The End of Faith According to Atheist: “Proof” There is No Free Will

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Benjamin, May 28, 2012.

  1. Benjamin

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g

    A theory acclaimed to be the best new and upcoming argument against the existence of God:



    IMO, the author is a man using desperate measures to argue against and to try to avoid responsibility, therefore I would suggest it reflects on his hopes of avoiding judgment. (Yet: Rom 1:20) Denying “free will” exists is becoming all the rage as the best weapon to prove God does not exist. To no surprise a belief in “cause and effect” is a hill that they are willing to die on. The proclaimed Atheist must either think himself intellectually justified in avoiding “moral responsibility” or face it and if he is to face it then who is he held accountable to? Himself? God? To the Atheist, if he admits to the highest authority being himself he has become a god in which the very notion of such, any being to be the supreme judge of moral principles deplorable, he finds this idea repulsive. The Atheist has thus found himself stuck between a rock and a hard place concerning moral authority; he has to either deny responsibility exist by denying free will or admit morality exists and it is beyond his ability to achieve moral perfection in his own judgment between good and evil. He would then have to face his sense of sin and folly while trying to be god…DUH (Gen 3:22).

    It must be a comfort to the Atheist to know that more and more Christians today are claiming to be in agreement with them, an ally, on this principle and are abandoning the only logical explanation that would assign responsibility for one’s own action…”free will”. I must say that I find the motive to generate an “excuse” much more reasonable for the proclaimed Atheist than the proclaimed Theist being the Theist shouldn’t need an “excuse” if he truly believes in the loving “grace” of God and is “willing” to “freely” accept that gift.
     
  2. OldRegular

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    Psalms 53:1. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    As I argued a while back, Calvinism gives unbelievers the best excuse out there: "I couldn't have done otherwise."

    or


    "God made me this way."


    or


    "I'm just doing as I was predestined to do."


    or


    "God doesn't chose to love me, why should I chose to love Him?"
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Unbelievers may make make those excuses, but the Scriptures don't cut them any slack.

    Back to Acts 2:23, where Paul wrote that the men who delivered Jesus up for crucifixion acted according to the "determinate counsel" and foreknowledge of God.

    It was God's intention, God's plan and God's set purpose from eternity that Jesus should be crucified. It was not possible that it could not or would not happen. Yet Paul described those who carried out God's plan and purpose "wicked men." Clearly they would be held accountable for their actions.

    How does that work? Don't know. But the Bible clearly teaches God's Sovereignty and man's responsibility, whether I can explain it or not.
     
  5. percho

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    I do not consider myself a Calvinist however I do believe in election.
    Why pick on Calvinist?

    The wages of sin is death. Therefore our only hope would be that there is a loving God.

    I cannot save myself therefore what can I do.

    Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this the whole of man.
    Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
     
  6. humblethinker

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    What does it mean to just say you believe in election... Who doesn't? The better distinction would be to say you believe in corporate or individual election
    Because Calvinists believe that God exercises meticulous providence, ie determinism. If they are wrong then the view should be picked on... And if they are right then why should they care to argue... we non-cals can't help but say the things we do.
     
  7. Winman

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    Determinism is never having to say you are sorry.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Benjamin

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    Paul anticipating an objection of why God would suffer a person in such a way, didn't He know what wicked men would do, and why didn't He stop it, was relaying it was according to the determinate counsel of God’s love, to redeem mankind from eternal death, by the death of His only Begotten Son.

    God foreknowing wicked men would do this thing does not equate to that God determined their actions. Clearly the Bible does not teach God’s sovereignty in the way you try to project it (predetermining all the responses of men) for to hold men responsible for their actions they would have to have the ability to do otherwise as the Bible clearly says God’s work (all of creation; Gen 1:31) is perfect: for all His ways are “judgment”: He is a God of “TRUTH” and without inequity (moral evil), just and right is He. (Deut 32:4)

    Maybe you should be considering “how that works” rather than trying to “explain” a presumption of determinism, because it is “clear” the Bible teaches that God judges men’s responsibility for their actions righteously and in “truth” and that is His way, His nature, and those attributes simply do not fit in with the determinist view of His sovereignty that would disregard the important issue that evil does not come out of an Only Good God, that you should know.
     
    #8 Benjamin, May 29, 2012
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  9. humblethinker

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    Einstein thought free will was an illusion just as much as Sam Harris says in the video... the idea has been around a long time. What are we that believe in free will to make of the experiments referred to in the OP regarding the successful prediction before the person actually decided. I have some ideas... but haven't formulated them into something presentable yet.

    It seems to me that the idea of free will can only be defended behind the idea of a God. As I said here, if we were to suppose that Christianity were untrue, I would be a naturalistic determinist.

    I wonder if Calvinists would think that Sam Harris et al has discovered what is ultimately predictable from the calvinist viewpoint: All is predetermined, down to the movement of the tiniest particle and imagination of every thought. At the end of the day I can worship alongside a calvinist. Can you imagine if this cultural division among Christians (and our nation) becomes more divisive than the evolution/creation debate?

    Why should a Calvinist attempt to refute Sam Harris? They both agree that all is predetermined. Now it's just an arguement between the two of them as to whether people should be held responsible... at that point why should anyone be compelled to argue the case that people should be held accountable? It just wouldn't matter.
     
    #9 humblethinker, May 29, 2012
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  10. Skandelon

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    I didn't deny that Calvinism teaches the "puppet people" are held to account. ;) I argued that Calvinism holds them to account for something in which they have no ability to change or control whatsoever, thus giving mankind a perfect excuse for not caring and writing off God all together. If I'm in rebellion and hear the doctrines of Calvinism taught, my reaction would probably be, "So, it is a very good probability that I am not loved or chosen by God and that I couldn't willingly repent? Yep, that is me, I have addictions that have haunted me my whole life and that must be the reason...God made me so that I couldn't do otherwise. Oh well, He doesn't love me, why should I waste my time!" I've actually known of people who have had this type of reaction, so you can't pretend it doesn't happen.

    Proof that God used effective means (temporary blinded etc) to ensure redemption of mankind by giving up his own life in NO WAY proves He somehow casually and effectually determines every choice of mankind, evil or otherwise, which is what you seem to be suggesting. Yes, God uniquely intervened to ensure His crucifixion, which is exactly what makes that event so uniquely supernatural and divine. And he did so, not by altering the wills of man, he merely blinded them in their own rebellion...like a cop who hides his presence from the speeder so that the speeder will continue doing what he already wants to do. Do we blame cops for the speeders crime simple because he hid himself to ensure it happened? Of course not. You can't equate God's allowing and foreknowing of what will come to pass with his determination of such.
     
    #10 Skandelon, May 29, 2012
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  11. Skandelon

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    :thumbsup:

    People deny the possibility of free will for the same reason they deny the possibility of God...both are mysterious and cannot be scientifically measured or comprehended. A seemingly uncaused choice, whether chosen by God or one of his creatures, is beyond our ability to define. To simply claim that the free agent determines his free choices, PERIOD, may seem insufficient to the intellectual faithless elite, but the alternative, if measured by the logical standards which demand an explanation, must ultimately lead to fatalism.
     
  12. psalms109:31

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    Jonah a believer will was not to go to Nineveh. Jonah did not change his will, but what he did was repented and took on the will of God or he would perish in the belly of the fish. Jonah after doing the will of God did he like going against his own will?
     
  13. humblethinker

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    This is exactly my thought and has been ever since I attempted to accept Calvinism as my own view. The comfort that such a view as determinism would bring me was not worth the illogical, cognitively dissonant, inevitably unscriptural conclusions.

    Yes, this is such an excellent answer. I like to think of the people that crucified Christ as though they had, before the actual event, hardened and solidified their characters such that they were 'victims' of their own previous decisions and obviously accountable for their actions... like a drunk driver who's previous decision brought pain and agony to otherwise innocent people. Free will is secured only by a gracious and merciful God and for man to presume that He will always have options to obey inspite of his previous decisions is not wise.
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    I didn't appeal to Calvinism regarding people's accountability. I cited Acts 2:23.

    If someone said all that to me, my response would be "run, run to Christ. Fall on your knees, beg for forgiveness, confess him as Lord, and call on his name. Plead with Him for mercy."

    So, you are agreeing that there are at least some circumstances in which God uses some means to accomplish his will. Actually, we see this throughout the scripture, particularly in fulfilled prophecy.

    I don't suppose we'll ever know until we see the Lord Jesus how God was able to make prophecies come true, without causing some events to happen and moving men to take certain actions--and take them of their own volition. Or, stopping men from taking certain actions.

    But once we acknowledge that God can and has arranged circumstances to accomplish his will, we've opened a door that we can't ever close. For if God can do it once, he can do it every time.
     
  15. quantumfaith

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  16. humblethinker

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    This is funny to me... are you just now coming to this understanding? I don't think this has ever been denied.
    Man can harden and solidify his own character such that it could be that he finally makes the choice to disobey in future events. Of course God can use such men.
    The implication smacks of a logical fallacy. God is free to determine whatever he so desires and in any way that doesn't violate the law of non-contradiction. Just because God can use men in a hardened stubborn state does not mean that He will always need to use them as such to accomlish His will. Just because God does so once does not force Him to do so again... except maybe in determinism.
     
  17. percho

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    One way election. John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,
    Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
    John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    Beginning in Genesis God has called, chosen, elected according to his purpose.

    The ones God has called (elected) are the people of (because of that calling) faith, the ones believing.

    Faith is a noun. Throughout Hebrews 11 God through his calling of people and his actions directly or indirectly through them is bringing forth, "the faith."

    Gal. 3:23 Before the faith came. The substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.
    Gal. 3:25 But after the faith came. The substance of things hope for the evidence of things not seen.

    Election is not according to our faith but of God who wills.

    Election is not for some dying and going to heaven and the others dying and going to hell. But according to the purpose of God.

    2 Cor 5:18,19 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

    You will have to figure out for yourself how all this takes place.
     
  18. humblethinker

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    OK, but that doesn't at all speak to my comment, "What does it mean to just say you believe in election... Who doesn't? The better distinction would be to say you believe in corporate or individual election"
     
  19. percho

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    I think we see evidence of both in scripture. Presently I think it is individual, however I believe it to be individual from a corporate group, by which over the course of time it will be evident to all of mankind.
     
  20. quantumfaith

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