Staredit Network > Forums > Lite Discussion > Topic: Destiny & God
Destiny & God
Jan 2 2012, 5:53 pm
By: payne
Pages: 1 2 35 >
 

Jan 2 2012, 5:53 pm payne Post #1

:payne:

When I went to samsizzle's house, we've had a small discussion about God.

My thought is based on two statements that I suppose to be true (I haven't read the Bible, though, so please correct me if I'm wrong):
1) God sends humans on Earth to challenge them and their actions, and see if they deserve to live either in Hell or Heaven.
2) God is omniscient (knows everything).

Statement #1 implies the existence of Free Will (the ability for a living being to act on its own will).
Statement #2 implies the existence of Destiny (the fact that everything that happens was meant to happen anyways).

You see where I am going? In my opinion, those two concept are quite frankly opposing each other and cannot exist at the same time: it's one, or the other.
God knows everything, so he already knows the choices we'll make thorough our lives. Thus, what is the point of us living on this Earth? Why don't we just "spawn" in Hell/Heaven right away?

I am not a believer. This is just an argument I came up with for when I'll have a debate with a believer.
One of the drivers that picked me up when I was hitch-hiking was a huge believer, and I've talked about this with him. He basically just answered quoting something similar to "Do not try to understand." I stopped debating with him after that since it doesn't even leave any room to debating.

The idea I've just expressed is most probably a bit sloppy, but I think everyone will be able to understand what I meant. Shall the debate start!



None.

Jan 2 2012, 6:17 pm TiKels Post #2



If you argue that god can do anything (is omnipotent) then you are either saying that he is capable of doing anything that is physically possible within OUR constrains, or is capable of doing anything without constraint.

Your argument is essentially "If god can do anything, can he create a rock so heavy he cannot lift" or "can god create logic so circular that even he can't believe it" or "can god create a person with free will and know what he is going to do".

Freaking catholic school. I still capitalize the word "god" on impulse. Had to fix that. Someone else made the first point (about defining omnipotency), but I couldn't find it on SEN after a small search.



"If a topic that clearly interest noone needs to be closed to underline the "we don't want this here" message, is up to debate."

-NudeRaider

Jan 2 2012, 6:21 pm Voyager7456 Post #3

Responsible for my own happiness? I can't even be responsible for my own breakfast

You're right, omnibenevolence, omniscience and omnipotence are incompatible qualities.

That's because God doesn't exist.

Cue protestations of "with faith, anything is possible."



all i am is a contrary canary
but i'm crazy for you
i watched you cradling a tissue box
sneezing and sniffling, you were still a fox


Modding Resources: The Necromodicon [WIP] | Mod Night
My Projects: SCFC | ARAI | Excision [WIP] | SCFC2 [BETA] | Robots vs. Humans | Leviathan Wakes [BETA]


Jan 2 2012, 6:22 pm ClansAreForGays Post #4



I've always felt like I could be a believer if someone could just answer this.

What I've heard people like Jack say is that you don't have #1 exactly right. Earth isn't a testing ground, since god does already know where we are finally going. It's more like an elaborate way for us to see for ourselves why we are going to heaven or hell. If he did 'spawn' us wherever we'll end up, we'd probably be filled with rage in hell for never getting a chance.

There's other ways to to argue against it, but they all suck (including this one).

I wonder if Christians think god can do something at random. Like how I can randomly roll a die, and get a random result. I don't think god can if he already knows exactly how much force he's using, and the exact result of said force.




Jan 2 2012, 6:38 pm Pr0nogo Post #5



We had a massive debate in the shoutbox early this morning about Christianity. I'll pull my essential points from memory of that discussion, and of general recollection of principles.

The Christian mythology isn't all that different from most other mythologies. It has a flaw they all share. Other than very little suspension of disbelief, it provides a fictional setting that occurs in the past, where undocumented events occurred and were attributed to a god (or gods). Because these events are undocumented, we can state that they are fictional, and I'll get to that later. The major flaw I spoke of earlier is that God was extremely active in the Bible, and because He has done absolutely nothing after the events of the Testament books, His existence is impossible to truly believe.

