2005

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Free Will does not require evil

"Is Free Will the Reason God Allows Evil and Suffering?" by Vexen Crabtree

Free will

(Anonymous)

2002-12-01 11:18 pm (UTC)

Free will means having the ability to choose. What are you going to choose if there's only one choice-- good? God gave man free will and gave him choices to make. God didn't want to MAKE anyone love him-- what kind of love would it be if it were forced? Because he must let us choose Him or not, he must also let us make other choices. This is why free will exists, why it must exist, and why God exists. Care to respond? E-mail me. LadyEowen@hotmail.com. Don't use my IP address for anything, please.

Firstly, I do not believe that the Free Will theodicy stands up at all... free will does not automatically imply a choice between absolute good, and death, there are many ways to give free will without causing evil as a result. If God wanted there to be no suffering, then he would give us free will to accept God or not. If we accept, we live blissfully forever. If we do not accept, we live blissfully then die. Why does there have to be pain and suffering and evil? Free will does not work as a defence of this.

But that's not what I really wanted to say. What I really wanted to point out is:

Natural evil. (You know... Earthquakes, floods, suffering of innocent people, genetic deformalities, floods, still born children, etc)

Read this essay for a bit more:

http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/theodicy_naturalevil.html

The Law of the excluded middle (which says, something either is or isn't there is no in-between) shows how there is either bliss with God or death without him. There is no inbetween, there cannot be. If you know the 3 universal priciples of logic(which i'm sure you do many of your arguments are very logically sound) then you cannot have a middle-ground, making this invalid.

if jesus had free will while he was alive, but(perhaps) didn't commit sin that doesn't necassarily mean that evil is not needed to have free will. it just means that he knew that not commiting sin was the better path. if evil did not exist and we could only do good how are we free? how could an omni-benevolent God truely love us if we always had to do good without knowledge of evil? How could we love god if it shrouded us from his opposite?

JD

That Jesus had free will, and never chose evil, and is also the creation of God, means that it is possible for God to create beings that never choose evil and have free will. So why didn't God create us in the same way? Because God is evil... or, more likely, there is no god, and "good" and "evil" are homocentric errors.

If Jesus is a being that was created with a personality and character of a person who never chooses evil, and, Jesus does indeed love us, then this refutes the idea that god created us with personalities that choose evil for the sake of giving us free will.

Your argument has backfired!

How can we truly love God, if:

God is perfectly good and can't choose evil

*or*

God *can* choose evil, but never does, yet chose *not* to create us with the same quality of conscience, and intentionally created us in a way that causes us to choose evil? What a nice god... not!

if you believe that jesus never commited a sin than you must also believe that he was divine. for the whole point of jesus existing was for God to become man and carry the weight of sin that we carry, the only way to do this is to become man, but if god became man and didn't acknowledge he was god then he wouldn't be God. He needed to be divine so he(God) could do this and the only way to do it was to knowingly become human and God.
or so the story goes.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
Annoying Christian (Anonymous) Expand
hi all, God gave everyone free will and that free will is good but we choose to do the wrong choice. It is our fault, stop blaming GOD. God created created everything in goodness.

interesting fact: even the high angels, lucifar (DEVIL) was created good but god gave all angels free will and Lucifar chose to abandon God and thus he fell into hell; many angels that followed his path, followed him to hell.

The End BYE we have an assignment...tootles :-)

Can I say?

(Anonymous)

2003-10-27 03:52 am (UTC)

As I know - "sin", the word in the bible means "an arrow cannot acheive its target", which means options not in God's will Free will, as my defination, is "God's will" + "Not God's will" It's not God create evil, evil is a byproduct of free will, we choose to commit sin. (You can still say the responsibility is on God as we make us free will to choose not to obey his will) That makes the conclusion, Free will cause evil. Jesus is divinity, that's why he have free will but not commit sin. Why God doesn't make us all the same as Jesus? (1)He cannot because Jesus is part of himself, he can't duplicate himself?? If truth is that, he is not all power, but humans can also duplicate a living creatures with Genetic Engineering, I cannot imagine God don't have power on duplicate himself?? (2)God want to create Human, not Divinity. That explain. Can you say it is evil? God don't have an authority as a creator of the world? You have the authority to tell what is evil and what is good?

Evil isn't a thing

(Anonymous)

2003-12-05 11:48 pm (UTC)

http://www.str.org/free/commentaries/apologetics/evil/augustin.htm

Ezekiel Chapter 9 Verses 5 to 7

5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.

Deuteronomy Chapter 20 Verses 16 to 18

16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:
18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God


Joshua Chapter 7 Verse 3

3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son


Joshua Chapter 8 Verse 25

And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.

Joshua Chapter 10 Verse 40

40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded

The Bible – What violent, racist publication! Pure evil


Part 1: From my son in prison.

