick outlook and there is nothing but this silly creation myth to support such a view.

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10 minutes ago, florduh said:

According to the story, humans as represented by Adam and Eve were created by God - with his full knowledge - to fail. The belief that people are born defective, evil and incomplete is a very sick outlook and there is nothing but this silly creation myth to support such a view.

Just asking, but you believe Christianity supports evil and defective from birth?

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3 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

Just asking, but you believe Christianity supports evil and defective from birth?

Born into sin, in need of a saviour, fallen, unregenerate, hellbound, none righteous...what bible have you been reading and what church teaches otherwise? A worm such as I wants to know!

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6 hours ago, Weezer said:

We may have freewill, but our mental conditioning influences what we feel free to do.

I'd take it a step further and say we make the only choices we're capable of making.  I will choose Pepsi over Coke if there's a choice.  Though sometimes I might "choose" Coke, I do so knowing I'd rather have a Pepsi. 

 

As an extreme example: the alcoholic doesn't choose the bottle over his kid; he chooses the bottle because it is the only choice he is capable of making.  If he's fortunate, he will eventually become capable of choosing to get help and finding a program of recovery that will work for him.  But, in the grip of his cups, he is simply not capable of choosing that; and only a "rock bottom" experience will bring that ability to him.

 

It was the same, for me, with religion.  Long after it became painfully apparent that my faith did not work, I still chose jesus because I couldn't not choose him.  It took two full years before I became able to stop choosing jesus, by which time, I was capable of choosing not jesus, and had been for some time, but had been unwilling to.

 

Something has to shift/break/change in our minds before we are able to genuinely choose differently.  Wanting to choose differently isn't enough, as can be seen with the alcoholic, or the many newbies who come here "wanting" to deconvert, but constantly wrestling with fear of hell, what-ifs, scrupulous thoughts, weird Australian doctrine videos on YouTube... the list goes on.  Until the choosey part of the brain breaks or shifts, no amount of "wanting" has any effect.  That's how I see it, anyway.

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7 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

I think they did in one sense... that they were free to decide, to choose.  Don’t think that is the issue.  “When she saw” suggests she at that point reasoned and surmised.... and potentially chose “good” for she and Adam.  And then Adam got caught not being obedient to what he knew, God. 
 

I personally think Eve’s choice was innocence, but Adam’s, I have to reread and  think about it.

 

Ok Edgarcito,

 

Just what could Adam and Eve choose with?

 

Remember, if they don't understand what they're choosing between, then they're not being offered a choice.

 

Choice requires understanding.

 

Unthinking obedience isn't making a choice, it's following commands without understanding, just like a robot.

 

So, here's the question you REALLY don't want to face up to, but which is central to this thread and vital to the truth of Christianity.

 

Did god create Adam and Eve with the ability to understand both good and evil?

 

Please answer.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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On 2/4/2021 at 1:06 AM, midniterider said:

What does free will mean to you? Does Bible God offer it to us? How do you define extortion? Does Bible God offering humanity either Heaven or Hell really provide people with free will? Or is it simply extortion? 

 

 

 

What does it matter if god doesn't offer free will to us, midniterider?

 

He didn't offer it to Adam and Eve and then cursed the entire human race with death when they failed his rigged 'test'?

 

So, from a Biblical perspective, you and I and every human being are living with the consequences of god withholding free will from them.

 

The cards have already been stacked against us by god.

 

If we think we can freely choose Jesus to escape our curse we're just fooling ourselves.

 

Jesus helped set up the rigged 'test'.

 

Where's our free choice in choosing between eternal fire or the all-powerful monster who abused two innocents to glorify himself?

 

So Yes, this is extortion.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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42 minutes ago, YouDontNeedToKnow17 said:

Coke all the way, but I like pepsi with my burger king

Pepsi goes best with Taco Bell; but that might be because I prefer burritos over burgers.  Coke Blak would be my go-to, though, if they still sold it here.

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2 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Pepsi goes best with Taco Bell; but that might be because I prefer burritos over burgers.  Coke Blak would be my go-to, though, if they still sold it here.

I just order a "diet cola." End run on free will.

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45 minutes ago, florduh said:

I just order a "diet cola." End run on free will.

Here in The South:

 

Waitress: "What can I get ya to drink, Sug?"

Me: "I'll have a Coke."

Waitress: "What kind of Coke, hon?  We got Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Cheerwine..."

Me: "Pepsi, no ice."

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

Ok Edgarcito,

 

Just what could Adam and Eve choose with?

 

Remember, if they don't understand what they're choosing between, then they're not being offered a choice.

 

Choice requires understanding.

 

Unthinking obedience isn't making a choice, it's following commands without understanding, just like a robot.

 

So, here's the question you REALLY don't want to face up to, but which is central to this thread and vital to the truth of Christianity.

 

Did god create Adam and Eve with the ability to understand both good and evil?

 

Please answer.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

Eve chose the fruit.  Adam chose to accept the fruit. Eve apparently chose from the information the serpent provided.  Adam apparently chose between accepting the fruit and obedience to God.....given the order of things as I understand them.

 

Choice does not require understanding Walter, it only requires a this or that.  No understanding of this or that is necessary.  Again, Eve appeared to have a very limited understanding of her choice.  Adam seemingly a limited but weightier choice.

 

Just for the record Walter, you are an aggravating person.  Get on the comprehension wagon.  How many f'n times do you have to look at this gd story to understand that they chose based on limited knowledge, but they still f'n chose.....which is an example of free will.  EVEN IF they knew little prior to or were in the process of learning a greater knowledge base of good and evil, the central issue is that Adam chose disobedience.  You told me not to do this and I did it anyhow...  

 

 

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