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Switch to Forum Live View Do commandments and threats negate free will?
3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 10:11AM #1
Greatest I am
Posts: 3,706

Do commandments and threats negate free will?


Christians think that God gave man free will. There is no question in my mind that we have free will. I think it natural. I believe that free will is something that we take and not something that can be given. Freedom is a natural part of human existence and can only be given to us if it is being forcibly restrained.


When my children chose to exercise their freedom or free will from the restrictions in our home and moved to their own, any right to control their actions was shifted from my hands to theirs. In effect I did not give them that freedom. They took it. Just as you did when you left your parental care and control. I lost the right to impose my standards on them as well as the right to reward or punish them for what they do in their homes.


God also gives mankind all kinds of commands. We are also told that if these commands are not followed, we will be severely punished. This includes loving and adoring him.


To Christians then, God gave us freedom or free will yet kept the right to reward and punish. If we compare that to the reality of life with most families, it seems that God did not give anyone free will. Instead he gives command and basically says to follow them or be punished.


Do commands and threats negate your idea of what free will is?


Regards


DL


www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUtSM2oVy_E


www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg5UNxOmTIY

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 10:22AM #2
Kwinters
Posts: 22,904

Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:11AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Do commandments and threats negate free will?




Yes. 


Soldiers who follow their officers' commands are not exercising free will one may be forced to comply and morally object to the action.  To do something while under threat is called duress and the courts recognise that contracts signed under duress are not valid precisely due to lack of free will of the agent.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 11:27AM #3
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488

VERY interesting question.


I would agree, of course, that obedience under duress or mortal threat does not constitute free will (except in the sense that I can "freely" choose to disobey and to accept punishment for making that choice).


Now consider: standard Christian theology says that salvation is by faith, not acts. Yet belief is not a volitional free-will phenomenon.


So what does “free will” mean in Christianity? By free will, I can choose to act in obedience or in disobedience to a command—but doctrine teaches that salvation is not by my acts. Conversely, I cannot choose to believe and have faith or to disbelieve and lack faith—but doctrine teaches that salvation is by my faith.


There is a profound disconnect and self-contradiction here. 

I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 11:32AM #4
Greatest I am
Posts: 3,706

Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:22AM, Kwinters wrote:


Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:11AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Do commandments and threats negate free will?




Yes. 


Soldiers who follow their officers' commands are not exercising free will one may be forced to comply and morally object to the action.  To do something while under threat is called duress and the courts recognise that contracts signed under duress are not valid precisely due to lack of free will of the agent.




A good analogy.


Does God truly offer man free will then?
I think I know what you will say but wish to see the words for sure.


Regards


DL

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 11:33AM #5
lope
Posts: 11,796

Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:11AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Do commandments and threats negate free will?


Christians think that God gave man free will. There is no question in my mind that we have free will. I think it natural. I believe that free will is something that we take and not something that can be given. Freedom is a natural part of human existence and can only be given to us if it is being forcibly restrained.


When my children chose to exercise their freedom or free will from the restrictions in our home and moved to their own, any right to control their actions was shifted from my hands to theirs. In effect I did not give them that freedom. They took it. Just as you did when you left your parental care and control. I lost the right to impose my standards on them as well as the right to reward or punish them for what they do in their homes.


God also gives mankind all kinds of commands. We are also told that if these commands are not followed, we will be severely punished. This includes loving and adoring him.


To Christians then, God gave us freedom or free will yet kept the right to reward and punish. If we compare that to the reality of life with most families, it seems that God did not give anyone free will. Instead he gives command and basically says to follow them or be punished.


Do commands and threats negate your idea of what free will is?


Regards


DL


www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUtSM2oVy_E


www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg5UNxOmTIY




The question would be better phrased if it asked if our choices were removed if there are consequences to our choices. The answer is no.  The choice is there even when there are consequences to our choices.  There are always consequences to our actions and our choices but this does not mean we have no choice.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 11:36AM #6
Greatest I am
Posts: 3,706

Feb 23, 2012 -- 11:27AM, Heretic_for_Christ wrote:


VERY interesting question.


I would agree, of course, that obedience under duress or mortal threat does not constitute free will (except in the sense that I can "freely" choose to disobey and to accept punishment for making that choice).


Now consider: standard Christian theology says that salvation is by faith, not acts. Yet belief is not a free-will phenomenon; it is not volitional. I can choose to act in obedience or disobedience to a command, but I cannot choose to believe or disbelieve an idea that is presented (the fatal flaw in Pascal's Wager).


So where is free will in Christianity? I can, by free will, choose to act in obedience or in disobedience to a command--but doctrine teaches that salvation is not by my acts. I cannot, by free will, choose to believe and half faith or to disbelieve and lack faith--but doctrine teaches that salvation is by faith.


There is a profound disconnect and self-contradiction here. 




Thanks for the kudos.

I agree with your remarks and also see a catch 22.


If you obey because of the threat and not from faith, God will know and that would negate your obedience and you would still end up being punished.


Regards


DL 

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 11:41AM #7
Greatest I am
Posts: 3,706

Feb 23, 2012 -- 11:33AM, lope wrote:


Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:11AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Do commandments and threats negate free will?


