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Free Will

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Free Will
Post by cthia   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 1:59 am

cthia
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Many do not understand the scope of Free Will

Why does God sit idly by and allow x, y, z, and all of the other horrible things which occur in life to happen, when HE can certainly prevent them all?

Sure He can, but then his Creation would be reduced to being a simple erector set of automatons where HE has to constantly keep adjusting their paths, or that of a train set where HE has to constantly put the cars back on the track. In either case, it would be a waste to give them a mind of their own and the ability to think for themselves (unless they were to be no different than the creatures man was given dominion over), or the ability God gave his creation of "perpetual motion" through procreation with the opposite sex. It would be a shame if man became extinct because he chooses to marry the same sex, but, God can physically reach down if He so chooses to stop that in its tracks as well.

God can literally keep sticking his hands through the clouds and setting right things that are wrong. God can choose to stop all murderers in their tracks, whose free will causes them to take lives, even though God decrees that thou shalt not kill. God can stop the thieves who creep into people's houses to steal (and it often turns to murder) even though God decrees that thou shalt not steal. God can stop all of the rapists who choose to destroy marriages, lives and futures. God can even prevent cancer and other diseases.

"How can a living God sit idly by doing nothing when a sweet young child suffers every day from cancer and eventually dies. What's more, making the parents watch helplessly every day as they suffer until death."


But! Be careful what you wish or pray for. God may choose to prevent your cancer - or your child's from the much more dangerous second-hand smoke - by literally snatching the cigarettes out of your hand when you were 12-yrs-old. And your grandparents, and theirs, ad nauseum. Or perhaps God will prevent you from buying cigarettes by disabling your legs until you get the message. Or perhaps He should burn the factories that produce the cigarettes, or burn the tobacco in the fields.

Maybe God should prevent you from enjoying certain foods, even though they cause cancer. Maybe God should completely change your diet and destroy all of the unhealthy food in your refrigerator. Perhaps He should turn you into a vegetarian or a vegan. Or perhaps He should allow you to enjoy certain foods, but only in moderation. You just reached your limit of hamburgers and bacon, for the entire year! Maybe God should take away all of your snacks because they are a dangerous weakness to you. Perhaps He should pull your butt off of the sofa and drag you around the neighborhood to get exercise once a day. Or several times a day for those of us who choose to eat several family-size bags of greasy potato chips daily. God may have to reach down and destroy the pesticides man creates which cause cancer, but man continues to produce them even though studies point to them as being carcinogenic. Maybe God should destroy all of the technology that may cause cancer too, like the concentrated power lines that many communities live too close to. Or our smartphones which may cause brain cancer. Or our laptops that aren't really recommended for placement and use ON our laps. Or the automobiles and factories which dirties our atmosphere and eats a hole in the ozone layer which may cause skin cancer, and global warming, that causes severe tropical storms that in turn claims a countless number of lives. God could prevent a small percentage of the population from controlling most of the wealth of the world which contributes to poverty and death. God can take away the alcohol and the keys from all of the alcoholics who choose to drink and drive and kill people. Or should He simply destroy all of the bars? Or maybe God should simply limit your alcohol consumption? I am sure we will agree to that. On and on and on and on because man does not have a God's-eye-view looking down from his abode. Man does not have this higher perspective to make these calls. So man can not be mindful of what he asks or prays for.

Now—in this very different alternate Universe—man is STILL complaining, he is simply asking different questions. "When will God's meddling end? Is HE ever going to leave us alone? Why won't He just let us be? Why is He always interfering in our lives? Does HE simply want a bunch of mindless robots?"

God knows what is best, and He knows what He set out to create. God made man after his own image (whatever that means.) So, He commenced to do just that. God gave us free will because He didn't want a bunch of puppets and automatons. But, so that we wouldn't end up in the situation we now find ourselves in, He warned us of things that we should not do, and even warned us that we should not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or we shall surely die.

