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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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So which is it?

If humans have true freewill, then God is limited by his ability to know the future with certainty. If God is limited, then God isn't God. The only way out of this logical inconsistency is to remove freewill from arguments. But if they do that, then much of Christian theology no longer makes sense, such as the concept of sin.

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Freewill or no freewill?
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 12:28 PM
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OK, so your saying that if we have freewill then there isn't a way for God to know the future but if God knows the future then we dont have freewill. Right?
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Right.

What's your take?
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 01:51 PM
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It is really a tough question Danny. I believe that we all have a free will, but at the sametime God knows the decisions we are going to make but that doesn't mean we are not free to make those decisions.

God is not bound by time. He knows the beginning from the end. He has stepped through time and knows everything that is going to happen before it does. The decisions we make are still ours to make, right or wrong. Its like a man in a time machine, who goes through time and witnesses future events and then travels back to the present. He knows everything that is going to happen but that doesn't prevent any of it from happening.

But on the other hand I also believe that once a person becomes a believer then God steps in and helps us make the right decisions. Kinda like a parent helps a child make right decisions while growing up so they dont get hurt.

Ten years ago when we moved here to Texas from Florida I didn't want to come out here. I prayed that I wanted to do Gods will and that He needed to give me three particular signs to show me that this is what we were to do. Within one week those three things happened so we moved. Now had God not stepped in and gave me those signs I would not be here and probably not where I am today spiritually, financially, ect...
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 12:59 AM
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Interesting question, and one I've pondered on a number of times.

My basic take is that God can see the infinite possible outcomes of each choice/decision we could possibly make in a given situation. So no matter what we end up doing, he know's what will come of it.

Going on the time machine idea, if a man goes back in time, and changes even the slightest thing, it will affect the future (present for said person) in some way.

Ever play Command & Conquer: Red Alert? They base the entire story around the consequences of a time machine that Einstien built. He used it in the 1940's to go back to the 1920's, and wipe Hitler out of existence. While the immediate reaction is "Whoo! No more holocaust.", one of the possible outcomes in the future of that action, was that since Germany never came to power, that left Russia unchecked and Stalin persued his own plans of world domination. It's a pretty sweet game. Real time strategy. Oldie but goodie, was originally released in 1995 or 1996. You can find it for $10 at Wal-Mart (where I picked up my first legit copy. I've had a burned copy since the game first came out ). Check it out if you're interested.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarkWolf
Interesting question, and one I've pondered on a number of times.

My basic take is that God can see the infinite possible outcomes of each choice/decision we could possibly make in a given situation. So no matter what we end up doing, he know's what will come of it.

Going on the time machine idea, if a man goes back in time, and changes even the slightest thing, it will affect the future (present for said person) in some way.
So you don't really believe in prophecy? In prophecy, God not only knows all the possible outcomes but He also knows what choice will be made. Hence my time theory. Not to say that God got with HG Wells and had him build a machine for Him but he isn't bound by time like we are. After all, He created time as we know it. You and I may try to change future events but I dont believe that God would or does that. But then again, we may never know whether He does or not.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 07:48 AM
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Re: So which is it?

Quote:
Originally posted by 46Tbird
If humans have true freewill, then God is limited by his ability to know the future with certainty. If God is limited, then God isn't God. The only way out of this logical inconsistency is to remove freewill from arguments. But if they do that, then much of Christian theology no longer makes sense, such as the concept of sin.

--JohnPassaniti

Freewill or no freewill?
It just sounds like John Passaniti is just trying to comprehend what he cant nor will understand.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally posted by 281R
It just sounds like John Passaniti is just trying to comprehend what he cant nor will understand.
Aren't we all?

So the conclusion is that God lets us have free will, but already knows the choices we will make?
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 09:22 AM
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Aren't we all?

