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ShiaMan14

Predestination Vs Free Will

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I heard a hadith of Imam Ali as that a man came and asked him do we have free will or is everything predetermined. Imam Ali as asked him to stand on 1 leg; after a brief pause Imam Ali as asked him to raise his other leg. Obviously he couldnt. So Imam Ali as said that is free will. We are in control up to a certain point and then Allah swt from there on.

 

So how much of our life is free will and how much is predestined?

 

I would love to hear from all faiths and creeds about this.

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One day, Imam Ali Ibn Talib (A.S) stopped his horse near the door of the Mosque to pray. He found a man standing near the mosque, he asked him to take care of the horse and the saddle on the horse.
The man coveted in the saddle and stole it then sold it in the Souk (Market).
When Hazrat Ali (A.S) finished praying he did not find the man nor the saddle! So he went to the souk to buy another saddle. He was surprised to find his saddle there.

He asked the seller:- How much does it cost?

The Seller replied :- 10 dirhams

Ali Ibn Talib asked the Seller - How much does the owner sell it to you?
The Seller replied:- 5 dirhams

Ali Ibn Talib(A.S) bought his Saddle and said:- SubhanAllah, I had the intention to give him 5 dirhams for being trustworthy, but he stole it and sold it . If he didn’t hasten to get his Rizk with haraam he would get it in Halaal.

In this whole story ,let us guess which one is free will and which one is predestination.

The man got his 5 dirhams. He could get them either halaal or haraam,Means it was predestined that there will be sent a horse to man and he will gain 5 dirhams from it, which was his fate(provision).

Now where is the free will ?? He was given two options by Allah ,Halaal or haram .His intention was his free will and what he did next by his free will was his deed.As his intention weren't good ,he chose haraam and performed a bad deed by his will.

(That's just my personal view and not copied from any authentic website)

 

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I heard a hadith of Imam Ali as that a man came and asked him do we have free will or is everything predetermined. Imam Ali as asked him to stand on 1 leg; after a brief pause Imam Ali as asked him to raise his other leg. Obviously he couldnt. So Imam Ali as said that is free will. We are in control up to a certain point and then Allah swt from there on.

 

So how much of our life is free will and how much is predestined?

 

I would love to hear from all faiths and creeds about this.

 

The Hadith is confusing free will with freedom, which is a different subject altogether.
If you were encased in concrete, you would still have freedom of thought, of will.
 
"Free will" cannot be "partial". By definition one's "will" is either "free" or controlled.
No half-position exists for this concept. 
 
wslm.
*

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i hate topics in this section, as they require approval.

 

i honestly don't see any meaning in this hadith. the man obviously can't float on air, so asking him to raise both legs is an absurdity, not freewill.

 

the fact is there only exists the illusion of freewill. actual freewill can't possibly exist due to the principle of sufficient reason. even shia philosophers (pretty much all of them) concede to this fact, but they try to change the definition of freewill in order to not be labelled 'determinists'. determinism is inevitable for anyone who believes in this principle, without inhibiting it, as logical laws cannot be inhibited "أحكام العقل لا تقبل التخصيص". this is why many 'kalam' scholars attack philosophers, because they realize the implications.

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

 

I heard a hadith of Imam Ali as that a man came and asked him do we have free will or is everything predetermined. Imam Ali as asked him to stand on 1 leg; after a brief pause Imam Ali as asked him to raise his other leg. Obviously he couldnt. So Imam Ali as said that is free will. We are in control up to a certain point and then Allah swt from there on.

 

So how much of our life is free will and how much is predestined?

 

I would love to hear from all faiths and creeds about this.

 

First, we need to see if the hadith is authentic or not; do you have any reference to it?

 

Second, if the hadith was authentic, the meaning would be that we have free will but in a limited sphere. That is, we have free will, however, we are surrounded by the natural and supernatural rules and regulations. In other words, our will is free as far as it does not violate the natural and supernatural rules.

 

So, in the hadith, when Imam Ali a.s. asks the person to stand on one leg, he can do it, because of two things: 1. he has free will, 2. his will does not violate the natural rule. But when he is asked to lift his other leg, he is unable to do so, because his will is against the natural rule--the gravity of the earth does not let us stand on the air.

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The Hadith is confusing free will with freedom, which is a different subject altogether.
If you were encased in concrete, you would still have freedom of thought, of will.
 
