Thursday, August 6, 2009

The God of the Bible

I thought I would answer a common topic found through the different posts here.

The claim by atheists that I dis-agree with.

1. Atheism has no relation to consequences.
2. God is evil becaue he is most powerful and most knowledgable...so He is responsible for our sin.

Firstly, point 1.
What follows a person when he takes up the belief of atheism?
I'll give you a clue.
I believe that the God of the Bible is THE God. period. Because I believe in Him there are consequences.
a.I will be punished for my evil deeds because there is a law behind our morals.
b.There is an ultimate moral law
c.There is reason for me being here beyond what I am.
d.There is a hell.
e.There is a heaven and a new earth where righteouness will dwell.

These are consequences for my belief in the God of the Bible both good and bad. This is my worldview.

Atheism is not just "belief in no god"...there are consequences that follow that belief that affect the way we live and view life.

Secondly, point 2.
God is responsible for all evil it is claimed.

Wrong.
God occasions evil but is NOT the cause. This is the God of the Bible. The god atheists portray is not the God of the Bible. If the god that the atheists portray is god then I would be an atheist. In fact I am an atheist in regard to there imaginary god.

The Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish. Yet people go to hell? God is good in character and has freewill. We as people were made in His image and have been made to make OUR OWN decisions, seperate from God. God wants a people that are loyal to Him and to dwell with Him but to have real loyalty is to have the opportunity to be dis-loyal.
Analogies like God as father and us as children, so God is responsible for our bad... are inadaquate because we are not children and nor were Adam and Eve.

Our freewill is subject to God's freewill and God's freewill is subject to His character. He is sinless and does not make us sin.

Hell is a terrible place...don't go there, unless of course some people would rather be there than with a good God, and go by there own choice.

Is hell a worthy punishment of evil? To my thinking it is harsh in a way, I admit that, but that is because my standards are not as high as God's standards and evil to me (not a force but an action) is more of a stench to God then it is to me...sadly, I should understand it. God wants a good world but WE keep stuffing it up.
Often reality is not often what we want...that is what makes it real, whether we like it or not.

So, is an everlasting hell really a terrible thing? At first glance it is but let us think deeper.
We live in a world where evil people plague the planet...including us. If we knew that hell would be annihilation then there would not be any real incentive to seek to be right with God. There would be no real punishment. Kind of like a druggy who knows it is killing him but he is just wanting to have a grand time and then die, doesn't want to preserve his life. So annihilation would not be a very good justified punishment.

What about a temporary hell?
Well, same thing again. Do periods of temporary imprisonment stop people from being evil? would it stop people?
No, people have a grand time being evil while knowing they will just a have a period of punishment.
No justified punishment there.

But an everlasting hell for those who would prefer to live without God and His righteousness would be a sure hell indeed and well deserved.

BUT there is good news peoples,
Why think on hell when there is no need to go there? You shouldn't think to yourself "The police are unjust because they give lifetime jailment, so I will not belive in them".

Look at God's provision for us. He paid our price of eternal death and conquered it for us! How awesome is that. Through a second chance we can be right with our Maker after stuffing up His world. We can be good again and be renewed by Him living in us through His Holy Spirit. To heal the broken hearted and set the captives free!

Come to God and become a new person.

Best wishes,

Dan

91 comments:

  1. So you think infinite punishment for a finite crime is Good & Fair? You certainly won't convince many people with that line of reasoning.

    God gave you a fallen world and a sinful nature to work with and shall punish you for failing to meet his standards.

    That's a good and fair God right there.

    How many of the people God has sent to hell, didn't believe in hell?

    How many of the people in hell do you honestly think were true believers who sat down and thought about the 2 options and said 'you know I'd rather go with the eternal punishment thanks'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This attempt at an "answer" is nothing of the sort.

    The first point you seek to make is that there are consequences that follow from proclaiming Atheism. That's trivially true: Being an atheist, one does not believe there is a god.

    That is the lone consequence.

    There is no need to become an evolutionist, to believe in homeopathic medicine, to believe the moon landings were faked, to accept the Theory of Relativity -- all of these are non sequiturs...

    ...but you didn't argue for that position at all. Instead, you argued that there are consequences from proclaiming Christianity.

    This is trivially true, too, except the point backfires on you. By professing Christianity, one necessarily lugs with him the doctrine of vicarious redemption, the acceptance of an omnipotent, omniscient, creator god who is maximally good, and various other doctrines (depending, more or less, on one's denomination). The consequences are far more numerous as the position is far more complex -- namely, there is only one consequence of proclaiming oneself an atheist -- wait, that's incorrect, there are two consequences:

    1. You will be accurately described as having a lack of belief in any gods.
    2. You will be misrepresented by virtually every theist you encounter.

    So that point fails miserably.

    --
    Stan

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  3. The other point you seek to make is even worse.

    God occasions evil but is NOT the cause. 

    Really? Of what, precisely, is god not the cause. Name one thing that the god you describe did not cause, even indirectly.

    If the god that the atheists portray is god then I would be an atheist. 

    Excellent. Welcome to the club.

    The Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish. 

    Yes, but riddle me this: How exactly is god's will not realized? Name one event which defies the will of the god you describe.

    Analogies like God as father and us as children, so God is responsible for our bad... are inadaquate [sic] because we are not children and nor were Adam and Eve. 

    Well, yes, they were children. They were unaware of the difference between good and evil, and they were days old. Days old. If you are about to pull out the assertion that they had humanly perfect brains, and were geniuses, I dare you.

    So if god were a parent, they'd be children. Retarded children, probably. It's an analogy, and not only does it fit, but its inadequacy is due to the fact that god is so much more culpable than any parent could possibly be, due to the fact that he power he's alleged to possess is virtually unlimited.

    As to god being "responsible for our bad," I've said already that I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing rather that god is ultimately responsible for all of it, unless you concede that he is either a) not omnipotent, b) not omniscient, or c) not maximally good.

    Have you seen the Richard Pryor classic, The Toy? Remember Jackie Gleason's character's epic domino chain? Obviously, Pryor's character accidentally set off the reaction in the movie, but the god you describe intentionally tipped the first domino when he said, "Let there be light." If you agree that god made the dominoes, set them up in this crazy and infinitely complex way which he nonetheless fathomed, and that he tipped the first of them, how in the hell can you say he isn't responsible for the tipping of the 239th? 

    Your special pleading is getting you nowhere. The logic speaks for itself -- the god you describe cannot exist.

    Our freewill is subject to God's freewill and God's freewill is subject to His character. He is sinless and does not make us sin. 

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  4. "Our freewill"? What about Pharaoh's "free will" with respect to freeing the Israelites? Didn't god harden his heart so that he would not let them go? Isn't that a suspension of his "free will"? If god suspends one person's "free will", might he not suspend all "free will"? Do you expect Pharaoh recognized his "free will" had been suspended? Would we?

    What does it mean in Isaiah 63:17 when the author accuses god of causing sin? What about John 12:40, which is ostensibly quoting Isaiah 6:10 (though that doesn't appear true based on my reading of the texts)?

    You see, god is responsible for sin in that he tipped the domino with full knowledge of every later tipping to follow. If he'd just not tipped that domino, or set up the table differently, we'd not be having this conversation, but unfortunately, as anathema to your position, the consequence of your proclamation of faith in Christianity demands that you recognize that god tipped that domino.

    If you want to claim that the dominoes are self-mobile, and can arrange themselves as they wish (within limits), fine, but you still must admit that god knows what that arrangement would be when each was set to fall, and still he tipped that first one. Insofar as the domino may be viewed as responsible for being where it was when it fell, god is responsible for starting the sequence.

    In U.S. law, failure to report a crime is a crime in and of itself. Failure to prevent a crime, if doing so does not pose a danger to yourself or others, is also a crime in some cases (e.g. "Duty to rescue" laws, or "Omission" laws). One can hardly argue against god's criminal negligence then, yet you try.

    Did god willingly create?
    Did god have foreknowledge of the consequences of that creation?
    Was it in god's power to avoid the act of creation, or to avoid the consequences of it?

    If 'yes, yes, yes,' then your case fails.

    --
    Stan

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  5. Stan,

    I disagree with you Stan, I have laid out what my understanding of what the Bible says about God.

