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ElShaddai

Pedestination or Free Will

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I never said their will was free, only that it was their own. Which it is. Biblically, our pre-salvation will is not free but a slave of sin. If you're a sinner deep inside, that's bad and doesn't somehow excuse you from sinning. Imagine in court: "It's not his fault he did evil, judge. He is just an evil person and can't help it!" Being sinful is itself sinful

You can only punish a person for doing any given act justly if he/she has the free will to choose. If a robot is created with a malfunction is that the robots fault if it malfunctions? Humans are born, correct me if I'm wrong please, in your view with a default to sin and can not override it alone. How can God punish them for that unless He provided a way for them to do otherwise?

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You can only punish a person for doing any given act justly if he/she has the free will to choose. If a robot is created with a malfunction is that the robots fault if it malfunctions? Humans are born, correct me if I'm wrong please, in your view with a default to sin and can not override it alone. How can God punish them for that unless He provided a way for them to do otherwise?

 

First, for clarification, what do you believe about our sin nature? Anyway, your starting premise assumes that free will ever existed to begin with. The only factor that matters for justice is that someone does something of their own will. As long as they personally decided to do it, they're responsible, no matter what the cause behind their decision was (a magic free will or basic causal determinism). Humans without free will are not robots; they're people with feelings, desires, passions, hopes, dreams, memories, reason, and personality. These factors determine the choices they make, but these factors almost always find their origin somewhere beyond the person. And about this statement:

 

Humans are born, correct me if I'm wrong please, in your view with a default to sin and can not override it alone.

Isn't that half the point of salvation and Christ's work? We enslaved to sin and can't stop without God's intervention? And for that matter, is this basically just what Paul explains over the course of Romans 6? We're slaves to sin--even willingly!--and so broken that we need a Savior to fix us, just like an alcoholic who lacks the will to quit without a serious intervention from those who love him.

 

How can God punish them for that unless He provided a way for them to do otherwise?

Because they're still sinning because they want to, regardless of why they want to? They're still entirely rotten and warrant throwing away like a bad apple?

 

 

Let me turn this around from a defense and ask some questions of my own.

  • How would a free will work?
  • What more does it take to be responsible for sin that doing it because you want to?
  • Apart from the (baseless) assumption that free will is needed for moral responsibility and commands to be valid, what positive argument could you give for a free will, especially Scripturally?
  • What do you make of Scriptures such as these? (Ps. 51:5; Ps. 58:3; Jer. 13:23, 17:9; Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:1-3; 2 Cor. 2:14) They all seem clear that people are set off on sin from the moment they're conceived, and cannot change without God's gift.
  • Assuming that Romans 9:22-23 is supposed to be taken as a serious proposition and not pure speculation (which I think is obvious in context), how would you interpret it?

 

(Final disclaimer: I'm actually very uncertain on all of this right now; I'm just arguing from the standpoint of what I've held for the past couple years, ignoring my recent questioning. Helpful answers would be genuinely appreciated.)

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First, for clarification, what do you believe about our sin nature? Anyway, your starting premise assumes that free will ever existed to begin with. The only factor that matters for justice is that someone does something of their own will. As long as they personally decided to do it, they're responsible, no matter what the cause behind their decision was (a magic free will or basic causal determinism).

Total Depravity:

Mankind is deprived in that we have a natural inclination to choose sin over God, but not necessarily that they are as bad as they could be.

 

 

Humans without free will are not robots; they're people with feelings, desires, passions, hopes, dreams, memories, reason, and personality. These factors determine the choices they make, but these factors almost always find their origin somewhere beyond the person. And about this statement:

 

 

 

What does that mean if it's programmed into them with faulty programming that causes them to choose the wrong feelings, desires, passions, hopes, dreams, memories, reason, and personality by default. If you don't mind satire there is an article called The Arminian vs. Calvinist Recall Notice which explains what I'm trying to get at the heart of clearer with my robot analogy.

 

Because they're still sinning because they want to, regardless of why they want to? They're still entirely rotten and warrant throwing away like a bad apple?