"Free will" cannot be "partial". By definition one's "will" is either "free" or controlled.
No half-position exists for this concept. 
 
wslm.
*

 

 

salamun alaykum

 

"Free will" cannot be "partial"…

What is the meaning of free will? Does it mean that we can have different decisions or it means that we can decide to do different actions? This is the fundamental question about the term, “free will”. If you interpret free will as some theoretical state (like the first theory in these two above questions) that is independent form your actions so your statement is correct; but the problem is that theologians did not interpret free will in this way. What theologians say is the second theory that consider free will dependent on objective realities.

You can understand the difference of these two theories in the answer of this question for example: “Do you have free will to create God?” according to the first theory, which is apparently is the bedrock of your rejection, you should answer “yes” because you have this ability to imagine creating another God and you can intend that. But according to the second concept the answer is definitely “no”; for this creation is impossible and you cannot do it. So due to the second meaning, which is accepted by theologian, you do not have free will in some actions while you have free will in some others.

 

“The Hadith is confusing free will with freedom”…

On the other hand, Freedom is the appearance of free will. If you have freedom in your actions it shows that first you had free will to decide. So there is no difference between them except that free will is a state within us and freedom is the consequence of that state that appears in our deeds.

 

(this is what I thought)

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salamun alaykum

 

"Free will" cannot be "partial"…

What is the meaning of free will? Does it mean that we can have different decisions or it means that we can decide to do different actions? This is the fundamental question about the term, “free will”. If you interpret free will as some theoretical state (like the first theory in these two above questions) that is independent form your actions so your statement is correct; but the problem is that theologians did not interpret free will in this way. What theologians say is the second theory that consider free will dependent on objective realities.

You can understand the difference of these two theories in the answer of this question for example: “Do you have free will to create God?” according to the first theory, which is apparently is the bedrock of your rejection, you should answer “yes” because you have this ability to imagine creating another God and you can intend that. But according to the second concept the answer is definitely “no”; for this creation is impossible and you cannot do it. So due to the second meaning, which is accepted by theologian, you do not have free will in some actions while you have free will in some others.

 

“The Hadith is confusing free will with freedom”…

On the other hand, Freedom is the appearance of free will. If you have freedom in your actions it shows that first you had free will to decide. So there is no difference between them except that free will is a state within us and freedom is the consequence of that state that appears in our deeds.

 

(this is what I thought)

 

Theologians would say that.
 
I recently read a (26 pages, several thousand words) theological treatise explaining why the Trinity is both True and Holy.
 
Theologians conveniently redefine words creating the smoke and mirrors necessary to hide the fact that they are changing the subject and the context.
Exactly what you have done.
 
Truth is usually more concise and elegant.
(That is what I think)
 
Anyway, thanks for your opinion, all the best+
 
wslm.
*

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this has always been something i think about and ive always been unsure about how much free will we have and how much is pre destined.

 

Theres also confusion among some about the relationship between Allah KNOWING whats gonna happen in your life and whether Allah MADE that happen.

 

One may say , so and so is already written down to happen to you, therefore its pre destined, but obviously you can say yeah but all my actions leading upto that are written down aswell, they are written down because Allah is all knowing.

 

Theres a hadith that says dua can change whats written in your future so that adds to the argument that alot of stuff is Pre destined. 

 

slightly off topic but it is similar to this, my sunni family often with regards to bad things say things like oh dont worry, it will only happen if Allah lets it happen as Allah has power over all things, e.g dont worry jinns and sihr wont affect you , jinns only have the power to harm you if Allah lets it happen. and I'm thinking, well yeah Allah does let stuff like that happen allll the time, because Allah lets humans do whatever they want 99.9 % of the time and doesnt interfere in the human cause and effect laws relating to free will, only in a minority of cases I see divine intervention

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regardless of my example, the question still remains - how much of what happens in the world is free will and how much is predestined?

 

For example, some people say Imam Hussain as was destined to die in Karbala so you cannot blame Yazeed for it. Did Imam Hussain as have a choice? Did Yazeed?

Similarly, Christianity says Jesus was predestined to die

 

Conversely, the Bible also says, ""I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants," (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The Quran (16:93) says, ""Certainly you are accountable for what you do." 

 

I am not looking for a right/wrong answer. Just looking to see what people think.

