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Free Will and an Omniscient god

Started by Herp-art, 07/03/2011 08:16AM
Posted 07/03/2011 08:16AM Opening Post
Mutually exclusive concepts. Which do you choose?
Posted 07/03/2011 09:04AM #1
I will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will. -Neil Peart

John Agnew said:

Mutually exclusive concepts. Which do you choose?
Posted 07/03/2011 09:19AM #2
John Agnew said:

Mutually exclusive concepts. Which do you choose?

I'm not sure I'm free to choose! 8)

"A wise man, ... proportions his belief to the evidence."
-David Hume
Posted 07/03/2011 10:10AM #3
John, Maybe it's similar to the wave/particle problem regarding light. Or has that matter been solved and I just didn't read about it? :S

[COLOR="Blue"]Darian Rachal[/COLOR]
Posted 07/03/2011 03:17PM | Edited 07/03/2011 03:23PM #4
Not mutually exclusive. Your supposition presumes that an omniscient God cares. I'm not so sure. He might be done with Earth. If there is a God, he might be off spending 7 days to create a new planet in the far flung corner of the Universe. Further, old testament God was a pretty scary and arbitrary God. New Testament Jesus cares, but he might not be able to hold back his pissed off old testament father. Every time Jesus takes his dog for a walk, old testament God might be unleashing hurricanes, tsunamis, or at least messing up your third shot at a national championship. wink

I have several telescopes, but none are semi-APO, APO, or in anyway valuable.
Posted 07/03/2011 08:19PM | Edited 07/03/2011 08:23PM #5
John Agnew said:

Mutually exclusive concepts. Which do you choose?

Really? I don't think so. Let's say you build a closed ecosystem, one in which you can monitor and alter in all ways. Choose what you want it to be...a fish tank, ant farm, whatever. So in effect, you are the god of that system. Now you put a fish in that ecosystem (guess you chose the fish tank). And of course you tell the fish that they are free to move about their universe and do what they will (figuratively tell them because their brain is so small that they don't even realize that you are 1) something living, or 2) in control of them). There you go. You are an omniscient being over that ecosystem that you created, and the creature you placed in it you gave free will to do as it pleases in its universe.

And of course, you monitor the universe you made, and the creature you placed there, caring for it, providing for its universe so it can sustain your little creature which you love.

Multitudes of examples where omniscience and free will coexist every day in multiple contexts.

Oh yes, forgot to answer your question. Of course I choose neither. Reason is that these are things are part of the construct of the universe I'm in, so I really don't have any choice over them at all as they just gravity. Trick question huh ;->
Posted 07/03/2011 09:29PM #6
I choose to go to the pool, then cookout, then go watch fireworks. I guess that means I'm choosing free will.


DSOs observed:
NGCs 2005, ICs 103, Other 70, Palomar GCs 6, Abell PNs 12, Herschel 400: 316.
Celestron CPC 1100, Lunt 60mm Ha Solar Scope
Posted 07/04/2011 07:34AM #7
John Agnew said:

Mutually exclusive concepts. Which do you choose?

Can I choose "none of the above"?

Oh certainly there is some free will...but much of our behavior is dictated by biology.

And certainly, alas, there are no gods.


Uncle Rod

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Waste it with Uncle Rod's Astro Blog!
Posted 07/05/2011 07:43AM #8
John Agnew said:

Mutually exclusive concepts. Which do you choose?

Depends on what you call omniscient.

If it means an entity seperate from ourselves knows what will happen ahead of time, free will is still possible.

If it means taking some action to intervene based on that knowledge, then that would reduce or even defeat free will.

I know when I give only one toy to my twin nephews an arguement will soon ensue. I may even say; "You have to share." Am I directing them to argue? No, I'm directing them to share.

In this example, the arguement is pretty much their choice. My goal to teach them the concept of sharing might have failed, but they also might learn from the experience. They are left to judge each others' generosity and their own self control.

That would be analogous to the resources of the earth shared by mankind. The only guidance we really have is the long term effects of our actions.

Now if omniscient means we do what was predictable and are punished as a result. It still does not negate free will. The punishment would be an excercise in futility.

If omniscient means every single action we take is predestined, then there is no free will.

That's about it.

Posted 07/05/2011 12:33PM #9
John Agnew said:

Mutually exclusive concepts. Which do you choose?

Explain why you think they are mutually exclusive? They are not.

God's omnisience does not negate our free will. Just because God knows our choice
before we make it does not mean that we were force to make that choice. We are not
puppets on strings.

Doug Matulis
"I need something to put here, can you help? wink "