"Free will was given to man by god."

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Belinda
Posts: 2989
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Belinda » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:35 pm

Henry Quirk wrote:
Again: I don't understand how my having an origin, a source, a cause (the union of my ma and pa) prohibits me from being a causal agent (a free will).
Being born as a natural human being would not in itself prevent your being an originator of events. Being begotten of parents is only one cause of who and what your are and what you do. Please think of the many happenings of pour life and how they were all caused by an immensely complex set of other events , some of them laws of nature. Can you honestly pick out any event in your life that was not caused by other events?

Belinda
Posts: 2989
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Belinda » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:02 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Well, we don't call it "a special gift." What we say is that the Creator constituted mankind with a will. And we do say that the Supreme Being, if He chooses to do so, can intervene to do something in the material world -- a miracle, if you will. However, we also say that such events are extremely rare historically, and most regularly, the world is allowed to proceed by its own rules and natural laws. (Indeed, that's why we call such interventions "miracles": they're recognized as such by their extreme unusualness, and by the fact that the world does not constantly manifest itself to us in miraculous interventions. "Miracle" is a practical synonym for "extremely rare and contrary-to-expectation event, requiring actual divine involvement).
Each of us, you, me, Henry Quirk. or anybody else may describe the Creator's special allowance for humankind in any form of words we choose.My form of words is better than yours as mine is more concise and contains simpler words.I am not complaining, and it is not your fault that my style is better and more original than yours. Your literary style is influenced by devotional language users while mine is influenced by sceptical Scottish people.

The Creator created according to His all powerful word. Now, a deist believes He went far far away after that and did not intervene in His creation: a theist believes He intervened and to this day still intervenes. Free Will is an intervention into the ordinary course of creation which is an ordered course according to the Word of God. What we commonly call miracles are also supernatural interventions indirectly caused by the Almighty through His (mostly Caucasian )saints alive or dead.

User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 6352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by henry quirk » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:50 pm

"Being born as a natural human being would not in itself prevent your being an originator of events."

Then stop harpin' on it.

#

"Being begotten of parents is only one cause of who and what your are and what you do. Please think of the many happenings of pour life and how they were all caused by an immensely complex set of other events , some of them laws of nature. Can you honestly pick out any event in your life that was not caused by other events?"

Yeah, there are loads of influences, but only one determiner.

Me.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 7580
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:55 pm

Belinda wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:02 pm
Each of us, you, me, Henry Quirk. or anybody else may describe the Creator's special allowance for humankind in any form of words we choose.
Not according to Determinism, B. According to Determinism, we are fated to describe them only in the words we actually end up doing, because all that is a product of mere prior material forces, not of "choice."

"Choice" does nothing, according to Determinism.
Now, a deist believes He went far far away after that and did not intervene in His creation: a theist believes He intervened and to this day still intervenes.
Not quite correct. You're right about the Deist, but the Theist only argues that God CAN intervene, on those occasions He may wish to...not that He does so all the time. In fact, if it were the latter claim, then Theists would not believe a "miracle" referred to anything; for then, everything that happened would be unmiraculous because normal and not special.

So Theists, like Deists, must needs also believe in science, in scientific regularities (laws, as they are called) and in cause and effect as the normal way things operate.

However, once a Deist accepts that there is a Supreme Being, then the next question is, "Well, how "supreme" could He be, if he were incapable of intervening even occasionally, once the mechanics of natural laws were started?" And, of course, even a Deist has to concede that, in principle, any Supreme Being would have to be capable of having intervened...he would just have to insist that the Creator had not done so. And that's a historical claim he would have to be able to defend.
Free Will is an intervention into the ordinary course of creation which is an ordered course
Not at all. If, as Genesis claims, mankind was "made in the image of God," in terms of mankind's volitional nature, then part of that "ordered course" would be that free will would be practiced. Then free will is within, not outside of, the "ordered course" and the Word of God.

In such a case, God would be allowing volitional opportunity to mankind...like a parent who sits on his back porch, watching his children freely play, and intervening only occasionally to prevent or facilitate some particular outcome, but otherwise allowing the children to play freely. And none of us would imagine that a parent who did that had somehow "lost control of the situation." We would simply think the parent was kindly granting freedom to his children so they could create, explore, develop and grow.

In fact, on the contrary, a parent who constantly intervened would be revealed to us as nervous, uncertain of his own power and incapable of dealing with his children's freedom. Very likely, his children would develop poorly, stunted, limited, and devoid of creativity, if it at all. They wouldn't likely become great adults.

