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Evil, free will and the bible.

    M Anti-Christ posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 11:28:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    Most christian and other deist will us the free will argument to explain the existence of god and evil. In this topic I would like to examine the flaws in this argument.

    What is free will? It's the capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives (that's one definition). Now one can argue that we do in fact have free will but for the moment lets say we do.

    Does free will justify the existence of evil? Natural evil earth quakes, hurricanes, tornadoes etc.. is not necessary for one to exert his/her free will. So god creating these evils are not because of free will. What about human evil. I think it's contradicting to allow a person to harm an other person because of free will. If someone decides to attack you that person is forcing his will on you so basically you are loosing your wright to choose.

    What does the bible say about free will? The bible speaks about sin that a man is born with sin, this is beyond his control even Paul said that he wants to do good but is flesh is weak and it is evil that he does. There are many verses that say this.

    I will conclude with this quote "A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code. Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a 'tendency' to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free."

    Rand, A. (1961). For the New Intellectual . New York, New York: Random House.

    M BurnTheShips posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 11:41:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    Natural evil earth quakes, hurricanes, tornadoes etc.. is not necessary for one to exert his/her free will.

    These are not intrinsically evil. No more than solar flares or a supernova 100,000 light years away.

    A creature who can only perform good or evil is "a clockwork orange — meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with color and juice, but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil; or the almighty state."

    Burn

    WTWizard posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 14:39:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    To me, free will should be just that. You make good decisions, you reap good results. Make crappy decisions, get wretched results.

    Where I have a big problem is when God throws out the good decision after I make it and then makes a pxxx poor one in its place. For instance, I make the good decision that I want to do fornication to avoid the Value Destroyer Training School. God heartlessly throws that out, and makes the opposite sex totally unreceptive to me. Then I get recaptured, forced to pioneer a while, and then made an assistant hounder. At which point, I get forced into the Value Destroyer Training School, get a billion assignments, and then under force I have the democratic majority the cancer is seeking. They then seize control of everything, and then they have their Dark Ages completed.

    To me, that is what evil is.

    M Anti-Christ posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 17:39:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    These are not intrinsically evil. No more than solar flares or a supernova 100,000 light years away.

    When there are humans nearby then it becomes evil.

    A creature who can only perform good or evil is "a clockwork orange — meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with color and juice, but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil; or the almighty state ."

    But this creature according to the bible is born with sin, there is no choice involved. Free will with a tendency towards evil is not free will.

    I must leave but I will continue this later.

    M BurnTheShips posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 17:50:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    When there are humans nearby then it becomes evil.

    Well why are they nearby? Why don't the leave before it happens, or stop it in the first place?

    But this creature according to the bible is born with sin, there is no choice involved. Free will with a tendency towards evil is not free will.

    Free will means the freedom to choose, and this includes evil. However, in our state our free will is damaged. So in a way, yes, you are right, it is not a perfect free will.

    Burn

    M nicolaou posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 18:14:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    How do you decide what is good and what is evil? Do you decide for yourself or allow 'God' to do it for you? If so, how does God decide? Is something good simply because he says so?

    M 10p posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 20:36:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    There is a great story told by Plato. Its in the dialogue 'Euthyphro'.

    http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/euthyfro.html

    You have to read it, I can't say it any better. You will notice the "Golden Rule" in there too, more eloquent and 400 years before Jesus! Oh sorry, I think the Golden Rule might be in 'Crito' ... read that too!

    I think the story of the last moments of Socrates life is far more beautiful and inspiring than Jesus'. I suspect that Paul (Saul) studied at a Greek school and modelled much of his projection of Jesus on Socrates. I really do wonder if we'd have Christianity if it wasn't for Plato.

    M 10p posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 20:42:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    Euth. How do you mean, Socrates?

    Soc. I mean to say that the holy has been acknowledge by us to be loved of God because it is holy, not to be holy because it is loved.

    Euth. Yes.

    Soc. But that which is dear to the gods is dear to them because it is loved by them, not loved by them because it is dear to them.

    Euth. True.

