predestination
The Truth Something very interesting happened to me today.
I was on a second story balcony deck and I spit over the railing to the ground 20 feet below. (No, that's not the intersting part!)

Anyway...as I watched my spit slowly fall, when it was about one foot above the ground, my saliva gracefully dissapated into a circular ring about 4 inches in diameter. It was beautiful. I wondered what dynamics of physics had to occur for that to happen. (NO...that's still not the intersting part!)
The intersting thing happens next...
After the ring was formed, a large bee flew right through it!! If that ring had not formed, my spit would have certainly collided with the bee.

Maybe you don't get the significance of it all, but right before this, I was sort of praying, you know... talking to God and just giving Him "props" for making the earth so complexfully beautiful, while wondering about the course of my life, and where my current path would eventually take me...

So I interpreted this as a sign. To me, it symbolized that even the little things like the bees are part of God's agenda, and that bee had some purpose that my spit would have screwed up.

For instance: That bee was carrying pollen and it was heading for some flower somewhere. That flower, once pollenated, would bloom and release seeds into the wind and may reproduce more flowers...which 20 generations from now could grow wildly beside some highway, where a struggling young couple have an auto breakdown, and the man decides to pick the flowers and give to the stressed out woman, which totally redefines their relationship, and they marry and have a child who will become the next World Leader! ...
Or...something like that.

Anyway...it's like that saying, a butterfly can flap it's wings in Oregon and trigger a monsoon in India.
So it must be that:
Everything is related/connected to each other. (Einstein's theory of relativity) to such a degree that it all stems back to one point...The Origin... in a predestination style event.
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birdmad i share a measure of belief in predestination

but that's also a scary thing

any good i might do
any sin i might commit

all planned

every transcendent moment
every abject horror
laid out in advance

the world as a polaroid picture

the details are already there, we are just waiting for the whole thing to develop

just passengers along for the ride
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The Truth Yeah, there are a few logical problems with it:
If everything is predestined, that sort of eliminates free will. If every single event, from microscopic to macroscopic is already planned or designed in advance, Then every choice that we've ever made has already been calculated into the whole equation.
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The only intellectual evidence I could find to support that was:
That would explain how One can know the future. (Human's can't successfully predict the future, even true psychics are only 33% accurate.) Prophets predict the future accurately, but they are not the source of their predictions, God is, and if He designed the future, of course He knows what's going to happen.
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The Truth But what would be the purpose of creating creation (creatively), if you already knew the outcome. Why would God bother making the universe if he already knew everything that would come out of it?
Well, we can answer that question by looking to ourselves. Since humans are created "in God's own image" (-Genesis), we can relate to God's actions and emotions, as well as His creative process. Because we humans do the same sorts of things.

For example:
Why would anyone bother setting up a big string of dominoes? You know they are just going to topple over, one by one, every single time! Well, because it's fun to watch them all fall down. It gives us pleasure.

Why would anyone plant flower seeds in the dirt? You know they are just going to sprout, grow, and bloom, every time! We do it because we feel happy when they bloom, they are pleasing to the eyes. They give us pleasure.

So why would God spend all this energy to make the universe and earth? Then add all this extra time and energy to fill the planet with life. Then, He even spent more creative juices on reproducing His children (Human beings), giving them the option of eternal life, even outliving the planet and the universe...
If He already knows what choices people will make, who will obey, who will rebel, who He will "keep" at the end?

Well, because it gives Him pleasure to watch. It especially gives him pleasure to receive Love and praise, (and for some reason, songs).

And I remember looking in the bible, to see if that's in there anywhere...
It IS! The bible tells us we are created, we are here for God's pleasure.
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The Truth My friend had this to say:

"How can it be all planned out, if I have a CHOICE! I could choose to screw everything in my life up, or make my life successful, MY CHOICE!"

This got me to think.
So I tried to work it out mathematically, to see if it was even possible! Well, it is, but only if everything is relative, which it is, so predestination is mathematically feasable. The equation would be so enormously complex...(I won't go into great detail here, for obvious reasons).

