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Thread: Free Will or Will of God

  1. #1 Free Will or Will of God 
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    If everything is according to the will of the Lord, who is the overall controller, there is no independence for any human being in this world. In such case the human being should not receive the fruits of its actions. How do you justify this?
    ==========

    The Lord is controlling all the souls as per Veda “Aatmeshwaram”, which means that all the souls are ruled by the Lord. Gita also says the same “Bhuthanaam Eeswarah”. But this does not mean that there is no independence for the soul. When the king rules the kingdom, all the people in that kingdom are independent in their activities, but they are within the rules of the king. Thus a short span of independence in the human life exists under the control and supervision of the Lord.

    A cat caught a rat by its jaws. It leaves the rat after a bite for a short span of time. In that span the rat gets independence and runs in any side as it likes. But the cat is watching the rat and catches it again whenever the rat is out of the limits of the supervision. Similarly the Lord called “Kaala” (death) catches a human being and bites. The bite is the illness of the human being. The repeated diseases are the repeated bites of the ‘Kaala” or the Lord.

    During the bite the rat looses completely its independence. Similarly any human being, which is attacked by the disease becomes a patient and looses its independence completely. The cat plays with the rat for sometime like this and finally swallowes the rat. Similarly, the human being is swallowed by the Lord at the end. The whole creation itself is like a rat for the cat like Lord, which is told in Brahmasutra “Atta Charaachara Grahanaat”. Thus the short span of independence of human beings under the supervision of the overall controlling Lord, creates the full game and entertainment for the Lord. The entertainment is the basic reason of the creation by the Lord as said in Veda (Ekaaki Na Ramate) and as said in Brahmasutra (Lokavattu). Within the limits of the supervision of the cat, the rat will receive the result of the direction in which it runs.

    In one direction there may be fire and the rat may receive the heat. In another direction there may be cold water and the rat will receive the coolness in that direction. The rat is independent to receive the result of the direction and has full independence to go in any direction. The final death of the rat shows that the rat is under the control of the cat during its choice of direction also, which is not interfered by the cat. Similarly the human life is with full of independence but the final end proves that the independence is under the control of the Lord. Yet, since there was no interference of the Lord during the human life, the human being receives the results according to its actions. Thus the “whole game is perfectly justified in any angle”.


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Whew!! I'm glad that's settled.

    independence is under the control of the Lord.
    Controlled independence is an oxymoron.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Whew!! I'm glad that's settled.

    independence is under the control of the Lord.
    Controlled independence is an oxymoron.
    If you analyze the time of Sunrise or Sunset, it is a mixture of both light and darkness, which are contradicting each other. You cannot say that it is the only light and you cannot say that it is the only darkness. It is true that wherever light exists, darkness cannot exist and vice-versa. Yet, you cannot deny the mutual existence of both light and darkness in this situation.

    Similarly, the rat is having full independence since it can go to any direction to receive the heat of the fire or the cold of water. This is full independence of the rat because the supervising cat does not interfere with the freedom of the rat in selecting the direction. Similarly, the Lord does not interfere in your choice of selecting good or bad. Thus, there is full freedom as per Gita (Swabhavastu Pravartate).


    But the cat is supervising the selection of the direction by the rat. The supervisor is not interfering for all the practical purposes. But this does not mean that the supervisor cannot interfere. If the cat wants, it can control the direction of the rat. You must distinguish between the two sentences, one is “the cat does not interfere” and the other sentence “the cat can interfere at any instant if it likes to do so”.

    The first sentence implies the full freedom and the second sentence implies full control. The situation reveals the mutual existence of both freedom and control without contradicting each other. Such control is also referred in Gita (Upadrashta Anumantaacha). This means that the Lord supervises and allows the freedom. The freedom is not real but it is the allowed freedom under constant supervision of the Lord. Gita mentions about such mutual existence of the two contradicting parameters (Kartaaha Mapi Sarvasya…). It is very subtle point, which is to be understood by hair split analysis. It requires logical insight in depth.
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    The freedom is not real but it is the allowed freedom under constant supervision of the Lord
    Supervised freedom is an oxymoron
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    "Free will" was invented by the church to explain away the cat and the rat, rape and murder of little kids, and pretty much 100% of all other killings and bad things.

    Free Will is flat out proof that God is false.

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    data said (oops that is Star Treck next gen)
    If you analyze the time of Sunrise or Sunset, it is a mixture of both light and darkness, which are contradicting each other. You cannot say that it is the only light and you cannot say that it is the only darkness. It is true that wherever light exists, darkness cannot exist and vice-versa. Yet, you cannot deny the mutual existence of both light and darkness in this situation.
    This shows a complete misunderstanding of the relationship of light and dark. Dark is merely the absense of light. It does not have any power to contradict light. You cannot "shine" darkness on light and make it disappear. There is no mutual existence. Complete darkness would be complete nothingness on the scale of light. I am not sure we know what the opposite end of that scale is, unless one of the theories of relativity suggests what pure light would be. We measure light in such terms as lumens, candlefoots and magnitude. We cannot measure darkness other than in terms of lack of light.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina
    "Free will" was invented by the church to explain away the cat and the rat, rape and murder of little kids, and pretty much 100% of all other killings and bad things.

    Free Will is flat out proof that God is false.

    Bee
    Lord is substratum of the whole creation and hence forms base. Without Him creation cannot sustain. Lord created the universe for entertainment. He has given free will to all the human beings to do whatever they like. But, the results will follow the deeds. So, He is indirectly controlling, that is to say that enjoyment for good deeds and misery for bad deeds. Misery is to bring realisation only and not to repeat the same bad deed. Otherwise, He is not responsible for one's deeds.