    Soc. But, friend Euthyphro, if that which is holy is the same with that which is dear to God, and is loved because it is holy, then that which is dear to God would have been loved as being dear to God; but if that which dear to God is dear to him because loved by him, then that which is holy would have been holy because loved by him. But now you see that the reverse is the case, and that they are quite different from one another. For one (theophiles) is of a kind to be loved cause it is loved, and the other (osion) is loved because it is of a kind to be loved. Thus you appear to me, Euthyphro, when I ask you what is the essence of holiness, to offer an attribute only, and not the essence-the attribute of being loved by all the gods. But you still refuse to explain to me the nature of holiness. And therefore, if you please, I will ask you not to hide your treasure, but to tell me once more what holiness or piety really is, whether dear to the gods or not (for that is a matter about which we will not quarrel) and what is impiety?

    Euth. I really do not know, Socrates, how to express what I mean. For somehow or other our arguments, on whatever ground we rest them, seem to turn round and walk away from us

    M Anti-Christ posted Thu, 27 Mar 2008 21:00:00 GMT(3/27/2008)

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    Well why are they nearby? Why don't the leave before it happens, or stop it in the first place?

    I agree that if you KNOW of a volcano and you still live nearby your are responsible for what might happen but there are a lot of natural evil that is out of our control like tsunamis, viruses, disease, etc,.. are not something that a person chooses, most of these things are out of our control. Who created all this evil? Can we still have free will with out these kinds of evil? That is the argument, evil exist because of free will.

    Now the right to choose . If god created humans with the ability to choose why can a human force his will on an other? Does this not negate free will? If I choose to harm someone I am forcing my will on someone so by allowing this , god is choosing the will of the evil person over the innocent.

    JCanon posted Fri, 28 Mar 2008 07:34:00 GMT(3/28/2008)

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    Brilliant argument AC!

    But essentially, on Judgment Day, 1,440,000 judges will determine what was truly "free will" or not. So your point is valid. We do have "free will" but one cannot consider "free will" if there is coersion or extenuating circumstances. That's not really "free will", so I agree! BUT...

    Some things ARE free will.

    For instance. You're hungry. You're frustrated. Your child needs an operation. You have no insurance. So, you decide to rob a bank since you can't face the death of your child. So you go in and they give you the money. You're about to make a clean getaway. But on your way out, you reflect on how easy it was and you start to feel power and control. You notice there's a 12-year old boy and his 11-year old sister who are there with their mother on the floor quite frightened. So you decide before you going to leave to rape the mother, the 11-year-old girl and the 12-year-old boy before you go, and then slit their throats.

    Well, on Judgment Day, the judges might very well grant you an excuse for robbing the bank, but they will deem it was your own "free will" that involved the rapes and murders, at which point they will throw your evil ass into the lake of fire (you rode into town on a donkey with a bad attitude and as punishment your donkey along with you are now being punished together...)

    But you get the message. You you can't help it, God won't judge you for that. If you voluntarily cross that line though and exercise something that is truly "free will" then you'll have to pay for that choice.

    That's what happend to Satan. He claims God is responsible for the way he turned out. He was beautiful and all that and that factored in on his becoming arrogant and corrupt. Well fine. But what excuse did Satan have, no matter how personally frustrated, to decide to murder billions of innocent unborn humans? I mean... what part of that wasn't "free will"? NO WAY!

    So some things may be extenuating issues, but some things are clearly a matter of choice and on those things one will be judged.

    As I was mentioning to someone else earlier, there is a difference if you're searching for something and never find it compared to not looking for it at all. In the end you have two people without, but entirely different judgments.

    JC

    bobld posted Fri, 28 Mar 2008 07:54:00 GMT(3/28/2008)

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    Free will....I did not have a choice when I was born.Like I wanted to be born in 3535.

    M BurnTheShips posted Fri, 28 Mar 2008 12:03:00 GMT(3/28/2008)

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    I agree that if you KNOW of a volcano and you still live nearby your are responsible for what might happen but there are a lot of natural evil that is out of our control like tsunamis, viruses, disease, etc,.. are not something that a person chooses, most of these things are out of our control. Who created all this evil? Can we still have free will with out these kinds of evil? That is the argument, evil exist because of free will.

