Freewill and the Future

I thought I would post again on the argument of freewill. In my first post I had some responses and carried on the discussion on another blog you can find that here. What I would like to talk about is a point that came out of that discussion.

The point that was made was our basic definition of the word “future” points us in the direction that we have no freewill. By using the word future we are saying that something will happen. It was also pointed out that atheists, agnostics, and religious people in general all would have to believe that they have no freewill, by the mere fact that our whole explanation of what we believe the future is.

Now I do not believe this at all. Future or our idea of what the future is has nothing to do with if we have freewill or not. The fact of the matter is that we have this word future which means things that have not happened yet but will happen. By using this word we are implying that the events are going to happen but not that they have to happen. For example in the future, lets say tomorrow I will go to work, sit at my desk, and type a letter to a friend. Now I know I am going to do this because I said it will happen in the future. We can go into the argument saying I am destined to do this but we are not to this argument yet. I will first dismiss the fact that the word future or our idea of the future has anything to do with freewill.

So tomorrow rolls around and I wake up and feel absolutely terrible. I call work and tell them I am not coming in. The future has changed. I no longer did what was set for me in the future. (This is not the best argument but it is a simple demonstration of the principle that there are infinite amounts of possible futures.) Our idea of the future has no bearing of the physics of what is really happening. This means that we can dismiss the argument that just because our idea of the future implies we do not have freewill then we do not have freewill.

I could also get into the argument that the future really doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as the future. We know there will be time in front of me but it is blank. It is the absence of anything. I think when this argument was made against me for freewill some of this was mixed in with our definition of the future. But if the case is that there is no such thing as a future then there cannot possibly be an omniscient being and there is no possibility of a freewill argument.

You see, if there is the absence of anything in “the future” then we cannot have a freewill argument. The fact that nothing is written out “per say” means that we will do anything at anytime. There is no way to know what will happen so there is no possible way we do not have freewill. Now you can say we do what we do and there isn’t a possibility of that changing. That argument now has no bearing because once we do something it is the past. Once something is in the past thats it, it has been solidified and is never changing. That in no way says that we would have always done it that way because then you are implying that there is “the future”.

No I am in no way arguing the fact that true Christians do not have freewill. If someone is educated on what Christianity trully is they will have no choice but to agree that they do not have freewill, only the illution of such a thing. What I am arguing is that someone that does not believe in the christian ideal of a god still has the possibity of freewill. I believe that this post argues the point very well and I invite challenges to the idea that a athiest or agnostic does not have freewill.


Published in: on January 6, 2008 at 2:21 pm  Comments (4)  
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Religion and Freewill Possible?

A while back I got into a small scuffle with a friend of mine about the possibility of freewill with an all knowing, all powerful being. It came down to be a very interesting argument, for the mere fact that I was able to get my point across to my very closed-minded friend. (I say this with no disrespect, my friend is very intelligent but he will admit he is very closed minded.) I have heard for the longest time if you believe in an all powerful, all knowing being then there is no possibility of freewill. Well is this true?

My friend was telling me that he had freewill. I agreed with him I too believe that we have freewill. But then he started explaining his Christian beliefs. He believes that everything has a definite ending. The bible tells us that there is a definite end and there is nothing we can do to change this end. WAIT JUST A MINUTE! If there is a definite end how can you have freewill? He tells me that he can still make his own choices it just will not matter in the end.

OK, I can buy that, but if your choices do not matter do you really have freewill or do you only have the illusion of freewill? The truth is, if you make choices but the end doesn’t change then you really do not have any freewill at all. Only the illusion that your choices are your own and they really matter. If an all knowing Christian God knows what you are going to do, before you do it, then you were never really going to do anything other than what you do; so your choices are predestined. This only solidifies my point when he told me that he believes that everything has a destined ending.

So he walked through his argument with me and found in the end that he might not have freewill after all. I can choose to eat this apple or not to eat this apple. If his God knows the answer to the question already he cannot possible have freewill. The reason this is, is because his God knows everything for all time. And the Christian God is infinite and never changing. Which means that your choice is not yours but is destined to be made already you are just following the path set out in front of you. You were always going to eat that apple even if you thought you might not. Pretty interesting statement. I then proceeded to blow my friend away with another way to look at a God. If we were to look at an all knowing, all powerful being, that knows everything, there is still a way you can have freewill.

Now I personally do not believe that I am walking down a path with the illusion of freewill. What if this god knows everything, but only knows it at one certain point in time. If we think of this God in those terms I still have the possibility of freewill. Take for example the apple in front of me. At this moment in time this God knows that I am going to eat it. I know I am going to eat it. But then a moment later I decide not to eat it and pass the apple up. Does that mean that this God is not all knowing? No it doesn’t. At that next moment not only I knew I wasn’t going to eat the apple but so did this God. Ah-ha, so the God is still all knowing, just that there isn’t a set path in front of me. I have the ability to change the direction I am on thus giving myself freewill with the possibility of there being an all powerful god. The important part here is that we only look at a certain place and time, but we can have an infinite amount of places and times so we can still have an infinitely powerful, all knowing god. The God always knows something just that something can change, and will change.

My friend let me know that this was all well and good but still doesn’t work for the christian belief, and I agreed totally with him. The way Christians believe in there God there is no possible way they can have freewill. It is and always will be an illusion if you are a true christian believer.

Questions, comments, challenges? Let me know,


Published in: on December 26, 2007 at 4:03 pm  Comments (6)  
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