Free will benificence and omniscience

any suggestions on refuting the " Free will, divine benevolence, and Omnipotence cannot co-exist " argument

Why can’t they co-exist? It is not self-evident that omniscience excludes free will or beneficence…

It is if one considers the millions of innocent people whom God apparently allows to suffer needlessly.

Free will is irrelevant. Just because one assumes the existence of one unevidenced phenomenon (God), there’s no need to compound the error by assuming the existence of another.

“apparently” is an unsound basis for a rational conclusion.

Free will is irrelevant. Just because one assumes the existence of one unevidenced phenomenon (God), there’s no need to compound the error by assuming the existence of another.

If you don’t have free will you cannot choose what to think.
If you cannot choose what to think all your conclusions are irrational!

If you believe you are rational your rationality must have a rational origin. Otherwise you are unfortunately labouring under the delusion that you are rational. :slight_smile:

Well, I use the word because I don’t believe in God.

But your comment is still wrong. If all the available evidence points towards a conclusion, then it is most rational to provisionally hold that conclusion as true until conflicting evidence is brought to light. In this case, it would be “God’s plan” or some such guff. Given that no such plan has ever been shown to exist, the most efficient and rational conclusion is that omnipotence, omnibenevolence and the reality of large-scale (or even small-scale) human suffering, are mutually exclusive.

If you had the power to prevent someone suffering, and did nothing, I would not consider you to be benevolent. Maybe that’s just my warped atheistic morality kicking in…

If you don’t have free will you cannot choose what to think.

Agreed. And this is most certainly the case.

If you cannot choose what to think all your conclusions are irrational!

This is a non sequitur.

There is no evidence that free will exists. There is no evidence that decisions are taken anywhere other than within the electrochemical processes of the brain - so whence free will? In fact, there is plenty of evidence that our decisions are made well before we are aware of having made them. There is no empirical evidence that, once we have made a decision, we could have made a different one. There is only retrospective analysis of the potential options - this is not evidence of free will.

If you believe you are rational your rationality must have a rational origin. Otherwise you are unfortunately labouring under the delusion that you are rational. :slight_smile:

Says the man who believes in an invisible sky magician!

The absence of free will does not automatically consign one to random acts of senselessness and irrationality.

If there is no free will, there is no point for you to be trying to convince Christians of that because there is no way they can come to your atheistic point of view. They have no free will.

But I do understand you being here to try to convince us. Because you have no choice, since free will does not exist.

You would first have to provide evidence that suffering is pointless and that suffering is intrinsically evil.

I had a chance to prevent suffering too but the recovering alcoholic decided to brave the shakes and the body pains to be sober. I did feel like a ****** person though for not force feeding him that drink so then he wouldnt have to go through such pain. :frowning:

It is still applicable because you need to prove the suffering is unnecessary

But your comment is still wrong. If all the available evidence points towards a conclusion, then it is most rational to provisionally hold that conclusion as true until conflicting evidence is brought to light. In this case, it would be “God’s plan” or some such guff. Given that no such plan has ever been shown to exist, the most efficient and rational conclusion is that omnipotence, omnibenevolence and the reality of large-scale (or even small-scale) human suffering, are mutually exclusive.

You still need to prove the suffering is unnecessary

If you had the power to prevent someone suffering, and did nothing, I would not consider you to be benevolent. Maybe that’s just my warped atheistic morality kicking in…

Would you refuse to have children because you know they will have to endure suffering?

[quote]If you don’t have free will you cannot choose what to think.

Agreed. And this is most certainly the case.
[/quote]

I’m delighted you agree!

[quote]If you cannot choose what to think all your conclusions are irrational!

This is a non sequitur.
[/quote]

If you cannot choose what to think you cannot choose what conclusions to reach and your conclusions do not depend on you but on irrational processes.

There is no evidence that free will exists. There is no evidence that decisions are taken anywhere other than within the electrochemical processes of the brain - so whence free will? In fact, there is plenty of evidence that our decisions are made well before we are aware of having made them. There is no empirical evidence that, once we have made a decision, we could have made a different one. There is only retrospective analysis of the potential options - this is not evidence of free will.

This neatly confirms your renunciation of rationality!

[quote]If you believe you are rational your rationality must have a rational origin. Otherwise you are unfortunately labouring under the delusion that you are rational.

Says the man who believes in an invisible sky magician!
[/quote]

Says the man who believes in an invisible earth magician!

The absence of free will does not automatically consign one to random acts of senselessness and irrationality.

The absence of free will automatically consigns one to **determined **acts of senselessness and irrationality. All mental events will be automatic, like impulses, reflexes and urges.

Of course, they cannot co-exist. The first sin was the emergence of free will, metaphorically, in the sin of Adam and Eve. Final redemption of the soul is the total surrender of the will to God (i.e. the renounciation of free will).

Consdier this:
If God is omnipotent, He has all power in the uinverse.
If God has all power, no other being can have any power.
If other beings have no power, they are incapable of making free choices.

Of course, we want God to have all power (that is why we pray for His Kingdom to come). That is why Christians renounce free will (“renounce yourself and carry our cross”). Same with the Buddhist idea. Same with Islamic idea of total submission to God.

The apotheosis of free will “Do what thou wilt”, is a typically demonic (and perhaps democratic) idea.

