So now you're complaining because your free will has consequences? If it was devoid of consequences then it wouldn't really be free will at all, would it?
The beautiful thing about the Gospel is that it deals with reality, not pie in the sky hypotheticals. You haven't lived the most selfless charitable life in every way possible. Neither have I. So the Gospel addresses us where we are at.
You do seem to keep changing the subject. And they increasingly look quite like red herrings.
I don't think suicide is necessarily a sin. Nor do I believe that suicide condemns you to hell.
Any more questions about free will?
So, if you were God you would have created us without any meaningful kind of free will. That would make us like pre-programmed androids. A bit like choosing to play the Sims rather than get married and have real flesh and blood kids. I'm grateful that you're not God (and I'm grateful that I'm not either).
And how do I sign up to this? I do it by accepting God and following His way, i.e. committing to God. That was my point. You're comparing humanity to a murderer facing execution - and that, without God's action, it's our own sin which will land us in the chair. So God is passive in all this? Then who put us on death row - who initiated all this?
You're clouding the argument here. 'Award' and 'reward' are synonyms with some contextual differences, sometimes. Pick one or the other and lets deal with the argument?
And what exactly does that mean? Does it have any argumentative value here, or are you just being snide? I'm not up for the usual slogfest, to be honest with you. And I don't have 'companions' in any case.
edit: I actually do have companions, of course.
marienbad Registered User
''So now you're complaining because your free will has consequences? If it was devoid of consequences then it wouldn't really be free will at all, would it?''
Exactly what I have said for the last 10 pages or so !!
And again, loaded gun to your head. I have the free will to choose not to give the mugger my wallet. But there's a clear consequence there. So is it really free will? "Do what I tell you to do, or you die". Technically, yes, it's my decision. But it's not a fair choice.
You brought up suicide, I was merely giving my take on your point.
As for you not thinking suicide is a sin, that's not what the Church says. So do you think your subjective opinion is more valid than the Church's (and by extension, God's)? Yes, some say that suicide may not actually condemn people to Hell, but it is a sin. Now when you get further into it, if there is some ambiguity in what is a sin, what isn't a sin, will that sin send me to Hell, if I don't consider it to be a sin is it still a sin... Nobody will ever get to Heaven because no-one knows what's going on. If all we can do is use our own best judgements as best we can, we might still be wrong and be condemned to Hell. It's a game we're playing that we don't know the rules to. The game is rigged.
No, I'm saying that if I was God, there wouldn't be Heaven or Hell. No reward and no punishment. There would be no such thing as a sin, only a choice. True free will. Because eventually, you'd get what we have now. Societies would form. Rules that they decide would be established. Rules which are fair for everyone. Rewards for doing good things. Punishments for doing bad things. I wouldn't decree that people should live their lives a certain way, I'd decree that people should live. No worshipping me (again, first three commandments), no doing what they think I want them to do... just living.
Again, nothing in life is equal in all respects. Everything is, in someone's eyes, unfair.
In fact the Gospel is most certainly unfair. I deserve to go to hell - yet instead I get an undeserved free pardon. That is most emphatically, and yet gloriously, unfair.
No, you weren't. You were banging on about sin and hell which, if I understand your beliefs at all, is not your take on it.
You are aware that there is more than one denomination in the Church?
By now you're missing the point by a country mile. I don't accept that one denomination's viewpoint is 'by extension' God's opinion. Quite the reverse in fact.
I don't see anywhere in the Bible where it says that commiting suicide will send you to hell.
Classic evasion. That's a bit like speeding through the centre of Dublin at 100 mph and then trying to excuse yourself by arguing that there's a lane in Leitrim where there's some uncertainty as to the speed limit.
You and I both know that cheating, lying and living selfishly is wrong - and no amount of barrack-room lawyering can evade that.
Now, here's the wee fly in the ointment of your scheme. If you give these people real free will, then how on earth can you ensure that the rules they make (without interference from you) will be fair for everybody?
Ah, you're back.
So, once again, how exactly is an interventionist God contradictory to the notion of free will? (Please note, saying "God is different" is not actually an answer to the question).
You initiated it by sinning.
I wan't aware that there was an argument to deal with - just an irrelevant comment about the Oscars.
