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Is God Pro Choice?
Posted: 24 January 2013 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Was just watching Bruce Almighty. Nice scene in the beginning where he tells Bruce you can do anything you want but you can’t mess with Free Will.  I know about Free Will and the Problem of Evil.  But, pretending to be a Christian now, God did in fact give us free will. Doesn’t that mean He’s Pro-Choice?  I mean if Free Will doesn’t mean having the complete freedom to choose, come what may, then it isn’t exactly free will is it?

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Posted: 25 January 2013 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Cuthbert

God did in fact give us free will. Doesn’t that mean He’s Pro-Choice?

God’s opinions are whatever the humans who make the particular god up want then to be.

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Posted: 25 January 2013 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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God’s opinions are whatever the humans who make the particular god up want then to be.

BINGO!!!!!!!!!! Give this man a ceegar!!!!!!

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Posted: 25 January 2013 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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No shizzit Sherlock! smile  But you missed my point.  PRETENDING TO BE A CHRISTIAN…In order to be so-called Pro Life you have to be Anti-Choice, which is the same as anti-Free Will, which is therefore anti-God. Put another way, God is Pro-Choice.  So…trying to restrict a womans right to choose is tantmount to trying to restrict Gods implementation of Free Will. And God don’t cotton to that!

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Posted: 25 January 2013 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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CuthbertJ - 25 January 2013 11:17 AM

No shizzit Sherlock! smile  But you missed my point.  PRETENDING TO BE A CHRISTIAN…In order to be so-called Pro Life you have to be Anti-Choice, which is the same as anti-Free Will, which is therefore anti-God. Put another way, God is Pro-Choice.  So…trying to restrict a womans right to choose is tantmount to trying to restrict Gods implementation of Free Will. And God don’t cotton to that!

According to your god. LOL

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Posted: 25 January 2013 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Guys, this whole question is moot. God (Morgan Freeman) is an atheist. He doesn’t even believe in himself so why not have free will?


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Posted: 25 January 2013 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Put another way, God is Pro-Choice.

Oh is he????

If you’re a biblical literalist who has actually read the whole of the Bible, I don’t see how you could make the case either way. It doesn’t address abortion as an issue on any level anywhere.

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Posted: 27 January 2013 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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CuthbertJ - 24 January 2013 01:25 PM

God did in fact give us free will. Doesn’t that mean He’s Pro-Choice?  I mean if Free Will doesn’t mean having the complete freedom to choose, come what may, then it isn’t exactly free will is it?

He is “Pro-Choice”, but he only likes you if you choose the correct choice. God wants you to obey him out of free will. If everybody was determined then nobody could really earn to be in heaven. Oh man, theology…

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Posted: 29 January 2013 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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All good responses here. I guess my post does boil down to the problem of evil though, and which does God value most, free will or life.  Can’t have both it seems. And yes you talk to your avergage Christian, yet alone a literalist nutcase, and you’ll probably get a blank stare.  My point was to try to argue from the standpoint of a Christian, and to my mind, that would end up with the conclusion that God values Free Will most, therefore He must be Pro-Choice.  Anywho, garythehuman, who replied “according to your god”...my god is you, me, everybody, every living thing alive or ever was alive. I think we call that Pantheism or Panentheism. Or you can call it atheism since that’s nowhere close to “theism”. Don’t know don’t care. Worship Love and Creativity, bottom line.

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Posted: 29 January 2013 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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CuthbertJ - 29 January 2013 11:28 AM

All good responses here. I guess my post does boil down to the problem of evil though, and which does God value most, free will or life.  Can’t have both it seems. And yes you talk to your avergage Christian, yet alone a literalist nutcase, and you’ll probably get a blank stare.  My point was to try to argue from the standpoint of a Christian, and to my mind, that would end up with the conclusion that God values Free Will most, therefore He must be Pro-Choice.  Anywho, garythehuman, who replied “according to your god”...my god is you, me, everybody, every living thing alive or ever was alive. I think we call that Pantheism or Panentheism. Or you can call it atheism since that’s nowhere close to “theism”. Don’t know don’t care. Worship Love and Creativity, bottom line.

I pretty much agree, haven’t decided on a particular label for as yet though. question

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Posted: 29 January 2013 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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CuthbertJ - 24 January 2013 01:25 PM

I know about Free Will and the Problem of Evil.  But, pretending to be a Christian now, God did in fact give us free will. Doesn’t that mean He’s Pro-Choice?  I mean if Free Will doesn’t mean having the complete freedom to choose, come what may, then it isn’t exactly free will is it?

Well, I guess I will start my answer to your question with another question.  Do you presuppose that Christians don’t have free will, in that they all line up with one train of thought and do not believe anything different from what they are told?  Because there are different strains of Christian thought on Free Will and Good and Evil.

The common CONSERVATIVE perspective of Christianity tends to follow the notion that God gave each person Free Will so that you could choose to willingly embrace or forsake God, and face the consequences for doing so.  Whether you are a Christian or not, the reality is—ALL choices come with consequences, cause and effect.  But in the Conservative Christian perspective, the highest choice is accepting or forsaking Jesus “the Messiah,” thus accepting or forsaking salvation, avoiding or facing God’s wrath, etc.

In that perspective, Free Will isn’t valued except as novelty.  God created everything to glorify Himself, and desires everything to choose to do so.  Personally, I think such a concept is absurd and full of egotism, to say that God created everything to glorify Himself… how truly sad and pathetic for someone to create a personal cheering machine and hold it at gun point.

But there are other perspectives, other possible God-motivations, and it’s absolutely no fun if you don’t twist the rubix cube to see what kind of combinations you get.

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Posted: 30 January 2013 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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The common CONSERVATIVE perspective of Christianity tends to follow the notion that God gave each person Free Will so that you could choose to willingly embrace or forsake God, and face the consequences for doing so.

I wonder how they reconcile this view with the accompanying belief that a lot of conservative Christians hold in predestination???

The cognitive dissonance here must be breathtaking!

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Posted: 30 January 2013 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 30 January 2013 07:50 AM

The common CONSERVATIVE perspective of Christianity tends to follow the notion that God gave each person Free Will so that you could choose to willingly embrace or forsake God, and face the consequences for doing so.

I wonder how they reconcile this view with the accompanying belief that a lot of conservative Christians hold in predestination???

The cognitive dissonance here must be breathtaking!

Not to mention how God’s will or God’s plan for each person must be infringing if they believe they have free-will. God also infringes upon the free-will of men when he answers prayers or performs miracles.

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Posted: 30 January 2013 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 30 January 2013 07:50 AM

The common CONSERVATIVE perspective of Christianity tends to follow the notion that God gave each person Free Will so that you could choose to willingly embrace or forsake God, and face the consequences for doing so.

I wonder how they reconcile this view with the accompanying belief that a lot of conservative Christians hold in predestination???The cognitive dissonance here must be breathtaking!

Actually, from what little I remember from studying theology back in college, Predistination is just as debated among Christians as is the proper way to baptise and the timing of the Rapture.  There are many long dead theologians who argued, in writing, the different angles and beliefs of these doctrines.  There is a reasoning, a line of thinking, behind these beliefs.  It isn’t just POOF, “Magick Bunnies!”  Christianity is a well thought out machine, consisting of many assimilated cultures and religions.  It served an original purpose, thus the reason it was designed for the masses.

morgantj - 30 January 2013 08:27 AM

Not to mention how God’s will or God’s plan for each person must be infringing if they believe they have free-will. God also infringes upon the free-will of men when he answers prayers or performs miracles.

Some branches of Conservative Christians see God’s plan or will as something a person chooses to line up with or not.  But for those who believe in Predestination, I would assume God’s plan also includes the intention of who will follow and who wont or a preknowing of who will and wont.

As for the infringement of free-will through answered prayers and miracles, I’m not sure I follow your reasoning.  If someone prays for something, aren’t they wanting it to happen?  Thus a choice to recieve it?  Unless you are referring to prayers regarding other people.  Even then, I would like to know a specific type of prayer or miracle you might be referring to so I can make a proper argument.

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Posted: 30 January 2013 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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TheHatredOfRainbows - 30 January 2013 09:57 AM

Some branches of Conservative Christians see God’s plan or will as something a person chooses to line up with or not.  But for those who believe in Predestination, I would assume God’s plan also includes the intention of who will follow and who wont or a preknowing of who will and wont.

And what about God’s foresight?  If God already knows what is going to happen, then it will not happen any other way. If it will not happen any other way, then we are just determined to a single course of action. There would only be the illusion of choice which would really only ultimately serve as conditions that further determine and contribute to the one path we will and must take.

TheHatredOfRainbows - 30 January 2013 09:57 AM

As for the infringement of free-will through answered prayers and miracles, I’m not sure I follow your reasoning.  If someone prays for something, aren’t they wanting it to happen?  Thus a choice to recieve it?  Unless you are referring to prayers regarding other people.  Even then, I would like to know a specific type of prayer or miracle you might be referring to so I can make a proper argument.

For example if you pray that your favorite local football team wins, and god answers that prayer, he intervenes and makes it so, he not only doesn’t answer the prayers of the opposing team fans, but also he infringes on the free will of the players. And the consequences are much more far reaching than just changing who wins. Cause and effect is in play.

If a god were to answer prayers, perform miracles, meddle in the affairs of man and nature, alter events that would have otherwise turned out differently had it of not of intervened, the consequences of such interactions are much more far reaching and significant then just a momentary revision of a single event. For every action, there is a reaction. You change one thing, then you have changed the course of all events that follow it. This affects everyone. The change ripples down through causality and eventually affects everyone. For a god to answer a prayer or to perform a miracle, it is not a single change, but a change in everything.

Another example,

Let’s say a man prays to god that god guide him to successfully hijack and crash a plane into a building in an attempt to kill all the residents of the building and the passengers on the plane. For whatever reason, the man believes the people in the building and on the plane deserve being destroyed. God hears this prayer, agrees, and answers it. God guides this man to successfully hijack a plane and crash it into the building filled with people killing every except for a small fraction of people in the building that managed to escape. Now, while on the plane, the hijacker makes it known that god is guiding him even though it is totally against the will of the people on the plane, the people in the building, the flight attendants, the pilots, etc… and anyone else that doesn’t want the plane to hijacked, crashed into the buildings, and lives lost. Despite their best efforts to stop the hijacker, he succeeds.

The victims free-will has been compromised because god has intervened and anything otherwise then this divine intervention cannot be freely-willed away. In the homeland of the hijacker, people celebrate this event as a miracle crediting god for their victory. In the land where the building was located, locals similarly consider a miracle has occurred, that a few survived. Unbeknownst to them, the survivors was no miracle due to the hand of divine intervention, but a “miracle” by a different definition. Yet, curiously, the locals still credit god for the survivors yet do not credit god for the deaths of the victims and pains that follow.

The event changes the world forever. It changes the course of all events and lives that follow the event. Security is increased, the hijackers homeland invaded, people frightened, sad, and paranoid. These are not actions freely-will, but determined through the causal chain caused by the will of a god that made a single intervention that has eternal consequences. Nobody could have willed the events any other way, nor do they have free-will over the chain of events that forever follow.

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Posted: 30 January 2013 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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morgantj - 30 January 2013 10:07 AM

And what about God’s foresight?  If God already knows what is going to happen, then it will not happen any other way. If it will not happen any other way, then we are just determined to a single course of action. There would only be the illusion of choice which would really only ultimately serve as conditions that further determine and contribute to the one path we will and must take.

Having foresight has nothing to do with Free Will.  If a person were to see the future and allow it to happen, would they be infringing on free will?  The logic isn’t there.  Foresight is different from personal involvement and forcing a person to do something.

morgantj - 30 January 2013 10:07 AM

For example if you pray that your favorite local football team wins, and god answers that prayer, he intervenes and makes it so, he not only doesn’t answer the prayers of the opposing team fans, but also he infringes on the free will of the players. And the consequences are much more far reaching than just changing who wins. Cause and effect is in play.If a god were to answer prayers, perform miracles, meddle in the affairs of man and nature, alter events that would have otherwise turned out differently had it of not of intervened, the consequences of such interactions are much more far reaching and significant then just a momentary revision of a single event. For every action, there is a reaction. You change one thing, then you have changed the course of all events that follow it. This affects everyone. The change ripples down through causality and eventually affects everyone. For a god to answer a prayer or to perform a miracle, it is not a single change, but a change in everything.

Cause and effect are different from Free Will.  We aren’t talking about God acting like Scott Bakula and Quantum leaping all over the place.  Free Will is about having the ability to choose for yourself.  But that has nothing to do with whether God interviens on someone’s behalf, or whether a person wins or loses, lives or dies.  Free will is about the choice, not the result.

I will also argue that one would assume “God” from the Christian perspective is autonmous, with a Free Will of his own.  By logic, free will would allow god to also affect everything that exists within his capability to affect it, just as every person who has free will, however he chooses to affect it.  That does not take away from the Free Will of others.

morgantj - 30 January 2013 10:07 AM

Another example,
Let’s say a man prays to god that god guide him to successfully hijack and crash a plane into a building in an attempt to kill all the residents of the building and the passengers on the plane. For whatever reason, the man believes the people in the building and on the plane deserve being destroyed. God hears this prayer, agrees, and answers it. God guides this man to successfully hijack a plane and crash it into the building filled with people killing every except for a small fraction of people in the building that managed to escape. Now, while on the plane, the hijacker makes it known that god is guiding him even though it is totally against the will of the people on the plane, the people in the building, the flight attendants, the pilots, etc… and anyone else that doesn’t want the plane to hijacked, crashed into the buildings, and lives lost. Despite their best efforts to stop the hijacker, he succeeds.The victims free-will has been compromised because god has intervened and anything otherwise then this divine intervention cannot be freely-willed away. In the homeland of the hijacker, people celebrate this event as a miracle crediting god for their victory. In the land where the building was located, locals similarly consider a miracle has occurred, that a few survived. Unbeknownst to them, the survivors was no miracle due to the hand of divine intervention, but a “miracle” by a different definition. Yet, curiously, the locals still credit god for the survivors yet do not credit god for the deaths of the victims and pains that follow.

The event changes the world forever. It changes the course of all events and lives that follow the event. Security is increased, the hijackers homeland invaded, people frightened, sad, and paranoid. These are not actions freely-will, but determined through the causal chain caused by the will of a god that made a single intervention that has eternal consequences. Nobody could have willed the events any other way, nor do they have free-will over the chain of events that forever follow.

Same as I wrote above.  You are mistaking effecting an outcome with making a choice.  Making a choice does not preassume you will get what you want, reach your goal, or survive.  With or without the existence of a God.  Free Will does not mean you are immortal, or capable of controlling the outcome of your choices.  There are many variables at play in our lives, and chance is just as much our friend or foe as would be any god who could affect those odds.

And assuming in this “reality,” if God does have Free Will, it would be illogical to assume that he has completely withdrawn from the cause and effect of human history.  If God created everything with a specific intention, then he is painting the picture or writing the story of his choosing.  You might choose whether you are going to turn left or right down the street, but in the end the sun is stll going to go Super Nova, or whatever the case may be, for whatever the reasoning may be.

It can also be argued, and has been argued theologically, that like a child with free will, there may still be governing forces above you determining what choices you would be allowed to make, because you haven’t become capable of making competent choices within your short span of existence.  So while you might have the choice to turn left or right, you wont be given the chance to run the country or find the cure for ramped diseases.

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