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.).

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Yep. Creating something that did not exist contradicts with the statement that God creates everything.

But that's not all. In addition, free will contradict with omnipotence. Free will enables us to choose one out of several alternatives which are mutually exclusive to each other. God is unable to let us choose all of them; therefore, God is not omnipotent. God does not exist.

It is interesting that the existence of God can be proven false only by analyzing the constituent concepts of "God", and we don't need to find any evidence.
also@ Tim

Well, interestingly, you can't disprove anything - one irony of my proposal. The other is that Christians usually get their god 'off the hook' on the bad stuff by saying that it is caused, directly or as a respone to, our bad choices.

However, this thread seems to (and I might have predicted it) spawned a discussion of the actual existence of 'free will' (however that is actually defined.)
Apologies for the derailing. But you had to see it coming, Howard. Using something that's not proven to exist as proof of the nonexistence of a nonexistent thing? Perhaps if you'd framed the discussion "How the Christian concept of free will contradicts the Christian belief in an omniscient God" you'd have gotten different results.
No problem - I am fascinated by how discussion can 'meander'. It tends to bring out interesting and unforeseen revaltions of about points of view I had not contemplated. That is why I discuss.

FOr example, in the 'addendum' to my intial thought I include the idea that, no matter how complex the 'chaos' of a totally causal universe, if there is no real randomness (uncaused cause) there is an underlying 'plan' that cannot be deviated from - and there very well may be. This does suggest an 'author' of sorts - just not one that likely resembles anything that could be defined as a god.
No problem - I am fascinated by how discussion can 'meander'. It tends to bring out interesting and unforeseen revaltions of about points of view I had not contemplated. That is why I discuss.

I have the same view on the value of not micro-managing the course of a discussion.

FOr example, in the 'addendum' to my intial thought I include the idea that, no matter how complex the 'chaos' of a totally causal universe, if there is no real randomness (uncaused cause) there is an underlying 'plan' that cannot be deviated from - and there very well may be.

I don't understand determinism to disregard chance or chaos as causal factors. It simply does not accept them as proof of free will. In fact, they would seem to limit any perceived freedom we believe ourselves to possess.

Perhaps what appears to be a 'plan' can be observed in retrospect, but until it's happened, no event is immutable. Once it's come to pass, one can say that it happened exactly as it had to, not in obedience to fate or destiny, rather as the subsequent link in the chain of cause and effect.
Pure determinism would state that every event is a cause 'determined' but a previous event in a chain (albeit non-linear) of such effect/cause events. Therefore, pure determinism does not allow for deviation and, if we could map the entire non-linear chain - we could, indeed, predict all future events in such a universe. This suggests that everything, therefore, is entirely predetermined.

However, if the universe contains events not predicated or caused by previous events (true random) then a looser style of determinism can be based on a concept of probabilities that can embrace some component of uncaused causation.
However, if the universe contains events not predicated or caused by previous events (true random) then a looser style of determinism can be based on a concept of probabilities that can embrace some component of uncaused causation.

I understand, Howard. I am open to a softer determinism, allowing for chance/chaos. Still don't see any freedom in there.
let's twist this argument in another direction.

the idea of "choice" is rather theist in the sense that you can't observe it without some element of determinism in it.

determinism, however soft your interpretation, MUST exist, no? we can't learn English without an English teacher.

It is not the burden on the determinist to prove to you that choice doesn't exist. It's the burden of you to prove that it DOES. Choice, at the very least, is so abstract and unobservable that it would be extremely hard to find out what a "choice" is that can't be directly linked to another event.

Mind humoring that thought, Howard? What is choice? How can you prove it exists?
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/determinism-pseudochaos-and

You are correct that the burden falls on proof of choice. Clearly, the case for determinism is strong and isolating a 'nonsense event' would be very tough. Only one need exist to make real random possible. But if real random were anywhere near as likely as cause/effect - reality would be so mutable as to have no meaining whatsoever.

One can decide that the determinism that does exist is so inscrutably complex that the illusion of free will is complete. Chaos theory suggests that very thing.

However, quantum mechanics and multiverse hypotheses do give different takes on reality. The first actually might suggest that everything is nothing at all vibrating in a pattern while the second might suggest that all possibilities are explored in one universe or another.
Second thread in reply:

The most rudimentary assumption of a determinist is that things happen for a reason and, therefore, if a bit of nonsense were observed by a determinist, he would immediately begin speculating as to the reason so that it would not remain nonsense OR he would dismiss it as an illusion.

So, it is true that, under the confines of a deterministically based system of logic, the burden of 'proof of the existence of nonsense' lies on the one positing the existence of nonsense. But this tenet of 'burden of proof' dismisses the possibility of the existence of nonsense since it requires proof within the context of cause and effect. This may be one way to state a valid principal of uncertainty.

Nonsense - by definition - cannot be proved. That does not mean it does not happen from time to time.
"therefore, if a bit of nonsense were observed by a determinist, he would immediately begin speculating as to the reason so that it would not remain nonsense"

as a determinist, I don't bother getting hung up on reason unless it helps me cope with the future. If something doesn't make sense. science will try to work it out. I can either help or get out of the way. it's more like... rather than obsessing over the reason, I would dismiss it as "had to happen that way and let's look forward now." It's very optimistic.

What matters is now, the future, and anything that can help me and others enjoy now and the future more harmoniously.

Passing blame is useless and theists have already proven that it holds us back. You just gotta shake it off and keep going after you've learned your lesson.

What's your definition of nonsense? What in the world IS nonsense? Some clarification would be nice there.
BTW - if you are curious how I operate in 'real life':

I see that free will, individuality, self, responsibility, distinction, etc., at the most fundemental level - are all constructs. Neverthless, I experience the world with so little understanding as to what is really going on that the illusion of free will (and, from that, personal responsibility and individualism) is utterly viable and affects the way I act.

Also, 'naturalism' is a strange word to me as it suggests that something might exist outside of nature.

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