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  1. #201  
    Senior Member The Night Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    The Devil has the power to deceive men only if God allows him to (read Job). God being perfect would not allow a misrepresentation of His Holy Word. That would mean he allowed Satan to make His Word untrustworthy. To do that would make Him less than perfect and He can not be less that what He is.
    A fallible being is in no position to say what a supreme being would or would not do. Moreover, a supreme being is under no obligation to be truthful to its creations.

    You said it yourself... God works in mysterious ways. How can you be certain that deception is not one of those mysterious ways in which God works? If God can ordain the killing of infants to achieve a purpose then surely God can ordain lies to achieve a purpose.

    It seems to me that if humans are the creations of a god then it may have given humans the ability to reason so that we may discern bad teachings from good teachings even when the teachings are said to be from the highest of authorities.
    Last edited by The Night Owl; 12-15-2008 at 05:08 PM.
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  2. #202  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    Give me the book chapter and verse. I'm kind of brain dead after answering TNO's what ifs :D
    Luke 17: 2

    BTW - where do the souls of babes come from? :)
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  3. #203  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    I'm an Episcopal who claims to be and orthodox Anglican that believes that Calvin was spot on most of the time. Of the modern theologians I read a lot of R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer. From old theologians I am really fond of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, John Owen , J.C. Riley, John Bunyon and Luther.
    Ah. You are a Calvinist. No wonder.
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  4. #204  
    Senior Member The Night Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    Ah. You are a Calvinist. No wonder.
    Technically, anyone who believes in an omnipotent god which punishes its creations for doing things it knows they will do is a sort of Calvinist.
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  5. #205  
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Night Owl View Post
    Technically, anyone who believes in an omnipotent god which punishes its creations for doing things it knows they will do is a sort of Calvinist.
    I've told you already - God does not send anyone to hell. They send themselves. The same way that bugs scatter and crawl away from the light when you flip a rock - same happens on the spiritual plain. Creatures of darkness will by their own accord flee the light that is Jesus Christ.
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  6. #206  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    I've told you already - God does not send anyone to hell. They send themselves. The same way that bugs scatter and crawl away from the light when you flip a rock - same happens on the spiritual plain. Creatures of darkness will by their own accord flee the light that is Jesus Christ.
    Does God let the damned out of Hell once they realize the mistake they made? If the damned are not allowed to leave Hell when they realize the mistake they made then what began as their choice to turn away from God becomes punishment inflicted by God.
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  7. #207  
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Night Owl View Post
    Does God let the damned out of Hell once they realize the mistake they made? If the damned are not allowed to leave Hell when they realize the mistake they made then what began as their choice to turn away from God becomes punishment inflicted by God.
    you make your choices in life. In death the weft and the weave is set. the patter cannot be changed. The cloth has been take from the loom at that point.

    besides - you are assuming that they will see it as a mistake. Creatures of darkness fear the light.
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  8. #208  
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Imperfect fallible word of human beings can easily make the claim that they are infallible. Perhaps one the mistakes of the Bible is that it claims to be infallible, or 'God breathed'. What then?
    Perhaps you are making a mistake by assuming that the Bible makes a mistake

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
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  9. #209  
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    am I the only one who knows how the various canons came into being and usage in the first place?? GAH.
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  10. #210  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    It is free will in that I still have a choice. Lets look at this from another perspective. God knows all things. He is outside of time and can see past, present and future at once. Now if the Lord knows before hand what choice you will make on any given decision are you lacking in free will or is your free will being limited in some way?
    In my mind, no there is no free will in the above scenario... choices are already ordained. What you describe is predestination... one of the particularly indefensible parts of Calvinism, IMHO. Then of course, to justify why a good god could predestine so many to hell or lives of needless suffering, we see the arguments you touch on a bit in earlier posts... we are basically his playthings. Just as an artist can let his pictures burn in a fire, or a child can choose to melt his action figure in the microwave, so can God choose to do the same to us and it is his prerogative.

    I think the philosophy you touch upon above squarely puts free will in the realm of illusion, and at the same time makes any action that God may inflict upon us, no matter how deplorable, as moral. It strips humans of their innate worth as living, autonomous beings capable of free will. It encourages the concept that we are inherently without worth, except as the playthings of this God. Calvinism leads to such dehumanizing conclusions, which is why, even though I know you are a good and decent guy, you can say with a straight face that it is just for God to condemn babies to hell before they even have a chance to be born.

    No free will, no worth, toys of a divine puppeteer. Things He does to us are moral because He does them, not because He only does what is moral. Then, of course, things get a little sticky and confusing when we hear that it is wrong for God to violate one's free will.. its our choice to choose him, but its already pre-ordained... what?!? Can you at least begin to see how appeals to divine revelation as the only way to reconcile these contradictions really seem like evasions, not explanations?

    Just because a person is predisposed to one action over another the state of ones freewill is not affected. Some scientists believe that are DNA drives our behavior and that almost all our choices are predisposed to one over the other. Our DNA leads someone to favor blue over red. Is the free will absent because of this? Your DNA makes you more attacted to blondes over brunettes is your free will being limited. I perfer asian women over caucasion women but that doesn't stop me from picking a caucasion woman to date. My free will is still in tact.
    I think that 'orientation' or predisposition plays a huge role in the execution of one's will. In some cases predisposition, or certain genetic conditions, brain chemistry etc can dictate outright what a persons choice in certain situations will be. Material things can influence and even dictate our choices. That is certainly a very big wrinkle in the concept of free will..

    It may be the simplest, easiest thing in the world for either of us not to cheat on a spouse or partner... on the other hand, some people are very predisposed to such things, and it may take all their force of will to keep their fidelity. In a way, their accomplishment in remaining true to their spouse would be much greater than yours or mine. Also in the same way if they slipped their transgression would be less than either yours or mine, generally.

    So I guess the question is, what do you consider free will and do you feel that all your choices in life are free? Consider this, you are robbed and the theif says "your money or your life", has your free will been removed because your choices have been limited. In someway all our choices have limitations placed on them via law or social norms. Does that mean that we don't have free will?
    Well, I can't say I have really pinned down what exactly 'free will' is.... I have a lot more learning to do on the topic... Intuitively, it seems to me like it is something we all possess and allows us to make choices according to our desires. We are all agents of free will... as such we should all recognize that it is immoral to subjugate another free, autonomous agent to your own will.. unjustly. On the other hand, will is made possible through material forces, and as such can be constrained, influenced or subjugated by them.

    In the case of a thief, yes, he has immorally confined your free will... violated your autonomy. There may be others choices, such as running or fighting, but these aren't options for many people. I think that example is very analogous to the Abrahamic religions conception of God. Granting us the free will to determine our own choices (limited options of course), but demanding we make very specific choices at the threat of force. A thief in the night indeed.
    Last edited by wilbur; 12-16-2008 at 01:32 PM.
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