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What is Free Will?

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  • #16
    Here is the definition I have come to believe.



    CHOICE:

    God is the author and creator of every single event, every circumstance that allows men to “choose”. He knows what we will choose every time. He created our hearts. He created every single thing. Every circumstance, cause and event.



    FREE WILL:

    Free will assumes we can actually supersede God's will and do what we want. That we can thwart His plans and He must respond to us.



    God has free will, we have choice.

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    • #17
      Okay, well the point of my initial example is this. We all agree that we are dealing with a free will choice here. However, it is clear that it is also a deterministic process. So much so that we can even express it as a simple equation. Amen to this?
      God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


      A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by docrob57
        Yes, just wanted to make sure. OK, I like to translate sentences into equations. It is a sickness. The sentence is, "I went to bed because I was tired." This implies 2 variables, whether or not I go to bed (call it "Y") and how tired I am (call it X).

        For simplicity sake, say both variables can take on 2 values:

        Y = 1 if the choice is go to bed and = 0 if the choice is not to go to bed.
        X= 1 if I am tired and = 0 if I am not tired.

        So, the expression Y = X is equivalent to the sentence, and we agree the sentence describes a free will choice. Can I get an amen?
        Nope sorry. No amens from me on this one. I don't think it incorporates enough information. From this equation one would be able to draw the conclusion that you MUST go to bed at 10:00 if you are tired. If that is the case then it Y is not free.

        Resting in Him,
        Clete
        sigpic
        "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Litebeam
          Here is the definition I have come to believe.



          CHOICE:

          God is the author and creator of every single event, every circumstance that allows men to “choose”. He knows what we will choose every time. He created our hearts. He created every single thing. Every circumstance, cause and event.



          FREE WILL:

          Free will assumes we can actually supersede God's will and do what we want. That we can thwart His plans and He must respond to us.



          God has free will, we have choice.
          This is completely unacceptable. By this one would have to concede that God is indeed the direct creator of every single evil event that has ever taken place. God is not the author of evil and thus your position here is wrong.

          Resting in Him,
          Clete
          sigpic
          "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Clete
            Nope sorry. No amens from me on this one. I don't think it incorporates enough information. From this equation one would be able to draw the conclusion that you MUST go to bed at 10:00 if you are tired. If that is the case then it Y is not free.

            Resting in Him,
            Clete
            Fair enough, let's add a little further information to our model. Let's say that the choice is contingent. In words, "I go to bed when I am sufficiently tired, unless I prefer to do something else." Does this put us back in the realm of free choice?

            In going through this exercise, please do not infer any information from the sentences that isn't there. Remember, you decided the sentence that we first started with was a free choice, however, the equation developed says the exact same thing.
            God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


            A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Clete
              This is completely unacceptable. By this one would have to concede that God is indeed the direct creator of every single evil event that has ever taken place. God is not the author of evil and thus your position here is wrong.

              Resting in Him,
              Clete
              Ok, so if God is not the author of evil - who is? Satan? Didn't God create Satan? Isn't Satan's action completely at the mercy of God (see the Book of Job here)?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by docrob57
                Fair enough, let's add a little further information to our model. Let's say that the choice is contingent. In words, "I go to bed when I am sufficiently tired, unless I prefer to do something else." Does this put us back in the realm of free choice?
                Contingent? You'll have to define that term more before I'll agree. There is a particular argument that hinges on this word and so I am a littel hesitent about it's use.
                I would be sitified that it is a free choice as long as it is understood that the ability to do otherwise is real.

                In going through this exercise, please do not infer any information from the sentences that isn't there. Remember, you decided the sentence that we first started with was a free choice, however, the equation developed says the exact same thing.
                I said it was a free choice IF you could have done otherwise.

                Resting in Him,
                Clete
                sigpic
                "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Clete
                  Contingent? You'll have to define that term more before I'll agree. There is a particular argument that hinges on this word and so I am a littel hesitent about it's use.
                  I would be sitified that it is a free choice as long as it is understood that the ability to do otherwise is real.


                  I said it was a free choice IF you could have done otherwise.

                  Resting in Him,
                  Clete
                  By contingent I mean the person will go to bed when he is tired unless he wants to do something else The bolded part would be the contingency. It would seem that we have now incorporated the possibility of doing otherwise. Agreed? Or not.

                  There is a method to my madness here, but our discussions tend to suffer from lack of common perspective, so I am trying to produce common perspective here.
                  God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


                  A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    So, lets see if thsi makes sense in laymans terms, since im a total n00b

                    Free will is supposedly negated by election, since God already knows those that will choose him and they are the elect, there fore meaning that they have no real freedom of choice.

                    So then thsi would mean that our actions are then guided and chosen by God; therefore meaning that God had Adam and Eve eat the apple, Cain murder Abel etc etc etc

                    Now here is my main question then: how does omnipotence turn into choosing for us? Isnt it more just God chose us, as he already knew we would choose him?

                    *feel free to bash me if im wrong, not better way to learn*

                    Just another

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by shadrach
                      So, lets see if thsi makes sense in laymans terms, since im a total n00b

                      Free will is supposedly negated by election, since God already knows those that will choose him and they are the elect, there fore meaning that they have no real freedom of choice.

                      So then thsi would mean that our actions are then guided and chosen by God; therefore meaning that God had Adam and Eve eat the apple, Cain murder Abel etc etc etc

                      Now here is my main question then: how does omnipotence turn into choosing for us? Isnt it more just God chose us, as he already knew we would choose him?

                      *feel free to bash me if im wrong, not better way to learn*
                      Welcome Shadrach. I think that is a fair assessment of some of the positions represented. However, right now I am trying to arrive at a common understanding of free will with my brother Clete and whoever else may want to participate, including you, of course!
                      God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


                      A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Thanks, maybe Im starting to get the hang of all of this.

                        For me, Id think that free will started all the way back at Adam and Eve, as shown by them eating the apple. To me its akin of being a parent. If I leave my 5 year old son in the kitchen with candy sitting in front of him, hes got the choice of wether or not he eats it. But I KNOW hes going to, and still make that choice available to him to do the right thing. Eventually he learns, and doesnt eat the candy when that happens.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by shadrach
                          Thanks, maybe Im starting to get the hang of all of this.

                          For me, Id think that free will started all the way back at Adam and Eve, as shown by them eating the apple. To me its akin of being a parent. If I leave my 5 year old son in the kitchen with candy sitting in front of him, hes got the choice of wether or not he eats it. But I KNOW hes going to, and still make that choice available to him to do the right thing. Eventually he learns, and doesnt eat the candy when that happens.
                          I agree with this, however, there are those who don't. I am trying to bridge the gap, and who knows, maybe it will happen!
                          God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


                          A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            WOW!!!! U mean my thought process actually made sense to someone else

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by shadrach
                              WOW!!!! U mean my thought process actually made sense to someone else
                              Well, don't get too cocky, we will tear you to pieces soon enough.
                              God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


                              A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by docrob57
                                Well, don't get too cocky, we will tear you to pieces soon enough.
                                Well, thats kind of like taking candy from a baby.....

                                Anyway, cant there only be a limited amount fo views on free will? Essentially its either we have it or dont. There cant be a such thing as limited free will, because then it just wouldnt be free.

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