Only God could see the life of man if he chose to disobey Him and eat of this tree. It would be worse than if our own kids choose to shove a screwdriver into an electrical outlet. (Although some of us raise our kids by letting them experience it for themselves after being warned? But God shouldn't do that?) So, God can indeed keep smacking the screwdrivers of life out of our hands before we place them into one of many of life's electrical outlets, or He can literally reach down through the clouds and smack us upside the head like we do our own kids. But, just like our kids, would you like it if God kept spanking you for your own good? Wouldn't there come a time when you will eventually rebel and fight back? When you eventually grow chest hairs and consider yourself grown? Well, mankind is way past 18-yrs-old and if God interferes by taking a more proactive presence in your life, it won't be long before you turn on Him and run away from your meddling parent anyway.

But perhaps we just want God to interfere in our lives just a little? Well, which one of us will draw the line that everyone else should skirt, since we don't like the lines God has drawn. You? Me? The guy next door? The woman down the street? We will all undoubtedly disagree and fight over it. As a matter of fact, man will never agree on what is right or wrong. We still argue over it today. At any rate, we were not alive when the decisions needed to be made, so God made the decisions and rules for his creation himself. His universe, His rules. His house, His rules. He gave you dominion over your own house to rule it as you please. He gave you dominion over your life as well. But you don't take responsibility for what happens to you when you are hardheaded and you blame Him, just like the average child. After all, God told us what to do and what not to do. He warned us of the pitfalls and stalls. And we even show no gratitude that He still allows us a way out when we choose to make a total mess of our lives.

Are you still asking why God allows so much evil to persist? Well, what would you have Him do? Would you have Him kill those of us who would do this evil before they actually do this evil? Then we would complain that we were not given the opportunity to change our mind before it was too late, and that we were punished for doing wrong before we did it. "That's not fair!"

But! If indeed you would choose that very severe punishment for your fellow man before he is given an opportunity to change, then of course you know you'll have to be willing to accept being judged in the same manner yourself. You would have God punish you equally for causing people strife because they are Jewish, or Islamic. Or because you are a racist and you cause people harm because of the color of their skin and thus you condemn an entire race of people to poverty and unknown atrocities and deaths.

There are none of us who are without sin. And sin causes us and other people harm. So, should God summon a great flood and kill us all? Or perhaps He should exterminate us all in a baptism by fire. Is that what you suggest for humanity?

Or would we want a chance to prove ourselves? To get it right on our own. Thus, pleasing our Creator and ourselves. That would be a much more meaningful life. Creating a planet of robots that are obedient would not please a Creator of the Heavens and Earth, and frankly, I can't see why such a Creator would even bother making a bunch of toys.

Is man the only lifeform on Earth that kills itself and does it for reasons other than for food? When he has the ability and knowhow to grow his own food. But again, why does God allow such and such to happen when He can stop it? Why does God not simply end all life on Earth because so many people get it wrong.

Answer all of the above questions for yourself. Then ask yourself if God's prejudgements would be fair to all of the other people who will get it right. Not the so-called Christians or other religious people who simply claim to be believers, but the truly faithful people who will choose to follow God and his commandments as best as they can.

****** *

I have been accused of claiming to attempt to prove the existence of God with mathematical equations. Let me set the record straight. I have set out to prove that there must be a God through inference, that Creation could not have been random.

The scientific community seems to agree that there was a Big Bang. And that all of Creation emanated from one very dense point in space. It seems intuitive to my limited brain that that would mathematically infer a beginning from a single point or singularity. A "singularity." Inferring "one thing" or one God. Or god-process, as in the very first process which is responsible for all of Creation. Is that so far fetched? Einstein attempted a theory of everything (TOE), a Unified Field Theory that explains everything. Do I think I am as smart as Einstein? No way! I seek help from God.

