How does free will and the concept of pre-destination coexist?
I do not believe in predestination at all. I firmly believe we all have free will and are in charge of our own destinies. If we were predestined to do things or concerning our fate, then why would any of s try? Good question.
The standard response I believe is to distinguish between predistination and foresight. This is not satisfactory, however, as it means that if God "knows" what will happen, he can't change it, and it renders our existence utterly pointless. This is only my opinion.
Although people don't like this explanation, the truth is that God knows everything, even how we will turn out. We, however, do not. To say that God knows everything anyway so it does me no good to make a choice, is a lie placed by the devil in front of people to keep them in confusion. The Bible says CHOOSE, and He has never taken that choice from us.
Amy, this is a good question. I will need to write a hub in an effort to give you my answer, and I am not even sure if I have an answer. For me, somehow, everything always turns out for the best. As if my free will, and the choices I make, even the wrong ones, automatically take me to a destiny especially created for me. Anyway, I believe in fact in cause and effect, but with the knowledge that one cause have many effects, and one effect have many causes.
BUT, what I've actually decided long ago, is to forget about all have-no-answer-questions, and to enjoy every moment of my life... whatever... I really live in the moment. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is another day.
The question is not a contradiction in the dogma of people of faith rather, a testament to our limited understanding of the infinity of God.
I do not believe there is a pre-destination ie., a set of instructions written in a book somewhere that we are destined to follow.
I think we have free will and God simply knows what we are going to choose before we choose it.
God says he knew us not only in the womb, but even before the foundation of the world. He knew what decisions we would make in our lives even before we were born, and yet we still had the free will to make those decisions for ourselves.
Likewise, he also knew Adam and Eve would become a fallen race and he still chose to provide a way for our wretched souls to be Holy and Righteous in his sight through the blood of Christ.
Very interesting question.
They don't co-exist. Experience is the result of the choices we make, some of which are foreseeable, most of which are not.
The best way I can think of to explain this concept is by illustrating it...
Picture yourself in a huge forest full of paths winding through the trees. These paths fork and split into other paths that sometimes come back and connect and other times don't. Each path you Chose to follow will have its own unique scenery along the way. You have no map of this forest so you follow whichever path seems to be best for you. Having no map you do not know the destination you will reach at the end of your journey. The paths you chose to follow are purely your decision. Sure there might be contributing factors that lead to your decision but ultimately it is your choice to take a step down a certain path. This is free will.
Now think of a calculator. You know if you input certain numbers and functions then hit equal a certain result will appear. For example 2+2=4. Picture the world as one big cosmic calculator. Except now we really don't know what the functions are.
Since we do not really know what fits in this cosmic equation we cannot foresee the outcome thus making it seem random. We chose what input we are able to contribute to the equation while other random variables are thrown into the mix that we have no control over. For Example adding one thing to another will have a predetermined result such as with 2+2=4 whether we understand why or not. This is how things are predetermined.
How they both fit together is the unknown paths you chose are your choice alone and yet while you wont know your final destination, the paths followed will end at a certain location. The paths were there before you chose which ones to walk so you will end up where the paths you chose led you.
In all of our choices, we have inclinations toward certain types of decisions.
When I meet another walker in a limited space, for example, and I have to move to one side or the other, I invariably (or almost always) choose to move right.
It is clearly seen, also, that certain personality types (defined by their choices) are drawn toward certain careers.
Free will is just a small pattern in a larger tapestry.
I would say these two ideas conflict and that they don't coexist. Free will is just that. Meaning you are free to make choices that influence your destiny. True there is no 100% certain path of choices to control or guarantee any certain destiny, but choices made on an individual level do influence the outcomes. Pre-destination on the other hand, seems to have the meaning that choices don't matter and destiny is somehow pre-determined and won't budge regardless of what choices are made.
The answer is God. He knows us more than we know ourselves. All the choices we make are purely our decision, affected by influences around us. But, if God knows everything there is to know about us, he will know how we will respond when faced with decisions under certain circumstances.
Here we go with our poor finite minds trying to understand the mind of God. When it comes to being predestined, if we were to put ourselves in God's shoes, who knows be beginning from to the end, every action in itself would define both the beginning and the end. So, in this way you could say we're predestined before the foundation of the earth. But, from my perspective as a man I know that I have the choice to go this way or that way and God lets me make that choice without interference.
So, I describe Salvation like this: "No force in the universe can pluck me out of my Father's hand, I am safe, secure, from all who oppose me!" and at the same time "Nothing says I can't jump out of His hand." It was His choice to make me, and my choice to choose Him.
"How can man define God? Who has known Him? Who understands His ways? Our finite limited small minds can only stand in Awe of His Glory and Wonder."
I don't believe in predestination, but I do see a big difference between God *knowing* what we will do in our lives and *forcing* us to live a certain way. So I believe that God has always known what I would do and what decisions I would make, but those choices are and always will be mine to work. It's just that He understands me so fully that He already knows how I'll react and what I'll do in all of the situations I'll be faced with in life.
It's not an either or but both - which doesn't make sense akin to light is both waves and particles called photons. Some questions can not be answered only approaching the truth.
Maybe shouldn't even ask the Question because, "If ever listen to or attend a college course on 'Free Will versus Determinism', you will end the class depressed. There are several brooding philosophers who killed themselves when pondered this question. " - http://hubpages.com/hub/ChaosFreeWill
Funny that I would run into this question. I was just thinking about it the other day. If there is predestination maybe its more a theory than a given. In other words, there may be a plan for each of us that is mapped out somewhere, but we have the free will to wander away from it. And, maybe, the happiest among us eventually wander back because it somehow feels true.
if you're interested I did a hub on this a while back which goes into a bit more detail if you're interested in a theistic perspective. Basically there are two answers to your question;
1 - in a strictly scientific sense, both these concepts exist because they appease brain states where we want to believe that either we are or are not in control of our destinies depending upon individual circumstances.
2 - In a theistic sense it's a bit more complicated;
If you want to do something (i.e. you are not coerced into it) then you have still freely willed to do it even if it was predestined somehow. Also, "God" is atemporal, so you could realistically say that what you do tomorrow will affect "God's" knowledge of what you will do today (He is in both today and tomorrow at the same time, so even although you freely choose to do something, "God" can know that choice because He is there when you choose it, and in your future - seeing the choice as the past, and in the past - seeing the choice as the future because of His ability to span time.
I think we are pre-destined... but not in terms of it being solid.
If we do not use control over things that happen in our lives, certain pre-destined things will happen.
The best explanation of this is how it was explained to me by a Fung Shui Master from Hong Kong when I took a course with him.
If you look at your birth chart, you are pre-disposed to certain things happening. If you then look at your Chinese Horoscope BASED on your birth chart, you can see days that are better for you to do certain things. And certain "danger" days.
By knowing or having a warning before hand, you can take appropriate action. If you don't then you have a better chance of either taking advantage of something or avoiding something that is destined if you do not take action.
I know this sounds "woo woo". But it does make sense to me.
If you consider the doctrines of Christianity, the two cannot be reconciled rationally. However, if God has ordained that we will all return to His Love eventually - that could be considered to be pre-destination. We may refuse His Love (free will) for as long as we wish. Our tolerance for pain is high but has its limits. Because we retain a spark of sanity in our minds, sooner or later we will realize God's Love is all we REALLY want or need. As far as day to day activity, our thoughts and actions can be generalized into moving towards or away from God' Love.
If God knows all, then he would know what decisions you would make. Therefore your free will, the good and bad choices, every decision you make, or dont, is all part of your predestined path.
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