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Author Topic:   Prophecy vs Free will
PaulK
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Posts: 17849
Joined: 01-10-2003
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(3)
Message 5 of 168 (629672)
08-19-2011 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 8:08 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
I'm afraid that you have managed a worse post than the OP - even the title is a strawman. It is not the act of prediction, but the ability to do so that is the issue (although making such a prediction to one of the people involved does raise related issues)
Firstly, let's make the point that prophecy is supposed to be absolutely reliable. That sets it apart from ordinary predictions of human behaviour.
Prophecy, then, requires a degree of fatalism - the prediction must come true no matter what anyone does. This might or might not interfere with concepts of free will, depending on what is predicted and how much it depends on human actions. Any dependence at all would call libertarian free will into question, if absolute reliability were required.
The most extreme example I know of the Bible is the prediction attributed to Jesus, that Peter would deny him three times before the cockerel crew. This certainly seems at odds with any idea of libertarian free will, relying on Peter to not work against the prediction and that exactly three people would ask and meet denials in a quite limited timeframe. Even a fully deterministic view of the universe would make it hard to be able to make such a prediction, even for a being capable of modelling all the relevant factors to test what would happen if such a prediction were made. Thus, such a prediction would call even compatibilist views of free will into question, at least with regard to this event.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by purpledawn, posted 08-19-2011 8:08 AM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Dr Jack, posted 08-19-2011 9:29 AM PaulK has not replied
 Message 10 by purpledawn, posted 08-19-2011 10:26 AM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17849
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 12 of 168 (629697)
08-19-2011 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 10:26 AM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
quote:
Doesn't matter. God can watch human behavior.
Yes, it does matter. If libertarian free will is correct, it should be impossible to perfectly predict human behaviour.
quote:
There are OT prophecies that didn't come about because the people changed their behavior. See the story of Jonah.
IMO, only when God has made it clear that he has interfered with humans can one say that free will was denied.
Yes, but that's because contrary to the popular modern view of prophecy as prediction, Biblical prophecies are generally statements of intent from God, and in some traditions at least, God does not know what He will actually do when the time comes. However, this topic is about the popular modern view.
quote:
The story doesn't tell us that Peter tried not to deny and was unable to. It just an accurate prediction assuming that Jesus could see what Peter would do. The story doesn't present any outside influence on Peter.
And you miss the point. How could Jesus be sure that Peter would not make the effort or that it would take him three failures to realise what he had done or even that the third question would not come a little too late, after cockcrow? Where did I even suggest any outside influence is mentioned in the story ?
quote:
Odds are it wasn't a real prediction anyway.
That isn't the point either. The point is that this represents the predictive ability attributed to God. The case where a person is presented with a prediction that he will do something and is motivated to NOT do it is the most problematic for reconciling prophecy and Free Will.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by purpledawn, posted 08-19-2011 10:26 AM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by purpledawn, posted 08-19-2011 12:50 PM PaulK has replied

PaulK
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Posts: 17849
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 19 of 168 (629727)
08-19-2011 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by purpledawn
08-19-2011 12:50 PM


Re: Prediction Doesn't Interfere With Free Will
quote:
I still disagree. A prediction doesn't take away one's ability to make choices.
This isn't about whether one can perfectly predict it is about whether a prediction negates free will.
That may be what you would like it to be about, but I'm thoroughly sick of that ridiculous strawman. It is high time that it was buried and forgotten.
quote:
I don't know that frako made any distinction between ancient and modern. He's bringing in the Bible.
Oh, please. Why should he be talking about a concept of prophecy that is rarely considered these days, that most people don't know about and which doesn't fit with the OP?
quote:
It doesn't matter how Jesus knew. The implication in the story is that Jesus could see ahead or God gave Jesus the knowledge of what would happen. I didn't say you mentioned outside influence. I'm making my argument that free will was not impeded.
If the answer involves Peter's free will being impeded - or free will not existing in the first place - then it certainly does matter. And you can't make your argument without dealing with it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by purpledawn, posted 08-19-2011 12:50 PM purpledawn has seen this message but not replied

PaulK
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Posts: 17849
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 86 of 168 (630469)
08-25-2011 2:00 PM


One look at the problem
For the purposes of this post I will use the common definitions, where prophecy refers to the conveyance of infallible knowledge of the future and free will refers to libertarian free will.
Let us assume, as has been suggested, that where prophecy refers to human actions it works in the same way as ordinary predictions of human actions. In that case prophecy would simply mean using our knowledge of a person to predict what they will do when presented with a particular situation. But such predictions can only be infallibly accurate if that person, given a particular situation will always act in exactly the same way. i.e human behaviour must be deterministic.
However, libertarian free will denies that human behaviour is deterministic. If prophecy of human actions is to be compatible with free will, it cannot be based on the same principles that we use to predict what people will do.

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by IamJoseph, posted 08-26-2011 1:28 AM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17849
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 90 of 168 (630526)
08-26-2011 1:47 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by IamJoseph
08-26-2011 1:28 AM


Re: One look at the problem
If you understand the notion of free will you would understand that it makes no difference whether a freely willed action violates the law of the land.
If you understand even the basics of logic you would realise that it is impossible for two true statements to contradict. Therefore prophecies, as defined for the purpose of my post, cannot come into conflict.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by IamJoseph, posted 08-26-2011 1:28 AM IamJoseph has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by IamJoseph, posted 08-26-2011 2:29 AM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17849
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 94 of 168 (630554)
08-26-2011 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by IamJoseph
08-26-2011 2:29 AM


Re: One look at the problem
Since you are neither addressing my post, nor the topic I have no interest in continuing here. I suggest you engage Buzsaw in a Great Debate on the accuracy of NT prophecy instead since that seems to be where your interest lies.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by IamJoseph, posted 08-26-2011 2:29 AM IamJoseph has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by IamJoseph, posted 08-26-2011 8:52 AM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17849
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 96 of 168 (630570)
08-26-2011 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by IamJoseph
08-26-2011 8:52 AM


Re: One look at the problem
The core issue of my post is that ordinary prediction relies on causal relations and therefore can only be absolutely reliable given determinism, which is in contradiction to libertarian free will. Your replies don't address that. They don't even take account of the definition of prophecy used in my post, despite it being explicitly stated. So quite frankly if you really believe that you "zoomed in on the core issue of my post" you are seriously deluded.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by IamJoseph, posted 08-26-2011 8:52 AM IamJoseph has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by IamJoseph, posted 08-26-2011 9:32 AM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17849
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 98 of 168 (630574)
08-26-2011 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by IamJoseph
08-26-2011 9:32 AM


Re: One look at the problem
Irrelevant to both my post and the topic.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by IamJoseph, posted 08-26-2011 9:32 AM IamJoseph has not replied

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