1. Joined
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    21 May '12 16:20
    Something jaywill said about water running downhill being possibly unplanned, make me want to ask this question I've been wondering about.

    Is a theism that has an omni-god, like God, compatible with truely random events? This is not about "seemingly" random events that are actually intended to occur, but actually random events unintended by God and unintended by humans or any being that can have intentions.

    I'm not trying to raise the old question of whether God's foreknowledge destroys the idea of human free will. It's just about whether we can have truly random, unintended events in a world with God as its creator.
  2. Standard memberRajk999
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    21 May '12 17:19
    Originally posted by JS357
    Something jaywill said about water running downhill being possibly unplanned, make me want to ask this question I've been wondering about.

    Is a theism that has an omni-god, like God, compatible with truely random events? This is not about "seemingly" random events that are actually intended to occur, but actually random events unintended by God and unintend ...[text shortened]... ut whether we can have truly random, unintended events in a world with God as its creator.
    Random events occur, or seem to occur because we dont have perfect knowledge of all the variables which influence our environment.

    God [we assume] knows all the variables in our environment so there is nothing random about any occurrence.

    If there is perfect knowledge, then there is perfect predictability and nothing is random, since everything can be explained or has a definite reason.

    Just my 2 cents.
  3. Standard memberRJHinds
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    22 May '12 04:33
    Originally posted by JS357
    Something jaywill said about water running downhill being possibly unplanned, make me want to ask this question I've been wondering about.

    Is a theism that has an omni-god, like God, compatible with truely random events? This is not about "seemingly" random events that are actually intended to occur, but actually random events unintended by God and unintend ...[text shortened]... ut whether we can have truly random, unintended events in a world with God as its creator.
    I think God planned for random events to occur. A world without random events would be boring and not much fun for God or anyone else. Many computer programmers make computer games by programming random events in them. I believe twhitehead should know all about these random generators. I am sure none of man's programs would come close to what God has done, but we can get an idea from the things man has copied from God.
  4. Standard memberRajk999
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    22 May '12 10:52
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    I think God planned for random events to occur. A world without random events would be boring and not much fun for God or anyone else. Many computer programmers make computer games by programming random events in them. I believe twhitehead should know all about these random generators. I am sure none of man's programs would come close to what God has done, but we can get an idea from the things man has copied from God.
    I dont think there is such a thing as a 'planned random event'. It sounds like a contradiction.

    Randomness is the end result of lack of knowledge. For the ants in the ant hill, flooding of their anthill might be a random event for them. We might know more - it might be rain, or water from the hose, or someone peeing on their anthill - so its not as random.

    Humans throwing a dice might have a random outcome for us. However it is possible for a machine to be designed to throw that dice and predict the outcome with 100% accuracy, therefore eliminating the randomness.

    If we assume an all knowing God then there is no such thing as a random event for God.
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    22 May '12 12:40
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    If we assume an all knowing God then there is no such thing as a random event for God.
    There is a difference between uncaused, and prior knowledge. Do you think everything necessarily has a cause, or are you just saying that God knows the outcome even of uncaused events?
  6. Standard memberRajk999
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    22 May '12 12:52
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    There is a difference between uncaused, and prior knowledge. Do you think everything necessarily has a cause, or are you just saying that God knows the outcome even of uncaused events?
    Im not sure. Im leaning towards the possibility that 'everything has a cause'. Can you give an example of an event without a cause?
  7. Joined
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    22 May '12 15:113 edits
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Im not sure. Im leaning towards the possibility that 'everything has a cause'. Can you give an example of an event without a cause?
    I think you are describing the "hidden cause" notion of randomness, which explains some seemingly random events as not really random, but as due to determinate causes we do not understand fully in terms of the variables and their values. For example, we do not understand the variables in weather, and we may understand the variables in a roulette wheel, but do not understand (or can't accurately measure) the values of the variables. A better example of a hidden variable "random" event is the typical computerized random number generator, which uses a seed that might be the clock time at that moment, perhaps augmented by other variable seeds such at the size of free ROM at the moment the generator is called. The generator merely plugs these numbers into a fixed algorithm.

    There is a second notion of randomness, which is more recent, in quantum physics. I suggest you look up "true randomness" for some background. It seems to me that true randomness obtains when there are sound theoretical reasons to reject the possibility of a hidden variables explanation. This of course would be a provisional judgement, since our theories of, say, quantum physics, might change.

    But even "true randomness" fails to hold up as such, outside of a naturalistic POV. That is, a supernatural being could "plan" for a particular nucleus to decay at time T, even though our theories don't allow for a hidden variables explanation to be possible.

    I tend to think that a God-created world would not have any "true random" events, although it could have plenty of hidden variable "random" events, hidden at least to creatures with finite knowledge. But these are not really random events.

    It still is intriguing to me whether to think of God being able to set up "true random" events to occur. These would be, perhaps, events where the hidden variable is "God wills it." 😉
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    22 May '12 15:13
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Random events occur, or seem to occur because we dont have perfect knowledge of all the variables which influence our environment.

    God [we assume] knows all the variables in our environment so there is nothing random about any occurrence.

    If there is perfect knowledge, then there is perfect predictability and nothing is random, since everything can be explained or has a definite reason.

    Just my 2 cents.
    So you don't believe in free will then.
  9. Standard memberRJHinds
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    22 May '12 15:15
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    I dont think there is such a thing as a 'planned random event'. It sounds like a contradiction.

    Randomness is the end result of lack of knowledge. For the ants in the ant hill, flooding of their anthill might be a random event for them. We might know more - it might be rain, or water from the hose, or someone peeing on their anthill - so its not as random ...[text shortened]... ess.

    If we assume an all knowing God then there is no such thing as a random event for God.
    I think you are wrong. God knows all as far as how everything he created operates and in that sense God is all knowing. But he gave us free will and the ability to accept Him or reject Him. We can be influenced to go against His will because God has allowed this to take place. We can say yes or no. That is a random choice. God has allowed many random acts to take place in nature so that He does not know everything and Satan knows this and is trying to get man to say "no" to God.
  10. Cape Town
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    22 May '12 15:321 edit
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Im not sure. Im leaning towards the possibility that 'everything has a cause'. Can you give an example of an event without a cause?
    I can only give examples of events with no known causes. What we call random events. But there is no way to prove that a given event has no cause.
    The real question is why you are leaning towards that possibility. Does it just sound nice, or is there some reasoning involved?

    Of course logically, if everything has a cause then time is infinite. If we allow one exception (or set of exceptions) called 'God' as being uncaused, then everything can be traced back to him. But of course this makes the whole universe into something of a static story book as far as God is concerned. Also there must be at least some brute facts. In the case of an uncaused God, he is a brute fact.
  11. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    22 May '12 15:381 edit
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    God [we assume] knows all the variables in our environment so there is nothing random about any occurrence.
    This idea is in serious trouble thanks to quantum mechanics. At the atomic level, we find that we cannot predict the outcomes of certain events with certainty. The best we can do is calculate the probability that a particular outcome will occur.
  12. Standard memberRJHinds
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    22 May '12 15:51
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I can only give examples of events with no known causes. What we call random events. But there is no way to prove that a given event has no cause.
    The real question is why you are leaning towards that possibility. Does it just sound nice, or is there some reasoning involved?

    Of course logically, if everything has a cause then time is infinite. If we a ...[text shortened]... o there must be at least some brute facts. In the case of an uncaused God, he is a brute fact.
    God has caused random events by His design in nature. It is His will that certain things be random in nature.
  13. Standard memberRajk999
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    22 May '12 16:49
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    So you don't believe in free will then.
    I disagree that an all-knowing God means that there is no free will.
  14. Standard memberRajk999
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    22 May '12 16:50
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    I think you are wrong. God knows all as far as how everything he created operates and in that sense God is all knowing. But he gave us free will and the ability to accept Him or reject Him. We can be influenced to go against His will because God has allowed this to take place. We can say yes or no. That is a random choice. God has allowed many random ...[text shortened]... He does not know everything and Satan knows this and is trying to get man to say "no" to God.
    How is saying yes or no to God, a random choice ?
  15. Standard memberRajk999
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    22 May '12 16:531 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I can only give examples of events with no known causes. What we call random events. But there is no way to prove that a given event has no cause.
    The real question is why you are leaning towards that possibility. Does it just sound nice, or is there some reasoning involved?

    Of course logically, if everything has a cause then time is infinite. If we a o there must be at least some brute facts. In the case of an uncaused God, he is a brute fact.
    Im leaning in that direction because I cannot think of an event which has no cause. Is the existance of God the only example of an uncaused event you can think of?
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