As for dubious, undocumented occurrences, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth is about as undocumented as it can get. The Bible says that the king ordered every first-born son of every citizen in Nazareth and the surrounding cities to be killed. This is recorded NOWHERE. You'd have thought people would have sat down and said "we ought to record it into history that today our king told us to kill all of our first-born sons. Derp!"

I had more to say but I'm tired.

EDIT: On the topic of omni-whateverence, God cannot possibly be everything the Christians claim him to be.

He watches everything horrible happen to Earth. This means that He is either malevolent -- He encourages it or causes it, He is apathetic -- He doesn't stop it, or that He is powerless -- He can't stop it. If He's malevolent, He isn't omni-benevolent. If He's apathetic, he still isn't omni-benevolent. If He's powerless, He isn't omnipotent.




Jan 2 2012, 6:45 pm ClansAreForGays Post #6



How come no one's specifically talking about his points, and instead see this as a general "Yah, Christians are dumb!" thread?




Jan 2 2012, 6:46 pm Pr0nogo Post #7



He brought up a debate, so I assumed there would be one by the time I finished my post.

Pointing out the fallacies of one side of the debate is hardly the same as calling them dumb, by the way. It's part of the debate.




Jan 2 2012, 7:07 pm Biophysicist Post #8



@Voyager: You're saying that God doesn't exist because He has those three properties and it is impossible for the same thing to have all three. The obvious question, then, is why that is impossible.

@TiKels: The rock thing, by the way, isn't a fair or valid question. It is like asking if infinity is greater than infinity. Also, that last paragraph, except the last sentence, was an unnecessary cheap shot that contributes nothing of value to the argument. Besides, capitalizing proper nouns is good grammar.

EDIT: @Pr0nogo's first post: So you say, but without actually understanding the position you are attacking. It's not what you're making it out to be.

Now, to attend to the original question. First, I will attempt to answer the question of free will. The opposing argument states that, if God knows everything that is going to happen, then there cannot be free will. Now, depending on the exact formulation of the argument, this may assume intentional predestination, or that God dictates what will happen. I, at least, consider that idea absurd. If God predetermined everything, then there would, obviously, be no free will; without free will, an action cannot be actually moral or immoral. If a robot murders someone, has the robot acted immorally? Of course not, because it was just following its programming and had no choice in the matter. Likewise, if a person is tricked into doing something that would otherwise be immoral, but they did not know that it is what they were doing, then that action is not considered immoral. If I place a bomb in your car and ask you to go the store for me, and then I detonate the bomb and kill everyone in the store, you have not done anything wrong. Therefore, in order for morality to exist, there has to be free will. As Christianity says that there is morality, it assumes that there is free will.

Some may, at this point, say that they don't believe that morality is real. I will not try to refute these people here. The question specifically deals with a God like the one of Christianity. Specifically, it asks for a resolution of an apparent contradiction in Christian teaching. It would not be fair to ask for this to be done without being able to talk about the same. In other words, within the context of this question, assuming that God and morality exist is valid, because the same is assumed by the question.

The other part of the question is about why people are born on Earth, rather than in wherever they will end up. I will attend to this, but first I want to make sure that people do not have issues with my first answer. And, obviously, some people will, so I would like to attend to those questions first before moving on. I do, by the way, have an answer.



None.

Jan 2 2012, 8:57 pm Jack Post #9

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

Quote
Freaking catholic school. I still capitalize the word "god" on impulse. Had to fix that.
As Biophysicist said, God, being a name, is a proper noun and should be capitalized. The other thing I see a lot of non-believers get annoyed about is when Christians capitalize He, Him, etc. when talking about God. We do this out of respect to God.

Now, onto the topic at hand.

Omniscience and free will aren't entirely opposed. In fact, your train of thought has a logical flaw.

Free will is the ability to make choices. There's a fork in the road, and you can choose to go left or right. Now, God's omniscience means that God already knows which path you will take. But this doesn't mean you are not making that choice.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jan 2 2012, 10:20 pm by Jack.