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@ quisant; that's why i insist on absolutes, and denying any wiggle room for anyone to try slipping away.

 

@ smiley; 'ash'arites' (most sunnis other than 'ahnaf') don't believe in any freewill. they are essentially determinists. most islamic philosophers, from what i understand, are determinists (whether they admit it or not), even ibn sina* (there's debate as to whether ibn sina was a shia or a sunni).

 

 

*avicenna.

 

 

@ shiaman;

 

regardless of my example, the question still remains - how much of what happens in the world is free will and how much is predestined?

all of it is predestined (determined).

 

....

 

The Quran (16:93) says, ""Certainly you are accountable for what you do."

i say "certainly you are NOT accountable for what you do (or don't do)"

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@Einstein - so no heaven or hell?

 

i doubt there's a way to know for sure. however, hell would undoubtedly be a gross injustice for anyone, because we're all nothing more than conscious puppets. heaven (for everyone) on the other hand, seems to be the only thing that might make sense; otherwise, what's the point of a temporary (non-eternal) existence? specially a temporary existence with absolutely no freewill. heaven would be compensation for our suffering {even "evil" people suffer (even if only minor suffering)}, and not our "good deeds", because "good deeds" are also not by choice.

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i doubt there's a way to know for sure. however, hell would undoubtedly be a gross injustice for anyone, because we're all nothing more than conscious puppets. heaven (for everyone) on the other hand, seems to be the only thing that might make sense; otherwise, what's the point of a temporary (non-eternal) existence? specially a temporary existence with absolutely no freewill. heaven would be compensation for our suffering {even "evil" people suffer (even if only minor suffering)}, and not our "good deeds", because "good deeds" are also not by choice.

So sin or no sin, everyone gets heaven...very interesting

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So sin or no sin, everyone gets heaven...very interesting

 

without freewill, there is no such thing as "sin". a puppet can't "sin". a puppet can't be good or bad. we're just conscious puppets that experience (feel, and are aware of) what we "do", and what happens to us. we don't have any actual say in any of it.

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I heard a hadith of Imam Ali as that a man came and asked him do we have free will or is everything predetermined. Imam Ali as asked him to stand on 1 leg; after a brief pause Imam Ali as asked him to raise his other leg. Obviously he couldnt. So Imam Ali as said that is free will. We are in control up to a certain point and then Allah swt from there on.

 

So how much of our life is free will and how much is predestined?

 

I would love to hear from all faiths and creeds about this.

To the extent you manifest His goodness you are free.  to the extent you don't you are contrained and not free!

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without freewill, there is no such thing as "sin". a puppet can't "sin". a puppet can't be good or bad. we're just conscious puppets that experience (feel, and are aware of) what we "do", and what happens to us. we don't have any actual say in any of it.

So killers kill because it is in their destiny to kill, etc...

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So killers kill because it is in their destiny to kill, etc...

 

there are some differencces between determinism, predestination, fatalism, etc., but generally, yes, it's that person's destiny to be hitler, saddam, shimr, and so on. same thing with prophets, imams, saints, and everything in between.

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Pls explain...

 

i'm pretty tired currently, so i won't revisit wikipedis etc.. determinism is basically that nothing happens without a cause. coincidence isn't possible. every event is a product (effect) of an unbroken chain of other events (causes). this applies to everything material and immaterial.

 

fatalism, from what i remember says that end results are fated to happen, regardless of previous events.

 

predestination (from what i recall) is determinism, but with the added notion that everything was designed by someone or something.

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We are not compelled in our actions, because that would make reward and punishment, Heaven and Hell, command and prohibition meaningless. We also clearly find ourselves to be having free choice.

 

That doesn't mean that we are free to the extent that once Allah has created us He is powerless to stop us, as another group of Muslim theologians wrongly thought.

 

Instead, the teaching of the Ahlul Bayt is that the matter is in between the two (Neither compulsion nor complete freedom, but a matter in between the two). We have been created by Allah with free choice, so we are compelled to be free. At the same time all of our faculties, abilities and powers are from Allah and dependent on Him, so whatever we do is not outside of His will. 

 

A tradition in this regard:

 

From Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq: Allah is more merciful to his creation than that He would compel them to sin and then punish them for it, and He is more mighty than that He would will something and it wouldn't happen. They were asked: Is there between compulsion and absolute freedom a third station? They replied: Yes, vaster than that which is between heaven and earth. (Al-Kafi, Book of Tawhid, section 30, hadith 9).

