Free Will - its scope and purpose

Prober

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However innumerable sentient beings are, I vow to save them as I wish them to vow to save me.
However inexhaustible the defilements are, I vow to extinguish them as I would have others extinguish them.
However immeasurable the dharmas are, I vow to master them as I would have others master them.
However incomparable enlightenment is, I vow to attain it as I would have others attain it.
This is my wish...
 

shadowman

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No where in scripture does it state that all are damned. Nor does it state one MUST choose. What it states is that all fall short of the glory of God (I think that can be a pretty accurate statement, since none of us are even close to being God). It also states that none are completely righteous (again, I think that is a pretty accurate picture of man).

What Christianity does is offer a choice to man. Live life with Christ, or live life without Christ. Now, life will continue regardless of which choice is made. But Christianity opines that after life, there will be a day of judgement. Those that did not live with Christ in their lives will be judged on their merits in life. It's a 50/50 chance of being deemed worthy to enter heaven, or not.

Those that did live with Christ in their lives, "skip" that part of judgement. Instead, they will be judged based on their merits AFTER accepting Christ (all life before being tossed away), and will be awarded "status" if you will, accordingly, in heaven. (take me for example...I'll be lucky if I'm made the doorman) :D Hey, as long as I'm in heaven...who cares? Of course that means I'll have to listen to St. Peter boast, for eternity...

What Christianity also opines is that if one accepts Christ, the duration of one's life will be filled with calm and self peace beyond understanding, regardless of the situation, or condition. Only it is sudden, and given and constant, not learned and efforted, and fleeting.

I'm not like my esteemed colleague Juan...(I talk from the gut), but I think we are saying the same thing. :D

He's just more eloq- elloc-elloqui-oh hell, he has english under his belt. :eek:

v/r

Joshua

what about worrying about people in hell.

does this mess up the self peace
 

shadowman

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juantoo3,

Thank you for your response. I do think that in a certain sense it is possible that all are predestined to love without any denial of free will.................though not if our relationship with/within God/Reality-as-is is frozen at death - which I admit does seem the teaching of much of Christianity (allowing for a bit of purgatory....:D )

St Augustine once said something like we are made for God and our hearts remain restless until they find their rest in thee. Given an eternity and the assumption that a God "unwilling that any should perish" will never cease to seek our salvation, given that the only point at which a heart can rest would be "in God" and "within love", each heart will remain "restless" and "on the move" until such time as it freely accepts the call of love. (It would be possible I suppose to insist that some will hold out eternally, yet eternity is a pretty long time.......)

Obviously, if one wishes to insist that a time limit is set..............though why it ever should be I fail to see.

:)

P.S. Please note that as a Buddhist some of the terms I am using remain problematic.............I'm merely seeking to heave some of my Universalist Pure Land pathways onto the Christian road!!


how come other religions beleive in god? do they not seek peace in god? why isnt everyone converting from hinduism, buddhism or islam or african traditional religion or wiccanism if true peace comes with jesus?
 

shadowman

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Kindest Regards, Tariki!


Forgive me for beginning at the end. Thank you for being up front with your objective. I have no issues with this, so long as it is kept respectful, and I know you well enough to believe you will. However, if too much stink is raised, I might suggest we move the discussion to the liberal board so that others here do not feel pressed upon.


I am afraid this is foreign to me, and I mean no pun. I cannot envision a heaven where all is static, where we all sit around on clouds playing harps all day with nothing better to do. Not that I haven't tried, but I do not see it in the Bible. Perhaps some of your imagery holds a place in one form or other of orthodoxy, I cannot say. I distance myself from a great deal of the trappings of orthodoxy (traditions of men, and all of that). Matters such as purgatory are intellectual fodder for debates, but I have never seen anything of that nature from my first hand studies in the Bible. So I am struggling to understand quite what it is you mean by "it is possible that all are predestined to love without any denial of free will." I suppose anything is possible, but probable in accord with sacred scripture is another matter altogether. It is possible that the whole of the Bible is just some multi-millennial political con game, but the probability of that being so without coming to naught over the long term is pretty doggone low.


Ah, what a clever way to insert the concept of reincarnation and / or rebirth. While I have heard some interesting arguments in that regard, some even from Jewish quarters, I am still inclined to hedge my wager along with Pascal. I do not close the door to the possibility, but again, in my personal untethered studies I do not find such written. Besides, I have known a few persons in my life who come to take such possibility for granted...oh, if I don't get it right this lifetime, I'll make up for it next time. Me, I would rather not have that safety net beneath me to make me lazy and carefree (careless?) when I walk the straight and narrow high wire. In accord with my understanding of Karma...if I get it right this time, I step to a higher level next time. Conversely, if there is no next time, I still advance. The poor person who wagered their life on a next time and doesn't get one, is in for a rude surprise, no?


Those are command decisions, they don't pay me to make command decisions. I'm just a lowly grunt taking orders like just about everybody else.

