1. Cape Town
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    12 May '16 08:37
    I was wondering whether everyone here agrees that there is a determinism randomness dichotomy. Discussions of free will, God, creation and suchlike always seem to have theists implying a third alternative but never actually talking about it.

    For example, in another thread there is the question of whether humans came about by chance.
    Now let us suppose God decided to create humans. Did he give us ten toes by chance, or did he have a compelling reason to do so, and thus his decision was predetermined? Is God deterministic, ie is every decision he ever makes predetermined from the beginning of time, or does he act to some extent randomly? Is there a third option?
  2. Joined
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    12 May '16 16:09
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I was wondering whether everyone here agrees that there is a determinism randomness dichotomy. Discussions of free will, God, creation and suchlike always seem to have theists implying a third alternative but never actually talking about it.

    For example, in another thread there is the question of whether humans came about by chance.
    Now let us suppose ...[text shortened]... ned from the beginning of time, or does he act to some extent randomly? Is there a third option?
    The third option is to know God. God knows everything, so He doesn't need to ponder as we do over "determinism randomness dichotomy".

    The God you imagine is more human than you think. In other words, you project your own human thoughts about the attributes and nature of God onto God. Very backwards. God has revealed Himself in nature and in His Word the Bible.
  3. Cape Town
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    12 May '16 16:31
    Originally posted by josephw
    The third option is to know God. God knows everything, so He doesn't need to ponder as we do over "determinism randomness dichotomy".
    So you are here to preach not to address the question in the OP. Why would I believe anything you say? Arguments from authority don't work when you have no authority. Either present some good reasons to believe god exists (in another thread please) or brush up on your education so at least you seem well informed and people might take you seriously when you make unsubstantiated claims.
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    12 May '16 17:28
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So you are here to preach not to address the question in the OP. Why would I believe anything you say? Arguments from authority don't work when you have no authority. Either present some good reasons to believe god exists (in another thread please) or brush up on your education so at least you seem well informed and people might take you seriously when you make unsubstantiated claims.
    You asked the questions, " Did he give us ten toes by chance, or did he have a compelling reason to do so, and thus his decision was predetermined? Is God deterministic, ie is every decision he ever makes predetermined from the beginning of time, or does he act to some extent randomly? Is there a third option?", and I answered, but because you are unwilling to except the idea that God is omniscient you go on a rant about how you think I should answer.

    "Why would I believe anything you say?"

    Indeed, why would you? I'm not asking you to, and I don't want you to. God is the authority, but since you don't believe He exists the whole point of your OP and anything you care to speculate about a non-existing God is moot.

    You can't have it both ways no matter how dichotomously you think. Either quit asking questions about a God you think you know doesn't exist, or try to understand the answers provided by those of us that do know God exists.

    The God of the Bible is omniscient and doesn't require anyone's council about what He does or doesn't do. Try to understand that!
  5. Cape Town
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    12 May '16 17:461 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    and I answered,
    No, you did not. You replied to my post, you did not answer a single one of my questions.

    but because you are unwilling to except the idea that God is omniscient you go on a rant about how you think I should answer.
    I have no problem whatsoever accepting the idea that God is omniscient. That doesn't make it an answer to any of my questions. Which question in particular do you think it answers? Explain why you think it is an answer.

    Indeed, why would you? I'm not asking you to, and I don't want you to.
    Then why bother posting at all. If you post a claim without substantiating it, then you are either asking to be believed or you are posting for no reason.

    God is the authority, but since you don't believe He exists the whole point of your OP and anything you care to speculate about a non-existing God is moot.
    I was asking what people who do believe he exists believe with regards to the issues I raised. You didn't tell me, but instead tried to preach about something else. I see no real connection between what you said and what I asked.

    Either quit asking questions about a God you think you know doesn't exist, or try to understand the answers provided by those of us that do know God exists.
    OK. Please explain how your answers relate to my questions.

    The God of the Bible is omniscient and doesn't require anyone's council about what He does or doesn't do. Try to understand that!
    OK. How is that relevant to my questions?

    Your first post came across as "Your questions are irrelevant! Now let me preach!"
    If I misunderstood and you actually genuinely wish to discuss the questions I had then please expand on it a bit so it is easier to understand what you are saying.
  6. Standard memberfinnegan
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    12 May '16 21:311 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    The third option is to know God. God knows everything, so He doesn't need to ponder as we do over "determinism randomness dichotomy".

