Saturday, February 6, 2010

Macho Christ Will Kick Your Ass!

An interesting article in the New York Times recently:

Flock Is Now a Fight Team in Some Ministries

A pertinent excerpt:

"Recruitment efforts at the churches, which are predominantly white, involve fight night television viewing parties and lecture series that use ultimate fighting to explain how Christ fought for what he believed in. Other ministers go further, hosting or participating in live events.

The goal, these pastors say, is to inject some machismo into their ministries — and into the image of Jesus — in the hope of making Christianity more appealing. “Compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too,” said Brandon Beals, 37, the lead pastor at Canyon Creek Church outside of Seattle. “But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.”

The outreach is part of a larger and more longstanding effort on the part of some ministers who fear that their churches have become too feminized, promoting kindness and compassion at the expense of strength and responsibility.

“The man should be the overall leader of the household,” said Ryan Dobson, 39, a pastor and fan of mixed martial arts who is the son of James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical group. “We’ve raised a generation of little boys.”"

Promote kindness and compassion? Heaven Forbid!

Is it me, or are they just getting stupider?

Now I don't have anything against Mixed Martial Arts. I took karate for years, off and on, along with other styles of self-defense, and I enjoyed them very much and got a lot out of them as a person. That isn't the issue here.

These churches are choosing to attract young people, immature people, with an immature message of violence and agression. They are using the appeal of machismo to attract young people who don't know any better, when they should be teaching them to control these immature impulses and lead a more loving and peaceful life. Ironically, most really good martial arts schools would never consider trying an appeal to juvenile machismo in an attempt to increase their membership They have too much integrity, which is why they're the really good schools in the first place. Martial arts, at it's core, is more about attaining inner balance, the Yin and the Yang, than it is about kicking ass and taking names.

I guess the churches figured that they'd appeal to the dark side of people in order to bring them into the light or whatever. Great idea; in order to appeal to the unevolved personality, devolve yourself down to their level instead of attempting to inspire them to rise to yours. Too bad this totally negates the very meaning of their existence as followers of Jesus Christ like it does and all, but hey, business is booming, so who cares?

290 comments:

  1. I believe the churches are following society. That is what evolutionary religion does. Several years ago, baseball was the national sport. Mild when it comes to violence. Now it is football which is just a kick ass violent sport, along with the change from boxing to the more violent type of fights that are appealing to the public today. The religion is supposed to be leading the parade in moral values, but true to form it is being lead by social customs. If the direction we are headed is to be a more violent culture it looks like the church can hardly wait to go along. Apparently the church leaders have been thinking along these lines for quite awhile to be trotting it out in public now. I wonder if that has anything to do with Observant's getting into martial arts, and I noticed he was not talking much about promoting peace, and love. Maybe the church is headed down a road of self destruction. NO, they will probably continue, like a nagging wife, ever ready to set you straight. When Ryan Dobson, 39, a pastor and fan of mixed martial arts who is the son of James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical group. SAID; “We've raised a generation of little boys.” He must have been thinking of himself.

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  2. Should read
    , like a nagging wife or husband, Wonder what Dobson's words about raising the ladies would be.

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  3. Brian; "Is it me, or are they just getting stupider?"

    Absolutely. 2/3 Christian children leave the religion by the time they are 18. Brain drain. Basically, American Christianty is the future Zimbabwe of religons.

    This article reminded me of the douchy youth minister that tries too hard to relate with the kids. "You know who else had long hair, chilled with his posse and had some radical ideas? This dude named Jesus... he'll blow your mind"... blah...

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  4. I wonder if that has anything to do with Observant's getting into martial arts, and I noticed he was not talking much about promoting peace, and love. Maybe the church is headed down a road of self destruction. NO, they will probably continue, like a nagging wife, ever ready to set you straight. When Ryan Dobson, 39, a pastor and fan of mixed martial arts who is the son of James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical group. SAID; “We've raised a generation of little boys.” He must have been thinking of himself.
    February 6, 2010 10:57 PM
    ------------------------------------
    Jerry asked” I wonder if that has anything to do with Observant's getting into martial art”

    No Jerry it doesn’t. These Christians are doing the same as many Christians dot his day and time. They are using world to attract people to Christ. Some use basketball / softball / trips to amusement parks or what ever lame ploy they can think of.

    Christ message is still love your neighbor and pray for them who despitefully use you.
    The church is commanded to walk together in peace and to let their spiritual light shine so that unbelievers can see Christ in us. Christ is still the attraction , unfortunately many have fallen away from the straight and narrow way…

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  5. Having a hard time posting...

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  6. They are following society, which is not the way to improve it. It's the way to make it worse.

    You must lead by example, not by becoming less moral in order to attract the less moral.

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  7. We have two examples of Jesus losing His temper, and in only one of them did He strike someone, a few people in the temple, and that's it. No other examples of Jesus fighting in the Bible unless you count Revelations. And yet 'Jesus is a fighter?' Not in the Karate sense of the word, no. And in the garden of Gethsemane when He was taken into custody, and He knew it was coming, He surrendered peacefully.

    This is why Jesus is seen as a pussy. Because in the Bible, He IS A PUSSY. Of course, the word 'pussy' is being used here by neanderthal macho male troglodytes in a derogatory manner to mean 'a man of peace.' They hate Jesus for not being more macho, so they're just going to 'inject' more macho into the Bible Jesus' image to make Him more popular among other neanderthal macho male troglodytes.

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  8. Christ message is still love your neighbor and pray for them who despitefully use you.
    --------------
    Do you spare a prayer for those you 'despitefully' use?

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  9. Do you spare a prayer for those you 'despitefully' use?

    February 7, 2010 3:46 PM

    ---------------
    That one will take some soul searching...

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  10. This part is interesting:

    "Paul Burress, 35, a chaplain and fight coach at Victory Baptist Church in Rochester, said mixed martial arts had given his students a chance to work on body, soul and spirit. “Win or lose, we represent Jesus,” he said. “And we win most of the time.”

    But on that cold night in Memphis, Mr. Renken, the pastor from Xtreme Ministries, watched as two of his three fighters were beaten, one emerging with a broken ankle.

    Another, Jesse Johnson, 20, a potential convert, was subdued in a chokehold and decided not to return home with the other church members after his bout. He stayed in Memphis, drinking and carousing with friends along Beale Street, this city’s raucous, neon-lighted strip of bars."

    Well, lost another one to Satan.

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  11. Christ message is still love your neighbor and pray for them who despitefully use you.
    --------------
    Do you spare a prayer for those you 'despitefully' use?

    February 7, 2010 3:46 PM

    The way I see it people who despitefully use other people are ignorant. They are not only hurting me, they are hurting the whole of humanity, but most of all they hurt their selves. It is almost automatic, and easy to be in a prayful attitude toward such ignorance,

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  12. Agreed Jerry...
    but...
    That isn't exactly what I meant.
    Does the (ignorant) person that 'despitefully' uses another person pray for the person they're using?

    I think that would be a 'no,' no?

    I'm not thinking of Mike here btw, more of someone like say, Sarah Palin. I watched her speech last night. It wasn't too horrible for her, so I know she didn't write it. It was a fairly believable pack of lies for a change, if you're not that bright I mean of course, with a lot of errors that her base won't see and a lot of ignoramus-level stupidity that they'll see as 'commonsense smarts.' She's a talented, natural-born user. And she's conscious of it, too, at least partially, unlike many Christians who cannot see what they're doing due to their conditioning. She's a 'constantine' style Christian. Where most people have empathy, she has avarice.
    That woman is so evil. The worst evils are the evils that go around parading themselves (sucessfully) as good. Much like the Bible. That kind of evil.

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  13. I, too, have a Martial Arts background, a black belt in TKD.

    I don't see anything unusual about a fighter having religion. Even a church that has a fight team, at first glance, doesn't see too bad. It's sport, after all.
    But you just know these guys are praying to Jesus for the ability to beat their opponent to a pulp.

    Observant is right, in as much as, many churches use these kind of gimmicks to lure kids, and people who may be on the fence.

    I wonder if when the good reverend looses, does he congratulate the oppositions god? What if a muslim beats him? Does that mean Allah is superior? What if an atheist beats him???

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  14. I don't see anything unusual about a fighter having religion.
    ------------
    Neither do I, mac.

    My point though is, that I do see something unusual in a supposedly peaceful religion having fighters, and for the openly expressed purpose of recruiting the young, trying to appeal to young people by making the image of Jesus Christ more macho and less 'effeminate.'

    I see more strength in passive resistance than in direct violent confrontation. Like MLK and Gahndi. And yes, Jesus. The 'Prince of Peace' I believe they call Him. India fighting for it's freedom, blacks fighting for theirs, but how did they win it? By not being agressive macho jerks. By understanding the power of peace to overcome hatred. Not by joining in with the hatred, the 'macho' interpretation of the simple (fantasy) world where aggression can solve anything.


    I must have missed the part of the New Testament where Jesus kicked everybody's ass and was declared Emperor.

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  15. Agreed Jerry...
    but...
    That isn't exactly what I meant.
    Does the (ignorant) person that 'despitefully' uses another person pray for the person they're using?

    I would be surprised if they did. In order to despitefully use some one, I think they would have to look down on that person they were using. Its like thinging the person. One of the problems for the user is looking down on others, one has to look up to others, different others but non the less they do not believe in equality so they are caught in a them, and us mental space. No matter how high they rise they still will have to look up to some others, a type of justice I suppose. They would be the ones needing prayers if one thinks praying for others has value.

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  16. Is it harder to live an exemplary peaceful and loving life, or to be a good fighter in a ring? Are there more Dalai Lamas than prizefighters?

    Sooo I think we can all agree on the kind of strength that Jesus was all about in that thar book yonder. And it didn't have anything to do with kumite...

    I think I chose this article mostly for the way it seemed to me to demonstrate these certain Christian churches' willingness to utterly prostitute themselves in the quest for new members.

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  17. Brian, Ryan and Harvey,

    Sorry for my delay. Went out of town, got back right before we got assfucked with snow. I live in between Burtonsvill and Colesville, Md. where 40 inches of snow crushed. We get snow and sometime pretty big ones, but this one was by far the worst I've ever been a part of. Took me all day to shovel out of this mess. And I'm glad I had a generator because the power went out too.

    Looking back at your comments in regards to "free will", I must say that all three of you conveyed my position very well.

    My position to be clear, is that the Supreme Being(God) created a system of infinite variables that only He can see. All of us will make our choices at the appropriate time with freedom unkowing to the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being will see every choice faced by us and every domino result that comes from each choice.

    Per each person, the Supreme being sees millions of different outcomes and domino results. Also, the Supreme Being can see a path we are on.

    Ryan, your inclination argument is a valid one and one I have never considered. There was a time, that I went over free will time and time again until I could rationally come to terms with it.

    If God does exist and we do have free will as the Bible states. Then naturally, our choice HAVE to be free. If he knows everything from beginning to end for each of us, that means none of our choices are free.

    But he is "All Knowing". I reconciled this to the fact that he doesn't have a human mind and is not limited to what we are limited to. Therefore, the amount of knowledged He has is unimaginable to us.

    But we do have free will. So I think that by His decision, he allows us our choices. BUT, the Holy Spirit is here too. And because of God's foreknowledge of everything there can be and every direction we can go coupled with all the choices He knows we will face, He can guide the Holy Spirit to guide us if we so choose to accept it.

    The inclination argument is something I have to think about more deeply. I never considered it. Are inclinations hard wired into us, or are they learned? And I believe that answer can help with solving this issue of free will.

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  18. Looking back at your comments in regards to "free will", I must say that all three of you conveyed my position very well.

    My position to be clear, is that the Supreme Being(God) created a system of infinite variables that only He can see. All of us will make our choices at the appropriate time with freedom unkowing to the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being will see every choice faced by us and every domino result that comes from each choice.
    -----------------
    Hi Botts; sorry to hear about the weather.

    Yes, we did speak about this, and I'm glad you say we got your position right. We then discussed it at length and I think we all pretty much came to the conclusion that it's necessarily invalid. Which is why I was wondering why you seemed happy that we got it right.

    :-)

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  19. Botts; not that I believe in god, but I think your version of this peice of star trek triva* is further supported if you consider that the past and the future do not actually exist**. So god could still be omniscent AND not know the future, since the future doesn't exist and god can't be expected to know about things that don't exist.


    *theology

    **I'm not up on quantum physics, but it's my belief/understanding that only the present exists. The past is simply the former present and lives only as memory and consequences and the future hasn't occured yet, and when it does, it'll be the present.

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  20. And I need the inclinations thing explained to me again, reeeaaallll ssllllooowwwwllllyyyy.

    I'm not seeing anything in it yet, but it's obvious that Botts does, so I want to at least see what he's seeing in it. To me it's a non-starter, so either I'm missing the entire point, or.... or it's a non-starter.

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  21. What isn't necessarily valid? It depends on the limits you are imposing.

    We can all agree that you have my position understood. It's what you do with that understanding that makes the difference and solidifies the opinion.

    I do not make the mistake on comparing God's feelings from the knowledged he receives to the feelings we have. He just happens to know these things because it is what it is.

    As you and I talked a month ago about when we did a mental excercise together on free will, I stated that God decided to let our choices be free. This was good enough for you. He created the system to allow us complete freedom in the direction we go.

    This is the only way "Free Will" as decribed in the Bible can exist.

    If he knows as an absolute where you and I are heading after death, then there is no free will. It doesn't exist. You have no chance to do the alternative of anything according to His knowledge. Nothing about that is "free".

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  22. I have no problem with admitting that God cannot know the future because it is not real yet. That makes sense.

    That's not what Botts is saying though. Botts is trying to have his cake and eat it too. A God that is omniscient and knows the future but DOESN'T know our choices so we get to still have free will, makes zero sense when you look at it deeply enough, as we just did.

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  23. This is the only way "Free Will" as decribed in the Bible can exist.