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i'm pretty tired currently, so i won't revisit wikipedis etc.. determinism is basically that nothing happens without a cause. coincidence isn't possible. every event is a product (effect) of an unbroken chain of other events (causes). this applies to everything material and immaterial.

 

fatalism, from what i remember says that end results are fated to happen, regardless of previous events.

 

predestination (from what i recall) is determinism, but with the added notion that everything was designed by someone or something.

i know they mean in theory - I was more interested in your take on them.

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We are not compelled in our actions, because that would make reward and punishment, Heaven and Hell, command and prohibition meaningless. We also clearly find ourselves to be having free choice.

you are assuming there is a heaven and hell. command and prohibition are to some degree meaningless. not all of us find ourselves to be having free choice.

 

it seems that you're unfamiliar with the principle of sufficient reason, and why this principle (or any other logical principle) can't be confined, which means that any freewill (even 0.00000001%) is logically impossible, because it's in direct contradiction with this principle. note that no one, not even god, can confine or manipulate logical principles, just as he can't make 1+1=3.

 

That doesn't mean that we are free to the extent that once Allah has created us He is powerless to stop us, as another group of Muslim theologians wrongly thought.

 

Instead, the teaching of the Ahlul Bayt is that the matter is in between the two (Neither compulsion nor complete freedom, but a matter in between the two). We have been created by Allah with free choice, so we are compelled to be free. At the same time all of our faculties, abilities and powers are from Allah and dependent on Him, so whatever we do is not outside of His will. 

 

A tradition in this regard:

 

From Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq: Allah is more merciful to his creation than that He would compel them to sin and then punish them for it, and He is more mighty than that He would will something and it wouldn't happen. They were asked: Is there between compulsion and absolute freedom a third station? They replied: Yes, vaster than that which is between heaven and earth. (Al-Kafi, Book of Tawhid, section 30, hadith 9).

perhaps the imam had never heard of the principle of sufficient reason, and that no one can confine logical principles.

 

i know they mean in theory - I was more interested in your take on them.

i believe in determinism, as dictated by the principle of sufficient reason. all shia scholars and philosophers accept this principle, but 'kalam' scholars seem to think that god can somehow manipulate this principle as he pleases, which is absurd (because of this generally accepted rule: أحكام العقل لا تقبل التخصيص which means that logical laws/principles cannot be confined). shia philosophers, on the other hand, believe in the absoluteness of this logical law (which inevitably entails determinism, as noted by kalam scholars).

 

the main logical argument for the existence of god (by shia scholars & philosophers) is based entirely on the principle of sufficient reason. if the principle was confinable, they wouldn't be able to prove god's existence using logic.

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it seems that you're unfamiliar with the principle of sufficient reason, and why this principle (or any other logical principle) can't be confined, which means that any freewill (even 0.00000001%) is logically impossible, because it's in direct contradiction with this principle. note that no one, not even god, can confine or manipulate logical principles, just as he can't make 1+1=3.

You would only be correct if the world is based upon a mechanistic model (like a clock). But the creation is not mechanistic and dead. It is alive and kickin! It is filled with awareness and intelligibility. Not a rain drop descends from the sky but that it comes down with an angel. Each and every thing is placed and moved through the workings of intelligent beings (known as angels). Intelligence, awareness or knowledge is NOT mechanical and does not "come to be". Intelligence and awareness always is because it is nothing but the will or command of God! And God's command is eternal.

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You would only be correct if the world is based upon a mechanistic model (like a clock). But the creation is not mechanistic and dead. It is alive and kickin! It is filled with awareness and intelligibility. Not a rain drop descends from the sky but that it comes down with an angel. Each and every thing is placed and moved through the workings of intelligent beings (known as angels). Intelligence, awareness or knowledge is NOT mechanical and does not "come to be". Intelligence and awareness always is because it is nothing but the will or command of God! And God's command is eternal.

 

the system either abides by law of sufficient reason, or it's impossible. if it abides by it, then no freewill.

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the system either abides by law of sufficient reason, or it's impossible. if it abides by it, then no freewill.

 

Causality does not run horizontally but vertically.  I will try to explain what this means now.  Earlier you have read someone quoting Mutahhari where he said something along the lines that the entire causal system is in God's eternal knowledge.  In other words, what we think of as necessity between each thing (between cause and effect relation of things) is necessity because of God Himself having eternally predetermined them to be so.  The necessity we find in the causal relation between two things do not belong to the things themselves (at the horizontal level) but in God's eternal knowledge of them (ie. everything is vertically caused by God).  Think of a pyramid.  God is represented by the apex and point of the pyramid all the way at the top.  The levels of the pyramid beneath the apex can be imagined to be a gradual step by step (heirarchical) unfolding of God or the apex.  Whatever is found below is is that way because of its root in the apex.  Now we, given our situation, are looking at the very bottom part of the pyramid.  And we are seeing relations, horizontally, between objects and thinking that this is all there is.  We have failed to realize that each object is placed the way it is because of the level right above it.  And the level above that is because of another level above it and so on (until you get to the apex)     Everything is a self-expression of God, an unfolding from God's Nature.  As the universe unfolds vertically from God's Being you get "angels", "barzakh", and finally the "earth".  This is of course a gross over simplificaion of the entire heiarchical structure as it unfold from God but it should suffice.  So the only one who is "free", in the most unrestricted way, is God.  Everything else is partly free and partly determined.  patrly free to the extent it participates and manifests God and partly predetermined to the extent it is other than God.  Angels and Humans (through their intellects) occupy a position very close to the top of the pyramid and are therefore relatively free in comparison to everything below.  Freewill can only mean one thing.  And it means to be identified with God's Eternal Will which is located at the top o the apex (this is why we ar emade in His image).  The more we discover our true Self (our transcendent intellect or spirit) the more we become identified with God's Will.  And the more we become identified with His will the more we are free.            

Edited by eThErEaL

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Is it not possible that nature is predestined but humans have free will?

 

Meaning an earthquake will happen when it happens but the reaction to that earthquake or any event is up to man.

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Causality does not run horizontally but vertically.  I will try to explain what this means now.  Earlier you have read someone quoting Mutahhari where he said something along the lines that the entire causal system is in God's eternal knowledge.  In other words, what we think of as necessity between each thing (between cause and effect relation of things) is necessity because of God Himself having eternally predetermined them to be so.  The necessity we find in the causal relation between two things do not belong to the things themselves (at the horizontal level) but in God's eternal knowledge of them (ie. everything is vertically caused by God).  Think of a pyramid.  God is represented by the apex and point of the pyramid all the way at the top.  The levels of the pyramid beneath the apex can be imagined to be a gradual step by step (heirarchical) unfolding of God or the apex.  Whatever is found below is is that way because of its root in the apex.  Now we, given our situation, are looking at the very bottom part of the pyramid.  And we are seeing relations, horizontally, between objects and thinking that this is all there is.  We have failed to realize that each object is placed the way it is because of the level right above it.  And the level above that is because of another level above it and so on (until you get to the apex)

not all of us have failed to realize how causality works. we know that "god" is the source, and the first cause (or the unmoved mover). this , however, doesn't solve the freewill dilemma.

 

Everything is a self-expression of God, an unfolding from God's Nature.  As the universe unfolds vertically from God's Being you get "angels", "barzakh", and finally the "earth".  This is of course a gross over simplificaion of the entire heiarchical structure as it unfold from God but it should suffice.  

all of this stuff (angels etc.) is speculative. it's all based on scriptures and such. there's no logical or scientific proof of their existence.

 

So the only one who is "free", in the most unrestricted way, is God.  

as you yourself said "god can't but express himself". i say that god is restricted by his nature, so he can't change or escape his nature, nor did he choose his nature, to begin with. basically, he has no true freewill.

 

Everything else is partly free and partly determined.  patrly free to the extent it participates and manifests God and partly predetermined to the extent it is other than God.  Angels and Humans (through their intellects) occupy a position very close to the top of the pyramid and are therefore relatively free in comparison to everything below.  Freewill can only mean one thing.  And it means to be identified with God's Eternal Will which is located at the top o the apex (this is why we ar emade in His image).  

if god can't possibly have actual freewill, neither can any of his creations.

 

The more we discover our true Self (our transcendent intellect or spirit) the more we become identified with God's Will.  And the more we become identified with His will the more we are free.            

or, the more we "think" we are free.

 

i need you to to clarify something about your ideology, for me; are we infinitely old, like god? if not, then wihdatul wujud has no meaning, and if yes, then we're gods too, and no one created us.

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i need you to to clarify something about your ideology, for me; are we infinitely old, like god? if not, then wihdatul wujud has no meaning, and if yes, then we're gods too, and no one created us.

 

Eternity does not mean everlasting from past till future (or as you say, infinitely old and infinitely forever in the future).  Eternity should not be understood as everlasting because to be everlasting is to be everlasting in time.  Eternity immutable.  Think of the truth of identity or 1+1 = 2.  These truths are "eternally true", not "everlastingly true".  Eternity does not mean to endure through time from an infinite past till an infinite forever.  Eternity does not endure through time.  Eternity has no "duration".  Reality is eternal, not everlasting from an infinite past till an infinite future.  Think of an ever present now.  Not a now which has a past and which will have a future. but an ever present NOW.  

 

If you try to think about this well you will come to the understanding that this ever present Now (which is Eternity) is identical to sheer awareness and infinite Being.          

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Is it not possible that nature is predestined but humans have free will?

 

Meaning an earthquake will happen when it happens but the reaction to that earthquake or any event is up to man.

 

the problem is, as Einstine has mentioned, the principle of sufficient reasoning.  Whcih is that, to put it crudely, everything which exists has a reason for its being outside itself.  

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not all of us have failed to realize how causality works. we know that "god" is the source, and the first cause (or the unmoved mover). this , however, doesn't solve the freewill dilemma.

 

But you seem to be thinking that God is the first cause in a horizontal sense.   As if His cause was "before in time" than the causes that came after.   What I am saying is that God is a cause in a verticle sense.  In vertical causality the "before" is not "in time" but with respect to logical prioirty and relative independence.  

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as you yourself said "god can't but express himself". i say that god is restricted by his nature, so he can't change or escape his nature, nor did he choose his nature, to begin with. basically, he has no true freewill.

 

 

One cannot be restricted by one's own nature unless he is not absolute and infinite.  For one to be free he should not be restricted by anything other than himself.  The reason why finite things are not completely free is because they are limited by other things by virtue of their existence.  In the case of God there is nothing other than Him to limit Him.  So you might say, if God is expressing Himself, is this expression other than Himself or not?  Why is the expression not a restriction on God?  The answer is that the expression of God is not other than God since God is eternal (He doesn't do anythng which He hasn't already done from eternity).  The expression of God is God's Self-expression for Himself, to Himself and in Himself.  It is only the unenlightened mind that creates the dualism between God and not God.  When one creates a dualism and puts God in one section and creation in another section then they are guilty of limiting God by confining Him in one place and exclusing Him from another place.  

 

The question we need to seriously ask is what does it mean to be free! ??  Unfortunately many of us think of modern otions such as "freedom of speech", "freedom of rights", "freedom of religion", etc etc.  "Freedom to do whatever", "freedom to do anything and everything"!  So what we moderns think is that freedom is something associated with arbitrariness. We moderns tend to thikn that freedom is freedom to be arbitrary.  To be arbitrary means to have no principle, to be capricious, to be unsupported, and perhaps even to be unreasonable!  Is this necessarly positive?  

 

So in light of the above, the Church Fathers, and all of the greatest Metaphysicians of Religions have always understood free will in its pre-modern sense, which is:  A will is free if it is wills the good or the right.  And this throws Euthypro's dilemma out the window.       

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Eternity does not mean everlasting from past till future (or as you say, infinitely old and infinitely forever in the future).  Eternity should not be understood as everlasting because to be everlasting is to be everlasting in time.  Eternity immutable.  Think of the truth of identity or 1+1 = 2.  These truths are "eternally true", not "everlastingly true".  Eternity does not mean to endure through time from an infinite past till an infinite forever.  Eternity does not endure through time.  Eternity has no "duration".  Reality is eternal, not everlasting from an infinite past till an infinite future.  Think of an ever present now.  Not a now which has a past and which will have a future. but an ever present NOW.  

 

If you try to think about this well you will come to the understanding that this ever present Now (which is Eternity) is identical to sheer awareness and infinite Being.      

 

where was our awareness before birth?  