So a God that allows freedom is actually manifestly a more powerful, beneficent and knowledgeable God than the nervous "god" of the Determinists, who must needs micromanage the universe to keep from losing control of things.

User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 6352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

"that's a historical claim he would have to be able to defend."

Post by henry quirk » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:08 pm

Not any more or less than the theist must defend the assertion that the Creator has intervened or does intervene.

Irrelevant to the matter (Belinda is tryin' to divide & conquer, clever girl that she is).

No, the matter: *is man imbued with (or is he a) free will? Unmistakably, obviously: yes.

*Does free will come from God? A theist & deist say unmistakably, obviously: yes.

We don't have to agree on certain other details to agree on the * items above.

Belinda
Posts: 2989
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Belinda » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:53 pm

Not at all. If, as Genesis claims, mankind was "made in the image of God," in terms of mankind's volitional nature, then part of that "ordered course" would be that free will would be practiced. Then free will is within, not outside of, the "ordered course" and the Word of God.
Immanuel, I now understand you interpret it like that. This interpretation gives rise to the hierarchy

God

ANGELS

MEN.

This hierarchy makes of other animal species, plants, and funguses etc. that they are a different order of being from men. God, angels, and men exclusively have volitional minds. It is not surprising the Church would not accept Darwin's theory of evolution of species by natural selection!

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 7580
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:15 pm

Belinda wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:53 pm
Not at all. If, as Genesis claims, mankind was "made in the image of God," in terms of mankind's volitional nature, then part of that "ordered course" would be that free will would be practiced. Then free will is within, not outside of, the "ordered course" and the Word of God.
Immanuel, I now understand you interpret it like that. This interpretation gives rise to the hierarchy

God

ANGELS

MEN.
No, you've got that wrong. But I'll let you go on.
This hierarchy makes of other animal species, plants, and funguses etc. that they are a different order of being from men.
Oh...you forgot "animals" in your hierarchy, but okay.

But I must point out here that you also believe that animals, plants, fungi and so forth are different from human beings, in a hierarchical way. :shock:

Think about it: if you don't, then why don't you make the fungi responsible to save the environment, or to make moral decisions for themselves? Because you know darn well they can't. And the same with animals. The foxes are famously smart, but you're not asking them to run your nuclear reactors, nor are you asking them to reconsider their moral stance vis-a-vis rabbits. They aren't capable either.

Only men are. And it's not merely a matter of degree. Even chimps, notoriously the smartest creatures of all, cannot perform the rudimentary abstractions that human beings do...such as projecting or imagining a future that nobody has yet seen, calculating the possible outcomes of that future, ordering the possibilities so as to generate a maximal benefit, and then acting rationally to achieve something yet-unknown. Humans do that all the time.

Moral reflection is also the exclusive purview of humankind. A woman can reflect on the morality of her behaviour at the buffet; but wolves and sharks cannot reflect morally on the rightness of their gustatory choices. They eat what they eat, and do so without moral or practical qualms about their ethics or their future weight gains. Again, animals are not human beings. And reflectively, they aren't even on a continuum with human beings.

No wonder, then, that the Genesis narrative reserves a special account for the creating of men, and another for the creating of women. Animals, fish or birds, it speaks of as created en masse. Whether that was done by evolution or not would be immaterial. Human beings are in a different category, both historically and neurologically. They are not mere sub-products of animals. They are a unique and privileged creation, and deliberately, by God, made responsible for the way they treat the rest of the creation.

Which is essentially exactly what the environmentalist movement also has to say. It has to think that human beings are not just "more morally responsible" than animals for the care of the world, but "uniquely morally responsible" for it. Because if they're not, then why are the environmentalists singling out human beings as responsible for what's going on here? Why not talk to the foxes?

I have heard of their campaign for us to save the whales; I have never once heard they mounted a campaign for the whales to save us.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 7580
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: "that's a historical claim he would have to be able to defend."

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:21 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:08 pm
Not any more or less than the theist must defend the assertion that the Creator has intervened or does intervene.
Quite right. The Theist is also making a historical claim. And historical claims are open to empirical testing...not easily, sometimes, because they're historical...but that's the right kind of test.

So the Theist says, "God has intervened on rare occasion," and the Deist says, "God has never intervened." That debate can be settled on empirical terms, by the existence of even one genuine miracle. If there was one, even one, then the Deist has spoken too quickly. On the other hand, if there has, at no time, ever been even one miracle, then the Theist is wrong.

I'm happy to be quite even-handed about that.

