Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 53 (9179 total)
4 online now:
Newest Member: Anig
Post Volume: Total: 918,057 Year: 5,314/9,624 Month: 339/323 Week: 183/160 Day: 19/38 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   All Knowing God proves problematic
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 4 of 82 (490758)
12-08-2008 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chessmaster
12-07-2008 6:24 PM


Chessmaster writes:
hi
Hello, and welcome to EvC. I like your question, I think it's rather fun to muse about such possibilities.
Chessmaster writes:
Well, if he, or it, is really all knowing, then before he even decided I was to be born, he KNEW, or KNOWS, if I will go to hell or heaven. IN WHICH CASE, no matter what I do on this earth, how I act of behave, is not going to change the truth that he has foreseen. So, I may aswell not try and just enjoy my life and let it come naturally.
I read your answer as "what I do doesn't actually matter so I'm just going to sit and suck on my thumb". Sounds a bit whiny. As if "what God thinks" is the only thing that matters. I can think of plenty of things that are more important to me than "what God thinks", like "what my wife thinks" for one. Then again, that's mostly because I've never heard of anything in this world I'd actually call "God", and I've certainly heard of my wife
Forget about that for a second though, consider the following scenario:
-Your life is relatively basic and average, and the only thing between you and Heaven is actually trying to go there.
-if you try to go to Heaven, you will go to Heaven
-if you do not try to go to Heaven, you will not go to Heaven
-God already knows if you're going to end up trying or not, and therefore knows if you're going to Heaven or not.
-You don't know what God knows.
I do not understand how this knowledge of God's restricts you from doing whatever you'd like to do? Can you explain to me how you are prevented from choosing one or the other?
Personally, I don't think this God you're thinking about actually exists at all. I think we should be good people because it's better to make people happy then to make people sad. Whether or not anyone else agrees with this doesn't matter. Regardless of their possible supernatural or divine stature or their ability to place us in Heaven or Hell.
But, I think your arguement is flawed. God simply knowing the future doesn't restrict freedom of choice.
Better questions:
-Whether or not we have freedom of choice in the first place.
-Whether or not an omniscient God would allow His knowledge of the future to affect our choices in any way.
-Whether or not an omniscient being who cannot be discerned from an illusion or delusion should actually have any contribution to important decisions (like what you do with your life).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Chessmaster, posted 12-07-2008 6:24 PM Chessmaster has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(2)
Message 22 of 82 (491172)
12-12-2008 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
12-11-2008 7:47 PM


I don't get it
I agree with Bluejay, maybe you could answer my question, Percy?
quote:
-Your life is relatively basic and average, and the only thing between you and Heaven is actually trying to go there.
-if you try to go to Heaven, you will go to Heaven
-if you do not try to go to Heaven, you will not go to Heaven
-God already knows if you're going to end up trying or not, and therefore knows if you're going to Heaven or not.
-You don't know what God knows.
I do not understand how this knowledge of God's restricts you from doing whatever you'd like to do? Can you explain to me how you are prevented from choosing one or the other?
If it works for this simple scenario, I don't see what would stop it for working with any and all scenarios.
Percy writes:
Therefore if you do something he didn't know, he's not omniscient.
I don't think anyone's disagreeing with this.
What I'm saying is that everything we do, He already knows we were going to do. How does this prevent us from choosing what we want to do?
Or maybe this is a definition of Free Will problem?
If you're defining "Free Will" to be "Decisions that no one knows the outcome of". Then, well.. of course you can't have that along with omniscience, it would be a strict contradiction of terms.
However, if we define "Free Will" to be "Decisions where you can choose whatever you'd like"... what's the problem? Or how is this not Free Will?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 12-11-2008 7:47 PM Percy has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 2:00 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 24 of 82 (491206)
12-12-2008 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Chessmaster
12-12-2008 2:00 PM