    I just want to clear up some of your misunderstandings.
    Pharaoh hardened his heart first and then God hardened his heart...

    Ex 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.
    Ex 8:32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.

    then

    Ex 9:12 But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

    God gives us what we want...scary.

    Isaiah. In my understanding, usually when God blinds people's eyes and close their ears it is because they had already been at odds with God. God doesn't randomly pick people to harden them unless MAYBE He has a purpose that works out for the good for everyone :)

    Once again He takes people and gives them more of what they want.

    "Name one event which defies the will of the god you describe."

    Your continuing misrepresentation/mocking/ of God is against His will (desire)...though He may use it to bring Him glory in another way.

    Watch this debate and you will see some consequences of atheism brought out.
    http://www.dawkinslennoxdebate.com/.

    You seem to have a lot of time on your hands? LOL

    Bathtub,

    "So you think infinite punishment for a finite crime is Good & Fair?"

    How many crimes does it take to make a morally correct universe stuff up? finite is an understatement.

    Dan

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  6. I disagree with you Stan, I have laid out what my understanding of what the Bible says about God. 

    And I have shown, repeatedly, how it is inconsistent; how, at the very least, you must admit that your god willfully created with full knowledge that his action(s) would result in the existence of evil, and of a populated hell.

    To say this was not his intention is to deny him omniscience. To say it was not caused by him is to deny him omnipotence. To say it is better to create such a universe than to not-create is preposterous, which would also be saying that it is better to have one person in heaven, and nine people in hell, than it is to have zero people.

    (Since god existed eternally before the creation event, it follows that he was eternally content being a lonely god, and did not need to create, or have anything bring him glory he did not already possess.)

    You have done nothing whatsoever to demonstrate otherwise, other than repeating your "understanding of what the Bible says about God." At dispute is not what the bible says, but what must follow from its assertions.

    Pharaoh hardened his heart first and then God hardened his heart 

    Thank you for admitting that god suspends "free will." I accept your apology.

    God gives us what we want...scary. 

    No, Pharaoh was allowed to do what he wanted (to harden his own heart), and then the ability to make that decision was taken from him (when god hardened his heart for him). Just because Pharaoh made a decision yesterday does not mean he'll make the same decision today -- or are you saying god knew what that decision was, and acted based on that?

    (Psst. That would also be a suspension of "free will," and would be a tacit admission on your part that god is culpable for our actions, due to his foreknowledge and decision to create.)

    God doesn't randomly pick people to harden them... 

    and

    Once again He takes people and gives them more of what they want. 

    I like ice cream. Just because I choose to have a pint of Ben & Jerry's Americone Dream, does not mean I want god to give me "more of what [I] want" by jamming pint after pint down my throat.

    Suspension of "free will" is suspension of "free will." Thank you for admitting (twice, now) that it occurs. I accept your apology.

    Your continuing misrepresentation/mocking/ of God is against His will (desire)... 

    So he is not omniscient? Yesterday he thought that today I'd 'misrepresent' or 'mock' him in a different way, or not at all? What about the day before he created anything? Did he think I'd behave differently than I do right now, or did he know precisely how much ketchup I'd spill on my shirt as I ate a [kosher] hot dog? If he did [know all this], then his decision to create implies that it was all his will, and thus it is not escaped. Your example fails.

    ...though He may use it to bring Him glory in another way. 

    Of course, statements like this torpedo your effort all by themselves -- if he uses my "misrepresentation/mocking," and planned to do so from the instant immediately prior to creation, then how is it not his will?

    Fail.

    You seem to have a lot of time on your hands? LOL 

    Yeah, well, give it a few weeks. School starts on the 24th. I'll be a bit busier then...

    --
    Stan

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  7. I think Stan this is becoming a battle of who can repeat themselves the most times LOL!

    I do not apologise about free will. God has given us free will but at times God steps in and takes it away when we abuse it:) Or He can influence our lives. You keep grabbing what I say and twisting it to extreems.

    I will state it loud and clear FOREKNOWING IS NOT PREDETERMINING. I can know what your replies will be but I didn't "make" you do them :)

    You argument against God falls back in your face. Your "first cause" argument is even harsher on forcing you to accept determinism in regards to cause and effect in a designless world.

    God has designed this world so that people have freewill to choose Him or not.

    But for your naturalistic view you are an atheist because you were forced to by your endless line of thinking thoughts causing each other... and me? I am forced to be a christian according to your view.

    Watch that debate. You might learn some honesty about atheism from Dawkins.(I hate to be abrupt but sometimes it is the easiest way :))

    Dan

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  8. I will state it loud and clear FOREKNOWING IS NOT PREDETERMINING. 

    Hey, look, we agree.

    The problem is that this isn't all that you assert -- you also assert that god is omnipotent, and the "first cause." Thus, his foreknowledge, coupled with his act of creation, does amount to predetermination.

    Follow the logic yourself. It's pretty easy, really, you just say, "Hey, if I knew that by giving ten children a hamburger at the church picnic this afternoon, nine of them would develop complications from E. coli, I don't think I'd give any of those kids hamburgers, even if it was their own choice to eat undercooked meat."

    The guy who gives out the hamburgers anyway? That's your god, except he also has perfect knowledge of the cooking temperature, perfect knowledge of the children's decision to eat, etc.

    Stop dodging the issue. If you see a fault in the following logic, point it out and let's explore it:

    If an omniscient being chooses to take any action whatsoever, then everything which results from that action is a direct consequence of that being's action, which means that the subsequent events are de facto choices made as well. The being is ultimately culpable and responsible for any and every result of its chosen action. 

    Ready? Go.

    You argument against God falls back in your face. Your "first cause" argument is even harsher on forcing you to accept determinism in regards to cause and effect in a designless world. 

    I don't know what you're talking about here. I don't have a "first cause" argument, you do. I don't even accept, necessarily, cause and effect as being universal. This is either a straw man, or a colossal misunderstanding on your part.

    I describe your god, based on your descriptions, and follow them to their logical end. You have not once identified a single failure in that logic, but have instead cried that you don't understand that to be god, or I'm misrepresenting your god, or some other such nonsense. Wipe your tears, and show me what aspect is wrong:

    1. Your god is omniscient.
    2. Your god is omnipotent.
    3. Your god is the "first cause."
    4. Your god created ex nihilo.
    5. Your god existed eternally prior to the creation event.
    6. Your god has "free will," within the limits of his character.
    7. Your god chose to create.
    8. Your god was aware of every exacting detail regarding the consequences of his creative act(s).
    9. Your god chose to create anyway.
    10. In spite of personal responsibility for our actions, our futures are nonetheless known precisely by god, who knew them prior to creating anything, much less each of us individually, and thus he chose to create in such a way that the vast majority of his creation would endure eternal torment in a place he didn't have to create, but chose to.

    It was a calculated decision, as he knew it. It was premeditated, as he knew it before he made the decision. Thus, every suffering soul in hell is his fault, directly. "Every sparrow," right? Every soul, too.

    That's the god you describe. Show me where and how I'm wrong.

    --
    Stan

    (P.S. -- I'll watch the video tomorrow)

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  9. How many crimes does it take to make a morally correct universe stuff up?

    Er, What?

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  10. Stan,

    "I don't know what you're talking about here. I don't have a "first cause" argument, you do. I don't even accept, necessarily, cause and effect as being universal. This is either a straw man, or a colossal misunderstanding on your part."

    Everything goes back to a first cause (unless everything is eternally circular in cause and effect LOL (which I believe God is eternal). E.G. You would not be replying to this comment if it did not exist therefore it "caused" you to answer me. Determinism.
    Can you show me something without a cause? (except God :))

    One cannot conceive of a causeless effect. It is through effect that you "know" that that effect affected your brain to accept it as a cause that affected your brain :)
    -------------------------------------------
    I said: "I will state it loud and clear FOREKNOWING IS NOT PREDETERMINING."

    You replied "Hey, look, we agree.

    The problem is that this isn't all that you assert -- you also assert that god is omnipotent, and the "first cause." Thus, his foreknowledge, coupled with his act of creation, does amount to predetermination."

    What?
    You say here that omniscient is not predetermination. (You agreed with me?)

    Yet here you say that an omniscient God is responsible?

