Questions for those who believe in free will

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Questions for those who believe in free will

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Post by Rational Atheist »

I'm trying to understand the belief in free will. For those who believe in free will, do you believe that your actions are determined by a chain of prior causes or not? If you do, you're a determinist and do not believe in free choice, since you can't control the causes that took place before you were born. If you don't believe your actions are determined by a chain of prior causes, or don't believe that that causal chain extends to before your birth, then you believe that at some point before your action, an event occurred for no reason whatsoever (purely random). How could this possibly get you free will either? No combination of determinism nor indeterminism (randomness) gives you "free will" in the sense of authorship of and responsibility for your actions. How can you believe anyone is ultimately responsible for what they do?

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #231

Post by Miles »

William wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:51 am Yes - but sin is the connection...sin and salvation are two things...I am acknowledging what is similar not what is different...because if the religions were the same - there would not be the three of them.

That is why these three religions are referred to as Abrahamic...
Not at all. According to pbs.org, Islam is called an Abrahamic religion because Abraham is recognized as its first prophet.

"Because Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recognize Abraham as their first prophet, they are also called the Abrahamic religions."
source


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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #232

Post by William »

The Tanager wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:06 pm
William wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:47 pmWe can agree that those unique situations are not themselves 'predestined', other than following the pattern of The Situation - in that - it can be argued we are shaping our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills, so at least a form of predestination.

Shaping our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills is the complete opposite of predestination.
Predestination.
(in Christian theology) the doctrine that God has ordained all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St Augustine of Hippo and of Calvin.

I myself argued that "it is at least a form of predestination' [it can be argued we are shaping our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills]

this, within the larger picture - the predestined universe [unfolding as it is, as it was created to do.]
William wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:47 pm
I do think it’s correct to say someone has free will, if one understands the terms to mean what they have historically meant within the bulk of discussion on the issue. As compatibilism grew in popularity, with its different definition of "free", there must now be the addition of “libertarian” in front of free will to help avoid confusion.

There is a better way to avoid confusion. Accept that there is no justifiable reason to use any other words to denote "kinds of will" as if somehow [as with kinds of love] this is the way through confusion. One cannot get through a wall by making another wall in front of it. The way through is to find the gates which exist as natural aspects of this creation [situation] we all share [have in common]...

Refusing to agree upon clear terms is not a good way to avoid confusion; it invites it. Agreeing upon definitions brings us a common language from which we can address our real disagreements instead of talking past each other.
Neither of us are refusing to agree. Both of us have very clear definitions based upon our particular positions. Your position produces walls and mine produce gateways.
This means that your acceptance of meanings of words goes through a process of filters which are in place according to the beliefs which placed those walls where they are.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #233

Post by William »

Miles wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:26 pm
William wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:51 am Yes - but sin is the connection...sin and salvation are two things...I am acknowledging what is similar not what is different...because if the religions were the same - there would not be the three of them.

That is why these three religions are referred to as Abrahamic...
Not at all. According to pbs.org, Islam is called an Abrahamic religion because Abraham is recognized as its first prophet.

"Because Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recognize Abraham as their first prophet, they are also called the Abrahamic religions."
source


.
That is what I am referring to. Collectively this amounts to a significant number of the total human population.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #234

Post by Miles »

William wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:57 pm
Miles wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:26 pm
William wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:51 am Yes - but sin is the connection...sin and salvation are two things...I am acknowledging what is similar not what is different...because if the religions were the same - there would not be the three of them.

That is why these three religions are referred to as Abrahamic...
Not at all. According to pbs.org, Islam is called an Abrahamic religion because Abraham is recognized as its first prophet.

"Because Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recognize Abraham as their first prophet, they are also called the Abrahamic religions."
source


.
That is what I am referring to. Collectively this amounts to a significant number of the total human population.
BUT, sin isn't "the connection," as you said in post 227; the reason you gave for all three religions being referred to as Abrahamic.


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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #235

Post by William »

Miles wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:37 pm
William wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:57 pm
Miles wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:26 pm
William wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:51 am Yes - but sin is the connection...sin and salvation are two things...I am acknowledging what is similar not what is different...because if the religions were the same - there would not be the three of them.

