Do Molecules have Free Will?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ruiz, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    A close friend found out she had pre-lymphoma cells and must go through chemo in a couple of weeks. This experience has caused me to think, "Do cells and molecules have free will? Did God set them in motion, as deists insist, and let them run their course?"

    Or, is God in control of each and every one of these cells ensuring He controls even this pre-lymphoma?

    So, does God set in motion, give free will, or totally controls cells and molecules?
     
  2. quantumfaith

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    All particles (mass) be they atomic, subatomic or macro, can be modeled by equations of quantum mechanics. This implies that the behave in somewhat of a random and probabalistic manner. In quantum physics, this means that everything, even those things we have previously held to purely deterministic are in fact modeled by probablities. Anyone who at the least considers themselves to be a theist (much less a believing Christian) acknowldeges at some degree of the involvement of a creator (YHW). The point of "discussion" relative to christian theologians and apologists is the degree of manipulation (involvement) of God in creation. To be sure, even to those who assign little involvement of God in the "behaviour" of creation, it is acknowledged that creation comes with assigned universal constants (See "Anthropic Principle) and thus this implies that creation has designed parameters within which it must behave. Among believers, there is no question that God can influence creation (Sovereignty), but rather the question for theologians and apologists is 'how much" does God alter (manipulate) the conduct of atoms, molecules etc and by extension US as we are composed of atoms and molecules.

    Just my humble thoughts. When one begins to attempt to understand quantum physics, mechanics and Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, God is even MORE grand, awesome and sovereign.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    R, take this from someone battling cancer for years....it's in Gods capable hands. I will pray for your friend.

    Jesus Is Lord
     
  4. quantumfaith

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    Ditto:praying:
     
  5. Ruiz

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    Thanks to both of you, she can use your prayers.

    On the topic, the greatest comfort one can give is to say God controlled all of this for His glory. Those pre-cancerous cells were designed and planned by God for His glory. This gives me comfort knowing God is in control of the entire process and gives me confidence my prayers go to God who is sovereign over a cell or molecule.

    However, many would wish to disagree with me. I wonder what position they take. Is God more deistic and only set things in motion then left? Does God allow cancerous cells free will and will not invade those rights? Is there another scenario? Then, as a pastor, how would we use that theology to comfort those going through this situation?

    Curious! I think situations like these is where theology must shine.
     
  6. HankD

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    There are two opposing views to which you have alluded,:

    1) Open theology and
    2) Fatalism.

    Do a google on each.

    I don't know that we mortals can fathom the truth (if there is a third option) as there seems to be no middle ground.

    Ecclesiastes 8:17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.​

    HankD
     
  7. Ruiz

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    Hank,

    No, I put forth three, you added a fourth and fifth (?).

    1. Deism
    2. Libertarian freedom on the molecular level.
    3. God's Sovereignty
    4. You added fatalism.
    5. There is know way of knowing, theology is insufficient in this area (seems to be your point in your message)

    I would reject and call fatalism heresy.

    However, which one do you espouse? I think the Bible addresses this issue clearly and would be interested in your perspective, but without mischaracterization. Yet, I do thank you for adding another point to my initial three. As well, if you do not know, I would ask you refrain from this conversation as you can only bash other beliefs and not put forth one of your own.

    So, tell me, which one do you hold to? How does your theology inform you in giving Pastoral care to those going through this situation (I would be interested in this question if you believe we cannot know, as this is of Pastoral interest)?
     
    #7 Ruiz, Aug 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2010
  8. HankD

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    Here is my verse pertaining to your inquiry.

    Proverbs 3
    5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.​

    HankD
     
  9. Ruiz

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    Hank,

    So you do not think the Bible addresses the issue. Good, how do you use this Pastorally when ministering to someone about to go through chemo?
     
  10. Winman

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    Wow, this is a deep subject.

    I do think the scriptures address this to a degree. When Adam and Eve sinned, God cursed the ground. I believe this is when the Laws of Thermodynamics were introduced into the universe. Everything tends toward disorder, everything wears out, grows old, decays... There is a randomness in the universe.

    And I believe this is where illness and disease were introduced into the world. Sickness or disease is basically a disorder.

    But God certainly can override these laws, Jesus calmed the storm, he healed all manner of disease and sickness.

    And I think to a degree God controls disorder and keeps it from getting out of hand, else the planets and stars would leave their orbits and all the universe would crash.

    2 Pet 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    I believe this verse is teaching that God is preserving the world we live in now, keeping it from going out of control. We also see that after the flood God promised to keep the world in order.

    Gen 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
    22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.


    I don't worry about all this global warming stuff, in the 70's they predicted another ice age. But God said while the earth remains, he will keep it in the order we see today.

    Sickness and illness is a little different. We see in the case of Hezekiah that God healed him and gave him 15 extra years to live, but in the case of Paul, God decided not to heal him. So, I cannot say why God decides to heal some and not others, but I am sure his reasons are just and good.
     
  11. HankD

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    Dear Ruiz,

    I think we have had a disconnect (at least on my part).

    I was addressing the issue as to what I see as the bottom line.

    We cannot understand the details of these things as we do not
    the capability to think as God thinks:

    Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.​


    Having had a couple of close scrapes with death myself (one in which I very nearly died and was institutionalized for quite a while), I have learned by experience (FWIW, RE:My experiences) to put myself in God's hands after nearly 70 years on planet earth.

    Here are some verses I have been given and have been a comfort to me through these experiences.

    Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.​

    Proverbs 3
    5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.​

    Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.​

    Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.​

    Normally, I don't counsel in the sense of which I think you are asking, I give my own account as to what I have experienced with my walk with the Lord and the Scripture He has given me.​

    Though I am a strong believer in the Sovereignty of God, The Scripture uses both the word and concept of "intercessory" as related to prayer,
    so I do pray for others (I am on our local church prayer chain) and often let people know that I am praying for them (especially the unsaved) as well as tell them what things the Lord has done for me.​


    HankD​
     
  12. AresMan

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    Answers in Genesis would disagree with that. The second law of thermodynamics is required for digestion, fusion (as in how the sun releases energy), and other natural processes. Possibly certain processes were exempt, but I would think that thermodynamics in its entirety cannot be dismissed. This would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yes, "God can do anything," but we don't want to be illogical with our beliefs and draw indefensible conclusions from our preliminary readings of Scriptures.

    "Randomness" is NOT free will. In fact, I would say it would be in conflict with free will. Randomness is more "insanity" that would actually absolve someone of the consequences of actions. Motivation and intention are what link actions to culpability.
     
  13. quantumfaith

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    A couple of years ago in my "neck of the woods", a gentlemen went "looney" and went of a shooting spree. He killed (if memory serves me correctly) 13 people. Is this, for the determinist, a pre-ordained act designed from the foundations of creation, an act of God?

    Personally, IMHO, I think not.
     
  14. Ruiz

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    From my understanding of what you are stating, you believe that God set in motion things that were changed at the fall. These things that were set in motion will act out normally and through a fallen nature unless God intervenes. So, in the normal course of events, God does not intervene and so this is normally a modified deistic view.

    My next question is how would you use this theology to Pastorally comfort someone?
     
  15. Ruiz

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    What man meant for evil, God meant for Good (Genesis 50:20).

    However, my focus has been on what view one has in a situation such as this? As well, how would you use this theology to comfort the person going through the situation?
     
  16. Luke2427

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    He totally controls it. This is the essence of Sovereignty. In him we live and move and have our being... by Him all things consist.

    God is the source of all power. There is not an atom in all the cosmos which God is not charging this very instant.

    There is no power which is not his and which he does not fully oversee and command.

    Via this control he worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
     
  17. Luke2427

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    Yes, I think it was because I think everything is. The obstacle to understanding this is a belief that states that in order to be good God must provide for the comfort or well being of men. When he destroys men he is accused of either being impotent to stop their destruction or he is evil because he allowed or brought it to pass.

    The truth is that God does not think man is the center of the universe. He does not think that his actions toward men define his goodness. He loves his Son supremely. And if a catastrophe serves as a backdrop upon which Christ can be glorified then the suffering of man is a small price to pay for such an infinitely valuable thing.

    God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

    For of him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be glory forever and ever, amen.
     
  18. quantumfaith

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    Luke, we will worship the same God in spirit and truth, but hold differing conclusions as to "how" He expresses His sovereignty in creation.
     
  19. go2church

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    Pastorally speaking when speaking I have found that trying to understand why someone ends up with a disease to less then helpful.

    I don't know why you have cancer, I don't know if you're going to survive but I know that whatever the outcome, for a believer, there is victory in life or death. We are assured time and time again that this life is not all there is. There is "a life to come" and if you have placed your faith in Jesus, that "life to come" will be one that is free from the calamities we now suffer. Until then I will pray that, whether in life or in death, you will remain steadfast in your faith, confident that your salvation is without doubt, even if our questions remain unanswered. Either way, to God be the glory.
     
  20. quantumfaith

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    Well Said. :thumbs:
     

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