How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 Philosophy 101
 Free Will and Omniscience   [ Page: 1  2  3  4  ]
 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

Free Will and Omniscience

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


25 posted 03-15-2003 12:41 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Causality is necessarily the belief that everything is caused?

Heck, I don't know. How many exceptions would you like to make?

Imagine you're standing on the caboose of a train travelling 120 mph. You throw your best fast ball, which has been consistently clocked at a very respectable 80 mph, into the wake of the train. Using logic, your experience, common sense, and a bit of math, please tell me how fast the ball is travelling?
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


26 posted 03-15-2003 06:33 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

hmmmm.... 200 actual mph?  But still an 80 mph relative to you and the passengers?  I am no physicist.  It's probably quite a different answer based on relativity.  So tell me.
Stephen.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


27 posted 03-15-2003 09:39 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Good answers!

Yea, for the last 2,000 plus years, the correct answer was to add the two velocities and arrive at 200 mph. And, yea, you're right again, relativity changed that. It had to change it. There is nothing preventing that train from going "almost" the speed of light. Say, C -50 mph? If you threw your fastball off the back of the train, then, the ball would be travelling C + 30. That's a bit of problem since nothing can exceed C.

Our instincts and common sense tells us to just add the velocities, giving us the formula t + b (train plus ball). This worked for several thousand years. When a particle travelling at high speeds emits another particle, however, that formula falls flat on its face. The math isn't real important, but here's the correct formula for adding velocities.

v = (t + b)/(1 + tb/C^2)

At the kinds of speeds we travel here on Earth, the difference between those two formulas is impossible to even measure. A space craft orbiting our planet at thousands of miles per hours can still use the old t+b formula, too, because at those "human" speeds, it really doesn't matter. Only when we observe particles travelling at a good fraction of the speed of light in particle accelerators do we discover, lo and behold, Einstein was right yet again.

Okay, so what does all this have to do with causality?

The principal of cause and effect is just as ingrained into our "common sense" and experience as was the adding of velocities. It's hard for us to imagine that travelling faster and faster will actually cause our mass to increase and time to slow, because its something we haven't (and likely never will) actually experience or see. Only when you get outside the realm of human experience does it hold true. In a similar manner, it's hard for us to imagine an effect without a cause. In our human experience, everything was caused by something. But relativity and quantum mechanics dramatically demonstrate that our human experience is limited. There's a whole lot going on in the universe that we never see.

I think causality is almost certainly a localized phenomenon. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, for example, shows us that a particle can go from point A to point C without ever passing through point B. And it does so for no reason beyond the fact that it can. You'll never be able to point to a specific particle and say, "It's going to tunnel from A to C because ..."

Maybe we just don't know enough yet to determine cause? Maybe. But I suspect that as science advances, we're only going to discover more and more areas where cause doesn't necessarily precede effect. If Einstein's citadel should ever be toppled, for example, and the speed of light is no longer considered a universal limitation, everything we think we know will be turned upside-down. Time can be made to run in any direction you want, and cause and effect will become effect and cause, with the waters muddied beyond any possible clarity.

Who created God? I think we're in agreement that God is an exception to the rule of causality. But the minute you allow one exception to creep into your reality, a few more are always just around the corner. Somehow, I don't think that's unintentional.
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


28 posted 03-16-2003 12:46 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:
Who created God?


since no one seems to know I'm going to apply for the patent
Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


29 posted 03-16-2003 12:37 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Assuming that there is a Creator - what if She chooses not to know the future?
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


30 posted 03-16-2003 07:29 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
defenestrate
Junior Member
since 01-10-2003
Posts 47
nc, us


31 posted 03-17-2003 11:03 PM       View Profile for defenestrate   Email defenestrate   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for defenestrate

quote:
"defenestrate,...
Why?  Could you elaborate and be specific?"