Let’s hear their argument that they can not coexist first. I’m sure it will give us a better chance to tear it apart if we can actually see it.

Don’t bother with details here though, because plenty will without reading a scrap of evidence anyway.

The absence of free will does not preclude the change of personal opinion. It’s just that the change of opinion is not arrived at by a free choice - it just appears that way in retrospect.

But I do understand you being here to try to convince us. Because you have no choice, since free will does not exist.

Although I suspect you’re trying to be sarcastic, you’re right. Although a number of things could change that would influence my apparent decision to continue posting here. And in fact, they do. My workload fluctuates a great deal, and there are times when I disappear from these forums for days or weeks at a time. It seems to me like I choose not to post, but in reality there is no evidence that this is the case.

There is no evidence of free will, and nobody can demonstrate where it might come from. So I don’t believe in it.

Are you for real? Let’s deal with the second point first. No, I can’t provide any evidence, other than common sense, that suffering is intrinsically “evil.” But I think it’s more than reasonable to let common sense hold sway here, particularly in the absence of any evidence to the contrary. I think most people would agree that the suffering of innocents could be considered “evil.”

Secondly - is suffering pointless? Well, who knows? But I would say the burden of proof here lies with the one who says it isn’t pointless - because if it isn’t, there must be a reason to allow the suffering, and that reason is something that must be identified and explained.

So, to take a common sense approach, we have no reason to suppose that suffering is necessary, nor any reason to suppose that it is desirable (ie. not “evil.”)

I don’t think I have to provide any evidence such as you demand. Suffering is not something that a good and decent person wishes on another, and nor is it, by definition, an enjoyable experience for the sufferer. So it’s eminently sensible to assume, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, that suffering is evil and pointless.

Okay - slightly suspect ethics here, but two points worth mentioning. Firstly, the recovering alcoholic made a choice to suffer. The people of Haiti, for example, made no such choice. Secondly, the ultimate benefit in your story is that the alcoholic (presumably) got himself sober and is now in a much better place.

Your story is very different from the fundamental question being asked in this thread.

No I don’t - as I stated above, the burden of proof is on the theist, who wishes to claim that their god is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent. For this to be true, there has to be a reason why God lets millions of innocents suffer and die. In the absence of such a reason, which must of course be supported by evidence, the rational conclusion is that omnipotence and omnibenevolence are in contravention of the evidence of reality.

If I had the power to prevent someone suffering, yet stood by and let them suffer, what would you think? That I was a nasty person, or that I must have had my reasons and so I was really a lovely chap?

Would you refuse to have children because you know they will have to endure suffering?

No, because personal experience has taught me that in all probability, the suffering they experience will pale into significance compared to the joy of life they will experience. But this is of course a false analogy - the bringing of children into the world with the reasonable expectation that they will live a decent and fulfilling life but recognising that they may suffer, is not the same as standing by and letting them suffer needlessly when and if such a moment arrives.

I’m delighted you agree!

Why would I not? You said nothing contentious. If you don’t have free will you can’t choose what to think. And it’s demonstrably true that you can’t choose what to think.

If you cannot choose what to think you cannot choose what conclusions to reach and your conclusions do not depend on you but on irrational processes.

That’s right - you can’t choose what conclusions to reach. But I suspect you fail to understand that the absence of free will doesn’t automatically mean that every conclusion you reach is entirely arbitrary and random.

This neatly confirms your renunciation of rationality!

Well, this confirms my previous comment, I suppose.

Says the man who believes in an invisible earth magician!

Eh? Who would that be then?

The absence of free will automatically consigns one to determined acts of senselessness and irrationality. All mental events will be automatic, like impulses, reflexes and urges.

Yes, this is the misunderstanding I feared that you were suffering. I’d do some research if I were you.

One question: do we *freely *renounce free will? If not, then what kind of charade is this?

Good and evil are determined in part based on the intended outcome. For example cutting someone with a knife is not intrinsically evil. If you cut them for the purpose of removing a burst appendix to save their life you are doing good. If you cut them for the purpose of robbing them then the act is evil. Surely in both cases the person being cut suffers. But the suffering of being cut is not intrinsically evil since in one case the purpose is a good purpose.

In order for anything to be good or evil you need purpose. Obviously in a world where there is no free will there is no purpose. And so without purpose you dont have good or evil to speak of.

I’m very for real since I do not see how someone could apply morality to suffering? Sure you could apply morality to the actions or causes of suffering but not to suffering itself.

If you want to find the evidence of the benefits of suffering then look no further than the conditioning of the human body. One must exercise the human body and to do so requires a lot of suffering but like they say: no pain no gain. Now apply the same thought process to the conditioning of the soul and it shouldn’t be hard to grasp why suffering is looked at as benefical to spritual growth also.

Its funny because you understand this concept when it comes to the physical health but when it comes to spiritual health it becomes a stumbling block.

Its necessary for physical health (exercise) so why can your common sense not get that it would also be necessary for spiritual growth? Also I didnt know that the desirablity of a thing is what made it moral or not. Could you share how you came to the conculsion that things which are desirable are infact good?

Your conculsion that if it doesnt feel good then it isnt good is a very sad one. Ever heard the expression the truth hurts?

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