• Rank Amateur
    123
    but that's a tautology.Relativist

    i do not see how,
    Because freedom is necessary if goodness is to be freely chosenEnPassant
    is a tautology, it is saying something quite different - It is not real goodness if it is not freely chosen.

    If I put a gun to your head and tell you to give the beggar a dollar, did you do anything good? Or if I promise you $1,000 if you give the beggar a dollar, and you chose to believe me, did you do anything good ?
  • Relativist
    46

    Do you agree with the both of the following:

    1. If there are free-willed souls in heaven, then:
    at least some of them will sin & Romans 6:7:
    (" anyone who has died has been set free from sin") is false

    2. If the souls in heaven do not sin then they lack free will.

    I think you will agree, but I'd like you to verify.
  • EnPassant
    56
    At death, we stop having these choicesRelativist

    Not necessarily.
    What good comes from this brief period of moral freedom?Relativist
    Great good. If we become good we will be closer to God in the next life.
  • Relativist
    46

    "i do not see how, "Because freedom is necessary if goodness is to be freely chosen"
    is a tautology"

    It just defines what it means to be a free choice. A free choice is only free if there is freedom.

    " It is not real goodness if it is not freely chosen."
    This seems a different statement, but I disagree with this one. I don't see a good thing must be freely chosen to be considered good. Hypothetically, a robot that follows Asimov's 3 laws of robotics can still do good, even though it cannot choose to do harm.
  • Rank Amateur
    123
    This seems a different statement, but I disagree with this one. I don't see a good thing must be freely chosen to be considered good. Hypothetically, a robot that follows Asimov's 3 laws of robotics can still do good, even though it cannot choose to do harm.Relativist

    then the person who programmed it, in one way shape or the other chose to do good, not the robot.
  • Relativist
    46
    At death, we stop having these choices — Relativist
    Not necessarily. — EnPassant
    You previously said, "They would give up the freedom to sin but would still be free in infinite possibilities of goodness" This seems to imply we stop having these choices to sin or not.

    What good comes from this brief period of moral freedom? — Relativist
    Great good. If we become good we will be closer to God in the next life. — EnPassant
    You seem to be suggesting it is a good thing to be close to God in spite of a loss of moral freedom. Well and good, but then why not create beings with that absence of moral freedom to begin with? Then everybody wins: this results in more good than the merit system God devised - a merit system that results in good people suffering. How is God's merit system better than what I proposed?
  • Relativist
    46

    Are you suggesting Christianity is incoherent (since Romans 6:7 is generally accepted), or are you suggesting the souls in heaven lack free will? I can't tell what you're disagreeing with.
  • GreyScorpio
    93
    Both, in a sense. I was countering that particular premise because your argument depends on souls having free-will in heaven. Which has to be impossible because heaven is supposed to be the haven of goodness and obviously would not allow sin, but if we have free will then we have the potential to do and think bad things so bad and evil would still exist in Heaven which is not logical.
  • Relativist
    46

    OK, Thanks. I agree that my argument is tied to that premise, but if the premise is false this just changes the problem.

    Assuming the souls in heaven lack free will: If the ultimate fate of good people is to live eternally without free will, then why would God ever put us in a state of free will? Less good comes of it because it results in some good souls unnecessarily experiencing evil done to them on earth, and it results in some souls choosing evil and not receiving a good, eternal life with God. It's a contingent fact that God put this system in place, and it does not exhibit maximal goodness. Therefore God is not omnibenevolent.

    Assuming the souls in heaven HAVE free will, then Christianity is false.
  • Relativist
    46

    Asimov's robots have positronic brains which give them full consciousness (self-awareness, intentionality, etc). They think as we do, except for being unable to violate the 3 laws.

    My main point is that, IMO, goodness is not dependent on truly free will. In a sense, God lacks free will: he can't do evil because that is against his nature. And yet, he is considered the personification of goodness.
  • GreyScorpio
    93
    God ever put us in a state of free will? Less good comes of it because it results in some good souls unnecessarily experiencing evil done to them on earth, and it results in some souls choosing evil and not receiving a good, eternal life with God.Relativist

    I agree with you personally in saying that Christianity is false. I just think that your argument could be a tad stronger. For example, it is stated in religion that God has put these evils on earth as a sign and our free will is used to determine whether we get to live a life of good will in heaven or eternal evil in hell. But, Free will can't be stripped away after earth life because then God will be taking away his gift to us which is not omnibenevolent. So, this leads on to the fact that, again, we have the potential to do bad in heaven and good in hell BECAUSE we still would have free will, therefore making the Two illogical and God doesn't do anything that is illogical.

