Assuming that the word 'god' refers to the 'creator of everything' and is 'perfect' (the majority of definitions) then the existence of 'free will' (if it does, indeed, exist) precludes the existence of such a god.

If I have free will, it stands to reason that I am able to apply it to creating something that did not exist before as a direct result of the unfettered choices I have made within the non-confines of that free will (In other words, a god would not have had any control of those choices and, therefore, also have no authorship of the creative result.)

Therefore, I would have created something that was not created by god.

Therefore, everything would not have been created by god.

Therefore, god would not exist as defined, i.e. creator of everything.

Therefore, god can only exist if there is no free will.

Therefore, if there were a god, there could be no sin (imperfection), since everything would be his doing.

**** addendum

This is a fascinating discussion of 'free will' - but much misses the irony of my point - in that it poses an argument in favor of atheism based on a standard argument used by Abrahamic believers - that god created everything - except he didn't. Actually, they are stuck with a tremendous paradox we, as atheists, are not. Because, if god created free will - he made it possible and, therefore, certain, that some things are NOT of his creation - but if he didn't create free will, then he is pre-damning many people to hell (which JW's and Calvinists sort of agree on.)

Of course, as an atheist, if there is no real random number (a no-cause cause), we also have a problem because that suggests (albeit on a chaos theory level) that everything is still pretermined by a hyper-complex multi-chain of causality and, in a way, suggests a 'Master Plan' of sorts (albeit it without an actual 'Master' behind it.).

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What if you had to make the best of what you have today?
I'm not sure the 'what if' in your question is required. Probably the most valuable aspect of atheism as a world view to me is that, no matter what is actually happening, today is all I really have.
What if a deity didn't intervene in your discussions?
You have tomorrow and the next day too.

The what if question is can you do it without a dictator (god).

This was directed at Howard's belief in predestination. I'm sorry you got caught in the middle.

It sounds like you are supporting my argument.

Wait - I don't believe in predestination - I said determinists are stuck with predestination. I actually think that chaos and self organization may give wiggle room that would allow for free will - whereas any type of predestination does not.

Nevertheless - determinism suggests predestination without the need of a god. Just the dictates of a strictly causal universe.

You were arguing that...

God gave free will so...Without god we wouldn't have free will.

Spin city.

Ignore this.
Ah - this thread has run all over the place. What I initially (failed) to assert was that the Christian take on 'free will' as proof of god turns out to actually be a counter argument to the existence of their kind of god.
A Christian god gave free will.

Your postulate was without merit.
Krishna gave free will too. Christians did not originate the concept of free will. And free will cannot be given by an almighty god who creates everything and can foresee the future. Again, the point i was making was that their god could NOT give free will and they only say that to absolve their god from responsibility for the advent of evil.
As I recall, you based your addendum on "if God created free will". I found that to be a curious way to frame free will; especially if you're speaking of the Biblical God. I addressed this in my very first post to this thread (on January 10, 2010 at 7:55pm). You speak of God creating free will when, in fact, the concept of free will didn't exist when Genesis was written.

I thought God created Adam and Eve as immortal beings but then took away their immortality and cast them out of Eden when they disobeyed him by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The myth creators had no concept of free will but they did have a concept of (dis)obedience. The ability to obey or disobey is as close as they got to free will.

I have always thought of the fruit of the tree as symbolic of free will. After eating the fruit, humans could take credit for their actions instead of giving all credit to God. The knowledge of good and evil was the additional knowledge of those things outside God's will. At least, that's my interpretation. The myth is confused and contradictory on this account because the author(s) were ignorantly confused and contradictory about free will. Their myth was the primitive seed of free will.
@ free thinker - I think you are right. Frank Zappa once pointed out that the god of the bible made the only sin available a desire to be as smart as he was. After all, isn't that what Eve and then Adam attempted that caused them to be cast out of the garden? (I can't believe I only just now noticed the word 'tempt' inside of 'attempt'.) Wasn't it the only rule in the garden? Isn't that what his favorite angel, Lucifer wanted, and was tossed from heaven for pursuing? Isn't that what the Babylonians strove for and were beset with mass confusion and a broken means of communication because of?

Time and again, the god of the Bible punishes the expression of a desire for free agency yet, simultaneously points out that love is impossible without it. In the end he says: Love one another - or else!




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