So the conclusion is that God lets us have free will, but already knows the choices we will make?
good point is how Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him (Jesus) 3 times before the rooster crowed and of coarse Peter has free will b/c Jesus didnt make him (Peter) deny Him (Jesus), but Christ knew the future and exactly what would happen.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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So He already knows whether or not we are going to hell?
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 10:28 AM
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So He already knows whether or not we are going to hell?
Yes
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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So.. any guesses on where I'm going?
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 01:41 PM
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I thought JC already said you were going to hell?

We have a promise in the bible that says we will enter into Gods kingdom if we just believe.

1Timothy 2:4 says that God desires everyone to be saved and to come to a full knowledge of truth.

So it isn't like God is on a power trip saying who goes and who doesn't. He wants everyone to go but He also knows that not everyone is going to make the right choice.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoonDog
So you don't really believe in prophecy? In prophecy, God not only knows all the possible outcomes but He also knows what choice will be made. Hence my time theory. Not to say that God got with HG Wells and had him build a machine for Him but he isn't bound by time like we are. After all, He created time as we know it. You and I may try to change future events but I dont believe that God would or does that. But then again, we may never know whether He does or not.
I think prophecy is a little different. As we all know by now, prophecy isn't an exact science (or art, if you will). I view prophecy as seeing what the outcome of a particular course of action, or series of events will be. Should an action or events change (again, because of our free will), then the prophecy may or may not be fulfilled, either in part, or in full.

Which is why I think it would be more accurate that God could see all possible outcomes for a given choice / action / event, rather than just knowing what choice / action / event will take place before it actually takes place. Since God does not work within our definition of time.

If the latter were the case (God knows what choices we'll make before we make them) then technically ... that does rob us of our free will, because that means our choices are pre-determined. So rather than knowing what we'll choose before we choose, He sees all possible outcomes of every possible choice we could make.

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarkWolf
I think prophecy is a little different. As we all know by now, prophecy isn't an exact science (or art, if you will). I view prophecy as seeing what the outcome of a particular course of action, or series of events will be. Should an action or events change (again, because of our free will), then the prophecy may or may not be fulfilled, either in part, or in full.

Which is why I think it would be more accurate that God could see all possible outcomes for a given choice / action / event, rather than just knowing what choice / action / event will take place before it actually takes place. Since God does not work within our definition of time.

If the latter were the case (God knows what choices we'll make before we make them) then technically ... that does rob us of our free will, because that means our choices are pre-determined. So rather than knowing what we'll choose before we choose, He sees all possible outcomes of every possible choice we could make.
It is said that there is over 300 prophecies made and fulfilled concerning Jesus. Sounds like someone knew exactly what was going to happen. Not just possible outcomes.
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoonDog
It is said that there is over 300 prophecies made and fulfilled concerning Jesus. Sounds like someone knew exactly what was going to happen. Not just possible outcomes.
Ah, the beauty of writing a book after the fact. j/k

Very interesting ideas floating around in here, I'd like to hear everyone else's opinion as well.
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 03:21 PM
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Ah, the beauty of writing a book after the fact. j/k
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 05:11 PM
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I believe the same way as has been previously stated. That we have the "freewill" to choose but God knows what we will choose. Just because he knows doesn't mean he affects our decisions. If you are talking about whether God or a god or anything controls us, I would say no. He does give signs that we may or may not take note of.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2003, 11:28 PM
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God gives us freewill, yet God knows our hearts. Because, God knows our hearts, he knows what choices we will make before we make them.
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 01:00 AM
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Originally posted by MoonDog
Actually though, he's right The only prophecies "fulfilled" in the Bible, were within the span of the biblical events. It's easy to say "someone said 'this will happen'." when it has already happened and you're writing about it 10's or 100's of years later.

There has been nothing prophesied in the Bible after the "conclusion" of biblical events (conclusion meaning a couple hundred years or less after the crucifixion / resurrection, not including Revelations, as that's a prophecy that has not been fulfilled, and the only prophecy I know of that is not within the biblical events). Which is to say that all phrophecies given within the Bible, are conveniently fulfilled within the Bible.