gladly. my point is very simple-that faith in a higher power tends to imply a lack of obvious "logical" cause-and-effect chains, e.g. x event happened because god made it happen. i'm not judging this viewpoint in and of itself, simply pointing out that "because god made it happen" is an assumed given that automatically precludes any logical progression preceding said statement. i'm not saying that you can't use it as a start to chain if that's where it all starts for you, nor that a more secular explanation would necessarily be more accurate, but rather that in every argument i've ever read, it all starts with a self-referential given, not one that is neccessarily accepted by all parties of a discussion, e.g. "god created the universe, because he's god" "no he didn't, the big bang did, because x scientist wrote a lot about it". either way, in my opinion, logic does NOT serve to explain the essential nature of beingness on any level, because either side (and i hate to think of this as a duality-based argument, but i'm keeping it simple for the sake of my sanity) relies on a given that the other will not accept, as in "god existed, and then he made everything" vs. "there was a huge explosion, creating an expanding, forming universe". i hope that clears things up. if it does not, i'm happy to go into this further.
defenestrate
Junior Member
since 01-10-2003
Posts 47
nc, us


32 posted 03-17-2003 11:07 PM       View Profile for defenestrate   Email defenestrate   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for defenestrate

in fact, stephen, i will streamline this yet further by asserting that faith in a higher omniscient creator implies an accepted, subjective, exclusive given-thus leaving out all other parties, just as accepting that a big bang causing eveything implies the same. does that lay it all out reasonably simply?
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


33 posted 03-17-2003 11:34 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Basically, you're suggesting that any "beginning," whether religious or secular, rules out causality?

That sure would make it hard to cope with life and living.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


34 posted 03-18-2003 12:19 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Defenestrate ...

"in every argument i've ever read, it all starts with a self-referential given, not one that is neccessarily accepted by all parties of a discussion, e.g. "god created the universe, because he's god" "no he didn't, the big bang did, because x scientist wrote a lot about it". either way, in my opinion, logic does NOT serve to explain the essential nature of beingness on any level, because either side (and i hate to think of this as a duality-based argument, but i'm keeping it simple for the sake of my sanity) relies on a given that the other will not accept, as in "god existed, and then he made everything" vs. "there was a huge explosion, creating an expanding, forming universe"


I see your point.  But it seems to me that no matter what point of view we choose to take, we cannot escape accepting something as a given.  Presuppositions are indispensible in any and every worldview.  If we reject a belief in God because of causality, we do not thereby avoid exempting something from causality, and making it uncaused.  How can you indentify the cause of an infinite chain of cause and effect?  No particular thing within the chain caused the chain itself.  What causes the law-like cause and effect process?  No matter which view you take, something eludes causality.  There is no avoiding this.  My whole reason for asking you to clarify was to show that if causality presents difficulties for theism, it presents the same difficulties for naturalism.  You seem, in your quote above, to admit this yourself.   Unfortunately we are stuck with one or the other of these choices.  Aside from causality, I would suggest that other considerations are more determinate in the question of naturalism vs. theism.    


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-18-2003 12:31 AM).]

defenestrate
Junior Member
since 01-10-2003
Posts 47
nc, us


35 posted 03-23-2003 04:13 AM       View Profile for defenestrate   Email defenestrate   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for defenestrate

ron,
>Basically, you're suggesting that any "beginning," whether religious or secular, rules out causality?
>
>That sure would make it hard to cope with life and living

i'm saying that a beginning PRECLUDES causality, that if you say that X action is the first action in a sequence of events, causality as a logical device OBVIOUSLY cannot possibly hold fully. causality implies, what, a cause and an effect, right? well, what if you're talking about the CAUSE of the beginning? you run into a wall. i'm not saying this is bad, i'm saying that you must accept some lack of correlation with standard logic when including the beginning of a thing in a chain of causality UNLESS you consider the factuality of said beginning event a given. this all seems very straighforward to me. i believe in causality, and i also believe that logic cannot solve everything. does this make it all a little more palatable?

