Heaven & Free will - is there any flaw in this argument?

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Serafina
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Heaven & Free will - is there any flaw in this argument?

Postby Serafina » 2011-06-12 06:12pm

Okay, this isn't about something i am currently debating, but i recently came up with this argument and wanted to check it for logical flaws or possible rebuttals.

Anyway, christians tend to argue that god cherishes free will. That is given as the reason why Hell is a "just" punishment - because we choose so out of our own free will. Supposedly god can not give us free that precludes the possibility of sin.

At the same time, they claim that there will be no sin in Heaven - after all it's supposed to be a perfect place. However, if that is possible, then one of the following must be true: either there is no free will in Heaven OR you have free will without sin in Heaven. A claim like "oh we would not want to commit sins anymore" would fall into the second category, while a "there would be no need for sins anymore" begs the question why god does not do the same thing on Earth.
Hence, the original argument that free will must include the possibility for sin can not be true.


One possible rebuttal i see is that there is sin in Heaven, but it's still a perfect place. But if we accept that, then sins do not automatically inflict harm, or otherwise Heaven would not be a perfect place. Hence, punishment for sinning would be unjust, since no harm is done. The "it does insult god"-argument doesn't apply either - why should an action on Earth harm god more than an action in Heaven?

Then of course they might just admit that Heaven is not a perfect place, but i just don't see any christian actually doing that. So far i have found no rebuttal to this, other than possibly some bible quotes.


So far, i have been unable to find any logical flaws in this argument. Nor have i found any actual rebuttals (other than weaseling out and the one mentioned). Please try to find either so that i may refine this argument.
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Re: Heaven & Free will - is there any flaw in this argument?

Postby someone_else » 2011-06-13 07:59pm

Found a loophole. 8)

Doing sins assumes you have to take actions (duh!).
In the case Heaven is a place where you just feel so good you don't feel the need to do a damn thing (like the effect of taking a suitable dose of opium-like drugs here on Earth), Heaven can exist without being a total logic fail (as if logic matters when talking religion anyway).

Not that you actually have to do a lot in Heaven, without a live body there is very little you really need.
So Heaven must be a place where the souls contemplate God's Majesty or whatever and content themselves of doing nothing and feeling good.

I have nothing to back this, and I'm too lazy to find any support of this theory of mine from the Bible, although it doesn't go against anything major from it afaik.
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Re: Heaven & Free will - is there any flaw in this argument?

Postby Serafina » 2011-06-14 03:44am

Found a loophole for your loophole 8)

Because Sloth is one of the Seven Deadly Sins! So doing nothing all day would be a sin by itself!
Granted, that depends on how much of a biblical literalist that person is, because sloth is not mentioned in the biblical seven-sins list.

But yes, other than that your loophole would work. Thanks :)
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"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

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Re: Heaven & Free will - is there any flaw in this argument?

Postby someone_else » 2011-06-14 09:10am

ugh :lol:

Sloth you say... hmmm, maybe the souls should pray. :mrgreen:

It's still close to "doing nothing" while does not count as "doing nothing" for Sloth, if that is what God wants the souls in Haven to do. (and that's more or less the only thing they can do, anyway)

Although now they have a choice between praying and not praying.

Annoying. :|

Besides, maybe in Heaven that rule about Sloth is lifted.
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Stereotypical spacecraft are pressurized.
Less realistic spacecraft are pressurized to hold breathing atmosphere.
Realistic spacecraft are pressurized because they are flying propellant tanks. -Isaac Kuo

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Re: Heaven & Free will - is there any flaw in this argument?

Postby Akhlut » 2011-06-14 12:30pm

Sloth as a capital sin refers to the quality of not working toward the greater glory of YHWH. The parable of the talents is basically an allegory for it; the man who takes his god-given gifts and squanders them by doing nothing with them (burying them in the ground), versus the man who takes them and does something with them and thus multiplies them tenfold. That's the sort of sloth being talked about, not simply lazing about in heaven (how could one work toward the greater glory of YHWH in heaven? no one can be converted, nor can any of YHWH's works be done by human hands).
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Serafina
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Re: Heaven & Free will - is there any flaw in this argument?

Postby Serafina » 2011-06-14 04:26pm

Well, mindless worship all day would probably count as "increasing the glory of god". So yes, that destroys my argument as far as i can see - if you find that appealing! Of course plenty of fundies probably do, since their minds are best left unused lest they get a headache.
SoS:NBA GALE Force
"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

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Re: Heaven & Free will - is there any flaw in this argument?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2011-06-14 04:32pm

Serafina wrote:Well, mindless worship all day would probably count as "increasing the glory of god". So yes, that destroys my argument as far as i can see - if you find that appealing! Of course plenty of fundies probably do, since their minds are best left unused lest they get a headache.
God is presumed to be awesome enough that exposed to him at point blank range, as in Heaven, you would voluntarily and automatically worship him; it would be like a reflex. I don't know how this is supposed to work, it probably varies from sect to sect and individual to individual how people imagine veneration of God in Heaven being implemented and how much of it they would actually do, as would how much God actually wants/expects/whatever.

But fundamental to Christian assumptions about Heaven is that there can exist a place where it is possible to freely choose to avoid all sin; it's just that this place cannot exist on Earth as mortal life on Earth is permanently contaminated. Heaven isn't contaminated and so can be in that happy, Eden-style set of conditions.

As to why God doesn't simply hit a reset button and restore Earth to pre-Fall conditions rather than continuing to let Adam and Eve's descendants suffer indefinitely, that's a question that has nothing to do with the nature of heaven.
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