If I'm not mistaken, we've been over this before

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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 05:54 AM
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Originally posted by DarkWolf
Actually though, he's right The only prophecies "fulfilled" in the Bible, were within the span of the biblical events. It's easy to say "someone said 'this will happen'." when it has already happened and you're writing about it 10's or 100's of years later.

There has been nothing prophesied in the Bible after the "conclusion" of biblical events (conclusion meaning a couple hundred years or less after the crucifixion / resurrection, not including Revelations, as that's a prophecy that has not been fulfilled, and the only prophecy I know of that is not within the biblical events). Which is to say that all phrophecies given within the Bible, are conveniently fulfilled within the Bible.

If I'm not mistaken, we've been over this before
So your saying that the writers of the gospels made up their stories to make it look like Jesus fulfilled the 300+ prophecies? The prophecies in the Old Testement were written atleast 500+ years, some were 1000's of years before Jesus was born, yet He fulfilled them all.

One example:
Quote:
Isaiah 7:14 (750 BC)
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoonDog
So your saying that the writers of the gospels made up their stories to make it look like Jesus fulfilled the 300+ prophecies? The prophecies in the Old Testement were written atleast 500+ years, some were 1000's of years before Jesus was born, yet He fulfilled them all.

One example:
But there again, you have a prophecy that is conveniently fulfilled within the events of the Bible.

Whether or not they are made up, is an argument best saved for someone who completely discounts any credibility of the Bible. I however, just find it odd that one of the things people argue to "prove" the validity of the Bible, is all of the prophecies that were fulfilled ... when each and every one of them were fulfilled within the events of the Bible. For someone who doesn't believe in the Bible, that's just an easy target.

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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 07:30 AM
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I understand what you are saying Jay. It just boils down to whether a person believes that all the words contained in the bible are true or not. I do.

Back to the question at hand, We have the free will to make right and wrong choices and God knows what choice we are going to make before we do, period.
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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoonDog
So your saying that the writers of the gospels made up their stories to make it look like Jesus fulfilled the 300+ prophecies?
Stranger things have happened.

Actually, having read that book The Historical Jesus that I mentioned in this thread, I would have to say that I do believe that some stories in the Bible were told in such a way as to make certain prophecies come true. If Jesus was to be believable as the Messiah, he would have to fulfill the prophecies written about the Messiah.

What I'm saying is, that maybe some stories in the Bible are more factual than others. Just because the Bible was written in a way to convince Jews that Christ was their savior (by fulfilling prophecies written in the Old Testament) doesn't take away the fact that Jesus truly was the Lord (which I have come to believe). It gets back into that whole 'written by man' argument.

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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 03:06 PM
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It wasn't written by man. It was written by God through man's hand. However, you have to wonder what was lost when the bible was transferred from language to language to language. You can't even translate word for word simple phrases from english to spanish, much less hebrew to english.

The kings for England controlled the Church (Catholics) and therefore controlled the Bible. Is it so hard to believe they used the Bible to control or manipulate the people? They never even had services in english. It was all in latin and in some cases still is. Thus the reason for Martin Luther's 95 theses where he protested the RCC for it's corruption that involved money and indulgences and the Bible and services not being a language the common person could understand.

That being said, the only way to justify that the Bible is the absolute truth to us in english (as it was the the jews in Jesus' time) is to believe that God would not allow his word to mistranslated or misrepresented in the same way that he would not let the original writers of the Bible misquote his words. Perhaps he even let it be changed some to suit the times. Who knows.
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoonDog
I understand what you are saying Jay. It just boils down to whether a person believes that all the words contained in the bible are true or not. I do.

Back to the question at hand, We have the free will to make right and wrong choices and God knows what choice we are going to make before we do, period.
Exactly And we know my views on that subject. hehe.

I still think that by knowing what you're going to choose/do, before you actually do it ... negates your free will. Whether he knows your heart or not, free will means you are free to do as you wish. Which means you can follow your heart, or you can decide to do the exact opposite, at the drop of a hat.

Which again, makes more sense that God, instead of knowing what you're going to do before you do it, can see every possible outcome of every choice/act/decision you could possibly make. That leaves our free will intact, AND allows God to know, technically, what you're going to do before you do it.

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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 03:36 PM
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Exactly And we know my views on that subject. hehe.

I still think that by knowing what you're going to choose/do, before you actually do it ... negates your free will. Whether he knows your heart or not, free will means you are free to do as you wish. Which means you can follow your heart, or you can decide to do the exact opposite, at the drop of a hat.

Which again, makes more sense that God, instead of knowing what you're going to do before you do it, can see every possible outcome of every choice/act/decision you could possibly make. That leaves our free will intact, AND allows God to know, technically, what you're going to do before you do it.
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 03:57 PM
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Exactly And we know my views on that subject. hehe.

I still think that by knowing what you're going to choose/do, before you actually do it ... negates your free will. Whether he knows your heart or not, free will means you are free to do as you wish. Which means you can follow your heart, or you can decide to do the exact opposite, at the drop of a hat.

Which again, makes more sense that God, instead of knowing what you're going to do before you do it, can see every possible outcome of every choice/act/decision you could possibly make. That leaves our free will intact, AND allows God to know, technically, what you're going to do before you do it.
Freewill is by definition the "ability or discretion to choose." Just because God knows what path we take doesn't mean we didn't choose to take it. Taking away our freewill would involve every choice that we make being God's will. If that were true then this world would be like Heaven.
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 04:12 PM
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Exactly And we know my views on that subject. hehe.

I still think that by knowing what you're going to choose/do, before you actually do it ... negates your free will. Whether he knows your heart or not, free will means you are free to do as you wish. Which means you can follow your heart, or you can decide to do the exact opposite, at the drop of a hat.

Which again, makes more sense that God, instead of knowing what you're going to do before you do it, can see every possible outcome of every choice/act/decision you could possibly make. That leaves our free will intact, AND allows God to know, technically, what you're going to do before you do it.
I am not saying that you're wrong and I am right. No one I think really knows for sure. I am just not seeing how God knowing what you are going to do takes away your free will. Its kinda like I know that you are going to respond to this but that doesn't mean you dont have free will to choose to do it.

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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 04:37 PM
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I am not saying that you're wrong and I am right. No one I think really knows for sure. I am just not seeing how God knowing what you are going to do takes away your free will. Its kinda like I know that you are going to respond to this but that doesn't mean you dont have free will to choose to do it.
HAHAHA! Good one

What I'm meaning by it though, and said before, if God knows what you're going to choose before you choose, then that suggests that your choices are predetermined ... thus not of free will.

But knowing every possible outcome, of every possible choice in a given situation, allows for both free will, and God to know what will happen, technically, before you ever make a choice

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post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-25-2003, 05:29 PM
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HAHAHA! Good one

What I'm meaning by it though, and said before, if God knows what you're going to choose before you choose, then that suggests that your choices are predetermined ... thus not of free will.

But knowing every possible outcome, of every possible choice in a given situation, allows for both free will, and God to know what will happen, technically, before you ever make a choice
Well I look at it this way,
OK... What if I said I could see the future and I didnt exist in regular life aging time (like a Highlander sort of thing ) But if I could change events to mold things how I want them to end up... Am I really taking your free will away? Or am I interacting to make things how I want them to turn out?
Thats how I THINK God interacts with us. My Opinion...
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post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-26-2003, 01:32 AM
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But if I could change events to mold things how I want them to end up... Am I really taking your free will away?
Yes.