****** *

I made a claim that if God exists then the Bible must be true. But, as usual, people missed the forest for the trees. I was not specifically referencing ANY particular Bible, but, rather, if God exists, then the belief that God used man to write A Bible must be true. Therefore, there must be a Bible in which we can place our faith.

There are religions which have many Gods. But, by the very definition of God, there can only be one Numero Uno. If Creation is a function of the Big Bang, and the Big Bang began with a singularity, then the object which is responsible for Creation is a Single Arity. Not many.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Free Will
Post by Daryl   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:33 am

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So cthia, the debate will continue? Your wall of text still hinges on the presumption that there is a Deity, and I'm sure that others will come on here stating that they are sure there isn't one, or it is a very different one to yours, so all of your typing is wasted.
I will continue with my nitpicking, pointing out a few points that sprang out to me.
You use the male pronoun throughout, so how do you know that your Deity is male, not female, neutral or some gender unknown to us?
I also noticed in your list of "bad things" that your Deity might prevent, if we didn't have free will, you listed same sex marriage. My grandson and his husband would be quite hurt by that insinuation.
I'll also point out that effectively, if you are correct, having a Deity makes no difference if they are impotent and do nothing anyway. Why bother praying if it achieves nothing?
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Re: Free Will
Post by The E   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:43 am

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cthia wrote:I have been accused of claiming to attempt to prove the existence of God with mathematical equations. Let me set the record straight. I have set out to prove that there must be a God through inference, that Creation could not have been random.


Oh my god, your project is even stupider than I imagined! You're literally trying to find God's signature in a fundamentally random set of data... Data that you don't even have, that you can't even deduce from observations of the known universe because you lack the granularity required!

I mean, good job, you literally set yourself a task that you can't fail at! That's some good and proper open-ended scientific inquiry you're doing, yes sirree.

The scientific community seems to agree that there was a Big Bang. And that all of Creation emanated from one very dense point in space. It seems intuitive to my limited brain that that would mathematically infer a beginning from a single point or singularity. A "singularity." Inferring "one thing" or one God. Or god-process, as in the very first process which is responsible for all of Creation. Is that so far fetched? Einstein attempted a theory of everything (TOE), a Unified Field Theory that explains everything. Do I think I am as smart as Einstein? No way! I seek help from God.


Wasn't your whole diatribe preceding this in its several hundred word glory all about how your god won't help you?

I made a claim that if God exists then the Bible must be true. But, as usual, people missed the forest for the trees. I was not specifically referencing ANY particular Bible, but, rather, if God exists, then the belief that God used man to write A Bible must be true. Therefore, there must be a Bible in which we can place our faith.

There are religions which have many Gods. But, by the very definition of God, there can only be one Numero Uno. If Creation is a function of the Big Bang, and the Big Bang began with a singularity, then the object which is responsible for Creation is a Single Arity. Not many.


*yawn*

Do wake us up when you found a way out of the fundamental circularity of your argument there. Your rephrased argument here is "Belief in god exists, therefore god exists, therefore belief in god exists".
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Re: Free Will
Post by cthia   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:37 am

cthia
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Daryl wrote:So cthia, the debate will continue? Your wall of text still hinges on the presumption that there is a Deity, and I'm sure that others will come on here stating that they are sure there isn't one, or it is a very different one to yours, so all of your typing is wasted.
I will continue with my nitpicking, pointing out a few points that sprang out to me.
You use the male pronoun throughout, so how do you know that your Deity is male, not female, neutral or some gender unknown to us?
I also noticed in your list of "bad things" that your Deity might prevent, if we didn't have free will, you listed same sex marriage. My grandson and his husband would be quite hurt by that insinuation.
I'll also point out that effectively, if you are correct, having a Deity makes no difference if they are impotent and do nothing anyway. Why bother praying if it achieves nothing?

Daryl, I was only volunteering my personal understanding of free will, and to respond to all of the questions of why God allows "these things" to happen. Of course, the entire "wall of text" assumes that God exists or the notion of free will is moot.

