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Old 01-02-2018, 10:55 PM
 
Location: China
2,186 posts, read 2,612,088 times
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I think there are 2 issues here. One is Free Will, and the other is whether we are able to ask for and receive help, assistance when we desperately need it most.

First issue - Free Will.
--------------------------
Free Will is not something exclusive to any particular religion, right? So 'faith' has nothing to do with it.
As I understand it, Free Will is something all humans are born with and allow us to make decisions which are specific to us and what we choose to do in the moment.

However, from those people who maintain this Free Will exists, I would like some kind of evidence that it does actually exist, some examples, or experiences which show that we have some kind of choice in our lives. I just dont see it.

Second Issue - Ask and you will receive.
----------------------------------------
I was thinking the other day, whenever I have asked for or needed something to happen, some urgent intervention or when some disaster happens, we are taught(?) that we can ask for help and the help will be there. Well, where is it? I just dont see it anywhere either.

If anything, this makes me think our lives are directed and pre-ordained to be acted out in a way which we have absolutely no control over. Like a computer program as in The Matrix perhaps.

Now... some people may relate this issue with some aspect of Free Will, and others may not. However, I do not see any help being given when things are 'bad' for us, so maybe what we are 'taught' is just not true. Things happen to us when they are planned to happen and we have no influence on anything.

I have no doubt that someone is going to say that we cannot appreciate all the small details of how the Universe works and that our perception of 'bad' is not really 'bad' at all. Why then are we 'taught' that this intervention will happen if we ask?
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:21 AM
 
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Very good.

Let me begin by dealing with the Pre -determined matrix' idea. In fact this is the answer to the problem of why does God sometimes allow his Plan to be changed (either by a Biblical figure talking Him out of doing something unpleasant) or in claiming answered prayers - God would have known what you were going to ask before he even created the earth, so how could change it because you ask?

The 'Matrix' idea implies that God knows all of our freewill decisions before we made them, and also whether he was going to grant them or not (that it would be just the same if He wasn't there at all is a different matter ) and He knew all of this, including the apparent changes of mind - he knew he was going to Change His Mind before he even said "Go!"

The upshot is that the Omniscience does not contradict our free will decisions. They were factored into the Plan from even before the start. Just don't tell the Christian apologists about this, or they will be unstoppable...

As to free Will existing, it is needful to distinguish what Is from what exists. Theists get VERY confused by this.

Does mathematics exist? In a way it is a total fabrication of humans. It does not exist and would not exist without humans having invented it. Yet it has a factual basis. You get a rock and put another rock beside it. You have 2 rocks. This is a reliable effect of nature and the mathematical language and operations humans use to describe it and the discoveries about how it comes out in complex ways does not mean that it does not exist. This is the same with morality. It has a basic in the things that humans see as desirable. And this is an instinct - as are the undesirable ones. Morality 'exists' in a very basic form, but humans developed it through complex systems of reasoning.

Believers can confuse this with a controlling invisible entity in which they have faith. It could be there, just as its' "Matrix" system could be there, but in fact it works just the same if it wasn't there, and indeed makes more sense if it wasn't (1).

So take walking. Does 'walking' exist? Well, we all do it, but the body and what it does and indeed why we do it is what exists, but the descriptor, the Aristotelian Ideal, perhaps, of 'walking' does not. It is a description of an effect. Free will is like that. It is not an existing Thing, (much less an invisible intelligent being, as some apparently come close to thinking) but it is an effect, like walking. It is called Choosing. We do not even have to do the act of choosing; free will exists in the mental patterns (2) of preference. That we cannot carry the preference out because of physical constraints has nothing to do with Free will. That has everything to do with the limits of nature as it is.

That understood, the actuality of choice is, I should have thought, beyond question. One might as well question whether we think. The randomness of the choosing is a bit more tricky, but I think the clue is in that we often know why we choose, or we think we do. In fact it has been shown that the reasons we chose were not the ones we thought were the reasons. And that's the clue. There are (or so I would argue) always reasons for what we choose to do, consciously or unconsciously, but we do not always know what they are. So there is no random coin -flipping, but we are so often unaware of why we chose one thing over another, that it looks random to us.

Does that assist in clarifying the matter? Or does it merely make it more confusing than ever?

(1) for example, the Creation and Flood do not make sense as they stand and contradict the findings of science -take that as you will. In fact it makes more sense if it was from the mind of the writer - Moses or some Jewish writer in Exilic Babylon. One can then explain why the events didn't happen, because God put the Myth into Moses' mind. So long as the Lesson was passed down, it didn't matter whether it was true or not. Of course it works just as well if Moses (or the Babylonian writer) imagined the whole thing, and in fact that makes more sense as why would God not explain that he created the sun at the same time as night and day, but the cloud cover concealed the sun, though the light was visible? Instead he apparently says that he created night and day and then as an afterthought made a sun as a sort of decoration for the daylight. And why when Inspiring the Noachian story into the writer's head did he have it similar to a legend going around in Babylon? Wouldn't he have ensured that the Mesopotamian legend was like the one in the Bible? My God, a Babylonian tablet with the Biblical story of Noah would silence the doubters!