Then, I did a little more research.

What criteria do you use to evaluate your decisions?
When you make a choice, why do you choose that (whatever it may be)?

Well, you base it off of EVERYTHING you've learned, experienced, perceived or assumed. Our choices are made based on past experiences. (I can choose to eat seafood, but I don't because I already know I don't like it...(sorry I am having a hard time thinking of a good example here)).
Here: fill in the variables and make your own example...
Your choice is based on reason (z) , and (z) is based on (y). And (y) was based on (x) 48 years ago. Now (x) has been known for thousands of years. But thousands of years ago (x) was based on (w) which was based on (v)...based on (u)...based on (t)...based on(s-r-q-p-o-n-m-l..you get the point...all the way back to reason (a).

plug in X
X= "do not eat sand"

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ANYWAY...
IT all comes back down to perspective, which angle you look at it from.

From a human's perspective, we have a choice, and our id, ego, and superego tell us that OUR CHOICE MATTERS.

(Which is true (to us) because every choice you make...will have an effect on the rest of time, and the universe, and everything forever!)

But from God's perspective, we are doing everything exactly as He predicted, just as we were designed. These very keystrokes were planned out in advance long ago. Our choices are as easy to calculate for God as 1+1=2
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birdmad ok then.
if He did this because we are fun to watch than He's sicker than we thought

now we're lab animals
now He's a voyeur

it's all part of the vast string of questions that has driven me mad over the years

the Zoroastrian notion of a dualist deity containing elements of both natures comes to mind

He is the progenitor of His adversary

i would go further

but the paradox of it makes my head hurt
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The Truth I like to think of earth as God's fish tank. I first thought of this while I was gazing into a gigantic terrarium/fish tank. There were countless varieties of life. Even barnacles, aenenemies, shrimp, lil' snake thingies. I just watched them all. I wondered if they knew I was here. "Can they see through the glass?" I noticed 6 or 7 that definately were aware of me. They gazed at me as intently as I gazed at them.
I thought, "At any second I choose...I could end their life, Or... I could set them free... Or, injure them, and watch them die slowly, or I could feed them, and clean their tank. I could easily add or remove predators at will, turning this tranquil balance into a violent feast."

Then I started thinking..."What if it was me who was in the tank, and some giant being was looking down at me, wondering if I would notice Him?"

Then I pounded once on the glass and scared all of the fish, it made me feel somewhat powerful, I guess.
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angelfish birdmad so are the fish flakes from the can like unto the manna from the heavens?

hey.
at least the fish can SEE us looking at them through the glass

(a benefit which we are not granted from within the confines of the holy aquarium)

also, we don't punish our fish for not singing our praises and living according to some set of rules we set forth for them

and where's the big pleco clinging to the sides of the world eating the pollutants?
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The Truth you mean mushrooms? 010529
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birdmad as rasputin the other fish don't have to eat the plecosthemus to see us the way we have to eat the mushroom to imagine Him 010529
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The Truth By "mushrooms" I meant fungi. A fungus lives by consuming a dead, decaying thing. Thereby keeping the worlds "muck" under control, and recycled.
We don't NEED to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms to imagine God, but they can sometimes help! :)
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Unified Voice People aren't punished for not singing praises, they simply don't reap the rewards of bliss, and the benefits of a sense of completion. I guess your COULD look at lack of a reward as a punishment... but it's not as if bad things will happen if you don't, it's that good things will happen if you do. People who break God's Law ... They are dealt with by the natural order of karma. They are blessed and cursed according to what they believe will happen to them. It's faith, or a self-fulfilling prophecy that allows us to control our destiny. 010905
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User24 to 'truth':

The beeflowermarriageworld peace scenario can be explined much more satisfactorarily by chaos theory, see fractal.chaosmagic.com for more details and some links to speed you discovery onwards.
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User24 personally, I feel that everything is predestined, however, we still have free will to an extent; If I do not do something that was predestined, the world will alter to cope with that - it's only when we do, or do not do, very important things that the world has to shuffle around massively - look at how much the universe shifts when we're not looking at it.

I believe, therefore, in a partial predestination, more a presuggestion, that, if followed, would result in perfect equilibruim (if everything followed it), but that if not followed, will adjust itself - a kind of racing line, or line of best fit.
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cube Perhaps it is the big issues within the grand_scheme that are predestined. Within that framework, we may be honoured to act as agents to help humanity move to those ends.

This is known as a calling...
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Soul_Crusader I don't think we are predestined by any supernatural force at all. I saw mentioned above that God made us in his own image (Genesis) therefore we must have the same attributes and thought processes.
This has a few problems.
First of all, God cannot think.
Thinking is a process to find an answer, reach a conclusion. God knows all the answers therefore does not need to think in order to find them.
God is omniscient (Infinite knowledge) and we are not. We cannot comprehend a mind that is infinite because of our finite minds.
I agree with the statement up a few writings ago that God is a watcher, a sick one too.
It sounds to me (and anybody else who has thought about it) that if God does exist and did indeed create us all He is one sick puppy.
I could not watch a child die and if i had the power to stop it, to do nothing. But God does this.
Now we can go on and on that "Maybe it happened for this reason" and blah blah blah but it seems to me that God in all His perfection and omnibenevolence could have easily created a world without things being achieved the painful way.

If something is predestined, there is no alternative. If God knows something it shall be so.
Which (when you think about it) makes God incapable of having a free will also.He would know exactly what He was going to do before He did it. To be wrong would destroy His omniscience. And we cannot have that can we ?

I like the way people start talking about God's motives and reasons for things. "He did this because...".
Who is anybody to start speculating on a mind beyond your comprehension, beyond your imagination? God lives outside the natural universe i have been told. Surely His mind and reasons are not affected by such petty human traits and ideas and certainly not controlled by time and other things he lives outside of.
In Genesis, the first sin (caused by our so called Free Will) was when Adam and Eve were tempted by a talking serpent (?) to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. God threatened Adam and Eve with death if they did so.
First of all, death did not exist in the Garden of Eden so they would not have known what God was talking about anyway. The word death would have held as much meaning as the word utidalict.
Second, God knowing everything as He does knew before the creation of the universe that Adam and Eve would fall into temptation. How about moving the tree out of the garden God !?!?
How about, removing the SIN from it.
Or, make sure serpents can't talk to people.

We had two interesting comments above, 1 said the idea that when a butterfly flaps its wings it can create a tornado elsewhere. And then somebody else said "maybe its only the BIG things that happen that are predestined" You get my drift.
Tornadoes are pretty damn big, then surely the butterflies flapping wings is of equal importance.
Sorry, im rambling.

Basically, there is no reason to think things are predestined.If they are then we are nothing more than puppets.
And don't say "we are here to serve God". If God wanted servants then he would have made the world worship Him and not give us the chance to think with reason, logic and common sense.

I live for now and tomorrow.
I believe in Life before Death, Death after Life.
I look for what i can give to life rather than what i shall be getting after it.
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cesar I believe in predestination and I have wrestled with the idea of a God who would knowingly create his nemesis that would ultimately corrupt his creation. The only way I can explain this is by analogy. Since God is the womb of all His children, he is like a mother who bore all her children, even when she specifically knew which would eventually rebel once they were born. God cannot punish something to nonexistence when it hasn't even acted. It would be tantamount to spiritual abortion if God had skipped creating Satan and all the other bad seeds in the bunch.

Rom 9:14-24 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! [15] For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." [16] So it depends not upon man's will or exertion, but upon God's mercy. [17] For the scripture says to Pharaoh, "I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth." [18] So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills. [19] You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" [20] But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?" [21] Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use? [22] What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction, [23] in order to make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory, [24] even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
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marked . 050215
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