Tuesday, October 16, 2012

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: My last talk is now a podcast: "Free Will?"

I was really  glad to see Jonathan Pearce post this lecture he gave a few months back on free will. He and I actually agree that free will as most philosophies defines it is an illusion, but we disagree about what the conclusion is. I think it would be very good to follow the link at the end of this post and listen to his arguments. He correctly argues that our actions and decisions are to a large part predetermined by our genome, biology, life experience, environment -  everything that makes you you  - your Destiny. Often times he uses "universe" or "fate" where I would use "God" because he does not believe that God exists. I think the problem is that he ignores the very scriptures that tells us the same thing and that God has predetermined the things that he admits that we don't have control over.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]
- Acts 17:24-28

Paul is teaching that God has placed all people in the best possible place that we can best find God. God predetermines our environment.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8:5-8

Not only does the Bible teach that God has predetermined our environment, we are unable to live up to God's standard but we are naturally and by default hostile to God! When Pearce attacks the Bible and rejects God he is just doing what he is genetically and prone to do without the influence and powr of God.  Jesus put this in even stronger terms.

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[d] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.  - John 6:43-47

Jesus is very clear. Without God you can't believe in Jesus even if you wanted to, and by default none of us want to. Sin is that much of a prison. Because we can't be sinless and perfect that tells me that we con';t have free will. We are enslaved. On this, I see no reason why Pearce would disagree. He said the same thing.

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”[b]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. - Romans 3:9-20

I noticed that during his lecture, Pearce dismissed Calvinism and never really addressed any of it's arguments. Although no where in the Bible claims that we have libertarian free will, he still thinks that belief in the God of the Bible is unwarranted because God cannot judge us if there isn't free will. No free will equals no God to him.The Bible shows that in order for anyone to be saved from their sins, God's will must supersede our own will. The Bible does not teach that human will  does not exist or will will cease to exist. God gives you the power to choose to submit yourself. Something you cannot do on your own. It's a shame that Pearce really doesn't understand what Augustine, Martin Luther, and what so many others have said regarding this. So in closing: how does the Bible deal with the issue of  why God has the right to judge us for our sin despite us being enslaved to sin?

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f]
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? -  Romans 9:14-24

Debunking Christianity: My last talk is now a podcast: "Free Will?"