Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, has written a philosophical book available free on the internet: God’s Debris.
Imagine that you meet a very old man who—you eventually realize—knows literally everything. Imagine that he explains for you the great mysteries of life—quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity, light, psychic phenomenon, and probability—in a way so simple, so novel, and so compelling that it all fits together and makes perfect sense. What does it feel like to suddenly understand everything? God’s Debris isn’t the final answer to the Big Questions. But it might be the most compelling vision of reality you will ever read. The thought experiment is this: Try to figure out what’s wrong with the old man’s explanation of reality. Share the book with your smart friends then discuss it later while enjoying a beverage.
I have read it a few times and thought it was quite good. In fact in some of my other entires I have used it to highlight certain arguments. Anyway, I have got into a discussion regarding the classic “Freewill and God” argument. I outline the posts here:
This is an awful read. I had to stop after the old man makes the assertion that if God is omnipotent, and can know the future, free-will can’t exist under that model. It’s so stupid as to make the rest of the work embarrassing, especially when it claims to “turn your skull inside out” and bullshit like that.Here’s a quick note, Scott: You can know the future and have absolutely no control over it. Knowledge alone does not predicate a fate or allow control over a situation. God can know the future, and if we are to assume that God exists for the moment, it may be true that he has even given a prophecy of the future in the book of Revelations….But it is still entirely possible that he will not interfere, or at very least lack complete control over all events.I may see a drunken Trent speeding down the road towards a baby carriage on his harley, and know full well what’s going to happen…Hey, I might even shout “Trent, your bike! It’s going to get dented!”…but that does not take away Trent’s free will.So fuck God’s Debris. Scott Adams should stick to cartoons.
———I have read it, the stuff about Evolution was interesting and I like the simile of the plates and cups etc.[quote]Here’s a quick note, Scott: You can know the future and have absolutely no control over it. Knowledge alone does not predicate a fate or allow control over a situation. God can know the future, and if we are to assume that God exists for the moment, it may be true that he has even given a prophecy of the future in the book of Revelations….But it is still entirely possible that he will not interfere, or at very least lack complete control over all events.[/quote]The idea is that since God knows all time; he KNOWS what WILL happen. And since he is OMINIPOTENT he cannot be wrong. THEREFORE you cannot change what will happen; therefore you have no freewill to decide your fate.This is incredibly simple and a mainstay of around 2 thousand years of philosophical argument.
BTW – if you like or are interested in “philosophy lite” books like this one then I recommend “The Philosopher at the End of the Universe : Philosophy Explained Through Science Fiction Films”, which is great fun and available at Amazon.
———bashomatsuo, that is completely completely wrong. There is a huge difference in knowing what will happen and controlling what will happen. God can at the same time know what choices we will make AND allow us to make them without adhering to ANY plan of his. Even with the very random forces of nature, God could still allow things to turn out however they are to fall, and yet still know what choices are made, what actions happen. Simply knowing through infinity ability to comprehend the events that will create the future does not ultimately give control or create a fate.Again, see my Trent example. God is the bystander that watches the whole thing happens. He sees Trent speeding along, but doesn’t say a word, and ultimately he runs over the baby stroller on his harley. To take that example and expand on it is logical…You can know what will happen and still have no control or influence.———–My dear Fate.God knew what was going to happen because he exists outside of time. He see’s the future exactly as it will happen. Since that is the case then that future is set. If that future is set then you cannot change it. Therefore: No free will.God doesn’t change the future, it is in the nature of the definition of God that he removes free will. He isn’t doing it on purpose; it is part of his essence. If I was able to see the future perfectly, that too would remove free will.This is a great philosophical debate. The answer is actually clear. There is a rule: “Whenever you cannot get a simple answer to the problem then you have bad definitions”. In this case it is the descriptions of God’s essence and powers and the total misunderstanding of “time”.
Time doesn’t exist.
Even scientists have come up with something new (Spacetime) and they still know they are wrong. Time travel (as we know it) is only possible in one direction, but (and it is a big but) it is not us that travels in time, rather it is the “now”, the “moment” that we inhabit that travels.
Given our lack of understanding regarding “time” it is very clear that such a question as “does god invalidate freewill?” is not only completely un-answerable but completely irrelevant.
Philosophy is not about having the answers to everything; it is about using debate to highlight problems with the question. In this case the question is lacking and this is why the debate on free will continues.
My own personal view is that: Yes, I do have free will as far as my abilities to affect things are limited by the reach of my arm. I have not yet been able to marriage that with any sort of belief in a Super Being, so in out of necessity to believe in my will I lack the belief in the Supreme.
Read it for yourself and let me know: what says you, fair reader?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]