    "If an omniscient being chooses to take any action whatsoever, then everything which results from that action is a direct consequence of that being's action, which means that the subsequent events are de facto choices made as well. The being is ultimately culpable and responsible for any and every result of its chosen action. "

    "Show me where and how I'm wrong."
    Ok,
    So your problem is not omniscience but rather omnipotence or omnipotence with omniscience. You are saying if God is big enough to stop something then He is responsible for it?

    Here is an analogy (note it is an analogy so it is not perfect). A king has omnipotence in his realm...all citizens are subject to him and he knows all. Citizens are "separate entities" from him (they have free will). The king allows them to have free will. But should they dis-obey his orders by there own choice, they get punished.

    See, God is most powerful like the king but He has people that have a separate "form" of existence to Himself. God will exercise justice and His power where He deems it to be used. It may be the King's will that people obey His command but He has given them a "separate entity" from Himself and the people can disobey should they desire, but the King wants a free willed country that is perfectly good and will not tolerate evil doers. Evil doers will be put out of the kingdom where they should be (hell).

    There I hope that is clear where I am coming from. People are not a direct cause and effect action from God Himself but more of a separate cause and effect if that makes sense?
    I can't think of any easier way to explain it (though I may think up a better one)

    This is the God of the Bible.

    cheers,

    Dan

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  11. Bathtub,

    If you have a barrel (our universe) of only good apples (good moral conduct) then we have a perfect barrel.

    But it only needs to have one bad apple in the barrel to make it no longer a barrel of good apples.

    God wants whole righteousness and a finite sin means more to Him than "just" a finite sin.

    cheers,

    Dan

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  12. Da Bomb,

    Your existence is not an unsurmountable cause for Satn's response. He might decide not to tell you anything. You are confounding "cause" and "effect" with arithmetic additons:

    1+2 = 3

    Is fine.

    Your existence = Stan's response

    Nope, your existence allows Stan to answer you. But it does no determine that Stan will actually answer you. There is no obligation. It does not determine what Stan will actually tell you either.

    Now I see. You have a very confused "cause/effect" understanding.

    As of there having to be a "first cause." I do not see why at all. Once we reach first principles we get to the bottom of the cause/effect thing. These first prnciples might be miriads, millions, thousands, hundreds, just one. Who knows. But a "first cause"?

    Again, out limited knowledge might not allow us to see where it ends. Inventing a sngle "first cause" does not mean there is a single "first cause".

    Clear?

    G.E.

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. As of your "answer" to me.

    I did not say there are no consequences to not believing in any gods (atheism). I said all you need to be an atheist is not to believe in any gods.

    I stop it here so that you get it. Once you tell me "I got it" I might continue.

    G.E.

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  15. /me throws hands into the air.

    Seriously, DB, what's the problem, here?

    So your problem is not omniscience but rather omnipotence or omnipotence with omniscience. 

    No. The problem is a complication arising from the assertion of omniscience, omnipotence, and the original act of creation all being attributed to your god. Pay attention.

    You are saying if God is big enough to stop something then He is responsible for it? 

    While I do not disagree with this statement, I have taken it a step simpler: If god is aware of every future event which will transpire as a result of a single creative act, and chooses to create anyway, then he is ultimately responsible for every one of those future events.

    People are not a direct cause and effect action from God Himself but more of a separate cause and effect if that makes sense? 

    Ugh. No, that does not make sense, unless you are conceding that god is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. Why is this so difficult for you? I'd guess that every other viewer here knows what I'm saying and can follow the logic perfectly, yet you cannot seem to show a single error in it -- you instead continuously restate what you believe is the god of the bible, which agrees completely with the simple attributes and actions I describe, yet you claim without argument that my conclusion is invalid.

    I am domino 1,912,383,665,714, and while I am free to manipulate my position within bounds, domino number one was tipped long ago, and it's only a matter of time before number 1,912,383,665,713 falls. I did not create myself, nor did I set up any domino, except to position myself relative to my predecessor and contemporary dominoes. When I fall, it is not due to any action on my part whatsoever, but due to the manufacture of each, and the tipping of the first.

    Better put, god made all the dominoes, and set them up in a specific arrangement, but allowed each domino to determine for itself its configuration and number of dots. That's exactly analogous to your omniscient, omnipotent god who is the "first cause" and who nonetheless allows limited "free will."

    My domino will fall, and god knows exactly when, since he made my domino, placed it where it lies, and tipped the first domino in the sequence. No rearrangement of my dots will affect in any way god's knowledge in this manner, and adding or removing dots will not remove god's responsibility for my domino falling when its time comes.

    I don't think I can make it any simpler than that, so you're going to have to get it this time, and actually tell my how god didn't create my domino, or put it in its place, or tip the first in the sequence, in order to escape my scenario. Remember, I allow the "free will" control over the arrangement and number of dots on each individual's domino, so figure it out. Here's a succinct list to help you:

    1. Did god create each domino, or at least create the domino factory and set it running?

    2. Did god place each domino, or does he at least know precisely where in the sequence each domino lies?

    3. Does god know when each domino will fall, based either on a direct tipping of that individual domino or an indirect tipping as via the sequence which lies before it?

    4. Does god allow individual dominoes to arrange the pattern and number of dots at their own whim, without allowing them to cease to be dominoes, or affect other dominoes in any way other than influencing the pattern and/or number of dots each displays?

    5. Did god tip the first domino directly, or otherwise turn on a Rube Goldberg machine of sorts to tip the first domino?

    Yes x 5 = You're wrong.

    --
    Stan

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  16. If you have a barrel of apples and one goes off, take it out. why let the whole barrel spoil because you are too lazy, cruel, whatever to fix it?

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  17. Stan,

    I think you over-explained again. I am trying to keep it very simple and short. Not that I expect any difference now.

    Guys, I am gone for a good while. Keep enjoying yourselves.

    G.E.

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  18. I think you over-explained again. 

    Yeah, it's obviously a chance I have to take... In this case, I preempted my last comment here with a new entry on my pathetic blog, dedicated to the dominoes. If anybody here cares, there's a YouTube video and instructions over there which should clear up this already transparent matter rather nicely, I should hope.

    --
    Stan

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  19. G.E.

    Yes I agree with you that atheism is a belief in no God.
    All I am trying to point out is that atheism has consequences to which you finally agreed...that is my reason for the post on determinism.
    My example of Stan replying to my post was a rough example. I say that without God designing us as free willed creatures we really are just part of a big factory of cause and effect, thus "free-will" is imagined.

    I believe God is so omnipotent that He is able to design free-willed creatures (as opposed to Stan's view). Stan thinks of us as a factory made by God whereas I see (and the Bible) us as like God, with a freewill to choose our own way. Though in our lives God works things around us and can take our free will at times (E.G. punishing by death etc like Sodom and Gomorrah). The Bible is clear about that.

    Cya, and thanks for the chats!

    DB

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  20. BathTub said...

    "If you have a barrel of apples and one goes off, take it out. why let the whole barrel spoil because you are too lazy, cruel, whatever to fix it?"

    Exactly, God does take them out...to hell :( If he leaves bad and good apples fellow-shipping
    together, it is no longer a good world. God wants a good world and when finite sin enters it, it is no longer a good world.

    Yet Bathtub!

    There is good news. We don't have to be bad apples! God is into restoring rotten apples and making them good again!

    cheers,

    Dan

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  21. Hey Stan,

    I thought we had made progress...but we haven't.

    "1. Did god create each domino, or at least create the domino factory and set it running?"

    If you are referring to dominoes as people then yes he created each domino. But people are not a domino "factory". Factory does not imply free will. Dominos are free beings. The factory is the natural world we live in. People are also spirits.

    "2. Did god place each domino, or does he at least know precisely where in the sequence each domino lies?"

    God made each domino.

    "3. Does god know when each domino will fall, based either on a direct tipping of that individual domino or an indirect tipping as via the sequence which lies before it?"

    God knows when each domino will fall as far as I know. But He did not cause the dominoes fall...dominoes are not merely the factory (our universe) are in it. We may live in the factory but we are not it (we are also spirit)

    "4. Does god allow individual dominoes to arrange the pattern and number of dots at their own whim, without allowing them to cease to be dominoes, or affect other dominoes in any way other than influencing the pattern and/or number of dots each displays?"

