In this blog I will be trying to get to the truth about what is really important in life, and to write satirically about what is not - all in my quest for The Stuff Reality is Made of.
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What if God ... Part
2 - Free Will - by P.K.Odendaal - March 2014.
Free will? Oh, no, not again!
Sorry, but I will pursue this until I have exhausted all the
arguments that I am aware of. I have not exhausted that yet - and even after this
article you may add a few from your own experience.
In the previous part I have stated in general terms that any
belief system needs one or more axioms. Science and mathematics are also belief
systems - there is no such a thing as a pure science or a pure mathematics. It
is not possible to formulate any belief system without using one or more
axioms. The axioms used by science and mathematics are bountiful. Just the plane
geometric postulates by Euclid (300 BC) are five in total. He also stated five
common notions - and then we have not even touched on a fraction of the axioms,
notions and postulates of those two latter disciplines. It is even highly probable
that axioms, notions and postulates are the same thing - who cares.
How many axioms, notions and postulates does the Christian belief
system depend on? Only one - and that one is the existence of free will. So, my
own perspective is that religion, as the Christian world knows it, is based on
much less speculation than what science and mathematics are based on.
I will present some of the arguments from my own experience
and perspective as a guide to the free will axiom.
1.It is generally regarded that God, if He
exists, will not be able to make mistakes by error or omission. He will only able
to make mistakes by intent. Man on the other hand makes mistakes by error, omission
or intent - so man has a free choice to make mistakes and the mistakes he make
is of his own volition.
This annihilates the base of
2.There is a law of Cause and Effect. This
law only states that each act has consequences - not what the consequences are.
To argue that each similar cause has a similar effect is just plain untrue. It
may be so in the behaviour of certain inanimate things, but not in the
behaviour of sentient beings. To postulate, as the determinists do, that they
are not able to control their thought or actions in the process of treating a
cause or an effect, or responding to it is just plain unbelievable. I cannot
accept such an axiom or notion. I can accept that one's possible response is
limited, but for sure it is varied.
This annihilates the last vestige of
determinism, but there are more to come.
3.It was thought by many, including myself,
that only mankind has a soul and a free will, but when I study the behaviour of
animals and angels, I find that they also act on free will. Maybe trees and
many other inanimate things do the same. Who decides for a tree where its roots
will find the best water and food? Is the evil that we and some other animals
do, inspired, controlled or instigated by God? For sure not. Is entropy - the
way of things to degenerate into chaos - the work of God? For sure not. God
creates and regenerates. He does not create
chaos. He has left that to man's free will to do. And why does certain folk
create and follow evil and some create and follow goodwill, if it is not by
their own volition?
4.Is the grief, pain, toil and trouble in the
world due to the work of God forcing us into it? Do we not see that our own
errors, evil deeds and thoughts land us into that. If you do not see that, then
tell me why are we not all murderers, as we share the same mechanistic
nothingness as other murderers. What distinguishes our capacity for love, hope
and hate from each other if it is not our own free will?
5.There was a fallacious idea in science up
to the previous century that all things are determined exactly according to
previous by empirical observation or argument. That idea or argument was
demolished by quantum physics in the 1920's. Just think about the wave like
properties of quantum particles and the uncertainty principle, to name only
two. In 1927, with the recognition of the uncertainty principle in quantum
physics, it became clear that indeterminism was an essential feature of the
physical world. (from The Science Delusion by R.Sheldrake.
If you believe in my free will axiom, we canhave an interesting excursion into the ways
of God .. and without that I cannot teach you the two times table.