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Jan 2 2012, 9:54 pm Fire_Kame Post #10

a left leaning coexistence nut

Yea...I can't say I agree with #1. Jack is much more of a literalist than I am, though (from my interactions with him). In fact, I have a friend studying for the Catholic Priesthood, and usually I defer to him if I have any questions. So if you guys have serious questions, I suggest you try to find someone (or many people) and send them the questions. Many churches have an option for you to email their lead pastor/priest, so that might help if you asked several people like that.

The first thing I want to point out with this and other discussions is that we are trying to define God with human terms - which the Bible states we're not supposed to do. (Namely, verse 4).* As such deciding that God sent us here to challenge us - and implying that a human's version of a challenge is the same that God sees as a challenge - is the beginning of trying to fit him into a box of human terms. And what is a challenge? And one of the many problems with human terms is that it results in in-numerous verbal disputes. This is one reason we're not supposed to create images of heavenly bodies: it distracts us from God in our quest to define him. (And it is this commandment I attribute most of the reasons why Christianity - or any faith - is illogical by human terms. We cannot resolve the verbal dispute - we cannot move on with the argument). So saying the sole reason we are here is to challenge us is hard for me to accept as it. If we accept that God put us here to challenge us, I would also accept he put us here to learn every other aspect of humanity - love, learning, stewardship, envy, anger, jealousy, compassion. God put us here to live.

Meditating on what God is is a lot like meditating on Zen - no one knows what zen is, and no one is supposed to know. It is undefinable to keep you thinking. Maybe I've always considered Zen and God to be one in the same (there's a criticism on this thought near the end of that page). Both are undefinable, both are everything and nothing, alpha omega, jealousy and contentment...that's how I feel.

If I could get a close approximating to what God is, I'd say he's a programmer with access to an intricate algorithm that can decide everything that happens to all of us, with so many parameters and branches it seems random, but since God created the program he knows its working properly. So he knows every possible outcome and what causes it, but the program is undecipherable by us. Its hard to explain, but I hope that makes sense. In the end, everyone's interpretation of God is going to be different, and that's the way its supposed to be, I think.

*In my opinion, the commandments are one of the few parts of the Old Testament we can translate literally and discern a more truthful meaning...mostly. Even verse 5-6 I feel has a more vague meaning than what is dictated. I felt I needed to point this out since I really am not a literalist on many stories told in the Old Testment.




Jan 2 2012, 10:22 pm Jack Post #11

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

I should note that I don't necessarily think #1 is accurate.



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Jan 2 2012, 10:35 pm The Starport Post #12



Maybe God designed the system this way to make people rage and fight endlessly over its nature. It's quite clever, actually.



None.

Jan 2 2012, 11:05 pm FatalException Post #13



Quote from Jack
Omniscience and free will aren't entirely opposed. In fact, your train of thought has a logical flaw.

Free will is the ability to make choices. There's a fork in the road, and you can choose to go left or right. Now, God's omniscience means that God already knows which path you will take. But this doesn't mean you are not making that choice.
But if God knows which choice you're going to make and God is omniscient, then you must be destined to make that choice, which could in turn be interpreted as never having a choice at all. It really seems like this question comes down to what free will and destiny actually are. I find that the more interesting question to ask here is why an omnipotent and benevolent god would make free will with sin instead of free will without. The most common argument I hear for this is that free will without sin can't exist because it wouldn't be free will, but if God can do anything, why not just change what free will is?



None.

Jan 2 2012, 11:10 pm TiKels Post #14



Quote from TiKels
Your argument is essentially "If god can do anything, can he create a rock so heavy he cannot lift" or "can god create logic so circular that even he can't believe it" or "can god create a person with free will and know what he is going to do".
Remember when I said this? Free will, by definition, is the ability to choose what one does. Essentially randomizing whether one person chooses one action over another. If you can accurately say what a perfect random number generator does, then it isn't random.



"If a topic that clearly interest noone needs to be closed to underline the "we don't want this here" message, is up to debate."

