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(Posted as Obi2Kenobi)
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(12-Jul-2005 at 06:06)


Does God have Free Will?

Can God change his mind?

If so, would that not violate omniscience? If he looks into the future one day, sees himself smiting a village, but then later (but before the event) decides to take mercy on them, instead, would that not make the infallible God incorrect (a contradiction in terms)? He decided that he would smite the village, then he doesn't (by seeing what he will do, his omnipotence demands that he has decided it, as he will not see something that he hasn't decided).

So one might argue that God would not have seen himself smiting that village in the future, but that would mean that he didn't change his mind. His thoughts from the start were to smite the village.

However, if he is unable to change his mind, this would make him bound to his own future visions (gives a whole new meaning to "blinded by his sight"), which would most definitely not allow room for omnipotence.

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and if it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
~Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
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(12-Jul-2005 at 06:30)


Two words that need to be looked at in your post

Infallible
Omnipotent

In theory your situation could not take place, therefor your question is irrelevant.

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
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(12-Jul-2005 at 10:46)


tongue

Thought SS post was great...

The way I see it, God knows the result of every action that we can possibly take. But He's given us free will as to what option we want to take. He knows the outcome of every single thing we do, think or so.

IMO, God can change His mind. It is illustrated many times in Genesis. It doesn't violate His all-knowing-ness, but rather, He feels a different course of action is needed. That's my take on it.

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(12-Jul-2005 at 11:04)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Gus Mackay)
The way I see it, God knows the result of every action that we can possibly take. But He's given us free will as to what option we want to take. He knows the outcome of every single thing we do, think or so.
If God gave us free will, then what about the prophesies in the Bible? How could God know what was going to happen unless he rigged events, making our free choice a joke?
Quote:
IMO, God can change His mind. It is illustrated many times in Genesis. It doesn't violate His all-knowing-ness, but rather, He feels a different course of action is needed. That's my take on it.
If he changes his mind that means his previous decision was wrong, i.e., he is not perfect. The God of the Old Testament isn't the almighty, allknowing God he has later been inflated to. He is more like the Greek Gods, a being with lots of power but just as fallible as a human.
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(12-Jul-2005 at 14:08)


Not at all. Just because you change your mind, doesn't mean the decision before was wrong. It may have opened up a whole new plethora of new options.

The prophecies, IMO, are events which will happen despite anything else. Things that are so sure, that it must occur.

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(12-Jul-2005 at 18:23)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Gus Mackay)
Not at all. Just because you change your mind, doesn't mean the decision before was wrong. It may have opened up a whole new plethora of new options.
That makes sense for humans with our limited knowledge, but God is supposed to be omniscient, thus no previously unknown options can open up.
Quote:
The prophecies, IMO, are events which will happen despite anything else. Things that are so sure, that it must occur.
Some of the prophesies include statements about what the descendants of a man shall do. If anyone in this chain decided not to have children the prophesy would be unmade. Therefore they had no free choice in that respect.
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(13-Jul-2005 at 00:21)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Gus Mackay)
IMO, God can change His mind. It is illustrated many times in Genesis. It doesn't violate His all-knowing-ness, but rather, He feels a different course of action is needed. That's my take on it.
Actually, it does violate it. If you know everything you would make the best possible choice when the time came and stick with it. Knowing everything that will happen there is no need to second guess yourself. A god that changes his mind cannot be all-knowing. Either he does the best thing for the events he knew would take place or he doesn't know furture events and changes his mind.

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(13-Jul-2005 at 00:23)


Quote:
(Originally posted by MAPS)

Actually, it does violate it. If you know everything you would make the best possible choice when the time came and stick with it. Knowing everything that will happen there is no need to second guess yourself. A god that changes his mind cannot be all-knowing. Either he does the best thing for the events he knew would take place or he doesn't know furture events and changes his mind.
Or s/he deliberately doesn't do the best thing at first.

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(13-Jul-2005 at 02:16)
Another point to take into consideration is that God is infinite (according to religious belief). Seeing as how we cannot yet understand God's relation to time, the subject probably cannot be completely resolved. The issue of God's role in time is difficult to understand in light of the fact that he is infinite and omniscient. Thus developed the problem of the church when they argued over God's role in the salvation of man: predestination etc. It has caused denominational factions, and letting opinions over the unknown divide us is fairly childish.

Jesus comment (Matt. 11:25-27):
25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Trying to learn about God is fine in right context, but it is a stupid when Christians disobey the will of God over issues that are really of little importance. (I am one of those stupid people, I made a blog on this issue a little while back.) Making guesses is fine, but others shouldn't be forced to believe them. Debate as an exercise of the mind, but it shouldn't cause problems.

This wasn't directed at anyone in particular, I just felt like sharing my frustration with the whole issue. God tells us not to worry too much about that which we cannot understand and to have faith, but then some atheists or others criticize us as being stupid or brained washed, and they won't listen when we try and share the basic message of God's providing a way of saving them. It really is frustrating, but I would take a gander and say people of all beliefs feel this way.

Look at my second article on my webpage to see my previous thoughts on the issue, of course the chance I am wrong, but its just a guess that can make you think.

I could be wrong, but I might be right.

