Lemmee give you a tip, just in case you want to use it. (I hope it works, too. HTML`s a pain to try to write encoded on the net.
When you`re doing a play-by-play response, like we`re doing right now, you can italicize or embolden the other guy`s words so that they`re easier to distinguish. To italicize, you just type a < then an i then a > without spaces. To end the italicization, you simply type < / i > without spaces. Kewl huh? Bold works the same way. I can teach you to do colors too, if you don`t know already.
Presumably, if God could see the end before it happens, he could see the end before he even started creating the universe. The question is, were all the horrors suffered throughout the course of history somehow necessary to us.
Ah HA! You taketh my words fromth my mouth. Mayhaps you can see the future too, eh? It is entirely possible that atrocities and catastrophes are needed for human society to progress. This COULD be one reason why God doesn`t intervene. Then again, it could not. I haven`t gotten God`s secretary to call me back. ;)
He doesn’t have to remove everything... but it might help if he removed some of the more atrocious acts in history. Hitler for example, did not have any free choice in being born (and neither do any of us). Thus, God created Hitler with full knowledge that he would go to hell, and all along Hitler having no choice in the matter of being born was sent to hell regardless.
It might help if he removed some of the worst of the worst, but then again, humanity is very fickle. If we didn`t have a fellow like Hitler (or Stalin, or any of their ilk) to make these horrible choices, then we would never learn the lessons they ensued. True, they are costly lessons, but they are needed for humanity to reach a mature mind. If God continually intervened, we would be children, living out the existence God set forward with the wrong paths blocked off. With all wrong paths blocked by God`s ever-guiding hand, then we wouldn`t have true choice in our lives. As for Hitler being born to go to hell, Hitler was born to be a superior orator and an incredible strategian and to have a working knowledge of how "The Big Lie" works. (FYI- The big lie means, "If you say something long enough, and often enough, people will start to believe it." That`s how Hitler convinced a majority that Jews were the cause of all of Germany`s problems.) Hitler`s genius could have been used benevolently, had he so chosen. He, however, chose to be malevolent. The same could happen for you or I, depending on our choices. So, in short (Why doesn`t anyone ever give the "in short" at the BEGINNING of a long sermonette? :) Hitler was born to choose, and so he did. Just like all of us do.
God then, could’ve intervened in preventing the particular sperm from fertilizing the egg in Hitler’s mother’s womb to prevent the holocaust from ever happening. That wouldn’t have compromized anybody’s freewill. There are probably endless other examples with serial killers and such.
Actually, that would have compromised free-will, subtly. We`d never find out about it, of course. It would (and all the other instances like it) have taken away our opportunity to see just exactly what a certain stand can do to humanity. So, we would never have the CHOICE of being an evil, genocidal maniac. Now, arguably that`s a choice we could do without, but it would be God restricting humanities choosing options, thus restricting our free will.
Thank you for providing a concrete definition for free will.
Any time, buddy. Whenever you want a concrete definition on something, come to me. I`ll give you an excerpt from Andy`s comprehensive dictionary of terms. :)
Unfortunately, a lot of people don`t agree with this, and define it as something intangible that is not only exclusively human, but also implies that humans are spontaneous first causes of all their actions.
Truly (I say to ye :), the only thing that separates humanity from animals (because, like it or not, we are INCREDIBLY similar) was the introduction of the spirit and soul to the little hairless ape known as you and me. Humans are first cause of MANY of their actions, but not all.
By your definition, even animals have free will. Ex. A squirrel decides to eat a nut instead of a cow.
Dang straight. Sorta. You`re example`s screwed up, but the concept holds true.:) Squirrels eat nuts instead of cows because they don`t eat meat. It`s in their nature.
Thus, i agree that humans are able to make choices, so i agree with YOUR definition for free will.
See there guys? Atheists aren`t so disagreeable. ;)
But as for the proposed former traditional definition, i deny that it exists.
That the ability to choose is exclusively human? I deny that as well.
To me warning and controlling are very separate things. Warning us of a possible disaster (Hey look, Hitler’s building forces and his plans for world domination are dangerously close to succeeding) in no way impairs our ability to make decisions. No, it would help us to make better decisions.
very true. I`m very glad you used Hitler as an example, too. (grin)
You see, if God was warning us, AND removing from the gene pool all of the horribly evil people, do you see how he would be, on an all-encompassing level, controlling us? Technically, if God warned us, and removed the really bad elements of reality, then we wouldn`t need warning in the first place. We have a guideline by which we can make excellent decisions. It`s not a very long section of a rather thick book, either.