-NudeRaider

Jan 2 2012, 11:10 pm MillenniumArmy Post #15



Peter Kreeft, a professor in Philosophy, gives his insight on some of these big issues. Much of what he says makes a lot of sense.

The Problem of Evil
God's answer to human suffering

As for the whole free will thing, the key is to remember that this God exists outside of our world, laws, and time - technically speaking applying any of these omni-whatever becomes meaningless as we're trying to use our measures, laws, and senses to "contain" this God (if that makes any sense). This is not a cop out as one may try to say, what's clear from scripture is that this God chooses to reveal himself to us in a way we can understand, but for the sake of sticking with the issues brought up in the OP I'll move on.

When we say that God knows what we're going to do, that doesn't mean he determines what we're going to do (because determinism implies us having no free will as pointed out). Instead it means that God simply sees what we'll be doing at whatever point in time. Again remember this God exists outside of our time - words like "past, present, future" aren't necessarily applicable to him because he's not of time. Basically, it's not so much that God "sees into the future" but rather he sees everything. I hope this makes sense, if not I could try to explain it more in detail.

That said, it's not that we don't have free will but we have to understand what it really means when we say that God is omniscent (knows everything).



None.

Jan 2 2012, 11:26 pm Vrael Post #16



The easiest way, in my opinion, to reconcile omniscience and free will is to examine the breadth of the power of omniscience.
om·ni·scient
1: having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight
2: possessed of universal or complete knowledge
From merriam-webster.

Just like I mentioned in the other topic regarding omnipotence, there is a huge difference between the ability to do, or know, the impossible, and merely the ability to do all or to know all that is possible. Consider that God knows everything: what exactly consists of everything? Let's consider the topic of free will, a mere subset of everything, but the subset currently relevant to our discussion. If a being with free will makes a decision, the outcome of the choice cannot be predetermined or it really isn't free will. People say if God is omniscient, then he will know your choice before you make it, and therefore you don't really have free will. Consider the idea that an omniscient being cannot know something that is impossible to know, and the ideas no longer conflict. God may not know which choice you will pick because that's impossible to know, but he does still know every possibility, every minisculely different outcome that there could possibly be: he knows every outcome and continuity, in essence, everything that is possible. He can encompass the every single one of the infinite possibilities that can exist in the universe, and therefore he is omniscient. He truly does not know what choice you will make in this scenario, but only because he cannot know the impossible, and since this is a limitation on God many people will not accept this type of reconciliation.

Another type of explanation, is that given any choice, there must naturally be some options which we'll call 1,2 and 3. Now, you'll either choose 1,2, or 3 in this case, and God knows which one you will choose. He already knows which one you'll choose, so which one will you choose? The one that God knows of course. Now, this hasn't limited your ability to choose, has it? He knows your choice, but you can still choose 1,2 or 3 at your will. The idea is that God knows which choice you will make, but never delimits the choice to one option, allowing God to be both impossibly omniscient AND for people to still have free will.

Another type of explanation, my personal favorite, is simply that God is not bound by the laws of nature since he is the Creator and may do the impossible. If he so desired, he could make a married bachelor, for instance. So there is no problem for God to desire for us to have free will and for him to know everything, because even if that's impossible, God may do the impossible.



None.

Jan 2 2012, 11:53 pm TiKels Post #17



Quote from TiKels
If you argue that god can do anything (is omnipotent) then you are either saying that he is capable of doing anything that is physically possible within OUR constrains, or is capable of doing anything without constraint.
I suppose I should have included this in the quote as well



"If a topic that clearly interest noone needs to be closed to underline the "we don't want this here" message, is up to debate."

-NudeRaider

Jan 3 2012, 12:07 am Fire_Kame Post #18

a left leaning coexistence nut

Quote from name:Tuxedo-Templar
Maybe God designed the system this way to make people rage and fight endlessly over its nature. It's quite clever, actually.
:lol: that's kinda what I said, but with a more cynical twist. <3




Jan 3 2012, 12:29 am FatalException Post #19



Quote from MillenniumArmy
Peter Kreeft, a professor in Philosophy, gives his insight on some of these big issues. Much of what he says makes a lot of sense.