(2) instinct - evolutionary or acquired.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:30 AM
 
2,888 posts, read 592,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
I think there are 2 issues here. One is Free Will, and the other is whether we are able to ask for and receive help, assistance when we desperately need it most.

First issue - Free Will.
--------------------------
Free Will is not something exclusive to any particular religion, right? So 'faith' has nothing to do with it.
As I understand it, Free Will is something all humans are born with and allow us to make decisions which are specific to us and what we choose to do in the moment.

However, from those people who maintain this Free Will exists, I would like some kind of evidence that it does actually exist, some examples, or experiences which show that we have some kind of choice in our lives. I just dont see it.
Free Will is misunderstood if you think that it is about making choice in life but you can't see it as you can't make choice in life.

Free Will is Trust accepted by humans to make choices (in life) and accept/bear consequences for making those choices (good or bad). It must be understood that scope of this Free Will is within life and neither before or after. As one couldn't make a choice to exist (before existing), one can't make a choice to carry on existing. Free Will about human existence is not of humans but of whoever created existence.

Therefore, humans can make choices about what they can do within their ability. This is their Free Will. What one does, through Free Will, carries consequences. Free Will is like Free Speech; you are free to do each but only as long as it does not have adverse effect on the interests and rights of others. Outside that condition, you have a choice of jumping down the cliff or drinking poison. Who says you don't have Free Will to do that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Second Issue - Ask and you will receive.
----------------------------------------
I was thinking the other day, whenever I have asked for or needed something to happen, some urgent intervention or when some disaster happens, we are taught(?) that we can ask for help and the help will be there. Well, where is it? I just dont see it anywhere either.
Asking is too easy. One has to "seek" help. This means actively seeking help. When I needed help, well over half a century ago, I didn't sit on my backside and asked for help. I migrated, seeking work, and I was helped.

I read in the Qur'an that God does not change the condition of people who do not try to change it themselves first (13:11). This is why one has Free Will to make choices. Make the right choice and help yourself first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
If anything, this makes me think our lives are directed and pre-ordained to be acted out in a way which we have absolutely no control over. Like a computer program as in The Matrix perhaps.
No. You have choices to make DURING your life. What is pre-ordained by God is beginning of your existence and this existence must end one day. You have no choice in either of the two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Now... some people may relate this issue with some aspect of Free Will, and others may not. However, I do not see any help being given when things are 'bad' for us, so maybe what we are 'taught' is just not true. Things happen to us when they are planned to happen and we have no influence on anything.
Use your Free Will and try to change your 'bad' condition. You may succeed or you may not but doing nothing won't change anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
I have no doubt that someone is going to say that we cannot appreciate all the small details of how the Universe works and that our perception of 'bad' is not really 'bad' at all. Why then are we 'taught' that this intervention will happen if we ask?
Just asking is not enough. Something has to be done (one must actively seek) to change the condition/circumstance. This is why I knew that I must seek knowledge (get educated) in my childhood and then seek work thousands of miles away from home in order to change my condition (of poverty).

Nothing can be created out of nothing and nothing can't create anything. The days of food dropping down from heavens (after asking for it) are gone. We must grow it on earth now. And that means actively seeking to become gardeners and farmers.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:07 PM
 
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With God , who allow people to accept Him or just ignore Him , it peoples decision , like people get married , Most people ask the other partner if they would like to marry them , as it is free will for most civilized counties , same as with God , People can marry God through obedience to His rules with love and faith , or ignore God
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:29 PM
 
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To answer question about free will, I have to ask another one.
What exactly is that you describe as free will and asking, OP? Can you be more specific with examples? It may be a thin fine line, like it is between freedoms and liberties.
it is easier to discuss when a specific example is provided.

Another way to approach this topic is from understanding, what a human is. Human is a physical unit, a body, a device, if I am allowed to use the term, for Conscious Self to habitate in the physical realm of impermanence.
Now, Conscious Self is the one who, in lost past, made its decision to drop out of the Realm of Permanence into the world of impermanence.
Basically, what it is doing now is working its way back up to its true Self.
From this perspective, very simplified, Self is on Earth for "educational" purpose. It will stay here until its Destiny is worked out and it stops producing thoughts, binding it to the physical.
From this perspective, Self absolutely has free will how to proceed with its earthly existences. But, same time, this presumes absence of what you are referring to as "god", as universal predictor of everything that will happen ever to anyone.
Hence, you either accept god, as one who "does everything" for you and then you do not really have free will, as everything is preordained by the holy providence or, you accept that you are the one and only possible choice maker and determinant of YOUR destiny with, accordingly, free will as you deem necessary.