    I struggle to understand this one??
    Um I think my reply would be. God does allow dominoes to have their free-will and arrange themselves by themselves. But the Master domino Player can influence them on occasions.

    "5. Did god tip the first domino directly, or otherwise turn on a Rube Goldberg machine of sorts to tip the first domino?"

    Yes, God has tipped (made) every domino onto their own course, the dominoes can change their course should they desire.

    "Yes x 5 = You're wrong."

    I'm wrong? I just read what the Bible says about God. I don't put God in a little box and say "since You are omnipotent and omniscient, we as dominoes are affected in every way by Your first cause"

    I think God is omnipotent enough (unlike you think) to make us free-will (separate entities) and not as merely dominoes.

    cheers,

    Dan

    P.S. Did you manage to watch that debate?

    ReplyDelete
  22. "I'd guess that every other viewer here knows what I'm saying and can follow the logic perfectly"

    Stan,

    No Doubt stated a few posts ago that he agreed with me that God foreknows but does not predetermine.

    He said:

    "As for determinism, I have no problem with the basic concept if cause is provable. The main difference between us is that we believe in supernatural overtones."

    (I agree with him)

    I said: "You have got "predict" and "determine" mixed up. Predict means to "know", to determine means to "cause"."

    He replied:
    "You are so correct. Unfortunately, the misunderstanding of these terms has caused so many problems within the body of Christ. I can actually understand how people, outside of the body, get the wrong idea of what "True" Christianity if all about.

    This misunderstanding leads others to believe that G-d causes everything to occur, whether good or evil, rather than knowing what is going to occur while guiding free willed people through it."

    You are not the only pebble on the beach.

    DB

    ReplyDelete
  23. no, God didn't take them out, otherwise we wouldn't be suffering because of adams sin. he's the original bad apple that has rotted the barrel of apples.

    ReplyDelete
  24. DB, go to my pathetic blog, read that post on the domino effect, follow the instructions, and watch the video. It's all quite safe and expletive-free, so even your sensibilities needn't be worried.

    Really. If you can't argue against the logic I've employed, say so.

    I'm wrong? I just read what the Bible says about God. 

    Yes, uncritically, and you do not follow the logic to its necessary end. If the bible's depiction of god is accurate, then my conclusion necessarily follows. Continuing to say otherwise without arguing why is a dodge, nothing more. Am I wasting my time with you?

    I think God is omnipotent enough (unlike you think) to make us free-will (separate entities) and not as merely dominoes. 

    This is fractured logic on your part. If god is omnipotent, then he is not "omnipotent enough" -- there are no degrees to omnipotence. You continue to separate the attribute of omnipotence from the attribute of omniscience, and you ignore the consequences of that coupling.

    If we are humans, and never any other species, then we are dominoes, and never checkers. Our "free will" is represented by our ability to arrange and number the dots on our domino, but the actual placement of our domino in relation to the entire sequence was done by god, and nothing I do can alter that -- else god is not omniscient.

    The "factory" you got so foolishly hung up on is the plant that manufactures dominoes -- so unless you think god specially creates each domino, you accept a factory of sorts. Of course, this hang-up on your part gives away your stupidity, for the conjunction or means that the two notions -- god individually creating each domino, and god creating a domino factory to mass-produce dominoes -- are equivalent.

    I struggle to understand this one?? 

    Evidently you struggle with much.

    It's simple. You're a domino, which god created and placed in a specific location as part of a domino chain reaction. You have "free will" to alter the pattern and number of dots&nbps;on your domino -- nothing more, just as our "free will" does not mean we can choose to fly without machinery; there are limits to our "free will" even in your worldview. After creating each domino (directly or indirectly), and placing each domino in the sequence (as through his omniscience as to what that position will be), he tips the first domino.

    Domino maker = god
    Domino positioner = god
    Domino = you
    Ability to configure pattern and number of dots on individual domino = your limited "free will"
    Domino chain starter = god

    If you can't get it, you're either daft, a liar, or the world's greatest example of the effect of cognitive dissonance. Please get it so I don't have to call you one of these things. I ask again, then, that you visit my pathetic blog, follow the instructions for the video, and return here with the results (you needn't comment on my worthless blog). If you still feign ignorance as to the exercise, I have one more tactic at the ready before I write you off.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  25. Stan

    I think maybe we might be arguing between Gala apples and Granny Smith's apples.

    "It's simple. You're a domino, which god created and placed in a specific location as part of a domino chain reaction."

    I agree with this. God meant me to be in this age at this time!

    "You have "free will" to alter the pattern and number of dots&nbps;on your domino -- nothing more,"

    If that is what you mean by sin then I agree!

    "just as our "free will" does not mean we can choose to fly without machinery; there are limits to our "free will" even in your worldview."

    I agree, we live in a natural world that has limits.

    "After creating each domino (directly or indirectly), and placing each domino in the sequence (as through his omniscience as to what that position will be), he tips the first domino."

    I agree, God positioned us (where we would be born etc) but does not arrange the dots on our faces :)

    Conclusion. God is not responsible for our actions of sin (the dots on our faces) but He is responsible for our position in the factory.

    cheers,

    DB

    ReplyDelete
  26. BathTub said...

    "no, God didn't take them out, otherwise we wouldn't be suffering because of adams sin. he's the original bad apple that has rotted the barrel of apples."

    You gave God a big G? Thanks for that.
    I think using this analogy God eventually will take the apples out and will place the good ones or restored ones in a new barrel (new heaven and earth).

    There seems to be two types of sin. One sins affects all of us. Example: Hitler's sin affects us, but we are not responsible for Hitler's sin.

    We are not responsible for Adam's sin (eternally), we are responsible for our own sin. But Adam's sin on a universal basis has affected us and given us a sinful nature.

    cheers,

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  27. Conclusion. God is not responsible for our actions of sin (the dots on our faces) but He is responsible for our position in the factory. 

    Hallelujah! It can be taught!

    Okay, so now we both agree that there would be no dominoes had god not made them, and that the sequence of falling dominoes would not have begun had god not tipped the first one directly (if not others directly, too). We agree that the dots on the domino represent our "free will," and that god is aware of any individual domino's eventual choice as to the pattern it will display, but this decision is nonetheless that of the domino in question. We further agree that no matter what pattern a given domino chooses to display, the fact that it lies in the sequence, and will fall, is beyond the control of that domino.

    So we seem to agree, then, that god is directly responsible for all of the following:

    1. Manufacturing the dominoes.
    2. Arranging the sequence of dominoes.
    3. Tipping the first domino.

    We also seem to agree, then, that god is aware of all of the following:

    4. The eventual pattern/number of dots displayed by any given domino.
    5. The precise time and location at which any given domino will fall.

    Further, we seem to agree that the following are true:

    6. No pattern or number of dots displayed by any given domino has any effect on the fact that it was manufactured, nor on its position in the sequence, nor on the fact that it will fall at a specific time.
    7. Every domino will fall in turn.

    Now, you've already agreed to all of these in your most recent post, when you seemed to finally grasp the illustration, so there should be no dispute at this point.

    How, then, would you say that god is not responsible for the facts that the dominoes exist, are placed where they are, and will fall?

    As I've repeatedly stated in this thread, I am not arguing against personal responsibility -- indeed, I would say that you are arguing against it. Insofar as I accept personal responsibility, I also expect that god will accept personal responsibility, too. If he made the dominoes, set them up, and tipped the first one, he is responsible for the fall of every single individual domino in the sequence. This follows directly from the asserted attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, and that of being the "first cause," or "prime mover."

    I do not absolve humans -- or any sentient being -- with respect to responsibility for their actions. If I built the Terminator, with full (perfect) knowledge that it would one day decimate a police station, even though it (the Terminator) was autonomous, would I be guilty or innocent?

    If the former, so, too, your god. If the latter, I'm glad you weren't a Nuremberg juror.

    Change your dots all you want, little domino, but you're still going to fall, and that's not your fault -- it's god's. The fact that you can choose an offensive pattern of dots is not your fault either -- it's also god's -- and if offensive patterns of dots is a problem for your god, then he's an idiot for making any dominoes with this ability at all.