Re: I don't get it
Chessmaster writes:
You make a good point that may apparently outline a flaw in my argument, what you say is correct, however you are still feeling that we have free will.
I do not feel that we have free will. I'm actually undecided on the subject. I'm not even sure which side of the arguement I want to be on. But that is another discussion from another thread like this one: Message 42
If something has already been decided finally, before you do anything, you have no choice or free will.
I agree. What I'm saying is that a being with omnipotent knowledge of the future does not restrict our choices if we have no knowledge of their knowledge. How do we have no free will if we can choose whatever we'd like? Isn't that the core definition of free will? To be able to choose whatever you'd like? Then if we can still choose whatever we'ed like... how have we lost our free will just because someone else knows what we're going to choose?
an example would be, suppose you apply for a job. And you getting the job depends on your performance at an interview. Now, by someone all knowing who can't possibly be wrong, the outcome has already been forseen, yet, you don't know it.
Now, the fact that I do know that it has already been forseen, could lead me not to try. Why? I can't change what has already happened.
Perhaps that is true. But how, specifically, did your free will get infringed upon? What choice was removed? You decided that you wanted "not to try". How was that not a free choice of yours? Why was it impossible for you not to choose "to try"?
1. Choices without anyone knowing what you'll do:
-try to get the job
-don't try to get the job
2. Choices with someone knowing what you'll do:
-try to get the job
-don't try to get the job
What was removed? What is restricted? What are you unable to do in the second scenario that you could do in the first?
However, anyone who thinks that is right is failing to see that the choice has already been taken away from me.
What was taken away from you, though? You still have the choice of trying or not trying. If you choose to not try, because you think it doesn't matter, how can you possibly say that wasn't a choice? You used the wording "could lead me not to try"... the key word is "could". The obvious counter is that it also "could lead you to try". You still have the choice. What choice, specifically, was removed or restricted?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 2:00 PM Chessmaster has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 2:55 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 25 of 82 (491209)
12-12-2008 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Chessmaster
12-12-2008 2:00 PM


Re: I don't get it
Stile writes:
Chessmaster writes:
If something has already been decided finally, before you do anything, you have no choice or free will.
I agree.
I wanted to expand on what I said here, because I don't think I was clear.
What I'm agreeing with is that if something other than me already decided finally, before I do anything, then I have no choice or free will.
However, with the scenarios I'm talking about, the decision is still being made by me. Therefore, just because God knows about the result that I decided, doesn't remove my free will. Because it's still me who makes the decision. I'm still able to choose whatever I want.
The two situations appear similar in the end... a static, non-changing flow of one's life decisions. However, if someone else is making those decisions (no free will), it will have a different static path then if I am making those decisions (free will).
Both paths are static, but one includes free will where I decided everything the way I wanted to. I am arguing that it's possible for an omniscient entity to view my static-free-willed decision path before I've actually made all the decisions in my time-line. This does not mean anyone else is making those decisions for me. It also does not mean any of the choices within my decisions have been removed or restricted in any way. Therefore, it is still free will.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 2:00 PM Chessmaster has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 12-12-2008 2:55 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 28 of 82 (491219)
12-12-2008 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Percy
12-12-2008 2:55 PM


