Author Topic: Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will  (Read 840 times)

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Offline skepticlogician

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Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will
« on: April 19, 2010, 06:15:04 PM »
Since free will seems to be a favorite concept for theists to use as counterargument for anything, it would be great if we can make a list of all those instances in the Bible where God himself overrides free will, which clearly contradicts theists when they say "oh, God cannot get rid of hunger and evil because this would violate free will".
If free will is sooo important that God himself cannot violate it, how come he DOES violate it on various occasions in the Bible!?

I can quickly think of a couple, although I'm pretty sure there are more:

1. God hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he refused to let God's people go. There's no way around it, the Bible clearly says so. The moment god decided to do this, Pharaoh's free will was nullified and Pharaoh was doomed.
2. Anytime that God ordered the killing of entire cities, including their infants and toddlers, he was squashing those poor kids' free will in a vile way, since they were clearly not mature enough to be able to decide between good and evil. Yet God didn't stop to think about this for a second, "Kill them all" was his usual response for everything. Even poor animals who don't even have the capacity to think!!

Can you guys think of more examples?
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Offline SpineOfSteel

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Re: Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 06:36:48 PM »
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/free.html

Skeptic's Annotated Bible gives a comparison.

Offline skepticlogician

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Re: Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 06:50:45 PM »
^^^ Thanks, SoS!

I love how Paul puts it in Romans 9:11-22.
Simply wow...

Edit: Actually, I'm going to read the whole book of Romans again. There's a good amount of interesting stuff that theists clearly haven't read yet!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 06:56:05 PM by skepticlogician »
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Offline catlady

Re: Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 02:17:13 AM »
How about the Judas Iscariot betrayal of jesus story?  Didn't god override Judas' free will  in the matter?( I suppose this has been discussed in the forum before, but I haven't seen it here recently; it just seems to be a topic a christian apologist might frequently argue about).
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Offline dloubet

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Re: Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 03:52:36 AM »
Good grief, every example of fulfilled prophesy in the bible is an example of the god character showing us that free will is utterly useless since no amount of free will can possibly alter the outcome of divine fortune-telling.
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Offline plethora

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Re: Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 04:29:48 AM »
How about Job?

Satan tells God that Job only serves him because he is under God's protection. God removes Job's protection and Satan does a load of crap to Job (Job loses his health, his money and his family). Then, once the test is over, God makes Job wealthy again and Job lives happily ever after for the next 140 years.

Job had no free will in this story. God and Satan could do with him whatever they wanted regardless.

A theist may argue that Job had a choice whether to curse god and he chose not to curse god.

However, Job knew for a fact that God existed. He spoke to God directly. So he knew that cursing God would only make things worse for him. In this story, Job was a slave with no free will at all, subject to the whims and wager's between God and Satan.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 04:31:34 AM by plethora »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 05:57:34 AM »
...it would be great if we can make a list of all those instances in the Bible where God himself overrides free will, which clearly contradicts theists when they say "oh, God cannot get rid of hunger and evil because this would violate free will".

If the point is that god cannot clearly reveal himself without damaging our free will to "choose to believe", then you just need to mention Adam.

Adam had direct and regular contact with god - more contact than almost anyone else ever.  If god's interaction with Adam removed Adam's free will to choose, then god was responsible for everything Adam did - god's interaction, by screwing up Adam's free will, directly caused sin to enter the world.  Thus, god is responsible for all the ills of the world, not man.

Conversely, if they want to argue that Adam's free will was NOT knackered by god talking to him, producing a world for him, knocking him out, and specifically creating another human being for him.....then there is basically NOTHING that god could do, now or ever, that would invalidate this "free will".  He could appear individually to each and every human being ever and do them a personal miracle, and they would still have "free will" - JUST as much "free will" as Adam ever did, and more.

Looked at logically, the "god cannot act because of free will" argument is nonsense.  Or, at best, it sets the blame for every action of mankind from the Garden onwards squarely on god, for interfering with free will from the get-go.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 12:06:59 PM »
dloubet has it right.  Any prophecy, any miracle is a abrogation of free will.

In the gospels, it's Satan that influences Judas. Only in Luke though. This makes no sense since God *required* Jesus to die in a blood sacrifice.  He had to be betrayed for this to happen adn if Satan made it happen, he would have supposedly given his arch enemy the ultimate victory. 

Exodus has one more great example, other than good ol' Pharaoh. 

Quote
Exodus 3:21 "And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians."

Exodus 11:. 2 Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold." 3 (The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh's officials and by the people.) NIV
Interesting that Moses was supposedly so admired.  I supposed not so much after his god kills *everyone's* first child.

 
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