    I may not be omniscient, but I know idiocy when I see it. Making dominoes, setting them up in a sequence, tipping the first, and then blaming the dominoes for falling over, is retarded. It's also exactly what your god has done. I may have the "free will" to decide what sorts of sins I enjoy, but if a "sinful nature" is part of being a domino, then that's beyond my control -- ergo, it's not my fault. It's god's.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hey Stan,

    We may have misunderstood what the terms of a domino "falling", "arranging of "dots" etc would mean.

    The anology is not perfect for the view that I hold. since I think the domioes are more autonomous than just being in a line. I hope I can explain.

    Hmmm I just tried to write using the domino illustration but it doesn't seem to fit the Biblical picture close enough. I'll try to write as clear as I can the picture that I believe the Bible puts across.

    God IS the first cause. He made people like Him that were able to create "first causes" amongst themselves (autonomy).

    God occasions or lets happen what our decisions are regarding our "first cause" that we act upon.

    Adam and Eve did this. They chose to sin against God's will (desire). But the nature of His creation is that His will is that people should have ultimately for the most part autonomy.

    Loyalty with the orportunity to be disloyal.

    God is responsible for making us with this choice. Likewise a father would be indirectly responsible for "allowing" not "causing" a grown son to make his own decision even though the father warned him. The son is directly responsible. The son is in the wrong not the father.

    The autonomous nature in mankind allowed them to create their own children with their own autonomy. Thus we are all children of Adam and Eve with our own autonomy but a general responsiblity falls on us as mankind as a whole for stuffing up God's world.

    The sin of our fathers affects us, but we are not responsible for their sin directly but more indirectly as state just before. We are responsible for our own sin as Ezekiel reveals to us.

    God saw this terrible happening and sought to give mankind a second chance and give them the oportunity to come back to being right with God. God paid the price of our autonomous decisions and gave us a chance to return by choice to their Maker.

    This choice is still available today. You can choose to accept or reject. The responsibility is on us.

    I really do hope that you understand that clearly. It makes sense to me and makes sense to most other christians I know.

    cheers,

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  29. We may have misunderstood what the terms of a domino "falling", "arranging of "dots" etc would mean. 

    Heh. It is cognitive dissonance.

    The anology [sic] is not perfect for the view that I hold. since I think the domioes [sic] are more autonomous than just being in a line. I hope I can explain. 

    Don't bother -- it's a futile effort. Here's why:

    If the dominoes have limited autonomy, then the limits of their autonomy can be fully expressed in the pattern and number of dots each displays. Every other aspect of each domino is set not by the domino, but by god. Trying to rearrange the analogy to avoid the contradiction which is so obviously evident to you is a wasted effort. The only reason you would seek to do so is because you are victim to cognitive dissonance. Your conscious mind recognizes that there is no escape, but your subconscious is preventing this from being fully realized.

    If the dominoes have limited autonomy -- "free will" -- then that autonomy can be expressed as the color of the domino, as the dot configuration, as the pattern on the backside of the domino, etc., but none of this will affect its position or the fact that it will fall, and that god knew it would fall when he toppled the first one.

    God IS the first cause. He made people like Him that were able to create "first causes" amongst themselves (autonomy). 

    You mean he made "second causes"? Your cognitive dissonance is in high gear, eh?

    God is responsible for making us with this choice. 

    Wait. Isn't there more to that? Don't you mean to say that god is responsible making the choice to make "us with this choice," with perfect knowledge of the outcome of each and every choice subsequently made?

    Because that's the truth of your position.

    Likewise a father would be indirectly responsible for "allowing" not "causing" a grown son to make his own decision even though the father warned him. 

    Right. A father would be indirectly responsible, but not directly responsible, for his son's actions, regardless of his son's age. This is because no human father has perfect knowledge of the future state of every sperm his testicles have ever produced. Your god would not have this excuse, though, since he does know with perfect knowledge the future state of each and every sperm his testicles have produced, and yet he produced them anyway. Ahem. If I may, I'd like to escape the sperm analogy, since god's use of them could get... messy.

    Your use of the father/son analogy supports my claim, not yours, and by using it, you tacitly admit that the earlier example of a parent with two children, a bunch of toy guns, and a .357 Magnum is a perfectly valid analogy -- its only difficulty lies in the fact that the parent in the analogy is infinitely less guilty than god.

    Thus we are all children of Adam and Eve with our own autonomy but a general responsiblity falls on us as mankind as a whole for stuffing up God's world. 

    ...which he made, with perfect knowledge that it would be "stuffed up." His responsibility is imminent.

    It makes sense to me and makes sense to most other christians I know. 

    Of course it does. You guys have a wall of cognitive dissonance preventing you from applying true criticism to your system. If you didn't, you'd have ditched it long ago for recognizing what you're tantalizingly close to recognizing right now:

    Sure, we're responsible for our own actions, but so, too, is god, for willfully creating in such a way that our actions would result in a populated hell.

    You would say that he didn't want that, but that doesn't fit with the fact that he chose that.

    How's that dissonance?

    --
    Stan

    (P.S. -- I think we've made remarkable progress here.)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey Stan,

    Anologies are not perfect and fall at certain points when comparing them to truth. You might be fitting the truth of the Bible into anologies and saying where the truth falls which may not be wise. Hope you follow.

    I also admit that God is indirectly responsible for the situation we have ourselves in (our material world and our very existence). But I think we may disagree on what "responsible" means. Yes God is responsible for making hell and the new earth.
    I took it when you said "responsible" that you were blaming God for people going to hell, when ultimately it was people's decision. But God put everyone in that position of choice, to have life to it's full by choice.

    "Your use of the father/son analogy supports my claim, not yours, and by using it, you tacitly admit that the earlier example of a parent with two children, a bunch of toy guns, and a .357 Magnum is a perfectly valid analogy -- its only difficulty lies in the fact that the parent in the analogy is infinitely less guilty than god."

    No, when I use father and child I think of grown children who know what they are doing. Your analogy with the guns were little children (from my understanding). The parent would be more guilty than God because they were dumb enough to put it in the hands of little children. God made man as man...intellectually capable.

    "You would say that he didn't want that, but that doesn't fit with the fact that he chose that."

    No, God allowed that. But didn't cause that. Like the Father and the GROWN son , he allowed it but it wasn't His will.

    "(P.S. -- I think we've made remarkable progress here.)"

    LOL I have been finding our discussions good, Our main fundamental point we disagree on is whether God is responsible...in a bad use of that word. I don't think He is. I thank God that because He is omnipotent HE IS ABLE TO CREATE people with their own freewill with separate responsiblities to Himself. I thank God that He has given us freewill and able to have a real relationship with Him.

    cheers,

    DB

    ReplyDelete
  31. DB: Did god know that his creative act would result in a populated hell?

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  32. You go away for a few days and you guys start playing dominos. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Bath Tub,

    "So you think infinite punishment for a finite crime is Good & Fair?"

    If we look at it from man's point of view, I can see your point. It appears to be unfair. However, if we look at it from G-ds point of view, it may not be fair, but it is just.

    "You certainly won't convince many people with that line of reasoning."

    Simply put, G-d isn't trying to reason with us. He's just telling us the way it is. It's blunt.

    "God gave you a fallen world and a sinful nature to work with and shall punish you for failing to meet his standards."

    Actually, G-d gave us a perfect world. We are the ones who messed it up. Yes...he will punish us for our disobedience but he's given us a "Get out of jail free" card. That is a perfect sacrifice to cover our disobedience. All we have to do is rely on the solution.

    "That's a good and fair God right there."

    Again... not fair...just. We are living by his rules whether we accept it or not.

    "How many of the people God has sent to hell, didn't believe in hell?"

    When criminals commit a crime, do we blame the law he broke? Do we blame the courts and the police for putting him in jail. We may believe the law is not fair, but we knew the consequences for breaking the law.

    "How many of the people in hell do you honestly think were true believers who sat down and thought about the 2 options and said 'you know I'd rather go with the eternal punishment thanks'."

    According to G-d, that's exactly what we are doing when we don't accept and live by his rules.

    Thanks,
    ND

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hey Stan,

    "DB: Did god know that his creative act would result in a populated hell?"



    I don't think that giving someone a chance at living his life is the same as the same person throwing his life away. I don't think it is a simple case of cause and effect.

    If we put our dog in the backyard, are we responsible for the dog biting anyone that enters the gate, especially if we hang a "Beware of Vicious Dog" sign?