    Creation is in Lord but Lord is not the creation. But such a Lord can enter creation at the request of devotees who wants Him only and His service. He comes down to give four fortunes to His devotees (to talk, to touch, co-living and to serve).
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    Quote Originally Posted by dattaswami
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina
    "Free will" was invented by the church to explain away the cat and the rat, rape and murder of little kids, and pretty much 100% of all other killings and bad things.

    Free Will is flat out proof that God is false.

    Bee
    Lord is substratum of the whole creation and hence forms base. Without Him creation cannot sustain. Lord created the universe for entertainment. He has given free will to all the human beings to do whatever they like. But, the results will follow the deeds. So, He is indirectly controlling, that is to say that enjoyment for good deeds and misery for bad deeds. Misery is to bring realisation only and not to repeat the same bad deed. Otherwise, He is not responsible for one's deeds.

    Creation is in Lord but Lord is not the creation. But such a Lord can enter creation at the request of devotees who wants Him only and His service. He comes down to give four fortunes to His devotees (to talk, to touch, co-living and to serve).
    Oh please..... So your saying the cat and rat are for Gods entertainment. The little 9 year old girl who got abducted out of her bedroom while she was saying her night time prayers, dragged to a cabin, raped and tortured for three days, then buried alive is just for Gods entertainment.

    Does he eat popcorn while watching the rape scene?

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  10. #9  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    If absolute free will is in place then all religious text is basically worthless. Any book containing regulations set forth by God contradicts the free will edict because of its influence. In order for free will to be invoked by the creator, the creator cannot interfere. All God can do is create us and be done with it.

    He cannot even say, 'ok guys, you have free will'. As opposed to what? He automatically becomes an influence by speaking up.

    I think that leaves humanity with a choice....free will or God? You can't have both.
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  11. #10  
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    zin needs to go over and take a look at the discussion of morals.

    The mere statement of a code of conduct does not eliminate free will. In fact it validates free will. One has a choice of whether to follow that code or deviate from it. Without a code there is nothing to conform to or deviate from.

    There is nothing about God whereby He forces anyone to conform to the standards of conduct expressed in the Bible.

    By your thinking process, we should invalidate all governments. To paraphrase zin's contention, "If absolute free will is in place then all legislation is basically worthless. Any system of regulation set forth by government contradicts free will because it influences conduct and often punishes failure to conform. No government should interfere with the exercise of free will."

    My feeling is that every aspect of all our lives is in someway influenced by external pressures, whether religious or legal or just within a small social group. The only people who are completely free of such pressures are called sociopaths.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  12. #11  
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    Going purely by the title of this topic and not considering anything that's been previously said... I feel that we have free will, but God does play a role in influencing our lives at times.

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." -Rush
    (so it doesn't really fit, oh well. kind of.)
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemboy
    Going purely by the title of this topic and not considering anything that's been previously said... I feel that we have free will, but God does play a role in influencing our lives at times.

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." -Rush
    (so it doesn't really fit, oh well. kind of.)
    What was the little girls choice.

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  14. #13  
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    I have free will, no God created or controls me in any sense, some of you however may believe you are controlled by some deity,
    which if true, means you are as effective as a pebble on the beach, or as a toy in the hands of a child.

    I and I alone am responsible for all my actions.
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    megabrain said:

    I have free will, no God created or controls me in any sense, some of you however may believe you are controlled by some deity,
    which if true, means you are as effective as a pebble on the beach, or as a toy in the hands of a child.

    I and I alone am responsible for all my actions.
    Do you think that makes you different from any other human being on earth? Or are you really trying to say that you are not guided by any set of standards in your decision making process? Either you are fooling yourself or you are an amoral sociopath.

    I suspect you are suggesting that your decisions are not affected by someone else's religious standards even if their standard and your standard is the same. In which case you would feel your conduct is "better" than the religiously motivated exact same action.

    I am a Christian and God does not "control" my actions any more than the statutes of the country, state, county and city in which I live.

    At any point where I must act or make an ethical decision, I merely have a set of prescribed and established behaviors and values from which I can determine what it is that I will choose to do. My only input into those standards has been my willingness to participate in elections of persons who debate and pass legislation.

    I, too, am absolutely responsible for every action or decision I make. The choice is always mine and mine alone.

    I have no idea where atheists get the idea that they have established "their own" moral code. As I have said before, a moral code has been established within any community of people. The individual can only conform to or deviate from that code.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina
    Quote Originally Posted by dattaswami
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina
    "Free will" was invented by the church to explain away the cat and the rat, rape and murder of little kids, and pretty much 100% of all other killings and bad things.

    Free Will is flat out proof that God is false.

    Bee
    Lord is substratum of the whole creation and hence forms base. Without Him creation cannot sustain. Lord created the universe for entertainment. He has given free will to all the human beings to do whatever they like. But, the results will follow the deeds. So, He is indirectly controlling, that is to say that enjoyment for good deeds and misery for bad deeds. Misery is to bring realisation only and not to repeat the same bad deed. Otherwise, He is not responsible for one's deeds.

    Creation is in Lord but Lord is not the creation. But such a Lord can enter creation at the request of devotees who wants Him only and His service. He comes down to give four fortunes to His devotees (to talk, to touch, co-living and to serve).
    Oh please..... So your saying the cat and rat are for Gods entertainment. The little 9 year old girl who got abducted out of her bedroom while she was saying her night time prayers, dragged to a cabin, raped and tortured for three days, then buried alive is just for Gods entertainment.

    Does he eat popcorn while watching the rape scene?

