How things unfold and God's will

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RRL
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Post by RRL »

Diagoras wrote: The supposition in the OP looks a lot like ‘hard determinism’, and without ever stating it specifically, I believe the question is close enough to “do we have free will?� to allow some thoughts on that. I’ve linked to two consecutive Youtube videos from the ‘Crash Course Philosophy’ channel below, which better explains things.

I’d probably come down on the side of the ‘Compatibilists’ (or ‘soft-determinists’), who believe that when the actions of an agent (e.g. you) are self-determined - or determined by causes internal to themselves - that the action should be considered free. This is a philosophy part-way between libertarian free will (the belief that some human actions are truly freely chosen) and hard determinism (the belief that all events are caused by past events such that nothing other than what does occur, could occur). Compatiblism thus seems to provide for moral responsibility, although there are plenty of cases (e.g. mental illness) where separating what are truly internal causes from external ones become problematic. A fascinating related topic people might be interested in is the phenomenon of ‘Frankfurt cases’. It may well be that we have to content ourselves with feeling ‘more or less’ free, without being able to prove it conclusively, and from a practical perspective, ask ourselves instead what degree of control we possess over our actions.
Thank you for your contribution here.

I wasn't talking about us having free will, as I do think we are able to make at least one, and possibly more, free will choices in our lives. I was talking about outcomes.

If I attempt to prevent a disaster, I have used my free will and chosen to attempt to prevent a disaster, but if a god sees fit for the disaster to happen, then no matter what I do, the disaster will happen. Do you see the distinction now?

This can be addressed at least in part because Christians have the concept that nothing happens or fails to happen outside the will of God.

What I am searching for an answer for and trying to solve, is if we have free will, and no outcome happens without god allowing it to happen or making it happen, and any outcome that god sees fit to be prevented is prevented, than how does anything we do, or do not do, matter?

If god sees fit to prevent a store from getting robbed, then if I have a chance to stop it but don't, then does it really matter, because god will prevent it from being robbed somehow, whether that's making events work out to where a police officer happens to be in the store at the time of the attempted robbery, or making the robber have to abort the attempt because of car trouble, etc.

Zzyzx
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Re: How things unfold and God's will

Post by Zzyzx »

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RRL wrote: If nothing happens, nor fails to happen, outside the will of God, then what is the point of ever proactively taking any action?
If outcomes of human action are controlled by a 'god', that meets the definition of determinism (the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. https://www.lexico.com) -- and negates 'free will'.
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If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

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RRL
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Re: How things unfold and God's will

Post by RRL »

Zzyzx wrote: .
RRL wrote: If nothing happens, nor fails to happen, outside the will of God, then what is the point of ever proactively taking any action?
If outcomes of human action are controlled by a 'god', that meets the definition of determinism (the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. https://www.lexico.com) -- and negates 'free will'.
The outcomes being controlled does not necessarily mean people don't have free will. I gave the example of a store robbery attempt above in my post to Diagoras. You could have free will, and have intent to do good or do bad when you start to carry out an action, or carry out an action, but the ultimate outcome could still be outside your control.

Diagoras
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Post by Diagoras »

[Replying to post 11 by RRL]
If nothing happens, nor fails to happen, outside the will of God
As Zzyzx has already pointed out, your OP strongly suggests a supposition of a form of hard determinism: theological determinism. The fact that you are also claiming that people have free will is incompatible with such a supposition, unless you are advocating theological compatibilism (explained in the article).

You yourself say that you are “trying to solve� something - all I am doing is suggesting that the problem here is in fact the incompatibility between free will and determinism. From the argument:
... theological determinism is either compatible or incompatible with metaphysical libertarian free will depending upon one's philosophical interpretation of omniscience

RRL
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Post by RRL »

Diagoras wrote: [Replying to post 11 by RRL]
If nothing happens, nor fails to happen, outside the will of God
As Zzyzx has already pointed out, your OP strongly suggests a supposition of a form of hard determinism: theological determinism. The fact that you are also claiming that people have free will is incompatible with such a supposition, unless you are advocating theological compatibilism (explained in the article).

You yourself say that you are “trying to solve� something - all I am doing is suggesting that the problem here is in fact the incompatibility between free will and determinism. From the argument:
... theological determinism is either compatible or incompatible with metaphysical libertarian free will depending upon one's philosophical interpretation of omniscience
If God decides and makes outcome happen, then yes, it is determinism. However, what I am talking about is God letting events fold indeterministically UNLESS how a given event unfolds would be contrary to his will. At that point, he would either step in and make sure it happens, or make sure it does not happen.

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Post by Diagoras »

RRL wrote:If God decides and makes outcome happen, then yes, it is determinism. However, what I am talking about is God letting events fold indeterministically UNLESS how a given event unfolds would be contrary to his will. At that point, he would either step in and make sure it happens, or make sure it does not happen.
Forgive me for seeming picky, but this still sounds like determinism.

An analogy would be when I have to choose from chocolate cake or lemon tart for dessert, and toss a coin. Heads for chocolate; tails for tart.

When it comes up ‘tails’ and I say to myself, “Eh, I’m going to have the chocolate cake anyway�, the coin toss is negated. It was always going to be chocolate cake.

How is your claim any different, if God always steps in to ‘correct’ any metaphorical ‘free will coin toss’? There’s no way for any ‘tails’ outcome to occur here, as that would be contrary to God’s will.

RRL
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Post by RRL »

Diagoras wrote:
RRL wrote:If God decides and makes outcome happen, then yes, it is determinism. However, what I am talking about is God letting events fold indeterministically UNLESS how a given event unfolds would be contrary to his will. At that point, he would either step in and make sure it happens, or make sure it does not happen.
Forgive me for seeming picky, but this still sounds like determinism.

An analogy would be when I have to choose from chocolate cake or lemon tart for dessert, and toss a coin. Heads for chocolate; tails for tart.

When it comes up ‘tails’ and I say to myself, “Eh, I’m going to have the chocolate cake anyway�, the coin toss is negated. It was always going to be chocolate cake.

How is your claim any different, if God always steps in to ‘correct’ any metaphorical ‘free will coin toss’? There’s no way for any ‘tails’ outcome to occur here, as that would be contrary to God’s will.
I guess at the end of the day, if you cut away the clutter, maybe it is determinism, just the distinction being that the process does have some possibility of working outside God's direct machinations unless it is contrary to his will.

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