    The God you imagine is more human than you think. In other words, you project your own human thoughts about the attributes and nature of God onto God. Very backwards. God has revealed Himself in nature and in His Word the Bible.
    It is a fine and handy thing that God knows everything and does not need to ponder. It would be a nuisance if God were stupid or had significant gaps of understanding. That might result in bad design decisions, for example when assembling living creatures.

    I am not God and I have a reasonable desire for some guidance so that I can also know at least something, hopefully enough to lead a good life.

    Why are things as they are? Let's reply - because it was God's will.

    Very well, this implies that things are as they are because God chose this and not some alternative. What determined that choice?

    If there is a good and sufficient reason for God's choice - in that case, God's choice was determined by that good and sufficient reason, in which case the better explanation rather would be to understand the good and sufficient reason, which guides God and might well guide ourselves.

    If there is no good or sufficient reason for the choice, then it is arbitary. a whim, the product of a mood. God might as readily have chosen differently. It is possible that God might some day dictate a new and utterly contrary tablet of commandents to a new Moses and the faithful will then be required to behave in ways that are quite different to those required of them today. Perhaps it will be necessary to steal, or to kill, or to commit adultery.

    If this is possible then God's will is arbitrary and provides no guidance as to any principle or moral or ethical standard or basis for living well.

    If God's will does not conform to any prior set of principles and is instead arbitary and whimsical, then the statement "it is God's will" is not of any value to us. We know nothing after that we did not know before. We do not even know how to follow God's will unless it is predictable and consistent, rather than arbitrary.

    I am not sure, in brief, why it is an explanation for anything to say that it is or was God's will. It tells us nothing of value and offers us no guidance. At best, it can be employed to advocate utter passivity and blind, unthinking acceptance of whatever comes along, which is arguably a useful option in some respects but hardly makes best use of our capacity for rational thought and meaningful action.
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    12 May '16 21:57
    Originally posted by finnegan
    It is a fine and handy thing that God knows everything and does not need to ponder. It would be a nuisance if God were stupid or had significant gaps of understanding. That might result in bad desgin decisions, for example when assembling living creatures.

    I am not God and I have a reasonable desire for some guidance so that I can also know at least s ...[text shortened]... e respects but hardly makes best use of our capacity for rational thought and meaningful action.
    I don't think so. You are blindly assuming more than you know.

    You say "if" a lot. "If" isn't an option. God is omniscient. That dispels the idea that God is arbitrary. It wasn't God's mistake that "things are as they are". God doesn't make mistakes. If He did then He isn't God.

    So there must be another explanation. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
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    12 May '16 22:02
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, you did not. You replied to my post, you did not answer a single one of my questions.

    [b] but because you are unwilling to except the idea that God is omniscient you go on a rant about how you think I should answer.

    I have no problem whatsoever accepting the idea that God is omniscient. That doesn't make it an answer to any of my questions. Wh ...[text shortened]... uestions I had then please expand on it a bit so it is easier to understand what you are saying.[/b]
    Go ahead. Talk about "determinism randomness dichotomy" all the day long and let me know if you ever figure it out. 😛
  9. Standard memberfinnegan
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    12 May '16 22:14
    Originally posted by josephw
    I don't think so. You are blindly assuming more than you know.

    You say "if" a lot. "If" isn't an option. God is omniscient. That dispels the idea that God is arbitrary. It wasn't God's mistake that "things are as they are". God doesn't make mistakes. If He did then He isn't God.

    So there must be another explanation. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
    No a rocket scientist would probably not be my first choice. I would try a philosopher, like the great Spinoza, who argued that there is indeed a reason for everything that exists: To know a thing is to know its cause. Others sharing this opinion have included Leibniz, Einstein and Godel but they came after Spinoza.

    Your argument that God, if he made mistakes through ignorance or acted irrationally through arbitrary whim, would not be God, is one that Spinoza has also proposed. He considered it blasphemous to conceive of an irrational God.