    Furthermore, this contradicts the premise that there are free willed souls in heaven that do not sin because it is clear that this is impossible. Because if you have free will you have to sin. They come hand in hand. This is what makes heaven and hell illogical because eternal greatness and eternal evil does not exist alone. They come hand in hand. Either together or not at all. Just because they are departed souls of Christians does not mean they are far from sin, is my point.
  • Relativist
    46

    Thanks for your comments - I agree with everything you said. If I decide to put this into an essay, I'll try to be more comprehensive. For now, I'm working through bits of it at at time.

    Incidentally, I previously raised this question on a Christian forum, and almost everyone who replied actually agreed with the premise that the souls in heaven have free-will and do not sin. They could not explain why God could not just create such beings directly - they just asserted he can't. The reasoning appeared to be: he would've if he could've, but he didn't so he couldn't.
  • andrewk
    1.4k
    I have a lot of sympathy with the argument, but I'll have a go at Devil's Advocate:

    I think what the argument might be is that what matters to God is that every being has had the opportunity to make free decisions. So the beings in heaven have had that ability and, by the decisions they chose to make, have qualified for entry to heaven. The arguments that are used to say that, for instance, a being that is shielded from temptation, or created immaculate like Mary, would not have free will, can be equally applied to say that, once in heaven, a being no longer has free will (they are now shielded from temptation, or rendered immaculate). But perhaps it is enough for an apologist that the qualified being once had free will.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4k
    1. Logical contradictions do not exist.Relativist

    Why would you say this? Clearly it's a false premise. Logical contradictions do exist, I encounter them quite often. Here's an example: the circle is square. In order to justify this premise of yours, you'd need to either show how these things which appear to exist as logical contradictions are either not contradictions, or exist as something other than contradictions.
  • Relativist
    46

    "the beings in heaven have had that ability and, by the decisions they chose to make, have qualified for entry to heaven"
    Yes, but God set up this process - he defined the qualifications, and they are contingent - God had a choice (i.e. the qualifications do not appear to be metaphysically necessary). It is basically a game that God created that will inevitably lead to harm coming to good people while on earth, and eternal harm coming to those who don't pass the test. Both sets of harm seem inconsistent with omnibenevolence. Further, it doesn't even appear that the test is administered fairly - obviously some have a harder time of it than others.

    it is enough for an apologist that the qualified being once had free will.
    That is certainly a distinction, and any distinction can provide an escape hatch. That's why I don't suggest my arguments could convince a committed Christian - they can always resort to "God moves in mysterious ways." Arguments such as mine are only relevant to someone who is actually willing to entertain the possibility that a 3-omni God does not exist. The real lesson is that such a God's non-existence seems more likely than his existence.

    BTW, Mary being "immaculate" just means she was born without original sin (see this)
  • Relativist
    46

    OK, contradictory semantic constructions exist - but they have no referent in the actual world. How's this?:

    1. An object that is describable as a logical contradiction is metaphysically impossible. (e.g. square circles are metaphysically impossible)
    2. If x exists then x is metaphysically possible (converse of 1)
    3. Omnipotence entails the ability to directly create any contingent entity whose existence is metaphysically possible.
    4. There exist contingent free-willed souls in heaven who do not sin (e.g. the departed souls of faithful Christians). (Christian doctrine).
    5. Therefore God's omnipotence entails the ability to directly create free-willed beings that do not sin.
    6. Therefore God could have created a world of free-willed beings who do not sin
    7. In this world, evil befalls the innocent due to the sinful acts of free-willed individuals
    8. God created this world instead of a world of free willed beings that do not sin.
    9. Therefore God chose a world with needless pain and suffering.
    10. Therefore God is not omnibenevolent.
  • andrewk
    1.4k
    BTW, Mary being "immaculate" just means she was born without original sin (see this)Relativist
    Yes I know. As a former RC I find myself constantly being tempted to correct people that say or imply that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception says that Mary conceived Jesus without having sexual intercourse - a temptation I often fail to resist :snicker:. The question I'm raising there is whether proponents of the free will theodicy defence are cornering themselves into saying Mary had no free will, since removing a tendency to commit 'sins' (shielding her conception from the taint of original sin) sounds to me like depriving them of free will. After all, if God could do that for Mary, why didn't She just do it for everybody, and that way make sure that everybody goes to heaven?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4k
    2. If x exists then x is metaphysically possible (converse of 1)Relativist

    I don't think you've avoided the problem I brought up. How do you account for the existence of impossibility? You've limited "exists" such that it can only refer to possibilities. Why privilege possibilities over impossibilities? If you allow that possibilities exist, why not also allow that impossibilities exist?
  • Relativist
    46

    " How do you account for the existence of impossibility?"

    Impossibility is a property of propositions, not of the elements of reality that may be described by the propositions. True propositions correspond to elements of reality, but propositions are false because they do not correspond to elements of reality (i.e. I subscribe to correspondence theory of truth). An impossibility = a proposition that is false out of logical necessity, so it cannot correspond to an element of reality.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.