    Bee

    thats my view bettina, when you see children suffering with terribe terminal illness's how can there be a god

    And if there is he/she is really sick.... and if he does existed i wouldn't want to follow him anyway

    Can one of the religious people explain to me why THEIR god would allow a small child to suffer for months and years before they die?
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  17. #16  
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    If you believe that God created you then God decides everything you do, he programmed you, you have no free will, if, you accept the existence of a deity, If I write a computer programme every decision it ever makes is based upon the way I wish it to behave. If there is a God, then we would all be no more than preprogrammed puppets, and I for one would want no part of such a scenario, I suspect many atheists would agree. If you want 'intelligent design' then face the reality of what it actually means, and don't say in a half hearted fashion "God made me but I have free will" - it's absurd.

    If I make a ball of rubber it bounces, not because it wants to, but because I designed it it cannot do anything outside it's 'design/manufacture spec'.
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  18. #17  
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    when and why was this topic moved to trash, and by which mod?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    when and why was this topic moved to trash, and by which mod?
    I suspect because the guy who started it usually 'spams' - however because we have used it to debate a subject we think fit, perhaps a kindly moderator may move it to religion..?
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  20. #19  
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    Well, since I think our side trail on this is closely related to the thread on atheist morals, perhaps there is a way to incorporate it into that.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  21. #20  
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    OK - Now we have the thread back where were we? - Ah yes, you suggested I might be an Amoral sociopath and I suggested in return you are a pebble on the beach, Morals? well let's put that this way, I learned morals and how to behave for myself, I would not wish anyone dead or harm because I know I would not like to be a victim, you find from a young age that if you are horrible to someone it almost always bounces back - these rules that govern my behaviour are learned through experience, no doubt I [as a child] I probably pulled my sister's hair till she screamed at that point I probably was an amoral sociopath but hopefully experience has worn the edge down a bit. The only effect that that religion has on my behaviour is that I am aware others believe in a deity, I have found reward through kindness and punishment through unkindness. What I am saying is that I learn the general rules of behaviour in society in the same way that any other mammal does.
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  22. #21  
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    I moved the thread back. If you ever have any direct requests for moving or merging threads, just pm or email me. I'm here to serve and protect (and the occasional bribe - I love scotch).

    I learned morals and how to behave for myself, I would not wish anyone dead or harm because I know I would not like to be a victim, you find from a young age that if you are horrible to someone it almost always bounces back - these rules that govern my behaviour are learned through experience, no doubt I [as a child] I probably pulled my sister's hair till she screamed at that point I probably was an amoral sociopath but hopefully experience has worn the edge down a bit.
    Regarding this.. I do not act out of compassion. I refrain from raping not because I would not like to be raped myself, but because I consider it to be conduct unbecoming a gentleman.
    Err.. I do not think it is noble. A raping, murdering inconsiderate blunt is not what I am. When you can choose between behaviours, between murdering or demonstrating the ignorance of an opponent through reasoned debate, I choose the latter. The powerful become picky..

    However, this does mean that in some ways I may be considered to be immoral, I don't give to charities or give money to the homeless. I believe there are problems that people themselves should attempt to overcome and that my energy is better invested in other venues.

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    There are differences between us, we are all different, this I see as a good thing, - I'd die if there were flowers on my curtains.... :wink:
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  24. #23  
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    zin needs to go over and take a look at the discussion of morals.
    Before you pass judgment on me I suggest you do the same

    The mere statement of a code of conduct does not eliminate free will. In fact it validates free will. One has a choice of whether to follow that code or deviate from it. Without a code there is nothing to conform to or deviate from.
    Are you saying that human beings could never have figured out a code of conduct on their own or that unless a deity tells us what to do we all go around committing atrocities against each other? How is that different from how we act with God's code today? Why isn't it free will if a god doesn't tell us we have it? What's more free...knowing there is a god who says we have free will or not knowing if a god exists and acting on our own? You say God gives us a choice of following a code or not....what kind of free will is that?

    There is nothing about God whereby He forces anyone to conform to the standards of conduct expressed in the Bible.
    Never said He did. Giving us a code to live by is interference, plain and simple. When threats are used it is coercion, extortion, whatever you want to call it. If God wants us to have free will then He has to butt out from the beginning.

    By your thinking process, we should invalidate all governments. To paraphrase zin's contention, "If absolute free will is in place then all legislation is basically worthless. Any system of regulation set forth by government contradicts free will because it influences conduct and often punishes failure to conform. No government should interfere with the exercise of free will."
    Au contraire ...a system of government set up without God or his influence is free will at work. No kidding, governments influence conduct. But your saying the government of God does not influence, I suggest you take a look around.

    My feeling is that every aspect of all our lives is in someway influenced by external pressures, whether religious or legal or just within a small social group. The only people who are completely free of such pressures are called sociopaths.
    Ironic to think that God himself is probably a product of free will, as is atheism for that matter. In fact everything could be the same. True free will?...All it would mean is that if you believe in Him then you must have no idea what He wants or if He's even there. Why?...because He's left us on our own, thus rendering everything religious useless because it is nothing more than a guess. Religion has shaped our society to a great extent, of that there seems no doubt. However, religion because of its mystical nature, sadly lacks any real evidence of its true basis, that being God.

    I feel like I'm arguing against myself. I advocate a free will without God's influence yet I may already be a part of it.
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  25. #24  
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    Ok, well, back at it!!! Lay on McDuff.

    megabrain wrote:

    If you believe that God created you then God decides everything you do, he programmed you, you have no free will
    Ok, assuming this is 100 percent true, it would follow that he also programmed non-believers such as megabrain to not believe and to come up with a theory that belief in God negates free will.

    There is a logical blip in the statement. You say that if I believe . . . I have no free will. Either I have free will, or I do not have free will regardless of what I believe. Ultimately, what your statement says is that if I believe in God, you are also puppet.