Pardon my use of the male pronoun when referring to God, it is a combination of the following... force of habit and a limitation of the English language or my own lack of mastering it.

I have not spoken on whether or not I believe God is male or female. My first impulse is neither. But if the choice is between male and female, I'd guess male, because God made man after His own image, and He made man first. Then God gave man a woman, so that man would not be alone. And since I put my faith in the Bible, I use the pronouns the Bible uses. God made man in His own image.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.


It seems a no brainer to me. At any rate, my "wall of text" was offering my two cents on free will. Not the gender of God. Which is irrelevant to free will or to the existence of God. If I ask him when I get to Heaven, I suspect His answer will be "Didn't you read the Bible?"

Again, my "wall of text" was regarding the implications of free will and its scope. I used same sex marriage as only one of several examples of the things people cry about God allowing to happen without stopping it. You take umbrage with only that one thing? Not the rage of rampant diseases and crimes? Well, perhaps everyone rages on about the diseases and crimes. I was simply being fair, Christians rage on about same sex marriages. I was responding to them blaming God for something as well.

At any rate, this is my take on Free Will.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Free Will
Post by Donnachaidh   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 12:11 pm

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It's also your take on being a bigot.

cthia wrote:<snip>
At any rate, this is my take on Free Will.
_____________________________________________________
"Sometimes I wonder if the world is run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain
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Re: Free Will
Post by cthia   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 1:18 pm

cthia
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Donnachaidh wrote:It's also your take on being a bigot.

cthia wrote:<snip>
At any rate, this is my take on Free Will.

I am very sorry that you feel that way Donna. It will always bother me when I anger a woman. I am more than a bit old-fashioned. I have never been accused of being a bigot, a racist, a sexist, or a chauvinist before. I hold doors open for women to a fault, and I often get left holding the door for minutes. I will offer my seat on a bus or subway to a woman. My friends call me a pushover for a damsel in distress. And they will certainly find it amusing that you think I am a bigot. I just wasn't raised that way. And if you would ever meet MY family, you'd laugh at that notion. We are a melting pot of many cultures. I used to refer to myself as a box of crayons in school where classmates were always confused about my heritage. So, a racist I will never be.

But all of that is self-serving without you actually knowing me. Besides, one woman did get upset at me for offering to load her baggage in the overhead compartment aboard a plane. She said that just because she is a woman she wasn't helpless and she turned down my offer. But she ended up almost dropping the heavy bag on someone's head. She was very petite. Sometimes I just don't know what place old-fashioned values have on this Earth anymore.

I also have many gay friends. My experience is that they are some of the nicest people I have met. I also once fell in love with a lesbian. We are still very good friends. But, I didn't write the laws of God. I admit that I am not sure how God would feel about it today. There are many kids in the world who need foster parents, and need adopting. I think gay couples would make wonderful parents, and I would not hesitate to recommend any of the many gay couples I know.

At any rate, I am sorry I annoyed you. There just aren't many women in the forum, and I personally don't want to run any of you off.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Free Will
Post by Donnachaidh   » Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:48 pm

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Couple things:

1st: From what I know the only reference to homosexuality in the Bible is Leviticus 18:22. Which there is actually a decent amount of uncertainty about the exact meaning since it's gone through several translations. One of the common ones is that it's actually saying do not have sex with a young boy which was a common practice in many of the Greek city-states at the time and greatly disapproved of by the Rabbis. Also, either the whole Old Testament applies or none of it does. Using that to justify bigotry against homosexuals while not holding to the other passages is hypocritical.

2nd: Not a woman.

Either way, you're still the one trying to justify bigotry.

cthia wrote:I am very sorry that you feel that way Donna. It will always bother me when I anger a woman. I am more than a bit old-fashioned. I have never been accused of being a bigot, a racist, a sexist, or a chauvinist before. I hold doors open for women to a fault, and I often get left holding the door for minutes. I will offer my seat on a bus or subway to a woman. My friends call me a pushover for a damsel in distress. And they will certainly find it amusing that you think I am a bigot. I just wasn't raised that way. And if you would ever meet MY family, you'd laugh at that notion. We are a melting pot of many cultures. I used to refer to myself as a box of crayons in school where classmates were always confused about my heritage. So, a racist I will never be.