Re: I don't get it
Percy writes:
You and Bluejay are both missing the fact that just because a person believes he exercised free will doesn't mean that he did.
I don't think so, but I'll give you another chance to show me your point. How do you tell the difference between believing you have free will and actually having free will?
It isn't that omniscience has taken free will away. It's that the concepts are mutually exclusive in the same universe.
If the concepts are mutually exclusive, you should easily be able to show me which decisions get restricted or removed if an omniscient God has perfect, 100% foreknowledge of all my actions.
1. No God exists.
-I can buy Cheerios for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy Shreddies for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy any kind of cereal I want for my breakfast
2. An omniscient God who has perfect, 100% foreknowledge of all my actions exists.
-I can buy Cheerios for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy Shreddies for my breakfast cereal
-I can buy any kind of cereal I want for my breakfast
Which options were removed?
Which options were restricted?
If it's so mutually exclusive, why are you unable to show me how they are different?
One doesn't battle and eventually overcome the other because they could never exist in the same universe.
I'm not saying they battle or overcome each other. I'm saying it's possible they could co-exist very peaceably with each other.
I'm not saying this is how our universe is (personally I don't believe God exists). I'm just saying I don't see why they can't co-exist.
God may know the decision I made. But it's still the decision I made. How is my decision any less of a decision?
If God knows I choose Cheerios.. then I can no longer choose any of the other cereals.
But... that's because I chose Cheerios out of the options. If I had of chosen Shreddies.. then that's what God would be saying I am going to choose.
Where is the restriction of choice? Where is the removal of options? How is this not free will?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 12-12-2008 2:55 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Chessmaster, posted 12-12-2008 3:40 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied
 Message 34 by Percy, posted 12-13-2008 10:05 AM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 40 of 82 (491376)
12-15-2008 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Percy
12-13-2008 10:05 AM


I understand what you're saying, I just don't agree
This is to Chessmaster as well...
Percy writes:
And that's the ultimate implication of omniscience. If it is possible in a given universe to *know* (not predict) what will happen, then all events in that universe have no choice but to happen, which means no free will. Even the firing synapses that cause you to experience free will have no choice.
I still do not believe you. I do not think you've shown that what you say is actually true. I understand what you're talking about, but I do not think it's specifically shown at all. I think you're jumping to some conclusions.
However, I am at a loss to articulate how I think such, or even what it is I think you're missing, so I will concede this discussion (but not change my mind... if that makes any difference to you )
The final thing I will say is this:
I totally agree with you that Free Will is removed given an omniscient being who *knows* all outcomes and who also created the universe.
However, I do not agree that omniscience in itself is not enough to remove Free Will. I think that an omniscient being who did not create the universe yet only observes it, beyond time (somehow...), does not interfere with Free Will. Since such a being would be 'outside of time', it is not necessary that He *knows* such things "before" we decide them. "Before" has no meaning to the being and situation I'm thinking of. And it's certainly possible for such a being that our decision comes "before" He *knows* about it. Very backwards indeed to our time-restricted thinking, however an omniscient being, outside of time, would not be restricted in this same manner. And neither would these restrictions necessarily be reflected back onto our existence.
I fully concede that my added restriction (the omniscient being did not create the universe) likely should have been assumed the other way around in our conversation since I did not specify it at any time, and it is the 'classical' way to think about such things that an omniscient being would be the creator of this universe as well.
Of course, with an omniscient being... perhaps one could create a universe in such a way that one did not 'set-up' the deterministic nature and therefore Free Will can still exist even if created by the same being. But... these are just random thoughts now, and I think I'm finished with this discussion.
That's all I got
Thanks for the ideas.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Percy, posted 12-13-2008 10:05 AM Percy has not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 41 of 82 (491377)
12-15-2008 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Taz
12-13-2008 1:50 PM


Fair Enough
Taz writes:
If god knows where you're going to end up (hell or heaven) and he's got the power to either do something about it or not make you exist at all if he knows you're going to hell, then god is anything but an all loving god. He created those of us who are hell-bound for the sole purpose of toruring us for an eternity. What the hell kind of narcissistic god is that?
Agreed.
Just having a little fun with a thought exercise, that's all.
Of course, the nice thing letting God off the hook for all this torture and knowledge is that He doesn't exist

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Taz, posted 12-13-2008 1:50 PM Taz has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by Agobot, posted 12-15-2008 3:44 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 45 of 82 (491443)
12-16-2008 7:28 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Agobot
12-15-2008 3:44 PM


No evidence in reality
Agobot writes:
But did you really expect to find god somewhere - like in the street or at the mall or in the laboratory?
No, I did not expect to find God anywhere. Because He doesn't exist.
This has only one inherent problem - you have to define what to "exist" means and you can't use science for that.
I don't use science to define words, I use english like this:
quote:
Exist
-to have real being whether material or spiritual
God doesn't exist in exactly the same way that all other purely imaginary ideas do not exist. There is no evidence for them in reality.
But to continue this converstaion, you may want to read through this thread:
Message 1
Edited by Stile, : Added link to other thread