It would be easier if we could have a discussion without you getting all precious when you don't like my direct answer to a direct question.
If you choose to spend eternity away from God's presence then you're going to spend that eternity somewhere. Others who make a similar choice will presumably be in the same place. A quick glance at history suggests that between you all you will manage to screw that up royally. Hell could be a beautiful garden with every possible beneficial amenity - but I see nothing to suggest that human nature will change. It won't be long before that beautiful garden becomes a polluted cesspit where monsters like Hitler, Mao, Genghis Khan and Torquemada will have an eternity to work out ways to exploit the gullible masses and to torture people. And even death will no longer exist as a release.
In fact, such a place would be exactly like the world that Penn would have created if he were God. Nobody to tell you what is right or wrong. Make whatever rules you all want by your free will - and then punish those who don't conform. Sometimes, just possibly, you do get what you ask for.
But I was born in sin, right? I was created as a sinner. What choice did I have? You're holding two contradictory positions - it's untenable. You're holding that we were created by God and that we are born in sin. You're also holding that we are on a course towards hell that is of our own design, and that God is active only in removing us from that course - if we choose to accept him. That is untenable - it cannot work both ways.
I don't have to tell you that you're wrong here, but anyway: A central point of the current argument you're involved in is that God rewards those who follow His way (and punished those who don't, but let's leave that aside for a minute). You rebutted that it is not a reward, but an undeserved gift. I pointed out by analogy that your opinion on whether or not salvation was deserved was does not affect the principle - it is still a reward. Yet you consider that my analogy was 'irrelevant', for reasons I can only imagine. You also claim to be unaware of the argument - fair enough.
If I do interfere, then it isn't free will.
Wrong, you weren't born in sin. You were born with a bias or tendency towards sin. But each individual sin you have committed you did them of your own volition, and in each case you had the power and the opportunity to refrain from committing that sin.
Really? Where did I say that we are born in sin?
Wrong again. Where did I say that God rewards us? I believe that salvation is an undeserved gift.
So all of this: "Societies would form. Rules that they decide would be established. Rules which are fair for everyone. Rewards for doing good things. Punishments for doing bad things." That is just a pious hope, isn't it? Isn't it just as likely that societies will form who torture each other at will, reward those who are the best torturers, and punish the namby-pambies who refuse to torture anyone?
I was under the impression that you were a Christian.
Penn did, and I agreed. You said the opposite, obviously. Your avoidances aren't very deft you know...
I wouldn't say it's just as likely, but it is a possibility. The reason I'd bet towards it ending up like I said is because basic instinct is to do whatever is necessary for the species to survive. That means working together. Helping each other. There will always be members of the societies who are selfish, greedy, murderous etc etc. Yet, what they do isn't of benefit to everyone, so it would be less likely to be rewarded.
Take tribes. Rarely, if ever, is there fighting within the tribe. They don't worship "God", yet they find a way to peacefully co-exist, to help each other, to establish some forms of law within the tribes.
It would most likely end up like I said, because that's the way pretty much every form of society has ended up, regardless of religion. Sure, all societies may not be fair for everyone, but they are generally all improving and aiming towards that.
So, if God interferes, then is it truly free will?
Indeed I am a Christian. Maybe you should do a bit more investigation as to what different Christians believe rather than operate on false assumptions?
After all, we're always happy to answer questions about our faith.
It's not an 'avoidance' when I point out that my beliefs are different to what you assume.
I do not believe that salvation is a reward for any good work or action.
History suggests otherwise.
That isn't actually true. Fighting occurs in tribes pretty frequently. They do, of course, tend to have more inner cohesion when they are busy slaughtering outsiders.
Again, history suggests otherwise. In fact there have only been a tiny minority of times and places in history where we could have a public discussion like this without at least one of us ending up being burned at the stake or sent to a gulag.
I have repeatedly asked (in bold face and red ink, no less) for someone to demonstrate why it isn't. So far the silence is deafening.
God tells people what is right and what is wrong, and sends prophets and messengers to enncourage people to choose the right, and warns us of the consequences of our choices. Not only that, He comes to earth in the Person of Jesus and suffers horrendously to give us an opportunity to choose a better path. All of this is intervention - but it is clearly compatible with allowing free will, as evidenced by the many people who still spurn Him.