    I think what you really meant to say is that if God created “us,” you feel that would eliminate the possibility of free will. By implication, you are thus saying that if we have free will, it is proof that God did not create us.

    So, out of all the possibilities, you reject the one that God could not have created us with free will. That is either your choice or God's mandate.

    megabrain also said:

    If I write a computer programme every decision it ever makes is based upon the way I wish it to behave
    That is true, but you could also create a program to make random choices which you would not be able to control or predict. I also have written about a machine I once saw which had ball bearings which randomly followed random paths from the top of the machine to the bottom, to be collected and taken to the top where they would again travel to the bottom. The creator of that device, nor anyone else, could predict or mandate the specific path of any specific ball bearing nor could he control which ball bearing took which paths.

    So, if we humans are smart enough to create things which we do not control, why wouldn’t God be able to do that?

    megabrain said:

    If I make a ball of rubber it bounces, not because it wants to, but because I designed it
    Yes, but can you tell me where or how far it will bounce? I think not. The ball is going to bounce where it will. You might be able to predict its propensities, but I would defy you to accurately predict the length and direction of every bounce.

    Even if your conclusion were 100 percent correct, your justifications do not prove it.

    In a subsequent post, megabrain said:
    I would not wish anyone dead or harm because I know I would not like to be a victim
    Wow, how original! It is almost as if Jesus never said, “Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.” You came up with that thought all on your own? I have this idea that time and space are relative. . .

    Megabrain also said:


    I learn the general rules of behaviour in society in the same way that any other mammal does
    The great bulk of the animal kingdom which acts from learned behavior learns by imitating other animals of its specie, usually a parent. Many animals which depend on learned behavior for survival cannot survive without an instructive period of upbringing. It is sort of the monkey see, monkey do syndrome.

    We learn many things from direct experience. But experience is usually what you get as a result of failure. If your only teacher is experience, that is truly the school of hard knocks.

    Perhaps it is more your desire to not acknowledge a God that compels you to come to these conclusions in which case you do not have free will, but are a puppet of your need to reject God.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  26. #25  
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    zin asks:

    Are you saying that human beings could never have figured out a code of conduct on their own or that unless a deity tells us what to do we all go around committing atrocities against each other?
    Nope. Did not say that at all, and you know it.

    He further asks:

    You say God gives us a choice of following a code or not....what kind of free will is that?

    The only kind of free will that is possible – the freedom to choose whether you will conform to or deviate from a defined standard. Unless you have a completely different concept of free will.

    zin says:

    Never said He did. Giving us a code to live by is interference, plain and simple. When threats are used it is coercion, extortion, whatever you want to call it. If God wants us to have free will then He has to butt out from the beginning.
    Even if there were no Bible, there would be codes of conduct in the form of law and social practices.

    Actually, the laws of men by which we actually live are far more extensive and intrusive than the Bible. The legal system is much more coercive and extortive than God. In today’s world, I am unaware of anyone who is jailed, fined or punished because he has violated some Bible code. It is the legislated laws which are enforced with punitive methods.

    The establishment of a code within a social group does not prevent people within that group from exercising free will. I don’t know how many times I must say this or how many ways I can say this: a social code merely defines whether specific conducts within that society are acceptable or unacceptable. They do not, in themselves, compel any action. The actor is free to conform to that code or deviate from it through his exercise of free will.

    When you see a speed limit sign, the choice to drive within that limit or to exceed that limit is freely yours. Fear of penalty may influence your decision to comply, but it does not compel your compliance. The establishment of the limit nor the posting of the sign demands a specific behavior. It merely defines the expected conduct.

    Now then, if others have a different definition of free will other than the freedom to make your own moral or ethical decisions in conformance to or defiance of a known standard, I would like to hear it.

    I will pre-reject the concept that free will gives us the privilege of unilaterally establishing our own moral code. Even if personal moral code permits homicide, it remains merely deviation from the already established moral code of my social group
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    As I said, "If there was a god then we would all be..." etc. you are not a puppet if you believe in God, you are only a puppet if you were created by a God. Fact is as I see it - No God, no fluffy little angels etc IT's all just derived from a primitive explanation by primitive people to explain the unknown, how easy to say as a wise man "It's God's Will" and leave it at that, rather than "Sorry I don't have a clue". I am just so amazed that so many people in the world still believe in it. Oh, 'random' in computers is most certainly NOT random, it is at best 'psuedo random' and seeded from the timer - it is certainly predictable. At the end of the day there is no hard evidence for a God - just some scraps of papyrus, written down after hundreds of years of drunken village elders passing down stories, each generation making it more flamboyant for the next. And in all the 2,000 years since, zilch! (apart from a few Irish teenagers high on something professing to bump into the virgin Mary at the corner store...).
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    megabrain has not yet explained how being created by God would negate the possibility of human free will. There needs to be a little more substance to that claim beyond, "As I said."

    And anyone who claims his source is Worstershire sauce should at least learn how to spell Lea & Perrins.
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    THis will go round in circles, - if you believe god created you and gave you free will, explain how? - you cannot, you can say "he just did it" in which case you are suggesting you have some intimate knowledge of how a creator might work. You say he exists and he did, I say IF he exists he could/did not. Neither of us can go any further. THe simple fact is there is no evidence to support the existence of any deity. Throughout the world there have been many thousands of religions all claiming to be the 'true one' I have no explanation as to how a God can create a being with a free will, so I therefore conclude (that if a god exists or existed), he could not.
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    I have clearly stated that the existence of God provides a format that includes the possibility of determinism (the opposite of free will). The non-existence of God does not preclude the the potential for some other source of determinism.