    Shalom,
    ND

    ReplyDelete
  35. Really? He gave you a perfect world? I certainly don't recall being given a perfect world.

    Basically all these posts show is how much Christians can twist and contort to explain how God sends most people to Hell because he loves us so much.

    God created the universe with full knowledge that he was sending most of the people he created to an eternity of torment. It's that simple.

    It's completely nonsensical. And hilarious and sad to watch people attempt to portray that as love and goodness.

    ReplyDelete
  36. From No Doubt.

    "DB: Did god know that his creative act would result in a populated hell?"

    I don't think that giving someone a chance at living his life is the same as the same person throwing his life away. I don't think it is a simple case of cause and effect."

    It's a yes or no question. Your unwillingness or inability to just answer it as such speaks volumes.

    Yes or No?

    ReplyDelete
  37. If we put our dog in the backyard, are we responsible for the dog biting anyone that enters the gate, especially if we hang a "Beware of Vicious Dog" sign? 

    Legally, in most U.S. states, yes. The dog in question will probably be put down, the owner will almost certainly face a civil suit, and may also face criminal charges. If the dog is known by the owner to be likely to bite, then the owner has a responsibility to prevent that behavior from occurring. This site, this site, and of course Wikipedia all note that owners are potentially liable, civilly as well as criminally, for their dogs' actions.

    Your question is like asking if a homeowner is responsible for shooting a trespasser (irrespective of the trespasser's motive or intent), because the home features a sign saying "Trespassers will be shot."

    Anyway, I don't know why I'm so obliging in answering your question, when my simple binary interrogative was very obviously dodged.

    I ask again, with emphasis this time:

    Did god know that his creative act would result in a populated hell? 

    (Possible answers include, "yes," or "no." Elaborating on either is acceptable, but only following one of these.)

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  38. Stan and Bathtub,

    This question:

    "Did god know that his creative act would result in a populated hell?"

    I think I have already anwered this.
    From my current understanding I would say yes. You obviously have a problem with that...I don't. If God gave freewill to people on the basis that lives would not end up in hell then freewill is taken and loyalty is a myth.

    However, I would like to do a post soon on whether God knows the future or not...see what all you guys think, from the scripture in the Bible...not what you have been told.

    I want to get away from pre conceived ideas about God and come back to the Bible because I believe it is the best authority in relation to God.

    cheers,

    DB

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Did god know that his creative act would result in a populated hell?"

    This is a nonsensical question. There is no cause and effect. God does not cause people to make choices, so therefore God did not cause hell to be populated. Your question is self serving and phrased to find fault with God. If answered yes, you'll say that God causes people to sin, thereby violating his nature. If answered no, you'll say God is not omniscient.

    ReplyDelete
  40. From my current understanding I would say yes. 

    Excellent. I have a follow-up question, but first I'll address your elaboration and the musings of Hiker Boy.

    You obviously have a problem with that... 

    Nope. Why would I have a problem with attributes assigned to a deity I don't believe exists?

    I don't. 

    Yes you do, your brain is just restricting access to that obvious fact to prevent itself from melting.

    If God gave freewill to people on the basis that lives would not end up in hell then freewill is taken and loyalty is a myth. 

    You've said this before, but it's simply untrue. "Free will" as you would describe it is limited, yes? If it is, then any other arbitrary limit placed, while still affording choice, would still be "free will."

    For instance, I limit the "free will" of my children, by denying them the opportunity to watch "Sponge Bob Squarepants," but I afford them practically limitless "free will" by providing a desk, paper, and coloring crayons. They may draw whatever they like, in any number of colors they like -- their "free will" is limited, yet unbounded. This is exactly the same as the limited "free will" you would say god has provided: we are limited with respect to the choices we may make, but within those limits our "free will" is unbounded.

    The difference, though, is that there is no shape or color my children can draw which will result in eternal damnation -- limited, yet unbounded "free will" can mean only good choices. It's not just about "free will."

    Let's see what Hiker Boy has to add...

    This is a nonsensical question. 

    Hmm. You seem to be the only one with the comprehension problem, then, because it's syntactically correct, and perfectly understood by everybody else...

    There is no cause and effect. 

    No? So when "there was light," it wasn't caused by god saying, "let there be light"? I always understood that to be a cause/effect relationship in Christian theology...

    Does that apply to sin, too? If I sin, does that cause me to be unworthy to be in god's presence, the effect of which is eternal torment in hell unless I reap the effects of another cause: Christ's vicarious redemption?

    God does not cause people to make choices, so therefore God did not cause hell to be populated. 

    Whatever, domino.

    Your question is self serving and phrased to find fault with God. 

    If god is innocent, will that not bear out? Your answer is self-serving: it is meant to divert attention from your fear.

    If answered yes, you'll say that God causes people to sin, thereby violating his nature. If answered no, you'll say God is not omniscient. 

    Clearly, if you say "no," god is not omniscient, but no, that's not what I'll say to a "yes" answer. Rather, following "yes" is another question:

    Was god in possession of this knowledge when he chose to create? 

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hiker Boy,

    Well put. God does not make us choose hell. He is not willing that any should perish.

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

    Stan,

    "For instance, I limit the "free will" of my children, by denying them the opportunity to watch "Sponge Bob Squarepants," but I afford them practically limitless "free will" by providing a desk, paper, and coloring crayons. They may draw whatever they like, in any number of colors they like -- their "free will" is limited, yet unbounded. This is exactly the same as the limited "free will" you would say god has provided: we are limited with respect to the choices we may make, but within those limits our "free will" is unbounded."

    Finally you get my view correct. Thanks.
    But this:

    "The difference, though, is that there is no shape or color my children can draw which will result in eternal damnation -- limited, yet unbounded "free will" can mean only good choices. It's not just about "free will.""

    The fact is, is that there is a colour we as human beings can draw which will result in eternal damnation. To state otherwise is your opinion against the Bible's. I'll go with the Bible's.

    "limited, yet unbounded "free will" can mean only good choices.It's not just about "free will.""

    How does a man know that his wife loves him?
    Is it because no matter what she has as her options of action, it will always be love toward him?

    No,

    It is with the opportunity to be unfaithful that makes him know that when she is faithful that she loves him. There is no such thing as faithfulness or goodness without the opportunity to be unfaithful or bad. (that is, when it comes to people's relation to people and to God).

    "Was god in possession of this knowledge when he chose to create?"

    I assume so.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  42. Finally you get my view correct. Thanks. 

    I've been telling you -- I know precisely how Christian theology puts it, and I am quite aware of what sort of view you'd hold as a result. I've been telling you for some time that "free will" might exist even with omniscience, but you seem unable to recognize that any limitation on "free will" can be considered to be the position of the domino, while the unbounded aspect can be considered the manipulation of the dots.

    The fact is, is that there is a colour we as human beings can draw which will result in eternal damnation. 

    The fact is that the reason this is possible is because god chose it to be possible, with full knowledge that eternal damnation for the vast majority would follow. The fact further is that since humans seem to be the only life form for which this 'choice' exists, god didn't have to create in this way (or at all).

    I assume [god was in possession of the knowledge that his creative act would result in a populated hell]. 

    I see. How about this, then:

    Was it in god's power to abstain from creating, or to create in ways such that a populated hell would not result? 

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  43. Stan,

    "The fact further is that since humans seem to be the only life form for which this 'choice' exists, god didn't have to create in this way (or at all)."

    and

    "Was it in god's power to abstain from creating, or to create in ways such that a populated hell would not result?"

    I have already answered you. Yes, as far as I know. When is comes to abstaining, you would have to ask God.
    I thank God for giving us freewill!

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  44. Daniel,

    I thank God for giving us freewill!

    It seems to me that you think the only way for God to give us free will is by also giving us a "sinful nature."

    It is like God had no other way of making humans. Like flesh was the only ingredient available. Like really God is not omnipotent after all ...

    Got it so far?

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Daniel,

    before you come back with the "fallen creation" thing. I would then ask:

    Why would God make a creation so fragile that it would fall into a sinful nature by a single act of disobedience?

    If my car fell apart because I drove it a bit above the speed limit, and that caused every car in the future to come defective, I would seriously question the qualifications of the car makers.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hey, even if just that single car fell apart the car makers could not be called omni-anything ...

