Assuming that the word 'god' refers to the 'creator of everything' and is 'perfect' (the majority of definitions) then the existence of 'free will' (if it does, indeed, exist) precludes the existence of such a god.

If I have free will, it stands to reason that I am able to apply it to creating something that did not exist before as a direct result of the unfettered choices I have made within the non-confines of that free will (In other words, a god would not have had any control of those choices and, therefore, also have no authorship of the creative result.)

Therefore, I would have created something that was not created by god.

Therefore, everything would not have been created by god.

Therefore, god would not exist as defined, i.e. creator of everything.

Therefore, god can only exist if there is no free will.

Therefore, if there were a god, there could be no sin (imperfection), since everything would be his doing.


**** addendum


This is a fascinating discussion of 'free will' - but much misses the irony of my point - in that it poses an argument in favor of atheism based on a standard argument used by Abrahamic believers - that god created everything - except he didn't. Actually, they are stuck with a tremendous paradox we, as atheists, are not. Because, if god created free will - he made it possible and, therefore, certain, that some things are NOT of his creation - but if he didn't create free will, then he is pre-damning many people to hell (which JW's and Calvinists sort of agree on.)

Of course, as an atheist, if there is no real random number (a no-cause cause), we also have a problem because that suggests (albeit on a chaos theory level) that everything is still pretermined by a hyper-complex multi-chain of causality and, in a way, suggests a 'Master Plan' of sorts (albeit it without an actual 'Master' behind it.).

Views: 326

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Wow, this is out of my depth. I just thought it went to my point of saying things like "that's why god created the photo copier".
Jehovah's Witness
A friend's then 6 year old kid called them "Jehovah's Nitwits".
Depends on what you mean by causality. It would imply a Master Plan of some sorts (‘even on a chaos theory level’, as you posit) if every action did indeed constitute the consequence of another. But this is a holistic way of perceiving the universe, in that sequences are seen as concatenations (and are therefore not truly chaotic). If there really were no random number, you would necessarily be obliged to look for causality and the heuristic process would be a law unto itself, being the very essence of causality. But the presumption that a random number cannot exist conflicts with the very concept of chaos and thus yields a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which is why the notion of ‘plan’, in the context of chaos, must needs be spurious.
Personally, I think we need to proceed as if there is, indeed, true chaos. Perhaps this is an existentialist approach. What I am pointing out is that, if everything is determined - then everything is predetermined - so to speak. So 'plan' may be a confusing term. Nevertheless, a system that does not exhibit any truly unpredictable behavior (chaos or actual randomness) is indistinguishable from a system that is comprehensively planned.

Given that I cannot actually tell the difference - it is, as you may also be suggesting, only a moot point to state that 'free will is an illusion'. Perhaps the retort to that statement is 'so what.'
Well, there is a difference between an open system and a chain reaction, insofar as actions in an open system could, hypothetically, have no causes. But I doubt whether that actually occurs in the universe. Ergo, if the actions which we undertake and the thoughts which we produce are a consequence of the proteins in our brains, they cannot truly be random. This does not mean that they are predetermined, but rather stochastic in nature.
Robots on wheels have been conditioned to prefer blue cubes to yellow ones that exude an electrical current; this does not mean that the robots are predetermined to like blue cubes, but merely that the yellow cubes cause them to follow different trajectories. (Thus, you could say that the cause is also the consequence, if I'm not losing my grip here.)
But basically, the very point that ‘causes have consequences’ ought to be sufficient to obviate the idea of a free will as such and should therefore also do away with the notion of predetermination, simultaneously. That is to say, sequences can be random even if X causes Y.
As I have replied to another posting about freewill