    This particular issue has been argued as long as intellectual minds have discussed perplexing philosophical questions.

    The issue can be discussed both within and without the context of a creator God. That is, one can argue determinism can have a source other than a creator God.

    One definition of free will is that it requires two things: 1. There must be a situation for which there are at least two possible and plausible choices. 2. The decision maker cannot be forced to limit his choice.

    As I have explained before, while I can understand decision makers being pressured into certain decision by means of religious, legal and social group standards, I am unable to conjure up a circumstance in which a person can be absolutely compelled to make a specific decision. Even under the threat of death, the individual still has the choice of death.

    Even if the Bible, considering it as a God’s genuine word, makes such a threat, it does not seem to be coercive enough to make all persons believe in God.

    Thus, we must conclude that if God created a determinist world, He does not compel belief, but rather determines who will believe and who will not. However, even in that circumstance, there would be the appearance of an absolute free will system. It is equally possible that God created a world with an absolute free will system.

    In the alternative, if God does not exist, there could be a difference source of determinism or there is an absolute free will system.

    It may also be that this question is so complex and unsettled that humanity will discuss and argue it for 1,000s of years. Hey! That’s what we’ve done!

    It remains only that in discussing this issue, people may advance their belief and put forth reasons why they have adopted the position with which they agree.

    I seems to me that megabrain's thinkin process starts that God does not exist, therefore we have free will. If we did not have free will, then that would show God exists. But since we have free will, God cannot exist.

    My reason for believing that God and free will can co-exist is that I have never experienced a choice where I felt only one of several options was available to me. I may have been influenced by various legal or social pressures, but never compelled. Secondly, I cannot imagine a force whereby anyone could be compelled to make a specific decision. The direst of threats, though often coercive, do not deny the decision maker the right to experience the negative consequences of defying the threat.

    I cannot find this especially relevant to establishing or refuting God's existence.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I seems to me that megabrain's thinkin process starts that God does not exist, therefore we have free will. If we did not have free will, then that would show God exists. But since we have free will, God cannot exist.
    You have it in a nutshell, I have no evidence of a god, I see no logic in a god creating a universe and adding another level of complication to existence, the notion of 'god' to me is as absurd as alien abductions and many other self-induced physic phenomina.
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    Now then, if others have a different definition of free will other than the freedom to make your own moral or ethical decisions in conformance to or defiance of a known standard, I would like to hear it.
    A chance to develop our own standards without having a god's preference as one of the choices. No ultimatums, no threats, no promises or enticements of a divine nature, totally without fear of being judged, no contact whatsoever from the creator. Absolute freedom to live without divine interference. The freedom to invent a God or gods who endear us with the gift of free will.

    In order for the conformance or defiance of a god given edict to have any merit, God must be known to positively exist. I think the suggestion that free will is a choice between God's way or the highway can only have merit if the presence of God is an absolute certainty. But we only have faith, hardly factual evidence.
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    It confuses me that if man sets a standard and the individual deviates from that standard, it is free will; but if a God sets a standard and an individual deviates from that standard, it is not free will. That does seem to be zin’s position.

    I looked back through some posts and one thing that caught my eye was Bettina’s claim that the church invented free will to explain away certain bad conducts.

    Actually, the church leans far more toward determinism with Jonathon Edwards providing what is probably the most definitive American dissertations in support of determinism. In fact, I guess you could say that most organized religions tend to have determinist positions, not free will positions. Islam and Hinduism are strongly determinist. I am not sure how Buddhism generally looks at this question.

    Christianity, however, generally has a very strange approach which includes elements of both free will and determinism.

    You will find vast differences among Christians from 100 percent determinists to almost 100 per cent free will advocates. The development of a somewhat bifurcated approach seems to be rather recent development advanced mostly in Calvinist circles.

    This view separates God’s will into two compartments. First is God’s unrevealed sovereign will which cannot be thwarted by any decision of man. That is, God’s sovereign will plays out no matter the decisions of men. The second aspect is God’s moral will which is his revealed standards and which can be freely disobeyed by men.

    So there is a degree to which I think megabrain is partially correct, although I have argued against his position. If there is a God, there is most certainly a determinist aspect to the universe. But I do not agree with megabrain that the exercise of free will by men necessarily precludes the existence of God.

    I honestly do not quite understand zin’s position on this issue. What I can suggest is this: zin (or anyone else) can exercise his free will by violating every Godly standard expressed in the Bible, refusing to do the things it says to do and exuberantly doing all the things it says not to do. The end result is that he will most certainly end up in jail if not on death row, but at the hands of the human legal system, not God. However, violating every one of those standards could not keep him out of heaven if he repented and trusted Jesus for salvation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I have clearly stated that the existence of God provides a format that includes the possibility of determinism (the opposite of free will). The non-existence of God does not preclude the the potential for some other source of determinism.

    The issue can be discussed both within and without the context of a creator God. That is, one can argue determinism can have a source other than a creator God.
    I like to relate these questions to a third question/dichotomy about the nature of reality that interests me. This is the question of whether reality consist solely of what is objectively observable or not. Many atheists seem to think so and there are famous scientist who think that this is absurd. Regardless, the existence of God and the idea of determinism are both very difficult to support if you embrace this idea. If, however, reality does not consist only of what is objectively observable then we can draw no conclusions either about the existence of God or about determinism.

