Author Topic: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?  (Read 278 times)

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Offline abester666

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Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« on: January 12, 2014, 02:00:53 PM »
I was having a discussion with a creationist and they mentioned "god was steering me in a direction" and I asked him if he could step me through the processes of god steering me and he answered me in a strange and different way than most people give me and said he thinks god does control people in certain directions but only to an extent. 

He wont agree that god has total control of us because that would mean that we would be like robots being controlled fully by our maker...but he does believe god does it sometimes.

How do rationalize against this?

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 02:39:07 PM »
If being steered by god and not being steered by god look exactly the same, I would take a wild guess and say that there is no steering at all, only people imagining that there is.

Having never beens steered by god (unless he steered me to atheism, which would be strange), and having seen no other evidence that he exists other than anecdotal stuff, I don't see much reason to do any rationalizing. But I'm guessing that some will disagree with me. So lets see what others think.
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 02:52:38 PM »
Lol yeah he controlled me to become an atheist, ripe for the pits of hell. Sure maybe you need to be tested, poked, and prodded by a benevolent father figure but ultimately if we die as atheists it is my understanding that we don’t quite make it to heaven. I am sure that if there is a god Christopher Hitchens is in heaven for following the path god kinda maybe laid out for him.

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He wont agree that god has total control of us because that would mean that we would be like robots
We can't have that! It would almost be like saying god created us to be nothing more than hormones and chemical reactions that would guide or emotions and decisions... oh wait...

I would be semi curious as to what the needed credentials would be to qualify for supernatural assistance programs. If we are all lost sinners what separates the prophets from the damned? If god loves us all and helps some of us one way and screws others another way.. wtf? I find it to be similar to tornado survivors who thank god they were spared, but it sucks that their neighbors were smited. Oh well mysterious ways right?

   
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How do rationalize against this?
How do you rationalize the irrational? I have heard that God will leave hardly noticeable signs and maybe even approach you as a homeless guy to lead you to a path of righteousness. If you want to wrap your head around that be my guest. But I feel the above question is like asking how do you tame a unicorn? You can come up with good ideas and maybe even arguments or good points but ultimately the subject of the original post is not rational. Note theists may disagree with that statement.

Offline abester666

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 02:54:28 PM »
The issue is people (creationist) that believe in total free will still believe that god can have an impact on their lives as well as others.  Most people I have came into contact with, dont believe that god has direct control ...only quasi control.  Which is kinda hard to debate but still understandable.

i just dont understand how to approach this guy's idea about how god has direct control (but not direct total control) of our minds and actions.

Offline abester666

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 03:01:55 PM »
direct control = god putting things into your head to control an outcome (not total control of every thought and action of YOU)
quasi control = god putting things in your way to control an outcome (not total control of every thought and action of things outside of yourself)

full direct control = god controlling everything you and everybody and everything does in existence.
full quasi control = full direct control

no control (true free will) = god not having any control in everything in existence  (which no creationist believe that I have encountered )

These are my definitions

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 03:06:24 PM »
I was having a discussion with a creationist and they mentioned "god was steering me in a direction" and I asked him if he could step me through the processes of god steering me and he answered me in a strange and different way than most people give me and said he thinks god does control people in certain directions but only to an extent. 

He wont agree that god has total control of us because that would mean that we would be like robots being controlled fully by our maker...but he does believe god does it sometimes.

How do rationalize against this?

His god sounds like one of them pushy pageant parents who claim that their 2 year old really wants to be paraded around on stage like a warped version of a Miss World contest, when in actuality the kid has had no say and has been railroaded into it, even though technically speaking the kid has a choice....
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 03:12:16 PM »
If being steered by god and not being steered by god look exactly the same, I would take a wild guess and say that there is no steering at all, only people imagining that there is.


Of course, there are always those who will claim that if you find yourself "steered" in the wrong (according to them) direction, it's no doubt Satan's doing. He's either masquerading as God to trick you, if you claim Christianity, and that you feel something is god's will, or simply laying all the temptation out there to steer you further astray if you are an unbeliever already.

I wonder how all that is supposed to work. No doubt we will get one or a few of the current crop of theists over here to explain to us how and when God does his steering vs Satan.

Offline Ivellios

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 04:01:38 PM »
Of course, there are always those who will claim that if you find yourself "steered" in the wrong (according to them) direction, it's no doubt Satan's doing. He's either masquerading as God to trick you, if you claim Christianity, and that you feel something is god's will, or simply laying all the temptation out there to steer you further astray if you are an unbeliever already.

I wonder how all that is supposed to work. No doubt we will get one or a few of the current crop of theists over here to explain to us how and when God does his steering vs Satan.

