Principle of sufficient reason and free will

Forgive me ladies and gentleman if this has been covered before, but I wondered if the principle of sufficient reasoning, negates free will.

So, one argument put forward by theists in support of a creator/ intelligent designer, is that everything must have a cause… they will usually deny or reject eternal universe cosmology as it fails when faced with the principle of sufficient reasoning.

But in the same breath, we are told that humans have been bestowed with free will from this all powerful and all knowing ‘God’.

I ask, is it plausible to have free will if the principle of sufficient reasoning is valid?

Intuitively, at least in my mind, that would mean my very thought and actions must have reasons or causes to them, which would appear to be deterministic.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, just something that crossed my mind.

What’s so “free” about it?

First, there’s a “cost” either way -
give up this life in “servitude” to their god of choice OR give up promised, un-evidenced life to come (usually with the added pleasure of eternal torments).

Robber holds gun to head -
“You have a choice… either give me your money and I let you live, OR I shoot you”
Once you give over your money, can the robber claim you were a “willing” participant, gifting him some cash? After all - you were given a “choice”…

Nah - the idea is somewhat nice “free will” …exists mostly in a person’s head. Reality dictates otherwise.


If there is a god …

Then that god is all powerful, and all-knowing. Because it is all-knowing, then on the instant of creation, it knew exactly what would happen. If it knew what would happen at the instant of creation, then everything, every action and decision was predetermined.

We would not be exercising free will, we would be following a predetermined script. We may believe we are exercising free will, but even those thoughts we predetermined.

Thats how I feel, I live and act as if I have free will but acknowledge that I believe this reality is material and deterministic.

One major sticking point on this universe being deterministic is that after the big bang, there was turbulence. The universe did not expand as a homogeneous phenomena.

Because we constantly witness chaos, from irregular heartbeats to the weather, to the expansion of the universe, I lean towards chaos.

The deterministic nature of systems does not make them predictable.

There are countless examples of unpredictable chaos, but I can not think of any examples of precise deterministic outcomes.

I liken this to a coin flip. We cannot predict with certainty what any one flip will generate, but if done millions of times, the overall outcome is predictable.


Without a clearly stated, agreed upon, definition of “sufficient reason”, no discussion is possible.

Sadly all we have are dictionaries, and according to you no definitions are to be found in these.

Be a dear, and help us out by sharing your reference point for word definitions.

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…ain’t my thread…

I will wait for the OP to provide such.

(how do you pronounce Kiribati ? )


Plus you have no other reference, and made a claim about a word that is roundly contradicted by it’s definition, and have been using evasion and bullshit to try and save face ever since.

I think you will find that level of dishonesty lowers your stock on here irretrievably if you are not man enough to cough to an error.

Your claim that disbelief is a claim that no deity exists is laughably erroneous, but not as hilariously idiotic as your claim that dictionaries don’t offer definitions.


The “Principle of Sufficient Reason” has already run into the buffers on several grounds. In the case of propositions within formal axiomatic systems, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem throws a huge spanner in the works with respect to this matter, courtesy of the fact that his theorem proves that there exists, for any sufficiently expressive formal axiomatic system, at least one proposition that cannot be proven true or false within that system. Indeed, Gödel’s proof of this constructed a proposition of the required nature for elementary number theory.

His proof was particularly subtle, and relies upon the fact that one can devise a mechanical procedure for converting the symbol strings of any given proposition into a natural number. This number is known as the Gödel Number for the proposition in question. For any given number n, we can construct (as Gödel did in his proof) a function S(n), which returns true if n is the Gödel number of a proposition provable within the formal system of interest (in his case, elementary number theory). Therefore ~S(n) returns true if the number n is not a Gödel number for a proposition provable within the formal system in question.

Gödel then proved that it was possible to choose a special number, b, such that b was the Gödel number of the proposition ~S(b). Which leads to a contradiction, unless [1] the formal system is ultimately inconsistent, or [2] the formal system is consistent, but the proposition in question is not provable within that system.

It has since been proven that the same restriction upon provability of propositions applies to any formal axiomatic system possessing at least the same expressive power as elementary number theory. At which point, the moment one constructs using Gödel’s method, a proposition P of the form given above, one is left with no other option, but to adopt P or ~P as an axiom of a new, extended formal system, which then falls into the same trap, and so on recursively ad infinitum.

As for concrete as opposed to abstract entities, well, quantum physics has pretty much tossed classical causality into the bin. The wave function for a given quantum system in Hilbert space may have multiple solutions for a given set of quantum operators, and ultimately only informs us of the probability of a given outcome, not whether that outcome will actually take place. I’ve already devoted space elsewhere to the matter of entanglement, how that is related to the commutator for quantum operators acting upon the wave function of a system, and how this places restrictions upon what information can be extracted via measurement of a system within which entangled operators are acting.

As a corollary, it is impossible to assign a “cause” in the classical sense, to certain quantum phenomena. Experimental tests of Bell’s Inequality pretty much seal the deal.

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(copying whiny shit from the robot…Body seems unclear, is it a complete sentence?)