    Volcanos are the result of an active planet with plate tectonics. Ditto for earthquakes and tsunamis. If we had perfect knowledge, we could deal with these things and use them to our advantage like-- gods. Like the gods we were meant to be. We would know when they are coming, and ameliorate the effects. As it is we can now predict weather with a reasonable degree of probability.

    Seems to me that our ignorance in dealing with these things is a result of the fall of humanity from a divine state-itself the result of Free Will.

    Burn

    F Hope4Others posted Fri, 28 Mar 2008 18:10:00 GMT(3/28/2008)

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    How do you decide what is good and what is evil?

    I would like to think that it is common sense and if it would hurt other individuals then that can not be good.

    hope4others

    M Anti-Christ posted Fri, 28 Mar 2008 21:23:00 GMT(3/28/2008)

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    Brilliant argument AC!

    Thanks

    As I was mentioning to someone else earlier, there is a difference if you're searching for something and never find it compared to not looking for it at all. In the end you have two people without, but entirely different judgments.

    Ah yes the parable of the good slave.

    I wanted to reply yesterday but something was wrong with the site.

    Now to continue the debate, thanks for participating I really do enjoy this.

    But essentially, on Judgment Day, 1,440,000 judges will determine what was truly "free will" or not. So your point is valid. We do have "free will" but one cannot consider "free will" if there is coercion or extenuating circumstances. That's not really "free will", so I agree! BUT...
    Seems to me that our ignorance in dealing with these things is a result of the fall of humanity from a divine state-itself the result of Free Will.

    These are interesting points( I know they are from two different people) they both have something in common, gods or god like creatures are supposedly perfect and have no inclination towards evil, were does this evil come from? Can god do evil or become evil? You say it's the result of free will but the bible speaks of creature that are not corruptible (144 000) so if your not corruptible you can not become evil, right? So do they totally lose their free will?

    M Anti-Christ posted Sun, 30 Mar 2008 02:27:00 GMT(3/30/2008)

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    So that's it no more replies?

    F myriam737 posted Sun, 30 Mar 2008 21:48:00 GMT(3/30/2008)

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    Could the fact of being a free-will creature be considered a sin by god? I'm asking, if I make the supposition that angels have no free will, that they are used by god to accomplish his plan and nothing else, then would it be rational to think that god created sin by created adam (a free-will creature) to show the angels that free-will was non-sense?

    M Narkissos posted Sun, 30 Mar 2008 22:59:00 GMT(3/30/2008)

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    "Free will" is a master's word.

    One of the most effective and unexpensive tools for controlling slaves. Make them believe they choose to do, or not to do, the master's will. Make them feel good if they do, bad if they don't.

    Break the master's word, and its underlying dichotomy of good and bad, and both freedom and will burst forth with a fresh and powerful meaning.

    F myriam737 posted Sun, 30 Mar 2008 23:39:00 GMT(3/30/2008)

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    Yes, I agree with you. Then what should be considered as a sin?

    hamilcarr posted Mon, 31 Mar 2008 22:10:00 GMT(3/31/2008)

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    There's only one moment in our life when we can show we have free will and that's when we explicitly acknowledge we have none.

    M BurnTheShips posted Mon, 31 Mar 2008 22:37:00 GMT(3/31/2008)

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    "Free will" is a master's word.

    Kewl. I'm a Master of my life and fate, I guess that's why I use that word a lot.

    Rush, Free Will

    There are those who think that life is nothing left to chance
    A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance.

    A planet of playthings,
    We dance on the strings
    Of powers we cannot perceive.
    "The stars aren't aligned
    Or the gods are malign"
    Blame is better to give than receive.

    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path that's clear
    I will choose free will.

    There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand,
    The cards were stacked against them
    They weren't born in lotus land.

    All preordained
    A prisoner in chains
    A victim of venomous fate.

    Kicked in the face,
    You can pray for a place
    In heaven's unearthly estate.

    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path that's clear
    I will choose free will.

    Each of us
    A cell of awareness
    Imperfect and incomplete.
    Genetic blends
    With uncertain ends
    On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.

    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path that's clear
    I will choose free will.

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