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Problem of Evil

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troyjs

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2011, 09:23:27 pm »
Although I am a christian, (a calvinits), I can understand why someone would not be satisfied with the free-will defence. It is because the argument that God could logically create a world, where everyone freely chooses good rather than evil, is a logical problem.
Heaven is supposed to be a world where people freely choose good rather than evil, therefore God could create such a world. It matters not what the mechanics of creating such a world would be, -- all that matters is that such a world is logically possible, ie. it is a possible world.

If God really wants the best possible world to be actualized, then why does God not actualise a perfect world, where everyone freely chooses good?

P1) If God is omnipotent, then God can do everything which is not logically impossible.
P2) A perfect world, ie. heaven, is a possible world.
Therefore, God could have actualized a perfect world, where everyone freely chooses good rather than evil.

P3) God did not actualize a perfect world.
P4) God is omnipotent.
Therefore, either God did not want to create a perfect world, ie. is not omnibenevolent.

P5) God is omnibenevolent, ie. God wanted to create a perfect world.
P6) God did not create a perfect world.
Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

The molinistic FWD presupposes that God could not create a perfect world, or atleast that we can't know that God could create a perfect world. The atheist quite correctly, points out that if heaven is a perfect world, then God can in fact create a perfect world.

The molinist ends up implicitly saying that we can't know if God can create heaven, or worse, that He can't create heaven.

Ofcourse, the atheist assumes that it is wrong for God to create a world where people suffer, and logically implies that it is wrong for me to learn that the icecream I am eating does not go right down to the bottom of the cone

“Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ” -- John Calvin.
“I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels” -- John Calvin

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troyjs

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2011, 09:24:12 pm »
I don't
“Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ” -- John Calvin.
“I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels” -- John Calvin

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Jack

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2011, 11:24:12 pm »
I think one of the reasons why people might feel the free-will defense isn't a good reply is because it is only half the story. It defeats (in some instances, as previously discussed) the logical problem of evil, but not the evidential one. By ignoring the very real suffering and evil existing in the world, the Christian appears shallow and dismissive of what should be a very troubling challenge to the benevolence of God. Even if some evil may logically exist on Christianity, some effort should be made to account for the actual amount of suffering we see, and what level of intervention we expect God to have in our world, even with free will.

To give an example, it is very difficult to see how babies dying of small-pox is a result of man exercising his free will. For the Christian to dismiss this simply because its logically possible that God has sufficient reasons for allowing innocent babies to die of something which humanity could not have prevented seems like ignoring the real problem.

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belorg

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2011, 01:56:20 am »

Archsage wrote:
OK, I will to become a bird.

Satisfied now?

See, now you have free will! You can will whatever you want -- it doesn't mean that you will get it. I can will for world peace... but is it going to happen because I will for it? Of course not. But my will is still free.

You understand?


Great. So, suppose it's my free will to kill somebody. And for some reason I cannot do that. Is that a violation of my free will?
You say no.
Then the FWD fails altogether because God could create a world in which everybody wills evil things but no evil thing actually happen.

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belorg

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2011, 02:06:18 am »

troyjs wrote:
Ofcourse, the atheist assumes that it is wrong for God to create a world where people suffer, and logically implies that it is wrong for me to learn that the icecream I am eating does not go right down to the bottom of the cone


Well, I don't see why it wouldn't be wrong for an omnibenevolent God to create such a world. Now, I understand that most calvinists do not believe that God is omnibenevolent. And it could be argued that allowing suffering is the only way for God to create some 'greater good'.
But it strikes me as a bit of an inconsistency to claim (as calvinists do) that there is not only temporal suffering, but that suffering continues eternally for those who happen to be 'unchosen', because those people quite literally cannot help being unchosen.



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belorg

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2011, 02:10:41 am »
noseeum wrote: I think one of the reasons why people might feel the free-will defense isn't a good reply is because it is only half the story. It defeats (in some instances, as previously discussed) the logical problem of evil, but not the evidential one. By ignoring the very real suffering and evil existing in the world, the Christian appears shallow and dismissive of what should be a very troubling challenge to the benevolence of God. Even if some evil may logically exist on Christianity, some effort should be made to account for the actual amount of suffering we see, and what level of intervention we expect God to have in our world, even with free will.

To give an example, it is very difficult to see how babies dying of small-pox is a result of man exercising his free will. For the Christian to dismiss this simply because its logically possible that God has sufficient reasons for allowing innocent babies to die of something which humanity could not have prevented seems like ignoring the real problem.