    Interestingly enough, I have encountered a few people who both believe in God and seem to think that reality does consist only of what is objectively observable. These people are enamoured of the idea of developing a science or technology that can prove the existence of God or the spirit/soul. My tolerance for such people is rather strained, however, for I prejudicially tend to think of them as uneducated or as crackpots.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    One definition of free will is that it requires two things: 1. There must be a situation for which there are at least two possible and plausible choices. 2. The decision maker cannot be forced to limit his choice.
    I find this definition to be rather problematic. The problem is what it means to "force someone to limit their choice." There is the question of causality in a person's choice. If the ultimate causes of a person's choice is outside of himself then those causes can be manipulated to control the person's choice. Does this "force them to limit their choice"? I think that those people who say no, believe in an illusory sort of free will, that consist only of the feeling that we control our actions even when someone else is really calling the shots.

    In my view free will only makes sense if, as future events our choices exist in an undetermined state much like a quantum state as a superposition of possibilities. Only the event itself resolves the posibilites into a actuality much like the measurement of a quantum object forces it to choose among possibilities. But this would imply, I think, that some part of the ultimate cause of a choice lies in the event itself. Only in this way could the ultimate cause of the choices of a finite created being not be found external to him and thus available to manipulation and control.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It may also be that this question is so complex and unsettled that humanity will discuss and argue it for 1,000s of years. Hey! That’s what we’ve done!
    Is it complex or merely undecidable in an objective manner much like the existence of God? I think it is a bit like love, either you believe in it or not. Think about it. Is it not possible that it is free will itself that makes the question of its own existence undecidable. Does not free will include the choice of whether to exercise it or not? Existentialist say no and that the result is an existential anxiety. But this is one idea of existentialism that I think is incorrect, and that this anxiety is not a universal human condition. If free will consists in having choices then where do these choices come from? It is clear to me that different people in the same circumstances see a quite different set of choices. Therefore, I believe it is up to us to use our imagination to see the possibilities that make alternative choices possible. If one does not make the effort to imagine the possibilites then how can there be a choice? Therefore, I suggest that like love, free will is, in some sense, something that only exists if you believe in it. For how can you make choices unless you believe in free will enough to use your imagination to see the possibilites that you can choose from?

    What about God then? Is it possible that God too is something that only exists if you believe in Him? Well, many Christians believe that the essence of Hell consists of existing outside the presence of God. So perhaps in this sense it is true, for if God remains outside your experience eternally then relative to you would you not say that God does indeed not exist. And perhaps this is another thing that free will itself implies, that reality itself is somewhat, ultimately, something of our own making.
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    I believe that the Freedom of the will is not discrete condition. It is not that you have either free will or not-free will. Rather, sometime you feel you have more room to make a choice sometime you have less. Your decision to do something is always influenced by external condition. You decide to go out but change your mind because it starts raining. You decide not to go to work because your spouse is sick. You can say that you are able to decide otherwise but you decision is weighed down by external influences, large or small.
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    Are you suggesting, Mitchell, that perhaps we are merely figments of our own imagination? Ha, ha.

    I don’t think I have ever spent much time studying or reading about this question and while I find it interesting, I do not find it especially compelling or life changing.

    Mitchell wrote:

    daytonturner wrote:

    One definition of free will is that it requires two things: 1. There must be a situation for which there are at least two possible and plausible choices. 2. The decision maker cannot be forced to limit his choice.

    I find this definition to be rather problematic. The problem is what it means to "force someone to limit their choice." There is the question of causality in a person's choice. If the ultimate causes of a person's choice is outside of himself then those causes can be manipulated to control the person's choice. Does this "force them to limit their choice"? I think that those people who say no, believe in an illusory sort of free will, that consist only of the feeling that we control our actions even when someone else is really calling the shots.
    The definition, of course, was not my own, but rather a paraphrase of some definition that I found that I thought sort of captured my personal take on free will.

    I did however find (at http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/determin.htm) a rather interesting article on the matter which includes this brief description about choices:

    There are three basic positions concerning man's choices: determinism, indeterminism, and self determinism. Determinism is the belief that all of man's actions are the result of antecedent factors or causes. Naturalistic determinists, such as Thomas Hobbes and B F Skinner, argue that man's behavior can be fully explained in terms of natural causes. Theistic determinists, such as Martin Luther and Jonathan Edwards, trace man's actions back to God's controlling hand. The opposite position to determinism is indeterminism. On this view there are no causes for man's actions, antecedent or otherwise. The final position is self determinism, or free will. This is the belief that man determines his own behavior freely, and that no causal antecedents can sufficiently account for his actions.
    While I neither agree with nor reject the conclusion this article eventually comes to, I find it an interesting explanation of the potential ways we make decisions and take actions.

    I do not particularly advocate for any conclusive statement on this matter but merely suggest that the concepts are so interesting and intriguing that one should not draw any definitive conclusion that absolutely eliminates the others. I do not find it to be a particularly religious question so much as a philosophical question which must take into account the possibility of a creator God.

    The discussion is not a theorem from which we can find an answer to the question of whether God exists, such as some of the posters have suggest.
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    Are you suggesting, Mitchell, that perhaps we are merely figments of our own imagination? Ha, ha.

    I don’t think I have ever spent much time studying or reading about this question and while I find it interesting, I do not find it especially compelling or life changing.

    Mitchell wrote:

    daytonturner wrote:

    One definition of free will is that it requires two things: 1. There must be a situation for which there are at least two possible and plausible choices. 2. The decision maker cannot be forced to limit his choice.

    I find this definition to be rather problematic. The problem is what it means to "force someone to limit their choice." There is the question of causality in a person's choice. If the ultimate causes of a person's choice is outside of himself then those causes can be manipulated to control the person's choice. Does this "force them to limit their choice"? I think that those people who say no, believe in an illusory sort of free will, that consist only of the feeling that we control our actions even when someone else is really calling the shots.
    The definition, of course, was not my own, but rather a paraphrase of some definition that I found that I thought sort of captured my personal take on free will.