(Anonymous)

2005-01-20 04:25 am (UTC)

www.vexon.co.uk/religion/theodicy_evil.html has had a site for about 4 years relaying that God is evil. He gives a good argument and his site is small so he erases a lot of the truth. Many Christians, have good arguments, but they are erased over time. I have also had a site for about 4 years. In order to stop people from arguing with him, I hope they read this. I hope to keep it going for years.

I wrote vexon that he is wrong. God is not evil. Vexon has a very "Blatant" site, which means brawling. I hope people turn to my site soon, since I can't control him, nor wish to. My site is www.bluewatershops.com

Here is my son's reply, who preaches in a prison and is incarcerated himself with the down and out, about GOD and evil conatations that GOD is evil:

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE

Some see God as a mean cosmic bully throwing his weight around, others see him as a big jolly cosmic Sanata Claus. Some see God as an evil wrathful inhumane judge, while others see him as a just loving and good Father. These are just a few of different people's perspectives.

The Bible even says: "To the faithful, you (LORD) show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd."
(Psalm 18:25 & 26)

Our perspective of God does not change who he really is, nor does our perspective of God change his character. If you ask a crooked or wicked person if God is good or evil, they will most likely tell you he is evil because they are under God's wrath. When wrath is raining down on a person from heaven, it is hard to declare that the God enthroned in heaven is loving and kind. Oh' but the man who has come under God's umbrella of grace and mercy (Jesus Christ God's Son), he is the man who can testify that God is good.

Check out this following perspective:

Even the big bad storms in the physical realm produce life giving vegetation and supply life sustaining water to human, earth, and animal alike. In the spirit realm there also are storms with lightning, thunder, and hard rains. In some people's eyes big storms are evil, because they have suffered because of a storm (hurricane, tornado, flood, etc....) and now they only ever look at the damage storms do. Other people see storms in a different light, especially if they are blessed by the storm. Like the proverb says:

"One man's crops get needed water while another man's cow drowns from the same storm."

Those under the wrath of God do not see how good and loving God really is. What may cause some people to stumble is the fact that they do not know why God even has a wrath. Those who struggle with such a thought need only to think about parents and the way they punish their children. To the child a spanking is the wrath of their mother and/or father. The child is spanked because the parent loves the child. The parent hopes that the child will turn from the evil it did.

The Bible uses this analogy also:

"Endure hardships as discipline; God is treating you as sons...."
(Hebrews 12:7)

The verses before and after Hebrews 12:7 break this down even more.

Perspective plays a big role on how one sees God. Our perspective however, does not change God. Just because one says God is not good does not cause God to cease from being good.

If you focus only on the good things of something, this will cause you to have a more positive perspective but it might not be a complete or strong perspective. A partial weak perspective could come caving down when you are forced to see the bad of something. But if you focus only on the bad/negative of something, you also will have an incomplete perspective, and wil experience more pain and darkness. Some may only focus on the roses and others only the thrones. But dig this. One can actually see the roses and the thorns and still say it is all good. The thorns are there to protect the delicate rose buds from threatening beasts that may eat or trample on them. Even the things usually viewed as evil can be viewed as good and can serve an ultimate good.

Is there a possibility that all this is just a bad dream? If so, are there things we can do to wake up?

Personally, I would just like to smell a rose, have a refreshing drink of clear spring water
and watch a sunset over a lake.

I'm age sixty and like you, only taken fun breaks while spending the majority of time putting out fires at work,with family and the universe in general.

If I was in charge, I certainly wouldnt tell me(or others) "NO!! Keep suffering and guessing why you are!!"

I would hope that the least that could be granted is to go to sleep,no bad dreams and never wake up. Come on. Is that really not a reasonable request?!"

"Free will is the ability to make choices. This means... we must have options. What these options are is irrelevant. A saint, Jesus, Muhammad, etc, had free will. These people also did not (perhaps) ever commit a sin. Nevertheless it is ludicrous to say that because a person does not choose evil that they have no free will. In other words, it is possible for a person never to accept evil, and still have free will. This means that we could have a nature that never wills transgressession, and we could still have free will. There are many millions of choices and paths you can take in life, there is no requirement for "cause evil" to be an effect of them. Free will still exists without it. "

This does not make sense. The whole point of life is that you have free will, to make the right or wrong decisions. You are saying if you choose the right decisions you still have free will so why do people make bad decisions that harm others. But if you choose the wrong decisions is that not still free will? Neither of these decisions is our "nature". If you have "human nature", as you claim, then how do you have free will? Are you not just a biological mechanism acting on an inbuilt specification of action?

I do not quite understand what you are trying to say, that if everyone chose good over evil there would be no need for suffering? Of course not but people still choose evil over good because it is easier, it is nothing to do with human nature, which does not exist. God did not make us so we would "sin", we choose to because we have free will.

If I willed myself to cause someone else pain, but there was no suffering, how do I have free will? We were given free will because God has free will, and like God, we should choose not to use our will in a bad way that is a detriment to others. God has free will, which means he can be evil, but he CHOOSES not to be.

"What these options are is irrelevant."

No it isn't. Suicide causes suffering, to your friends and family and those around you. If you were to take away the option of suicide (thus removing suffering from the equation), how do I have free will? I cannot even choose my own moment of death.

Like Lister says on Red Dwarf, if you have justice you cannot have free will. There is no punishment for wrong decisions.

Would you rather have freedom to do what ever you wanted, or be an automated robot programmed into making certain decisions?

response to Vexen (Anonymous) Expand

God Made Us Free But Dumb

(Anonymous)

2006-02-26 10:32 pm (UTC)

There is an important point of Vexen's that seems to remain unanswered. Why are we denied the same conscience as God and angels? I don't want to debate whether free will necessitates the ability to harm others. I just want to know why heavenly beings know better than us poor mortals. This doesn't seem fair. Why is this path not positively reinforced in a way that makes even idiots like me aware of it and drawn to it? In other words, why is it so complicated to be good? Historically, saints have been persecuted and martyred. You can say that the suffering in the world exists for a higher reason that humans cannot comprehend. Then why did God give us such a deficient reasoning capacity that prompts us to create more suffering than joy? What good is free will when we're given bird brains and cold hearts that can't tell what's good for us? That isn't free will, that's a pair of dice and a weak computer.

I have tried opening my heart to a good master of the universe, but it doesn't last long because the information pouring into my senses tell me otherwise. My family is a victim of the Cambodian genocide, and if my dad turned the other cheek, I would not have been born. I do understand that if we collectively focus on kindness, trust, and hope, we will most likely create a more peaceful society, but it's really hard for me to see that God really wants us to think this way. It's so much more reasonable to think in terms of immediate self-preservation. I see my realization of the golden rule as experimental, not an unassailable fact ordained by the master. I could fully understand why my peers turn to adversarial relations after going through what we went through: the reality filtered through our feeble minds directs us thus. I truly wish God would give us better signs, a better conscience, or better minds so we can eliminate or at least see through the suffering in our world. Since I believe an omnipotent creator would have such power to better enlighten us, God must not be omnipotent or God doesn't exist.

You make some good points.

If god really loved us, he/she/it would have told us all in no uncertain terms what he/she/it wanted of us. There would be no question about what was good and what the purpose of life was. We would all be born knowing, or god would always be telling us in clear audible terms. Then we could make an informed rational decision about whether or not to do good. Does a parent giving information and good advice to a child prevent the child from exercising free will? Of course not. To argue the bible is that parental advice or that the "still small voice of conscience" is god's voice are the most laughable arguments possible.

Enjoy your site very much.

I congratulate you on an incredible piece of two-dimensional philosophy!

The Existence of Evil

(Anonymous)

2007-07-29 10:25 pm (UTC)

God gives each of us a limited free will. God also has a will. We are able to decide in opposition to that will. That decision is the nature of evil. Evil is to go against God's will. He allowed us that possibility, to deny it would have made slaves of us, but to allow it does not mean that he created evil. The point of genesis passes from God to humankind with the granting of and to the degree that each of us has a free will.

Free Will means choice to do evil or not

(Anonymous)

2007-08-10 05:31 am (UTC)

Evil has a way of destroying your life. By becoming a Christian, you can be forgiven of the evil you have done, and you can go to heaven. When people say free will, they mean a choice whether to follow god, by giving him your life, or not, by continuing to do eivl(and going to hell).

"If we had a choice between doing something good or bad, if we chose bad, why does it cause suffering?"

because we didn't choose good or bad, we chose to cause suffering.

Yes, in heaven we have free will but there is no evil...that is what Christians look forward to, and this is what we suffer for - all this on earth will pass, and what we take with us to eternity is not memories of hurt (God will heal those) but lessons we have learned, enabling us to use free will without evil.

You can make the same exact argument from the standpoint of evil and conclude that God must be neutral or good. Which leaves only one conclusion...

God is neither good nor evil. In fact, good and evil do not really exist. The parable of the garden of eden is actually a much bigger metaphor than even Christian "non-literalists" give credit. But this is because in order to fall in line with the rest of the Bible you have to believe that good and evil are real.

In genesis, the garden of eden represents paradise, that state of neutral tranquility and perfect balance. In the garden of eden there is no such thing as death. In the garden of eden there is also no such thing as good and evil. But then the snake /serpent (who represents deception) convinces Adam and Eve (who represent humanity) to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree is not a real tree, and represents a hierarchy of knowledge, and the fruit is not a real fruit and can be thought of more as a fruit of labor or some kind of reward, the fruits and material gains that this polarization of the world into good and evil causes. The serpent says that in doing so they will become as God. But wait! The serpent represents deception and false hood, right? Well therein is the lie.

After accepting this most basic and unfortunate of self deception surrounding the concepts of good and evil, humanity is cast out of paradise.

BTW, this is coming from a Taoist. Truth is self evident and contained within all things.

Free will is man not god

(Anonymous)

2008-03-28 02:21 pm (UTC)

We were all in the Garden of Eden. but we were kicked out by god because we disobeyed him. So we were sent here to earth. Which was made by god not nessarily(sp) run by god. Can man create all the things on this earth. No. Only Duplicate. But there is good and evil and Evil was banished to the Neather(sp) world. So yes there is Good and Evil and we have to decied which to follow. so Free will does not require Evil... it is an intrigral part of Free Will. So does your FREE WILL allow YOU to give up the thought that there is no GOD. You cannot have EVIL with our Good other wise Evil would not feel so Good. Man has to choose to follow GOD it is not God telling you that you have to follow. The bible is just a guide. The rest is in your Heart. God loves you love him back.
William Patterson - Darlington, IN

free will

(Anonymous)

2008-04-30 01:39 pm (UTC)

You are treating evil,as though it is an entity in and of itself. A "black" to the good's "white" and had to be "created" Seperately.

Why must this be the case?
Why, in your thinking, is it necessary for "God" to have "created" evil.

If I understand you correctly you are saying that "Free will" has come into being because evil has been created and thus provided a choice.

I would argue that evil was not necessary for free will but rather the result of free will.

Evil did not thus create free will through its existance and the provision of a negative to the good that forced a choice....but rather Evil was the result of those beings that have free will (which I would argue is a "good" and necessary characteristic) choosing to NOT to that which is good.

thus evil is a secondary "creation" from that which is "good"

Perhaps we have so much confusion because of the restrictions of our human minds and narrow definitions and limitations behind the words "good" and "evil." I am not speaking of relativism here...(I believe relativism is nothing more than intellectualized rationalization for individuals to live however they please without struggles of conscience.), rather What I am saying is that we often refer to God as good and try and fit his "good" into our human definition of "good" and perhaps that doesnt work at all since God is not human. This is not to say we abandon our own human commmon sense morality in favor of a imagined or misinterpreted higher "good" (this is the root of religious attrocities)


Re: free will

(Anonymous)

2008-04-30 01:50 pm (UTC)

should read "choosing to NOT do that which is good."


The Supposition that Evil is Created

(Anonymous)

2008-05-15 03:13 am (UTC)

Why would you supposed evil is created? Evil is separation from God. Example: God told Eve not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but she did anyway. That is evil or sin. Then, Adam took a bite, and they both got in trouble for disobeying God. As a result, God cast them out of the Garden of Eden. They did not get to walk and talk with God in the Garden of Eden. That is separation from God.

God is omnipotent and omniscient. Since He is omnipotent, He can limit himself. This limiting allows for other things to exist and nothing to exist. God gives humans free will by limiting himself to not make them choose evil (separation and ultimately nothing {destruction}) or good. Humans can choose for themselves to go closer to God or away from God. God is sad when humans choose to be farther away from Him. Also, notice how the Bible says that God cannot be where evil is. God cannot be where he is not. God cannot be separated from himself fully. (I am talking about God the Father only so I know that Jesus Christ and God were separated when Jesus allowed himself to be raised on a cross, carrying the sins of all.) This makes sense that God cannot be against himself.

As for your arguments, I have some refute. Humans made it likely for us to sin, not God. These are not emotions created by God, but by humans. Examples: Lying is straying from or the absence of the truth. Greed is the falling away from or absence of contentment. These things are qualities of God so when we make ourselves separated from them, we are separating ourselves from God.

So basically you are saying that you believe that free will exists, evil exists, God could exist, and perfect free will exists. Right? These are contradicting beliefs.

-One cannot believe that God of good does not exist and evil exists- In this belief, evil cannot exist because good (God) cannot exist for it to contrast.
-An evil god cannot exist if there is not good to contrast evil- So if you believe in an evil god and do not believe in good, then that is contradictory.
-If one believes in an evil god and goodness, then that person contradicts themselves- An evil god would not allow good. Even if he (the evil god) was not all-powerful, he still made humans and would not allow them to have free will, for he would have no use of people who had the ability to do good.
-Perfect free will cannot exist outside Jesus Christ- If you have found anyone in history except Christ who has not done evil, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. So far as I can tell and according to logic and history, all men and women have sinned.

The innocent have been victims in crimes because God has allowed free will. Free will allows evil.
All men have done evil. Although God does not make someone do something, he does punish someone for the evil actions they have chosen.

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