Belinda
Posts: 2989
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Belinda » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:35 pm

Immanuel Can, humans are no closer to their Creator than plants, viruses, or whales.

Regarding interventions in history by God the Creator; either He is the sort of being whose nature it absolutely is to intervene in history or He is the sort of being whose nature is absolutely NOT to intervene in history. There is no possibility of relatively scarce interventions if His nature makes those impossible. Your anthropomorphic comparison of Almighty God to a human father is too feeble to bother with.

Your reply to Henry, above, claims it's possible to empirically test for miracles. True, it's possible to observe and do experiments about paranormal events however those are psychological not theological.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 7580
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:27 pm

Belinda wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:35 pm
Immanuel Can, humans are no closer to their Creator than plants, viruses, or whales.
Biblically, you're plain wrong about that...you may not care, but you're also quite wrong about what Theists and Deists are rationally obligated to think about it. No part of their belief requires that God has to micromanage the universe.
Regarding interventions in history by God the Creator; either He is the sort of being whose nature it absolutely is to intervene in history or He is the sort of being whose nature is absolutely NOT to intervene in history.
Naw. :D That's pretty obviously a false dichotomy, and totally arbitrary on your part. That's like saying, "Either you write on this blog 24 hours a day, or you don't ever write on it at all." There's no logical reason to suppose that.
Your reply to Henry, above, claims it's possible to empirically test for miracles. True, it's possible to observe and do experiments about paranormal events however those are psychological not theological.
I'm not talking about the "paranormal," B. I'm just saying that either the Red Sea divided, or it did not. Either a Man walked on water, or he did not. And either One rose from the dead, or He did not. Those are empirical, historical questions, not "psychological" ones.

User avatar
Sculptor
Posts: 1063
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:32 pm

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Sculptor » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:24 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:27 pm
Belinda wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:35 pm
Immanuel Can, humans are no closer to their Creator than plants, viruses, or whales.
Biblically, you're plain wrong about that.
One thing you can rely on here on PN is IC's unerring knowledge of the mind of God.

He must have a celestial hotline to the big poo bar.

User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 6352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: "that's a historical claim he would have to be able to defend."

Post by henry quirk » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:42 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:21 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:08 pm
Not any more or less than the theist must defend the assertion that the Creator has intervened or does intervene.
Quite right. The Theist is also making a historical claim. And historical claims are open to empirical testing...not easily, sometimes, because they're historical...but that's the right kind of test.

So the Theist says, "God has intervened on rare occasion," and the Deist says, "God has never intervened." That debate can be settled on empirical terms, by the existence of even one genuine miracle. If there was one, even one, then the Deist has spoken too quickly. On the other hand, if there has, at no time, ever been even one miracle, then the Theist is wrong.

I'm happy to be quite even-handed about that.
Totally missin' my point, Mannie.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 7580
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: "that's a historical claim he would have to be able to defend."

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:39 am

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:42 pm
Totally missin' my point, Mannie.
I guess so. Fire away.

gaffo
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:15 am

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by gaffo » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:14 am

freewill is overrated egoism.

i do not affirm it nor care about the whole debate, it bores me as much as guns and feotus.

Belinda
Posts: 2989
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Belinda » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:24 pm

Immanuel Can wrote quoting me



Immanuel Can, humans are no closer to their Creator than plants, viruses, or whales.
Biblically, you're plain wrong about that...you may not care, but you're also quite wrong about what Theists and Deists are rationally obligated to think about it. No part of their belief requires that God has to micromanage the universe.
I concede you can quote The Bible better than I.

"Micromanage the universe".. Jesus said that He knows when the sparrow falls, and that His kingdom is intimate. God created oceans, land masses, land animals , birds and goodness knows what else. Don't you think you are possibly a little arrogant to claim which minutest created thing is unworthy of the Almighty Creator's attention?

If by "micromanage the universe" you mean that God the Creator does not intervene in history, then I agree. His intervention in history is unnecessary as no doubt all is proceeding just as it should according to His holy word.

Regarding miracles, there are two main reasons for them. One is that before the idea of the almighty and all powerful god, there were gods who we had to propitiate and who in return might sometimes manifest themselves or manifest an intervention on our our behalf. Superstition and magic still have some power over people's imaginations, as is evidenced by petitionary public praying .

The other reason for the persistence of miracles is many if not most churches legitimate miracles. They do so because it establishes the power of a church when it can 'prove' a god, God, or some dead holy person such as the BVM lives as a force to be reckoned with.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests