Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Location, Location
    Posts
    9,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Talking You Know You Love It

    Here’s something I struggle with and I’m bringing it here more for clarification than debate.

    Free Will (Stop groaning…)

    I’ve seen it defined as the ability to choose. I’ve also seen it described as the ability to choose right and wrong. But which is it? Is there a difference? Can there be a desired option without an undesired one? Along those lines but not quite the same, can there be a “right” choice without a “wrong” one?

    In the case of God giving man free will it seems that both “right” and “wrong” must be a requirement to facilitate the idea of free will because otherwise “right” or “wrong” would be base neutrality without its polar opposite. Based on that, the common assertion that “evil” is the absence of “good” seems to be somewhat illogical since, again, without “evil”, “good” would be nothing at all and vice versa.

    This brings us to the subject of evil. If evil is necessary to facilitate the function of free will (which it seems to be), how can it be said to be sin, or rather, something that God does not desire? For God to desire that man to have free will, he must also desire the existence of evil as well as good in order to provide it. Otherwise we would simply be wandering in a sea of correctness and not truly capable of making a right or wrong, good or bad, desired or undesired decision, thus, no free will.

  2. #2
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Sheffield, S.Yorks., UK
    Posts
    8,862
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: You Know You Love It

    GP: The problem about belief, no matter what it is, is that we are burdoned with 'insuffient knowlege', if we had that knowledge, it would no longer be belief.

    In the case of good and evil (which are morally determined); there is no problem with the good bit to a Christian.

    That mid point that you refer to, the cusp between right and wrong, in any moral sense, is where 'as far as we know' all the other creatures lie, and those humans who cannot differentiate (personality disorders, brain damage etc.).

    If we are to have any choice in our world it seems necessary for humans to be other than perfect, we need a range of options. It seems to me that although God 'cannot/will not' be evil, He can imbue this option within his 'human' creations, in order to allow choice. The thing that I see as preventing complete free choice are the constraints of genetic predisposition and formative foundations of behaviour, it seems that it is within this range that our salvation lies. 'Father forgive them for they know not (fully) what they do'. Our 'relative' free will only develops at the point of conceptual awareness and possibly develops and becomes 'freer' as we mature; perhaps to a point where our intellectual powers start to decline. In the case of someone with dementia, as they can no longer differentiate, they move back to that 'neutral' mid point you referred to.

    At the end of the day GP, we are nudging in the direction of wanting and needing perfect knowledge. If we had perfect knowledge, we would not be human, we would not behave in human ways, and our perfection would possibly deny us free will, as we would then all be inclined to pi*s into the same pot. As presumeably God, the Angelic Host and the Saints are already there, perhaps we need to die before full enlightenment? You first. But go one better than Conan Doyle and send me a message back.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  3. #3
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Location, Location
    Posts
    9,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: You Know You Love It

    Will do. But first it's off to lunch with family and friends!!

    :D

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    2,974
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: You Know You Love It

    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut
    If we are to have any choice in our world it seems necessary for humans to be other than perfect, we need a range of options. It seems to me that although God 'cannot/will not' be evil, He can imbue this option within his 'human' creations, in order to allow choice. The thing that I see as preventing complete free choice are the constraints of genetic predisposition and formative foundations of behaviour, it seems that it is within this range that our salvation lies. 'Father forgive them for they know not (fully) what they do'. Our 'relative' free will only develops at the point of conceptual awareness and possibly develops and becomes 'freer' as we mature; perhaps to a point where our intellectual powers start to decline. In the case of someone with dementia, as they can no longer differentiate, they move back to that 'neutral' mid point you referred to.
    This argument is absolutely possible without any God(s) injected into it. True evil is not a plain and clearly describable thing. It's inherent in human nature, and there's nothing we can do about that. There's also nothing wrong with that. I think we need evil to define good, and to locate and strive to correct the errors in our psychological and social ways.

