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01-05-2012, 17:37   #4306
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Originally Posted by Zombrex View Post
If God intervened any time I was about to sin, and thus made it so that I could never sin, do you believe this would be contrary to the notion of free will, since it is removes the option to choose to sin (or more specifically takes away the need to choose not to)?
That would depend on the circumstances.

For example, if God kept intervening uninvited and thwarting your will, then that would be contrary to the notion of free will.

However, a very different scenario would be where you prayed to God and asked Him to intervene and stop you sinning. In that case God would be helping you, despite your temptations to the contrary, to do what you really want. Therefore, in that scenario, God is actually enhancing your free will be helping you in your stated goal to be free of something that is binding or enslaving you.

A simple analogy might explain this better. My second child was born with a severe, and ultimately fatal, handicap and her doctors told us that there was a 25% risk that any subsequent children would have the same condition. Therefore I made the decision to get a vasectomy. In this case the surgeon was not interfering with my free will - he was acting at my request.

But imagine I lived in a totalitarian atheist regime where they wanted to impose a limit on the number of children born, and where I was forced to have a vasectomy. In that case the surgeon would be interfering with my free will, since I had not requested him to perform the operation.
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01-05-2012, 17:44   #4307
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Originally Posted by PDN View Post
Ok, Marien, you're going to have to explain what the connection is here. Because that is like saying that 4+6=Blue.

Free will has consequences. An interventionist God is perfectly compatible with free will. The fact that free will has consequences doesn't change that fact one iota.
-In the general run of things you are perfectly correct and so back to my question on prayer

-'' Is the idea of prayer a call for God to interfere with free will ? ''

And the example of the person becoming an addict by the exercise of free will and the consequence - addiction.

So a prayer to remove that addiction is calling for an interventionist God in that specific case ?
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01-05-2012, 17:54   #4308
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The very young do not fit my description - 'Capable of sin, but does not sin'. They cannot make rational choices.

Any adults/people who are capable of choice?
No, I think that our sinning is pretty much universal (with the exception of Jesus, of course).

You are making a category error here, I believe, in that you are mixing up two separate issues. In life we don't punish or penalise people for being bad people - we punish or penalise them for doing bad things.

So, for example, Fred Phelps is a nasty mean-minded individual. Even if the fear of the law restrained him from breaking any laws - he is still a scumbag. But the law can't punish someone for simply being unpleasant. But if he breaks the law then he incurs the consequent penalties. He can't hold his hands up in the air and say, "It's not my fault - I can't help it because I'm a scumbag."

Sin incurs a penalty, not because we are sinful people, but because we commit sins. We don't deserve eternal separation from God because we are sinners - we deserve eternal separation because we have sinned.

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Which would be in itself a path determined for them - one which they did not and could not choose.
Indeed, and such is the unfairness of life. Just as a baby might receive life-saving surgery without choosing to do so. Just as my mother fed me without me having any say in the matter.

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rather than accepting it? You're not convincing me here.
I'm sure I'm not, but I think that can more plausibly be ascribed to your biases than to any defect in my argument.

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We're talking about after-life, not salvation in the 'born-again' sense.
No we're not. This forum is for the discussion of Christian belief - and the Christian position is that eternal life begins when you become a Christian.

You may want to artificially separate the two - but in that case we would be discussing your misconceptions rather than discussing Christian beliefs.

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And in that sense you have to live your life in God's way in order to receive the reward of everlasting life in Heaven. That is a contract.
Again, there's not much point me discussing your erroneous misunderstanding of Christian doctrine. I'm happy to discuss my beliefs as a Christian, and they certainly don't match what you just said.

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You mentioned Hitler etc. How do you know that Hitler is not in heaven? Had it something to do with the way he lived his life?
I can't actually be sure that Hitler isn't in heaven. If he genuinely repented in his dying moments and accepted the Gospel then I see no reason why he would be in hell. I doubt it happpened that way in the bunker, so I assume he'll probably go to hell, but I may be wrong.
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01-05-2012, 18:00   #4309
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Originally Posted by marienbad View Post
-In the general run of things you are perfectly correct and so back to my question on prayer

-'' Is the idea of prayer a call for God to interfere with free will ? ''

And the example of the person becoming an addict by the exercise of free will and the consequence - addiction.