The Problem of Evil
My rebuttals to each section are as follows:
Quote from The Problem of Evil
First, evil is not a thing, an entity, a being. All beings are either the Creator or creatures created by the Creator. But every thing God created is good, according to Genesis. We naturally tend to picture evil as a thing—a black cloud, or a dangerous storm, or a grimacing face, or dirt. But these pictures mislead us. If God is the Creator of all things and evil is a thing, then God is the Creator of evil, and he is to blame for its existence. No, evil is not a thing but a wrong choice, or the damage done by a wrong choice. Evil is no more a positive thing than blindness is. But it is just as real. It is not a thing, but it is not an illusion.
This section simply posits that God must not have created evil because evil is not a thing (or that evil is not a thing because God must not have created it; it's hard to tell which). Not much to say about this part until later.

Quote from The Problem of Evil
Second, the origin of evil is not the Creator but the creature's freely choosing sin and selfishness. Take away all sin and selfishness and you would have heaven on earth. Even the remaining physical evils would no longer rankle and embitter us. Saints endure and even embrace suffering and death as lovers embrace heroic challenges. But they do not embrace sin.
[...]
If the origin of evil is free will, and God is the origin of free will, isn't God then the origin of evil? Only as parents are the origin of the misdeeds their children commit by being the origin of their children. The all-powerful God gave us a share in his power to choose freely. Would we prefer he had not and had made us robots rather than human beings?
The problem with this section is that it assumes that the only two options for an "all-powerful God" would be to give us free will with sin or no free will at all. Again, if God is omnipotent, why isn't free will without sin an option? The first section states that evil is nothing but a bad choice. Free will is the ability to make choices. Because choices can be bad and all things God created are good, did God not create choices, and therefore free will, either? Or are we simply assuming that choices aren't things either, because all things are good?

Quote from The Problem of Evil
A third part of the solution to the problem of evil is the most important part: how to resolve the problem in practice, not just in theory; in life, not just in thought. Although evil is a serious problem for thought (for it seems to disprove the existence of God), it is even more of a problem in life (for it is the real exclusion of God). But even if you think the solution in thought is obscure and uncertain, the solution in practice is as strong and clear as the sun: it is the Son. God's solution to the problem of evil is his Son Jesus Christ. The Father's love sent his Son to die for us to defeat the power of evil in human nature: that's the heart of the Christian story. We do not worship a deistic God, an absentee landlord who ignores his slum; we worship a garbageman God who came right down into our worst garbage to clean it up.
This section once again seems to overlook God's omnipotence. Why send his son to his death when he could just snap his fingers and rearrange the whole universe? There are far better solutions; why would a benevolent god choose the one with the most torture involved?

Quote from The Problem of Evil
Finally, what about the philosophical problem? It is not logically contradictory to say an all-powerful and all-loving God tolerates so much evil when he could eradicate it? Why do bad things happen to good people? The question makes three questionable assumptions.
First, who's to say we are good people? The question should be not "Why do bad things happen to good people?" but "Why do good things happen to bad people?" If the fairy godmother tells Cinderella that she can wear her magic gown until midnight, the question should be not "Why not after midnight?" but "Why did I get to wear it at all?" The question is not why the glass of water is half empty but why it is half full, for all goodness is gift. The best people are the ones who are most reluctant to call themselves good people. Sinners think they are saints, but saints know they are sinners. The best man who ever lived once said, "No one is good but God alone."
If God created man and all things God created are good, then man must be good. This is from the first section of the article. One may claim that Eve sinned in Genesis and therefore man is not good, but Mr. Kreeft has already rebutted this point in section two: He claims that God can't be blamed for evil anymore than a parent can be blamed for the sins of its child; by this logic a child shouldn't be blamed for the sins of its parent either, and therefore mankind should not be blamed for the sins of Eve. This section also avoids answering why either bad things happen to good people or why good things happen to bad people. This question is the problem of evil.