    Free will is anything you make of it.
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  5. #5
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Location, Location
    Posts
    9,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: You Know You Love It

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyshhed
    I think we need evil to define good, and to locate and strive to correct the errors in our psychological and social ways.
    I agree. That's why I struggle with the notion of sin being something God does not desire when in fact sin seems to be a necessary component in making a "right" or "wrong" choice. Without evil/incorrect/wrong/undesired there is no good/correct/right/desired and vice versa if we are in fact free moral agents as described in Christian mythology.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: You Know You Love It

    Human sin is inevitable. Humans are able to choose their own actions. God does not restrict those actions, because He loves us. He has given us the ultimate gift, freedom. We may do with it what we will. Humans are no longer perfect, because the first humans gave in to Satan's tempting, and it changed human nature. It is what the concept of original sin is based on. Even when we are very young, we still have a sinful nature, even though it is not apparent yet. I need more clarification, though. Is this about free will, or evil, or both?

  7. #7
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Location, Location
    Posts
    9,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: You Know You Love It

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    Human sin is inevitable. Humans are able to choose their own actions. God does not restrict those actions, because He loves us. He has given us the ultimate gift, freedom. We may do with it what we will. Humans are no longer perfect, because the first humans gave in to Satan's tempting, and it changed human nature. It is what the concept of original sin is based on. Even when we are very young, we still have a sinful nature, even though it is not apparent yet. I need more clarification, though. Is this about free will, or evil, or both?
    Both.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    134
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: You Know You Love It

    Hi All

    In response to the initial post by GP, let's see if I can be completely controversial.

    Free will may be the ability to choose but do we have this ability or do we lose it to desire?

    We are creatures that react to desire. When one desire dominates another we assume this to be choice but it is just reaction. Will is a conscious effort that is not inspired by a our habitual desires.

    For example, trying standing on your head every morning for a month at 6:00 A.M. for fifteen minutes without anyone knowing what you are doing. Try and have the "will" to do it for a month. Of course you will say what is the purpose and what are you getting out of it which all has to do with a desire that must be satisfied. Such an effort is an attempt at free will. Only you know what you are doing and will ever know if you succeeded or failed. Would you have the will to do it or would normal desire for comfort prevent it?

    However, if there was a contest and you could win $10,000 for standing on your head every morning at 6:00 A.M. and you knew you would be on the local news for winning, all of a sudden you would have the will. This isn't will but a response of self esteem to desire for ten grand and notoriety.

    Man does not have free will so is incapable of evil. People just have differing opinions as to what the good is. No one does anything for the sake of evil but from their own subjective conception of good.

    If a pack of wild dogs brings down a deer, is it evil? No, they are just acting in accordance with the interacting influences crating nature's way. Since we are incapable of will we do the same thing. Right and wrong are subjective values. Objective morality can only begin for a person when they have a certain degree of consciousness and some ability for will. Such qualities are much more rare than you would believe.

    God's will is not done on earth. This is the domain of Gaia and her needs are the most important. Man unconsciously participates in what is necessary for her needs. The whole purpose of religion on earth is to try to develop man's ability to consciously participate in conjunction with God's will as opposed to continued slavery to the earth. But our distortions of its meanings render it impotent.

    How can sin be a factor? Sin exists in relation to a person's spiritual aim. Would laziness be a sin if a person was lazy being lead to the gallows? Man on earth is not going anywhere but just turning in circles so what's the rush? Why not be lazy if one can get away with it in their home and on their job? It only becomes a sin in the context of a spiritual aim. Then laziness is a stumbling block to the effort of a more conscious attention.

    We are too distant from God to be of direct value. This is why the Son is needed. The Son reflects God's will and we are close enough to the level of "son's of God" that we can be helped to develop to the level where we may possess free will and choice in the context of the deeper meanings of existence life on earth, lacking consciousness, cannot reflect.

    Once a person can appreciate the objective good that lies beyond the subjective interpretations and actively seeks the "way" to become an active participant, then the struggle between good and evil, or that which denies the discovered good can begin. But, a lot must happen before such a struggle can have any meaning because blind reaction to desire is a very dominant impulse that by definition will deny the understanding that can put it into perspective.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. A truth-based satire on love.
    By Fyshhed in forum Shootin' the Breeze / Off-Topic
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: February 18th, 2005, 10:20 AM
  2. Love
    By KneeLess in forum General Debate
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: July 21st, 2004, 07:52 PM
  3. 1984, part 2, chapter 1: Love and hate in Oceania.
    By KevinBrowning in forum Book Club Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: May 9th, 2004, 08:46 PM
  4. I LOVE YOU GUYS/GIRLS/aminals/minerals/vegetables...ect...
    By SouthernDem in forum Site Feedback
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: April 29th, 2004, 12:42 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •