Statistics

Readers Wills Himself To Write And Claim We Have No Free Will

Anon, a sweetheart and buyer of the majestic Everything You Believe Is Wrong, wrote to say my enemies have managed to insert several typos into the book. A not uncommon, or unexpected, phenomenon.

This is such an important subject—the strength and vigor of my enemies at creating typos—that I will devote an entire post to it in the near future.

But Anon also wrote to take exception with my argument in support of Free Will. This being a slow week, I thought it would be fun to look at the charges. However, beyond a brief remark at the end, I will (get it? get it?) leave you, dear reader, to provide the main rebuttal.

Paragraphifications added.

Also, I’m sorry to say this, but you are dead wrong when it comes to your belief about “free will.” Like most people, you’re confusing the ability to make choices and decisions with having a “free will.” Your will is not free by any means, and Scripture even makes this clear. Can you will yourself to be taller? Better looking? Having a more appealing complexion? No? Then obviously your will is limited. Romans makes it clear that prior to salvation, our will is slave to sin and the devil. Zero “free will” there. Where was Nebuchadnezzar’s “free will” when God MADE HIM act crazy and eat grass for seven years? Where was Jonah’s “free will” when God had him thrown overboard, swallowed by a whale, and go to Ninevah AGAINST his own choice? Where was Paul’s “free will” when God knocked him down (kicked in the door to his heart) and Paul says God had him set aside since birth?

Consider a piece of coal and a diamond. In and of itself, is there anything a piece of coal can do to change itself into a diamond? If it says, “I’m a diamond!”, does it make it so? If it covers itself in a shiny coating (behavioural modification), does that make it a diamond? No. It requires outside pressure (God) in order to turn it into a diamond, and it will remain a diamond forever. In and of itself, is there anything a diamond can do to change itself back into a piece of coal? No! Our will is not “free”. We are unregenerate, spiritually dead, dead in trespasses in sins, having a heart of stone, and hating God with every fiber of our being.

What in and of ourselves is able to change any of that in order for us to respond to the Gospel? Nothing! We cannot change any one of those things. GOD must changed them in us FIRST before we can respond to the Gospel, and respond we will. When God has changed those things, there is NOTHING we can do to change them back. We cannot make ourselves unregenerate, spiritually dead, dead in trespasses and sins, give ourselves a heart of stone, etc. So you’re engaging in some fallacies of your own in order to foster and clutch onto the “free will” notion. It doesn’t exist.

In fact, much of who YOU are as a person was shaped by your circumstances and surroundings. You should read Millard Erickson on this issue. You CANNOT choose or reject Jesus/God at your own discretion. If left up to you, you would reject Him every single time. If God threw open the gates of Hell now and told them they could all go to Heaven if they bowed their knees and confessed Him as Lord, they would all give Him the finger and slap the gates shut. We HATE God. We would NEVER choose Him, nor can we. HE chooses us, and NOT because of anything we did. He does NOT look down the corridor of time and choose us because we chose Him.

This is a fool’s argument who doesn’t know Scripture. If God did not save any of us, then NONE of us would be saved. If you want to argue the ability to make choices and decisions as having “free will,” then go ahead, but differentiate between ACTUAL choices we CAN make, and ILLUSORY choices we will NEVER make. You already believe in God’s choosing, but you don’t want to admit it with regard to salvation. You believe God chose (elected) certain angels and left others to themselves (Scripture says so).

You believe God chose (elected) a particular nation and left all others to themselves (Scripture says so). You believe God chose (elected) a remnant within this nation to be His peculiar people and left the rest to themselves (Scripture says so). But then we get to the NT and you want to reject God’s choice (election)? Ration irrational and illogical if you ask me. Perhaps you should examine some of your fallacies and see which ones you’re holding onto.

Anyway, like I said, I’m really looking forward to going through your entire book. I already love some of the stuff I’ve read, like the “purple-haired harpy” reference and the “soy” boy reference. I like satire, sarcasm, and wit, especially when dealing with nonsensical emotional-fueled groups who want to coerce everyone into thinking exactly like them and believing in flying pink mythical unicorns that poop jellybeans.

(Not the realistic unicorns that time has forgotten about, which anyone with half a brain can learn about if they read a bit of history, such as Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary where unicorn is defined as the single-horned rhinoceros [which is also its Latin name].)

Understanding this makes Scripture more clear, especially the prophecy of Ephraim and Manessah. A two-horned rhinoceros has one horn larger than the other. This is exactly what is envisioned with this prophecy. KJV translators messed it up by using “unicorn” all the time, and modern translations mess it up by thinking “unicorn” is a mythical horse-like animal and that they should put “wild ox” instead, which DOES NOT have two different sized horns. The Latin uses two different words in all these verses: unicornis and rhinoceratis. Go figure, huh.

Take care, be well, and God bless!

Anon asks “Can you will yourself to be taller? Better looking? Having a more appealing complexion? No?”

Yes. Yes. And yes. Yes. You can will yourself to a better posture and diet, among other things. Which can not only make one taller but better looking and have a better complexion. There are limits, of course. But these go both directions. One can will oneself shorter, uglier and spottier.

Just as one can will himself to write an email that says one has no free will, and one can will oneself to write a reply that says, why, yes, yes we do.

Anon says, “You already believe in God’s choosing, but you don’t want to admit it with regard to salvation.”

Not wanting to admit a truth is to have free will. Admitting the truth is to have free will.

One can choose sin or one can choose obedience. If there is not choice there can be no sin, beyond possessing our fallen nature.

An so on. I’ll leave the rest to you, dear readers. Be nice, for Anon is a good person.

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Categories: Statistics

100 replies »

  1. That we can use different languages (or even create a new one) to refer to stuff is conclusive proof of the existence of free will.

  2. Can you ask The Anonymous Calvinist if Satan has free will?

    I want to know since he is the devil’s slave. It’s a matter of trust.

  3. WB: You’ve confused ‘free will’ to mean ‘freedom of actions’. We can choose to take many different actions but there is a toll charge for commiting actions that are contra our innate conscience, intuition and common sense.
    The operative word in ‘free will’ is ‘free’. Ask Adam and Eve if exercising their free will was tax-free. They were beguiled by the serpent and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They wanted to set their own limits and went against their conscience and intuition to aggrandise themselves in the world. They chose to violate their conscience and paid the price. The mere actions of sex created knock-on effects that expelled them from paradise. Their choice of action didn’t mean they had exercised ‘free will’. The results proved just the opposite.

  4. Okay Briggs, if there’s free will, as J. Gresham Machen disputes, above, can you prove it by willing yourself not to typo?

    Total depravity, Q.E.D., Boss.

  5. john mosbrook, seems an odd objection. I can’t freely choose to go to the gym because it means I cannot simultaneously sit on the couch getting fat?

    I think in this context, the “killer app” is that Jesus chose to offer himself up. Don’t stop at asking Adam and Eve about consequences. Ask Him if there were consequences. And ask Him if he’d do it for us again if he had it to do over.

  6. I am confusing the ability to make a choice with free will? At least I’m not confusing free will with omnipotence.

  7. Was a movie on this very topic some years ago — “Free Willy”.

    Briggs, check your email.

  8. Interesting that the examples (height, complexion, etc) are about vanities- the deadliest sin.

    You have the free will to choose between God and man. Vanities are choosing man over God. One could choose to accept what God has given him, or one can choose to strive for superficialities that man values.

    Anon is correct to a degree – I like to say life is 97% happenstance and 3% how you choose to react to that happenstance. That 3% is your free will – casting it aside because it is only 3% is another vanity. Patting yourself on the back for good fortune is vanity just as whining about your bad circumstances is also vain.

    No one said this was easy. It took me 57 years to discover just how much I succumbed to the temptation of vanity. So I know where anon is coming from.

  9. Anon confuses free will with omnipotence, which has to do with power, not will. A person’s will is free, because he has the ability to use his reason to discern and know the good, and then choose to do the good, and persevere in the good, even if it leads to difficulty, up to, and including, death. Animals act based on stimuli. They do not “choose” in the human sense of the word. Of course, because of the sinfulness of our flesh, we sometimes choose “goods” that are not good at all. Christ, having redeemed our sinful flesh, has won for us the possibility of forgiveness when we fall short of the true good. Non-enfleshed persons don’t have the same grace, but neither do they have our weaknesses.

  10. My religious convictions include the concept that not only have been been created on Earth with free will, but that free will is a condition of mortality necessary for men/women to learn to chose between Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, and grow spiritually, which is the very purpose of mortal life.

  11. People who deny free will must first, usually, redefine ‘free will’ to mean something far more elaborate than its original meaning. Then they say silly things like ‘I cannot will to flap my arms and fly away to the moon,’ confusing desire with success.
    The proof is very simple.
    1. The will is the intellective appetite, i.e., the desire for [or repugnance against] the products of the intellect.
    2. The products of the intellect are ‘concepts.’
    3. It is impossible to desire what you do not know.
    4. The intellect does not know things in their fullness. There are generally lacunae in our knowledge.
    5. Therefore, the will cannot be determined to any one thing. There will always be ‘play’ or ‘degrees of freedom.’

  12. I will forever be amazed at the capacity of supposed intelligent adults to be so willfully ignorant. This is not a passing thing, it takes real, consistent work to be so, day after day.
    Anon has convinced himself he knows scripture. I suppose if I knew the Koran as well as Anon knows scripture, and proceeded to comment on it, I’d be declared a simple Islamophobe and nothing more.
    Free will is MAKIN A CHOICE, freely. It has nothing to do with deciding how tall you are. Good God, man….try harder.

  13. Anon, if you’re reading this, I’m gonna try to help you, brother.

    Just for the record, I am a card-carrying Calvinist. At least with respect to soteriology.

    That said, Anon (who sounds like a Calvinist) does a poor job of arguing. He seems very confused even though (I think) his main point is basically correct. And that main point is: Those who do not want to come to Christ in repentance and faith cannot “will” themselves into wanting something that they don’t want. It is in that sense that man’s will is not free.

    Obviously man has free will in the ordinary sense of “free will.” This is clear from introspection, and the Bible treats man as having this kind of free will.

    But according to the Bible, it is in one crucial respect that man lacks free will: The ability to change his own mind and stop rejecting Jesus Christ. How this works requires a bit of explanation:

    Thought experiment: imagine that you hate broccoli. (Maybe you do not have to imagine). Can you make yourself like broccoli? Can you say to yourself “Broccoli is good for my health. I am depriving myself of much-needed nutrients by my irrational hatred of the noble vegetable broccoli. I must change my mind and like broccoli?”

    You can force yourself to eat broccoli. You can even make yourself tolerate it. And maybe in the distant future you can come to like it.

    But one thing is certain: You cannot will yourself to change your mind if you do not want to change it. Before the hypothetical you begins his campaign to change his mind about broccoli, he first must want to change.
    The unbeliever is like the person who hates broccoli. He does not want to become a Christian, so he does not become a Christian. And he does not try to become a Christian because he does not want to want to become a Christian.

    If he wanted to want to become a Christian, he might begin by forcing himself to attend church, read the Bible, study the writings of apologists, pastors and theologians, and so on. This sort of thing does happen.
    But what never happens is someone starting to do these things who does not want to do them. Those who do not want to give Christianity a try, do not give Christianity a try.

    Empirical observation shows that some non- and even anti-Christians change their minds and become Christians. On the face of it, these people just changed their own minds, through a mysterious process that is entirely in their own minds.

    But the Bible reveals that people only change their minds about Jesus Christ because He gives them the ability to come to Christ. The Bible says that man in his natural condition hates God (even if he seems to respect God), and that man only becomes a believer when God gives him the ability. This ability is commonly called spiritual life. This doctrine is stated most clearly in Ephesians 2:1—10:

    And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  14. I WANT TO DO WHAT I WILT WITHOUT ANY NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES AND WITHOUT ALL THE REST OF YOU YAHOOS CONSTANTLY GETTING IN MY WAY WITH WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, WHICH IS OFTEN AT ODDS WITH WHAT I WANT TO DO!!! BUT MOST ESPECIALLY NATURE!!! I’D WILL IT AND YOU ALL OUT OF EXISTENCE IF I COULD!!! BUT I CAN’T!!! BECAUSE I’M NOT FREE!!! BUT I CAN STILL CHOOSE TO USE ALL-CAPS!!!

  15. Ye Olde Statistician: ”1. The will is the intellective appetite…”

    In his book Briggs uses the word “appetence”.

    I had to look it up.

  16. Hard to argue with that, Shouting Johnno. Heh.

    Alan, that’s quite good, even though I like broccoli. There is a typo in there, but that’s Briggs’ fault.

  17. Weirdly enough, I actually did will myself to like broccoli. Also, asparagus. It’s a question of who is to be master, the intellect or the emotions.

  18. The free will given to us is in regard to receiving God’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Saviour and God. No person nor created thing but our own use of our free will can stop that acceptance from happenng. The choice is presented and given by the Holy Spirit of God, and we choose to accept or to reject the gift of Jesus Christ and His Love of God the Father by Whose will Jesus was given for the salvation of us all.
    See John 3:16 following:

    16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

    Regarding free will:

    “1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

    2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

    3 And this we will do, if God permits.

    4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,

    5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

    6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

    7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;

    8but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.”
    Hebrews 6: 1-8.

    God bless, C-Marie

  19. My belief is that free will and predestination co-exist.
    You make a freewill decision and what follows from that decision is predetermined.

    I make a decision to join the Arm forces – I aim therefore destined to die, get promoted, get honorable discharge etc whatever fate has in store

  20. Ye Olde Statistician — bloody vegetable Nietzschian!

    C-Marie — you have the last, and best, word, as always.

  21. Well, I quiet myself down, consider that which I have just read, and often Scriptures pop into ny mind.
    As I write, somehow, Holy Spirit helps for certain, I can usually tell if I am on the right track of what God wants to share with us. Sometimes a beautifully written thought gets deleted because it is not apropo so much to the subject …. hard to let it go … but off into the “ether” it goes.
    Spend lots of time with God, He is so wonderful!!
    God bless, C-Marie

  22. Kip: “My religious convictions include the concept that not only have been been created on Earth with free will, but that free will is a condition of mortality necessary for men/women to learn to chose between Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, and grow spiritually, which is the very purpose of mortal life.”

    There’s something about this free will question that seems to suggest it’s a test, as if we’re all like as newly designed cars being subjected to strenuous driving on the GM proving grounds race track. The properly designed cars will survive and the failures will be scrapped. It’s a Darwinian argument. Why should God, who created us this way, need to test us? Why should His failures be condemned to the scrap heap, and His succseesses (dammit Briggs, that’s a typo) be accorded benefits? As if He didn’t know beforehand the results of the proving ground test? Explain the fallacy here, you vegetable supremacists.

  23. As yet another sibling has refused the Trudeau mandatum up here in the great red North and so passes on to coerced joblessness, I, too, take pause with anon to ponder free will.
    (and I assure you, it is not without effort that the slimy ones take you to the top of the mountain and suggest, behold, these can be yours if only…)
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    An aside: curious the use of mandates (“commandments”) and not laws

  24. And by the way, anyone who still thinks Renée Fleming sings Strauss’ “Four Last Songs” better than Kiri Te Kanawa is a miserable cretin. GM Proving Grounds test confirms.

  25. “Explain the fallacy here, you vegetable supremacists.”

    God has a sense of humor. And irony. How could He not? Perhaps no mortal can comprehend the humor, nor the irony, in their fullness. But we see the edges of it. And perhaps God enjoys a good laugh while watching us mortals struggle with the impossible. Of course, I do not know this to be true. But it seems likely to me.

  26. Ye Olde Statistician — bloody vegetable Nietzschian!
    n
    Thomas Aquinas was a Nietzschean? Who knew?

  27. This is an automatic autonomic reply to detected input stimuli. I had no choice in the matter. Press 2 for verification. Yours — Rob Ott

  28. Predestination: God does not foreordain our choice as to whether we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord, and Saviour and God. But He does know what will be the choices that we make along the way during our time in the earth and He does know what our final free will choice will be.

    And He does grant grace to us, in His Love and Mercy, so that we can choose Jesus, for He knows we cannot do so without His helps because of our sinful nature.

    That is one reason why spurning Jesus and His death and Resurrection is so unreasonable, because God gives to us the helps we need to become His adopted children. Our acceptance of Christ is up to us.

    Read John 3:16 and then suggest or decide if God our Father laughs while we struggle ……
    God our Father loves you!

    God bless, C-Marie

  29. Making merry, ladies & gents. Merry Christmas all! — and goodnihght.

    (“Goodnihght”? –> Briggs!)

  30. Mandates as like temporary things that one put out when they know full well that they must violate the law… for your own good!

    I want the Church back in charge…

    Stop sinning you lot! We’re all in this together! Your sin-ceasing also protects me! So go to confession and perform your penance and receive the Sacrament WEEKLY! OR ELSE YOUR ETERNITY PASS WILL EXPIRE BEFORE YOU GET THERE! TESTING IS MADATORY FOR ENTRY! THERE IS ALSO A QUARANTINE FACILITY BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO BE PUT THERE FOR TOO LONG IF YOU CAN HELP IT!!!

    That’s the kind of shouting yelling threatening big O’brother government I can live with. Especially if it guarantees no uppity trannies telling me what pronouns I can or can’t say.

  31. Free Will is a lot like a branching RPG videogame.

    The digital world has fixed laws. You are responsible for the big decisions you are confronted with along with your frivolous choice of armor and weaponry and items. And this is the era where you are fixed into male or female as your only two sensible options and there you shall remain.

    The end game will converge towards a singular scenario – your inevitable death and judgment, which is like a score, but based on moral choices towards light or darkness and all the bosses you encounter on the way. There is even multiplayer with other people. The story will go on with or without you.

    Anyway, my point is that you’re here playing one, your sex and starting stats were decided for you, and you take it from here.

    There are no refunds, be glad, as some never make it outside of the womb. You could of course kill yourself, but that doesn’t mean you’re exiting the game, but rather fast-forwarding yourself into a permanent part of the dungeon beside Diablo.

    But more or less you can do good things or bad things with your abilities and lot in life, and that’s all that matters… you are judged on how you are playing this one, and not on anything you cannot do, no matter how unfair you find it that you can’t hack reality and enter a cheat code to turn yourself into a helicopter. At best you can dress yourself with the clothing of the opposite sex, and even change your name to such, and demand the other bigot players respect your wishes. But these are choices that’ll be weighed for or against you at the end, and you already know what the good ending entails and the path to get there; so nobody will pity you nor entertain your notion of being controlled or tricked or had your account possessed by the devil without you taking deliberate steps to venture in the other direction and trying to hack your way to godhood. Especially when detailed guides are freely available, and the Mod is known for being very lenient.

  32. A Merry, Merry Christmas to us all!! Tonight we remember that God’s Saviour was born for us. He is come to save us all from the fires of Hell which we merit, if we utterly turn from Him, Jesus Christ, Who is the only Way of Living forever with God our Father.

    Do receive Him as your Lord, Your God, and Your Saviour. Trust that God by His power will keep you by Faith unto Salvation. Read Jesus’ Life in the Gospels and decide if He was off His rocker or if He was and is the Way, the Truth, and the Life as He said. Jesus did say, “The Father and I are One”, thus proclaiming His Divine nature as well as by His death, His human nature.

    It is either all true or all false. That is the choice that we each must make. He Who is Love is always calling you to Himself, to be His forever. By God’s graces, you can belive that God is real. To purposely not make the choice, is to make the choice of not believing Him, Jesus Christ, Who is the Truth.

    Read Jesus’ Life and Works and Teachings with an open heart today. See you in Heaven!! ????????

    God bless you always and forever, C-Marie

  33. Reader Wills Himself To Write And Claim We Have No Free Will

    How does his willing himself to write imply freedom of will? He seems to be claiming he had no choice.

    Therefore, the will cannot be determined to any one thing. There will always be ‘play’ or ‘degrees of freedom.’

    There’s a lot to unpack in this sentence. 1) seems to be saying there’s always more than one option. Well, who’da thunk?! Wouldn’t be much of a choice if it is from a list of one. 2) you can’t say why someone chose what they did. If so, how do you know it was through “free will”?

    What does any of this have to do with ‘free will’? Does the “free” part mean there’s multiple options or does it mean the option selected was freely chosen without outside influence? If the former, again, well, duh! If the latter then so what? If you can only chose the option you deem best then there really is no choice.

    I actually did will myself to like broccoli. Also, asparagus.

    You trained yourself to change your preferences. So what? It’s no different than training your self to play piano albeit less arduous. If you were stuck in the wilderness and your only food source was a smelly, disgusting, snot-looking pile you would quickly learn to like it or starve.

    Changing your preferences is not the same as changing your beliefs. I’m willing to bet you can’t bring yourself to believe Aquinas was spouting nothing but crap. You may claim you did but we both know that would be a lie.

    You really can’t control your beliefs. You would need to find contrary evidence to do so; and you could search for it; but you won’t change your belief until you find sufficient evidence.

    You can only choose the option that you deem the best — regardless of how that assessment is conducted. Expected gratification in making the selection likely plays a role. You can’t deliberately avoid anything that causes the option to be derated because you still know it’s there.

    Look at how one goes about trying to tell someone how wrong their decision might be. Tons of argument for changing the assessment.

  34. Does the “free” part mean … the option selected was freely chosen without outside influence?
    “Free” or liberum means “deliberate,” or not determinate to any one particular thing. Moderns, and especially Late Moderns, seem determined [lol. pun intended] to make ‘free will’ into some elaborate contraption, then clutch their pearls when their ad hockery fails to hold up. If we want to demolish position held by X, it is well to discover what X actually hold as his position.
    A free choice is not a random choice. It is not an irrational choice. It is not an unpredictable choice. It is not an undeliberated choice. It is not an undesirable choice. It is not necessarily a successful choice.
    The implication of critics is that if one’s choices are not random, but “preferred, reasoned, and predictable,” they are somehow not deliberate. Yet it is precisely such choices that are the proper object of the will rather than of the sensitive appetites.

    If you can only chose the option you deem best then there really is no choice.
    If you knew what “best” meant, perhaps so. But the freedom comes from not knowing the Best at any particular moment. In Philosophy class we thought we were clever (we were sophomores) when we posed the proverbial bandit who demands “your money or your life!” How is that a free choice? But that most people would freely part with their money does not make that surrender unfree, because you could have chosen otherwise and fought back or run away, even if unsuccessful. A free choice is not an imprudent choice.

    The Will is ordered toward the Good just as the Intellect is ordered toward the True. So, you agree with Aquinas that far. But that generic truth no more makes the will unfree than that the eye is ordered toward the visible means that your glances are determined.

    Furthermore, as Aquinas also noted, “man does many things without deliberation, sometimes not even thinking of what he is doing; for instance when one moves one’s foot or hand, or scratches one’s beard, while intent on something else.”
    — Thomas Aquinas, S. theologiae, II-Pt.1, Q1, Art.1, Obj.3

    No one for the next seven hundred years thought this was a fatal objection to free will because no one thought free will meant that all acts of a human were deliberate. Then came the invention of the Internet Comm Box and the apotheosis of the dormitory bull session, in which the half-educated come up with tired, centuries-old arguments that they think are not only stunningly original but dispositive.

    https://tofspot.blogspot.com/2014/04/theres-way.html

  35. “Free” or liberum means “deliberate,”

    You are being disingenuous. “Deliberate” as an adjective means consciously as a verb it means after (presumably careful) consideration. That it contains the letters “liber” is an accident. No “free” is involved.

    Leaving that aside, in what way is what I described not being “deliberate” in both senses?

    If you knew what “best” meant, perhaps so

    But you do know what is “best”. It’s the chooser’s assessment. It’s an opinion. Trying to connect it to some objective “best” is just plain silly.

  36. “If we want to demolish position held by X, it is well to discover what X actually hold as his position.”

    That is a point I’ve been making for the longest time.
    Parody of the argument for free will is all that tends to happen.
    It happens on a lot of other topics but particularly on this one. It seems so “obvious” and yet when you break it down, the arguments against free will are sensible. It is the definition of ‘free will’ that’s missing.

    The sensation of freedom may come from the the knowledge that there are many options, even infinite. You chose what you believe to be the best but you can’t chose what you believe. You choose to take in good information and even that comes from a source which you ‘believe’ is good. That effects what you believe. Rubbish in rubbish out.
    Merry Christmas!

  37. “Deliberate” as an adjective means consciously as a verb it means after (presumably careful) consideration.

    Though if your will is not free (i.e., it is determined to one thing), it would be hard to do this.

    in what way is what I described not being “deliberate” in both senses?

    You claim your will is bound/not free. How can one deliberate. You are simply smuggling free will in through the back door.

    Trying to connect it to some objective “best” is just plain silly.

    Which is why I did not. But one’s opinion of the best is subject to Uncertainty, which introduces some play in one’s deliberations. And that uncertainty is precisely why the will is free/unbound.

    You would make more convincing arguments if you didn’t simply repeat things that Aquinas wrote eight hundred years ago as if they were rebuttals.

    Joy said Rubbish in rubbish out. But no one ever said a free choice is a good choice, or a wise choice.

    What I can’t understand is why so many are “determined” to claim they have no power of will. They cry determinism all the way until they hit the cosmological arguments; then, it’s ‘quantum theory rules!’ Until quantum uncertainty opens the door to free will; after which, it’s back to determinism.

  38. “Deliberate” as an adjective means consciously as a verb it means after (presumably careful) consideration. That it contains the letters “liber” is an accident. No “free” is involved.

    No accident at all; just evolution. The Online Etymological Dictionary tells us:
    deliberate (v.) 1540s, “weigh in the mind, consider carefully;” 1550s, “discuss and examine the reasons for or against,” from Latin deliberatus, past participle of deliberare “consider carefully, consult,” literally “weigh well,” from de, here probably “entirely” (see de-) + -liberare, altered (probably by influence of liberare “to free, liberate”) from librare “to balance, make level,” from libra “pair of scales, a balance” (see Libra).

  39. Though if your will is not free (i.e., it is determined to one thing), it would be hard to do this. You claim your will is bound/not free

    Let’s see: deliberate consciously or with/after much thought

    You are bound to your assessment of best. You have no choice in the matter. Are you know saying “free will” is merely the ability to think? Your definitions are all over the place.

    Which is why I did not [try to connect it to some objective “best”]. But one’s opinion of the best is subject to Uncertainty

    See? You did it again! It’s only uncertain to an outside observer; not to the choosers.

    No accident at all; just evolution … “weigh in the mind”

    Indeed. I would have guessed “liber” meaning book. The one meaning free is pronounced “lee ber” while the one meaning “book” is more like “libber”. But don’t quote me on that. I was taught to speak Latin as a commoner (vulgar) might where Caesar comes out as Kaiser. I’m told that is how Kaiser came to be.

    In any case, deliberate comes from Libra meaning scales using the infinitive “to weigh” (librare). So yes, the spelling is an accident of language.

    Here’s the link in all its ugly glory apparently from the Oxford dictionary. If it doesn’t work google “deliberate derivation”

    https://www.google.com/search?q=deliberate+derivation&ei=D7HGYaCnH5-kytMP5bOssAg&oq=Deliberate+deriv&gs_lcp=ChNtb2JpbGUtZ3dzLXdpei1zZXJwEAEYADIGCAAQFhAeMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjIICAAQhgMQiwMyCAgAEIYDEIsDOgcIABBHELADOgcIABCwAxBDOgoILhDIAxCwAxBDOggIABCABBCxAzoECAAQQzoFCAAQgAQ6BQguEIAEOgQIABANOggIIRCgARCLA0oFCDgSATFKBAhBGABQriZY31dg03NoAXABeACAAVyIAbwDkgEBNpgBAKABAcgBDrgBA8ABAQ&sclient=mobile-gws-wiz-serp

  40. Joy said Rubbish in rubbish out. But no one ever said a free choice is a good choice, or a wise choice.
    ?No, that is also not what I intended to imply either. Simply pointing out that all the information in all its forms, are involved in the weighing of the situation. You seem to think I’m saying the choice is necessarily “good” but it is considered the best choice. The calculation is where the internal deliberation comes in and that depends on information at hand. It’s more to do with the internal working than how it looks to the outside: Recently saw a documentary about some inpatients who were insane. It was very interesting to see that many of them, once they became less unwell, realised to varying degrees how ‘insane” they were or had been. Yet they all thought their choices were the correct, or the best ones at the time. So it isn’t about good or bad, it’s about optimal or ‘way forward’ choices…best. That also doesn’t mean I don’t believe in “good or bad” just to be clear.
    ?What I can’t understand is why so many are “determined” to claim they have no power of will.
    So is it free ‘determination’ or ‘free will’ or free choice?
    When asked this before the “free will” turned out to be something rather negligible.
    To me, “the will“ is easy to understand. It might be swapped for the word want or desire, or wish, or determine? Even hope? Depending on context. Yet those things are subject to the same kind of influences as other ‘thinking’.
    They cry determinism all the way until they hit the cosmological arguments; then, it’s ‘quantum theory rules!’ Until quantum uncertainty opens the door to free will; after which, it’s back to determinism.
    Hmm I don’t think it’s even as fancy as that. It’s about understanding how the mind operates and being honest about what neuroscience knows and doesn’t know. If the explanation is straight forward and makes sense, which I think it does, then maybe free will is a red herring. There is mystery enough without free will. The self is a bigger mystery, or consciousness. ?
    One explanation for me, which may cause me lot of trouble and judgement is this might explain why God understands and is loving and forgiving. Maybe we’re not as competent as we think? We do know the truth though and God is the only judge of the heart or the internal deliberations.

  41. I don’t know why you think that just because the Will is ordered to the Good, our individual choices are determined. Certainly, we will always choose that which we believe is good, but that does not mandate any particular individual choice.
    Aquinas does not believe in free will, but in liberum arbitriuns, which is better translated as “free choice/judgement.”
    Suppose that man and a mouse smell a piece of cheese. The mouse esteems the cheese as a good and, all things being equal, it will be drawn to it. However, a human can perceive the cheese as more than something to eat without thinking. He can see it, for example, as somebody else’s cheese, or as bad for me if I want to lose weight, or as what I promised to give up for Lent, or as more expensive than I can afford, and so on. The ability to think of the cheese in these ways is the root of human freedom. You don’t have to eat the cheese, no matter how good you think it is.
    People have freedom of choice since, unlike nonhuman animals, they can interpret the world in different ways (under different descriptions) and act in the light of the ways in which they interpret it. In this sense, human actions are governed by reasons that are fully our own. We are drawn to what we take to be good, but we are not compelled to act in any particular way. The mouse is drawn to the cheese for reasons – but they are not the mouse’s reasons.
    On Evil. Thomas Aquinas; tran. Richard Regan, edited with an introduction and notes by Brian Davies OP. Oxford University Press (1951). Cf. pp35 et seq.

    So, you and Aquinas are right in that we will always pick what we think is the best choice. But the key is that we will always pick what we think is the best choice.

  42. “So, you and Aquinas are right in that we will always pick what we think is the best choice. But the key is that we will always pick what we think is the best choice.”

    Depends upon how the statement “what we think is the best choice”…. is interpreted. Could choose cake over salad … could choose to enjoy sin over restraining self … etc.

    God bless, C-Marie

  43. This is a new comment …”So, you and Aquinas are right in that we will always pick what we think is the best choice. But the key is that we will always pick what we think is the best choice.”

    Depends upon how the statement “what we think is the best choice”…. is interpreted. Could choose cake over salad … could choose to enjoy sin over restraining self … etc.

    God bless, C-Marie

  44. <blockquote.Aquinas does not believe in free will, but in liberum arbitriuns, which is better translated as “free choice/judgement.
    Sounds like you’re talking yourself out of it YOS>

    “free choice/judgement”
    Was where we arrived after months of discussion.
    Yet how is it free? Given even your description about the mouse or a human being? You know what you know and the mouse knows what he knows.
    So you happen to have next week’s lottery numbers for a strange inside reason, you are not compelled to use the information, no, but you are compelled to make the optimum choice for you given everything you know, including what you know about yourself!
    Th free part seems redundant.

    C Marie,
    no, you once accused me of having “desires” for all to see! Which I thought particularly unkind, but same goes for my reminding you of it.
    That you desire cake or prefer it as a taste sensation might be true, but you might chose salad because you prefer to be trim and cute? One could actually argue that such salad eating is vain?
    One could also argue that there’s not much nutrition in salad actually.
    Fibre might be higher and therefore that might be a better choice. If you’re anorexic, cake might actually be the wise choice.

  45. I don’t know why you think that just because the Will is ordered to the Good, our individual choices are determined.

     
    Isn’t that statement self contradictory?
    If the will is ordered to the good, as you say then it is so? Therefore it is ordered/determined to the good choice?
    Is it that saying “good” makes the aim seem vague enough that choices roughly in the general direction of “good’. Are said to be free to make?
    I must be with aquinas but I don’t see that choice is free given what we know.
    If you want chocolate more than you want celery you have only brushed the surface of the decision making. As you know, there’ s a lot more to it than that. The final decision is always going to be the thing which wins out, ie, what you really want the most?

  46. In fact I can see why free will seems so real, because making difficult t choices can be extremely painful and seemingly self effacing or even detrimental.
    It comes back to what you believe in terms of your world view.
    My own hardest choices were made on the basis of faith but I can honestly say that they were not, with hindsight great choices. Given my time again, I would take a different path, as I see everybody else does.
    So lecturing people about sin and free will is a potentially dangerous road to hoe. People make judgements.
    That isn’t what your’e arguing fo though. YOS you’ve changed the definitions again.

  47. Certainly, we will always choose that which we believe is good, but that does not mandate any particular individual choice. Aquinas … “free choice/judgement.”

    So Aquinas is saying you can pick suboptimal options? I’m saying you can’t. Why would you? That means when push comes to shove the choice as made for you. You have yet to show how that’s wrong.

    C-Marie,
    Could choose cake over salad … could choose to enjoy sin over restraining self … etc.

    Good question. If cake vs salad seems equal then something will break the tie perhaps with random selection. Note with sin/restraint you mentioned enjoyment or satisfaction. That can be a big factor.

  48. Yet how is it free?
    Uncompelled, undetermined.

    but you are compelled to make the optimum choice for you
    Emphasis on the first “You.” But you are not compelled, which indicates a force outside ‘you’ moving you.

  49. Isn’t that statement self contradictory?
    No.
    If the will is ordered to the good, … [t]herefore it is ordered/determined to the good choice?
    The Intellect is ordered to the True. Does that mean that our every conception is correct?
    Is it that saying “good” makes the aim seem vague enough that choices roughly in the general direction of “good’.
    No. It’s that the assessment of the good is your own.
    Recall that Dr Thomas distinguished between ‘human acts’ and ‘acts of a man,’ and that the vast majority of acts may be unwilled in the “liberal” sense

  50. Swordfish,
    Hello again, Merry Christmas.
    YOS
    Do you remember me saying that the human person knows the truth. No need to repeat is there?
    Humans differ from animals in that one regard as far as I can tell.
    Even then, I know of dogs, for example that have a strong sense of “fairness” which may be considered a kind of rudimentary justice. Not all animals are alike and I don’t want to go off the subject, but the fact that humans are able to cogitate and understand a point of logic without training or experience, shows that it is innate in us.

    Arguments can be made about evolutionary advantage but that is true of almost all human traits.
    Free part of the ‘free will’ is where the controversy lies.
    How is in not constrained? If it is constrained by belief or conviction then it is still constrained.

  51. Recall that Dr Thomas distinguished between ‘human acts’ and ‘acts of a man,’ and that the vast majority of acts may be unwilled in the “liberal” sense
     
    I don’t know how someone can assert that and have it taken as a fact just because it’s asserted.
    This is very subjective.
    Even Dr Thom spoke from his own experience.

    There must be. A. Huge amount of judging others by your own standards which goes on when making claims about the acts of others. It is inevitable.

    So we take it on trust that we are all fairly similar in make up. This knowledge of truth is one thing which I believe is within all of us.
    To understand the actions of someone else, first walk in their shoes? Or something?

    The comment about good earlier was a rewording of your “ordered to the good”
    Which is vague enough to be unclear.

  52. Emphasis on the first “You.” But you are not compelled, which indicates a force outside ‘you’ moving you.
    And if it’s a force outside of ‘me’ moving ‘me’ then who did it?

    I agree that the sensation is of a freedom to choose but have to concede that one can’t argue with logic. I want to agree but..
    There does seem to be freedom in the universe *(there must be in order to believe in God.)

    Other revelation tells people that there are forces other than what is understood or explained by anyone.

    The first time I realised neuroscience was drawing blanks was when we studied voluntary movement i/neural pathways n physiology. somehow I was waiting to hear about what “made things happen” to the point that it was hard to concentrate. Only looking back, one realises that nobody really knows and the notion of a closed chain system is the best explanation at the moment.
     
    Each voluntary action takes place due to the preceding events. So the human body is a system which is circular in some way. Until death. Then the circuit is broken.

  53. Yet how is it free? Uncompelled, undetermined. … But you are not compelled, which indicates a force outside ‘you’ moving you.

    Yet another definition of “free” different than the “deliberate” one I suppose. Or for that matter, the “free” in ‘degrees of freedom’ first mentioned.

    You are indeed compelled. Your have no choice. It arises from the way we are built. For example, you are compelled to see colors (assuming you are not defective). A person with a hand washing compulsion is not being forced by some outside source.

  54. To understand the actions of someone else, first walk in their shoes?

    The expression has it: “Before you criticize another, you should walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you will be a mile away. And you will have his shoes.”

    I don’t know how someone can assert that and have it taken as a fact just because it’s asserted.

    Just as one can assert that “2+2=4” or that “If Socrates is a man, and all men are mortal, then Socrates is mortal.” I don’t know to which of the two statements you refer. If you intend to contest the vast majority of acts may be unwilled in the “liberal” sense please demonstrate or at least determine how acts like beating your heart or digesting your food are willful acts; likewise, habits and such. The Aristo-Thomist freely admits [get it? get it?] that not every act of a man is willful. Perhaps even only a minority are. That is why Modern and Late Modern constructions of ‘free will’ generally collapse.

    This is very subjective.

    You say that as if it were a criticism.

    So we take it on trust that we are all fairly similar in make up.

    There are some here who claim they are unable to choose things for themselves, but are compelled to choose things by ‘forces’ beyond their control. Perhaps we shou;d take them at their word and accept that they are not fully human.

  55. some here who claim they are unable to choose things for themselves, but are compelled to choose things by ‘forces’ beyond their control. Perhaps we shou;d take them at their word and accept that they are not fully human.

    So, having no rebuttal, you sink into ad hominem

  56. Yet another definition of “free” different than the “deliberate” one I suppose.

    Why do you suppose that? You must get vet confused by engineering drawings, which traditionally provide multiple renderings: top, side, oblique, detail… Yet, they all depict the same thing.

    You are indeed compelled. Your have no choice.

    I am sorry to hear that about you. If you had no choice about responding or using those particular words, why should anyone take the rustling outputs of your keyboard any more seriously than the rustling clatter of windshorn trees compelled to make sounds by the wind.

    For example, you are compelled to see colors (assuming you are not defective). A person with a hand washing compulsion is not being forced by some outside source.

    You are conflating the acts of a man with human acts. Aquinas was aware that not all acts of a man were freely willed. We do not choose to digest our food or to feel touches or to beat our hearts. Habit too is very important. [His term was more inclusive than the English ‘habit’ and included what we would now call genetic factors.] It might could be that the vast majority of acts are not freely willed. cf. https://thomism.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/free-will-as-negligible/

  57. So, having no rebuttal, you sink into ad hominem
    That wasn’t an ad hominem.
    It was yourself claiming that the rest of us lacked the human power of will.

  58. The old ones are still the oldest, as is often said. (sometimes the dumbest are the funniest)

    If you intend to contest the vast majority of acts may be unwilled in the “liberal” sense please demonstrate or at least determine how acts like beating your heart or digesting your food are willful acts;

    They are not acts if they are autonomic, or reflexes.
    So you’re playing with the words again and using arcane words which do not mean the same thing as is intended in physiology. You know this.

    An act in physiological terms is a conscious movement.
    An action is the word used in ‘Myology’.
    Speech is also a voluntary muscle activity.

    Re: “truly human” you missed the point and it’s a bit grotty to say the least to mislay that people who you interact with are not totally human. What kind of statement is that?
    It is the irony that we’re all the same which I find interesting, yet we’ve different explanations.

    As for 2+2=4? And socrates?
    No, because we all agree beforehand what two means and what equals means, what the operation of plus means.
    Same with socrates and mortal man in general.

    This didn’t happen with the free will discussion.
    As Briggs said years ago, it’s the premises we’re arguing about!
    Some of us (me) might have a problem with complex logic or not even that complex logic! But that’s besides the point. When corrected people know if they’re sane, whether something’s true or not.

    “subjective” isn’t a bad thing, it just isn’t dispositive, necessarily.

  59. Yet another definition of “free” different than the “deliberate” one I suppose. Why do you suppose that?

    So they aren’t different?

    You are conflating the acts of a man with human acts. Aquinas was aware that not all acts of a man were freely willed

    No merely pointing out that “compelled” doesn’t imply external force. Try concentrating on what is being said. But then you assert I’m not fully human.

    You are indeed compelled. Your have no choice. … I am sorry to hear that about you. If you had no choice about responding …

    Are you truly that dense? What an absurd thing to say. I have no choice once I’ve identified the best response/action. I must take it. Do you really think you could do otherwise yourself? Your arguments are devolving into silliness.

  60. They are not acts if they are autonomic, or reflexes.

    If they are not actual, then they are merely potential and do not have material existence.

    So you’re …using arcane words which do not mean the same thing as is intended in physiology.

    Which would be alarming were we discussing physiology. But we are discussing philosophy; viz., the nature of the Will, and I am using the terms as they have been used in philosophy for 800 years, and not how they were used by the Scientific Revolutionaries and others o
    f that ilk.

  61. If they are not actual, then they are merely potential and do not have material existence.

    No YOS they are not called acts they are called normal functioning of the autonomic nervous system and or reflex actions. i.e. involuntary.
    Just saying they aren’t actual and then saying they may not have existence is just weird. I would say not straight forward?

    Yes this is almost as strange:
    Which would be alarming were we discussing physiology. But we are discussing philosophy; viz., the nature of the Will, and I am using the terms as they have been used in philosophy for 800 years, and not how they were used by the Scientific Revolutionaries and others o
    f that ilk.

    Not alarming, just weird and unnecessary. It’s as if you’re doing it for effect.
    you brought up, pun intended, discussing the beating of a heart or the function of digestion. Those are matters Physiological. Philosophy doesn’t come into digestion or heart beats.
    There are ways in which our beliefs and our thoughts can effect the autonomic nervous system. Unfortunately though that doesn’t help your argument for free will as there is no control over such responses without reference to truth in all its forms, which include medicine, and or appeals to the emotion, i.e. love, neither of which your philosophy seems to have much time for. I’m really surprised you made the last two remarks but perhaps I ought to know better.

    No getting away from the way physiology works.
    No world games will change what’s true and how things happen, materially.

  62. Merry Christmas Everyone!! Is anyone taking into consideration the good spirits and the evil spirits of whom the Bible tells of, in both the Old and New Testaments? Jesus Christ spoke most clearly of them as being as real living beings as we are, and that their influence is definitely experienced by human beings.
    God bless, C-Marie

  63. Ye Olde Statistician says,
    “The will is the intellective appetite, i.e., the desire for [or repugnance against] the products of the intellect.”

    This means what we call “will” is really what we call “desire”.

    This is not what most people think of as the meaning of “will”. They think of will as a separate different thing from desire. I can desire to do something but not will it. They would say there was lots of times I wanted to do something but did not will it. But you never willed something without desiring it first.

    Non-free-will advocates are merely introspecting and seeing what is the basis of action. The basis of all acting is desire (appetite).

    “I actually did will myself to like broccoli.” You must have had some motivation to do it. What exactly was the will outside of that strong motivation?

    “But the freedom comes from not knowing the Best at any particular moment.” Which means we have conflicting desires. We think about it and then act on the strongest desire. We don’t WILL which one of our desires will be the strongest desire. We never use our will to act on our WEAKEST desire.

    “Man has free-will: otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards, and punishments would be in vain.”

    If someone counsels me and it sounds like a good idea then I WANT to do it. That’s the extent of free-will.

  64. Free will comes down to where Reformed Theologians consider God’s Will versus Man’s Will
    I’ve seen Reform scholars like James White discuss and debate the issue
    White confuses Description, Prescription and Proscription when he shows Biblical examples of God interceding or thwarting Man’s will in the face of God’s Will. I won’t belabor those arguments.

    All one has to do is show an example of God relenting His Will to the will of one man.

    The story of Hezekiah’s illness shows that.

    It was God’s Will that Hezekiah die at the time of Isaiah’s Prophecy. God relented. Ergo Free Will, however you care to define it without considering God as the Prime Mover.

  65. Ergo free will however you care to define it
    Not really, if you want to be accurate one has to be frank/clear and define terms.
    Depends if it’s the disagreement that’s the desired effect!

    Although I would agree that the differences between want wish, desire, will, advocate, hope for, premeditate, intend, and a whole load of other similar, not identical words suffice.
    God’s will is not to interfere with ours, i.e. freedom is God’s will. Or there is no individuation and it’s back to no choice if all things are God’s will regardless.

    The argument is about the ‘free’ part. How is it detached from the biochemistry involved in voluntary movement and thinking in general. How do thoughts transfer to action. The answer to that is the same answer as the answer to the free will question (obviously).

  66. Four days of discussion and nothing resolved. No one has changed their mind or yielded in the slightest. I wonder – in two or three thousand years of philosophical discussion, has any issue ever been settled to general agreement?

  67. And no notice given yet, to spirits who are known to interfere in the lives of people.

    God bless, C-Marie

  68. Four days of discussion and nothing resolved. No one has changed their mind or yielded in the slightest. 
    True, have you been reading way back over several years? you’d realise that the discussion has been ongoing and so despite appearances, most parties know what each other thinks on the matter despite the rhetorical questions and so on.

    I changed my mind and it was Dav’s patient logic which changed my mind, along with swordfishtrombone, who also clearly and concisely laid out how thinking most likely works.

    It was months being lead around giving the benefit of the doubt to YOS, who I thought might eventually get to the juicy bit. Only to realise we never get off the ground. All the preamble is a distraction to keep the ball in the air. Or reframe the debate. After months of thinking it was in a straight forward discussion, realised that everybody’s here on a different “ticket”.
     
    Still, you live and learn and have learned much. I enjoy being shown why I’m wrong, if people could only be nice about it.

  69. And no notice given yet, to spirits who are known to interfere in the lives of people.
    I’d take no notice of them either, the varmints.

    I would be interested in any of your stories about them though, sincerely,
    Joy

  70. Ravi Zaccharias once intoned (I paraphrase) … if the natural order is in charge of what we do think or say – all in our DNA – isn’t it interesting that Christ used rebirth … to change our DNA and allow us to change our ‘natural order’ and how we respond.

    Again, I don’t care how it is that we decide to write a letter, create a post, eat food, make a comment or even believe or deny Free Will … that has nothing to do with ‘Free Will’. The definition of ‘Free Will’ only applies to our will against God’s.

    Anon made very good points for Reformation, however, has similar problems as White.

    ANON: You believe God chose (elected) a particular nation and left all others to themselves (Scripture says so). You believe God chose (elected) a remnant within this nation to be His peculiar people and left the rest to themselves (Scripture says so).

    This is wrong, God used Israel and His People to bring in the rest of the world.

    I won’t address anything else Anon had to say (Briggs’ responded to Anon’s most trivial statement in that willing ourselves to be taller, stronger or better looking has nothing to do with our relationship with God), other than The Parable of the Prodigal Son is just a retelling of Jonah.

    I will also agree with Anon that there is a “Hound of Heaven”, but it can bring us life … or death … our choice

    The problem with Ravi’s statement and now Anon has the advantage is “can we Choose to be Born Again? Can we Will That?”

    But ultimately, Hezekiah underscores the ability of Man to cross God’s Will, but there are consequences …

  71. if the natural order is in charge of what we do think or say – all in our DNA – isn’t it interesting that Christ used rebirth … to change our DNA and allow us to change our ‘natural order’ and how we respond?

    Not really, because you said you care not for the mechanisms and then proceeded to present notion of the mechanism.

    DNA isn’t relevant, that’s the straw man offered by those including Richard Dawkins who say things like ‘dancing to the music of their DNA”

    Finally, simply the notion that God gives you permission to do the wrong thing in some elaborate catch trick, is a rather sadistic not in of God from where I’m standing.
    Too many people see mankind as living in God’s petri dish.
    We are his little vivisection experiment.

  72. Christ didn’t “use rebirth”, he died and was risen from the dead.

    “born again” is a metaphor.

  73. or even believe or deny Free Will …

    “believe or disbelieve”?

    So free will, is a matter of faith, after all that
    I had suspected as much.

  74. Joy
    December 28, 2021 at 9:41 am

    Just saying what Ravi said … DNA … nature/nurture … biochemistry … “How is it detached from the biochemistry involved in voluntary movement and thinking in general.” … yes … straw men

    “God gives you permission to do the wrong thing in some elaborate catch trick…” Straw man
    Again Free Will is the will to respond or not to respond to God not permission to do wrong.

    Joy
    December 28, 2021 at 9:46 am

    It was a paraphrase … Ravi said it better …

    Joy
    December 28, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Isn’t everything a matter of Faith … If the existence of Free Will matters to you, what basis do you come to conclusion … if it doesn’t matter, why comment?

    Joy
    December 28, 2021 at 9:56 am

    What is the simple truth about the COVID Vaccine? Yes a matter of Faith or lack of Faith … don’t take anything from any of “us people”

    I AM trying to control my tendency or will to troll, hope I haven’t been too mean 🙂

  75. One more thing

    The story of Jonah … the Prodigal Son … the Older Brother

    God never cared or held it against them for doing wrong
    He never cared about them doing right … He wanted their Heart to be Right

    Everything else would follow

  76. This means what we call “will” is really what we call “desire”.

    Not exactly. ‘Will’ is Saxon, ‘desire’ is Latin. In Latin, the distinction is between voluntatem and votum. ‘To desire’ (v) is cupere. But while the will to obtain is the ‘concupiscent will,’ the will to avoid is the ‘irascible will.’

    I can desire to do something but not will it.

    Yes, that is the strength called Temperance. Its contrary, which is to will something despite our repulsion is the strength of Fortitude (Courage).

    The basis of all acting is desire (appetite).

    So Nietzsxhe believed. The Scholastics, Stoics, et al. believed that in humans the Will is subordinate to the Intellect, so that our thoughts are the basis of at least some acts. However, if we realize that the Will is an appetite; viz., the intellective appetite, there is some truth in what you say. The Will is the intellective twin of the sensitive Emotions (aka appetites) and supervene upon them. E.g., the sensitive appetite of hunger may engender an impulse to eat, but the Will may say, ‘whoa, Nellie. You’re on a diet, or you’re fasting, or it’s not dinner time yet, or I dn’t like broccoli, et al. https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ypdP_QwRZ68/U0izEsLRqRI/AAAAAAAAAn0/M2Ccl5m1Ho0/s1600/Human+cognitive+and+appetitive+powers.GIF
    This schematic or model is explained here in case the link to the graphic doesn’t work: https://tofspot.blogspot.com/2014/04/theres-way.html
    But briefly, we can see that the sensory appetites are the proximate movers, which is why they are called e-motions. But some motions come directly from Perceptions, such as reflexive actions (cf. autonomic nervous system). However, rational animals such as humans have additional powers. The active intellect abstracts concepts from the percepts of the inner senses and presents them to the passive (receptive) intellect for understanding. These lead to the volition or intellective appetite supervening on the emotions and so to motion.

    You must have had some motivation to do it. What exactly was the will outside of that strong motivation?

    Why do people repeat Thomas, thinking they are somehow refuting him? The Will =is= the motivating power. Humans are ‘rational animals,’ that is, we have reasons for doing what we do
    ###

    in two or three thousand years of philosophical discussion, has any issue ever been settled to general agreement?

    Sure, until a new class of sophomores comes up and starts to trash-talk their elders. (Cf., F Bacon, R Descartes, I Kant, et al.) See here for the hazards of philosophy in English: https://thomism.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/a-danger-of-philosophy-in-done-in-english/
    Medieval philosophy never ended, but faded onto finer and finer distinctions. Modern philosophy never got started as each new philosopher spent his time deconstructing his predecessor.

  77. You’ve changed the goalposts again YOS
    Why do people repeat Thomas, thinking they are somehow refuting him? The Will =is= the motivating power. Humans are ‘rational animals,’ that is, we have reasons for doing what we do
    Why do you claim that someone’s saying we don’t have reasons for what we do?
    That is simply not true. It’s yet another straw man.
    Johnby Yes, mean,
    also wrong to question and impute motive

  78. in two or three thousand years of philosophical discussion, has any issue ever been settled to general agreement?
    I agree with your general take on the matter.

    “you can desire but not “will”
    well, actually no, you can will something it just isn’t a phrase used often. Last will and testament is presicely that.

    God’s “will” is God’s “want”
    just don’t say want around people who are easily triggered.

  79. Isn’t everything a matter of Faith …
    No some things are self evident, like 1 &1 = 2

    The faith part is only in the inbuilt premise/assumption that we agree about the terms.
    But you said that was unnecessary, effectively.
    I don’t know people who argue about self evident truth in real life, only on line.

    If the existence of Free Will matters to you, what basis do you come to conclusion … if it doesn’t matter, why comment?

    Care to rephrase the question as it’s not clear what you’re implying or asking.
    Perhaps making an assumption that’s wrong?

    As for why bother to comment?
    Good question

  80. What is the simple truth about the COVID Vaccine? Yes a matter of Faith or lack of Faith … don’t take anything from any of “us people”
    That it is safe and effective
    That many people who have campaigned against vaccines have died themselves of Covid, only to tell their loved one, when dying, that they regretted their stance. (with very little exception)
    That vaccination has shifted the burden of disease in a very real way in countries that have taken it seriously enough.
    That some countries have developed and rolled out vaccines at cost. Not for profit. Only to be met by competition from drugs greater than ten times more expensive.
    Yet this also shows the motives espoused by suspicious and Machiavellian minds are not to be found in vaccines which were provided at cost and developed with public money. But we’re off topic.
    I can’t fathom how people can be so wrong about that and then expect to be the last word on personal matters of faith which have such potential for great consequence. ie. other life and death matters.

  81. Many of us, including me, have refused the Covid vaccines due to the use of the tissue of in the womb of the murdered babies … no matter how long ago the killings happened … no matter that the original tissue is no longer, as what is used now could not be without the past …. also …. standing firm and strong against the continued use of babies murdered in the womb for research of any kind …. see Pittsburgh University ….. picture if you will …. how their deaths come about … how can we put ourselves above their right to live ….

    I am Roman Catholic and I use Holy Spirit discernment concerning Francis and others. One thing much at fault is that the Roman Catholic hierarchy are not all strongly pushing for the Healing Gifts of the Holy Spirit to be activated and used for all. Jesus Christ gave such gifts to His Church …. Read His Life in the New Testament and realize that His works were to be continued throughout history.

    What happened to basically stop such the use of Holy Spirit gifts as the healing works? The “world” was allowed to enter into the business of the Church and man’s weakness towards mammon (power, etc.) in all of its forms, slowly took place.
    Jesus warned that no one can serve both God and mammon.

    Also, ” 19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
    Matthew 6: 19.

    If less effort had been spent on the treasures of the Vatican and more, and instead, if all of that effort had been expended being led and guided by the Holy Spirit …. what a difference would have been made. But we are here now, each of us, and God has ordained that we be here now, and He has and does provide the fullness of His helps to bring us through. 666 is on its way. There may be respites at times, but be aware all will not be as it was. Now is the time to belong to Christ, to seek Him with all of your heart, to come to learn His ways, to know Him so your confidence in Him will be perfect, to love Him so you can be with Him forever, to serve Him so that His Life is seen in you and through you. Our Father loves you!! Receive His fathering of you.

    God bless, C-Marie

  82. C Marie,
    This is the kind of thing I mean. YOS does it too. Pretending you don’t know what we’ve discussed before or pretending that I don’t realise you’re a Roman catholic.

    I can’t relate to the need for it, except for effect on those who haven’t hitherto been reading.
    The babies aren’t coming back C Marie. Others come to a different conclusion than you and that is also with careful consideration of the same information, sometimes better sourced information. Whatever research is happening with which you disagree is not relevant to covid vaccines in general. For example, have you had an MRNA vaccine?
     
    So if people see this a s a matter of moral imperative on your side, they do absolutely on the other side as well.
     
    I was more interested in your personal stories than quotes .
    Yesterday I heard Mark and Luke, today it’s John’s gospel.

  83. C Marie,
    Specifically for you, I listened to this last night and it is well worth listening to the end.
    There are others but this is where I was confirmed. That church. At fifteen.
    I have seen things which would make people’s eyebrows raise and heard stories of the same. Maybe you’ll understand where I”m coming from if you can understand there are people from the church who would agree with you, no doubt. I am not and never have been pro abortion and take great exception to yours and others implying otherwise. Indeed I was once the muse for an entire post on abortion in Iceland, wherein the most hurtful and hateful remarks were carefully written in for others not to notice. This stuff doesn’t get any easier to take but once one comes to expect little to no understanding at least one knows where one stands.

    https://youtu.be/WVhiv8Gi4aY

  84. God bless you dear Joy!!

    As written above, I have had no vaccines concerning any variation of covid. See comment above for information. Rather, here is copy and paste from my above comment:

    “Many of us, including me, have refused the Covid vaccines due to the use of the tissue of in the womb of the murdered babies … no matter how long ago the killings happened … no matter that the original tissue is no longer, as what is used now could not be without the past …. also …. standing firm and strong against the continued use of babies murdered in the womb for research of any kind …. see Pittsburgh University ….. picture if you will …. how their deaths come about … how can we put ourselves above their right to live ….”.

    My comments are written to all who read the comments, so my expectation is that some may well not know that I am Roman Catholic, which does not mean lockstep with whatever the Roman Pontiff comes up with.

    The aborted, murdered, babies are in Heaven and are praying in full forgiveness for their Moms and Dads.

    God in His mercy has given to me His graces of repentance, and has forgiven me my sins. There is no way that I could judge others.
    God bless, C-Marie

  85. Read and study these scriptures towards much understanding of the reality of spirits whose work is to get us to sin. All thanks be to God for our Guardian Angels!

    “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

    “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7.

    “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness …. Ephesians 6.

    “And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:40.

    “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.

    “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5: 8-11.

    God bless, C-Marie

  86. Dear C Marie, do I take it you’re trying to cast out all my evil spirits?
    Only in England, that’s how that kind of thing is taken!
    I wanted YOUR stories about the evil spirits. They’re not likely to pick on you for telling them. Not straight away anyway, give them time!

  87. Well, Joy, I have written that which I have written. I have given that which is most imperative, the Word of God. I pray you well in your journey with Jesus Christ..
    God bless, C-Marie

  88. I’ll take that as a yes and yet another insult, then.
    Still waiting to hear what you mean by “my desires” are on show for all to see. If only you knew!

    If you look fo evil you will see it everywhere. If you look for goodness you will see it.
    There’ never one without the other.

    Take care of yourself and watch out there among the English…

  89. To Hume it may concern:

    It’s interesting that anyone thinks they can deny their own agency.

    It’s a triple contradiction. To deny requires agency, to posit an agency to deny requires agency, to think (cogito) any of that requires agency.

    So suck it up. Your will is free to that extent. Your will, indeed, your intellect, may be weak, but you’re still an agent.

  90. Old arguments, old straw men over and over again.
    Reframe it and you can make it true, but that’s not what people are disagreeing about.
    Agency is another word that needs defining.
    Birds and dogs have agency.
    Catalysts have agency.

  91. In reply to John C: \\ Animals act based on stimuli. They do not “choose” in the human sense of the word. //

    I disagree and this line of thought proves the existence of free will. I have a two dogs, one a 12 year, one a 5 month pup. The 12 year I can trust off leash. He obeys my commands — but he chooses for himself HOW FAST to obey them. “When I’m good and ready.” When we are on walks and we get to an intersection, he will occasionally sit and go no further in the direction I go. I can command him to heal, but he is letting me know he wants to go a different way; he is communicating his choice, often to go home. This dog shows Free Will every day within the confines of limits to the freedom I give him.

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