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Old 02-04-2010, 07:23 PM   #46
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What would you think of a God that did not create us with a free will?
Not very much at all, Iron Horse. It's a no-brainer. And I cannot see how such a scenario could ever be, anyway. Once we developed sentience, we became creatures of free will. There's no going back from that.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:31 PM   #47
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To sum up, it seems to me that the only way a universe free of suffering for us could exist would be if it operated on such a small and limited scale as to be nothing but a little clockwork world with all the rough edges smoothed off. No complex food chains. No conscious agency. I am having trouble imagining it really.

I mean, for a hypothetical: what's worse, a god that sets everything to unfold as it will, or a god who really is nothing much more than a human-like designer, building a padded treehouse for some happy campers to sit around in like chumps. I know atheists like to think that Christianity means a bearded man in the sky, but I don't think there's a bearded man in the sky, I think there's a cosmos in the sky.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:44 PM   #48
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I don't think there's a bearded man in the sky, I think there's a cosmos in the sky.
And I think there's a window in the sky...
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:15 PM   #49
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Not very much at all, Iron Horse. It's a no-brainer. And I cannot see how such a scenario could ever be, anyway. Once we developed sentience, we became creatures of free will. There's no going back from that.



"Not very much" is your answer?

So, you prefer a God who creates beings without free will?

I"m guessing you don't believe a God exists, but you answer the question?
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:24 PM   #50
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"Not very much" is your answer?

So, you prefer a God who creates beings without free will?

I"m guessing you don't believe a God exists, but you answer the question?
I don't think you even know what your original question was.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:45 PM   #51
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I don't think he does either.

Iron Horse, you asked me what I would think of a god that created people without the capacity for free will. And I said I would not think very much at all of such a god, but even more so that such an occurance strikes me as implausible as frankly, people without free will would not be people in any sense that we understand the word.

And if you, Iron Horse think that I don't believe God exists... what the fuck have you been reading? Do you even follow threads around here????

READ! FOR FUCKS SAKE!
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:55 PM   #52
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I don't think you even know what your original question was.


I tried to edit my reply.
After a few attempts, I quit.


Take care
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:02 PM   #53
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Ever since I was a young child, I remember thinking that God owed us all at least one "revelation" in our lifetime. Since I was taught that my eternal soul depended upon believing in God; and, at the same time, God had created a reasonably intelligent being that would of course doubt what it had no obvious evidence of, how then, I wondered, could I be eternally damned by a loving God for doubting? I thought, if God just gave us one simple revelation of himself during our life and said, "Here I AM, Knuckle. I am who am. It's all true. Well, that's it. Be good now. Or don't. You have free will now don't forget." That would have been enough for me (and just about every human being I expect).

That just seemed fair to me as a child. It still does. But I'm still waiting to be struck off my horse while riding to Damascus. Then I can start my letter writing campaign to the people of Corinth (even though they'll never listen anyway).
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:13 PM   #54
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Ever since I was a young child, I remember thinking that God owed us all at least one "revelation" in our lifetime. Since I was taught that my eternal soul depended upon believing in God; and, at the same time, God had created a reasonably intelligent being that would of course doubt what it had no obvious evidence of, how then, I wondered, could I be eternally damned by a loving God for doubting? I thought, if God just gave us one simple revelation of himself during our life and said, "Here I AM, Knuckle. I am who am. It's all true. Well, that's it. Be good now. Or don't. You have free will now don't forget." That would have been enough for me (and just about every human being I expect).

That just seemed fair to me as a child. It still does. But I'm still waiting to be struck off my horse while riding to Damascus. Then I can start my letter writing campaign to the people of Corinth (even though they'll never listen anyway).



The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

~Psalm 19
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:50 PM   #55
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Oh, never mind.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:15 AM   #56
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:00 AM   #57
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The same god that would allow free will, must, by definition allow suffering. Does God rape women?
What do you mean by free will? I'm not sure that we enjoy the sort of free will and moral choice that we generally think we do, our conscious willing may be secondary to deterministic natural processes.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:07 AM   #58
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To sum up, it seems to me that the only way a universe free of suffering for us could exist would be if it operated on such a small and limited scale as to be nothing but a little clockwork world with all the rough edges smoothed off. No complex food chains. No conscious agency. I am having trouble imagining it really.
But aren't complex food chains and conscious agency products of natural law; all life is exploiting energy to reverse entropy, and wherever there is an opportunity in the economy of nature it will be filled. It is so much more parsimonious to reject an intelligence behind it in the absence of evidence and necessity.
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I mean, for a hypothetical: what's worse, a god that sets everything to unfold as it will, or a god who really is nothing much more than a human-like designer, building a padded treehouse for some happy campers to sit around in like chumps. I know atheists like to think that Christianity means a bearded man in the sky, but I don't think there's a bearded man in the sky, I think there's a cosmos in the sky.
But is this more than deism, is it a spiritual appreciation and wonder towards the laws of nature rather than the acceptance of miracles and special creation?
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:46 AM   #59
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On all of your counts, A-wanderer, the answer may well be yes. On the cosmic level I do lean toward deism. On the social level Christianity has no business contradicting science, it is a set of teachings concerning how we might live (or not) as human beings.

And, sorry I'm in a hurry here, by 'free will' I don't mean anything like libertarian freedom if that's what you are wondering: I mean simply will informed by consciousness. Which fairly accurately describes the human animal, yes? It doesn't mean we can do whatever we feel like, it means we have conscious agency that goes somewhat beyond the instinctual.

*although, now I'm uncomfortable about what I said in the first paragraph. Religion has no business quibbling scientifically observable reality... on the other hand it may have plenty of business challenging some of the less humane implications which human beings choose to draw from scientific findings. Empiricism is neutral, but politics most assuredly is not.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:52 AM   #60
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But aren't complex food chains and conscious agency products of natural law; all life is exploiting energy to reverse entropy, and wherever there is an opportunity in the economy of nature it will be filled. It is so much more parsimonious to reject an intelligence behind it in the absence of evidence and necessity.
I don't actually know what this means. I assume by 'parsimonious' you mean efficient or something. Elegant? Sure, I can't quibble with that. Leaning toward a notion of god is a human choice (and, done thoughtfully, a perfectly honourable one), and no it can't be proved, and no it can't be disproved. That's all these endless atheism vs god threads amount to in the end.
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