 

But you seem to be thinking that God is the first cause in a horizontal sense.   As if His cause was "before in time" than the causes that came after.   What I am saying is that God is a cause in a verticle sense.  In vertical causality the "before" is not "in time" but with respect to logical prioirty and relative independence.  

 

ok, i understand logical priority. i think it's called تقدم رتبي in arabic.

 

 

One cannot be restricted by one's own nature unless he is not absolute and infinite.  For one to be free he should not be restricted by anything other than himself. 

 

you're redefining freedom, just like what  philosophers attempt to do. you concede that god is restricted by himself, necessarily (not by choice).

 

 

 

The reason why finite things are not completely free is because they are limited by other things by virtue of their existence.  In the case of God there is nothing other than Him to limit Him.  So you might say, if God is expressing Himself, is this expression other than Himself or not?  Why is the expression not a restriction on God?  The answer is that the expression of God is not other than God since God is eternal (He doesn't do anythng which He hasn't already done from eternity).  The expression of God is God's Self-expression for Himself, to Himself and in Himself.  It is only the unenlightened mind that creates the dualism between God and not God.  When one creates a dualism and puts God in one section and creation in another section then they are guilty of limiting God by confining Him in one place and exclusing Him from another place.  

 

again, where was our consciousness prior to birth?

 

 

 

The question we need to seriously ask is what does it mean to be free! ??  Unfortunately many of us think of modern otions such as "freedom of speech", "freedom of rights", "freedom of religion", etc etc.  "Freedom to do whatever", "freedom to do anything and everything"!  So what we moderns think is that freedom is something associated witharbitrariness. We moderns tend to thikn that freedom is freedom to be arbitrary.  To be arbitrary means to have no principle, to be capricious, to be unsupported, and perhaps even to be unreasonable!  Is this necessarly positive?  

 

i consider freedom to be something that's not predetermined. whether it's positive or not, isn't very relevant.

 

 

So in light of the above, the Church Fathers, and all of the greatest Metaphysicians of Religions have always understood free will in its pre-modern sense, which is:  A will is free if it is wills the good or the right.  And this throws Euthypro's dilemma out the window.      

 

i'm saying that a person isn't free when he wills good or bad. both are predetermined by virtue of genetics (physical and psychological/spiritual traits), circumstances, etc..
Edited by Jaafar Al-Shibli
Please mention your replies outside the quotation box.

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Theologians would say that.
 
I recently read a (26 pages, several thousand words) theological treatise explaining why the Trinity is both True and Holy.
 
Theologians conveniently redefine words creating the smoke and mirrors necessary to hide the fact that they are changing the subject and the context.
Exactly what you have done.
 
Truth is usually more concise and elegant.
(That is what I think)
 
Anyway, thanks for your opinion, all the best+
 
wslm.
*

 

The easiest answer in not always the best. Rather than appeal to trinity and accusation in an open room that all would realize your mistake why not think a little bit about the answer first and then write if you have some knowledge in theology?

Here I first quote a short passage from the great book, PHILOSOPHICAL INSTRUCTION, then we can go on the discussion. (I have underlined the key sentences for you.)

 

 

PHILOSOPHICAL INSTRUCTION, v2, lesson 38:

Will and Freedom

The expressions will and freedom have various applications which are more or less related to one another, but neglect of these differences is occasion for confusion and mistake. For this reason we will first indicate the cases in which each of them is used, then we will compare them with the types of agents.

Will

The expression ‘will’ (irādah) has a general meaning which is roughly synonymous with desiring and favoring, and with this meaning it is also used with respect to God, the Exalted, as in the case of man it is recognized as a spiritual quality (the opposite of repugnance). In this respect it is similar to knowledge (‘ilm), which on the one hand includes the essential knowledge of the Divinity, and on the other hand includes the acquired knowledge of man, which is considered to be a spiritual quality. God willing, in the section on theology a further explanation of this will be given. It is to be noted that the expression [God’s] ‘revealed will’ (irādah-ye tashrī’ī), which is applied to the voluntary actions of another agent, also is an instance of ‘will’ in its general meaning.

The second meaning of ‘will’ is that of deciding to perform some deed, and this depends upon the idea (taṣawwur) of the deed and affirmation (taṣdīq) of some benefit (including pleasure), and it is considered to be a ‘real differentia’ (faṣl al-ḥaqīqī) of animal (that which moves by will), and it is also considered a characteristic of the intentional agent. There have been discussions of the true significance (ḥaqīqat) of ‘will’ and many philosophers have considered it to be a kind of spiritual quality and the opposite of ‘repugnance.’ However it seems that ‘will’ in this sense is an action of the soul, and has no opposite, although with a certain amount of fudging the opposite of it can be considered to be a state of wonder or vacillation.