But all of that is self-serving without you actually knowing me. Besides, one woman did get upset at me for offering to load her baggage in the overhead compartment aboard a plane. She said that just because she is a woman she wasn't helpless and she turned down my offer. But she ended up almost dropping the heavy bag on someone's head. She was very petite. Sometimes I just don't know what place old-fashioned values have on this Earth anymore.

I also have many gay friends. My experience is that they are some of the nicest people I have met. I also once fell in love with a lesbian. We are still very good friends. But, I didn't write the laws of God. I admit that I am not sure how God would feel about it today. There are many kids in the world who need foster parents, and need adopting. I think gay couples would make wonderful parents, and I would not hesitate to recommend any of the many gay couples I know.

At any rate, I am sorry I annoyed you. There just aren't many women in the forum, and I personally don't want to run any of you off.
_____________________________________________________
"Sometimes I wonder if the world is run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain
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Re: Free Will
Post by Daryl   » Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:16 am

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cthia. You have always been polite and considerate, which is commendable considering how strongly you hold a number of beliefs that we have probably insulted (even if inadvertently).
As I mentioned I was nitpicking, but it did seem strange for you to lump same sex marriage in with some quite bad things. One new nitpick, don't say "I hold doors open for women to a fault" to defend against accusations of chauvinism to a modern female human, as they will believe that proves their point.
I haven't noticed anyone calling you a racist, or any other nasty names.
Even in your latest reply you point out that you get on well with gays, but "I didn't write the laws of God". Which implies that you believe your Deity doesn't like gay people. So to me this jars, as much of what I find objectional about the Christian faith is that it is intolerant and judgemental (yes it is ironic that I am intolerant of intolerance). I should mention that I am a heterosexual grandfather, and a recent DNA test turned up that I am an unusual thing, a pure European, and with some European Jewish ancestry. Generally the only pure anyones are Han Chinese. Surprised me. One of our worst racist politicians was tested a while back in a challenge, and we all discovered she was 15% Asian.
What Donnachaidh, has implied is that the old saying of "That's Gospel" seems to hold with you. If so I suggest that you don't use Google to find the many web pages that pick out unfortunate biblical passages. Funny to read about rules for slave owners, how to kill drunken sons or adulterous wives, and many other unfashionable bits.
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Re: Free Will
Post by cthia   » Wed Aug 11, 2021 7:28 am

cthia
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Daryl wrote:cthia. You have always been polite and considerate, which is commendable considering how strongly you hold a number of beliefs that we have probably insulted (even if inadvertently).
As I mentioned I was nitpicking, but it did seem strange for you to lump same sex marriage in with some quite bad things. One new nitpick, don't say "I hold doors open for women to a fault" to defend against accusations of chauvinism to a modern female human, as they will believe that proves their point.
I haven't noticed anyone calling you a racist, or any other nasty names.
Even in your latest reply you point out that you get on well with gays, but "I didn't write the laws of God". Which implies that you believe your Deity doesn't like gay people. So to me this jars, as much of what I find objectional about the Christian faith is that it is intolerant and judgemental (yes it is ironic that I am intolerant of intolerance). I should mention that I am a heterosexual grandfather, and a recent DNA test turned up that I am an unusual thing, a pure European, and with some European Jewish ancestry. Generally the only pure anyones are Han Chinese. Surprised me. One of our worst racist politicians was tested a while back in a challenge, and we all discovered she was 15% Asian.
What Donnachaidh, has implied is that the old saying of "That's Gospel" seems to hold with you. If so I suggest that you don't use Google to find the many web pages that pick out unfortunate biblical passages. Funny to read about rules for slave owners, how to kill drunken sons or adulterous wives, and many other unfashionable bits.