[This message has been edited by defenestrate (03-23-2003 04:14 AM).]

defenestrate
Junior Member
since 01-10-2003
Posts 47
nc, us


36 posted 03-23-2003 04:22 AM       View Profile for defenestrate   Email defenestrate   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for defenestrate

stephen,

|QUOTE|I see your point.  But it seems to me that no matter what point of view we choose to take, we cannot escape accepting something as a given.  Presuppositions are indispensible in any and every worldview.  If we reject a belief in God because of causality, we do not thereby avoid exempting something from causality, and making it uncaused.  How can you indentify the cause of an infinite chain of cause and effect?  No particular thing within the chain caused the chain itself.  What causes the law-like cause and effect process?  No matter which view you take, something eludes causality.  There is no avoiding this.  My whole reason for asking you to clarify was to show that if causality presents difficulties for theism, it presents the same difficulties for naturalism.  You seem, in your quote above, to admit this yourself.   Unfortunately we are stuck with one or the other of these choices.  Aside from causality, I would suggest that other considerations are more determinate in the question of naturalism vs. theism.|UNQUOTE|

i am not disagreeing with you. my point is that logic cannot and will not function unless all parties in a discussion ALREADY agree on the givens. this renders logic ineffectual in matters regarding questions like this. it is a useful tool for query, but pretending that the centre will hold when you pair two obviously incongruous things together (e.g. logic and arbitrary presupposition) is foolhardy!

btw, i do not presume to know so much as to feel comfortable with trying to assert to others the name or nature of my creator or any existence attributed to it. i don't have to choose one or the other. i choose to observe and to learn and to continue to think, and neither theism nor naturalism need be excluded in my quest to do just that.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


37 posted 03-25-2003 03:05 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"i am not disagreeing with you. my point is that logic cannot and will not function unless all parties in a discussion ALREADY agree on the givens. this renders logic ineffectual in matters regarding questions like this. it is a useful tool for query, but pretending that the centre will hold when you pair two obviously incongruous things together (e.g. logic and arbitrary presupposition) is foolhardy!"


I understand that logic has it's limits.  When we consider presuppositions and causeless causes,  (which are unavoidably present in both naturalism and theism) of course we can't use the logical dictates that apply to causality.  These are  questions, in my opinion, which go beyond logic.  There is, however, a distinction to be made between an "arbitrary presupposition" and an axiom.  An arbitrary presupposition is supplied and taken for granted by it's proponent.  An axiom is taken for granted also, but not supplied in an arbitrary way by it's proponent.  It is identified as a self-supporting principle or rule.  How is it self supported?  Usually by the consequences of it's acceptance, or rejection.


Though logic is limited in making the choice between naturalism and theism, it still comes into play.  Theism is an axiom able to explain rational thought (of which logic is a part) in nature.  Naturalism undermines rational thinking by it's reductionism.  Naturalism presupposes that everything has come from natural / material causes ... including what we call rational thought.  But if rational thought stems, like everything else, from mere material causes, then on what grounds do we call it rational?  Rational thought is not merely caused, as in cause and effect, it has the quality of validity.  There are grounds for correct thinking, not mere causes.  Interestingly, the more causes we can identify, for someone believing the way they do, the easier we can suspect that their beliefs are irrational or invalid.  Biases are identified by their direct cause and effect relationship to thought, while rationality is not.  So how can rational thought, or knowledge, be explained naturalistically?  A belief which refutes itself by invalidating all thought and belief, is too problematic for me.  Theism may have it's problems for the mortal mind, but it is the precondition for the very fuction of the mind ... the only one which would allow any problems or solutions to matter, or even exist.


Stephen.          

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-25-2003 03:09 AM).]

Crazy Eddie
Member
since 09-14-2002
Posts 221


38 posted 03-25-2003 08:06 PM       View Profile for Crazy Eddie   Email Crazy Eddie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Crazy Eddie


Stephanos,

What do you define as rational thinking?

Is eating the brains of your enemies rational? I only ask because it seems you are inferring that rational thought leads to one universal and unassailable answer, that anything that deviates is irrational but the evidence we see around us doesnít support that notion. Ingrained societal behaviour and social pressure affect rational thought. Which is why I might say that eating the brains of your enemies seems irrational and a native of a South American tribe might say that itís irrational not to. The obvious conclusion is that rational thought doesnít guarantee a universal answer, in which case the judgement of rationality becomes a subjective ideal and that subjectivity lends validity to any supposed correct thinking.

Rational thinking isnít rational in the sense that itís correct thinking, rational thought is simply a useful or accepted way of thinking in a social setting.

Big bang or the hand of a creator?