    I did however find (at http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/determin.htm) a rather interesting article on the matter which includes this brief description about choices:

    There are three basic positions concerning man's choices: determinism, indeterminism, and self determinism. Determinism is the belief that all of man's actions are the result of antecedent factors or causes. Naturalistic determinists, such as Thomas Hobbes and B F Skinner, argue that man's behavior can be fully explained in terms of natural causes. Theistic determinists, such as Martin Luther and Jonathan Edwards, trace man's actions back to God's controlling hand. The opposite position to determinism is indeterminism. On this view there are no causes for man's actions, antecedent or otherwise. The final position is self determinism, or free will. This is the belief that man determines his own behavior freely, and that no causal antecedents can sufficiently account for his actions.
    While I neither agree with nor reject the conclusion this article eventually comes to, I find it an interesting explanation of the potential ways we make decisions and take actions.

    I do not particularly advocate for any conclusive statement on this matter but merely suggest that the concepts are so interesting and intriguing that one should not draw any definitive conclusion that absolutely eliminates the others. I do not find it to be a particularly religious question so much as a philosophical question which must take into account the possibility of a creator God.

    The discussion is not a theorem from which we can find an answer to the question of whether God exists, such as some of the posters have suggested.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    I'd die if there were flowers on my curtains.... :wink:
    Terminal hay fever, eh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Are you suggesting, Mitchell, that perhaps we are merely figments of our own imagination? Ha, ha.

    I don’t think I have ever spent much time studying or reading about this question and while I find it interesting, I do not find it especially compelling or life changing.
    The first statement suggest you are only joking but the second statement makes it a serious question. I am very much of realist in the sense that I do think there is an objective reality out there even though it may not be fully objectively observable. I even look at the spiritual aspect of reality as a concrete objective reality but with characteristics which make objective observability impossible. So in that sense I do not suggest that God only exists if you believe in Him. But I do believe that our experience of the spiritual is necessarily subjective even if it does exist objectively.

    The difference that makes this so is simply that while such intangibles as our thoughts, love and desires play no direct role in the laws which govern the physical aspect of reality, I think they do play a direct role in the laws which govern the spiritual aspect of reality. Objects in the physical aspect of reality are related by mathematical laws of time and space, but objects and beings in the spiritual aspect of reality only have a connection with each other through thought, love and desire. Therefore, physical reality is objectively observable because what you observe has no regard for your individual thoughts, love and desires, but since the spiritual aspect of reality is affected by these things, the observation of this aspect of reality is necessarily subjective. And it is this nature of the spiritual aspect of reality which gives its elements this characteristic where they only seem to exist if you believe in them. Love is real. Free will is real. God is real. They exist. But if you don't believe in them, then it is quite possible that you will never experience them. Contrast this to something like the sun where you are going experience it whether you believe in it or not.

    To put it another way, we learn in physics that many things such as velocity are relative, but I think we will find that in the spiritual aspect of realty much that we have come to count on as absolute such as time, space and visible form is quite relative, and unlike physical things relative to our way of thinking and feeling. As a small taste of this I suggest the film "What dreams may come".

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There are three basic positions concerning man's choices: determinism, indeterminism, and self determinism. Determinism is the belief that all of man's actions are the result of antecedent factors or causes. Naturalistic determinists, such as Thomas Hobbes and B F Skinner, argue that man's behavior can be fully explained in terms of natural causes. Theistic determinists, such as Martin Luther and Jonathan Edwards, trace man's actions back to God's controlling hand. The opposite position to determinism is indeterminism. On this view there are no causes for man's actions, antecedent or otherwise. The final position is self determinism, or free will. This is the belief that man determines his own behavior freely, and that no causal antecedents can sufficiently account for his actions.
    While I neither agree with nor reject the conclusion this article eventually comes to, I find it an interesting explanation of the potential ways we make decisions and take actions.
    Yes I think this article gets more to the heart of the matter and I do agree with its conclusions with one proviso, and that is that free will is not absolute or inviolate, but that it is the nature of sin to destroy our free will. I believe that life, consciousness and free will are so inseperable as to be practically the same thing and these are a quantitative thing which varies greatly in quantity between all the living things on this planet. I have already explained how imagination plays an important role in free will. Well drug addiction is a basic example of what sin does and how it short circuits our system of motivation and self control to destroy our free will. I do not think therefore that free will is some completely otherwordly attribute of human beings that set them apart but a process that occurs in the connection between the spiritual and physics, which has a concrete physical manifestation. It is only the spiritual side of the process which eludes objective observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The discussion is not a theorem from which we can find an answer to the question of whether God exists, such as some of the posters have suggested.
    Agreed, although as I explained before the question, of whether there is an apect of reality which is not objectively observable, certainly does have bearing on both questions of the existence of God and determinism.
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    I can tell you have thought about this a lot, Mitchell. And certainly far more than I or at least from a deeper perspective.

    It was not my intent to pooh-pooh or make light of what you had said. My perspective was that this determinism v. free will question has just never been much of an issue with me.

    I have a fairly well settled position on the issue, but I do not find it necessary to be correct in that position. As a Christian, I do not see the issue as much more than a conundrum which cannot be resolved by any analysis.

    Your segway into the complex issue of a non-objective reality will be difficult for the atheists on this forum to deal with because if they agree there is a non-objective reality, they must place the possibilty of God within that reality.

    i merely suggest that those who have limited themselves to only that which they can know by what they see and observe are, well, limited to that which they can see and observe. I do not see limiting one's perspective as being a superior life view.
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    Well I'm not afraid to say it but my perspective based on what I know and see happening in the world from Planck time onward gives me a more superior life view than anyone who has a notion of a God that sits by and watches people killing people, cats killing baby birds, the unspeakable torture cats do to mice, exploding busses and malls, all the pain, suffering, torture, crying, little kids starving to death or slowly dying in a cancer ward, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, gives me a very, very, superior point of view that can't be explained away with two words like "free will".

