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Destiny & God
Jan 2 2012, 5:53 pm
By: payne
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Jan 7 2012, 4:24 am Oh_Man Post #81

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"So in essence you're assuming God has free will to begin with, as an assumption."
No that was in answer to you comparing the actions of a non-sentient being with a sentient one. Remember you are the one that made the distinction between 'capability' and 'ability to'. The computer has the capability to perform functions but doesn't have any ability to do so (of its own volition). Basically if we took omnipotence out of the picture I would use the argument about sentience vs non-sentience for freewill as well, but that is not necessary. Because omnipotence requires free will, (reexplaining below). This was only to address your prev post.

An omnipotent being would have to have free will because otherwise it wouldn't be able to make decisions freely, it wouldn't be able to do something, which means it isn't omnipotent. By trying to say: "well, it COULD have free will if it wanted to" is merely semantics. Because it is already without constraints.

An omnipotent being by necessity must have free will. Because an omnipotent being can't be unable to do something.

Jan 7 2012, 10:12 pm Vrael Post #82

Quote from Oh_Man
An omnipotent being would have to have free will because otherwise it wouldn't be able to make decisions freely
Clearly this is the crux of the matter, maybe I have driven us off track somehow. Consider the alternative: an omnipotent being must be able to make decisions with restraint, otherwise it is incapable of something and therefore not omnipotent. For clarity, I'm assuming "to make decisions freely" means "to make a decision that requires free will" and "to make a decision with restraint" to mean "to make a decision without free will." If an omnipotent being must be capable of both then I'm simply wrong, it would seem that it must simultaneously both have free will and not have free will, an impossibility which I should have noticed from the beginning. Or perhaps at some times it has one but not the other, but if for even a moment it does have free will then I agree that it must have free will.

My quarrel with "omnipotence => free will" lies within the common usage of time as a standard in dealing with things independent of time. For example, suppose this omnipotent God "currently" doesn't have free will because he is performing an action which requires him to not have free will (which is a question worthy of its own exploration, 'are there actions which are impossible to perform with free will?'), if he didn't have the capability to have free will "later" he wouldn't be omnipotent. As long as he does have the capability he's still omnipotent.

Thank you for re-explaining yourself. If you had simply made the effort at the beginning to fully develop the idea we could have avoided this entire discussion, just to answer your question from many posts ago again, though I suppose some interesting questions arise, of the form "Can God make a taco so hot that he himself cannot eat it?" and other questions concerning the contradictory nature of omnipotence. I'm glad you weren't trolling me.


Jan 8 2012, 4:13 am Sacrieur Post #83

Still Napping

I suppose I should flesh out the discussion. I'll use the word ability in place of power, only because power has a specific scientific definition.

Omnipotence, while it applies to a deity, I feel should apply only to the ability a deity (or for that matter, a person) possesses. My reason is rather simple. We describe a machine capable of lifting up to 300 kg certainly capable of lifting a rock of 150 kg. We would say the machine has the ability to lift 150 kg rock. This machine, as it is controlled by humans, is unable to make any decisions -- it lacks any free-will.

I think omnipotence is rather daunting to discuss. Its very nature seems to defy logic; but I digress that it doesn't have to, and that the definition of omnipotence must fit into a logical framework. It seems to me, at least, that the word is merely a descriptor and adjective of ability, describing the "to what extent" category. In fact, I would be so bold to equate it to "to all extents".

The problem, then, is what is ability. If ability requires a decision, either conscious or not, then do hurricanes not have the ability to destroy houses because they are incapable of making decisions?


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