Iíve a sneaky suspicion that looking back in time searching for a beginning isnít the right orientation to approach the question. Looking forward in time on the other hand yields some interesting possibilities and some obvious questions, for instance will time itself ever end. If the answer is no, time will never end, then why should time have a finite beginning? The problem of a cause-less cause only comes into the equation with regard to the big bang if it was a beginning without such a claim cause and effect rolls on through the big bang. The problem of the cause-less cause remains however if the hand of a creator is introduced into the argument, if God exists he/she must always have existed or is the result of an undetermined cause.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


39 posted 03-25-2003 09:03 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"Is eating the brains of your enemies rational? I only ask because it seems you are inferring that rational thought leads to one universal and unassailable answer, that anything that deviates is irrational but the evidence we see around us doesnít support that notion."


Aren't you confusing rationality with morality here?  Eating the brains of your enemies or not,  would be a moral question moreso than a rational question.  However, I also believe that morality is more than conventional and has a universal aspect.  We don't arbitrarily invent our moralities either.  But that would be a whole different thread.  But regardless of moral questions, I think you would agree that we do not arbitrarily invent reasoning, inference, or logic, else the term "illogical" is meaningless.    


I think you might be misunderstanding what I'm trying to say.  You yourself are using inference and reasoning in your approach to me, correctly assuming that I value rational thought above irrational thought.  You are assuming that your arguments hold weight on the basis of their rationality.  But naturalism itself undermines the validity of any rational thought, by not being able to give account for it.  Any thought which invalidates all thought, necessarily invalidates itself.  I'm not limiting rational thought  to mean morality, logic, metaphysics, or any one area.  Choose any area you wish.  If in a literal sense I argued that I can both eat my cake, and not eat it at the same time, I would be making an irrational statement.  You would immediately say that is absurd, and you would be right.  But material reductionism (or naturalism) would explain my thought in terms of matter and chemistry at the most fundamental level.  My absurd thought would be caused in essentially the same way that your rational thought would be caused... by a certain configuration of molecules and atoms in the cortex which sprang immediately from the previous configuration in obedience to physical laws.  But cause and effect cannot be the whole story when it comes to knowledge.  There has to be a ground and consequent relation that plays into causality.  And this is what cannot be explained in naturalistic terms.  But if we believe that God exists and created us, we have grounds for rational thought and knowledge ... even if our thoughts are imperfect and only a shadow of his own eternal mind.  But molecules in motion cannot explain rational thought whatsoever.  It can't even give a sound reason for why we should even be having this conversation, or any other for that matter.  

"The problem of a cause-less cause only comes into the equation with regard to the big bang if it was a beginning without such a claim cause and effect rolls on through the big bang. The problem of the cause-less cause remains however if the hand of a creator is introduced into the argument, if God exists he/she must always have existed or is the result of an undetermined cause."


No, a causeless cause must be accepted either way . . . with theism or naturalism.  It is simply unavoidable.  A cause and effect chain which is infinite can at least in theory be considered a whole entity.  What caused the chain itself?  No part within in it can cogently be said to have caused the process itself.  What of the mechanism of cause and effect?  What caused that?  We don't escape the problems of causality by cutting God out, we just shift the problem to nature itself.


Notice that we can take your last sentence and substitute the words "Nature" and "naturalism" for "God", and "hand of a creator", and it remains equally true.


"The problem of the cause-less cause remains however if naturalism is introduced into the argument, if nature exists, it must always have existed or is the
result of an undetermined cause.
"


Stephen.
  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-25-2003 09:09 PM).]

Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


40 posted 03-25-2003 09:33 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But naturalism itself undermines the validity of any rational thought, by not being able to give account for it.


Why? Neither science nor the Bible can account for the effects of gravity, yet this planet still continues to revolve around its star, captured by an action-at-a-distance force that can't be proven and can't be adequately explained. Our failure to understand doesn't change the nature of our reality. It only changes our perception of it.

I purposely chose an example different from yours, Stephen, but I hope you realize the same can be said of rational thought. You said, "if we believe  that God exists and created us, we have grounds for rational thought and knowledge," but that's not entirely accurate. The existence of God gives us grounds only for OUR rational thought, telling us nothing at all about His.