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hey G.E.

    I see you are back :)

    I do not believe God is omnipotent in regard to doing "everything". But He is definately most powerful far beyond any of us.

    Could God create a different situation than what has happened? ... I don't know. I know that He didn't :)

    As I have said before, there seems to be two kinds of sin. One that affects us and one that we do (which in turn affects us).

    Hitler did terrible things to people for which he is responsible. But his sin affected others. (not a perfect analogy obviously).

    God made man as a whole and an individual with freewill. It is through Adam that sin came into the world and the human race...through his genes. But every person is responsible for their own sin even though the sin of our fathers affect us.

    Hmmm, i can only do my best to answer that. However, God saw the problem that we have caused and sought to fix it by paying the fee for our sins. That is the amazing thing! I know I have sinned before of my own accord in the past...so have we all. But God will forgive us should we turn from our ways and trust in Him!

    Seek Him,

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hey Daniel,

    I am back only for today, then who knows.

    I think you got the idea already. So, nothing else. I am off this thread.

    Again, best to you,
    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Stan,

    "So we seem to agree, then, that god is directly responsible for all of the following:

    1. Manufacturing the dominoes.
    2. Arranging the sequence of dominoes.
    3. Tipping the first domino."

    You example has a flaw. We are saying that the dominos, even tho tipped by God, has the free will to step out of the arrangement. It really not a hard concept to grasp.

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  50. Stan,

    "For instance, I limit the "free will" of my children, by denying them the opportunity to watch "Sponge Bob Squarepants,""

    That's called giving them rules to live by. They still have the free will to disobey you. And you have the right to punish them.

    "... but I afford them practically limitless "free will" by providing a desk, paper, and coloring crayons. They may draw whatever they like, in any number of colors they like -- their "free will" is limited, yet unbounded."

    So.....if your children were to write profanity all over the paper and wall with those crayons it's your fault?

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  51. You example has a flaw. 

    No, that would be your misunderstanding.

    We are saying that the dominos [sic], even tho tipped by God, has the free will to step out of the arrangement. 

    Oh, I know that's what you are saying, but you seem oblivious to the fact that unbounded "free will" exists in the scenario already, via the dots.

    If there is any limit to "free will," then that limit represents the position of the dominoes in the sequence, and their inability to prevent themselves from falling. Any other aspect of the dominoes can be considered part of their "free will," but it will not change the fact that eventually every domino will fall, due to the initial tipping.

    It [sic] really not a hard concept to grasp. 

    Yeah, that's what I've been telling you, yet you refuse to grasp it.

    [Preventing my children from watching certain television shows is] called giving them rules to live by. They still have the free will to disobey you. 

    No. They cannot watch these shows not just because I say, "You may not watch that show," but because their "free will" to engage in that activity is restricted. There is no mechanism by which they can watch this show, no matter how hard they try -- the channel in question has been removed from the list of available channels.

    And you have the right to punish them. 

    Through eternal torment? Sure. If I bruise them I'll face abuse charges. That's hardly eternal, you know.

    So.....if your children were to write profanity all over the paper and wall with those crayons it's your fault? 

    This is asinine. You seem to freely use my analogy to argue my own point, yet you object when it applies to your religion.

    If I am sitting behind a two-way mirror, observing my children, after I handed them the crayons, and if it is my intent that the walls remain wax-free, then if I sit there and allow the kids to color the walls, then yes, I am partially responsible. If I also knew -- with perfect knowledge -- that they would start coloring the walls as soon as they thought I was gone, then I may as well have drawn on the walls myself, as I am fully responsible.

    With all this, though, you forgot the key aspect to the crayons-and-paper illustration:

    The difference, though, is that there is no shape or color my children can draw which will result in eternal damnation -- limited, yet unbounded "free will" can mean only good choices. It's not just about "free will." 

    Even if my children are responsible for their own actions -- which I do not deny -- no punishment I could possibly render would result in anything more than passing pain, whether physical or to their psyche.

    If I lack omniscience, my fault is mitigated with respect to the actions of my children as a result of the tools I've placed in their possession, but my fault is not wholly removed. If I have omniscience, then my fault is implied. Whether I have omniscience or not, if I punish my children through eternal torment, I am a monster.

    This has all already been addressed, however, through the Q&A session, which has effectively resolved the problem.

    --
    Stan

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  52. All right. Let's review the Q&A session, since there are now other players, and all of the would-be apologists here seem oblivious to the implications of their answers:

    Q1: Did god know that his creative act would result in a populated hell? 

    A1: Yes.

    Q2: Was god in possession of this knowledge when he chose to create? 

    A2: Yes.

    Q3: Was it in god's power to abstain from creating, or to create in ways such that a populated hell would not result? 

    A3: Yes.


    So... Before creating anything, god knew that his creative act would result in a populated hell (of eternal torment), and while he was quite able to abstain from creating (or creating in different ways such that a populated hell was avoided), he instead chose to create such that his foreknowledge was realized.

    How is this not choosing a world of sin, death, and eternal torment in hell?

    You see, you admit that god knew a populated hell would result, and you admit that god knew this before this result was inevitable, and you likewise admit that god didn't have to create at all (or at least not in this way).

    If he didn't have to, he chose to. If he knew what would result from his decision, then he chose that result by extension.

    There is no escape from this -- the god you describe would necessarily prefer eternal damnation to the alternatives.

    I thank you for admitting that your god is logically impossible.

    --
    Stan

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  53. Stan,

    I would only clarify that the god of your Q&A is not logically impossible...it only becomes that way if you claim the god is omnibenevolent (which Christians do).

    An evil god could fulfill all the criteria above and be logically possible.


    I know you've included the condition of being 'maximally good' previously, but I thought I'd mention it for the sake of completeness.

    Cheers,

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  54. Stan,

    "There is no escape from this -- the god you describe would necessarily prefer eternal damnation to the alternatives."

    The alternatives would mean no freewill. It is our choice to go to hell and God did not make us to choose. We are not dominoes but autonomous people.


    EPM,

    God is good. That is why there is a hell. To send people there that are bad by choice.

    Dan

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  55. Stan,

    "If there is any limit to "free will," then that limit represents the position of the dominoes in the sequence, and their inability to prevent themselves from falling."

    "Limits to free will" implies predetermination, which the bible does not speak of. True believers do not accept the premise of predetermination. Again...not in the Bible...not of the true God.

    HB

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  56. Stan,

    "No, that would be your misunderstanding."

    No, that would be your comprehension of the truth.

    HB

    ReplyDelete
  57. Stan,

    "Q1: Did god know that his creative act would result in a populated hell?

    A1: Yes.

    Q2: Was god in possession of this knowledge when he chose to create?

    A2: Yes.

    Q3: Was it in god's power to abstain from creating, or to create in ways such that a populated hell would not result?"

    Not without giving his creation thier free will.

    HB

    ReplyDelete
  58. Ex Pat Matt,

    "An evil god could fulfill all the criteria above and be logically possible."

    I agree...if your criteria was the same as laid out within the bible. You speak of a false god. One that has roots only within your mind. The one and only true God makes your criteria invalid by the mear speaking of his word.

    HB

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  59. Of course God could just have not made Satan, and saved everyone some trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  60. "If I lack omniscience, my fault is mitigated with respect to the actions of my children as a result of the tools I've placed in their possession, but my fault is not wholly removed"

    I think you're almost getting it. God even though not responsible for the actions of his children, paid the debt for them. He gave himself as a perfect sacrifice.

    HB

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Stan,

    "Through eternal torment? Sure. If I bruise them I'll face abuse charges. That's hardly eternal, you know."

    That applies to man but not to God. You statement puts God at the same level as man. Not applicable.

    HB

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  63. Bath Tub,

    "Of course God could just have not made Satan, and saved everyone some trouble."

    That would have removed his free will.

    I often ask myself the same question. But it's God's ballgame not ours. He owns all the equipment, the players and the field. He's also maker of the rules. The one thing we will come to terms with, is the fact that we can't opt out of the game. Closing your eyes and playing make believe that a game is not going on is only going to get you beaned in the head. You may be down but never out of the game.

    HB

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  64. Hahahah so now it's about Gods freewill.