There is a standard response made by theists to the problem of freewill, and it is a serious problem for the idea of a single omnipitant god, their standard get out of jail free card, called The Freewill Theodicy goes something like this :-
A, If this is the best of all possible worlds, it must be one in which people choose freely to do good, rather one in which they function as amoral robots.
1> Because people could not freely choose to do good without the oportunity to freely choose to do evil, the potential for evil is necessary in a maximally good world.
2> The potential to do evil is only real if it is taken from time to time.
3> There can be no highest good without freedom, and there can be no freedom without the potential for and occurance of evil.
So the argument for the non-existance of god from the presence of freewill and evil fails.The failure does not prove on the other hand that there is a god, it simply shows that the presence of freewill and evil does not disprove the existance of god.
Theodicy is basically an argument which has been tacked on to cover the various glitches in the logic of ethical monotheism, the glitches, called disteleological surds in philisophy jargon, lead people like Bertrand Russell to try to prove the non-existance of god through the presence of evil.

As with all things philosophical its always good to remeber that just because some high powered philiospher says that The Freewill Theodicy works does not actualy mean that it does work,most of philosphy is high powered philosophers trying to prove why another high powered philospher is wrong about religion.
Actually - regardless of their argument for a reason for free will - it is impossible in the presence of a master plan. They are contradictory ideas - even if their proponents claim both to be true - they are talking out both sides of their necks.

Isaiah 45:7 (KJV) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. is entirely congruent with an all-powerful, all-knowing, master planner god and entirely incongruous with the notion of free will.
@Howard,

Yes, the Old Testament is largely deterministic because God was a meddling god. But we supposedly have a new covenant with him and he allegedly doesn't meddle any more. I know this is contradicted by the notion of miracles and prayers but God's omniscience and omnipotence were also frequently contradicted in the Bible . . . so who really knows what God is capable of or actually does?

But IF God has planned out every moment and event in the future then, of course, free will is ruled out.
Hi Jez,

Yes, it boils down to matters of opinion, doesn't it? It's one thing to assert, as fact, the obvious proposition that free will is impossible if God has set the future in stone but it's quite another to assert, as fact, that God has set the future in stone. There are certainly verses and doctrines that support determinism and manifest destiny but there are also verses and doctrines that support free will and salvation by love and good works.

Whether it's the number of angels that can dance on the head of a needle or any other "serious" argument about the supernatural, people need to remember that they're not really dealing with absolutes: they're dealing with contradictory claims of absolutes. Divine inspiration, infallibility, morality, omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, omnipresence, etc., are all contradicted within the Bible. The result is scripture that can be interpreted in many ways to suit any argument.
Yeah, Howard,

This end of branch thing IS unwieldy. So I've started a new branch with your last post here:

"Freethinker (this end of branch reply procedure is getting unwieldy) - We are speaking of two things. If man created god (as you suggest and I fully buy) then free will was also 'created' (in this sense) by man. (It may actually exist in another sense - but that is another discussion .... I think.)

But if you (as Abrahamic and other religions do) ascribe free will as the creation of a creator being, separate from its creation - it is contradicted if this creator being is either omnipotent or omniscient or both. Because, if we can do something that the creator being had no 'hand' in - it is not omnipotent. And if we can do something that it could not foresee, it is not omniscient.
"

Pardon me . . . but I'm going to have to pin you down to specifics on the question of free will and the Biblical God.

I will grant (and have already granted) you that any God who has completely mapped out the future is a God incompatible with free will. This much seems indisputable. What I want to know is if you're dealing ONLY with this particular scenario or if you're saying the Biblical God has necessarily mapped out the future (i.e. there is no other valid interpretation of determinism and the Biblical God).

As I've already pointed out, your premise seems to presume that God has already mapped out the future. This presumption begs the question by precluding any other conclusion other than such a God is incompatible with free will -- which IS your premise. That, as near as I can tell, is circular reasoning; recursive logic.

But the presumption is not, by any means, merited. Omniscience does not necessarily imply an active role in how the future unfolds. In other words, seeing the future and causing it are 2 different things. Nobody would credit a soothsayer with causing the events he foretells.

Are you presenting a scenario based on a future "master-planned" by God . . . or are you saying the future IS master-planned by God (assuming he exists in the first place)?
Howard,

Thanks for this thread.

Chris

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

AJY

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service