Statesboro, GA, USA
Me:You can't have it both ways. Your future also is as certain as if it had already happened regardless of your psychological state.
Grinch:Iíve no idea which two ways you think Iím trying to have it, Iíve no problem accepting that my future is a predetermined effect of proceeding causes. Iím simply pointing out that god canít be god if she has anything other than a read only knowledge of the outcome.
And I'm simply pointing out that by definition, God can't be God if he has nothing more than a read-only knowledge of the outcome.
If you can't understand how, I'm also pointing out that you accept your own freedom of choice (in practice and moment-by-moment belief if not in philosophy) even though your own future is absolutely certain.
That's what I mean by your having it both ways. You can't deny God choice, just because you can't demystify the divine "how", when your own obvious ability to choose is shrouded in the same kind of mystery, albeit smaller.
As soon as you know the future you lose the ability to choose and along with it the essence of free will - you cannot have anything for lunch EXCEPT spaghetti even if you wanted to.
The "even if you wanted to" phrase, is what your argument hinges upon. But it defies the very nature of choice. Since to choose invariably means to "want to", your strawman of constrained choice doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The knowledge of a particular choice remains a secondary issue. The mystery (but obviously real nonetheless) is choice itself divine, human, or otherwise. You don't lose the essence of freewill by deciding, you affirm it.
Me:do you admit you are a determinist?
So do you if you claim that your god can see the future.
If to see and to cause were the self-same thing, then why does language itself differentiate? Ron brought up a good point about the past. Does seeing the past necessarily mean to have caused it? If not, then the future can be no different than the past in this regard.
Me: you've theoretically deconstructed your own humanity, and undermined human knowledge, reason, and choice.
As far as I can see my humanity, human knowledge, reason and choice arenít negatively affected one iota simply because I accept causality. In fact this particular automaton functions reasonably well accepting that notion, why do you see it as such an anathema?
I didn't say that your knowledge, reason and choice were affected ... since in reality, you are not grid-locked by material causation. What I mean is, philosophically you have deconstructed your own humanity, and undermined human knowledge, reason, and choice. Thankfully this inconsistency and error in your thinking does not change the fact that you have a spark of a miraculous ability to transcend mere cause and effect and to make real choices in the world of time and space.
I too accept causality Grinch. I just happen to accept that there is something that transcends mere cause/effect, so that the ground/consequent relationship involved with knowledge and choice can be real as well. If you don't accept this philosophically, you are merely fluxing chemistry with the illusion of individuality and will. I'm just arguing that you're more than your philosophy allows, being made (in some sense) in the very image of God.
Me:Historians will unanimously say that empirical proof is not part and parcel of their field.
Grinch: Well Iíve never met one. Every historian Iíve every read or spoken to adheres firmly to one of the principles of the scientific method - before claiming anything as historical fact you supply empirical proof thatĎs judged by your peers before being accepted.
You need to read up on scholarly method, historical method, and historicism if you think they are synonymous with the scientific method. Of course similar principles of inference are involved, but they are much less rigorous, and empirical reproduction is not an option.
It is interesting to note also the effects of one's philosophy of history (as well as philosophy of science). As there is methodological naturalism in science which, as Richard Lewontin put it, cannot allow a divine foot in the door, there is also historical naturalism which a priori says that miracles can't happen. This kind of approach would conclude, for example, that the text where Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem had to have been written after 70 A.D. because it simply couldn't have been known, whatever other evidence may be. At least you can see how presuppositions can make history (like science) more arbitrary than observational. The question when examining the gospels, (which the historians of "The Jesus Seminar" missed) should have been whether or not the miracles happened, not whether or not they could have according to 19th century philosophy.
If you really think an orthodox view of the New Testament amounts to mythology that can safely and easily be discarded as non-historical, you should consider the works of N.T. Wright or Gary Habermas.
Hope your projects are going well Grinch,