    My bitterness is entirely aimed at life in general and not to anyone here no matter what their beliefs, but like it or not, the only reason all living things have free will is the simple fact that there is no God guiding or watching over us and its just that simple. No one can even come close to a better explanation, let alone try to find any form of evidence, no matter how many words are dug out and interpreted in all the bible books.

    This is a bad month for me emotionally but I will defend everything I said. I just see free will for what it really is.

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    All I.m saying is: let there be two events, one being the creation of all things, the 2nd being the turning it on. What happens, happens. We form religions, we form opinion, formulate theory, yadda,yadda,yadda. Its the closest thing to proving God's existence...the fact that He's nowhere near this place and He's leaving us alone.

    So you see, we're back to stage 1. We may be doing exactly what a bunch of godless creatures with free will are supposed to be doing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    A chance to develop our own standards without having a god's preference as one of the choices. No ultimatums, no threats, no promises or enticements of a divine nature, totally without fear of being judged, no contact whatsoever from the creator. Absolute freedom to live without divine interference. The freedom to invent a God or gods who endear us with the gift of free will.
    Yeah that sound a lot like what I call the spiritual aspect of reality and free will. But the gods we create will necessarily be lesser than ourselves and constructs with little to offer us. But suppose that in addition to this there is a God out there which is not of our creation. Only such a God as this is likely to have something worthwhile to offer us.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    In order for the conformance or defiance of a god given edict to have any merit, God must be known to positively exist. I think the suggestion that free will is a choice between God's way or the highway can only have merit if the presence of God is an absolute certainty. But we only have faith, hardly factual evidence.
    Sound good, UNLESS the edict simply derives from the nature of our own existence and requires no enforcement at all because defiance has logical consequences which follow by the nature of what we are.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    All I.m saying is: let there be two events, one being the creation of all things, the 2nd being the turning it on. What happens, happens. We form religions, we form opinion, formulate theory, yadda,yadda,yadda. Its the closest thing to proving God's existence...the fact that He's nowhere near this place and He's leaving us alone.
    But perhaps He only leaves us alone if we choose it to be so. And we control so little of our lives that I think that we cannot call it interference if God takes a hand in some of these events we are so unable (or unwilling) to control.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    So you see, we're back to stage 1. We may be doing exactly what a bunch of godless creatures with free will are supposed to be doing.
    Well "doing" covers a lot ground. There are a lot of things people are "doing", which I do not think the idea, "supposed to be" applies to very well at all. Bettina certainly thinks there are a lot of things that God (if He existed) would not allow people to do at all. People do all sorts of self-destructive things that require no external judge to condemn, for these types of things condemn themselves.
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    If absolute free will exists then the last thing mankind should be worrying about is God. If God has decided to sit back, watch and not interfere then we could never possibly know what God wants or if He is even there.

    I wonder if we would trade free will just for one shining moment of real proof for God's existence?
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  45. #44 Re: Free Will or Will of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by dattaswami
    The Lord is controlling all the souls as per Veda “Aatmeshwaram”, which means that all the souls are ruled by the Lord
    Gita also says the same “Bhuthanaam Eeswarah”. But this does not mean that there is no independence for the soul.
    Please define what is a soul???
    Quote Originally Posted by dattaswami
    When the king rules the kingdom, all the people in that kingdom are independent in their activities, but they are within the rules of the king. Thus a short span of independence in the human life exists under the control and supervision of the Lord.
    This example cannot be considered as a proof. We cannot say like, x=y so a=b.
    Quote Originally Posted by dattaswami
    A cat caught a rat by its jaws. It leaves the rat after a bite for a short span of time. In that span the rat gets independence and runs in any side as it likes. But the cat is watching the rat and catches it again whenever the rat is out of the limits of the supervision. Similarly the Lord called “Kaala” (death) catches a human being and bites. The bite is the illness of the human being. The repeated diseases are the repeated bites of the ‘Kaala” or the Lord.

    During the bite the rat looses completely its independence. Similarly any human being, which is attacked by the disease becomes a patient and looses its independence completely. The cat plays with the rat for sometime like this and finally swallowes the rat. Similarly, the human being is swallowed by the Lord at the end. The whole creation itself is like a rat for the cat like Lord, which is told in Brahmasutra “Atta Charaachara Grahanaat”. Thus the short span of independence of human beings under the supervision of the overall controlling Lord, creates the full game and entertainment for the Lord. The entertainment is the basic reason of the creation by the Lord as said in Veda (Ekaaki Na Ramate) and as said in Brahmasutra (Lokavattu). Within the limits of the supervision of the cat, the rat will receive the result of the direction in which it runs.

    In one direction there may be fire and the rat may receive the heat. In another direction there may be cold water and the rat will receive the coolness in that direction. The rat is independent to receive the result of the direction and has full independence to go in any direction. The final death of the rat shows that the rat is under the control of the cat during its choice of direction also, which is not interfered by the cat. Similarly the human life is with full of independence but the final end proves that the independence is under the control of the Lord. Yet, since there was no interference of the Lord during the human life, the human being receives the results according to its actions. Thus the “whole game is perfectly justified in any angle”.
    Sounds like god is a sadist.He sees all sufferings but doesn't want to do anything(being omnipotent).He created/going to create creatures,monitors them and giving reward/punishment after death.He has been doing these from the begining of the first life and will be doing the same forever.What does he get from this?I don't know.
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