Well, it doesn't look like the FWD works against natural evil in the world, unless, as Plantinga once suggested (and I still hope his suggestion was merely an attempt to be funny) natural evil is the result of free-willed actions by supernatural beings (demons etc). God does not want to violate the FW of those creatures either.

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Archsage

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2011, 06:38:35 am »
Great. So, suppose it's my free will  to kill somebody. And for some reason I cannot do that. Is that a  violation of my free will?
You say no.
Then the FWD fails  altogether because God could create a world in which everybody wills  evil things but no evil thing actually happen.


You mean, God creates a world where we have no power to do anything? Why would God want that? Remember, it isn't our actions that are evil, no, evil comes from our very will.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Filip Prsic

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2011, 06:43:17 am »
I explain here why the free will defense makes no sense to me.

It seems to me that in the end, for it to work, you have to say that special rules apply to God--God can be loving while watching all the suffering in the world without helping but no one else can. This is one of the points made in the Tale of Twelve Officers.

But, since I'm a complete lay man (and a minor), it's entirely possible that I don't know what I'm talking about. But I'd like to hear someone actually crticize the argument I give there.


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belorg

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2011, 11:01:39 am »

Archsage wrote:
Great. So, suppose it's my free will to kill somebody. And for some reason I cannot do that. Is that a violation of my free will?
You say no.
Then the FWD fails altogether because God could create a world in which everybody wills evil things but no evil thing actually happen.


You mean, God creates a world where we have no power to do anything? Why would God want that? Remember, it isn't our actions that are evil, no, evil comes from our very will.


How is that relevant to the PoE? Our will is evil, yes, but for our will to affect anybody else, we'll have to perform evil actions. And God can prevent those evil actions from happening without influencing our free will.
And if He finds delight in seeing some of us burn in hell, He can just send us there because of our evil intentions

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Archsage

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2011, 03:20:14 pm »
How is that relevant to the PoE? Our  will is evil, yes, but for our will to affect anybody else, we'll have  to perform evil actions. And God can prevent those evil actions from  happening without influencing our free will.
And if He finds delight in seeing some of us burn in hell, He can just send us there because of our evil intentions

1) It isn't relevant to PoE, it's just true.

2) Why would God have to prevent us from carrying out our will?

3) God doesn't send us to Hell because of 'evil intentions', we are Judged based solely on the Christ.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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troyjs

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2011, 01:46:21 am »
But it strikes me as a bit of an inconsistency to claim (as calvinists do) that there is not only temporal suffering, but that suffering continues eternally for those who happen to be 'unchosen', because those people quite literally cannot help being unchosen.


We don't say that people go to hell because they are not chosen, but rather because they are sinners. But the retort is usually, "but we can't help but to be sinners."

It is then important to define what a sinner is, and also to ask if it is necessary that all sinners are responsible for their sin.

If it is necessarily true that all sinners are responsible for their sin, then the predicate of responsibility can be attached to all x, where x is all possible sinners. Every x, is a personal agent which desires to be x. It is incoherent therefore for x to complain for being x, where x is x by identity and also since x is x by agentival will.

Explaining why x is x, and that by the law of identity x is x, and can not not be x, does not remove the necessary predicate of responsibility.

It therefore follows that rather than to commit the genetic fallacy, all and every possible x is responsible, and therefore has no complaint against being in hell.

Where the real problem lies, is where all possible x's are responsible, that there are some x that do not go to hell. In other words, "why do some sinners go to heaven?"

With sinners who go to hell, it is by the law of identity, and the necessary predicate of responsibility that sinners go to hell. But why do some not go there? It is because of the concept of derivation, and the predicate of justification.

Because x is responsible to God, due to derivation, x is derivative and all possible relations between x and God are contingent on God. God therefore can attach the predicate of justification to every possible x, which is derived from God.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ -- Romans 5:1


“Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ” -- John Calvin.
“I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels” -- John Calvin

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belorg

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2011, 02:49:33 am »

troyjs wrote:


If it is necessarily true that all sinners are responsible for their sin, then the predicate of responsibility can be attached to all x, where x is all possible sinners. Every x, is a personal agent which desires to be x. It is incoherent therefore for x to complain for being x, where x is x by identity and also since x is x by agentival will.


This is false. I am a personal agent, belorg, but I do not desire to be belorg. I am belorg and there is no way for me not to be belorg.


