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    I was having a discussion last night about God, Christianity, and organised religion. Without going into too much detail, because this is not what I want the thread to be about, I am very uncomfortable about the idea of organised religion. I would probably call myself an agnostic.

    My question is this. I'm sure it's been asked before, but I've never heard it discussed before. First, I want you to accept two presumptions. One, that there is a God. And two, that he has given us free will.

    Now, why would a God who wanted us to have free will send 'prophets' to earth, be they Jesus or Mohammed or anyone. Surely this very act would to some extent impede our free will? Having listened to the prophets and read religious texts, we are no longer making decisions freely. The whole thing seems self-contradictory.
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    (Original post by Tednol)
    I was having a discussion last night about God, Christianity, and organised religion. Without going into too much detail, because this is not what I want the thread to be about, I am very uncomfortable about the idea of organised religion. I would probably call myself an agnostic.

    My question is this. I'm sure it's been asked before, but I've never heard it discussed before. First, I want you to accept two presumptions. One, that there is a God. And two, that he has given us free will.

    Now, why would a God who wanted us to have free will send 'prophets' to earth, be they Jesus or Mohammed or anyone. Surely this very act would to some extent impede our free will? Having listened to the prophets and read religious texts, we are no longer making decisions freely. The whole thing seems self-contradictory.
    Where does this idea about God wanting us to have free will come from? I don't think there's much evidence to support that at all.
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    (Original post by Tednol)
    I was having a discussion last night about God, Christianity, and organised religion. Without going into too much detail, because this is not what I want the thread to be about, I am very uncomfortable about the idea of organised religion. I would probably call myself an agnostic.

    My question is this. I'm sure it's been asked before, but I've never heard it discussed before. First, I want you to accept two presumptions. One, that there is a God. And two, that he has given us free will.

    Now, why would a God who wanted us to have free will send 'prophets' to earth, be they Jesus or Mohammed or anyone. Surely this very act would to some extent impede our free will? Having listened to the prophets and read religious texts, we are no longer making decisions freely. The whole thing seems self-contradictory.
    to help us make an informed decision?
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    Why not just tell everyone directly?
    perhaps god is a politician
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Where does this idea about God wanting us to have free will come from? I don't think there's much evidence to support that at all.
    I'm not going to claim to know the ins and outs of scripture. But I'm pretty sure us having free will is a major part of Christianity. It is the answer given to the question "why do some people do bad things in the presence of an omnipresent, omnipotent God?"

    I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong...
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    I haven't read the whole thread yet so forgive me if I'm repeating something. There are a lot of problems with free will and God....another good one is, since God is all knowing, He obviously knows the future. If he knows the future, we cannot do anything other than what is determined of us...in which case, we have no free will.
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    (Original post by Tednol)
    The whole thing seems self-contradictory.
    your right it does seem contradicory "the Bible" it seems contradictory for so many reasons one reason it seems to me is because if Adam and Eve were the 1st people, and insest is wrong acording to the Bible, wouldn't that make the whole world involved in insest?? Is my girlfreind my sister??? its confusing. Maybe its because we as men are so simple minded we don't understand things like that.
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    (Original post by Tednol)
    I'm not going to claim to know the ins and outs of scripture. But I'm pretty sure us having free will is a major part of Christianity. It is the answer given to the question "why do some people do bad things in the presence of an omnipresent, omnipotent God?"

    I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong...
    Well, I was thinking about the ten commandments. That surely is God telling us how he wants us to live and seems to contradict the idea of man's free will.

    Right from day 1 God was laying down the law and telling Adam and Eve not to eat apples.
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    [QUOTE=piginapoke]Weren't they written by Moses?

    Well maybe. But God dictated them. (between meetings)
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    I suppose he sent them because you can't make a decision if you don't know all the optionsm, can you?
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    (Original post by Tednol)
    I was having a discussion last night about God, Christianity, and organised religion. Without going into too much detail, because this is not what I want the thread to be about, I am very uncomfortable about the idea of organised religion. I would probably call myself an agnostic.

    My question is this. I'm sure it's been asked before, but I've never heard it discussed before. First, I want you to accept two presumptions. One, that there is a God. And two, that he has given us free will.

    Now, why would a God who wanted us to have free will send 'prophets' to earth, be they Jesus or Mohammed or anyone. Surely this very act would to some extent impede our free will? Having listened to the prophets and read religious texts, we are no longer making decisions freely. The whole thing seems self-contradictory.
    I'm confused about your argument. In a possible world if their was no religion and we had free-will, you are saying by for instance reading a book on politics this impedes our free will?
    Surely, in both mine and your example they merely add to to the knowledge of the individual so they can make a choice (using their free will) about wheather to believe or not.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Well, I was thinking about the ten commandments. That surely is God telling us how he wants us to live and seems to contradict the idea of man's free will.

    Right from day 1 God was laying down the law and telling Adam and Eve not to eat apples.
    Telling you what you *should* do does not contravene your free will!

    1) Man is free
    2) God says do A
    3) Man must choose A or B
    4) Man because he is free could choose A or B
    5) Man chooses A, because considering situations following God is a wise move
    6) In a possible world, man could choose B.
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    Which begs the question, what does God get out of giving someone a choice that they are free to ignore anyway?
    free will means that man could do anything, so God set some guidelines perhaps :confused:
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    In what sense, given that God does not ostensibly punish those that choose B?
    For instance, if you were invited into God's office and he said - look Mr 'piginapoke', I think you really should buy the red socks and not the blue ones. Regardless of if you think he would punish you are not common sense says you should follow what he says.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Well, I was thinking about the ten commandments. That surely is God telling us how he wants us to live and seems to contradict the idea of man's free will.

    Right from day 1 God was laying down the law and telling Adam and Eve not to eat apples.
    apples were never mentioned- just said fruit
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    Why does God ostensibly want us to make moral decisions? If omnipotent, He could equally as well just make us do whatever He wants. We can only make sentient choices based on the options we have as you pointed out, so what of those who have not been exposed to the choices? When they are being judged or whatever at the pearly gates they could just plead ignorance.
    there is supposedly a circle in hell called limbo for the virtuous pagans
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    Man can do anything, but man's guidelines (laws) restrict him from doing so, where does God come into it?
    hmm???? You have confused me. We are assuming God exists in this thread

    Orginally : what does God get out of giving someone a choice that they are free to ignore anyway

    God gives us commands etc, in order to give us some guidelines to help us lead a good life - rather than making us automa he made us in such a way that we could either follow his commands or not.
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    (Original post by riffraff)
    there is supposedly a circle in hell called limbo for the virtuous pagans
    Dante said that, not the bible
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    Does it involve dancing under a really low bar? Is that from Dante?
    it involves sitting around for eons talking to other virtuous pagans. there is no joy and no sorrow. yes it is from dante. I got through his inferno, but I gave up halfway through purgatory
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    You'll have to point out that particular passage, I was under the impression that they were completely made up by a random bloke purporting to be able to speak to God. Do that today and the men in the white coats will be around sharpish.
    Don't be so sure! People do a lot worse. Ever heard of "speaking in tongues" for example. Hundred's of thousands of American's do this every Sunday as the Lord speaks through them (apparently :rolleyes: )without being locked up!
Updated: April 14, 2004
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