Christians think that God gave man free will. There is no question in my mind that we have free will. I think it natural. I believe that free will is something that we take and not something that can be given. Freedom is a natural part of human existence and can only be given to us if it is being forcibly restrained.


When my children chose to exercise their freedom or free will from the restrictions in our home and moved to their own, any right to control their actions was shifted from my hands to theirs. In effect I did not give them that freedom. They took it. Just as you did when you left your parental care and control. I lost the right to impose my standards on them as well as the right to reward or punish them for what they do in their homes.


God also gives mankind all kinds of commands. We are also told that if these commands are not followed, we will be severely punished. This includes loving and adoring him.


To Christians then, God gave us freedom or free will yet kept the right to reward and punish. If we compare that to the reality of life with most families, it seems that God did not give anyone free will. Instead he gives command and basically says to follow them or be punished.


Do commands and threats negate your idea of what free will is?


Regards


DL


www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUtSM2oVy_E


www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg5UNxOmTIY




The question would be better phrased if it asked if our choices were removed if there are consequences to our choices. The answer is no.  The choice is there even when there are consequences to our choices.  There are always consequences to our actions and our choices but this does not mean we have no choice.




True.


Our first example of God informing us, through Adam and Eve, of the consequences of their actions, was partial and incomplete.


That was for consequences here on earth and he did not even tell them anything of the consequences after death. That is not moral or truthful.


Do you see that as a lie of omission on God's part?  


Adam and Eve were not aware of any but one consequence. They were misled.


Count the consequences given in his short list and compare that short list to the long list of consequences he arbitrarily added on.


Would you threaten your child with one punishment and then give him 10?


That is what your God did.


Note the immorality of your God.


 


Regards


DL

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 11:54AM #8
lope
Posts: 11,796

Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:22AM, Kwinters wrote:


Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:11AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Do commandments and threats negate free will?




Yes. 


Soldiers who follow their officers' commands are not exercising free will one may be forced to comply and morally object to the action.  To do something while under threat is called duress and the courts recognise that contracts signed under duress are not valid precisely due to lack of free will of the agent.





It has been well established that obediance to commands does not relieve one of the responsibility for murder etc.  I don't think this analogy is fully applicable to a Creator asking us to love others and if we do not obey, letting us die a natural death that comes to all human beings.  I see no reason our choice has been removed if there is consequences to our choice.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 11:57AM #9
lope
Posts: 11,796

Feb 23, 2012 -- 11:41AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Feb 23, 2012 -- 11:33AM, lope wrote:


Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:11AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Do commandments and threats negate free will?


Christians think that God gave man free will. There is no question in my mind that we have free will. I think it natural. I believe that free will is something that we take and not something that can be given. Freedom is a natural part of human existence and can only be given to us if it is being forcibly restrained.


When my children chose to exercise their freedom or free will from the restrictions in our home and moved to their own, any right to control their actions was shifted from my hands to theirs. In effect I did not give them that freedom. They took it. Just as you did when you left your parental care and control. I lost the right to impose my standards on them as well as the right to reward or punish them for what they do in their homes.


God also gives mankind all kinds of commands. We are also told that if these commands are not followed, we will be severely punished. This includes loving and adoring him.


To Christians then, God gave us freedom or free will yet kept the right to reward and punish. If we compare that to the reality of life with most families, it seems that God did not give anyone free will. Instead he gives command and basically says to follow them or be punished.


Do commands and threats negate your idea of what free will is?


Regards


DL


www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUtSM2oVy_E


www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg5UNxOmTIY




The question would be better phrased if it asked if our choices were removed if there are consequences to our choices. The answer is no.  The choice is there even when there are consequences to our choices.  There are always consequences to our actions and our choices but this does not mean we have no choice.




True.


Our first example of God informing us, through Adam and Eve, of the consequences of their actions, was partial and incomplete.


That was for consequences here on earth and he did not even tell them anything of the consequences after death. That is not moral or truthful.


Do you see that as a lie of omission on God's part?  


Adam and Eve were not aware of any but one consequence. They were misled.


Count the consequences given in his short list and compare that short list to the long list of consequences he arbitrarily added on.


Would you threaten your child with one punishment and then give him 10?


That is what your God did.


Note the immorality of your God.


 


Regards


DL




I don't believe the story of A & E is literal.  Even if it is literal God told them clealy what they should not do.  His instructions were not partial or incomplete.  The only consequences they need to know was what they knew.  There fore your conclusions are false.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2012 - 11:59AM #10
Kwinters
Posts: 22,904

Feb 23, 2012 -- 11:32AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:22AM, Kwinters wrote:


Feb 23, 2012 -- 10:11AM, Greatest I am wrote:


Do commandments and threats negate free will?




Yes. 


Soldiers who follow their officers' commands are not exercising free will one may be forced to comply and morally object to the action.  To do something while under threat is called duress and the courts recognise that contracts signed under duress are not valid precisely due to lack of free will of the agent.




A good analogy.


Does God truly offer man free will then?
I think I know what you will say but wish to see the words for sure.


Regards


DL




Can you specify the particular religious passage or citation of theology you have in mind?

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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