So a prayer to remove that addiction is calling for an interventionist God in that specific case ?
Addiction is a bondage that forces you to do things you don't actually want to do (I speak from personal experience here). I think one could reasonably argue that having an addiction removed, and therefore being free to choose whether to take drugs or not without such an overwhelming compulsion, is an enhancement of one's free will.

I think the only way in which it could be viewed as a denial of free will would be if the addict enjoys being an addict and would not want his/her addiction to be removed. In over 30 years of being a Christian, including many long hours working with addicts, I can honestly say that I've never encountered such a scenario.
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01-05-2012, 18:21   #4310
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Originally Posted by PDN View Post
Addiction is a bondage that forces you to do things you don't actually want to do (I speak from personal experience here). I think one could reasonably argue that having an addiction removed, and therefore being free to choose whether to take drugs or not without such an overwhelming compulsion, is an enhancement of one's free will.

I think the only way in which it could be viewed as a denial of free will would be if the addict enjoys being an addict and would not want his/her addiction to be removed. In over 30 years of being a Christian, including many long hours working with addicts, I can honestly say that I've never encountered such a scenario.

In a came to believe that a power greater than ourselves restored us to sanity kind of way ? And there is no question that having the addiction removed must make for a better human being and in better shape to correctly use their free will next time.

But the question still stands though- perhaps a better example might be of an addict refusing to accept counselling and a mother/wife/friend praying for a change of heart.

Just on a side note I have known quite a few people who ''enjoyed'' their addiction, some until it was just too late.
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01-05-2012, 18:37   #4311
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Penn: It would look like that from a perspective that we think that God's judgement is unfair or unjust. Actually, if we look at it honestly, we've all done wrong and we all deserve to be punished for it. We've all despised God in our daily lives, we've all shown that we have really hated Him.
And that sounds fair and just to you? If we've all "done wrong and deserve to be punished" just for not worshipping God enough, again, that's on God, not us. God is the one who decided that people should be punished for that. God is the one who decided that that is wrong.

I ask again, why is there a punishment?
God actually is unfair only in so far as He has offered anyone forgiveness. What would be just would be if we all were condemned before Him.

Punishment exists because God is just. Much as rapists are sentenced so are we. Thankfully for those who trust in Jesus God's full wrath was satisfied through Him. For those who reject God's mercy unless they repent there will tragically be condemnation.

To ask why punishment exists or why Jesus had to die suggests to me that you don't understand how serious sin is and how serious the rejection of God is.

God has been more than fair to us. Pinning the blame on Him for what is wrong with us is what is ridiculous and absurd if you unfold the truth and look at it square in the eye.

That's what caused me to see the weight of my sin and realise there is only one way to forgiveness that is through King Jesus.

Every day I'm thankful that He rescued me even when I lived in contempt of His loving rule.
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01-05-2012, 19:44   #4312
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Originally Posted by philologos View Post
God actually is unfair only in so far as He has offered anyone forgiveness. What would be just would be if we all were condemned before Him.

Punishment exists because God is just. Much as rapists are sentenced so are we. Thankfully for those who trust in Jesus God's full wrath was satisfied through Him. For those who reject God's mercy unless they repent there will tragically be condemnation.

To ask why punishment exists or why Jesus had to die suggests to me that you don't understand how serious sin is and how serious the rejection of God is.

God has been more than fair to us. Pinning the blame on Him for what is wrong with us is what is ridiculous and absurd if you unfold the truth and look at it square in the eye.

That's what caused me to see the weight of my sin and realise there is only one way to forgiveness that is through King Jesus.

Every day I'm thankful that He rescued me even when I lived in contempt of His loving rule.
With the parts I've highlighted, you realize that no one, not even God, can be both just and merciful, at least in the terms that we as humans have defined them (in which case you'll have to inform us of the definitions you're using.) It's the Just vs. Mercy argument:
1. An all-just judge treats every offender with exactly the severity that he/she deserves.
2. An all-merciful judge treats every offender with less severity than he/she deserves.
3. It is impossible to treat an offender both with exactly the severity that he/she deserves and also with less severity than he/she deserves.
Ergo, he must be one, the other or neither....