In the my final days of being a Christian, in my metaphorical way of giving God the finger, I prayed for Satan to 'steer' me to an orgy, and even offered my soul for 5 girls at once. While he was stuck on 'wait' or 'maybe,' I realized he and God don't exist so it never happened.  :(

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 04:24:28 PM »
(1)Does chemicals affect behavior? If they say anything other than yes, they are lying.
(2)Does genetics affect behavior? If they say anything other than yes, they are lying.
(3)Does environment affect behavior? If they say anything other than yes, they are lying.
(4)Does brain damage affect behavior? If they say anything other than yes, they are lying

If these things are true, and God set the universe in motion knowing what the outcome of each of these things would do to people, and didn't change them, then free will does not exist because God created the universe with full knowledge of how everything would play out.


An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 10:00:43 AM »
I was having a discussion with a creationist and they mentioned "god was steering me in a direction" and I asked him if he could step me through the processes of god steering me and he answered me in a strange and different way than most people give me and said he thinks god does control people in certain directions but only to an extent. 

He wont agree that god has total control of us because that would mean that we would be like robots being controlled fully by our maker...but he does believe god does it sometimes.

How do rationalize against this?

You can't.

Faith / belief by it's very nature is subjective.  There are days I wonder about God as the ultimate puppet master and days I am more inclined to see God as more distant.  This bothered me that I couldn't put God in a box nor that I could clearly and consistently explain my relationship with God.

Then I read the story of Jacob where he wrestled with God.  After the struggle, God renames Jacob with the name "Israel".  One of the commentaries I was reading said Israel can be translated as "one who wrestles with God".  For me, that was an "AHA!" moment.  I think every theist is an Israel.

Enough lecturing.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 10:19:48 AM »
OCG, I'm sure you are right that most theists have doubts at some stage. Indeed, faith implies not know and trusting anyway and in such a relationship there are bound to be doubts.

As for the OP, well I rather think people are more likely to look back and say that god had pushed them this way or that - towards one opportunity or another. I could almost do that myself - a long time ago I was looking for an organist post and found two different ones. The one I was about to choose was very nice, you know large organ etc, but somehow I was drawn to the other post which involved piano playing in the crypt while the church was fixed. During the time I was there my future wife joined the choir, I moved on to another church and she came with me and, well, like they say, the rest is history. Now I could easily say, 'Oh, that was god pushing us both together' and some theists would agree. Yet, really, the fact is that by chance we choose the same church and there's no 'hand of god' pushing either of us. 

I think this is often the way people think of god pushing them - by looking backwards. The others work hard to get a job, get selected for something etc and then attribute that success to their god. This is rather like getting what you want and making sure you and others think it's god will for extra justification of the choice.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 10:28:00 AM by wheels5894 »
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 10:21:46 AM »
You can't.

Faith / belief by it's very nature is subjective.  There are days I wonder about God as the ultimate puppet master and days I am more inclined to see God as more distant.  This bothered me that I couldn't put God in a box nor that I could clearly and consistently explain my relationship with God.
To be fair, you are at least putting god into one (rather broad) box:
The 'it exists' box.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 10:39:59 AM »
You can't.

Faith / belief by it's very nature is subjective.  There are days I wonder about God as the ultimate puppet master and days I am more inclined to see God as more distant.  This bothered me that I couldn't put God in a box nor that I could clearly and consistently explain my relationship with God.
To be fair, you are at least putting god into one (rather broad) box:
The 'it exists' box.

You are correct.  And, yes, that is a subjective statement of faith / belief that I cannot prove. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Free Will? partial control, no control or full control?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 10:45:32 AM »
He wont agree that god has total control of us because that would mean that we would be like robots being controlled fully by our maker...but he does believe god does it sometimes.

How do rationalize against this?

If god can and does take complete control in some instances....then he becomes entirely responsible for NOT doing so when someone is about to kill, or abuse a child.

If what we are talking about is a "godnudge" (as I suspect they mean) then the question is whether that nudge is recognisable as coming from god, or not.  If its not, then nobody can be blamed for ignoring or misunderstanding it - because the sensation is no different to any other kind fo "feelings" that are often wrong.

So I guess what we are talking about is a godnudge that you KNOW comes from god, but that you are free to ignore.

Excuse me?  A Christian gets a direct and unmistakeable message from god, and wants to imply that they might often ignore it?  Sorry, but I don't buy that.

So the only possibility is god either masking his nudges so much they could be from anything (hey guys - dont follow those nudges, they could be from Satan!) or presenting a fait accompli to his followers. 
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?