I believe, at the end of the day, the Christian and the scientist are both sitting in the same little flat-bottomed row boat, each holding their own oar. Should they ever learn to coordinate their strokes, we might actually stop going around in circles.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


41 posted 03-25-2003 10:28 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"You said, "if we believe††that God exists and created us, we have grounds for rational thought and knowledge," but that's not entirely accurate. The existence of God gives us grounds only for OUR rational thought, telling us nothing at all about His. "


That statement has an agnostic flavor.  "...nothing at all about his" is an extremely comprehensive statement.  If we believe that God created us in his image, and that he wants us to know something of his mind, then we can trust that we are able to.  I have learned much of God from observing nature, and even human nature.  On the other hand, I am not saying that our rational thought even begins to begin revealing the depths of the mind of God.  I am merely stating that it is a shadow of something larger.  But a shadow can't be explained apart from the object that casts it.


When I speak of naturalism, I am not pitting Christians against Scientists.  Not all scientists are naturalists, even those who study natural science.  I'm speaking of philosophical naturalism which presupposes that nature is a closed materialistic system.  This is a far cry from me trying to be "anti-scientific".  In fact, rational thought and inductive reasoning is the basis for science itself.  Denying philosophical naturalism is not  the same as denying the value of science.  I feel that theism actually gives validity to the priciples upon which science is based.  David Hume, skeptic and strict naturalist himself, was honest enough to question how we can justify any knowledge at all, including science, in a naturalistic universe.


Stephen.  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-25-2003 10:29 PM).]

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


42 posted 03-25-2003 11:07 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"Why? Neither science nor the Bible can account for the effects of gravity, yet this planet still continues to revolve around its star, captured by an action-at-a-distance force that can't be proven and can't be adequately explained. Our failure to understand doesn't change the nature of our reality. It only changes our perception of it."


Ron, I agree with this.  I never said that those who espouse naturalism become actually irrational in all their thoughts.  Rationality, like gravity, functions regardless of what you attribute it to.  What I meant by saying that naturalism undermines the validity of rational thought, is that the worldview itself cannot give a cogent account for the existence of such thought.  Mine is a statement that even though naturalists use rational thought, depend upon it's acceptance at large, and argue as if everyone knows that it is more than conventional, they hold a world view that is contrary to their own thoughts and actions.  Again, this seems to me like a man arguing against the existence of air, while breathing the very thing he is denying.  And to point out that naturalists have and use rational thought, in order to give some credence to their assertions, holds no more weight than saying that the anti-air argument might be true seeing that the man can still breathe without believing in air.  That is begging the question.  The value and usefulness of rational thought to both naturalists and theists is not in question.  The validity of a naturalistic explanation of the universe, and it's capacity to allow in it's borders meaningful knowledge is what is in question.  That men and women rely on rational thinking in spite of their inconsistent world view is not surprising.  We are created in the image of God, even if when we don't believe in him.  He still rains on the just and the unjust, so to speak.  And you are right, like gravity, rational thought is intrinsically valuable, regardless of our understanding.  But from that reason alone, we should critically ask how rational naturalism really is.  


Stephen.  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-25-2003 11:13 PM).]

defenestrate
Junior Member
since 01-10-2003
Posts 47
nc, us


43 posted 03-26-2003 12:53 AM       View Profile for defenestrate   Email defenestrate   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for defenestrate

stephanos,

you make very valid points. logic is a tool in almost anything, with due care. this does not change my initial point, but you have obviously thought this out, though the conviction in you weighs heavily against objectivity. truth may not rely on objectivity much of the time, but it's important to remember that people choose/create sides for a reason, and that reason is not necessarily the pursuit of truth.

in the end, i am convinced that i cannot convince you to rethink what givens are to be considered universal, which pretty much makes this a moot point, but i appreciate the verbal dueling.

edited for a second time because copious amonts of bourbon don't seem to help me type out the proper words.

[This message has been edited by defenestrate (03-27-2003 01:14 AM).]

aaron woodside
Member
since 09-26-2001
Posts 264


44 posted 04-11-2003 03:54 AM       View Profile for aaron woodside   Email aaron woodside   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for aaron woodside

Lol, why stop now guys.  I enjoyed recieving 5 emails a day from this.   I also enjoyed the opinions.