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post #33 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-26-2003, 07:28 AM
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Yes.
See, I just dont see it that way. B/c God is not forcing you to do anything... You always have the freewill to turn Him down. But if He knows the future, past and present, then He is smart enough to know who will accept Him and who will not.
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post #34 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-26-2003, 04:41 PM
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See, I just dont see it that way. B/c God is not forcing you to do anything... You always have the freewill to turn Him down. But if He knows the future, past and present, then He is smart enough to know who will accept Him and who will not.
To strengthen this point, I will restate what I posted earlier. If we didn't have free will and God controlled our every action, then everything we did would be good. AKA no more killing, stealing, sadness, depression, etc... Assuming God is the all knowing, all seeing, all good and all perfect god that we have come to believe and further more, the very definition of what "god" is. However, if he wasn't all of those things he wouldn't be God or by definition a "god." He would be some other being, like satan or some other evil demon.
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post #35 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-27-2003, 03:23 AM
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Well, you did ask "But if I could change events to mold things how I want them to end up... Am I really taking your free will away?"

And yes, that would certainly be taking away my free will. You're shaping events to be how you want them to be. You're imposing your will over the will of others.

I'm still not understanding how you can't see that if our thoughts are pre-determined, that essentially negates our free will. I don't believe that God can see the future. Why? Because to do that, would mean our thoughts/choices/actions would have to be pre-determined, for the future to play out exactly as foreseen.

I believe he can see every possible outcome, of every possible choice that can be made (which is the future outcome from that point in time. Should we come to a point and make a contrary choice/action/thought, the future outcome will be altered thusly.) Which maintains our free will, and God's ability to "see the future". Any other way, requires that our free will be negated.

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post #36 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-27-2003, 05:55 AM
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First let me say this, Jesus said while praying in the garden "not My will but Your will be done." He was saying that He wanted Gods will to happen, not his own, which implies that we have our own free will to do as we please.

Second, Jay, to me it seems that you have God in a little box and are limiting His abilities. Just because we can not travel through time nor can we really comprehend the concept of time travel why do you not think that God has that ability. He does not bound by time. He doesn't just see the future, He can go back and forth through time at will, what may be the future for us in the present to Him, after all He created time to begin with. He is not a little grey haired old lady sitting in a kitchen baking cookies. By Him knowing what we will do does not imply that He made the choice for us.

That is all, thats what I think. I am sure we all will know in the end.
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post #37 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-27-2003, 06:19 AM
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That puts a new spin on it, and yeah, I can see that as a possibility. God's present is our future.

However, even that could be considered a negation of free will. In that it's implying that even though God is from our future and knows what we did in his past (our present), that we cannot alter our actions, and we'll do the exact same thing.

Which brings us back to our choices / actions being pre-determined.

I understand that God is not limited by our concept of time, and you and I have gone round after round on this particular subject alone But to see our future, suggests that he has to work within our concept of time, and to do that, means he can only see our future as it will be, based upon our choices / actions at that time. If that is the case, then if we truely have free will ... we can during the span of time between our present, and our future, alter our choices / actions, and thus change our future that God has seen

Which then again, brings us back to my original view, that rather than seeing our future, per se, God can see all possible outcomes, of all possible choices / actions that we could make in a given situation or at a given point in time.

Because of that, technically, he IS seeing our future. But he's seeing our future, based upon that particular moment in time, in our present. That future can still be altered, for better or for worse, because we have free will. And, it's also quite possible it may turn out exactly the way he saw it ... but for it to ALWAYS turn out the exact way that he saw/sees it, suggests that our choices are pre-determined, and ... well, I think you get the idea

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post #38 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-27-2003, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoonDog
First let me say this, Jesus said while praying in the garden "not My will but Your will be done." He was saying that He wanted Gods will to happen, not his own, which implies that we have our own free will to do as we please.
Correct, and that's fine if you choose to surrender your will.

We could also go into the "Is Jesus, God in the flesh?" argument

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post #39 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-27-2003, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarkWolf
Correct, and that's fine if you choose to surrender your will.

We could also go into the "Is Jesus, God in the flesh?" argument
Well, lets not go there again.
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