Explaining why x is x, and that by the law of identity x is x, and can not not be x, does not remove the necessary predicate of responsibility.


I am in no way responsible for being me.

Where the real problem lies, is where all possible x's are responsible, that there are some x that do not go to hell. In other words, "why do some sinners go to heaven?"


That's 'the real problem' for calvinists, but it isn't the real problem for me. the real problem for me is not that you might not go to hell but that I will go to hell.

With sinners who go to hell, it is by the law of identity, and the necessary predicate of responsibility that sinners go to hell. But why do some not go there? It is because of the concept of derivation, and the predicate of justification.

Because x is responsible to God, due to derivation, x is derivative and all possible relations between x and God are contingent on God. God therefore can attach the predicate of justification to every possible x, which is derived from God.



In plain English: people go to hell because they happen to be unchosen by God not to go to hell. Which happens to be exactly what you denied



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troyjs

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« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2011, 08:04:47 pm »
Because the context of the argument has to do with choice, sin, and free-will, where x chooses to be x, I mean x chooses to do what x chooses to do.

This is false. I am a personal agent, belorg, but I do not desire to be belorg. I am belorg and there is no way for me not to be belorg.

You amount to saying that you are not responsible for the choices you make, because you couldn't help but want to choose that particular way. You would have to deny that you don't really desire or choose, what you actually desire or choose.

"I wanted to kill him, but I didn't want to want to kill him". Self-referential choice or identity is properly basic.
“Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ” -- John Calvin.
“I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels” -- John Calvin

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belorg

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2011, 01:58:24 am »
troyjs wrote: Because the context of the argument has to do with choice, sin, and free-will, where x chooses to be x, I mean x chooses to do what x chooses to do.
Yes x chooses to de what x chooses to do, but x does not choose who x is.
Quote
This is false. I am a personal agent, belorg, but I do not desire to be belorg. I am belorg and there is no way for me not to be belorg.

You amount to saying that you are not responsible for the choices you make, because you couldn't help but want to choose that particular way. You would have to deny that you don't really desire or choose, what you actually desire or choose.

"I wanted to kill him, but I didn't want to want to kill him". Self-referential choice or identity is properly basic.

Since , acoording to calvinism, my wanting to kill him was programmed by God and I can't change my programming I am not responsible for anything.
God is responsible for everything that happens. I don't know why this is such a big problem. God is the boss, He decides what happens. So, why calvinists go to all the trouble trying to make excuses for God is completely beyond me.
God does not need an excuse if He wants to torture people for eternity. If He likes to do that, who are we to say He can't?
After all: might makes right.

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troyjs

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The Free-Will Defense
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2011, 04:59:30 am »
es x chooses to de what x chooses to do, but x does not choose who x is.

In my initial post, I defined x as being a sinner. x is a sinner because x sins, and  x sins because x chooses to sin.

x is a sinner because x chooses to sin, therefore x implicitly chooses to be a sinner.
x murders p because x chose to murder p, therefore x chooses to be a murder of p.
Obviously I don't mean that x can choose to be a bird or a car -- the context is regards to sin and will.

Since , acoording to calvinism, my wanting to kill him was programmed by God and I can't change my programming I am not responsible for anything.

You commit the genetic fallacy. Explaining how something is the case, does not refute the idea that something is in fact the case.

Analyse this analytic statement:
If God creates person x who is responsible for his actions, then person x is responsible for his actions.

God is responsible for everything that happens. I don't know why this is such a big problem. God is the boss, He decides what happens. So, why calvinists go to all the trouble trying to make excuses for God is completely beyond me.

Read A W Pink's 'The Sovereignty of God', then tell me that calvinists make excuses for God. Of course God is responsible for everything. It is just that you deny the possibility of God using sinners for Holy causes.

God determines to destroy 2 particular murderers. God uses each murderer to kill the other out of their individual murderous nature. God destroys both murderers in just judgement, and the murderers kill each other in sin. In the one act, the murderers are committing sin, while God is acting according to righteousness.

God does not need an excuse if He wants to torture people for eternity. If He likes to do that, who are we to say He can't?

Because God has an unchanging character, and He has revealed His character to us, then God will not do anything in contradiction to what He has revealed to us. He has revealed why people will suffer in hell for eternity. It is because sinners are responsible for their sin, while God is responsible for His judgement upon sinners in their judgement, which is good.


“Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ” -- John Calvin.
“I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels” -- John Calvin