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12:24 AM
@curiousdannii @LeeWoofenden Are you able to discuss the free will question here? That comment chain is crazy
 
@Nathaniel I know I wasn't pinged, but I'm commenting to bookmark this for myself because I want to observe the discussion that happens and maybe chime in.
 
12:40 AM
@Nathaniel I still maintain that free will is a family of doctrines, not a single unitary doctrine. So you either identify and ask about one, or you ask for an overview of the family. — curiousdannii 5 mins ago
I'd have the same position about a question asking about infant baptism for example.
 
@curiousdannii If we start down that road, we're eventually going to have to require denominational scoping for everything.
 
But I don't hugely mind.
@LeeWoofenden It's not denominational scoping. It's doctrinal scoping, which we've always required for Biblical basis questions.
 
"What is the biblical basis for the existence of an afterlife?"
"What sort of afterlife do you mean?"
 
@LeeWoofenden Well, if there was a question deliberately as vague as that, it probably should be closed. It's not hard to specify either bodily resurrection afterlife or purgatory or non-bodily spiritual afterlife etc. Anyone stubbornly refusing to specify probably doesn't deserve to have their question kept open.
 
I don't see a problem in asking generalized questions, and I don't want to see our on-topic rules getting ever more stringent, so that it's practically impossible to ask a question without having to narrow it down to this variation of that version of the idea held by those people.
 
12:45 AM
@Nathaniel thoughts?
 
@curiousdannii I think it was a pretty simple question. I don't think there was any intent to be vague, and the OP does not seem at all stubborn. In fact, the OP acquiesced to what was apparently being asked, and added a denominational scope even though that wasn't what s/he wanted to do, nor the question s/he wanted to ask.
 
@LeeWoofenden I agree, this OP wasn't stubborn
 
@curiousdannii Do you think someone asking for the biblical basis of infant baptism should have to specify some particular variation on and approach to the practice of infant baptism? I don't. I think it is perfectly legitimate and on-topic to simply ask for the biblical basis of infant baptism.
 
Sorry for the delay: it seems like we have different understandings of what overview can mean. I think I like the idea of "overview" being applied to a general concept.
Normally for an overview of denominations question I'd say an answer must try to show at least two of the views out there, preferably the most common ones, or argue that only one view exists
 
And when it comes to free will, although it's perfectly legitimate to provide denominational scoping or ask for the biblical basis for a particular version of free will, I don't see a problem with asking for a general biblical basis for free will. Free will is a concept that can be defined generally, even if there are also specialized definitions of it.
 
12:53 AM
@LeeWoofenden Absolutely. Presbyterians approaching it from a familial covenantal framework will give completely different answers to Catholics approaching it from a sacramental framework.
Infant baptism is one practice but multiple doctrines.
 
if we applied that criteria in this case, an overview of biblical basis, answers would have to show that they were showing the biblical basis used by multiple traditions
 
Similarly, I'd say that free will is one assertion, but multiple doctrines. What Calvinists consider free will, Arminians and open theists would probably deny qualifies as free will.
 
@curiousdannii I just think that's too much fine detail to require of people who want to ask questions on the site. We're already driving away lots of people who come here with legitimate questions that we can't answer. If we start piling on more and more requirements, we're going to end out a small little club congratulating ourselves on how very law-abiding and civil we are.
 
but I don't think that makes sense, because we don't normally require biblical basis answers to say which tradition their arguments come from
 
@Nathaniel The tradition is irrelevant. I am not saying that it needs tradition or denominational scoping. What I'm saying is that the X being asked about needs to be unambiguous.
 
12:57 AM
@Nathaniel I don't think that's what the OP wants to know. I think the OP wants a generalized biblical basis for free will. That's why I would have accepted your first edit. Adding "overview" pushes it into a technical term area for this site, and adds extra requirements for answers that I simply don't think the OP is particularly interested in.
 
so I'd argue that here, the best use of "overview" is to mean "high-level," or the general biblical basis used by a variety of doctrines of free will
 
@Nathaniel What I want to avoid is an open theist downvoting and commenting on a Calvanist answer saying "This can't be the Biblical basis for free will because this isn't even free will."
 
@LeeWoofenden Agreed.
 
@Nathaniel To me an "overview" "biblical basis" question is a horror story. It's got to provide at least two viewpoints, and provide the biblical basis for each one, requiring answers to have serious technical knowledge of at least two different traditions and approaches and how those traditions/approaches invoke biblical authority to support their view.
It just gets more and more complicated and technical, scaring off people who might be able to give good solid generalized biblical basis answers.
 
I already see potential problems in the question's existing answers. The JW perspective is that free will means that "It would be cruel and unloving for God to predestine humans to experience great suffering" which many perspectives of course would disagree with.
 
1:01 AM
@curiousdannii I'd suggest that the "Calvinist" answer to this question and to a question asking about the "Calvinist free will doctrine" would be different. For this question, the answer shouldn't include discussions of God's sovereignty and so forth.
 
@Nathaniel What kind of new rule is this? :P Answers are free to use any form of argumentation they need to answer the question!
Another "problem" with the JW is that Calvinists would disagree that free will means that sinful humans must be able to serve God by choice. (Or they would limit free will to the sinless Adam and Eve.)
 
@curiousdannii We are never going to achieve perfection here. We are never going to have a situation where every answer is perfectly objective, and where upvotes and downvotes are never influenced by agreement or disagreement with denominational and doctrinal perspectives.
 
Actually that's another big question: many people consider us to have free will now, others say only Adam had it.
@LeeWoofenden You're right, but that doesn't mean we should be deliberately doing things which encourage poor voting patterns.
 
We can eliminate some of the major classes where answers are bound to be popularity contests. But the popularity vote will never be entirely eliminated.
 
How would you guys feel about the OP editing the question to describe in their own words what they understand "free will" to mean? I'd be happy with that and no overview.
 
1:07 AM
@curiousdannii =) if it's not obvious I'm still working through this myself, so I may end up on your side by the end. But let me suggest – if someone simply asks "What is the best case for the idea that man has free will," I wouldn't talk about God electing people. I'd sound like an open theist.
But if someone asked me, "What do you [as a Calvinist] think about free will," I'd discuss passages about predestination and about man's responsibility
 
@Nathaniel I would say that unless you're an open theist you have to deal with compatibilism in some way.
 
@curiousdannii The problem with Calvinists is that their definition of free will pretty well denies everything that ordinary people think of as free will. IOW, from a generalized perspective, Calvinists simply don't believe in free will. They believe in predestination, which is the antithesis of free will. But since that doesn't sound good, they engage in fancy talk to try to say that they actually do believe in free will.
 
I at least don't want to get sidetracked onto that can of worms
 
@LeeWoofenden What you've just said is exactly why I think the question needs clarification.
 
@curiousdannii There was a bit of that in the original question; I guess you'd want more?
 
1:10 AM
@curiousdannii And I continue to think that there is a generalized understanding of free will that is a valid definition to ask for the biblical basis of.
 
@Nathaniel Yeah. The OP was describing LDS related things, but then in effect said "but please tell me everything"
 
I don't see the question as originally asked as likely to cause problems on the site. And I don't think we should keep imposing more rules and restrictions to deal with problems that haven't actually materialized in reality on the site.
 
@curiousdannii A Calvinist answering the question might be more likely to make some mention of compatibilism, but I wouldn't call that helpful in an answer to this question.
 
@LeeWoofenden (I do actually agree that many Calvinists are misusing the language. "Free to fulfil your purpose" is not what most people think freedom means. They need to find a new term.)
 
Nah, it's those libertarian free will guys that took over a perfectly good word :-p
BUT I don't want to get into that
 
1:13 AM
@Nathaniel Libertarians don't know what freedom is either. I mean general political libertarians :P
 
ouch, criticizing the Calvinists and the political libertarians. I'm in serious trouble...
 
@curiousdannii Yes, it would have been legitimate to ask the OP whether what he really wanted was the biblical basis for a particular LDS conception of free will, or whether he wanted it from an LDS perspective.
@Nathaniel Well, you'll certainly be caught in the crossfire criticizing both ends of the spectrum like that! :-P
 
yes indeed
have to run; let me think this through a bit more
 
@Nathaniel Then again, maybe they'll all miss you and hit each other instead lol
 
@LeeWoofenden Well, except that there are a huge number of Calvanist libertarians in the US. So they at least must think they work together
 
1:18 AM
we'll conquer the world someday, no worries
 
@curiousdannii I never said people couldn't hold contradictory views in their heads at the same time . . . :-P
After all, a couple billion people believe in one God in three Persons . . . .
 
wow, another one. Maybe this is what Lee feels like, everyone ganging up on him all the time
 
@Nathaniel Huh? I thrive on being in the minority! :-D
 
:-) I hear ya.
 