    Hahah. This just gets better and better.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Stan,

    "This has all already been addressed, however, through the Q&A session, which has effectively resolved the problem."

    NADA...nope...only in your mind. Just because you don't comprehend free will doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    You have the free will to believe whatever you desire. But it doesn't change the truth and you won't be able to use the excuse of "God created me and thereby is responsible for my actions" when you are before his throne. However, he will remove the blame if you accept his sacrfice.

    HB

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  66. Bath Tub,

    "Hahahah so now it's about Gods freewill.

    Hahah. This just gets better and better."

    You misunderstood. It wasn't Gods free will, it was Satan. Read my comment again. If it's not clear, I'll rewrite it.

    HB

    ReplyDelete
  67. If he didn't make Satan in the first place who gives a stuff about satans free will.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Da Bomb,

    "God is good. That is why there is a hell. To send people there that are bad by choice."

    Say it again brother. It's all about our decisions. Have you heard about "Ironsides Door"?
    Cool example of free will, our choices and God foreknowledge.

    HB

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  69. Bath Tub,

    "If he didn't make Satan in the first place who gives a stuff about satans free will."

    Satan for one. I often wonder if Satan only asked for forgiveness, would this all change?

    BTW, What time is it where you're at

    HB

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  70. No, we've just established that Hell exists, and creation is fallen because not creating Satan would have violated Satans free will.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Bath Tub,

    That's right. Could you kill your unborn child if you found out that he or she would be involved in causing a accident that resulted in the death of a lot of people?

    HB

    ReplyDelete
  72. It's midnight here.

    Are you actually in New Zealand? What part?

    ReplyDelete
  73. Abortion has nothing to do with it.

    Just don't create Satan in the first place!

    Newlands, Wellington.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I'm in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    I don't want to discuss abortion. I was trying to describe how I think God thinks?

    Does that sound right? Sometimes the brain doesn't work very well. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  75. It's interesting how you are justifying the existance of Satan by making these strange moral dilemmas.

    Not creating Satan would violate Satans Free Will!

    No Creating Satan would be like Creating him then aborting him!

    Why not just kill him? God kills everyone and everything else. The flood for example, he didn't exactly care about kids free will there. Or however many babies he aborted.

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  76. I think we try to rationalize Gods behavior based on human principles. If we ever hope to understand him at the very least, we have to try to look at things his way. We are so far removed from him that we are nothing like him anymore.

    With that said...

    That's why I ask the question,"Could you kill your unborn child if you found out that he or she would be involved in causing a accident that resulted in the death of a lot of people?"

    Again not to discuss the morality of abortion, but to discuss how God thinks.

    It sounds weird to us, but Gods love goes beyond these throw away bodies. I heard a preacher say it best, "God not worried about the hardware, he's concerned about the software.

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  77. I don't understand it completely, but for some reason, he thinks his love is not complete if he doesn't give you a chance to live, make your own choices and that included Satan.

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  78. And being punished for the choices of others.

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  79. "And being punished for the choices of others."

    I'm sorry. I don't understand. Satan or Us?

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  80. It's unfortunate but that's how he works. It may sound irrational to us, but the slightest disobedience means physical death in God's eyes.

    It also means eternal spiritual separation from God. I don't think we, as humans, have the capacity to understand what that means. It's not fire and brimstone but it will appear that way.

    We believe that God holds all things together. I know this is kind of out there, but I believe the fire and brimstone reference is similar to breaking the nuclear bond of a atom. It releases a lot of energy.

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  81. Bath Tub,

    Well got to go. I'm sure you want to eat dinner and I got to go to bed.

    It has been good conversing with you. If you're around tomorrow, we can do it again. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel. Sorry for the cheesy Batman reference.

    HB

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  82. Hey ya guys,

    BT

    "The flood for example, he didn't exactly care about kids free will there. Or however many babies he aborted."

    Just want to point you to these verses...

    "18 ¶ For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
    19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
    20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
    21 ¶ There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"

    From my understanding of these verses, Jesus went back and preached to those people.

    "And being punished for the choices of others."

    Think about it this way,
    We all have Freewill, but our free wills bump into each other sometime or another causing conflict and sometimes pain. Did you know that people can grieve God?

    I would call that (to a degree) being punished by the choices of others. God wants a perfect world but we keep stuffing it up.

    Hmmmm,
    Just some thoughts.

    Dan

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  83. Da Bomb,

    "Did you know that people can grieve God?"

    Now...did God grieve before time began...because of his foreknowledge...of future events? One thing I believe some have a problem understanding is the fact that God lives in the past, now, future and outside of time. That's what makes him omniscient. He observes and has a foreknowledge of the same event, his people having free will to do whatever they want.

    HB

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  84. God wants a perfect world but we keep stuffing it up. 

    I want a perfect GPA, but I'm an idiot, and I "stuff" it up. If god wanted a perfect world, he should have made one. Instead, like me, he's an idiot.

    Worse, as I've been losing hair in trying to get you to fathom, is that god knew the world wouldn't be perfect, yet chose to make it anyway. Thus, and again, if he wanted a perfect world, he's an idiot. Because he chose an imperfect world, he's a bumbling fool, to boot.

    --
    Stan

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  85. Stan,

    "Worse, as I've been losing hair in trying to get you to fathom, is that god knew the world wouldn't be perfect, yet chose to make it anyway."

    I think the problem is not that we not fathom the complexities of your argument, but your inability to see that we don't accept your conclusion. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We agree that God knew that humankind would mess it up. We don't agree that he caused humankind to mess it up.

    I think that No Doubts newest blog entry says it well. It gives a conversation between the Godhead just before creation began. It's short but I think insightful. You can read it all in its entirety:

    http://bnai-elohim.blogspot.com/2009/08/pre-genesis-prelude-to-creation-part.html

    However, here is the excerpt. I know No Doubt won't mind. Again, this is God speaking just before creation.

    "Before this begins, we know that some of you will rebel against us and eventually we will have to banish you from our presence. However, whether you are Ang-el or Adam, you must play out your destiny in order for us to reach the goal. For we desire not to have mindless servants but dedicated and loving companions who desire to be with us and serve all through a committed and brotherly love.

    We could create beings that would do our beck and call but they would not be what we desire because they would not have reached the goal through your own free will. Such companionship can only be obtained by taking a journey along the path of your own choosing. On this journey, you will always be in our presence or have the evidence of our existence. However, you have to choose your way based on faith, not by sight. We will now embark on that journey.

    Are we committed?

    We are committed.

    Let it happen."

    HB

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  86. I think the problem is not that we not fathom the complexities of your argument, but your inability to see that we don't accept your conclusion. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We agree that God knew that humankind would mess it up. We don't agree that he caused humankind to mess it up. 

    If I had a nickel for each time you guys caused me to do a headdesk, I'd have at least $4...

    Look. My conclusion is not that god caused us to screw up. My conclusion is deductively sound, and only stipulates that if god knew there would be evil and a populated hell (of eternal torment), then he necessarily chose for there to be both evil and a populated hell (of eternal torment).

    So, you explicitly agree that god knew sin would occur? Outstanding. That's already been established, really, and it is implied when you insist that god is omniscient, but nonetheless I managed to get you guys to state it directly with the 'possession of this knowledge' question. The problem comes from god's decision to create (given that knowledge), and the presumed attribute of omnibenevolence.

    While god did not cause us to sin -- in an arguably specific sense of causation, which is irrelevant to my argument -- he did cause a world in which there would be both evil and a populated hell (of eternal torment). If you agree that god is omnibenevolent, you have a problem if he is also omniscient (and the "first cause").

    He should have sat on his hands, and remained an infinitely lonely deity, if he truly prefers that no one suffer evil or hell. If he was a truly benevolent being, that's exactly what he would've done.

    --
    Stan

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  87. Stan,

    "If you agree that god is omnibenevolent, you have a problem if he is also omniscient (and the "first cause")"

    Are we in agreement that omnibenevolence means wanting good for everybody?

    HB

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  88. Are we in agreement that omnibenevolence means wanting good for everybody? 

    Sure. Are we in agreement that it is better to not exist than to find oneself in a hell (of eternal torment)?

    --
    Stan

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  89. I've answered in a new thread...it gets quite time consuming to write similar topics in different threads and I like to start with a new emphasis.

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