Same goes for "I asked and it was not given". What exactly is that you asked? I can testify that I encountered many times in my life situations, when I was in good need of something, it was provided for me in, usually, surprising form. I always consider this sign of some sort of providence. But, it always was something that I really needed, not just wanted, if you see the difference.
Also, I know you asked not to but, how do you know that what you consider a say disadvantage now may not turn to be a great advantage down the road? As we all have very narrow life perspective yet, we take upon judgement easily and, usually,blaming everyone and anything else if it does not go up to OUR expectations. yet, literally every human has only one ultimate expectation - to have a pleasant life.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:38 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
9,030 posts, read 6,127,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
I think there are 2 issues here. One is Free Will, and the other is whether we are able to ask for and receive help, assistance when we desperately need it most.

First issue - Free Will.
--------------------------
Free Will is not something exclusive to any particular religion, right? So 'faith' has nothing to do with it.
As I understand it, Free Will is something all humans are born with and allow us to make decisions which are specific to us and what we choose to do in the moment.

However, from those people who maintain this Free Will exists, I would like some kind of evidence that it does actually exist, some examples, or experiences which show that we have some kind of choice in our lives. I just dont see it.............
I don't see that free will exists. My observation is that we are all a little out of control. We can change ourselves a little and that makes us different from squirrels, but we can't change much.

I see behavior in some people that I simply could not emulate. I could not do it. I am speaking of habits of dress, of expression, of personal relationship, even spending habits. I have to be true to who I am.
And the only answer I have when I ask myself why those people so different from me act as they do is, that they have no choice. None.

I'll tell you what...... That attitude, gathered from 72 years of observation, has made me awfully tolerant of people who are different from me. It seems that none of us has chosen to be the way we are. And I'm fine with that.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:23 PM
 
Location: China
2,186 posts, read 2,612,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz
Same goes for "I asked and it was not given". What exactly is that you asked? I can testify that I encountered many times in my life situations, when I was in good need of something, it was provided for me in, usually, surprising form. I always consider this sign of some sort of providence. But, it always was something that I really needed, not just wanted, if you see the difference.
I dont think it matters what is asked, it is peoples perception and understanding (if they are religious) that one can call on the God of that religion and God will deliver.

Whether it be health issues, life situations or whatever. Sometimes in life-threatening situations people call on their God to deliver them from their situation. Now, I understand how God cannot be on both sides of a war or hurt one person to answer anothers request but that is what we hear in the media and in the religious teachings.

From "God save the Queen", to "God is on our side" in the war, we continue to program ourselves that God will provide us with miracles and advantages, but in reality... where are they? Someone will win the war it may be us, it may be the other side, and the Queen will die eventually, so whats the point of asking (or "praying") ?
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:13 PM
 
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None that I've ever seen. Other than a mental exercise for reinforcing Faith, or religious belief, rather. But how does that relate to the 'Free Will' question?
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:14 PM
 
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we continue to program ourselves that God will provide us with miracles and advantages

I do agree. You do exactly that. You program yourselves. Forgetting one simple fact - you already have everything you ever needed provided. If you want to pursue the religion route, "god" already gave you the biggest gift - life. next, another biggest gift - reality. Every aspect of your existence, and you likely never even wondered, how complex it is, is already arranged and clockworking for you. Yet, YOU in your pride, want more. You want god to be a pizza delivery of your wishes, forgetting all the gifts already showered at you - and have you even earned any of them yet? Have you been grateful to start with for what was already given? Have you humbled?

Of course it matters, what is asked. You just give humans magic wand, wait wall will happen. There won't be much left for sure, when everyone will get filthy rich, all of his enemies will parish, and who's left will have eternal life.

Also forget you not one simple thing. Illness, health, wealth - all those things people ask for - they are meaningless in eyes of eternity, in eyes of god. Human "soul" is immortal, momentary passages called life on earth are nothing but educational classes. So says who, one does not need to die? Or, have a disease? Disease is as educational as nothing else. Do you even realize that, with the first grasp of air, a child already starts dying? That entire life is death winning and life losing? All you wishing for is postponing the inevitable. "god" yet is well aware of vastness of your destiny through eons and, you are aware of only a moment in it. Yet, in pride, you judge what is right and what is wrong? Like a small child feeling offended when a wish is not instantly fulfilled? How know you that that wish fulfillment may result in disaster for hundreds more?
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:18 PM
 
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I'll add something else.
You know why a disease is educational? Because suddenly it makes you realize value of things you never valued before. Air you can breathe. Food you can it. Even able to walk into shower room of dispose of waste in your body. Bird song. Sunrise. Family. friends. LIFE. All those things we took for granted and never appreciated.
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