    If he knows as an absolute where you and I are heading after death, then there is no free will. It doesn't exist. You have no chance to do the alternative of anything according to His knowledge. Nothing about that is "free".
    ----------------------
    There is another way that free will as described in the Bible can exist.

    If there is no God.

    By far the simplest explanation.

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  24. Brian,

    It makes perfect sense. He has supreme knowledge on all future occurances for each individual. He is the Supreme Being. So truthfully, we can't possibly comprehend the entirety of His knowledge.

    But we are also going off of what's written. And what's written is we do in fact have "free will".

    So sense that is stated, our choices have to be free. And if they are free, He has decided to let them be free in accordance to the System we are in. A system He created.

    Therefore, He sees every possibility. And surely, that amount of knowledge is unimaginable. You'll wreck your brain just applying that kind of knowledge to your own life let alone billions and future billions.

    It all comes down to "choices". That's where free will can only be applied.

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  25. "There is another way that free will as described in the Bible can exist.

    If there is no God.

    By far the simplest explanation."

    But according to Pboy, there is no free will in that instance either. We are "bound" to our surroundings and own knowledge. Therefore, nothing is free.

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  26. What's the difference between the scenario where there is a God and He doesn't affect how we choose, and doesn't know how we will choose, and no God at all, as far as pboy's environment comments are concerned?

    If we don't have free will with NO God, then we certainly do not have it WITH one. So it's academic.

    To me, we have free will to choose as we please, and 'as we please' is affected by a lot of factors.

    Ya know what? I have been thinking about it, and I really think when the Bible speaks of free will, it's mostly talking about the 'free will to sin or not to sin' and not free will in general.

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  27. After all, if it didn't say in the Bible that we had free will, then it wouldn't make any sense for God to ever PUNISH us for anything, now would it?

    And with any kind of an omniscient omnipotent God, we just don't have any kind of free will, in spite of your theory here Botts.

    Your theory has more holes than a seive, my friend. Sorry, but it just does. I could re-hash, but it's all said on the previous blog post. Where did I go wrong? I don't see it. If God cannot know our choices, which one we pick I mean, then God really can't know much of anything about the future. What part of that is not clear? To me this is self-evident. It does God zero good to just know all our potential choices without knowing which one we'll choose.

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  28. "Your theory has more holes than a seive, my friend."

    I don't believe it has many holes in it. I might have some, but that's understandable. We're trying to comprehend a Supreme Being and what His knowledge may or may not be. That is bound to have holes in it.

    " Sorry, but it just does. I could re-hash, but it's all said on the previous blog post."

    I've seen what you wrote. But you want to give God emotions to what He knows or to make him a predicter. To give Him motives. That's where you fall flat.

    "Where did I go wrong? I don't see it. If God cannot know our choices, which one we pick I mean, then God really can't know much of anything about the future."

    God knows all the choices and the results of everyone we could pick. He is the Supreme Being in control of complete knowledge within the exact system He created. By His decision, we have free choices.

    " What part of that is not clear? To me this is self-evident. It does God zero good to just know all our potential choices without knowing which one we'll choose."

    And this IS where you are getting it wrong. Why does anything have to do God any "good". There is no motive for Him. It is what it is. You're trying to make this some sort of motivation for God when there isn't any.

    The motive is entirely for us only. In the Bible, there are so many verses that use the word "if" in regards to our choices. This is how I have reconciled free will of the Bible applying to us.

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  29. OK, so my “inclination” thing is a critique of freewill as it relates to our supposed propensity to sin (i.e. caused by the fall). I guess ultimately it goes to the “Problem of evil”, as Christians claim that even though god is omnipotent, he won’t eradicate suffering by preventing us from “sinning”, because he wants us to have freewill. I’m just trying to show the silliness of that idea and how Christians are still stuck with a conflict between omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence.

    The bible says humans are sinful. In the broadest terms, it’s right. Take 1000 random people and you’ll find a scumbag, someone with an inclination to steal, rape or murder, etc...

    But the vast majority of those people do not have any inclination to steal, rape or murder, etc...

    The bible also assumes that god made us whole, knew us in the womb, etc... God created our souls and thus created our “inclinations”.

    Let’s just make this as black/white as possible (i.e. explaining it reeeaaallll ssllllooowwwwllllyyyy). I would never eat a baby. I have no desire to because when “god formed me in the womb” I was built without an “inclination” to eat babies: thus I am not “free” to eat a baby. But I think it’s fair to say, someone somewhere has an “inclination” to eat babies.

    If it’s not a violation of freewill to design in me a “disinclination” to eating babies, then why would it not be a violation of our free will to “disincline” ALL of us to ALL sin (and thus prevent all human born suffering).

    Likewise, if it is a violation of my freewill to build this “disinclination” to eating babies into me, then god has already violated my freewill.

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  30. Although Botts, I do give you huge credit for realizing that a truly omniscient God eliminates the possibility of our having any sort of free will right off the bat. That part you get.

    Now just go that one step further... Realize that God cannot know anything much of value about the future, period, if all He can know is all of our potential choices and not our exact ones that we do choose. So that's not a valid theory, either.

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  31. And this IS where you are getting it wrong. Why does anything have to do God any "good". There is no motive for Him. It is what it is. You're trying to make this some sort of motivation for God when there isn't any.
    --------------
    Okay, you've tried this before. When I say 'do God any good' I mean OF COURSE, do God any good in seeing the future at all. If it doesn't do God any good, then you're admitting that He's blind to the future. You say it doesn't need to do God any good. Fine. Then you admit that God doesn't even feel the need to see the future. That He cannot see it, and doesn't care. That none of this does Him 'any good' in allowing Him to see anything exact about the future.
    So if it doesn't do God any good, then you lose the argument. Because that's what we're talking about here.

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  32. Let’s just make this as black/white as possible (i.e. explaining it reeeaaallll ssllllooowwwwllllyyyy). I would never eat a baby. I have no desire to because when “god formed me in the womb” I was built without an “inclination” to eat babies: thus I am not “free” to eat a baby. But I think it’s fair to say, someone somewhere has an “inclination” to eat babies.

    If it’s not a violation of freewill to design in me a “disinclination” to eating babies, then why would it not be a violation of our free will to “disincline” ALL of us to ALL sin (and thus prevent all human born suffering).
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    Isn't this whole thing invalidated by the fact that you can certainly raise a baby to eat babies, if you were a cannibal tribesman in New Guinea? This is where I'm having my problem. Your 'inclinations' are all environmental, as far as I can tell. Not God-Given.

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  33. Brian said "Isn't this whole thing invalidated by the fact that you can certainly raise a baby to eat babies, if you were a cannibal tribesman in New Guinea? This is where I'm having my problem. Your 'inclinations' are all environmental, as far as I can tell. Not God-Given"

    Of course!!! And that's the reality. We are a product of biology and environment. But that reality also invalidates the christian notion that we have "souls" and they are made by god.

    I guess if a christian wanted to admit environmental factors influence us but god still "makes" our "souls", then that would be valid, but they would have show what part of our "souls" are god-made and which are environmental.

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  34. I guess if a christian wanted to admit environmental factors influence us but god still "makes" our "souls", then that would be valid, but they would have show what part of our "souls" are god-made and which are environmental.
    -----------
    Aha.

    I think I'm starting to see where you're going.

    I agree, with one provision. THe part where you say 'then they would have to show' etc. They have to show a lot of things that they do not feel that they have to show, so they're not going to see the need to show this, either.

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  35. Brian; the inclinations thing is not supposed to be a description of reality.

    I'm making a bunch of christian theological assumptions and then trying to show how they don't add up.

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  36. "Okay, you've tried this before. When I say 'do God any good' I mean OF COURSE, do God any good in seeing the future at all."

    Right. That's how I interpreted what you said.

    "If it doesn't do God any good, then you're admitting that He's blind to the future."

    He sees limitless futures. He sees all of them. It's quite massive.

    "You say it doesn't need to do God any good. Fine. Then you admit that God doesn't even feel the need to see the future."

    No, I'm saying it is what it is. There is no "feeling the need". It's His system and in His system, we have free choices. He just so happens to all of the choices we will face and all the results from all of the choices we make. It doesn't do Him any good nor does Him any bad. It is what it is.

    "That He cannot see it, and doesn't care."

    He sees all of it. And "caring" is out of the equation. "Caring" has nothing to do with what He sees. It is what it is.

    "That none of this does Him 'any good' in allowing Him to see anything exact about the future."

    If he sees our exact future without any alternatives, we don't have free will.

    "So if it doesn't do God any good, then you lose the argument."

    Wrong. To have free will we must have free choices. He just happens to know all possibilities in the future to all individuals. By his decision.

    "Because that's what we're talking about here."

    I know exactly what we're talking about. We're talking about how I receive free will and how I reconcile this with a Supreme Being who knows everything and who has said we have free will.

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  37. He just happens to know all possibilities in the future to all individuals. By his decision.
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    Not possible even for God, as we've demonstrated.

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  38. Ryan,

    I still haven't really thought about the inclination thing yet, but off hand, what if our souls are 100% spiritual and environmentla has nothing to do with it.

    Only physical would have biological and environmental associated with it.

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  39. "Not possible even for God, as we've demonstrated."

    You've demonstrated no such thing. You've demonstrated that it's not possible for you. And I agree. We can't fathom such a thing.

    But if we have free will, then our choices have to be free.

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  40. Botts; you'd have to show that a "spiritual soul" exists.

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  41. You've demonstrated no such thing.
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    Um, yes we have. Read back. I know, you don't accept it. But it's watertight, when you really examine it. God can know my choices but not which one I will choose? Then God will not be able to see the future, because all the myriad choices we all CHOOSE to make, the ones we pick, are what forms the future itself. God may know all of my choices but He can't even know if my great-great grandson will ever exist or not, never mind HIS choice possibilities.

    This is complicated, but ironclad. Read it closly. Infinite processing power won't help God. Infinite knowledge of the past won't help God. And knowing all our possible choices is just as good as me knowing all of the possible lottery numbers that could be drawn tomorrow without knowing WHICH ONE IN PARTICULAR will be drawn. It does God no good whatsoever. He's still blind to the future.

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  42. Botts, this argument of yours is one of those arguments that seems to make sense on the surface but falls apart on closer examination.

    It sounds reasonable that God could just know all our possible choices and then ALL of the implications of each one, but that falls apart when you factor in TIME. Over TIME, our choices, all taken together, are what defines the future world to a great extent. Every single little choice. The problem arises when you realize that (taking children as my example choice here) God cannot know if I will have a child until I do. He can know both 'realities' or both 'universes' completely, the one where I do, and the one where I don't, all in advance, that I give you. Now keep multiplying. Take every single little choice that each and every one of us will make. Sure, God can still handle it. Then let time pass. Can God know the choices of my great-great grandson? He'd have to know a completely new and different POTENTIAL universe for every single choice made in between now and the time in the future when my great-grandson will live. Every choice of mine, and everyone else. So let's say that's how He does it. He sees two total complete universes for every yes-no choice. The one where we chose 'yes' and theone where we chose 'no.' But wait! This does Him no good! He may know a trillion zillion million universes, one for each choice we will have as an option, but He STILL CANNOT KNOW WHICH UNIVERSE(S) WE WILL CHOOSE TO BECOME REAL. This effect worsens with the passage of time. Even being God doesn't help, without being able to know the EXACT choices we will make and not just the potential ones.

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  43. "Um, yes we have. Read back. I know, you don't accept it. But it's watertight, when you really examine it. God can know my choices but not which one I will choose?"

    Which means you've just defined "free will". Thank you.
    God will know each choice faced, and each result from each choice that could be made.

    "Then God will not be able to see the future, because all the myriad choices we all CHOOSE to make, the ones we pick, are what forms the future itself."

    God can see all futures and all alternative futures because of all the myriad choices we all can choose to make, and the ones we picked.

    "God may know all of my choices but He can't even know if my great-great grandson will ever exist or not, never mind HIS choice possibilities."

    God will know all of the choices that you will face. He will know that through one of the choices if you deem to make it, will lead to your great-great grandson existing..or not.

    "This is complicated, but ironclad."

    Of course it's complicated. Are you saying that we have the same mental compacity of the Supreme Being? It's real simple. If we have free will, our choices have to free at the time we face them.

    "Read it closly."

    I'm not stupid. I know exactly what you are saying. But you are adding meaning to it when there is no meaning in it.

    "Infinite processing power won't help God."

    "Helping" is irrelevant.

    "Infinite knowledge of the past won't help God."

    "Helping" is irrelevant. You're adding meaning.

    "And knowing all our possible choices is just as good as me knowing all of the possible lottery numbers that could be drawn tomorrow without knowing WHICH ONE IN PARTICULAR will be drawn."

    To you, you might either see a benefit or not in that. It isn't a benefit or a non benefit to God. It is what it is.

    " It does God no good whatsoever."

    "Good" is irrelvant. It's His knowledge. It's His system. And in His system, He says we have Free Will. Naturally, that means all of our choices are free at the given time.

    "He's still blind to the future."

    He sees every future. It's unthinkable. And that's why you want to add some sort of meaning to it. You can't. It's Supreme knowledged for the Supreme Being within the system He created. And He gave us free will. Which means by choice, he has allowed us to make free choices. And with this, He sees all outcomes and possible futures, neither to do him any good or bad.

    It is what it is.

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  44. "This does Him no good!"

    And this is why you don't get it.

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  45. "He STILL CANNOT KNOW WHICH UNIVERSE(S) WE WILL CHOOSE TO BECOME REAL."

    He knows them as we continue with our Choices. He can cancel out the ones we didn't choose to go down.

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  46. How can God know NOW what the available choices that will be available to my great-great grandson, when He cannot know all the choices that will be made in the mean time before he is even born? He can know all the potential choices that I and everyone else in the world CAN make now, but not which ones will be available to us in the future since He cannot see how all the many choices will be made in the mean time because they are contingent upon earlier choices that will be made by me and others, that God is forbidden to know now because they haven't been made yet. God cannot even know that I will have a great-great-grandson now, since that is based on choices that I and others will make in the mean time. So if I do have one, He cannot possibly even know the available choices to the boy at that time in the future. Those would be based on earlier choices that were made, that were selected, which God also cannot know since they haven't happened yet.
    Getting this now?

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  47. He knows them as we continue with our Choices.
    -----------
    You're not getting this, dude.

    So what? He cannot know what my great-great-grandson will have as options in advance now. That is against YOUR rules for Him.
    So He cannot predict the future. He's not omniscient. If 'He knows them as we continue with our choices' that means that He doesn't know them till we make them. That's way too late for it to do Him any good in predicting the future. You're arguing MY SIDE now.

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  48. "How can God know NOW what the available choices that will be available to my great-great grandson, when He cannot know all the choices that will be made in the mean time before he is even born?"

    Beats me. I can't fathom the Knowledge the Supreme Being has. But the Supreme Being has stated we have free will. That means to me, that our choices are free when we make them. And if that's the case, he sees every result from whatever direction we choose.

    "He can know all the potential choices that I and everyone else in the world CAN make now, but not which ones will be available to us in the future since He cannot see how all the many choices will be made in the mean time because they are contingent upon earlier choices that will be made by me and others, that God is forbidden to know now because they haven't been made yet."

    God knows each choice that we will face. He knows each domino result from each choice that can be made. God knows a lot of stuff.

    "God cannot even know that I will have a great-great-grandson now, since that is based on choices that I and others will make in the mean time."

    But he can see whether or not if that's possible.

    "So if I do have one, He cannot possibly even know the available choices to the boy at that time in the future."

    Why can't he? That is part of the domino's of a choice you could make.

    "Those would be based on earlier choices that were made, that were selected, which God also cannot know since they haven't happened yet."

    He see's all possibilities.

    "Getting this now?"

    The better question is, are you getting it?

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  49. And let's use Occam's Razor, even though it's not perfect and can fail. It still can have value.

    How much memory storage would God have to use in order to be omniscient? Of course, one heck of a lot. He'd have to know every single tiny thing about this universe down to the random motion of atoms at the heart of the star Betelgeuse and the brownian motion of the particulates in my gut. Every tiny little fact about everything in the universe.

    That's a lot..

    But Botts, you're requiring God to know all of that, and then multiply it by nearly infinity!!! Because God would have to not only know EVERYTHING about this universe, but EVERYTHING about EVERY POTENTIAL UNIVERSE that could possibly occur at any point in the future, created by a human choice or two that God couldn't be sure we'd make that way or not in advance.
    And if you want to say So what, He's God, and can know all of that' well, interesting thing is, it still would do him no good in predicting the future. Even if God knew every possible future universe or configuration of the universe, He cannot know in advance which one will be realized.

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  50. "How can God know NOW what the available choices that will be available to my great-great grandson, when He cannot know all the choices that will be made in the mean time before he is even born?"

    Beats me.
    ----------
    WRONG ANSWER. The question was RHETORICAL.

    The correct answer is "He can't." Not even a God can. Not within YOUR RULES FOR HIM.

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  51. "You're not getting this, dude."

    I'm getting it just fine.

    "So what? He cannot know what my great-great-grandson will have as options in advance now."

    Why not? If your great grandson is in fact part of your future from a choice you made, God has seen this as a possibility. He see's everything on that domino board. And it may never happen. Your great grandson may never exist. But if it's a possibility, He's seen it. He's seen everything. It's quite massive, isn't it? And as you make your choices, maybe that domino board doesn't happen.

    "That is against YOUR rules for Him."

    Not in the least.

    "So He cannot predict the future."

    Of course He can. As you make your choices, he's already seen the result. He's already seen the path. So as you do make which way you go, He knows what comes ahead of it, along with more alternative possibilities from the choices you will face ahead. He see's EVERYTHING.

    "He's not omniscient."

    Sure he is.

    "If 'He knows them as we continue with our choices' that means that He doesn't know them till we make them."

    He knows them in advance. All of them. As you make your choices, he's already seen the result. It just cancels out the other possibilities that you could have had.

    "That's way too late for it to do Him any good in predicting the future."

    Why is that? You make thousands of choices a day. Each choice no matter how little plays some sort of impact. He can guide you right now because he knows the result from the choice you made. And he knew the results in advance.

    "You're arguing MY SIDE now."

    I don't know about that. I'm just staying consistent with what I believe and how I reconcile free will.

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  52. "But Botts, you're requiring God to know all of that, and then multiply it by nearly infinity!!!"

    Okay.

    "Because God would have to not only know EVERYTHING about this universe, but EVERYTHING about EVERY POTENTIAL UNIVERSE that could possibly occur at any point in the future, created by a human choice or two that God couldn't be sure we'd make that way or not in advance."

    But when you make your choice, he's already seen the future from that choice.

    "And if you want to say So what, He's God, and can know all of that' well, interesting thing is, it still would do him no good in predicting the future."

    Of course he can predict the future. Because you are narrowing down the possibilities from the exact choices you do make. He's seen those choices in advance and the results from them. Once you make them, he could predict something immediately for you.

    "Even if God knew every possible future universe or configuration of the universe, He cannot know in advance which one will be realized."

    And for some reason, you think this is bad thing or proves your argument. I agree with this statement 100%. And that is because he is limitless. He can absoltutely predict the future as we make our choices. Remember, the Holy Spirit will guide us daily if we choose. That guidance comes from the knowledge beforehand of the results from the choices we will face and choose. So the prediction comes in the form and letting us know what choices will come and what the results will be depending on the choices we make.

    He can predict everything for us because he sees what faces us and the results from what decisions we make.

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  53. Let's say there are ten trillion possible future universes based on the choices of everybody alive right now that they will make tonight. And God knows all of them, all those potential futures, as well as he does this realized universe we already have now. God however does not know which one will be tomorrow's universe, since He cannot know how all of those choices will be made tonight. So let's move on to tomorrow. What about the ten trillion choices that will be made tomorrow night, which will change the future even further? They were ALL based on tomorrow's universe and not todays. They were (will be) based on tomorrow's universe, which God only knows today as one of ten trillion possible ones. Then let's move to the day after tomorrow. Same thing. Each day adds a new infinity to the pile. So in a year's time we've had 365 separate universes realized in certain ways through certain selected choices. This means that the universe of a year hence will be based on 365 days worth of free choices made by six trillion people, none of which God could call in advance. And all based on the previous days' choices. That's the important part. It's all built on the previous choices that were actually selected. Each choice made is based in a loooong chain of free choices that were MADE, were SELECTED from among the possible ones. God cannot possible call it, then. God cannot know how all those many long chains of free choices will turn out, since He cannot even know what I will choose tomorrow with any certainty. Just knowing all of my POSSIBLE choices is useless, even in predicting what I will do tomorrow, never mind what the world will be like in a hundred years etc.

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  54. Botts; in your view, it's theoretically possible to fool god if you do something absolutely random.

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  55. Once you make them, he could predict something immediately for you.
    -------------
    But not before. That's the salient problem here, dude, and you're not even really contesting it. You're just ignoring it for some reason.

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  56. "Botts; in your view, it's theoretically possible to fool god if you do something absolutely random."

    I don't think so. He's seen that as a possibility before hand. And the results from it. He sees everything in advance. It's massive.

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  57. "But not before. That's the salient problem here, dude, and you're not even really contesting it. You're just ignoring it for some reason."

    This is what you are not getting. I'll explain this better.

    He can tell you what you will face and the results from which decision you make.

    That is total prediction.

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  58. "Let's say there are ten trillion possible future universes based on the choices of everybody alive right now that they will make tonight."

    Okay

    "And God knows all of them, all those potential futures, as well as he does this realized universe we already have now."

    Okay

    "God however does not know which one will be tomorrow's universe, since He cannot know how all of those choices will be made tonight."

    Okay

    "So let's move on to tomorrow."

    Okay

    "What about the ten trillion choices that will be made tomorrow night, which will change the future even further?"

    What about them? You're talking about prediction. Right? Well God can predict what choices you will face and the results from what you decide.

    "They were ALL based on tomorrow's universe and not todays. They were (will be) based on tomorrow's universe, which God only knows today as one of ten trillion possible ones."

    That is total knowledge. He has 100% prediction power because he sees every possibility.

    "Then let's move to the day after tomorrow. Same thing. Each day adds a new infinity to the pile. So in a year's time we've had 365 separate universes realized in certain ways through certain selected choices."

    Accept you're not factoring that from one choice, comes a domino board and maybe you keep on with the domino board. You keep staying on an exact path. I mean we simply do not know.

    "This means that the universe of a year hence will be based on 365 days worth of free choices made by six trillion people, none of which God could call in advance."

    But He sees each one. If He sees an exact one ahead of time with no other possibilities, we don't have free will.

    "And all based on the previous days' choices. That's the important part. It's all built on the previous choices that were actually selected. Each choice made is based in a loooong chain of free choices that were MADE, were SELECTED from among the possible ones. God cannot possible call it, then."

    If He can settle on one and call it, we don't have free will. But he does have 100% prediction power because He knows what we'll face and the results from what we choose.

    "God cannot know how all those many long chains of free choices will turn out, since He cannot even know what I will choose tomorrow with any certainty."

    He knows how everything will turn out. No matter which direction we go. He sees the multiple fates of everyone.

    "Just knowing all of my POSSIBLE choices is useless, even in predicting what I will do tomorrow, never mind what the world will be like in a hundred years etc."

    Again. "Useless" is irrelevant. He can help up because he knows exactly what we will face and what the results are for what we choose.

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  59. He can tell you what you will face and the results from which decision you make.
    ---------------
    So let's say that I'm the President and I am thinking about pressing the 'red button' tomorrow. I'm pondering it.

    In this scenario your God doesn't know for sure whether the world will be destroyed tomorrow.

    This must affect His knowledge of say, a year from tomorrow, doesn't it? I mean, as of tonight the very best that God can see is that there is a 50/50 chance that I will destroy the world tomorrow. Let's say I don't. Will I do it the day after? God can only know that IF I DO NOT DESTROY IT TODAY, there will then be another 50/50 chance that I will tomorrow. Or won't. How about the day after?

    Each time God can only predict the odds. Each day the question is diluted by another 50/50 chance. So it's 50-50 that I will tomorrow, a 25% chance that I will the next day (if I don't tomorrow; if I do it negates the question) and a 12.5% chance that I will the day after tomorrow, and so on and so on. In short time it becomes apparent that God cannot predict anything any time in the future. You just have to really think about this. I have, a lot. It's sound. Trust me.

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  60. Botts; "He sees everything in advance. It's massive."

    Right. Omnipotence solves this dilemma for you.

    However it opens up a whole can of worms regarding the "Problem of Evil".

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  61. "Just knowing all of my POSSIBLE choices is useless, even in predicting what I will do tomorrow, never mind what the world will be like in a hundred years etc."

    Again. "Useless" is irrelevant.
    -------------------
    Now you're just being willfully blind. You've crossed over into illogic. If I say that it's useless to God in allowing Him to see the future, and you tell me 'that doesn't apply' then we're not even both speaking English. If it's useless to Him, then He can't do it, period, by definition. Not by your whim. The language is clear here. You don't get to have your own reality. We are all in it with you.

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  62. Okay, another tack. (sigh)

    Can your version of God answer a simple question, if of course He were here in front of me? If He deigned to speak to me and answer me one question?

    If I were to ask Him whether mankind will go extinct in the next hundred years, would He be able to definitely tell me yes or no?

    If He can tell me the answer, how could He know it without knowing how all the people that might cause a disaster and kill us all, will make all of their choices in the intervening time? In fact, how can He even know for sure (or even approximately) who will be alive then and who (among all those potential people that God also knows as well as the actual ones) will not be? Such information is not availabot to your God. So He is not CAPABLE of answering my question with any degree of certainty, no matter that He's God or Santa or Wakan Tanka. You've removed the one way that He can know the future. By knowing how we all will choose.

    Because even if God can just 'know the future' that would include knowing HOW WE ALL MADE OUR CHOICES. So He can't. He can't just know the future. Against YOUR rules.

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  63. "So let's say that I'm the President and I am thinking about pressing the 'red button' tomorrow. I'm pondering it."

    He's seen this choice in advance and the result from whatever you decide.

    "In this scenario your God doesn't know for sure whether the world will be destroyed tomorrow."

    Right. But if the world will be destroyed because of one of your decisions, he sees. So in that regard, God can help and guide you to the correct choice.

    "This must affect His knowledge of say, a year from tomorrow, doesn't it?"

    No. He sees multiple versions of a year from tomorrow.

    "I mean, as of tonight the very best that God can see is that there is a 50/50 chance that I will destroy the world tomorrow."

    He see's the choice you are facing, and by the way, He saw that choice a while ago. He also sees what will happen from what you decide. He can tell you which way to go.

    "Let's say I don't. Will I do it the day after?"

    He has seen that choice too. And the result from whatever decision you make.

    "God can only know that IF I DO NOT DESTROY IT TODAY, there will then be another 50/50 chance that I will tomorrow. Or won't. How about the day after?"

    Each choice comes a result. Maybe you aren't faced with that choice tomorrow or the day after. Maybe you went ahead and pushed the buttom and the results comse from that. He's seen all of it. Because of all of this knowledge, he has 100% prediction power in relation to the individual seeking guidance.

    If your example (President) asked God for guidance two days ago, God through the Holy Spirit would tell him that you will be faced with a choice. A choice that will have implications on the world. If you push the button this will happen. If you don't push the buttom this will happen.

    "Each time God can only predict the odds."

    To the individual, God has seen everything. What happens is not secure because of our free will.

    "Each day the question is diluted by another 50/50 chance. So it's 50-50 that I will tomorrow, a 25% chance that I will the next day (if I don't tomorrow; if I do it negates the question) and a 12.5% chance that I will the day after tomorrow, and so on and so on. In short time it becomes apparent that God cannot predict anything any time in the future."

    He can predict to the individual everything. He can predict what choiced you will face and the results of each choice you make.

    "You just have to really think about this. I have, a lot. It's sound. Trust me."

    Not as much as me. Trust me. Your making all of this as a "benefit" to God. You're adding meaning to "God". The benefit of his total foreknowledged is for us. The meaning comes to us. It's out benefit that He sees all possibilities. Right?

    If it's pre-ordained that he has knowledge of no other possilities and futures are set in stone, we have no free will.

    I'm arguing we do have free will. And becuase of this our Choices are free. And if they are free, the amount of knowledge God does have is ridiculous. And if we seek guidance, He has total knowledge of everything according to what we will face and the result of what we decide.

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  64. "Can your version of God answer a simple question, if of course He were here in front of me? If He deigned to speak to me and answer me one question?"

    Okay. Let's see where you're going with this.

    "If I were to ask Him whether mankind will go extinct in the next hundred years, would He be able to definitely tell me yes or no?"

    I don't know. I feel he's seen that possibility if that possibility has presented itself. Maybe all the possibilities he's seen says that the answer is no. Maybe all of the possibilities he's seen says the answer is yes. It's possible that he can say yes or no to that.

    "If He can tell me the answer, how could He know it without knowing how all the people that might cause a disaster and kill us all, will make all of their choices in the intervening time?"

    Because through all the trillions of possibilities he sees, maybe that particular has a definitive answer. I don't know. Ask him something pertaining to yourself, and he can be precise on exactly what you will face and the results of what you decide.

    "In fact, how can He even know for sure (or even approximately) who will be alive then and who (among all those potential people that God also knows as well as the actual ones) will not be?"

    He knows who will be alive 100% by the choices we make. But he knew it it advance. You seem to not understand, that because he knows each choice you face and because he knows the result of each choice you make, he can predict to you everything according to you. This also helps him with other people as well. Since we are all connected, sometimes our choices play an impact of those around us presently and those that will be here later.

    "Such information is not availabot to your God."

    All of the information is available to God. Everything. If he has a 100% secure outlook for you the individual, than you the individual do not have free will.

    "So He is not CAPABLE of answering my question with any degree of certainty, no matter that He's God or Santa or Wakan Tanka."

    When it comes to human existence 100 years from now, maybe he does have a definitive answer because all of the possibilities lead to non existence. Maybe the something besides our choices destroys our world.

    "You've removed the one way that He can know the future. By knowing how we all will choose."

    If he solidly knows your future without any alternatives, you don't have free will. I'm arguing we do have free will. And this does not take away his prediction power. He can guide you in every way possible because He's seen everything.

    "Because even if God can just 'know the future' that would include knowing HOW WE ALL MADE OUR CHOICES. So He can't. He can't just know the future. Against YOUR rules."

    He knows multiple futures pertaining to each individual. I'm arguing we have Free Will. And this is how I reconcile this. Our choices must be free.

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  65. Okay. If it can be said that the person that wins the argument is the one that just 'insists' the longest without being able to support themselves in any tangible way, to the point where they just wear you the fuck out from repeatedly proving them wrong to no discernable effect, to the point where you don't give a darn anymore, then you win.

    You win. I give.

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  66. Brian; think "All powerful". Imagine an infinitely large loom with every thread being a possible future. An infinite number of them. As the loom arm (the present) moves forward, some threads collaps and new threads are born.

    It's all BS, but "omnipotence" buys him a pass, but at a price.

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  67. "Okay. If it can be said that the person that wins the argument is the one that just 'insists' the longest without being able to support themselves in any tangible way, to the point where they just wear you the fuck out from repeatedly proving them wrong to no discernable effect, to the point where you don't give a darn anymore, then you win."

    Don't be a bitch Brian. I'm arguing that we have Free Will. And if that's the case, our choices have to be free.

    If our choices are free, the Supreme being must know so much that I can't comprehend it. I can't imagine it.

    But what I can do, with my limited mind, is somehow get a glimpse of that knowledge. And what I preceive, is that God knows all possibilities. Nothing set in stone, but saw it in advance regardless.

    Because of this, this gives God complete prediction power to help the Individual and guide Him/Her in his life.

    The amount of knowledge escapes me.

    He exists outside all of our rules.

    If he doesn't know for certain what happens to all of us before we are born, that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Because we're told we have free will. So I believe he see's all possibilities.

    That's not good enough for you. You want him to be certain on where you will go before you even get a chance to prove Him otherwise.

    That's not free will. I'm arguing we have Free Will which means you can go in different directions and your future isn't pre-ordained.

    That's my position.

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  68. He exists outside all of our rules.
    ----------
    No He doesn't, and I can prove it.

    He does not exist outside the rules of logic.

    For there is logic and there is logic.

    If I say "God cannot possibly know all those choices" that would be not valid within the definition you put forth of God. Of course He can. He's God.

    However, if I say "If God is all-powerful, can He make a rock so big that He Himself can't lift it?" I have just given you a logical parameter that God cannot just avoid by merely 'being God.'

    Can God make a rock so big that He Himself can't lift it? Of course not. He's God, right? But, then we have the fact revealed that even God is limited by logic. So even He must abide within the rules of logic.

    And the kind of logic that I see here, that I'm using here in all may arguments to you, is not the first kind but the second kind. It's not "God isn't powerful enough to do this" it's "God cannot do this because it violates all logic and reason, even for God." It's the rock so big that even God can't lift it.

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  69. That's not good enough for you. You want him to be certain on where you will go before you even get a chance to prove Him otherwise.
    ------------
    I don't want Him to be certain; it's required by logic. If He isn't certain of what I will choose, then He by definition isn't certain about anything in the future, and this level of uncertainty increases logarithmically with the passing of time.

    That's it. It's simple, easy to understand, and totally logical. You can't really argue against it, Botts. You're the one that introduced the limitation on God here. I'm just informing you of ALL it's implications.

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  70. Again you seem to see 'knowing all possible options' as a good thing.

    So what? So what if God knows all possible options? Again, it's tomorrow's lottery drawing. Knowing that there are say, six digits gives you one million possibilities. So I know all the possibilities for tomorrow's drawing, just by knowing all the numbers between 0 and one million. I know all the options. So what? I know no more about it than anyone else, as it turns out.
    You see, God can know all options, but He can't know the ones chosen that BECOME REAL. Therefore He cannot really know the particular future that will eventually happen; He can only know all possible ones. So if asked what WILL happen, He cannot answer. If asked what COULD happen, He can.
    So what?

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  71. "I don't want Him to be certain; it's required by logic. If He isn't certain of what I will choose, then He by definition isn't certain about anything in the future, and this level of uncertainty increases logarithmically with the passing of time."

    See, you did it again. In the end, it comes to me being illogical. Logic and reason is our rules here. God is not bound to that.

    We aren't God and can never be God.

    "That's it. It's simple, easy to understand, and totally logical. You can't really argue against it, Botts. You're the one that introduced the limitation on God here. I'm just informing you of ALL it's implications."

    No, you have put the limitation to God. Logic is your limitation. The Supreme being is not bound to this particular rule. There many things that are logical to us because logic is our rule here. But something outside of our time, space and universe obviously isn't logical. Now is it?

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  72. "So what? So what if God knows all possible options? Again, it's tomorrow's lottery drawing."

    No it isn't. If He knows all possible choices we will face and all the results behind all the choices we make, this is a HUGE BENEFIT to us and we get free will at the same time. Can it get better than this?

    "Knowing that there are say, six digits gives you one million possibilities. So I know all the possibilities for tomorrow's drawing, just by knowing all the numbers between 0 and one million. I know all the options. So what?"

    If the digits represent individuals, than this is a huge benefit to the individuals because you know everything pertaining to each individual.

    "I know no more about it than anyone else, as it turns out."

    You know more than everybody. The digits represent people. And you know everything possible about each person.

    "You see, God can know all options, but He can't know the ones chosen that BECOME REAL."

    He knows all choices faced and all results that come from those choices. He knows multiple realities.

    "Therefore He cannot really know the particular future that will eventually happen; He can only know all possible ones."

    Which gives us free will. And it allows him to be a huge benefit to the individual as a guidance since he knows everything pertaining to that individual.

    "So if asked what WILL happen, He cannot answer. If asked what COULD happen, He can.
    So what?"

    If you ask what will happen, he will tell you with certainty what will happen based on the choice you make. With certainty. There is no better guidance for your indecivness.

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  73. God doesn't know which of any two or more options that I will choose in any of my future choices. He just knows all the possible choices. So He cannot be sure what the future will be like because THE ONE REAL, ACTUAL FUTURE THAT WILL HAPPEN depends on the exact choices that I (and everyone else) will make that eventually bring it to pass. All these choices will depend on previous definite choices made before them. God cannot know which future will come to pass, so even if He can know ALL of the ones that CAN come to pass, if you were to ask Him what future out of all of those WILL BE THE REAL ONE, the one that DOES come to pass, He's left scratching His head.

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  74. People (other than Botts) is it just me here, or does it seem that the more I bore down and focus in on exactly what's wrong with Bott's interpretation here, the more I isolate it, the more obscure and illogical Botts is sounding in his defense?

    Yeah, I thought so.

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  75. "God doesn't know which of any two or more options that I will choose in any of my future choices."

    He has seen you choose both options. And he has seen the result of that choice.

    "He just knows all the possible choices."

    And the outcomes of all choices.

    "So He cannot be sure what the future will be like because THE ONE REAL, ACTUAL FUTURE THAT WILL HAPPEN depends on the exact choices that I (and everyone else) will make that eventually bring it to pass."

    So he sees all futures for everyone and what everything will actually look like multiple times over.

    "All these choices will depend on previous definite choices made before them."

    Domino effect.

    "God cannot know which future will come to pass, so even if He can know ALL of the ones that CAN come to pass, if you were to ask Him what future out of all of those WILL BE THE REAL ONE, the one that DOES come to pass, He's left scratching His head."

    He's left giving you free will. And he sees the actual results from whatever way you want to go. Which gives him supreme guidance powers for you.

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  76. "People (other than Botts) is it just me here, or does it seem that the more I bore down and focus in on exactly what's wrong with Bott's interpretation here, the more I isolate it, the more obscure and illogical Botts is sounding in his defense?"

    Isn't a belief in God illogical brian? Isn't that your premise to all of my arguments? Is that anything new?

    I'm reconciling free will with a Supreme Being that created everything. Just remember your premise, and realize that no matter the subject, the end result is you getting frustrated at me being illogical.

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  77. Botts, you seem to be saying that God knows all of our choices and all of their results in the world. And that this makes God able to guide us better.
    I just realized that even that is not possible!
    God cannot know all the implications of all our choices since in order to do so He'd have to be able to follow each choice into the future as far as the future goes, but the future of any one of my choices is contingent upon more than just me choosing it; it is, like any possible future, contingent on it's past which is not just due to my choices but is due to the sum total of all choices of all people alive, plus random chance factors. God cannot follow a time line, any time line, even an hypothetical one, into the future and have it definitely be the real future that will happen, because He cannot know precisely how we all will choose in order to form that future. He can know all possible time lines. But not the one that will become real.

    For example, let's say that God sees that I have two choices, to turn left or right at an intersection. So God can know my two choices, left or right. God can also know the choices of the guy coming from the right who is driving on the wrong side of the road. God can see that if that man decided to choose to continue driving on the wrong side as he is, and if I choose to go right we will collide and I will die and so will he. But God can also see that if that man makes the choice to look up from the floor or whatever, he'll immediately go over to the correct side of the road, and I won't be harmed if I turn right. God also sees another person coming from the left, who is thinking about taking that second to look through their purse, and may or may not swerve enough to hit me if I go left. Oh, and there's a speeding semi behind me so I have to turn one way or the other or I'm paste.
    Explain to me what God would tell me to do in that scenario, knowing all these possibilities? Because I can't fucking figure it out nohow.

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  78. omniscience - actually knowing everything that can be known.

    Omnipotence - unlimited power.

    Brian you wrote: "And with any kind of an omniscient omnipotent God, we just don't have any kind of free will, in spite of your theory here Botts."

    Which is your argument. And I have given you my reconciliation to that.

    He knows everything there is to know. But we do have free will according to Him. Which means our choices are free. But he knew everything related to those choices and the multiple results from the choices we made.

    Your argument has been that we have no free will in relation to God. Because he knows for certain where we are going before we are born. That can't be free will.

    I'm stating that we are told we have Free Will. This means he does know everything, but we are able to change our course.

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  79. I might have gotten my rights and lefts screwed up there but you get the idea I hope.

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  80. Your argument has been that we have no free will in relation to God. Because he knows for certain where we are going before we are born. That can't be free will.
    ------------
    No, that's an old argument. You admitted to that one.

    The argument is whether your version of God who knows all options at once but never which one winds up getting chosen, can in any way see the actual future. Seeing the future is standard christian stuff here... almost all of them believe that God can do that, that that is part of the very idea of omniscience. Your version cannot do that. Your GOd cannot tell me which of the infinite futures He can see will actually happen. He just can't, by definition. Your definition.

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  81. "Botts, you seem to be saying that God knows all of our choices and all of their results in the world. And that this makes God able to guide us better."

    It makes him guide us perfectly.

    "I just realized that even that is not possible!"

    It's not only possible, but factual.

    "God cannot know all the implications of all our choices since in order to do so He'd have to be able to follow each choice into the future as far as the future goes, but the future of any one of my choices is contingent upon more than just me choosing it; it is, like any possible future, contingent on it's past which is not just due to my choices but is due to the sum total of all choices of all people alive, plus random chance factors."

    Remember, we're all connected. So our choices do play a part on everyone else. This is why his guidance is even more awesome.

    "God cannot follow a time line, any time line, even an hypothetical one, into the future and have it definitely be the real future that will happen, because He cannot know precisely how we all will choose in order to form that future."

    Why can't He? He's the supreme being. He knows multiple futures for every individual. He knows every choice any of us will face and the results from each choice. He's God. He's ALL KNOWING.

    "He can know all possible time lines. But not the one that will become real."

    He knows all timelines that can become real. All of them. He's ALL KNOWING.

    "For example, let's say that God sees that I have two choices, to turn left or right at an intersection. So God can know my two choices, left or right. God can also know the choices of the guy coming from the right who is driving on the wrong side of the road. God can see that if that man decided to choose to continue driving on the wrong side as he is, and if I choose to go right we will collide and I will die and so will he. But God can also see that if that man makes the choice to look up from the floor or whatever, he'll immediately go over to the correct side of the road, and I won't be harmed if I turn right. God also sees another person coming from the left, who is thinking about taking that second to look through their purse, and may or may not swerve enough to hit me if I go left. Oh, and there's a speeding semi behind me so I have to turn one way or the other or I'm paste."

    Exactly. He sees everything. Crap, he knows everything.

    "Explain to me what God would tell me to do in that scenario, knowing all these possibilities? Because I can't fucking figure it out nohow."

    Why is it that you have only two choices? I'm pretty sure you have more than that. And if you did actually ask God, the Holy Spirit would tell you with certainty the result of any choice you make.

    That's what is great about dealing with an ALL KNOWING power.

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  82. "The argument is whether your version of God who knows all options at once but never which one winds up getting chosen, can in any way see the actual future."

    Because not only does he sees the ones chosen too. He's all knowing.

    "Seeing the future is standard christian stuff here."

    Yeah, and he sees all kinds of futures.

    ".. almost all of them believe that God can do that, that that is part of the very idea of omniscience."

    He is all knowing. He sees unlimited futures. Basic Christian stuff.

    "Your version cannot do that."

    My version does exactly that. The Bible, which I believe in states we have free will. If that's the case, then our choices are free. If that's the case, God sees all possibilities. If he sees only one certianty per individual, then we don't have free will. But he is ALL KNOWING. Since He is all knowing, and we have free will, then it makes sense to me that he sees everything, and we are free to change our outcomes.

    "Your GOd cannot tell me which of the infinite futures He can see will actually happen."

    He can tell you all futures from all your choices. He's all knowing. And you have free will.

    " He just can't, by definition. Your definition."

    My definition is that he sees everything. He knows everything.

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  83. Botts; "Since He is all knowing, and we have free will, then it makes sense to me that he sees everything, and we are free to change our outcomes."

    He sees everything except which choice we'll make... which means he doesn't see EVERYTHING.

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  84. "He sees everything except which choice we'll make..."

    I believe by His decision. We have Free will, which can only mean our choices are free.

    " which means he doesn't see EVERYTHING."

    He sees us making all choices and the results from every choice we can possibly make. He sees everything. He knows everything.

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  85. Botts; "He knows everything"

    Except which choice we'll make.

    He can't, because he's LIMITED by our freewill. Or we don't have freewill.

    It's ok to admit you are stuck.

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  86. Of course, the free will thing may just be allagorical, too.

    Or is that only for the bad shit?

    _______________________________
    "What When it comes to human existence 100 years from now, maybe he does have a definitive answer because all of the possibilities lead to non existence. Maybe the something besides our choices destroys our world."

    There's still choice involved. We must choose how to react, or not to react at all.
    The world may just be destroyed by something beyond our control, but that does not mean we didn't have a choice in the matter.

    The Polar Ice Caps might melt, flooding the planet. We had no choice in whether or not it melts. BUT, we do have a choice NOW, and had a choice in the past, and future, to do something about it??

    What if it's a meteor crash? We have the choice to fight the meteor. We could send Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck to blow the damn thing up???

    Sure, God might see those things coming...just as a good scientist might see them coming. (?) But, the infinite choices are far too varied and ever-changing to predict with any accuracy. The very act of hitting the publish button on this comment page has unknowably altered all future events. You reading the comment will further alter the future. You publishing a rebuttall (or not) will alter just as much.
    Shit, that deep breath I just took as I sighed changes everything immeasurably!

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  87. And, what of the truck story exhibitted on the last thread?

    God knew that I was going to run over the poor naked child but did nothing to stop it?
    If your god knows all the futures and does nothing to stop them, wherein lies his benevolence ????

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  88. Me; "It's ok to admit you are stuck."

    Or that you are wrong, there's nothing wrong with that, after all, any time we talk about god, we're going to be wrong.

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  89. Botts, it is obvious by your replies that you are not able to grasp what I am saying.

    And just telling me that it's always gonna end with you being irrational and illogical is a cop-out. If that's always what you are, then why bother debating anything with us? Why interact with us, since we patently DO insist on reason and logic.

    Basically I see all your recent replies as sidesteps and subject-changes and evasions. In essence, it's like I am asking you 'Can God make a rock so big that He Himself cannot lift it?" and you're answering me "OF COURSE, HE'S GOD, He can do ANYTHING, praise be His name, isn't that wonderful how He can do everything, even make a rock so big that He Himself cannot lift it?" without seeing the obvious. (Need I point it out?)

    Without seeing that yes, even God can be boxed in by logic, and just because He's God it doesn't mean He can get out of it with His Magic "Get out of conundrum free card."

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  90. He sees us making all choices and the results from every choice we can possibly make. He sees everything. He knows everything.
    ------------------
    Does He know if I've been bad or good? So perhaps I'd better be good, eh? For goodness sake?

    Or is that the other one? Satan Claus or whoever he is?

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  91. Sorry, being a dick. I get snarky sometimes.

    I like you, Botts. But when you step out over the very boundry that you yourself set, I have to call you on it.

    I guess I just have to accept that you believe both that God is omniscient, and that we can have free will, but you can't explain it.

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  92. Of course we haven't mentioned how "free will" really lacks freedom.

    If the choice is really free, why the severe consequences for choosing the one god wants?

    "Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can do anything you want. BUT, if it pisses me off, you'll burn in Hell for ETERNITY!"

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  93. "Botts, it is obvious by your replies that you are not able to grasp what I am saying."

    Believe me, I grasp every word of what you're writing. Every word.

    "And just telling me that it's always gonna end with you being irrational and illogical is a cop-out."

    If you read it as a cop out, that's fine. But the truth of the matter is that it will always be the case.

    God in a way isn't logical. Things that He has done and can do, isn't logical. Things that Jesus is said to have done isn't logical. But I personaly have a belief in this stuff. Therefore, some of those beliefs aren't logical.

    And I can be the first to admit it.

    "If that's always what you are, then why bother debating anything with us? Why interact with us, since we patently DO insist on reason and logic."

    There is a flipside to this. Why debate with someone who has beliefs that you deem illogical and unreasonable when you insist on all arguments being logical and reasonable? Because if something isn't logical to you, it is ridiculous and not a valid argument.

    Secondly, I'm not here to debate with you because mainly I'm not here to convince you of anything or convert you to anything.

    What I can do is answer question pertaining to what I believe and how I reconcile my beliefs. I'm not a lazy thinker. And you can be rest assured, that everything I believe has come from serious thought, experiment, and experience.

    I have acknowledged the Supreme Being. I communicate with Holy Spirit. I believe that the Bible amongst other things is inspired. It is stated we have free will. The only way this can be true, is if our choices are free and we are able to change directions.

    All I've done is explain to you how I reconcile it. I don't care if it doesn't make sense to you. That's not my concern. I don't care if you can't reconcile it. That isn't my concern either. What I can do is simply explain my belief. And you can't pick it apart. I can assure you, that I've considered this longer than you, and have thought this particular subject through. And I'm still not done doing it.

    "Basically I see all your recent replies as sidesteps and subject-changes and evasions."

    Then I don't know what you're reading. I've answered all your questions and haven't changed the subject nor evaded you. The problem as I see it, is that I actually do answer you.

    " In essence, it's like I am asking you 'Can God make a rock so big that He Himself cannot lift it?" and you're answering me "OF COURSE, HE'S GOD, He can do ANYTHING, praise be His name, isn't that wonderful how He can do everything, even make a rock so big that He Himself cannot lift it?" without seeing the obvious. (Need I point it out?)"

    I never directly answered your rock question because you used that as an analogy. But we are talking about free will for a believer. And if we have free will, our choices have to be free. Since he is the supreme being, I believe that he decided this. It's His system. Can he know for certainty without possibilities? I believe He can if he chooses. I believe He chooses not to because we have been GRANTED free will.

    You don't understand this.

    So instead, he sees every possible future. And those futures will be certain futures if the choices are made. He is 100% certain that the futures will happen.

    "Without seeing that yes, even God can be boxed in by logic, and just because He's God it doesn't mean He can get out of it with His Magic "Get out of conundrum free card.""

    God isn't logical Brian. I never claimed Him to be. That's been all you.

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  94. "Except which choice we'll make."

    Definition: Free Will which is stated what we have.

    "He can't, because he's LIMITED by our freewill. Or we don't have freewill."

    He can't because he chose this. Because he granted us Free Will. Instead, He chooses to see every possibility which will be a certainty based on which choice is made.

    "It's ok to admit you are stuck."

    I agree. As I've said from months ago, I still can't grasp the Supreme Being 100% and never will. It's unimaginable what He knows and how He knows it.

    But He stated we have free will. The only way this is possible is if our choices are free and we are able to change our course by our choices.

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  95. "God knew that I was going to run over the poor naked child but did nothing to stop it?"

    You didn't ask for His guidance.

    "If your god knows all the futures and does nothing to stop them, wherein lies his benevolence ????"

    He can guide us to make our choices because he sees all futures. We can have His guidance through the Holy Spirit if we choose. But if we don't choose, everything is game. Who knows what will happen and when it will happen?

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  96. "Does He know if I've been bad or good? So perhaps I'd better be good, eh? For goodness sake? "

    Not only that, he can see how many times you'll be good or bad in all the possible futures you may or may not have. Quite substantial.

    "Or is that the other one? Satan Claus or whoever he is?"

    I don't believe in Santa.

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  97. God in a way isn't logical. Things that He has done and can do, isn't logical. Things that Jesus is said to have done isn't logical. But I personaly have a belief in this stuff. Therefore, some of those beliefs aren't logical.

    And I can be the first to admit it.
    --------------
    Well, there's no countering that, now is there? You win again.

    You haven't made any sense, you know. Of course, you already admit that you make no sense, and neither does your God, so what else to say?

    Oh well. I went through all those words om this post and the last one, and on the DD blog before that, just so you'd see that you were not being logical, only to find out at the end that you admit it. You agree with me. Your God is not logical nor rational, and neither are you. And you admit it freely.

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  98. "Sorry, being a dick. I get snarky sometimes."

    You get snarky when your rules aren't met. But we never laid out any rules.

    "I like you, Botts. But when you step out over the very boundry that you yourself set, I have to call you on it."

    I did no such thing. What I've stated here I have stated since the beginning months ago on Dinesh's blog. Nothing has changed.

    As a matter of fact, your arguments have changed. If I can recall, the argument was settled a while ago when you wanted to do a mental excercise over free will and I gladly joined that excercise with you.

    In the end, I told you that God chose this system, which plainly means He chooses to give us free will which also plainly means He has chosen to not see individual one way certainties.

    You said, you understood this and you understood my position. You backtracked. You changed the arguments. Multiple times.

    I'm very clear on everything and remember everything.

    "I guess I just have to accept that you believe both that God is omniscient, and that we can have free will, but you can't explain it."

    As you said a few hours ago, "that's the old argument". We've been past that.

    And as I months ago, He "chose" it to be this way. Which continues to give him His power and all knowing capabilities.

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  99. Goodnight, Botts. hafta get me some zzzzs.

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  100. "You haven't made any sense, you know. Of course, you already admit that you make no sense, and neither does your God, so what else to say?"

    I believe I do make "sense". But I'm not here to convince you. And you aren't here to believe me.

    He "chose" the system. He "chose" our rules. Within our rules we have free will. The All Powerful, All Knowing Supreme Being granted us free choices and the ability to alter our own futures. How gracious of Him

    "Oh well. I went through all those words om this post and the last one, and on the DD blog before that, just so you'd see that you were not being logical, only to find out at the end that you admit it. You agree with me. Your God is not logical nor rational, and neither are you. And you admit it freely."

    Surpised? I admited that 3 years ago. Which is why I'd never debate my beliefs with you. We have two completely different premises.

    But I will call out other believers who I feel isn't going in the direction they are supposed to go and I WILL debate THAT. And in many cases you will see me agree with an atheist, muslim, agnostic, homosexual or whoever.

    I'm open for all discussions. And I will answer any question about what I believe and how I cam to believe it, and how I reconcile my beliefs. And that should be good enough for you.

    And you're being a total shit about it.

    You go back and forth like a porn star.

    When I clearly told you that God "Chooses" it this way, you were understood.

    Now you don't understand. That's not my problem.

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  101. http://fightpastor.com/2010/02/08/breaking-the-silence-fight-pastor-responds-to-the-new-york-times/

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  102. So it appears that the NYT article may have exaggerated, or that fightpastor is prevaricating after the fact. I'd be interested to know which it was.

    He says he doesn't use it to get more kids to join, but it's definitely used for that:
    link

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  103. Great example on why 2nd hand accounts by non-eyewitneses should not be treated as fact.

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  104. Botts, if God chooses to not see which choices we will make then God chooses to not be able to see the future.

    You chose to make a claim for your God, that He can not see the precise choice that we will make, that He can only see all the options available to us.

    All I did was to extend that logically, and inform you what it really means, that God cannot see the future at all. My conclusion FOLLOWS from your premise!

    So, call yourself a shit. You're the one that came up with the premise! You should have come up with one that didn't cripple God like you did!

    If that's your premise, then I gave you the result. Then YOU denied it! This doesn't make you look very logical here.
    Oh, you're not! You've admitted that!

    So you put forth a premise, and when you don't like the result you hide behind "I never said I was rational!"

    Wow.

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  105. Botts; just curious what your opinion is on "Legion". Do you think there literally was a daemon infested pig, or that Mark 5:10 was just political satire?

    "My name is Legion"... Romans occupied Judea at the time... Roman Battalions were called "Legions"... Jesus banishes the "Legion".

    Seems like a no brainer to me, but there are people that think "legion" is literally the name of a daemon.

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  106. Here's a christian view of it that I agree with:
    link

    Excerpt:
    It's derivative and unoriginal. It was lame when Billy Sunday was doing it 100 years ago.
    It makes the gospel man-centered. Coming to Jesus isn't a way for you to deal with your daddy issues. I get it, your dad didn't hug you when you were little and you want to be a different kind of man. How about you go hug your kid then? Jesus didn't come to help you get in touch with your inner MMA fighter.
    Like it or not, the gospel is at least in part about weakness. It's about the almighty becoming weak to save us. It's about us being helpless and unable in our sins. There's no way to Christ that doesn't start with brokenness and an admission of impotence. Yes, Jesus is the strong man who binds the adversary, but he bound him by suffering, humiliation, and weakness.
    It discourages and mocks godly men who aren't macho. There is an undercurrent of disdain in all of this. Proponents of this testosterone Christianity can't help but take shots at guys who wear pastels and drink cappuccino. You might not like guys with manicures, but there's absolutely nothing morally wrong with it. A reserved, quiet, well-groomed man can be a good Christian. Believe it or not.

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  107. See Botts, I am not angry at you or persecuting you in any way here.

    What bugs me about this is that it's your premise.

    If you are not logical, then why did you attempt to put your beliefs about God into a logical premise format for us? The only answer is that you were attempting to prove your belief about God to us, or at least to show that it is logically consistant.

    When we showed you that it was not logically consistant, and you can't seem to defeat that like you thought you could, then and only then do you say that 'it doesn't have to be logical, because God isn't logical and neither are my beliefs!'

    That's my beef here. You moved the goalposts.

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  108. Brian,

    First let me say, that it was a month or so ago we did this 'til two in the morning. And at the end of our free will excercise you said

    "All you had to do was say that from the beginning and we wouldn't have had to disect it."

    What did I say that night at the end?


    God decided it. He chose this system for us.

    What this plainly means to me, is that if we have free will, our choices are free at the time they are made.

    You say God can't see the future with 100% certainty.

    This is where you're missing the point. He is all knowing. And because of this, and because of the systen HE CREATED, He sees all futures with certainty.

    He does not make predictions.

    However, if you the individual wants to deal with God and get answers, God through the Holy Spirit can with certainty tell you

    A. Choices you will face
    B. What choices to make
    C. What the results will be from that choice

    And

    D. What the results will be if you choose otherwise.

    That's not prediction. That's certainty. And He's certain because he's seen it.

    Your argument to me is valid, is something other than God created God and our system and put God in charge of it.

    Then, God is limited.

    But God is the creator of all things including our system. And he has stated that we have free will. To me, that means our choices our free.

    My premise is that our choices are free and I go from there.

    This is how I reconcile these things.

    And I can't help that it isn't good enough for you now even though it was then.

    He can be certain what lies ahead for each individual multiple times over. So if the individual decides to seek out God and deal with the Holy Spirit, the individual can in fact know all future choices coming to him/her and which way to choose each of them wiht knowledge of the result from that choice.

    That is all knowing. And since he is the creator of all things, he is all powerful.

    This is my belief.

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  109. "See Botts, I am not angry at you or persecuting you in any way here."

    Okay

    "What bugs me about this is that it's your premise."

    My premise is that we have free will.

    "If you are not logical, then why did you attempt to put your beliefs about God into a logical premise format for us?"

    My attempt was not to put my beliefs in a logical premise for you. If you deem my beliefs illogical or logical is irrelevant to me. I'm simply stating to you my beliefs and how I reconcile certain subjects pertaining to my beliefs.

    "The only answer is that you were attempting to prove your belief about God to us, or at least to show that it is logically consistant"

    I have never done such a thing nor will I. I will not try to prove anything to you. You have to do that leg work on your own my friend. For three years I have not once tried to prove God to you or my belief to you.

    That's your defense mechanism kicking in and it's probably the main reason you can't have these kinds of conversations with me. William Hays had that same mechanism too.

    I can discuss all kinds of shit, and love doing it. And the great thing about it, is that I have no agenda behind it. To me, it's a learning process and I love to hear everyones opinion and shared knowledge no matter what they believe on any given subject.

    My "witnessing" comes into play and my debating(proving) comes into play with other stated believers.

    If a person of another faith or lack of faith wants to genually discuss my faith and wants to learn and be witnessed too, I will gladly do so.

    But we as Christians live by example. That's what I get from my faith, and we are to witness to other stated believers hardcore, because we make up a large percentage of the population. Bad seeds can take over and ruin it for all of us.

    "When we showed you that it was not logically consistant, and you can't seem to defeat that like you thought you could, then and only then do you say that 'it doesn't have to be logical, because God isn't logical and neither are my beliefs!'"

    That's the difference. I'm not here to "defeat" anything. But what bothered me if anything, is your reluctance to have an understanding. Your reluctance to admit that my statements to you a month ago satisfied you to the point of not discussing it anymore because "you got it". Believing it is irrelevant. But you got it.

    God decided these rules even for Himself. That was good enough for you. And you could see how I reconciled free will for us with an all powerful all knowing God.

    Now, that's changed. That isn't my fault.

    But you may have changed in your understanding. I have not. My stated beliefs remain consistent 100%. And they make a ton of sense to me. Months and months of studying it and thinkin it through, and experience with it, gave me my conclusions.

    The supreme being can't be understood by you or me nor what he knows. It is what it is.

    "That's my beef here. You moved the goalposts."

    Not once. You have moved the goal posts multiple times and continue to do so.

    It's not my fault that you forgot that I satisfied you in my statements a month ago. Now you want to be an obtuse person.

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  110. It's not my fault that you forgot that I satisfied you in my statements a month ago. Now you want to be an obtuse person.
    -----------------
    Yes, you admitted your lack of logic back then and I accepted it, but more recently the conversation resurfaced and when you made your illogical claim about God knowing all options but not the precise one chosen it was so silly on the surface that I had to respond to it. So what's the deal? When you say stuff like that we're supposed to say 'hmmm, okay' and just keep going as if you hadn't said anything.
    When you say something that cries out for reply and we reply and then you tell me that it was settled long ago, all I can say is then, why'd you bring it up again? You seemed eager enough to discuss it in logical terms again for a while here, until it became clear that you weren't making any headway, and then you bailed. That's how I see it.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Given that John Calvin didn't believe in freewill, where exactly does it explicitly say that we have freewill?

    Botts; seems like ditching freewill would be the logical thing to do.

    My guess is that you want to believe in freewill (even if it's not biblical), because, well we all want to be masters of our own destiny.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Ryan,

    Seems to me, that people can take either approach to that story.

    Some do believe Legion is literal and some do believe it's more of a political story.

    Jesus usually wanted things kept quiet when he dealt with people. But in that story, he didn't want it kept quiet.

    Gentiles fight sins. Jews fought the Romans.

    I'm thinking a little more down the same line you are.

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  113. "Botts; seems like ditching freewill would be the logical thing to do."

    I don't know Ryan. I believe we have it, and I believe the Bible tells us in many different ways that we do have it.

    "My guess is that you want to believe in freewill (even if it's not biblical), because, well we all want to be masters of our own destiny."

    I believe that the Bible does support this belief, and I as a person also believe that if we don't have free will in relation to God, then how can you make a difference to someone?

    "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

    Forget what this is referencing, I notice the word "choose".

    "If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."

    I believe he's referring to "answers" with certainty.

    "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!"

    We are given the ability to choose and those choices are not pre-ordained.

    I believe a lot of the verses in the Bible make zero sense unless "Free Will" is associated with them.

    As always Ryan, I actually do appreciate you, Brian and whoever else discussing these things with me, and I am grateful to at least explain what I believe to you and am also grateful to learn what you believe.

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  114. Brian,

    I've answered your questions in detail.

    It makes perfect sense to me.

    My premise is that we have free will.

    My answers is how I reconcile it.

    For some reason, God not knowing the exact path from start to finish with no other possible alternatives is a problem for you and my premise.

    If God knows that exactly, I don't have Free Will.

    I believe we do have Free Will.

    He's all knowing.

    He sees multiple certain paths if chosen.

    And since we deal with the holy spirit individually, he can with certainty tell us everything we need to know and guide us wherever he knows best.

    And this is because he knows with certainty EVERYTHING.

    I've given you nothing new. Not a month ago or yesterday.

    You changed.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Botts; "He's all knowing"...

    But he doesn't which choice well make. Forgive me if you've already addressed this, but I don't think you have. Not knowing something is not "all knowing".

    ReplyDelete
  116. "But he doesn't which choice well make. Forgive me if you've already addressed this, but I don't think you have. Not knowing something is not "all knowing"."

    Ryan,

    I addressed this by saying it's his decision for it to be that way.

    You look at it as a limitation. I don't.

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  117. Botts; "I addressed this by saying it's his decision for it to be that way."

    No wonder I didn't think you addressed it. Hey ho! Sorry, couldn't resist.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Yeah botts, if it's His decision to be that way, then it's His decision to NOT be able to see the future.

    You know, now I remember. We didn't settle this one before. We settled a different point. We settled that your God decided to will himself to NOT see our choices. What we never talked about were the implications of His decision. How God deciding to do that limits Himself a lot. That we never covered.
    He blinded Himself.

    ReplyDelete
  119. "No wonder I didn't think you addressed it. Hey ho! Sorry, couldn't resist."

    lol

    ReplyDelete
  120. One of my word verifications was

    ddyke

    What's up with that?

    ReplyDelete
  121. "Yeah botts, if it's His decision to be that way, then it's His decision to NOT be able to see the future."

    He sees all futures.

    "You know, now I remember. We didn't settle this one before."

    Yes we did and you even complimented me too.

    "We settled a different point. We settled that your God decided to will himself to NOT see our choices."

    "Will" didn't enter the discussion. I just said if we have free will it's by his decision within the system he created.

    "What we never talked about were the implications of His decision. How God deciding to do that limits Himself a lot. That we never covered.
    He blinded Himself."

    He didn't limit himself at all. Remember, we are to establish a personal relationship with God Brian. And if we do that, He can guide us through the Holy Spirit in all aspects of our life.

    And for Ryan too, let me say to finally address this issue.

    The Holy Spirit from God can tell us every little thing there is to know in the future. What choices we'll face, what to choose and what the results will look like.

    To me and maybe just me, that is all knowing.

    He knows all futures no matter what direction they may or may not go.

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  122. Botts; "He sees all futures."

    But he doesn't know which one will come to pass. Choice or not, it's a major limitation on both his omnipotence and omniscience.

    Plus, why would the supreme creator of the universe blind himself for the benefit of his creation, which he would later have to cast into a fiery pit (the angels), curse with death, obliterate with water and then sacrifice his son.

    Seems like he would have seen all that coming...

    Seems like cuckolding himself was one of the dumbest things he could have done.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Botts; "The Holy Spirit from God can tell us every little thing there is to know in the future. What choices we'll face, what to choose and what the results will look like."

    This doesn't happen though. Otherwise there would be a measurable differece in the happiness and sucess of believers over non-believers.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Remember, we are to establish a personal relationship with God Brian.
    ---------------
    No thanks, I have a rule about having personal relationships with the illogical and unstable. I learned it the hard way.

    ReplyDelete
  125. "But he doesn't know which one will come to pass."

    Free Will. It's our decision. And he knows all the results.

    "Choice or not, it's a major limitation on both his omnipotence and omniscience."

    You are giving Him that limitation label.

    "Plus, why would the supreme creator of the universe blind himself for the benefit of his creation, which he would later have to cast into a fiery pit (the angels), curse with death, obliterate with water and then sacrifice his son."

    He didn't blind himself to anything. He's seen all results ahead of time. If you establish that personal relationship and communication, you can avoid any dangerous outcomes if there are any. It's a huge benefit.

    But He gives you the ability to make your own choices and to live free to do so..

    "Seems like he would have seen all that coming..."

    He did.

    "Seems like cuckolding himself was one of the dumbest things he could have done."

    He didn't. He saw all of it. And can play a huge part in helping the individual find their beneficial path. Because he Knows everything.

    "This doesn't happen though."

    Sure it does. I haven't had any problems.

    "Otherwise there would be a measurable differece in the happiness and sucess of believers over non-believers."

    People without God in their lives can live very happy lives and make all correct choices they face to continue to live happy lives.

    This difference come between believers and other believers. You can see a measurable difference between those that rely on man and institutions and those that rely on God and the Holy Spirit.

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  126. "No thanks, I have a rule about having personal relationships with the illogical and unstable. I learned it the hard way."

    Put my quotes in the correct context Brian.

    If one chooses to know God and get guidance from the Holy Spirit, his All Knowing capabilities are on full display because He Knows Every Possible outcome and every possibl decision you will face in the future.

    Remember this is about my beliefs and how I reconcile them through thought, experiment and experience.

    We have free will. We can choose which way to go and not be pre-ordained into something. With Grace might I add. That is the system we are in now.

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  127. Botts; "If you establish that personal relationship and communication, you can avoid any dangerous outcomes if there are any. It's a huge benefit."

    Hahahaha! Do you really have the arrogance to say that you know for sure that Ted Haggard didn't have that same personal relationship?

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  128. Botts; "Put my quotes in the correct context Brian."

    says the guy who analyzes and critiques each of our sentences totally out of context.

    ReplyDelete
  129. "I learned it the hard way."

    Through evil institutions and their evil leaders.

    But certainly not the Bible.

    Remember, always remember,they are the ones that are evil. They are the ones that bring "intent" into the teachings.

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  130. "Hahahaha! Do you really have the arrogance to say that you know for sure that Ted Haggard didn't have that same personal relationship?"

    I don't know about Ted. Don't know him personally nor what he taught.

    Seems to me from what I've seen, he lived a huge lie and hurt a bunch of people. He should have accepted his homosexuality from the beginning. But he was taught wrong about homosexuality.

    "says the guy who analyzes and critiques each of our sentences totally out of context."

    Really? Maybe unintentionally. But you're not providing examples. I do the best I can. I have no motives in my discussions except to have them.

    Brian's was blatent. I'm not talking about him or his beliefs. I'm talking about free will.

    Don't be predictable and go back to the beginning belief in God. That isn't the discussion.

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  131. Botts; see your post from 3:35. It's funny because it actually becomes nonsensicle as you chug through each and every sentence, contridicting yourself along the way.

    About the "Great Evil Bible Debate", I saw a good quote the other day. Surely you'll agree with it, because the author used the world "religion", but "the bible" would work in it's place just as well.

    "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion."

    - Steve Weinberg

    ReplyDelete
  132. Seriously though Brian and Ryan. Over time you both have increasingly become difficult to have discussions with. You're both extremely cynical and sarcastic. I have no problems with cynicism and sarcasm because I can offer a good dose of both too.

    But seems to me, you're not genuine in learning anything about me or what I believe. Instead, you seem to want to "defeat" or "debate" what I believe and how I reconcile it. And you do this with cynical and sarcastic intentions.

    Now, I can only read what you write and I understand I can't get a true picture of what you're conveying. But this is what I read.

    If you don't want me to have these discussions with you, that's cool with me.

    I thought, you'd like to have discussions with a believer and learn about them about the subjects that go with their beliefs.

    I'm not here to judge your beliefs nor have I. Seems to me, the judging comes strictly from you.

    So if you want me to fuck off, just say so. You obviously do not genuially want to learn about my beliefs, and your increasingly frustrating dialog sort proves this to me.

    Just remember, as a Christian, I have never judged any of you accept the ones preaching to me.

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  133. Ryan,

    Show me my contradictions. Because there aren't any.

    In regards to your quote, I liked it. But I undertand, without the
    Bible there isn't any religion from it. Therefore if religion can be evil and use the Bible to do evil, then the Bible has to be considered evil.

    I get it.

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  134. Botts, dude...

    We want you here, we like talking to you, it's just that you threw us red meat by violating logic and reason the way you did. Do. Sorry, but you've admitted that much so I hope you don't take it as an insult.

    If you want us to not discuss it further with you, let us know. I hope if you do that though, that it won't put you off talking with us. That's suck bigtime.

    I was enjoying the discussion, in part because it violated reason. It did make me think, at least. Please don't take it personally when I 'attack' your beliefs, because I'm only using logic to challenge that which I perceive to be not logical. Would you have me stop doing that? I cannot. It is as much my nature to do that, as it is your nature to love God so much that you're willing to abandon everything, including logic and reason, for that love. Your prerogative.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Botts; I definitely want to know how you reconcile stuff.

    But when you explain it, it reveals new holes. You're like the little dutch boy with his finger in the ddyke.

    Admittedly, our position could be adequately defeneded by retarded kindergartners. You are the one in the tough spot. All we have to do is repeat "substantiate please" or say "please provide evidence" and we're all set.

    However, I TRULY VALUE YOUR OPINIONS.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Botts, if I ever offend you, I'm sorry. It's not my intention.

    I hope you understand that it's not personal. I get frustrated with you sometimes, yes. But I never am angry with you, and I genuinely like you and wish that all Christians were just like you are, no doubt about it. This world would be a much better place in which to live, if such were so.

    ReplyDelete
  137. "God knew that I was going to run over the poor naked child but did nothing to stop it?"

    You didn't ask for His guidance.
    ---------------
    So the kid dies on a technicality. Cool. God's a real stickler.

    Or it could be that God doesn't give a shit about a little kid getting killed on a highway.

    ReplyDelete
  138. I just posted one over at my blog.

    It essentially deals with these type issues.
    I really like the idea that IF a creator did exist, what makes us certain that he gives a shit?

    ReplyDelete
  139. I don't know. I'm still meditating on who/what my creator is. And, I've come to the point that it's not "it's" fault I had a sucky childhood. Meditation has helped me through lots of stuff. So, I can't say our creator, or god doesn't give a shit for sure.

    But, it would really seem that we humans don't seem to give a shit about kids.


    http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2010/02/post-natal-abortions.html

    ReplyDelete
  140. "Ironically, most really good martial arts schools would never consider trying an appeal to juvenile machismo in an attempt to increase their membership They have too much integrity..."

    YES! YES! YES! Spot on! Bravo! Well said! Well put! You're correct! You're right! You're not wrong!

    Jesus, wasn't a pacifist. But MMA because Jesus was a wuss? What is that?!?!?

    Maybe they should teach them how to pick up chicks at the bar and pray before the young lads go-a-rutting, because if Jesus was more manly surely he would've been banging broads left and right.

    ReplyDelete
  141. The Somber?

    I don't believe it. I want to, but I don't.

    Looks more like Bri-ercules will have some hunting to do. Or ignoring.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Ryan Anderson. That's the most Indian sounding name I've heard in quite some time.

    Hydra? No, my naive Hindu friend. It is Vishnu in one of many Avatars come to bless you with its presence.

    Or if you would like it to go away for good, you could give money to me through the 'Foundation For Tasteless Cupcakes.' Just a 5 dollar love donation should do it.

    I've been in various temples, churches, mosques, you name it, and nobody cares about tasteless cupcakes.

    Brian doesn't care, and he calls himself a saint. What kind of godless person doesn't support a charity for tasteless cupcakes!?

    They didn't ask to be tasteless, did they?

    Samsara you!

    ReplyDelete
  143. MI pretending to be Somber, or whoever you are,

    Either stop posting as other people and post as one person consistantly or I'll simply start removing your posts. Unlike at the last place, I can do that here. So shape up or get shipped out, right away.

    ReplyDelete
  144. This Somber is a Catholic idiot!

    THE Somber was anything but an idiot.

    Ryan is right, it's our old buddy, Hydra.


    word verification: subleme

    ReplyDelete
  145. Sorry, Harry.

    "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard."

    It seems you have violated Leviticus 19:27.
    I'm not one to judge, but....

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  146. Poor poor mac.

    Have you not read "He who looks like Dinesh D'Souza when shaved, is hung like a donkey."

    But of course the down side is, "Thou must bray like an ass the rest of thy days, if thouest indeedest lookest likest Dinesh D'Souza-est whenst shaved."

    2nd Opinions Chp. 3 verse 7,8

    ReplyDelete
  147. If that is Somber she has come a long way.
    I doubt meditation would have changed her that much. Now is she would of said medication…

    ReplyDelete
  148. Since God lives outside of time, Then tomorrow would be as the same as today too God. In other words He simply observes as we live out our lives. God has provided a way for mankind to escape eternal ruin, by being obedient to the Gospel call to repentance and faith in Christ.
    God foreknew before the creation that man would succumb to the temptation of the serpent in the garden.
    God knowing this would take place does not in my opinion suggest that God ordained it to happen. He simply observed that moment during the existence of man “mankind being in time” and provided a solution before the creation.
    Hell was not created for mankind… It was created for the devil and his angels. This world according to the Bible was not created to last forever . If there are people who refuse to repent of their sin and believe in Christ for the remission of sin then the only alternative there is for them is to be cast into hell because God is the source of life and all who reject God are rejecting life.

    In the book of Jeremiah, In the first chapter, God told Jeremiah before he formed him in the womb he knew him. “Just one example of foreknowledge“.

    It’s sorta like a play being performed on the world stage.

    God being omniscient has nothing to do with our freewill to choose Him or reject Him, which really is what freewill is about . Our choice to receive Him or reject Him.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Forgive me Observant, last time I posted concurrently with you I was still a believer, but I don't remember your exact views.

    With that caveat, it seems to me like you're encountering Augustine's paradox head on.

    But since I don't know I have to ask. Do you believe the orthodox view that the Judeo/Christian god is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent?

    ReplyDelete
  150. Harry C,

    I'll take it that that must be in there near Ezekial 23:20?


    Forgive my insulence, please.

    ReplyDelete
  151. I refuse to even acknowledge your post with a reply.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Rogaine for Pharisees is the best.

    $19.99 for 2 ounces

    Judge you! Then call 1-800-JUJ-UTOO.

    Sorry, no COD.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Mike; "God knowing this would take place does not in my opinion suggest that God ordained it to happen."

    Fine. But whether or not god ordained it or if it's simply limited to our salvation, the bottom line is if god already knows the future, we're not free to choose it.

    Very simply, if the future is known, then it's predestined.

    ReplyDelete
  154. "Very simply, if the future is known, then it's predestined."

    Incorrect. But he would have to make the concession that this being wasn't omnipotent. Something I doubt he wants to do.

    ReplyDelete
  155. "But since I don't know I have to ask. Do you believe the orthodox view that the Judeo/Christian god is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent?"

    Observant, I of course needed to add omni-loving, or some such idea to the mix.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Oneblood, how so? I meant THE future, the one that WILL happen.

    If god knows that in 15 days I will break my leg, well then in 15 days I will break my leg. No way around it. Predestined.

    I didn't mean Botts' "all possible futures". Which does exclude omnipotence and omniscence.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Good call actually Ryan,

    I was mistaken about the context, and even who you were 'talking' to!

    Apologies.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Oneblood; I was happy to hear of your implied deconversion. It's a long journey. Can't say I'm suprised. You were always more than reasonable and logical on the Dinesh Blog.

    Of course you realize you were a "false convert" to Christianity in the first place, right? LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  159. Well deconverted to a point.

    With much trepidation I choose the label of deist. But it would be philosophically inconsistent and disingenuous to claim any evidence for my belief.

    If somebody were to ask me to explain why I believed, it would consist of psychology and aesthetics, not logic or facts as such.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Oneblood, labels are bad. I favor deism, but will forever remain an agnostic, but for ease of communication, call myself an atheist.

    "If somebody were to ask me to explain why I believed, it would consist of psychology and aesthetics..."

    Well put.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Actually Ryan, you were thanked in my post about this.

    http://livinginanecdotes.blogspot.com/2009/11/muchas-gracias.html

    ReplyDelete
  162. "Oneblood, labels are bad."

    Yeah, aren't they? I'm sure almost everyone here can relate to having to choose what to call themselves simply to convey a small part of what constituted their beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
  163. Guys:

    "Otherwise there would be a measurable differece in the happiness and sucess of believers over non-believers."

    "People without God in their lives can live very happy lives and make all correct choices they face to continue to live happy lives."

    In fact, the only "difference/advantage" the NT seems to promise if one accepts Christ as his personal saviour is eventual access to Heaven. It certainly does not seem to promise any earthly advantages. Indeed, my view that Scripture can be a useful guideline to the wisdom of the ages regarding one's success or failure in dealing with one's fellow man (while ignoring those parts that deal with Man's relationship(s) with God) would seem to bear this out.
    I think that the issue in this discussion is not about logic or omnipotence, but much moreso regarding Brian's difficulty in accepting that an intelligent, thinking individual can believe these apparently opposed ideas (omniscience vs free will) and can reconcile them for himself within his understanding of Scripture. Botts, you have made clear (at least to me) that this is how you hve reconciled things, even though they are not totally "logical". Brian, you seem to be trying get Botts to "admit" that he cannot reconcile them for you (and the rest of us "non-believers). He has apparently done so. after all, we are discussing "beliefs", not certainties on either side.

    ReplyDelete
  164. I wouldn't want Botts to reconcile his ideas for me if he hadn't tried to tell us logically how they could be true in the real world. When he introduced the idea that God knows all choices but not the one that we will eventually choose, it introduced GLARING inconsistencies, which needed to be addressed. But when addressed, he retreated back into his beliefs, as if he had never made a logical case here for God being omniscient, as if he had not tried to use logic to explain it to us.
    When you use logic to explain your faith, then your faith becomes succeptable to logic. You can't just retreat to 'I didn't mean it, it's really just what I believe and I can't prove it logically' when you've just tried to PROVE IT LOGICALLY.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Oneblood, your name always makes me think of Kipling.

    "We be of one blood, ye and I..."

    ReplyDelete
  166. But since I don't know I have to ask. Do you believe the orthodox view that the Judeo/Christian god is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent?
    -----------------------
    Well ,I believe God is all knowing, all powerful, and He is everywhere.
    But being all knowing does not propose predestination . We learn by trial and error what is both good and bad for our well-being .
    Some are of the opinion that because God is all knowing that He has a responsibility to mankind to prevent accidents and death from coming upon people or little children.
    There is a verse of scripture in the book of Ecclesiastes that states that time and chance happens to us all.
    Also it states that God is no respecter of persons.
    My Mother died a few years ago, and I could not understand why God would not heal her. I have since come to understand that God cannot be contrary to His word. I‘m talking about of course The verse in the bible where it said It is appointed unto man once to die.
    If God healed and kept alive every person Then He would be going against His own word.
    Could you imagine what the world population would be if God answered every prayer and death was suddenly abolished… Talk about food shortage.

    All powerful I believe so. Yet in the scripture we find that there is a DAY in the future of mankind that God has appointed to bring the world to an end.
    Well since God set the time and day of this great event He cannot change His mind nor move the date.
    Yes all powerful yet subject to His own words.

    I have found that no matter where I am at in this country God is their as well.
    Most people I know found Him at the end of a prayer after He called them unto Himself…
    Hence the scripture, No man can come unto Christ except God draw him.

    There is a way that seems right unto a man but the way their of is the way of death.
    Many people have a belief or a faith in God, well I should of said a belief or faith in the possibilities that God exist. That kind of faith or belief is not the same kind of faith that a true born again person has…
    Once God grants faith unto the seeker that has been draw too Christ by the power of God, Then the faith is surpassed by knowing, by Gods revealing .
    Is he everywhere ? The scripture said He is not far from everyone of us.

    There are those who reject the Bible as God inspired word. “Freewill in action”

    ReplyDelete
  167. Mike; "But being all knowing does not propose predestination"

    It does if he knows the future.

    This is really very simple.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Oneblood, that's a great post. Thanks for the mention, and thanks also for just now reminding me the imporantce of being "agnostic". I slip every so often, especially when arguing on the interwebs.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Ryan ,how does knowing an event is going to take place assert it is predestined to happen?

    Time and chance is what the Bible speaks about future events.
    Example, You are walking along pushing your lawn mower while cutting your grass. For some reason you don’t see the large hole in your yard , You put your foot down in the hole and suddenly you are in pain ,you have sprang your ankle.

    To say God predestine this to happen to you is foolish. Fact is ,if you had been watching where you were walking you would have eliminated the CHANCE of accident at that particular TIME.
    See how easy it is… Gods knowledge of the event had nothing to do with it.
    It’s called being accountable for yourself, Our responsibility…

    ReplyDelete
  170. Mike; even if god isn't ordaining the events, if the future event is KNOWN, then it's "predestined".

    Me spraining my ankle isn't gods fault, but if god knew I was going to do it, I couldn't not do it, thus it's predestined, otherwise god would be wrong. And that cannot be, right?

    ReplyDelete
  171. I know I'm coming into this kind of late, but listen:

    IMO (presuming there IS a god and that he's the one described in the Old Testament), God HAD TO provide man with free will. Otherwise, men are just sock puppets with no capacity or choice to return the "love" God showers us with.

    Also, as I said in the DD blog re: prophecy, there are not 'millions' of possible variables, there are an INFINITE number of variables.

    When considered together, the case for an omniscient and omnipotent god is pretty weak.

    ...unless, like Brian said, there's no god, which explains the world we all experience very nicely without resorting to making up ridiculous stuff to try to explain away all the dilemmas the idea of such a god ALWAYS creates.

    Just sayin'...

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  172. "Me spraining my ankle isn't gods fault, but if god knew I was going to do it, I couldn't not do it, thus it's predestined, otherwise god would be wrong. And that cannot be, right?"


    Here's how to think about it: For you, the future is really open. Let's say that at this moment, you could choose A, B or C. You're faced with a genuine choice: you really can choose A, B or C. Now God, who exists eternally (i.e. outside time) knows what you'll choose -- let's say it's B. But -- and this is the important point -- God didn't know you'd choose B *before* you chose it, since you cannot coherently ascribe temporal descriptions (before, after, at the same time as, etc.) to God (unless you're trying to make sense of God through stories, in which case such descriptions are analogical).

    Here's another way to make sense of this. Let's say that as you choose B, a time traveller is watching you. He knows you're going to choose B (say it's recorded in your diary, which he's read, or in a newspaper, or in a history textbook), but his knowing what you'll choose in no way limits your choosing, even though you *couldn't* choose anything else, for in that case the future would be altered and the time traveller wouldn't have your diary etc. with an account of that specific choice.

    So, to sum up:

    (1) It's not the case that God's knowledge predestines anything, since God doesn't know before; he simply knows.

    (2) Even if (1) is false, it's still not the case that foreknowledge coupled with circumstances in which a choice couldn't have been different in any way entails predestination.

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  173. It also occurs to me that as Botts keeps repeating "it is what it is" like some mantra, that his argument is basically that God, being the Supreme Being, is not bound by logic.

    But let's look at the logic for a moment...

    God is a logical being. The bible says so, and the things alleged to have been said by God Hisself attest to this. Furthermore, much of the Torah is occupied with rules and laws, given by God.

    So God requires us to be bound by rules and laws, but He is exempt? If such were the case, then science would have no chance of existing, since God could twiddle the results of any experiment ever devised just to confuse us at His whim. Furthermore, since He DOESN'T interfere with scientific inquiry, that indicates strongly (I realize there can be no PROOF) that His universe is bound by causality and logic. For Him to interact in any meaningful way with us lowly puppets, he MUST submit to the rules of the universe He created.

    Therefore, he CANNOT under any circumstances know the future. Otherwise, he not only violates free will, he NEGATES it by doing so.

    (word ver = "whobug")

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  174. Brian: ""This must affect His knowledge of say, a year from tomorrow, doesn't it?"

    Botts: No. He sees multiple versions of a year from tomorrow."

    You lose, Botts. If God sees multiple, equally likely outcomes from our choices, then He doesn't KNOW anything.

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  175. Botts: "But He sees each one. If He sees an exact one ahead of time with no other possibilities, we don't have free will."

    Gam, Set, and Match. You said it yourself.

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  176. Botts: "He knows who will be alive 100% by the choices we make. But he knew it it advance."

    This is utterly in contradiction with itself. As I said before, exactly ONE favorable outcome divided by an INFINITE number of possible choices is not unlikely; it is

    EXACTLY ZERO.

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  177. Botts: "My definition is that he sees everything. He knows everything."

    Um, unless I've gone insane in the last twenty minutes, the FUTURE THAT WILL EVENTUALLY COME TO BE is included in "everything".

    Again, Botts, you have killed our free will.

    Thanks, Buddy.

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  178. Elegant case you've made there Eric.

    All those pretty words, OR....

    OR, God simply doesn't exist.

    I'll take B.

    I do like the rationale, though. Pretty good. Problem of course is, time travellers, at this point in time, are as fictional as God is. If they exist it introduces the Grandfather paradox. So it might not be possible to time travel backwards. Hence you're relying on one fiction to justify another one, no?

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  179. Brian: ""Basically I see all your recent replies as sidesteps and subject-changes and evasions."

    Botts: Then I don't know what you're reading. I've answered all your questions and haven't changed the subject nor evaded you. The problem as I see it, is that I actually do answer you."

    Brian's right. You don't answer any of the objections we raise, Botts. You just keep saying meaningless shit like "It is what it is"... and "God knows everything (except which choices you'll actually make, but he knows the eventual OUTCOME from those choices).

    None of what you've said here answers it to anyone's satisfaction except your own, and we're left with "This is what I believe because I believe it".

    You talk in circles, Botts.

    Shenanigans, I say!

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  180. (unless you're trying to make sense of God through stories, in which case such descriptions are analogical).
    -----------------
    Are you saying that all Biblical stories which speak of God are analogies?

    Well, then.

    I guess this whole conversation has been rendered moot.

    Because the 'Biblical fact' (using Observant's word) that God is omniscient, omnipotent etc, has now been rendered analogical!

    Thank you very much. I like the way you've resolved this issue for me, Eric!

    ;-)

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  181. "Problem of course is, time travellers, at this point in time, are as fictional as God is. If they exist it introduces the Grandfather paradox. So it might not be possible to time travel backwards. Hence you're relying on one fiction to justify another one, no?"

    Brian, we have to distinguish different types of possibility here, and see which one's important.

    First, we have technological possibility (P1). This concerns what is possible at any given moment given our technology. For example, it's now possible, in the P1 sense, to travel from RI to FL in a few hours, but impossible, in the P1 sense, to make the trip in a few minutes.

    Second, we have physical possibility (P2). This concerns what is possible given the laws of physics. So, in this P2 sense it's possible to travel from RI to FL in a few minutes, even though it's impossible in the P1 sense.

    Third, we have broadly metaphysical possibility (P3). This concerns what doesn't involve a contradiction. So, even though it's impossible, given both our current technology (P1) and the laws of physics (P2) for a human being to run from RI to FL at a speed of C^100, such a run is broadly metaphysically possible (P3) since it is minimally conceivable (not imaginable!)without contradiction.

    In my time travel example, all is needed to make my conceptual point is P3, viz. broadly metaphysical possibility; P1 and P2 are irrelevant. And it seems to me that time travel in this sense is broadly metaphysically possible (i.e. non-contradictory, at least in the example I provided).

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  182. Here's a deep thought:

    If a time traveller knows what I will do tomorrow, it's only because to him, it's already in the past. So him in the future knowing what I already did, doesn't violate anything. However if he travels back to where I am today, then he knows what I will do tomorrow in advance since he learned that knowledge in the future. This violates free will.
    Or seems to. For you see, if the time traveller travels back in time to today, by the very action of travelling back in time to here, he has altered this timeline (by coming here) so that he can no longer predict what I will do tomorrow. In fact, if he then travels 'back to the future,' even without doing anything *here and now* that affects this time line except coming back to visit it, it might well be a different one than from whence he originally came, due solely to his visit back here.

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  183. But Eric, you didn't make that point.
    Time travelling from the future back to here, as I stated, is not only clearly at this time a P2 category (we can't do it now, technology etc) BUT is also likely a P3 category (We won't be able to do it ever.)

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  184. "This violates free will.
    Or seems to. For you see, if the time traveller travels back in time to today, by the very action of travelling back in time to here, he has altered this timeline (by coming here) so that he can no longer predict what I will do tomorrow."

    This is all irrelevant, but I'll play to satisfy your concerns. Suppose it was your choosing B that motivated his time travel, i.e. he wouldn't have travelled back in time if you hadn't chosen B. In this case, you must choose B as he observes you; otherwise, he would never have travelled back in time in the first place, and we would have a contradiction (violating P3).

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  185. Think about it.

    How is it metaphysically possible to travel back to today from the far future when you aren't here today? What I mean is, when you look back to today from that far future, you're looking at a past world that doesn't have you in it. So if you go back to it, it won't be what you saw. Because now you're there, too. It's changed. So your 'predictions' of what I will do tomorrow are in a cocked hat. They were based on observing the world without you in it, not the new version with you in it. You'd have created a split in the timeline by going back. Or an alternate timeline. Plus the paradox possibilities. No, this may well be 'metaphysically' impossible. Even if you can go back, you change what you're going back to just by going back to it.

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  186. "Time travelling from the future back to here, as I stated, is not only clearly at this time a P2 category (we can't do it now, technology etc) BUT is also likely a P3 category (We won't be able to do it ever.)"

    Remember, P3 can concern what is impossible when P2 is considered; but what is impossible given P2 is by definition something we will never be able to do, so whether we'll ever be able to do it is irrelevant. All that matters here is conceivability. If we can conceive it, even though we'll never be able to do it (as with my run from RI to Fl at a speed of C^100 example), it's broadly metaphysically possible.

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  187. otherwise, he would never have travelled back in time in the first place, and we would have a contradiction (violating P3).
    ------------------
    When he travelled back here to observe me choosing B, he changed what he had observed. He changed the timeline. So I may or may not choose B now, and either way when he goes back, it'll be a different 'future' that he goes back to. Because he came back here and changed it. Oops.

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  188. Okay then can you CONCEIVE the time traveller coming back here and not disturbing one molecule of air or one atom of anything? Or even sending back a message that doesn't cause one atom of anything to change position anywhere, say by it arriving and someone here in this time reading it?
    No, you cannot.

    And if he changes it one iota, it's not going to be the same timeline that he returns to.

    Hence, P3. Hello!

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  189. All that matters here is conceivability. If we can conceive it, even though we'll never be able to do it (as with my run from RI to Fl at a speed of C^100 example), it's broadly metaphysically possible.
    -----------------------
    I can conceive of standing unprotected in the heart of the sun. Mmmmmm, feels so nice and warm.
    So, that's P3? Of what use is such a thing?

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  190. P3 is extremely useful in modal logic (the logic of necessity and possibility). It allows us to isolate conceptual variables and test our intuitions about a variety of complicated notions.

    Again, to satisfy your concerns, suppose Einstein is generally right and time and space form one "fabric," space-time. Further suppose that a timeline is more like a highway than it is like a series of forking paths representing actualities and possiblities -- that is, suppose that there's one timeline, and that when we travel in the past we're making a move similar to traveling south on a road we had been travelling north on. Further suppose that whatever the time traveller disturbs as he travels in the past, he doesn't affect anything that played a causal role in your choosing B. I mean, we can keep playing this game and ignoring the important question, to wit whether foreknowledge entails predestination, but it doesn't seem to make much sense.

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  191. I realize this is mental masturbation but...

    If a time traveller comes 'back' to here from anywhere in the future, they come back to a universe that didn't have 'future-them' in it in the first place, so it necessitates a shift in timelines. When they return to their future, it won't be the same place from whence they came. It cannot possibly be. So, they've created a different universe, perhaps parallel. However to be clear, this isn't my 'theory.' I'm just pointing out what seem to be the implications of your time traveller there. For fun.

    It's no less boring than the same old arguments about whether we have free will or how many angels can sit on the head of a pin.

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  192. "If a time traveller comes 'back' to here from anywhere in the future, they come back to a universe that didn't have 'future-them' in it in the first place, so it necessitates a shift in timelines."

    That's only true on an A-theory of time, not on a B-theory. So, let's say my though experiment presupposes a B-theory. (Incidentally, most physicists and philosophers today are B-theorists.)

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  193. whether foreknowledge entails predestination
    ---------------------
    Oh that. Of course it does.

    Now back to time travel...

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  194. Eric, you're fun to have around here because you tell me how all of my personal thoughts and theories are well-known philosophical viewpoints. Makes me feel special.

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  195. "Oh that. Of course it does."

    Here's another: Suppose you're the most anal man alive. Suppose that each day, you write out your entire schedule first thing in the morning and you never deviate from it. Suppose I know both that you write out this schedule, and that you never deviate from it. Now suppose I take a peek at your schedule before the day is over. So, I know what you're going to do before you do it (and I'd defend my claim to knowledge here on traditional grounds: I believe it, my belief is justified -- given what I know about your personality, your habits and the contents of your schedule -- and it's true), but my foreknowledge doesn't in any way affect your free will.

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  196. Eric; on option 1, If god is outside of time and doesn't know before hand, but simply knows, that's fine. But since we live in time, having anything about our future known means that future is locked in.

    Option 2 involves a time traveller, so it's as improbable and lacking in evidence as the idea of a personal god or the easter bunny.

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