Thank you for this post, Daryl. It is really kind of you. I am pleased to learn that my overall attempts to be respectful, polite, and considerate in the past shone through. Though I am in no way claiming to have always succeeded at it.

You have always been very respectful yourself, but not at the expense of what you believe in. And I respect that as well.

Daryl wrote:One new nitpick, don't say "I hold doors open for women to a fault" to defend against accusations of chauvinism to a modern female human, as they will believe that proves their point.

Absolutely! And you know what Daryl, believe it or not, I was aware that it could be and probably would be misconstrued in that manner. As a matter of fact, I said it to myself as I was reminded about the scene in "Pretty Woman" when Richard Gere says to Julia Roberts, "I never treated you like a prostitute." And she responded with, "You just did." One major shortcoming I have makes me suffer a lot. My sisters tell me to stop it but I just can't seem to get over it. I have stopped it, but I slip up from time to time. It is my upbringing. What I am referring to is my inability to watch a woman pump gas. If I am riding with her in her car, I find it very hard to sit idly by watching her pump gas when I am sitting right there. It is hard to see a woman all dressed up pumping gas and getting the smell of gasoline mixed with her perfume and possibly getting spillage on her clothes as well. Yuck, it rubs me the wrong way. As a man it makes me feel awful to sit idly by doing nothing. But some women seem to get upset or annoyed at the offer. But these values are part of who I am. It is a brave new world in which we live in today, and men and Christians have to roll with the punches and grow.

At any rate, I chose to leave that sentence in anyway, because I am old-fashioned and I knew that I didn't mean it that way, and I must remain true to myself. This is why I have always maintained that certain conversations should only occur in person or over a long period of time. Perhaps letters. Many social cues are missing... like gestures, expressions and mannerisms. My friends point this out to me all of the time. "Pity they don't know you like we do."

Daryl wrote:As I mentioned I was nitpicking, but it did seem strange for you to lump same sex marriage in with some quite bad things.

I understand. But it was taken out of context. It is very ironic because I was attempting to be fair to your side of the fence. By attempting to admit, by including, a very sore point to many, if not all, Christians. IOW, I was not leaving Christians out when it comes to truly not understanding free will when they question why God allows homosexuality, regardless of whether homosexuality is accepted by God. I have always attempted to be fair in my discussions, so I have never failed to accept the many foibles and shortcomings of Christians.

Truthfully, I don't know if homosexuality is accepted by God. This day and age has made me question some things I have been taught. I have come face to face with my religion, so to speak, and I suspect the average Christian has as well.

I also suspect that those beliefs are rooted in the Old Testament, and I suspect that most Christians have a hard time shaking the imagery of the passages of Sodom and Gomorrah. These are powerful passages to a Christian. Then we have to assimilate along with it the decree to "Go forth and multiply."

But, how does someone who was born one gender on the inside (along with the physical evidence) and the opposite gender on the outside cope? They had no control over the conditions of their birth.

It has manifested itself in a big way just recently when the Olympic runner Caster Semenya was barred because of having too much testosterone??? How is that fair? So I have been tasked with asking these same questions of certain aspects of my religion. I have concluded for myself that the Bible was written long ago so some things wouldn't apply to present day man. God even said the Old Testament is not a road map to follow anymore. Which I have stressed many times in the forum. But at the same time, I have to respect another Christian's right to make his own choices. Like the Kentucky clerk's unwillingness to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. I am not saying she was right, I am saying she had a right to make her decision for her own religious beliefs.

At any rate, I would never try to justify bigotry, racism, sexism and the like. At least not intentionally.

A Christian's battles aren't simply with the demons of the world, but with his own demons as well. Religion is one part faith (faith as small as a mustard seed will suffice) and two parts hard work. It is written...

Faith without works is dead.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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