I can't keep up with most of you, but I still enjoyed them.

ex animo,
Aaron

IN NOMINE PATRI ET FILII ET SPIRITUS SANCTI

fractal007
Member Elite
since 06-01-2000
Posts 2032


45 posted 04-12-2003 01:57 AM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

This thread reminds me of some research I was doing into one of CS Lewis's arguments about God's omniscience.  He claimed that God is above and beyond time, so to speak, giving Him the ability to know what we are doing at any moment, whether it be a moment in our past, future, or present.

If this is the case, how does it effect the discussions taking place here?  I skimmed through Stephanos's replies and was surprised that he did not bring CS Lewis into this complex equation.  But perhaps I did not look closely enough...?

2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2
--Smit
My Creations

Crazy Eddie
Member
since 09-14-2002
Posts 221


46 posted 04-12-2003 09:21 AM       View Profile for Crazy Eddie   Email Crazy Eddie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Crazy Eddie

Fractal,

The explanation that God exists outside of time relies on the rather large supposition that he does in fact exist and if you take away that singular belief the exercise, and original claim, are meaningless.

For the sake of argument though letís suppose God does exist and he lives outside of time having the ability to know simultaneously what was, what is, and more importantly what will be, is this an argument for or against free will?

Some believe itís a strong argument against free will, if God knows the future then the future is predestined and fixed we have no option but to act and make decisions that will ultimately result in that future coming to fruition. The inability to freely decide our future negates the possibility of free will, or does it?

One argument against the above is that although God knows the future we obviously donít and every decision we make to arrive at that future is made by utilising our free will, in that case how free can a decision be that can have only one outcome? If I ask you to think of a colour knowing that you will choose red are you truly free to choose any colour you like or is free will an illusion and you have only one choice - red? If you look at the argument closely itís possible that God and free will can exist and that red simply appears to be the only choice when armed with Gods ability to see the result of the choice in advance.

The next question is obvious - does God posses a free will - and if he does how does that affect our free will?


[This message has been edited by Crazy Eddie (04-12-2003 09:23 AM).]

fractal007
Member Elite
since 06-01-2000
Posts 2032


47 posted 04-13-2003 01:19 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

quote:
The explanation that God exists outside of time relies on the rather large supposition that he does in fact exist and if you take away that singular belief the exercise, and original claim, are meaningless.


So does this thread.  Without the assumption that God exists, this thread is but a big waste of time, unless running what-if scenarios is your cup of tea.

Perhaps I should cite the CS Lewis passage I was referring to.  In Mere Christianity, Lewis claims that the difficulty with believing both in God's existence and our free will is often caused by an assumption that "God is progressing along the Time-line like us:  the only difference being that He can see ahead and we cannot."  But if God can see what we will do in the future then it is difficult to imagine us being free not to do it.  Lewis proposes that we think of God as being outside and above the time-line.  "In that case, what we call 'tomorrow' is bisible to Him in just the same way as what we call 'today'.  All the days are 'Now' for Him.  He does not remember you doing things yesterday; He simply sees you doing them..." He claims that the same would be true of the future.

2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2
--Smit
My Creations

chasing rain
Senior Member
since 05-15-2001
Posts 1281
Canada


48 posted 04-13-2003 02:12 PM       View Profile for chasing rain   Email chasing rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chasing rain


quote:
Some believe itís a strong argument against free will, if God knows the future then the future is predestined and fixed we have no option but to act and make decisions that will ultimately result in that future coming to fruition. The inability to freely decide our future negates the possibility of free will, or does it?


Uhm...question. It is believed that time does not pass for God; that a hundred million years is but a drop of water in a bucket for Him. If this is so, that time does not exist for God, then what exactly is the future?

If we had any free will, couldn't we stop time?


[This message has been edited by chasing rain (04-13-2003 02:18 PM).]

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


49 posted 04-13-2003 02:21 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

And the conversation approaches the point at which theology finds itself intersecting with theoretical physics.

You're not too far from string theory at this point.
aaron woodside will be notified of replies
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> Philosophy 101 >> Free Will and Omniscience   [ Page: 1  2  3  4  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors