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Freewill and Heaven

  1. Jane Bovary profile image87
    Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago

    One of the many stumbling blocks non-believers face in the path of christian doctrine is accepting the notion of a loving God, for how could such a God allow such terrible suffering down here on Earth? This is commonly known as the problem of evil and is usually answered by theologians with the freewill defence, ie; God allows suffering so we may have free choice, [not withstanding the fact that a fair bit of human suffering comes not as a result of freewill but from natural evil...cyclones, earthquakes etc.]


    Accepting the freewill defence for the sake of argument... I would ask Christians, if it is more important for us to have freewill than no suffering, then what happens in Heaven? If suffering is a result of freewill then everyone there must be an automaton, since there is supposed to be no suffering in Heaven. Yet there must be, since its considered so important that God allows  suffering so we can have it. If its possible to have freewill AND no suffering [as in Heaven] then why can't we have it here?


    Now some have that argued Adam and Eve's sin made man aware of good and evil. As a result, man was free to knowingly choose between the two options. Those who make it into heaven are the ones who have shown that they will willingly choose good.  People in heaven can choose evil [as Lucifer did], but they will probably choose not to because things are so incredibly great in heaven.

    God doesn't seem to concerned about metering out punishment and reward here on Earth, since here suffering falls upon people indiscriminately, that is, on those who have chosen good over evil as well those who haven't so God must be using freewill as a kind of tool to judge us for the afterlife....an elevation to Heaven or a slide down to Hell.

    Okay but...

    Firstly, it doesn't seem very moral or loving of God to allow suffering to His children[us] just so we can be morally tested in some way. It's one thing to bring children up with a sense of morality, it's another to deliberately expose them to suffering and evil just so we can judge them. Secondly, God doesn't give us a level playing field to begin with. For example, it's easier to be morally good if you're brought up iin a nice, loving family surrounded by good influences than if you are raised in squalor, among corrupting influences and with no moral guidance. You can still choose good...but it's harder. Is that fair? Thirdly if hardly anyone would choose evil in Heaven because there is no suffering, then why not create that state on Earth and eliminate both evil and suffering? Why is the "test" necessary?

    'Course there are are others who might even argue that freewill on Earth is only an illusion...but that's another story.

    1. 0
      crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Free will is an illusion.  There is no other decision one could choose to make, but the choice one made.  Everything that has led up to that moment of choice has programmed one to make the exact decision that was made.

      Nobody asks to be born.  We are brought into the world without choice, and we live in a world where we have the illusion of making one.  Every moment from conception conditions you to be a certain way, and from that point forward your history is written.

      1. mohitmisra profile image61
        mohitmisraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You materialized yourself with your thoughts.

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          crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          That is one person's opinion.  It is also completely irrelevant to this forum topic.

          1. mohitmisra profile image61
            mohitmisraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            its about god allowing suffering,
            the reality is all is god, god is you,
            all is you.

            "The Kingdom of god is within." "I tell ye you are all gods" Jesus Christianity

            Shiva Ho Hum- I am Shiva- Hindu Philosophy

            1. 0
              crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Tat Tvam Asi - it's quite possibly my most favourite quote in existence.

              1. mohitmisra profile image61
                mohitmisraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Sweet smile  That thou art. smile

  2. 0
    Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago

    I'm reminded of the verse that asks who it is who asks God why He made us thus......

    Difficult subject.

    One note----mankind still doesn't "choose good (actions)" as much as it is that we can choose to Love God while recognizing our own frailty.   And I'm not so sure it's easier to "choose good" when we're raised in a good loving home, because then we're still tempted to become selfish and rebellious and don't appreciate what we have.....

    That's all He wants---for us to Love Him.   That's what free will is all about.   How could we choose anything if there weren't two options?!
    The Bible says we were created for His pleasure.  It pleases Him when we Love Him.

  3. goldenpath profile image82
    goldenpathposted 6 years ago

    The entire universe and the great plan for mankind is designed and built upon the principle of agency.  It was our own agency of choice that inaugurated our birth.  What qualified it was our acceptance of the plan of the Father and Jesus Christ over that of Lucifer.  Agency is the conduit by which eternal increase and happiness are realized. smile

  4. Jane Bovary profile image87
    Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago

    Thankyou for the responses.

    goldepath, I don't really understand your answer. How does this answer my question?

    crmhaske, though I tend to agree with you, I don't think it's a done deal. At least we don't know enough yet to say for certain freewill doesn't exist. Do we...?

    Brenda, A fair point...a nice home has it's moral pitfalls. The point remains though, that our moral choices depend to a large degree if not totally, on our genetic make-up and external influences. We are not *equal* in that sense.

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      crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, please elaborate goldenpath, I also do not understand your answer.



      I've read many scientific journals on the subject by many reputable neuroscientists who have done research in the area.  Overall the jury is still out; however, the general consensus so far has been that we are a simply a product of our brain chemistry, and that choice is an illusion.  Here is a quote from one such journal:

      "In any case, neuroscience is posing some serious challenges to our conceptions of free will and moral responsibility. Some of these challenges are global: They cast doubt on the very possibility of free will and moral responsibility, even in the case of healthy, normal, human brains. Other challenges are more specific: They suggest that many people, whom we would now hold responsible for their actions, in fact have diminished moral responsibility and legal culpability because of the structure or function of their brain."

      - GARDAR ARNASON in Neuroimaging Uncertainty and the Problem of Dispositions

      Neuroethics is an extraordinarily interesting field residing in the overlap between psychology and philosophy

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        Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        That sounds like simply an attempt at excusing immoral behavior.

        And how do we know what kind of moral sense those neuro-scientists have, that we'd trust their findings?

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          crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Morality is a man made creation, and as such is extraordinarily subjective.

          1. 0
            Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I disagree totally.
            We all have consciences, (except maybe some people who are born with mental problems, etc.),   though many try to deny it.

            1. 0
              crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              The only innate instinct in humans is survival.

              1. 0
                Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You mean innate instinct?

                1. 0
                  crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes, please excuse my typo wink

                  I've corrected it.

            2. Jane Bovary profile image87
              Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              That raises another question. What happens to people who aren't capable of making moral decisions? How can they be tested...? How can they choose God? Does God just let them into Heaven with a free pass?

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                Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                If you mean people who're born mentally disabled...
                Yes that's my opinion anyway.  I believe God views them as innocents.

                But NOT people who've been in their right minds before and had the chance to make the choice.

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                  crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  We are entirely a product of what happens to us - things that are out of our domain to control.   Our reactions are a result of our biochemistry - something that is out of our domain to control, sort of.  The day might come where we are able to alter this permanently - that also is a frightening thought, another eugenics movement.

                  Choices and morals are an illusion, but in order to maintain a functioning society consequences for those actions which inhibit social cohesion have to be punished, regardless of the fact that people are essentially biological machines.

                  The weak get left behind, and the delinquent is dealt with.  This is true anywhere in the animal kingdom, it has to be for the successful propagation of the species.

                2. Jane Bovary profile image87
                  Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Brenda...a loophole in the system?

                  Maybe, but God's a bit funny about damaged people. In Leviticus He says he doesn't even want anyone with a boil entering his church lest it soil his sanctuary.

        2. Jane Bovary profile image87
          Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Brenda,

          Science is morally neutral. While an individual scientist may have his own moral bent the process of science wont allow for it.

          1. 0
            Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I see.
            It's just that I never leave out the possibility of human error, nor human manipulations.

            1. Jane Bovary profile image87
              Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Well, you're right there...these things occur but the process is designed to minimise subjectivity, so anyone trying  manufacture results to suit their own agenda will likely be caught out. Same goes for manipulations.

              Science isn't perfect but it's the best tool we have with which to understand the natural world.

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                Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                hmmm, how can science be the better of the two? Both are highly fallible and subjective to themselves and each other. The human condition is what defines and drives those optic instances -ironically- by their own choice. This defies the basic fundamentals of the two and most certainly Free Will...

      2. Jane Bovary profile image87
        Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Biological machine versus free moral agent? I agree it is fascinating crmhaske.  I'm wondering...even if we could conclusively prove there was no freewill-we'd probably have to keep functioning as though we did...too problematic not too.

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          crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          That there is what is frightening about the premise.  I accept that I am merely a product of my biology, and I am capable of functioning normally under this premise - but not everybody can.  What some might do with this premise is terribly frightening.

  5. goldenpath profile image82
    goldenpathposted 6 years ago

    I don't promote my hubs on the forums, but I do encourage the hub "Children Who Die."  This will, in part, help explain many other instances in life that we view as "unfair."  Mortality is but a moment, a twinkle, in the halls of eternity.  From that perspective of eternal progression the field is more level than any of us think.

    1. Jane Bovary profile image87
      Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Says who...?

  6. 0
    Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago

    remember Nebuchadnezzar...

    1. Jerami profile image77
      Jeramiposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      vaguely ...  He had a warped sence of humor. and a limp.

      1. 0
        Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        lol good one.

        a wise king who became mentally inferior, to the point of running around, eating grass and snorting like a wild animal.

        1. Jerami profile image77
          Jeramiposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Sorry about that  another  way to say HUH

             I think that was a leson about being pridefull.
            I don't remember right now if he was pridefull again after that?  I.m pretty sure it was after that that he destroyed Sosolons temple.  Didn't hear from him after that.

        2. aguasilver profile image86
          aguasilverposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Which was a punishment from God for his error....

          1. aguasilver profile image86
            aguasilverposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            ...but yes he did regain his senses.

            1. Jerami profile image77
              Jeramiposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Do ya know when he died. I know that his grand son was in controll of the kingdom around 560? when Daniel had his vision about the Goat and Ram, but never heard where Nebeuchadnezzar went? Heard he went on a trip???

              1. aguasilver profile image86
                aguasilverposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Nebuchadnezzar died B.C. 562

                1. Jerami profile image77
                  Jeramiposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Thanks I've been wondering what happened to him and when.
                  Didn't Cyrus the great become king in 559BC? The third year of king Belshazzar?  If so that is intresting?

  7. Onusonus profile image86
    Onusonusposted 6 years ago

    Free will is one of the most important aspects in the father's plan of creation. We grow, we experiance mortality through trial and error, we learn good from bad. How could somone appreciate a sunny day if there were never any rain? Or how could we know joy if that were all we ever experienced?
    It's a huge risk to let people choose for themselves right over wrong, but it is worth the risk, even more so than death.

    1. Jane Bovary profile image87
      Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Okay but why does the suffering have to be so extreme? After all there are some whose lives are so marred by horror that there are few sunny days to appreciate. The world is full of terrible agonies. If it was just a question of a little rain...

      1. Onusonus profile image86
        Onusonusposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I don't know why, I think it's because people choose to make it that way.

        Case point, My mother had a severly rough childhood of being beaten and abused. She then had the choice to prepetuate that life style or not, she chose not. Through her experiance I believe that all of her children have grown in faith, understanding, and  most of all forgivness.

        It's nott he most extreme example but I could only imagine what kind of growth comes out of those who survive personal or natural disaster.

        1. Jane Bovary profile image87
          Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I'm glad your mother was able to transcend her childhood abuse, but I don't believe i that *people choose to make it that way*, at least not in many, many cases.

          Babies born with horrible, painful diseases and deformities...? Children beaten to a pulp? People with their arms blown off in a wars they had no part in starting? Should I go on...?

    2. Jane Bovary profile image87
      Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Also that doesn't answer the question is there "freewill in Heaven"..if there is then that means we can still have it without the suffering. If not , freewill can't be all it's cracked up to be then can it...since Heaven is supposed to be the ultimate state?

      1. Onusonus profile image86
        Onusonusposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Well in that case, I believe that this life is preperation for the next one as generic as that may seem, So I say yes to free will in Heaven.

        1. Jane Bovary profile image87
          Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          So God DOES just choose to include suffering. Thanks for responding anyway...

          1. 0
            SirDentposted 6 years ago in reply to this



            Who coerced you into starting this thread? Was it some unseen force that prodded you until you gave in and started it?

            Of course I know you started it only because you wanted to. You chose to do it and did it. This is freewill.

            God created man to have a mind toward Him. Man used his mind for things that against God and suffering came with it.

            God could end suffering at any moment, and at the same time God oculd take your life and you would have no say in the matter. If He was to do that, He would be going against His ownself. You think you have no free will, but yet you do. You starting this thread proves that you do.

            God will not force you or anyone else to do anything at all. They are our choices to make.

            1. donotfear profile image91
              donotfearposted 6 years ago in reply to this


              Here, here! Well said, Sir Dent!

            2. Jane Bovary profile image87
              Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Sirdent,

              I never said  that we didn't have freewill...just that I was leaning toward that conclusion. However, I wouldn't believe we did just because you proclaimed it .

              1. Jane Bovary profile image87
                Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Oh..and my starting this thread proves nothing either way.

                1. Beelzedad profile image60
                  Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  True. All one has to do is peruse the Religious forum to see women praying for husbands and friends deserting friends over their gods to understand their version of free will. smile

              2. 0
                SirDentposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                My proclamation means nothing. Your actions do.

                1. Jane Bovary profile image87
                  Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  SirDent,

                  Have you ever considered that freewill might be a perception?

                  You believe my opening this thread is conclusive evidence of freewill. Perhaps it's not though. Perhaps it just seems that way.....

                  I opened the thread and was myself fooled Into thinking I'd consciously decided to, when really the decision was made for me by a kind of biological central processing unit. It's not only possible...in the view of many scientists, it's probable.

                  Every physical system that science has examined has turned out to be random or deterministic. For us to be an exception would mean we are *outside the rules* of the physical world, which would be extremely unlikely........it means we'd have to be supernatural.

                  Over the years experiments have revealed over and over again that the that the brain signals associated with human actions occur  *before* the subject is conscious of deciding to make them, strongly suggesting that our intentional behaviour is driven not by free conscious choice but by a physiological process over which we have no control..

                  1. qwark profile image60
                    qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Jane:
                    Before I could even consider a try at a response to this forum subject, I'd have to be able to understand 2 facets of it: 1.god, 2.heaven.
                    I agree with Haske on the freewill aspect of it, but to be able to begin to formulate an intellectual reply as to how free will, god and heaven are related, can you fill me in on the 2 aforementioned subjects? TY.
                    If you can't, then what is the concern?

  8. 67
    paarsurreyposted 6 years ago

    Hi friends

    Religiously the Christians cannot talk of a free will; as their Jesus-god was forced as they put "to die on Cross". So it is compulsion to start with in Christianity. But this is the Christianity of Paul; as for Jesus he was a free man.

    Thanks

    I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

  9. ediggity profile image61
    ediggityposted 6 years ago

    Free will is defined by Webster as:
    1 : voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>
    2 : freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention


    God gave us free will to let us decide which path we want to walk in life.  In the end, as long as you have faith in God, he will be the only judge of the choices you made with free will.

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      crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      This doesn't answer the question though, the question is how does free will come into play in Heaven.  Essentially:

      With free will, comes evil
      There is no evil in heaven
      Therefore, there is no free will in heaven

      As an extension I'll add, without its opposite, good doesn't exist.

      So, if heaven is nothing but autonomic, you as you know yourself essentially cease to exist at death.  You are absorbed into the "divine being," and have no conscious experience of anything.  As such, oblivion is your final end.

      So, what exactly is heaven then?

      1. ediggity profile image61
        ediggityposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Heaven is where you go after you are judged by GOD and accepted to join his kingdom.  What exactly is evil?  Who said there is no evil in Heaven?

        Eph:
        {6:12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
        but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers
        of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in
        high [places. ]

        1. Jane Bovary profile image87
          Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          adiggity

          If there is evil in heaven then the possibility for suffering must exist there

          1. ediggity profile image61
            ediggityposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Why?

            1. Jane Bovary profile image87
              Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Where there is evil there is a potential for suffering...if you don't believe that take it up with the Church.

              1. ediggity profile image61
                ediggityposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I think your belief may be true on earth, but it's kind of presumptuous to apply that kind of thinking toward Heaven.

                1. 0
                  crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Ah yes, therein lays one serious problem with theistic religion - when confronted with a question one doesn't have an answer for one's mind is thrown entirely out the window and replaced with "human rationality can't be applied to the divine."  I'm all for some things transcending ordinary language, but sometimes it just gets a little ridiculous.

                  But then, this problem exists with a lot of non-religious views too.  The limits of the human mind ...

                  1. ediggity profile image61
                    ediggityposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    And there lies the problem with arrogance.  When one doesn't have the answer that someone else learned about, the other persons insight becomes invalid.

                  2. Jane Bovary profile image87
                    Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    *God moves in mysterious ways* is usually the default position. But If we can't  discuss God using our own moral terms of reference [and not His mysterious ones] then any discussion is meaningless.

                2. Jane Bovary profile image87
                  Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Ok ediggity..point taken. Lets say God can create a state [Heaven]where freewill, evil and no-suffering can exist. Why then, can't we have that state on Earth? Why the need for suffering?

                  1. ediggity profile image61
                    ediggityposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I really can't explain it any better than the BIBLE can.  All the questions you ask have been answered ad nauseum in there.  We can't have that state on Earth, because that's not the way GOD made it.  He made free will.

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        Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        "with free will comes evil".

        The stasis of heaven is complete light, so nothing dark can enter it. Therefore, free will is not attracting evil. The notion of heaven and free will is only without human conflict (knowing good/evil aka consciousness of them). Instead it is the stasis beyond consciousness and its limitation.

        This is why the elements of The Ism cannot collectively grasp it -from either perspective (equation or sensation).
        The mentality of humans is to assume free will or heaven as  necessity and thus seek a justified balance between them...

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          crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Stasis - without change.  Sounds entirely pointless.

          1. Jane Bovary profile image87
            Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Lol!

          2. 0
            Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            change is defined by what? necessity.
            motion is not the same as change.

            Change is choice.
            Choice is a matter of thought (the tres priori).
            Therefore a stasis of free will is always in motion, less necessity. The human condition draws upon free will in what they assume is decision making -which is irrelevant to free will. The human thought system was designed to do automatically, freeing us from necessity of thinking as we do. The human brain is entirely a tool, a transit between body and spirit.

            The general conflicting question always seems to be: why would a loving Creator not allow us to automatically exist in this stasis : the issue is we did at one time, and now have access to that stasis again. Not by pseudo ritual belief systems (via equation or sensation), but rather a reality that supersedes any and all ideologies of necessity. The longer humans continue to believe they need or are lacking or should be ill, die, etc, the longer they will continue to live in slavery to their own limitation of consciousness.

        2. Jane Bovary profile image87
          Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          So what you are saying 21 is that it is possible for God to create a state where freewill and no suffering may co-exist. So why wouldn't a loving God give us this on Earth?

          1. 0
            Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, Jane, He did.
            The human being it proof of this.
            We are by all points exactly that creation -that stasis, free of necessity, though ever in motion. The very vibrations of the Creator 'heaven-earth' 'visible-invisible', of light is the human being. What some attempt to do is explain or elevate themselves to this stasis -either by the vehicles of ritual practice or chemically inductions -seen in everything from Peyote induced transcendental meditation (Carlos Castaneda) to prayer chains, laboratory experiments and beyond. The simple beauty is that we are that being, lacking nothing and most certainly not that stasis of Free Will -when we concede necessity and accept totality / unity with Him. This is what I would call Grace.

  10. 67
    paarsurreyposted 6 years ago

    ediggity wrote:
    Free will is defined by Webster as:
    1 : voluntary choice or decision ;I do this of my own free will.
    2 : freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

    God gave us free will to let us decide which path we want to walk in life.

    Paarsurrey wrote:

    The inanimates things have no choices; the Creator - God Allah YHWH did not provide them free will. Humans have choices of free- will, but at a price; they would be accounted for what they do and judged by the Creator.

    Thanks

    I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

    1. ediggity profile image61
      ediggityposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Exactly.

    2. Jane Bovary profile image87
      Jane Bovaryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Paassurrey where are the "logical rational arguments" you spoke of in the other thread? All I can see here are declarations of your faith.

      Unless you're using Webster's dictionary as a stand-in for reason....

  11. 67
    paarsurreyposted 6 years ago

    Your lack of humility is terribly frustrating

    Hi friends

    It is not lack of humility; it is the love of the Truth; I have all the respect and regards for my friends here.

    Thanks

    I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

    1. 0
      crmhaskeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      You insist you are the only one with the truth, and everybody who disagrees with you is wrong.  That is not humility, that is its opposite.

  12. Ashmi profile image61
    Ashmiposted 6 years ago

    As long as people still believe in a personal God; confusion and frustration reigns supreme!!

    People fear not being in control of their lives and so have to believe they can determine their destiny. The fact of temporal conditioning is ignored and so they go round and round immersed in their delusions that they have free will.

    The concept of causation adds to this delusion.

  13. 67
    paarsurreyposted 6 years ago

    Paarsurrey wrote:

    By definition God is who always existed so if we don't believe in God existing always; even then we have to believe in something existing always.

    Beelzedad wrote:
    No, we don't

    Paarsurrey says:
         
    I think our friend crmhaske wrote that she believes that Universe always existed. In that sense she is no believer in God but believer in the Universe; rest she might explain for you, if she likes.

    Thanks

    I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

    1. Beelzedad profile image60
      Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Wow, you really do love to insult people. Good thing you're not standing in front of me. smile

  14. 61
    The Paulposted 6 years ago

    Surely if you can imagine an eternal god imagining an eternal universe can't be so difficult?  Unless of course the so-called believers are actually incapable of imagining the god they describe and claim to believe in.

    Further, science does not tell us the universe can't always have existed.  Assuming modern science has correctly described cosmogenesis time itself was created in the big bang.  That means it couldn't possibly have been "caused" for anything approximating our definition of "cause" and the universe exists at all points in time.

    Now, if you're like me and that seems a little difficult to wrap your head around, and you just can't completely bring yourself to buy modern science's description of cosmogenesis... then it's really very dishonest of you to go claiming science tells us the universe began to exist or that the universe requires a creator, since really you believe these sorts of statements are outside the ken of our science. 

    And that leaves us back where we started before it got popular to pretend we were using science to support arguments for gods: The universe just inexplicably exists, and positing a god does nothing to explain the mystery.

 
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