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belorg

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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2011, 10:02:10 am »
troyjs wrote:
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.
The question is: can , under calvinism, x, who God predetined to sin  choose not to sin?
If he can, then he is not predestined. If he cannot, then he doesn't choose.

Quote
Since , according 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.
Of course not, my explaining how predistination is the case does not refute the idea that predstination is 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.
That is logically impossible. It is impossible to create actions and not be responsible for them.

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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.
I do not know whether Pink does, but you seem to do so.
Of course God is responsible for everything. It is just that you deny the possibility of God using sinners for Holy causes.
No, I don't. I don't deny the possibility of someone using a hammer to kill somebody either.
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.
You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
Quote
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.
I have never said that God does 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.
God judges that people deserve eternal punishment for a sin that they could not avoid.
Is there a possible world in which, if God has predestined that x kills y, x can choose not to kill y?
Then the 'choice' to kill x is not a choice after all.

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troyjs

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« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2011, 10:23:39 pm »
I wrote:
Of course God is responsible for everything.

Then you replied:
I do not know whether Pink does, but you seem to do so.
(In saying that calvinists make excuses for God  (i) )

(i)
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.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
No I maintain that x is an agent created by God who is responsible for his actionsm and that God is responsible for His actions.

You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
I maintain that God creates x, where x is a sinner and responsible for his actions. I don't deny that God is responsible for what happens in the universe --- I am a calvinist after all.. It would be wrong if God caused a murderer to kill someone who is innocent in God's sight, but no one is in fact innocent in God's sight. You agree that God can use sinners to meet out His justice, but I think our disagreement is whether God can create a person who is by nature a sinner, and both responsible for his actions. Am I correct?

quote:

God judges that people deserve eternal punishment for a sin that they could not avoid.
Is there a possible world in which, if God has predestined that x kills y, x can choose not to kill y?
Then the 'choice' to kill x is not a choice after all.

---------------------------------------------------

I think this is the main issue:
The claim: A predetermined choice is not a choice after all.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I view you to believe that the idea of a predetermined choice is contradictory. If this is so, then we should begin by defining our terms.

choice: An act of a personal being, whereby a selection is preferred over an alternative.

I would like for you to demonstrate why a predetermined act of a personal being whereby a selection is preferred over an alternative, is not a choice.

Thanks for discussing this topic with me.



“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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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2011, 08:36:17 am »
troyjs wrote:
----------------------------------------------------------------------

You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
No I maintain that x is an agent created by God who is responsible for his actionm and that God is responsible for His actions.
That's why I say you make excuses for God. You say God is responsible for His actions, but you forget that God is also responsible for x's actions.

Quote
You forget the God also determines their murderous nature, troyjs
I maintain that God creates x, where x is a sinner and responsible for his actions. I don't deny that God is responsible for what happens in the universe --- I am a calvinist after all.. It would be wrong if God caused a murderer to kill someone who is innocent in God's sight, but no one is in fact innocent in God's sight. You agree that God can use sinners to meet out His justice, but I think our disagreement is whether God can create a person who is by nature a sinner, and both responsible for his actions. Am I correct?
Yes


God judges that people deserve eternal punishment for a sin that they could not avoid.
Is there a possible world in which, if God has predestined that x kills y, x can choose not to kill y?
Then the 'choice' to kill x is not a choice after all.

---------------------------------------------------

I think this is the main issue:
The claim: A predetermined choice is not a choice after all.
Well, I think it would be better to say that a predetermined agant is not responsible for his choice if he couldn't have avoided it.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I view you to believe that the idea of a predetermined choice is contradictory. If this is so, then we should begin by defining our terms.

choice: An act of a personal being, whereby a selection is preferred over an alternative.
That is one definition of choice, a compatibilist definition of choice.
And, you may be surprised to hear, but I am actually a compatibilist, because whatever I choose is according to my preferences and from my point of view, the fact that this choice may have been inevitable from a cosmic POV, is not relevant.
However, from a cosmic POV, the difference is relevant, because from that POV ( which would be God's POV) I am not responsible for my choice.
Compatibilist free is only relevant when one only takes into account our own limited POV, in which eternal reward or punishment does not enter the picture. If one argues for that, one has to broaden the perspective. And then not only 'choice' matters, but also culpability. And there just isn't any way for a human being to be culpable from a cosmic POV.

I would like for you to demonstrate why a predetermined act of a personal being whereby a selection is preferred over an alternative, is not a choice.
It is a choice, but since it is made on the basis of a pre-programmed preference for which there was no choice, the person making that sort of choice cannot be held culpable.

Thanks for discussing this topic with me.
You're welcome. I always enjoy an irenic discussion.



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troyjs

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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2011, 12:01:04 am »
That's why I say you make excuses for God. You say God is responsible for His actions, but you forget that God is also responsible for x's actions.


According to calvinism (and the Bible), God is responsible for everything that happens.


It is a choice, but since it is made on the basis of a pre-programmed preference for which there was no choice, the person making that sort of choice cannot be held culpable.


I think we disagree on the definition of compatibilism.

This is why I maintain that we are morally culpable for our actions:


The moral imperative stems from the telos, or purpose, of our existence. God's purpose in our existence is the promotion of what is good, holy, and pure and the destruction, abasement, and dishonour of what is evil.

Since this then, is the purpose of our wills, we 'ought' to desire that which is in conformity to the purpose of our existence. To act according to a desire not in conformity to our purpose, is to act in conformity to the principle of evil. Such acts assume that it is meaningful to act in contradiction to their ultimate purpose, like a passenger on a train, for whatever reason not wanting to reach the destination, walks the length of the train in the opposite direction of travel.

Ultimately, all created beings will fulfill their purpose of existence, whether they be sinner or saint. The sinner then, with the purpose of his existence in mind, should actually desire his own destruction. This would be 'willing' in accordance to the purpose of his existence.

So then, it is the obligation of sinners to desire their own destruction, in accordance to their telos, and it is the obligation of those justified, to desire and hope in their own salvation, according to their telos. And both the vessel made unto honour, and the vessel made unto dishonour, rather than questioning God, "Why have you made me as such", both have their part to play in the promotion of what is good, holy, and pure, and the destruction, abasement, and dishonour of what is evil.


It is a choice, but since it is made on the basis of a pre-programmed preference for which there was no choice, the person making that sort of choice cannot be held culpable.


Please show why you believe that free-will is a necessary condition for culpability.

“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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« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2011, 02:03:52 am »

troyjs wrote:
According to calvinism (and the Bible), God is responsible for everything that happens.

But not culpable, and therein lies the inconsistency in calvinism.
God is also culpable for everything.



So then, it is the obligation of sinners to desire their own destruction, in accordance to their telos, and it is the obligation of those justified, to desire and hope in their own salvation, according to their telos. And both the vessel made unto honour, and the vessel made unto dishonour, rather than questioning God, "Why have you made me as such", both have their part to play in the promotion of what is good, holy, and pure, and the destruction, abasement, and dishonour of what is evil.


So, if I desire my own destruction, I will be saved?
Or I will be destroyed, just like someone who does not desire his own desctuction.
This is all good and fine, God is sovereign and decides who is 'the vessel made into honour' and who is 'the vessel made into dishonour'. That is not what I'm questioning here. What I'm quetioning is that the 'vessel made into dishonour' is culplable of being a 'vessel made into dishonour'. He isn't.

Please show why you believe that free-will is a necessary condition for culpability.


Because I am not to blame for something somebody else did. To be culpable of something, it is necessary that there was a logically possible way for you to avoid it.
Your biew comes down to God playing with toys, and, for His own pleasure or whatever, throwing some of them into the fire and saying: "well, they are to blame because, you see, they were wearing a blue jacket, and we all know that wearing a blue jacket means you are culpable"




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troyjs

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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2011, 07:17:31 pm »
But not culpable, and therein lies the inconsistency in calvinism.
God is also culpable for everything.

I disagree with you on this. Culpability has to do with minds and the reasons for which a mind chooses certain actions as opposed to other actions.


So, if I desire my own destruction, I will be saved?
Or I will be destroyed, just like someone who does not desire his own desctuction.


No, desiring your own destruction or the destruction of the wicked does not save you from your sins, because the good which we do, is that which we should do anyway.

That is not what I'm questioning here. What I'm quetioning is that the 'vessel made into dishonour' is culplable of being a 'vessel made into dishonour'. He isn't.


People are morally responsible for their actions, because their desire to commit those actions for the reason they did commit those actions, and their knowledge that they should not have done so.

Because I am not to blame for something somebody else did.

I agree with you. Sinners are not to blame for creating a world in which sinners sin. But that doesn't mean that sinners don't in fact desire to commit sin, while they know that their acts are wrong.


In an earlier post I asked:
Please show why you believe that free-will is a necessary condition for culpability.

Your answer was:
To be culpable of something, it is necessary that there was a logically possible way for you to avoid it.

Again, I think this is the main issue that needs to be addressed before we can continue making caricatures of each other's positions.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'logically possible to avoid it'. It seems that this is a necessary condition of what it means to have free-will, or even a definition of free-will in which case you haven't quite answered the question.

So then, what do you mean by 'logically possible to avoid it', and why is this necessary?
“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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« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2011, 03:53:59 am »

troyjs wrote:
But not culpable, and therein lies the inconsistency in calvinism.
God is also culpable for everything.

I disagree with you on this. Culpability has to do with minds and the reasons for which a mind chooses certain actions as opposed to other actions.

Yes, and God has a mind and has reasons to choose certain actions as opposed to other actions. God's creates sinners, so God is culpable of creating sinners.


No, desiring your own destruction or the destruction of the wicked does not save you from your sins, because the good which we do, is that which we should do anyway.


So you think I am culpable for choosing to do what I shouldn't do?
But I cannot choose to do what I should do, can I?

People are morally responsible for their actions, because their desire to commit those actions for the reason they did commit those actions, and their knowledge that they should not have done so.


I do not have knowledge that I should not have done so, so I am not culpable. And I think in most cases, most people do not have knowledge that they should have done anything else than what they did.

I agree with you. Sinners are not to blame for creating a world in which sinners sin. But that doesn't mean that sinners don't in fact desire to commit sin, while they know that their acts are wrong.


I would like to hear an argument that shows that people desire to do things that they know they shouldn't. I agree, this may happen sometimes, but certainly not in lots of cases. And it always involves something they could have avoided.
e.g. I do not desire to be an atheist, I just happen to be one. And I most certainly do not know that I shouldn't be an atheist. So, even under your definition of culpable, I am not culpable.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'logically possible to avoid it'. It seems that this is a necessary condition of what it means to have free-will, or even a definition of free-will in which case you haven't quite answered the question.



For the vast majority of people, 'culpability' entails a logical possibility to have done something else.
I think what is typical of calvinists is that they try to redefine words.
'Good' under calvinsim is completely different from what 'good' means in plain English a,d so is 'culpable'.

So then, what do you mean by 'logically possible to avoid it', and why is this necessary?


Well, is a rock culpable for being a rock? If not, then I am not culpable of anything.

Anyway, if you want salvation to be based on anything more profound than a  lottery, you 'll have to come up with something much better.

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troyjs

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« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2011, 09:52:34 pm »
For the vast majority of people, 'culpability' entails a logical possibility to have done something else.


Is this your answer to my question?
“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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« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2011, 10:08:20 pm »
belorg

we are dealing with theology, so you can't bar me from using scripture, and I believe that all sinners have a conscience, and hence sin while knowing while they should not. Calvinists believe that the Bible clearly teaches that all sinners know that they sin, so if you want to argue with me hermeneutically, that is fine.

Well, is a rock culpable for being a rock? If not, then I am not culpable of anything.


Rocks don't have minds. But, if we want to ask why is a rock a rock, then philosophically a rock is in fact responsible for being a rock, by law of identity. I take the position that in order to ask why x exists, we must first assume x exists unless we define x as non-existent. If x is a rock, then x is a rock necessarily.
Why is a rock, a rock? Because of the law: If x, then x.

I am still waiting for a substantive answer to my question.

“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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« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2011, 01:52:34 am »

troyjs wrote: belorg

we are dealing with theology, so you can't bar me from using scripture, and I believe that all sinners have a conscience, and hence sin while knowing while they should not. Calvinists believe that the Bible clearly teaches that all sinners know that they sin, so if you want to argue with me hermeneutically, that is fine.


Well, the Bible may teach that all sinners know that thye sin, but in this case, the Bible is 100% dead wrong. And that's not something I just believe or think, it's something I know for certain.
If you want to personally insult me by calling me a liar, that's your choice, But it's the only way you can save your theology. Because let me repeat this once again: I don't know that I sin. So, even if what the Bible says is true for all other people, which I very much doubt , but I admit is logically possible, it's still 100% false in my case, and if the Bible says that all sinners know that they sin, the Bible is simply wrong.

Well, is a rock culpable for being a rock? If not, then I am not culpable of anything.


Rocks don't have minds. But, if we want to ask why is a rock a rock, then philosophically a rock is in fact responsible for being a rock, by law of identity. I take the position that in order to ask why x exists, we must first assume x exists unless we define x as non-existent. If x is a rock, then x is a rock necessarily.
Why is a rock, a rock? Because of the law: If x, then x.



No philospoher I know would say that a rock is responsible for being a rock, let alone 'culplable' of being a rock.

I am still waiting for a substantive answer to my question.



I am not going to discuss some self-made definition of a word. We know what the word 'culpable' means and under the normal use of culpable, nobody is in fact culpable from a metaphysical POV. If you are going to use it in another sense, then use another word.

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troyjs

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« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2011, 06:56:07 pm »

I am not going to discuss some self-made definition of a word. We know what the word 'culpable' means and under the normal use of culpable, nobody is in fact culpable from a metaphysical POV. If you are going to use it in another sense, then use another word.

A meaning assigned to a word does not entail meaningfulness, and the relationship between culpability and free-will is very much discussed and debated.

The Bible also say that people deceive themselves into thinking that they don't sin, so your case is accounted for also. You have to provide philosophical reasons to justify your claims if you want to show that calvinism is self-referentially incoherent.

No philospoher I know would say that a rock is responsible for being a rock, let alone 'culplable' of being a rock.

Rocks don't have minds. But I think you are quite wrong -- I think some neo-platonists would happily affirm that rocks are responsible for being rocks, while many other philosophers might say that it is meaningless to ask why a rock is a rock, as the fact of a rock being a rock, is reason enough.


My single question to you was:

Why is free-will necessary for a being to be held culpable?

Your answers:
"Because I am not to blame for something somebody else did. To be culpable of something, it is necessary that there was a logically possible way for you to avoid it."

"For the vast majority of people, 'culpability' entails a logical possibility to have done something else."

"Well, is a rock culpable for being a rock? If not, then I am not culpable of anything."
"We know what the word 'culpable' means and under the normal use of culpable, nobody is in fact culpable from a metaphysical POV."

You keep restating your position but since all culpability means is: the moral or legal ability to be held accountable, why must we hold that your own philosophical justifications of culpability, are true?

This is what I am wanting to address, why is free-will a necessary condition for culpability? I understand a lot of people believe this to be true, but a lot of people do not, and there is no synonymity between your view and the standard definition of the word.





“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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« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2011, 04:55:19 am »
troyjs wrote:
I am not going to discuss some self-made definition of a word. We know what the word 'culpable' means and under the normal use of culpable, nobody is in fact culpable from a metaphysical POV. If you are going to use it in another sense, then use another word.

A meaning assigned to a word does not entail meaningfulness, and the relationship between culpability and free-will is very much discussed and debated.


I've never heard any non-calvinist argue that culpability on a metaphysical scale does not require free will.

The Bible also say that people deceive themselves into thinking that they don't sin, so your case is accounted for also.


I assure you I did not decieve myself into thinking I don't sin.
Bottom line: either you call me a liar, or you admit that you are wrong.
Now, I do not mind if you call me a liar or not. I still know with 100% certainty that you are wrong and that the Bible is wrong. That is not a point of discussion, that is a fact.