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Agobot, posted 12-15-2008 3:44 PM Agobot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Agobot, posted 12-17-2008 12:31 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 51 of 82 (491564)
12-17-2008 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Agobot
12-17-2008 12:31 PM


Ugh.
Okay, there's a lot wrong with this so I'm going to take it slow and one line at a time. But this will be my last post on the matter since I don't really find such things very interesting. If I did, I would have become a physicist.
Agobot writes:
The part about the material existence if fundamentally wrong.
No. It may be semantically wrong, but it is not fundamentally wrong.
There is no material existence, in the way the western world thinks.
Correct. There is a material existence (semantics aside), however it may not be "in the way" the average western world Joe thinks about it (...with 100% solid objects).
The whole universe is only wavefunctions, these are vectors in a linear space. The "substance" of these vectors is the same substance that thoughts are made of. ... The only thing that you can consider real, is what i've just told you, that nothing is real.
As I am not a phycisist, I cannot confirm that what you're specifically saying here is true. I can, however, confirm that what you're getting at is true. That is, the whole universe my very well be just the interaction of different fields at various strengths.
The problem with your statement is that FIELDS ARE REAL.
Fields are not 100% solid objects. But we already talked about how "material" existence is not 100% solid objects. We know this already. The fact that Fields are not 100% solid objects (and perhaps even 0% "solid") does not remove their ability to be REAL or to ACT LIKE 100% solid objects at our general level of scope.
What it is that makes you think that only 100% solid objects are "real" when you understand that objects are not 100% solid to begin with will forever mystify me.
Just watch when this hits the textbooks all over the world in 20 or 30 years.
Already happened. That's how I know about it, I learned about it in school from textbooks. It likely happened 50 or so years ago (I would like to point out that I'm guessing, since I am not a physicist).
If you would like to carry on with a physical discussion of the universe, I suggest you start a thread in the Big Bang & Cosmology forum. I likely won't be joining as I am not a physicist since I do not find such things particularly interesting. Cool to know? Yes. And I admire those filled with the curious desire to figure such things out. However, I am not one of those people. I am more selfish and am more concerned with things that affect me directly.
My hand stops when I hit my desk.
Maybe it's because of fields, maybe it's because of strings, maybe it's because of the will-power of a God.
I don't care.
My hand stops when I hit my desk.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Agobot, posted 12-17-2008 12:31 PM Agobot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Agobot, posted 12-17-2008 1:16 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 58 of 82 (491624)
12-18-2008 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Percy
12-15-2008 8:40 AM


Another thought
Percy writes:
Bluejay writes:
I think I understand what you’re saying. Omniscience can only exist in a universe that is completely deterministic, and free will is antithesis to determinism. Is this correct?
Gee, I wish I had said it that way, that's much more clear.
You see, I do not understand why anyone thinks Free Will is the antithesis of Determinism.
In thinking about it in reverse, I would say that the antithesis of Determinism is "totally random occurance with no guidance".
But I certainly do not feel comfortable thinking that my Free Will is "totally random occurance with no guidance".
That is, I like to think I have a certain amount of "guidance" included in my Free Will. I don't like thinking that my decisions are totally random choices of which I have no input.
That's why I define Free Will to be "the ability to choose what I want" as opposed to "the opposite of Determinism". I think there is a certain amount of Determinism included in choosing what I want.
So, if Free Will is not the antithesis of Determinism, where does that leave your argument that Omniscience and Free Will cannot co-exist?
Thoughts?
(I'd like to hear from Bluejay on this as well, along with anyone else)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Percy, posted 12-15-2008 8:40 AM Percy has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Blue Jay, posted 12-19-2008 1:39 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024