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free will- a religious concept?

 
 
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 10:16 am
the concept of free will originates from the Bible right? I just want to be sure because so many people reject the Christian God and for that matter any God, yet they cling to the bits they like, one of those bits being free will.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,522 • Replies: 11
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mismi
 
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Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 10:18 am
Well, if you don't believe in God you can do anything you want to can't you? You already have free will. Maybe I misunderstood your question.
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existential potential
 
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Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 10:27 am
What I mean is that people reject God, yet they still believe that we have free will. So what I am getting at if we reject one belief from the Bible, the fundamental belief in God, then we surely have to at least doubt other beliefs as well like free will. we may not be free after all, we may be determined. If free will is a religious concept in origin, we must call it in to question as well. But my main question is is free will originally a religious idea?
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fishin
 
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Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 12:21 pm
Re: free will- a religious concept?
existential potential wrote:
the concept of free will originates from the Bible right? I just want to be sure because so many people reject the Christian God and for that matter any God, yet they cling to the bits they like, one of those bits being free will.


I seriously doubt the concept originated with the Bible. If it had the concept wouldn't have been likely to also appear in Hindu and Buddhist theology.

But your question here is a bit...."off". There are several concepts of free will to begin with and you seem to only be focused on theological determinism. That ignores the concepts of causal, biological and logical determinism (all of which have nothing to do with theology at all.).

Which concept of free will came first and where each originated is totally up in the air.
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vikorr
 
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Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 01:57 am
Quote:
So what I am getting at if we reject one belief from the Bible, the fundamental belief in God, then we surely have to at least doubt other beliefs as well like free will.


Setting aside whether or not free will is a biblical concept...where did you come to the conclusions that if "A" is wrong, the "B" must be wrong? Of if Mr X says "A" and is wrong, then when Mr X says "B" that must also be wrong?

Of course if you don't believe in the perfection of any given opinion or belief, then all things are in doubt.
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existential potential
 
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Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 06:56 am
I never said that if we reject one belief that we must reject all the others, I said that we must doubt them at least.

It would just be interesting to know where the idea of free will came from.
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mismi
 
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Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 07:07 am
Well free will depends on whether you believe that destiny is involved in any way. And whether religious, moralistic or scientific limitations apply to you. Do you believe that someone or something has control of what happens? Your free will is bound by something whether man made or God made, or nature made. The question has probably always been around and really there is not a way to solve it until you know whether or not you believe in God as far as religious free-will is concerned. Now ethical and scientific...well...we are bound by those laws right? Or am I off again?
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tycoon
 
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Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 11:20 am
Free will is not a biblical concept. It has developed a religious connotation over two centuries of Christian practice.

Please be sure to differentiate between biblical concepts and religious concepts. They are two quite different things, and it appears you are using them interchangeably.

Is your question then, did free will originate in religious thought? I will not be able to offer an informed opinion on that, but I can say with certitude that it did not originate with the Bible.
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whiteviolet
 
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Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 10:48 am
I echo fishin's post - there are many types of determinism which have been applied to offenders, for example.
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Dr Huff
 
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Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2008 02:38 pm
"History [of free will]. Early in history it seems to have generally been assumed that everything about humans must ultimately be determined by unchangeable fate - which it was sometimes thought could be foretold by astrology or other forms of divination. Most Greek philosophers seem to have believed that their various mechanical or moral theories implied rigid determination of human actions. But especially with the advent of the Christian religion the notion that humans can at some level make free choices - particularly about whether to do good or not - emerged as a foundational idea. (The idea had also arisen in Persian and Hebrew religions and legal systems, and was supported by Roman lawyers such as Cicero.) How this could be consistent with God having infinite power was not clear, although around 420 AD Augustine suggested that while God might have infinite knowledge of the future we as humans could not - yielding what can be viewed as a very rough analog of my explanation for free will. In the 1500s some early Protestants made theological arguments against free will - and indeed issues of free will remain a feature of controversy between Christian denominations even today."

source
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Cyracuz
 
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Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2008 06:21 pm
Saying "free will" is like saying "wet water".
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Thomas
 
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Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2008 07:05 pm
Re: free will- a religious concept?
existential potential wrote:
the concept of free will originates from the Bible right? I just want to be sure because so many people reject the Christian God and for that matter any God, yet they cling to the bits they like, one of those bits being free will.

The concept of free will can be found in many sources, religious and secular. For recent and interesting defense of the concept by an atheist, you may want to consult Daniel Dennet: Freedom Evolves. Penguin (2004)
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