That is why these three religions are referred to as Abrahamic...
Not at all. According to pbs.org, Islam is called an Abrahamic religion because Abraham is recognized as its first prophet.

"Because Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recognize Abraham as their first prophet, they are also called the Abrahamic religions."
source


.
That is what I am referring to. Collectively this amounts to a significant number of the total human population.
BUT, sin isn't "the connection," as you said in post 227; the reason you gave for all three religions being referred to as Abrahamic.


.
Yes - that was one reason. You have given another. Unless you are saying that not all three religions believe in sin...

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #236

Post by Miles »

William wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:40 am
Miles wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:37 pm
William wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:57 pm
Miles wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:26 pm
William wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:51 am Yes - but sin is the connection...sin and salvation are two things...I am acknowledging what is similar not what is different...because if the religions were the same - there would not be the three of them.

That is why these three religions are referred to as Abrahamic...
Not at all. According to pbs.org, Islam is called an Abrahamic religion because Abraham is recognized as its first prophet.

"Because Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recognize Abraham as their first prophet, they are also called the Abrahamic religions."
source


.
That is what I am referring to. Collectively this amounts to a significant number of the total human population.
BUT, sin isn't "the connection," as you said in post 227; the reason you gave for all three religions being referred to as Abrahamic.


.
Yes - that was one reason. You have given another. Unless you are saying that not all three religions believe in sin...
Then prove (show your evidence) there's more than the following reason they're called Abrahamic religions and not something else: "Because Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recognize Abraham as their first prophet." Because mere assertion isn't going to cut it. As it stands, the reason given by pbs.org is quite convincing.


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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #237

Post by William »

Mt original point stands as clear evidence enough. The combined numbers speak for themselves re that point.

Not sure why that is a problem for you to accept.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #238

Post by The Tanager »

William wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:54 pm
Shaping our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills is the complete opposite of predestination.

Predestination.
(in Christian theology) the doctrine that God has ordained all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others.

Yes, so if salvation is predestined, that means God is deciding that some will “choose” Him (while also determining that others will not “choose” Him). If we shape our own salvation-situation with our wills, then we are doing the complete opposite of predestination because we are determining our choice rather than God determining it.

If we shape our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills, then those situations are not predestined. If our situations are predestined, then we aren’t shaping our situations via our wills any more than a computer program is choosing its actions.
William wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:54 pmNeither of us are refusing to agree. Both of us have very clear definitions based upon our particular positions. Your position produces walls and mine produce gateways.
This means that your acceptance of meanings of words goes through a process of filters which are in place according to the beliefs which placed those walls where they are.

I have said there are different views of the human will: libertarian free will, compatibilist free will, and determined will. You have said that there is just a will and that these different terms are walls to understanding. I don’t see how your view, ignoring the distinct views about the human will, produces a gateway to understanding each other or the truth.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #239

Post by William »

[Replying to The Tanager in post #239]


Predestination.
(in Christian theology) the doctrine that God has ordained all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others.
Yes, so if salvation is predestined, that means God is deciding that some will “choose” Him (while also determining that others will not “choose” Him).
That is a clear demotion of supposed omniscience, for you are arguing that this God can do what any human can do, just so's you can have a different meaning to the word which fits with your particular belief system. [thus, a wall]
If we shape our own salvation-situation with our wills, then we are doing the complete opposite of predestination because we are determining our choice rather than God determining it.
You are continuing to ignore that we are already within something which is predestined.

For example, - in order for Adam and Eve to have fallen, there needed to be two significant things within the Garden. Without those things they would not have fallen.
If we shape our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills, then those situations are not predestined.
Give an example of something you believe is shaped by your own will and is not predestined.

How could you tell? You could never be sure.

Whereas if one simply understands that all is predestined, then one can gracefully move into that awareness by understanding that every step you take is known in advance by The Creator [omniscience] and The Creator is right there - not just overlooking, but within you seeing through your eyes [omnipresent] all the way.

Now one can live their whole life unaware of this, or one can at some point in their life become aware of it.
If our situations are predestined, then we aren’t shaping our situations via our wills any more than a computer program is choosing its actions.