@Nathaniel But seriously, it did at one time concern me what mainstream Christians would think of our doctrines. But it really doesn't any longer, because I no longer have any doubt in my mind that their major doctrines are mistaken anyway, and will gradually be rejected. So now I just say what I believe, and let the chips fall where they may.
@Nathaniel At any rate, back to the point, I think we should think very hard before imposing yet more restrictions on questions when here isn't a clear harm being done to the site and its purpose by allowing those questions.
 
1:57 AM
@LeeWoofenden THIS. Less restrictions. I've been worried about this community for a while.
 
2:09 AM
@LeeWoofenden I agree. I think it's important to recognize that our format isn't going to work for everyone, and it's okay if we have a more academic "feel" that actually appeals to experts and semi-experts, even if it's at the expense of others. But legalism toward our "rules" is senseless.
That's not to suggest that here @curiousdannii is being legalistic. But when I see gray areas like this I think it's worth stepping back and attempting to determine if this question will work well for this format, regardless of our "rules"
At this point I'm certainly less concerned about this question than about some others that have survived the close vote queue. But perhaps there would be ways to make it even more clear that a defense of a particular "free will" doctrine isn't desired, but rather only what they tend to have in common.
 
To chime in, I have to say I'm with @LeeWoofenden on this one. I think it makes sense to expect some people to ask more general questions and others to ask more specific questions. In the case of a general question, we have to ask if it's overly general ("too broad"). In the case of asking about "free will" or "infant baptism," I don't think that threshold is crossed.
I also agree that answers to the free will question will either be compatibilist or open theist. I'm not saying there aren't huge differences between the two categories (or their respective subcategories), but the verses each perspective cites for a Biblical basis of "free will" as a concept will be very similar.
@curiousdannii That sounds good to me, as long as OP's summary actually is a recognized form of free will doctrine. I want to avoid a repeat of What is the basis of my fractured understanding of.... But I think that's generally a good practice: ask the OP to clarify what they mean, and then the community will do the proper tagging and scoping.
 
2:29 AM
I still think that when there are some ambiguities it would be good for us to ask the OPs to explain more themselves what they're asking about.
 
@Mr.Bultitude Maybe that's the wording the question should use – "the concept of free will," not any free will doctrine
 
@Nathaniel Ah, that may be the rub.
 
@Nathaniel But that still runs into the issue Lee raised, which is that many people think Calvinism's "concept of free will" isn't really a legitimate concept of free will
 
@curiousdannii I think we cross-posted, but I definitely agree with this. Asking for clarification is probably not something we as a community do often enough.
 
@Nathaniel a "common core" more than a comprehensive overview
 
2:31 AM
@curiousdannii Yet Calvinists would cite the same general Biblical basis for their concept as other traditions would. I don't think it's that serious an issue.
 
@curiousdannii Yes
I think that's why Lee was concerned with using that word
@Mr.Bultitude We make up for it by having long scope discussions in the comments of their posts instead :)
 
@Nathaniel And it's so much fun!
 
@fredsbend It's fair to ask whether we have been too strict. We are certainly succeeding at avoiding flamewars or voting wars, but maybe we can pull back a little in the other direction
 
Especially since we aren't the ones getting pinged for every single comment :)
 
@Nathaniel I think the reason the community tends to do this is that we never know when the OP will reply, so we try to fix it as fast as we can. But it sometimes leads to annoyance and confusion by the OP when a question has been "fixed" beyond recognition.
 
2:36 AM
@Nathaniel I still think the question needs improvement. While I think Adam and Eve had free wills, I think we probably don't. People are going to make answers that cover a big range of different beliefs.
 
@curiousdannii If nothing else, clarifying in the question body that it's about people currently having free will can't hurt. And clarifying whether it's about all people or only some (such as the redeemed) wouldn't hurt either.
 
@Mr.Bultitude Yes. And more than that, it's unwelcoming. Who wants to join a community of people who argue about rules constantly? If that's someone's first experience, I can definitely see why he wouldn't come back.
 
Hi @Tavrock. After a long chat discussion there's still a lot of disagreement over how questions like this should be handled, but we did come to a general agreement that: (1) Instead of asking for a comprehensive overview, this question could ask for a "common core" of Biblical support. (2) It would help if you edited it to briefly explain in your own words the doctrine of free will which you're asking about. Sorry for the excessive number of comments and debate over this question! — curiousdannii 15 secs ago
 
@curiousdannii Good. Would the specific examples of clarification that @Mr.Bultitude gave be worth mentioning?
 
@Nathaniel Sure. I ran out of letters ;)
 
 
2 hours later…
4:41 AM
@TRiG ironilarious
 
5:29 AM
Hello, I just caught sight of the link in the comments of the free will question. I was wondering, is there any way I can improve my answer so that it's more well received by the community? I saw in the discussion above that some thought it was perhaps too controversial. My intent with the answer is only to give JW perspectives which can be shared by others, so if there's something I should add/remove I would like to know.
 
 
1 hour later…
6:47 AM
0
Q: Did the Roman Catholic Church Keep the Peace in 15th Century Europe?

user2303321I've read how that the RCC arbitrated disputes between countries in this time period. Did the RCC actually reduce the frequency or intensity of the wars between catholic countries in 15th century Europe?

 
 
5 hours later…
11:58 AM
@4castle At a quick glance, it looks good to me, but I'm barely a member of this community any more. I used to hang out here a fair bit, but not nearly so much these days.
 
 
3 hours later…
2:35 PM
@4castle Thanks for your flexibility here. I can't speak for others of course, but I think most of your answer is right on target. Where it gets tricky to me is where you try to argue for slightly more than just the concept of free will.
For example, you ask rhetorically, "Why would Jehovah bless ones which he knows will later rebel against him?" This is an argument for God's omniscience being open/limited, and the passages you cite don't explicitly suggest that anyway – they just say God punishes people for abandoning him. That is, though the passages may be helpful in arguing for free will, you seem to be trying to do more with them that that.
Similarly, you say, "It would be cruel and unloving for God to predestine humans to experience great suffering." I see that as more of a logical argument based on your understanding of God's love, not something that the passages you mention actually say (they just say God is loving and good).
Thus to me those passages don't treat the general concept of free will, even though they may be essential to explaining the JW position on free will.
 
0
Q: Why did people convert to Christianity?

Mark A.Jewish history in the 1300's through the 1500's has provided us with a significant number of Jewish apostates who converted to Christianity. Many of them converted for philosophical and religious reasons. Some were even talmidei chachomim from well respected Rabbinic families. What was the basic ...

 
@4castle I would suggest quoting the Bible passages in the answer rather than simply linking to them. Requiring readers to click on a whole series of links to get the actual basis in the Bible makes a biblical basis answer tedious and less effective. I am also suspicious of such answers, having read far too many Christian tracts that are full of impressive-looking lists of Bible references that, when actually looked up, really don't say what the author of the tract says they say.
 
All that to say, I think your answer would be stronger and more on target without those portions. The difficulty, of course, is that this question has proved to be rather controversial as the community tries to evaluate how it can be best asked here. And as a result it can be difficult as the writer of an answer to keep up with the changes that the question receives. Thanks for your patience!
 
 
2 hours later…
5:04 PM
0
Q: What were the two controversial clauses in The Constitutions of Clarendon of Henry II?

user11990What were the two clauses which created the controversy between Becket and Henry II, and were revoked after Becket's murder?

 
5:54 PM
Thank you all for the discussion here. I have revised the question to help narrow the scope. The new version reflects the original intent of my question and I think will help to better fit the guidelines of the site.
 
6:04 PM
@Tavrock Well, now I might just have to write an answer! :-)
 
6:22 PM
@Nathaniel Thanks very much, I agree some of my answer is better for a discussion of the full JW perspective. For me a discussion of free will is unrelated to God's omniscience because omniscience doesn't prohibit God from exercising self-control in pre-determining events in the future. I will work on my answer some more later today
 
@4castle Note that the question has also recently been revised by the OP to better reflect his original intent. That revision includes some bullet points on the definition of "free will" that he is interested in--which might also affect how you revise your answer.
 
 
4 hours later…
9:55 PM
0
Q: question about Jesus' crucifixion in the quran

hamobiin the quran it says about Jesus' crucifixion: And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it ...

 

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