Does free will exist?
HydroMan: Im trying to understand the position many take on free will not existing. How can a person be held responsible for their actions if they don't make choices?
Is it just nature and nurture, biochemical reactions in the brain?
Blackshoes: Yes and No? All things are predestined by God So no. Yet, from our experience or place, we have the choice to do as we wish, if we are of God. All others are bound by sin the world and the flesh .
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Romans 5 :14-17
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Blackshoes: As far a responsibility? From our point, place, or position, here on earth, we are responsible.
1I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
4Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
9For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
10And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth
12It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
26And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
27Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
28For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
29And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
30What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
33As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
HydroMan: yes, but Im trying to find out how people (who do not believe in free will) explain how someone can be responsible for their behavior if free will does not exist
swampandfire: an open wound will not heal if its continually being scratched, the way it will heal is not to scratch it.
Adam Southworth: @Hydroman Moral responsibility might not be possible without libertarian free will, so I'm wary of people who make the case for determinism. Determinism is a core element of Marx's critique of the capitalist system.
I think you can argue that a person is morally responsible for what they are rather than what they do, though this concession might be corrosive to justice. Still, a different kind of justice might still be possible. The Calvinists believe some people are destined for hell, yet there is still a last judgement. The protagonist of Greek tragedy is carried on the wave of fate to murder or death, yet a species of justice exists there.
Libertarian free will might be a Christian concept, but there was still moral responsibility before Christianity. Even if the person had no choice, we should still blame the murderer instead of the murder victim, the rapist rather than the rape victim. We still have to protect people from rapists and murderers, deter people from crime, etc. A rapist is still a rapist, a murderer still a murderer.
(Edited by Adam Southworth)
Blackshoes: Ephesians 4:6
“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
TheismIsUntenable: "Im trying to understand the position many take on free will not existing. How can a person be held responsible for their actions if they don't make choices?"
Quite right...might want to look up "The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility" by Galen Strawson.
He presents a basic argument along the same lines, which (to me) makes perfectly clear that our notion of punishment is supremely misguided. If who we are is a function of our neurochemistry and we did not have anything to do with our neurochemistry, then we are just operating according to something we had no control over.
Blackshoes: "How can a person be held responsible for their actions if they don't make choices?"
If you are sent to jail for a crime that you didn't commit. You've been unlucky enough to have been held responsible. However, you have for years committed hundreds of other crimes for which were never court therefore are you innocent.
Now let's look at it from a different point of view. You create a number of toy trains all with the intention of running on the rails you have provided. However, You don't want every one of the trains to run exactly the same way so you create a number of trains that will not always run along the rail smoothly, and after they crash you toss the broken ones in the fireplace and honor the good ones. What right does the toy train have to say you made me this way?
Adam Southworth: @ Blackshoes Well, if the trains which jumped the rails are so made that they couldn't do otherwise I deem that the fault of whoever made them. Why blame the toy trains? The toy trains might not have the power to judge. Perhaps Orwell was right. We might make someone believe anything if we subject them to torture. And we might have to hold the defective toy responsible for the sake of the rest. That still seems wrong from where I stand. Should a good engineer blame his defective works?
(Edited by Adam Southworth)
It's pointless to question the builder's motives when there is nothing that his creation can do, even if the creation feels that the builder seems unjustified.
22 Who can tell God what to do?
It's childish and juvenile if not far worst to try to assign blame if you are the one that committed the crime, no matter what the cause.
No matter how you twist it. The punishment is deserved and will end as your responsibility no matter who you point the finger at .
The Law is the law, Righteous or not it's your responsibility to follow the laws and stay away from the crime. As the saying goes "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime! "
Whining about law, the lawyers, the jury, and the Judge. is beyond pointless
swampandfire: according to Kant if there is no free will there is no freedom and therefore no morality
Corwin: My will isn't free. I was paying a fee for a monthly subscription.
But then it got too expensive and I had to unsubscribe. I had no choice, especially afterwards.
Blackshoes: free will
the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.
volition · independence · self-determination · self-sufficiency · [more]
(especially of a donation) given readily; voluntary:
Corwin: I was just making a silly joke, Bobby.
-- The quality that makes something laughable or amusing;
-- That which is intended to induce laughter or amusement.
-- The ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing, comical, incongruous, or absurd.