You have to provide philosophical reasons to justify your claims if you want to show that calvinism is self-referentially incoherent.


Weel, the philosophical reason is that there is at least one exception to what is stated as a rule with no exceptions. No, you cannot look into my mind, so you can still have your doubts as to whether I'm honest, so I cannot prove to you I am right. But I do know that I am right.



Quote
No philospoher I know would say that a rock is responsible for being a rock, let alone 'culplable' of being a rock.

Rocks don't have minds. But I think you are quite wrong -- I think some neo-platonists would happily affirm that rocks are responsible for being rocks, while many other philosophers might say that it is meaningless to ask why a rock is a rock, as the fact of a rock being a rock, is reason enough.


I do not know any neo-platonist philosopher, so it's still true that no philosopher I know claims this.
And I in fact agree that it's meaningless to ask why a rock is a rock. Point is; to a calvinist, this question is not meaningless, because the answer is: the rock is a rock because God made it so.

My single question to you was:

Why is free-will necessary for a being to be held culpable?



Because under the normal definition of culpability free will is required. Now I'm willing to grant you your ad hoc definition of culpable and agree that 'culpable' means something like 'Doing something you shouldn't have done' or even 'Thinking something you shouldn't have thought'.  even if you couldn't have thought or done otherwise. But the point is, under calvinism it is impossible to do something you shouldn't have done.

Everything we do, we do because God wants us to do it and has arranged things so that we would do it.
So, who decides that 'we shouldn't have done something'? God? No, because he wanted us to do it. Somebody else who is more powerful than God? Impossible under the standrad definition of God. We? Who are we to decide we shouldn't have done something when our perfect Creator wanted us to do it?

You simply do not have a case for any sort of culpability.



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Robert Harris

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« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2011, 12:14:08 pm »
troyjs wrote: 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



I think the problem here is understanding Heaven. People will have their own free will while not sinning in Heaven (or be able to sin). It will be perfect because people will no longer have their sinful flesh. The people that believe in God will be changed because they want to be with God and long for the day that they receive their new and transformed bodies. People choose God and so it does not violate their will when they are changed; the fact of the matter is that people's will is to be changed to be able to live with God.

The Molinist does not imply that God cannot create a perfect world.

I am not going to argue calvinism vs other concepts here.
Who needs cable when you can watch Dr. Craig all day long on YouTube?
-ebeatworld

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Composer

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« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2011, 02:51:55 am »
RobertH wrote:  I think the problem here is understanding Heaven.

The concept of ' heaven going for all believers is NOT legitimately found in the bible story book.

I would love to see what alleged evidence any have for the christian concept of ' heaven going for all believers? '

RobertH wrote:  People will have their own free will while not sinning in Heaven (or be able to sin).

True Free-Will is the ability to sin or not sin at pleasure without fear of reprisals.

RobertH wrote:  It will be perfect because people will no longer have their sinful flesh.

I thought some at least of you so called christians believed your jesus was like one of us, having sinful flesh (inherited from Mary) but able to overcome that sinful flesh and not sin and left that example for others? (1 Pet. 2:21 - 22) KJV Story book

RobertH wrote:  The people that believe in God will be changed because they want to be with God and long for the day that they receive their new and transformed bodies.

How utterly selfish what they want for themselves and earn brownie points to try to get it, also maintaining they will be able to be joyous and content for eternity even aware that their earthly alleged ' loved ones ' who won't believe the story book are eternally punished?


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Dan Stewart

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« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2011, 01:08:37 am »
belorg wrote:

Quote from: Archsage
Wanting and Willing are two completely different things.

OK, I will to become a bird.

Satisfied now?

This wasn't addressed to me, but I do find the confession satisfactory.
"P.S. Oct 22d. Hen. has taken your M.S. to London, & will write.— I have lately read Morley's Life of Voltaire & he insists strongly that direct attacks on Christianity (even when written with the wonderful force & vigour of Voltaire) produce little permanent effect: real good seems only to follow f