A more specific sense of ‘will’ is restricted to rational existents, and it means a decision which results from rational preference, and in this sense it is not used for animals. According to this meaning, a willful action is synonymous with a planned action, and is the opposite of an instinctive action or one done for pure enjoyment.

Freedom

The term ‘freedom’ also has a general meaning which is the opposite of pure determinism, and it means that an intelligent agent performs a deed on the basis of his own desire without being forced by another agent.

The second meaning of ‘freedom’ is that an agent has two opposite inclinations and prefers one over the other, and in this meaning, it is equivalent to selection and choice, and it is a criterion for duty, reward and punishment.

The third meaning is the choice of a deed on the basis of the agent’s internal inclination, and another person can never exert any influence on its performance. It is the opposite of ‘compulsory action’ which is performed under pressure or under the threat of another.

The fourth meaning is the choice of a deed which is not influenced by the limitations of one’s possibilities or the straits in which the agent finds himself. It is the opposite of an ‘urgent deed’ which is performed under the influence of such limitations. According to this meaning, someone who in time of famine has no choice but to eat carrion in order to survive, does not act freely, even though he may be called free in some other sense.

[Comparing will and freedom with the types of agents]

Now, in view of the various meanings of will and freedom, we will review the types of cognitive agents.

The intentional agent (fā’il bil-qaṣd) can be considered an agent possessing all the three meanings of will, for his deed is favored, is decided upon, and the decision is made on the basis of rational preference. Only a group of intentional actions which are done for pure enjoyment will not be willful. The intentional agent can also have freedom in all the four senses, although there are some types of intentional deeds which cannot be considered free in the second, third or fourth senses; however, all of them will be free in the first sense. For example, breathing, which man has no inclination to abandon, is not free in the second sense. A forced deed will not be free in the third sense. Eating carrion in time of famine is not free in the fourth sense. Nevertheless, all of these actions are free in the first sense, for it is not the case that the freedom of the agent is totally negated.

With regard to the providential agent (fā’il bil-’ināyah), the agent by agreement (fā’il bil-riḍā), and the agent by self-disclosure (fā’il bil-tajallī), these will be considered willful only in the first sense, for these agents do not need to think or decide. Likewise, they are considered to be free in the first, third, and fourth senses because they do not perform their deeds under compulsion, the pressure of external factors or conditions. It is only in the second sense that these agents cannot be considered free, for it is not necessary for them to choose between opposing motivations. Thus, it has become clear that will, in the first sense, and freedom, in the first sense, are always equivalent in extension, but will in the second and third senses is more specific than freedom in the first, third, and fourth senses, for it does not apply to the providential agent (fā’il bil- ’ināyah ), the agent by agreement (fā’il bil-riḍā), and the agent by self-disclosure (fā’il bil-tajallī), and the opposite of freedom in the mentioned meanings can be applied to all these cases. In this way it becomes clear that the denial of will in the second and third senses with regard to God, the Exalted, or completely immaterial things, does not mean the denial of the freedom of such agents.

It has also become clear that will, in the sense of decision to perform a deed can be considered a free action, although, it is not a kind of intentional action, and is not based on the will and decision of another. Perhaps the soul in relation to the will may be considered an agent by self-disclosure (fā’il bil-tajallī).

Finally, the conclusion is obtained that the highest levels of freedom are restricted to God, the Exalted, for He is not only free from the influence of external factors, but is also free of opposing internal inclinations. Then, completely immaterial things have degrees of freedom, for they are only under the subordination of the Divine will, but there is no sort of pressure exerted upon them and they are not subject to internal conflicts, and they are not subject to the domination of one inclination over others. However, the souls attached to matter, such as man, have the lowest level of freedom, and their wills can be shaped more or less under the influence of external factors. At the same time all of their free actions are not of the same level, and, for example, man’s freedom in the creation of mental forms (which is a sort of action by agreement) is much more free and perfect than his freedom to perform physical deeds (which are intentional actions), for the latter deeds are in need of non-voluntary conditions.

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