"Success is the sasifaction of knowing you have given something your best effort" - J Wooden (unless it is wrong)
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(Posted as Obi2Kenobi)
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(13-Jul-2005 at 06:24)


Quote:
(Originally posted by BrandonC)

Or s/he deliberately doesn't do the best thing at first.
In the words of Archibald MacLeish's charcter Nickels in the play J.B., "If God is good, He is not God. If God is God, He is not good."


Quote:
(Originally posted by Saint Sinner)

In theory your situation could not take place, therefor your question is irrelevant.
But if my situation cannot occur, would you not then conclude that God has no free will? Isn't that the very question I am asking?

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and if it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
~Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Last edited by Obi2Kenobi, 13-Jul-2005 at 06:25.
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(13-Jul-2005 at 06:32)


teeth

Maybe God is a computer.

I'm going to side with SS's argument, because I can't come up with anything satisfactory.

Where has my avatar gone?

The true meaning of silence
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(13-Jul-2005 at 17:28)


Quote:
(Originally posted by BrandonC)

Or s/he deliberately doesn't do the best thing at first.
In which case he cannot be perfect. A perfect being cannot possibly create something unperfect.

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(13-Jul-2005 at 17:57)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Nimon)

In which case he cannot be perfect. A perfect being cannot possibly create something unperfect.
Sure he can if he wants to.The problem is achieving perfection,screwing something is easy and everybody can do it.For all we know god maybe be perefect but still have a sick sense of humour and to like playing with lesser lifeforms.Just like we humans like to play with mice and other animals

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(13-Jul-2005 at 18:28)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Nimon)

In which case he cannot be perfect. A perfect being cannot possibly create something unperfect.
why not? And what does the word "perfect" mean, anyhow? I am the perfect Brandon Christopher, after all, since any altheration would cease to be exactly me and would thus be imperfect.

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Last edited by BrandonC, 13-Jul-2005 at 18:30.
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(14-Jul-2005 at 06:16)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Obi2Kenobi)

But if my situation cannot occur, would you not then conclude that God has no free will? Isn't that the very question I am asking?

Not at all, I would conclude that he, or she, is both Infallible and Omnipotent. To realy understand you need to understand first what both words mean and then apply that knowlage to God. If God does not have free will then we would have to conclude that he made creation at the direction of another, which in theory can not be since he was the beginning and nothing came before him, thus we must take it that he must have had free will in order to start what we know.

Also an intresting point ... No deity could possibly NOT have free will.

Its in the requirments of godhood actually.

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
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(15-Jul-2005 at 00:52)


You need to look at God as a title not a being. If I were God, a perfect being with free will, and I used my free will to do something imperfect, I would cease to be God. I would still be MAPS, but lose my power and perfection as God.

So to answer, God the title has no free will while God the being does.

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(15-Jul-2005 at 01:01)


MAPS: If you were God you wouldnt be MAPS, or even Spam, but God and thus not who you are. However if you were A god things would be diffrent .... you would still be MAPS but with divine powers .... you would still have free will and could choose to do what you wanted with no worries of loseing those powers .. unless there was another god above you in some sort of rank system such as in Greek Mythology.

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
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(17-Jul-2005 at 04:32)


God has free will.

GASP!! I bet that God is going to do something evil! Because He has free will!!
[/sarcasm]

Just because God can do it, it doesn't mean that God will do it.

MAPS, There is no such thing as "God" the title and "God" the being. That's like saying that "God" the title is a seperate being. Like saying that "Drizzt" the name has no free will. Which is a stupid statement. Doesn't make sense, because it doesn't have a will at all, let alone free.

s o u l f i r e

Last edited by Drizzzt, 17-Jul-2005 at 04:33.
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(17-Jul-2005 at 05:10)


That's because Drizzzt isn't perfect. God is. What I mean by title is...well...what makes God God? His omnipotence, omniscience and perfection? Without these would God still be God? I say he wouldn't, yet would still exist. Perhaps in a less "holy" state, but still around.

That makes me think "If God is omnipotent, he can choose to be imperfect, right?" But the fact is he can't. If he stopped being perfect he would not be God anymore. So we can safely say that God cannot choose to be imperfect without losing his godhood. Therefore, to remain God he must be bound by certain restrictions. He can't do anything imperfect in the slightest degree. Paradoxally, by being all-powerful, he has no power of choice. Every action God does must be the perfect action. Everything he does must be the greatest and most perfect thing that could have ever been done. He can't do anything else but the things his perfection has pre-determined him to do. Therefore, it is impossible for the christian God to have free will.

(\ /)
( . .)
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(17-Jul-2005 at 05:12)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Drizzzt)

God has free will.

GASP!! I bet that God is going to do something evil! Because He has free will!!
[/sarcasm]

Just because God can do it, it doesn't mean that God will do it.

MAPS, There is no such thing as "God" the title and "God" the being. That's like saying that "God" the title is a seperate being. Like saying that "Drizzt" the name has no free will. Which is a stupid statement. Doesn't make sense, because it doesn't have a will at all, let alone free.
The question is whether or not God -really- can do those evil things if He is a benevolent and infalliable being. If He is the embodyment of perfection, then in every single situation that might arise, there should be one predictable action He would take; the perfect one. Saying that He is capable of perfection, but chooses not to exercise it is then dropping Him from his seat of perfection. Every one of us could feasibly live without sinning, but we choose not to. Does this mean then that all of us are without sin since we *could* be sinless, we just don't choose to be?

So God in the traditional sense is without free will. By defining Him as perfect He is thus only left with one option in all circumstances.

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