That would only be true if a computer had consciousness and was self aware. Otherwise, no matter how hard you ague the robot, it is never going to be an adequate analogy.
William wrote:Neither of us are refusing to agree. Both of us have very clear definitions based upon our particular positions. Your position produces walls and mine produce gateways.
This means that your acceptance of meanings of words goes through a process of filters which are in place according to the beliefs which placed those walls where they are.
I have said there are different views of the human will: libertarian free will, compatibilist free will, and determined will. You have said that there is just a will and that these different terms are walls to understanding.
These are the walls. It is like 'love'...there are so many identified varieties which humans have created yet they are all in themselves walls which block ones understanding of unconditional love...and why? - Because humans in general have become conditional creatures - and it is the walls which they create which make for the conditions.
I don’t see how your view, ignoring the distinct views about the human will, produces a gateway to understanding each other or the truth.
Why would you expect to 'see' while you are still holding on to the distinctions as if they are meaningful in describing truth?

It is those distinctions which are creating the walls which in turn are preventing you from seeing any gateways. How language is used, is the very thing which creates the walls which disable ones ability to identify the breaks [gateways] in said walls.

If you developed the will to see through those walls, your would find the gateways. But you cannot be shown those gateways by any other. You can only be told that they are there for you to realize.

Think about what it is you are choosing to ignore and think about why it is you are choosing to ignore it.
If [y]our position is the purple dot - what is the most economic way in which you can view the blue object?;
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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #240

Post by The Tanager »

William wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:28 pm
Yes, so if salvation is predestined, that means God is deciding that some will “choose” Him (while also determining that others will not “choose” Him).

That is a clear demotion of supposed omniscience, for you are arguing that this God can do what any human can do, just so's you can have a different meaning to the word which fits with your particular belief system. [thus, a wall]

I don’t follow your critique here. I am saying that if salvation is predestined, then God determine whether we choose God or not, which contradicts (libertarian) free will: the individual choosing God or not. How is this arguing that God can do what any human can do? How am I doing this so I can have a different meaning to some word? And which word are you referring to?
William wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:28 pm
If we shape our own salvation-situation with our wills, then we are doing the complete opposite of predestination because we are determining our choice rather than God determining it.

You are continuing to ignore that we are already within something which is predestined.

For example, - in order for Adam and Eve to have fallen, there needed to be two significant things within the Garden. Without those things they would not have fallen.

What are we within that is predestined? What two significant things are you referring to in the Adam and Eve text?
William wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:28 pmGive an example of something you believe is shaped by your own will and is not predestined.

Whether I accept God’s gift of salvation.
William wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:28 pmHow could you tell? You could never be sure.

Whereas if one simply understands that all is predestined, then one can gracefully move into that awareness by understanding that every step you take is known in advance by The Creator [omniscience] and The Creator is right there - not just overlooking, but within you seeing through your eyes [omnipresent] all the way.

How could you tell if this is true? You could never be sure. Your critique cuts both ways. There isn’t much in this world that we can truly be certain of. Certainty isn’t a good standard to put our beliefs up against. Neither is blind faith and wishful thinking.
William wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:28 pm
If our situations are predestined, then we aren’t shaping our situations via our wills any more than a computer program is choosing its actions.

That would only be true if a computer had consciousness and was self aware. Otherwise, no matter how hard you ague the robot, it is never going to be an adequate analogy.

What? Are you saying that we are different from robots/computer programs because we have consciousness and are self-aware? If so, then how does this make us different in regards to shaping some aspect of our situations via our wills?
William wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:28 pmThese are the walls. It is like 'love'...there are so many identified varieties which humans have created yet they are all in themselves walls which block ones understanding of unconditional love...and why? - Because humans in general have become conditional creatures - and it is the walls which they create which make for the conditions.

So, I say there are three kinds of will. You say, no the true one is a fourth definition. Yet, only my definitions are walls, yours aren’t. If I understood you correctly, you are just begging the question in favor of your worldview. If my definitions are wrong, then show why they are wrong and your definition is correct. Why aren’t your words “walls”?

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