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Old 06-21-2001, 12:31 AM   #1
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Lightbulb The logical contradiction of Biblical prophecy and freewill

It is well known that Christians often refer to Biblical prophecy as support
for their position that the Bible is the Word of God. However, we all know
that these prophecies are imaginary ones at best, and are simply the result
of post-hoc interpretations (very loose interpretations, I might add) of
Biblical passages that were never meant to be prophecies. Not only that,
but we know that there are many prophecies in the Bible that were never
fulfilled.

A modern Christian teaching is that humans have so-called "free will",
meaning they have the ability to choose their actions, whether the actions
be good, neutral, or evil. However, this concept of free-will contradicts
the idea of Biblical prophecy, because the very nature of a prophecy implies
that human action is predetermined. If human action is predetermined, then
this means that free-will does not exist. Thus, we cannot have the
existence of Biblical prophecy and free will at the same time. Either
humans have free will, and prophecies are impossible (because any prophecy
could be ruined by a human changing his/her mind on what action they will
take), or prophecies exist and humans do not have free will.

From my understanding, the Christian teaching of free-will is relatively
modern, and the early Christians did not believe such a doctrine. Indeed,
it seems that there is no Biblical support whatsoever for this modern
teaching, and that the Bible actually supports the concept of predestination
instead. Thus, the modern Christian teaching of free-will is actually at
odds with the Bible.

Comments from the group?
 
Old 06-21-2001, 08:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JamesKrieger:
&lt;snip&gt;
Comments from the group?</font>
Same old Christian copout: he moves in mysterious ways.

 
Old 06-21-2001, 08:41 PM   #3
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I dont believe in God, but i consider that the free will issue with man is not a problem. It is God the one who knows the future of Man, it is not Man who knows his future. So man does has free will,each steps he makes is a suprize.

But if man is told his future, only then he loses his free will. But thats not the case.

Now if you tell me about the free will of God, then thats somethign else. If he is omniscient and knows the future then he cant have free will.

Good Day.

[This message has been edited by Asimis (edited June 21, 2001).]
 
Old 06-21-2001, 08:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Cute Little Baby:
he moves in mysterious ways.
</font>
Wouldn't that line make a great song?

 
Old 06-21-2001, 09:15 PM   #5
James Still
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Asimis:
I dont believe in God, but i consider that the free will issue with man is not a problem. It is God the one who knows the future of Man, it is not Man who knows his future. So man does has free will,each steps he makes is a suprize.

But if man is told his future, only then he loses his free will. But thats not the case.</font>
The way I see the free will/determinism problem, my freedom must be ontologically real and not just psychologically real or it isn't real freedom. In other words, I must be truly free to act and my actions must not have been anticipated by God or else it's an elaborate game. Call it a "crazy house problem." Theme parks and state fairs always have crazy houses, tight claustrophic mazes in which people navigate precariously trying to get to the end. Surprises are around every corner because we don't know what's going to happen next. But the fact that we don't know what's around the next corner doesn't change the fact that the crazy house has severely limited our options and prevents us from moving outside of its narrow course. If God has foreknowledge and is omnipotent then we have no real choice because we are moving along his omniscient path even though we're unaware of what's around the next corner.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Now if you tell me about the free will of God, then thats somethign else. If he is omniscient and knows the future then he cant have free will.</font>
Now that's a fascinating thought!



[This message has been edited by James Still (edited June 21, 2001).]
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Old 06-21-2001, 09:48 PM   #6
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by James Still:
[B] Now that's a fascinating thought!

I dont' see why that's a big deal, the logical implications of most atheist notions are that the universe is determinisitic. Most atheists would argue for genetic determinism in behvior and morality. So what?

But I still don't see why knowing the outcome means that God is determinging your actions. I can see why the course of action is limited, but you still have freedom to choose the major issues of life.
 
Old 06-21-2001, 09:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The way I see the free will/determinism problem, my freedom must be ontologically real and not just psychologically real or it isn't real freedom. In other words, I must be truly free to act and my actions must not have been anticipated by God or else it's an elaborate game. Call it a "crazy house problem." Theme parks and state fairs always have crazy houses, tight claustrophic mazes in which people navigate precariously trying to get to the end. Surprises are around every corner because we don't know what's going to happen next. But the fact that we don't know what's around the next corner doesn't change the fact that the crazy house has severely limited our options and prevents us from moving outside of its narrow course. If God has foreknowledge and is omnipotent then we have no real choice because we are moving along his omniscient path even though we're unaware of what's around the next corner.</font>
You still have free will. God may know your future but he doesnt touches you or makes you do something. You are free to do what you want,you wanna jump form a building and die? You can do it if you want, but what keeps you from doing so? It is the fact that you value life.

But if you decide to jump, God is not going to stop you because that wasnt supposed to happen.You are always given choices in life, you can choose whatever choiceyou want and stick to it, you may either bad or good about it. God has nothing to do with it.He doesnt interacts with your destiny.

There is no such thing as a predestinated life. The only fact that we all know that will happend to us is that we are going to die someday, because thats the way nature is.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I dont' see why that's a big deal, the logical implications of most atheist notions are that the universe is determinisitic. Most atheists would argue for genetic determinism in behvior and morality. So what?

But I still don't see why knowing the outcome means that God is determinging your actions. I can see why the course of action is limited, but you still have freedom to choose the major issues of life.</font>
The universe is fixed and has its laws. Thats why man cant be omnipotent(for example) there are laws that keeps him from been so.

You dont really know the out come. You can speculate about what is going to happen or what it supossed to happen. But sometimes you are wrong.

I agree the course of action is limited by the laws of nautre(i.e. gravity).You cant do whatever you want, but that doesnt means your life is predeterminated.

Now back to God. If God does in fact knows the future he cant have free will and he would be found responsible for what happened to mankind in Genesis.And only that, turns everything into a whole mess!

Good day.

[This message has been edited by Asimis (edited June 21, 2001).]
 
Old 06-21-2001, 10:33 PM   #8
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Someone on the errancy list gave me the following link, which illustrates how it might be possible for free will and prophecy to occur simultaneously:

http://www.courses.rochester.edu/wie...111/omnis.html


Let's say that prophecies and free will can exist at the same time. This creates
yet another problem. If God knows what decisions I will make in the future,
then he obviously knows that as a skeptic I will not accept Christianity as
the truth and thus I obviously reject Christ as my savior. If that is the
case, according to Christian teachings, I am going to Hell for eternity.
This means that God already knows who is going to Hell and who isn't. This
also means that he is even more cruel than we thought, because not only does
he have a place of infinite punishment for finite sins, he knows who is
going to go there ahead of time, and he can't or won't do anything about it.

If God won't do anything about it, this contradicts with the Bible, because
according to the Bible, God wants everyone to be saved ("He is patient with
you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" 2
Peter 3:9).

If God can't do anything about it, this also contradicts the Bible, because
God's plans cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2 "I know that you can do all
things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.").

If we look at the two Bible verses that I just quoted, we see that God
obviously wants everybody to be saved, and no plan of his can be thwarted.
Thus, we can arrive at one of two conclusions:

1. Everyone is saved, no matter what (Universalism), which contradicts the
Gospel teachings that anyone who does not believe in Christ will not have
everlasting life
2. God is not omnipotent, which contradicts the Bible verse that no plan of
God's can be thwarted

Either way, the concept of God's foreknowledge contradicts with some
passages in the Bible, and also contradicts with modern Christian teachings.
The Bible also contradicts itself because if no plan of God's can be
thwarted, then God obviously doesn't want everybody to be saved because not
everyone will be saved. However, this contradicts the verse in 2 Peter
which states that God wants everyone to be saved.

Whew. Everybody got that?



[This message has been edited by JamesKrieger (edited June 21, 2001).]
 
Old 06-21-2001, 10:37 PM   #9
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Like i said, it turns everything into a whole mess...
 
Old 06-21-2001, 10:39 PM   #10
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So you seem to be saying that one should be able to use their free will and do something in opposition to how God knows it is going to be. But then obviously God was wrong, and he can't be wrong, now can he? Therefore there is no free will.
 
 

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