    It follows. of course, and you must agree, that reality is explicable. To deny that anything is explicable is to deny that it exists. To be quite clear about this, it follows that there is a rational explanation for what exists and that all that exists is rationally explicable.
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    12 May '16 22:55
    Originally posted by finnegan
    It is a fine and handy thing that God knows everything and does not need to ponder. It would be a nuisance if God were stupid or had significant gaps of understanding. That might result in bad design decisions, for example when assembling living creatures.

    I am not God and I have a reasonable desire for some guidance so that I can also know at least so ...[text shortened]... e respects but hardly makes best use of our capacity for rational thought and meaningful action.
    Good post. 🙂
  11. Standard memberDeepThought
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    13 May '16 00:41
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I was wondering whether everyone here agrees that there is a determinism randomness dichotomy. Discussions of free will, God, creation and suchlike always seem to have theists implying a third alternative but never actually talking about it.

    For example, in another thread there is the question of whether humans came about by chance.
    Now let us suppose ...[text shortened]... ned from the beginning of time, or does he act to some extent randomly? Is there a third option?
    The thread in Science implies not. Given that the Many Worlds Interpretation is internally consistent, in that interpretation globally dynamics are entirely deterministic. From an individual observer's point of view it appears random as they remember their own history. So there is no a priori contradiction between determinism and observed randomness.
  12. Cape Town
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    13 May '16 06:21
    Originally posted by josephw
    Go ahead. Talk about "determinism randomness dichotomy" all the day long and let me know if you ever figure it out. 😛
    I figured it out ages ago. However, some theists don't like the truth, so I thought I would give them the chance to prove me wrong. Nobody seems interested.
  13. SubscriberSuzianne
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    13 May '16 07:36
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I figured it out ages ago. However, some theists don't like the truth, so I thought I would give them the chance to prove me wrong. Nobody seems interested.
    This mental masturbation is only to provide those with no faith reassurance that they have chosen wisely. In short, it lets them sleep at night without wondering if they're right or not.

    This is not truth, it is ridiculous. But no, I'm not going to argue my position because I'm not going to change your mind and you're not going to change mine. You want to believe this? Be my guest. But either way, it's your decision. Don't try to tell us it's not.

    All I have to say on it is... cool story, bro. Now excuse me while I pray for you before I go make a sandwich.
  14. Cape Town
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    13 May '16 08:17
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    But no, I'm not going to argue my position because I'm not going to change your mind and you're not going to change mine.
    So your post was pure mental masturbation? Or just being a sore looser?
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    13 May '16 09:54
    Originally posted by finnegan
    No a rocket scientist would probably not be my first choice. I would try a philosopher, like the great Spinoza, who argued that there is indeed a reason for everything that exists: To know a thing is to know its cause. Others sharing this opinion have included Leibniz, Einstein and Godel but they came after Spinoza.

    Your argument that God, if he made ...[text shortened]... ere is a rational explanation for what exists and that all that exists is rationally explicable.
    "I would try a philosopher, like the great Spinoza, who argued that there is indeed a reason for everything that exists:.."

    So? That's just a no-brainer. I knew there was a reason for everything that exists before I knew Spinoza existed. What's your point?

    "To know a thing is to know its cause."

    What's that supposed to mean? We know we exist, but many do not know how or why.

    "Others sharing this opinion have included Leibniz, Einstein and Godel but they came after Spinoza."

    Who? I prefer to go directly to the source of creation for accurate information.

    "Your argument that God, if he made mistakes through ignorance or acted irrationally through arbitrary whim, would not be God,.."

    I never said that. What I said was that "God doesn't make mistakes. If He did then He isn't God". One cannot even begin to think about God's nature without first understanding that God is omniscient. Once that is understood one never questions God.

    "...is one that Spinoza has also proposed. He considered it blasphemous to conceive of an irrational God."

    I would be more concerned about what God thinks about what one thinks about God.

    "It follows. of course, and you must agree, that reality is explicable."

    I've heard many explanations about reality. Most are inexplicable. If God is reality's author, then reality is defined by God.

    "To deny that anything is explicable is to deny that it exists."

    Illusions are inexplicable because they don't exist. Rational thought doesn't include false reality. Truth and lies don't mix.

    "To be quite clear about this, it follows that there is a rational explanation for what exists and that all that exists is rationally explicable."

    What exists is explained by its creator. Rational explanations for what exists comes from its creator. If not, then it's not rational.
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