Quote from The Problem of Evil
Second, who's to say suffering is all bad? Life without it would produce spoiled brats and tyrants, not joyful saints. Rabbi Abraham Heschel says simply, "The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?" Suffering can work for the greater good of wisdom. It is not true that all things are good, but it is true that "all things work together for good to those who love God."
This section argues that not all suffering is bad, which is true. However, it does not argue that all suffering is good. Why would a benevolent and omnipotent god not prevent useless suffering? This, again, is the problem of evil, and this section still does not offer an answer.

Quote from The Problem of Evil
Third, who's to say we have to know all God's reasons? Who ever promised us all the answers? Animals can't understand much about us; why should we be able to understand everything about God? The obvious point of the Book of Job, the world's greatest exploration of the problem of evil, is that we just don't know what God is up to. What a hard lesson to learn: Lesson One, that we are ignorant, that we are infants! No wonder Socrates was declared by the Delphic Oracle to be the wisest man in the world. He interpreted that declaration to mean that he alone knew that he did not have wisdom, and that was true wisdom for man.
This kind of reasoning is obstructive to the growth of the wisdom that the previous section seemed to give as the only reason for suffering to be good. It's not an argument against the problem of evil, it's an argument against thinking about the problem of evil. If infants simply accepted that they were ignorant and refused to learn, there wouldn't be anyone left to make new infants.



None.

Jan 3 2012, 2:26 am ubermctastic Post #20



This isn't specifically against you fatal, but when you ask ~20 questions in one post the discussion tends to branch endlessly and this results in it going nowhere.
Quote from FatalException
He claims that God can't be blamed for evil anymore than a parent can be blamed for the sins of its child; by this logic a child shouldn't be blamed for the sins of its parent either, and therefore mankind should not be blamed for the sins of Eve. This section also avoids answering why either bad things happen to good people or why good things happen to bad people. This question is the problem of evil.
This was the simplest point to disprove.
You said that if a parent can't be blamed for the sins of a child, the child cannot be blamed for the sins of the adult. if a doesnt mean b, b must not mean a?
Have you ever heard the statement "Life isn't fair?". Life isn't fair. People should stop assuming that God is going to make it fair. I think it's safe to say the fairness is a human construct. Isn't it funny that people only seem to protest the lack of fairness when it isn't in their favor?

As for the notion that Evil is created by God. I've heard a very good counterargument for this very point.

Cold is the absence of Heat
Dark is the absence of Light
Evil is the absence of Good.

By the same reasoning, there cannot be evil if there is not Good, because without evil, good would be the status quo.

"If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent he can prevent evil from happening."
Only God can be perfect. If God were to make everything good there would be no need for a god anymore.

What if we bring more absolutes onto the table? The Bible states that God is perfectly merciful AND perfectly just.



None.

Options
Pages: 1 2 35 >
  Back to forum
Please log in to reply to this topic or to report it.
Members in this topic: None.
[11:47 am]
Ultraviolet -- PandaCraft1989
PandaCraft1989 shouted: And path to eudraft executable??
wherever you have it stored on your computer, you have to DL it separately
[11:46 am]
Ultraviolet -- PandaCraft1989
PandaCraft1989 shouted: I am new to modding SC1 for SC Remastered via EUD Editor 3..
it's not technically modding, although it emulates some features available through modding
[07:13 am]
PandaCraft1989 -- And path to eudraft executable??
[07:11 am]
PandaCraft1989 -- I am new to modding SC1 for SC Remastered via EUD Editor 3..
[2022-5-17. : 12:54 am]
Ultraviolet -- :wob:
[2022-5-16. : 7:53 pm]
O)FaRTy1billion[MM] -- :wob:
[2022-5-16. : 4:57 pm]
RIVE -- :wob:
[2022-5-16. : 2:21 pm]
lil-Inferno -- :wob:
[2022-5-16. : 9:29 am]
Moose -- :wob:
[2022-5-16. : 4:55 am]
KrayZee -- :wob:
Please log in to shout.


Members Online: Roy, Dem0n, jun3hong