I am thinking kinda like a basketball game (Go Gators, National Champs two years in a row!!! Whooo whoo!). You have to focus on the game you are playing right now, you can't be worrying about next week's game when your opponent is charging down the court right at you. If the whole Karma / rebirth thing turns out to be correct (and I am not one to say outright it is not), then so be it. I find I guide myself more diligently if I do not play my game by that assumption. ;)

How rebirth factors in with predestination, love and free-will, I haven't got a clue. But I don't see love possible without free-will, otherwise it is not genuine love. It is forced, and love cannot be forced for very long at all, certainly not for eternity. I hesitate to say, but I don't think even G-d could do that. Besides, why would He want to? Which would you prefer...a forced love that lasts for a fleeting moment?...or a genuine and sincere love that lasts forever? Isn't it a wonderful feeling to love somebody or something, and have your love unquestionably returned? It's such a rush, such a positive feedback loop that feeds itself, like a perpetual motion machine. Forced love is like a windup toy, once it runs out or the spring breaks, it's no fun anymore. ;)


every other religion and several branches of chrisitanity are obviously multi millenial congoames, whats the chance that you are right? pretty dogone low.

do you trust this god that allows people to live entire lifetimes as "Wagers" and sets them up for "rude suprizes"

I know that you do, but, think about it for a second.

how do you define love? why is love in need to be forced or not forced. please define love and define/describe the dynamic, eg, are you dewscribing one being showing love for another being, or what. and if one is showing love, what does that mean.... I am interested in how love relates to free will and what all these terms mean.
 

juantoo3

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how come other religions beleive in god? do they not seek peace in god? why isnt everyone converting from hinduism, buddhism or islam or african traditional religion or wiccanism if true peace comes with jesus?
What makes you think others do not find peace? Or, just as important, that other paths do not provide a moral compass by which to "do unto others?" Do you suggest G-d has not written His law on their hearts too?
 

shadowman

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so I can chalk upo two sets of problems to god:

"worry about others in hell" (which can be broken down into different groups, my friends, my parents, people of other religions)

"worry about death every day till the day I die" (you never know how that crazy judgements gonna go down!)
 

juantoo3

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so I can chalk upo two sets of problems to god:

"worry about others in hell" (which can be broken down into different groups, my friends, my parents, people of other religions)

"worry about death every day till the day I die" (you never know how that crazy judgements gonna go down!)
As you wish.

Frankly, I don't see how you can get anything close to that from the Bible. Especially since worry is a sin...
 

shadowman

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What makes you think others do not find peace? Or, just as important, that other paths do not provide a moral compass by which to "do unto others?" Do you suggest G-d has not written His law on their hearts too?


yeah I do suggest that, some of the m even do crazy things like not believe in good and evil

so maybe he didnt mess with their hearts.

also, if they find peace and its not called jesus... what gives. are they going to hell?

we can die at any minute, what if they do sufficiently bad things.

Like is there a sliding scale where we can die without jesus and not go to hell, and there is a certain point where we would go to hell without jesus? or what?
 

shadowman

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As you wish.

Frankly, I don't see how you can get anything close to that from the Bible.


I got it from the warnings about hell in the gospels, and from the warnings about judgement in revelations
 

juantoo3

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I got it from the warnings about hell in the gospels, and from the warnings about judgement in revelations
That is well and good...did you also get the part about not judging others lest ye be judged?

How do you know the mind of G-d, as to who He will save, and who He won't? Who goes to heaven...the unrepentant thief who claims to be Christian...or the Samaritan who tends the wounds of an injured stranger and puts him up until he is well again? The evidence of the Holy Spirit manifests in many more than just Christians. I believe it is well to let G-d do the judging of who He will save, and who He won't. I make myself available to G-d for His purposes, if that means guiding someone, so be it. But that person must desire guidance, otherwise it is wasted effort on my part. I plant seeds...but I cannot make them grow. Sometimes G-d might desire for me to stick around and do a little weeding and pruning, but all of the growing is up to G-d and that particular seed.
 

17th Angel

לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות
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Have you seen the little piggies crawling in the d
Especially since worry is a sin...

What freaking isn't?


If there were an hell.... Your god would be mean and spiteful, not at all loving... No one of a loving and merciful nature could punish and torture people for eternity and specially how would that make you feel towards this god... He is there punishing your loved ones and friends and whatnot.... Yet everything is cool? ONE: It isn't there fault... They are apprently not "perfect"... Well you made them.... TWO: Free will is what you offer... Someone takes it, then accept it.. You gave the choice not to buy into your book.... And they didn't, live with it. You'd stand by and allow someone to kick 3 tons of **** out of your mother? And you'd except that and say she had it coming? Bull. You'd anti up, bottom line. Nothing comes before blood...
 

seattlegal

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I would say one of the differences with Buddhism is that the 'Golden' rule is simply missing. The negative of it is there... an inhibitor or apathetic version. Essentially: Do NOT do unto others as you would have them NOT do unto you. Or: Do NOT Hate others as you would NOT have them Hate you. Or: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. (UdanaVarga 5:18)

I would say that patience could be seen as obeying the inhibitor version. But it takes an active 'free will' to set up the mirror like comparison and to overcome or prevent the more instinctive cues. An act of will is taking place in forgiveness, mercy, patience, etc... Also, it likewise takes free will to pro-actively take the 'Golden' rule in its positive form. To DO for others. Is there a meditation that will teach that? I don't think so... unless a person meditates for someone else. I think the 'Golden Rule' is entirely missing in Buddhism. Maybe someone would disagree and teach me otherwise?
Dhammapada 1:1-5

1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.

2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

3. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.

4. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.

5. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
 
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