You said we're pinning the blame on God for what is wrong with us? Well did God not supposedly create us and give us our souls, our free will, our ability to reason and understand the evidence before us? Would he not have realized by giving us free will and then hiding away for 2000 years (if not longer), some of his creations may turn away from him?

And how is an infinite punishment for a finite crime just? Is locking your children away in a torture dungeon in your home for not loving you just? I think it's a horrible act and is morally reprehensible and I believe anyone who thinks that the above about it, is more moral than the God of the Bible. There is no moral standard in which you, me or anyone, including God, can look at that statement and say ''That person was morally correct in his decision.''

Remember the Josef Fritzl case? Was he just in the punishment of his daughter if he thought she didn't love him?

Last edited by Barr125; 01-05-2012 at 19:46.
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01-05-2012, 19:56   #4313
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Originally Posted by marienbad View Post
-In the general run of things you are perfectly correct and so back to my question on prayer

-'' Is the idea of prayer a call for God to interfere with free will ? ''

And the example of the person becoming an addict by the exercise of free will and the consequence - addiction.

So a prayer to remove that addiction is calling for an interventionist God in that specific case ?
Here again you are rigging the question and making special cases.

It has been pointed out.
1. One can not argue from the particular to the general
2. If you are going to define intervention =removal of free will and then ask "does intervention (which we have already defined as removing free will) remove free will or not?" then you are in a circular argument.

a prayer to remove addiction is calling for intervention yes.
Is it removing free will?
Well if you are going to define "intervention" = "removing free will" in this specific case or general then if you can't see your problem what can anyone say to that?

Intervention does not = removal of free will! Do you understand that?


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Originally Posted by marienbad View Post
In a came to believe that a power greater than ourselves restored us to sanity kind of way ? And there is no question that having the addiction removed must make for a better human being and in better shape to correctly use their free will next time.

But the question still stands though- perhaps a better example might be of an addict refusing to accept counselling and a mother/wife/friend praying for a change of heart.
What question ? Whether intervention = removal of free will? You have not shown it does in any way!


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Just on a side note I have known quite a few people who ''enjoyed'' their addiction, some until it was just too late.
why do you have "enjoyed" in quotes then?
Playing with words and suggesting someone "high" is making a coherent decision to be like that forever isn't a really strong argument.
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01-05-2012, 20:22   #4314
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Here again you are rigging the question and making special cases.

It has been pointed out.
1. One can not argue from the particular to the general
2. If you are going to define intervention =removal of free will and then ask "does intervention (which we have already defined as removing free will) remove free will or not?" then you are in a circular argument.

a prayer to remove addiction is calling for intervention yes.
Is it removing free will?
Well if you are going to define "intervention" = "removing free will" in this specific case or general then if you can't see your problem what can anyone say to that?



Intervention does not = removal of free will! Do you understand that?




What question ? Whether intervention = removal of free will? You have not shown it does in any way!




why do you have "enjoyed" in quotes then?
Playing with words and suggesting someone "high" is making a coherent decision to be like that forever isn't a really strong argument.
I can only assume from your question on ''enjoyed'' you don't really read my post or the preceeding posts by PDN .


If the outcome of a free- willed choice/decision is changed from what it other wise would be and through no imput from the original decision maker by an outside agency- then is that any longer a choice made from free will ?

Why would I show whether intervention=removal of free will when that is the guts of the question I am asking ?
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01-05-2012, 20:24   #4315
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With the parts I've highlighted, you realize that no one, not even God, can be both just and merciful, at least in the terms that we as humans have defined them (in which case you'll have to inform us of the definitions you're using.) It's the Just vs. Mercy argument:
1. An all-just judge treats every offender with exactly the severity that he/she deserves.
2. An all-merciful judge treats every offender with less severity than he/she deserves.
3. It is impossible to treat an offender both with exactly the severity that he/she deserves and also with less severity than he/she deserves.
Ergo, he must be one, the other or neither....
Not so. An example would be a judge who tries a case of a wounded war hero who has fallen on hard times and robbed from a supermarket in order to feed himself. The judge, being just, applies the law to the war hero just as he would anyone else and imposes a heavy fine. Then the judge, because he is merciful, pays the war hero's fine for him from his own pocket.

And that is a faint picture of what God has done for us. He is totally just in imposing the penalty for sin - but then He comes in the Person of Jesus Christ and suffers the pains of hell in our stead.

Perfect Justice + Perfect Mercy = Amazing Grace

Or, as the old hymn of the 1904 Welsh revival puts it:

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love
.
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01-05-2012, 22:42   #4316
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I don't see the issue with God being both just and merciful.

God is just insofar as He expects sin to be punished or atoned for.
God is merciful insofar as He has given forgiveness to mankind by belief and trust in Jesus Christ and His saving death on the cross.

If one accepts this forgiveness - Jesus has atoned for the sins of mankind by His crucifixion.

If one doesn't accept this forgiveness - one must be punished as if Jesus had done nothing.

God is still just, and God is still merciful.
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02-05-2012, 04:27   #4317
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Originally Posted by marienbad View Post

If the outcome of a free- willed choice/decision is changed from what it other wise would be and through no imput from the original decision maker by an outside agency- then is that any longer a choice made from free will ?
ALL outcomes of ALL choices may be different. Some may be the same. Assuming the decision maker is unaware of the change, changing the possible outcomes in no way affect the choice.

In the case you mention where the decision maker is aware of a possible changing outcome based n interference, ff course one can use threat cohesion or inducement whether reward or bribery to affect a choice but that still isnt removing the free choice is it?
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Why would I show whether intervention=removal of free will when that is the guts of the question I am asking ?
Exactly! Im just pointing out that assuming in advance the thing you are trying to prove as a basis to prove it is circular reasoning.
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02-05-2012, 04:40   #4318
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So we can agree that religion has no effect on stopping any of that? Because these things happened in countries with religion too.
We can agree your three suppositions about history were wrong and based on the points made you have jumped off onto another supposition. which is also wrong by the way.The fact that they happen in religious countries does not mean religion had no effect whatsoever. Things may happen to different degrees for example and the lesser degree may be effected by religion.


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And again, why are there consequences? Why create Hell? He has the power to not send souls to Hell. Why give people free will and punish them, eternally, for not doing with it what he wants you to do with it.
You jump off a tall building. consequence? -you hit the ground.
Why should God not just change gravity to allow you to fly?
Or to allow everyone to be immortal and not experience pain?

Lets not go into the why doesn't God change logic and reason so all your defeated suppositions are correct.
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And there's a reason why I've pointed out several times that the first three commandments are about worshipping him, because he tells people what is right or wrong, and he chooses to tell people that worshipping him is right, and not worshipping him is wrong.
Oops! there you go changing logic and reason for God!
Apparently earlier it was human nature that tribes behaved in certain ways or that people are scientifically predisposed to certain tendencies. How can you believe nature or the laws of science can influence a tendency to behave in a certain way but God can't? If God replaces nature then God is rigging the game? But if nature does it it is a scientific tendency?
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02-05-2012, 05:34   #4319
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theres gota be somtin out there cudn be just this world.
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02-05-2012, 11:13   #4320
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Not so. An example would be a judge who tries a case of a wounded war hero who has fallen on hard times and robbed from a supermarket in order to feed himself. The judge, being just, applies the law to the war hero just as he would anyone else and imposes a heavy fine. Then the judge, because he is merciful, pays the war hero's fine for him from his own pocket.

And that is a faint picture of what God has done for us. He is totally just in imposing the penalty for sin - but then He comes in the Person of Jesus Christ and suffers the pains of hell in our stead.
The judge you've described is just right up until the point he reaches into his own pocket and uses his own money to pay the fine. At that point, he ceases being just and becomes merciful. As I said, you can only be one or the other, not both. Also you omitted an important part so I'll FYP:

An example would be a judge who tries a case of a wounded war hero who has fallen on hard times and robbed from a supermarket in order to feed himself. The judge, being just, applies the law to the war hero just as he would anyone else and imposes a heavy fine. Then the judge decrees that the war hero grovel at his feet and beg for forgiveness or he will impose the fine. So if:
1) the war hero does so, the judge will forgive him and pay the fine for him (as you said.)

2) the war hero refuses and the judge declares that the war hero pays this fine every week for the rest of his life.

I feel that the above is a more accurate representation of the ''mercy and justice'' of God. He chooses when and who to be merciful to, i.e. those who worship him. That's not mercy, that's selectivity.
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