 

God does not send anyone to Hell for anything other than personal sins (Ezekiel 18:20), thus for example children do not go to Hell. Children have no knowledge of good and evil, therefore they can not be punished with Hell (Deu 1:39).

 

 

What more does it take to be responsible for sin that doing it because you want to?

 

The answer is because you wanted to. A person is not penalized for something he/she was forced to do.

 

Isn't that half the point of salvation and Christ's work? We enslaved to sin and can't stop without God's intervention? And for that matter, is this basically just what Paul explains over the course of Romans 6? We're slaves to sin--even willingly!--and so broken that we need a Savior to fix us, just like an alcoholic who lacks the will to quit without a serious intervention from those who love him.

I agree with everything you said, but where I view it differently is how that plays out in regards to Christ's atonement. I maintain that grace is offered to all, and is resistible.

 

 

How would a free will work?

 

In the sense I am using it is the ability to choose to love God or to love self (the default tendency due to sin nature).

 

"While God has provided for the salvation of all people by Christ’s sacrificial and substitutionary death for all, the benefits of Christ’s death are received by grace through faith and are only effective for those who believe."

 

God calls all people to repent and believe the gospel, and enables those who hear the gospel to respond to it positively in faith. While all have been given the ability by God's grace (resistible)  through the Atonement. Those who hear the gospel may either accept it by grace or reject it to their own eternal destruction.

 

In essence, Christ restored the option Adam and Eve had in the garden. Adam and Eve were perfect and given the choice to love God and obey His will or reject His will by eating from the tree. They failed and it caused all of humanity to be prone to choose their own will over God's, but through the atonement we are enabled to choose to repent and submit our wills to His or continue to reject His will.

 

   What do you make of Scriptures such as these? (Ps. 51:5; Ps. 58:3; Jer. 13:23, 17:9; Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:1-3; 2 Cor. 2:14) They all seem clear that people are set off on sin from the moment they're conceived, and cannot change without God's gift.

 

Hopefully the above answered this question if not let me know.

 

 

 Assuming that Romans 9:22-23 is supposed to be taken as a serious proposition and not pure speculation (which I think is obvious in context), how would you interpret it?

 

Do you mind if I link another person this? If you don't mind I'll put it in my next post, and we can discuss some of it too if you want. Otherwise I can give a rough answer myself.

 

(Final disclaimer: I'm actually very uncertain on all of this right now; I'm just arguing from the standpoint of what I've held for the past couple years, ignoring my recent questioning. Helpful answers would be genuinely appreciated.)

 

It's all good. I enjoy the discussion.

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Total Depravity:

Mankind is deprived in that we have a natural inclination to choose sin over God, but not necessarily that they are as bad as they could be.

Agreed. 

 

What does that mean if it's programmed into them with faulty programming that causes them to choose the wrong feelings, desires, passions, hopes, dreams, memories, reason, and personality by default. If you don't mind satire there is an article called The Arminian vs. Calvinist Recall Notice which explains what I'm trying to get at the heart of clearer with my robot analogy.

This isn't my favorite issue, but I don't see an alternative. If it wasn't precaused, it was random, and certainly no one should be morally responsible for randomness.

 

God does not send anyone to Hell for anything other than personal sins (Ezekiel 18:20), thus for example children do not go to Hell. Children have no knowledge of good and evil, therefore they can not be punished with Hell (Deu 1:39).

I disagree on this. See this article for a related point.

 

The answer is because you wanted to. A person is not penalized for something he/she was forced to do.

I agree. No Calvinist believes that people are forced to sin against their will.

 

I agree with everything you said, but where I view it differently is how that plays out in regards to Christ's atonement. I maintain that grace is offered to all, and is resistible.

I also believe that there is resistible grace offered to all, and that is is always resisted, thus why we also need irresistible grace gifted apart from any offer.

 

In the sense I am using it is the ability to choose to love God or to love self (the default tendency due to sin nature).

 

"While God has provided for the salvation of all people by Christ’s sacrificial and substitutionary death for all, the benefits of Christ’s death are received by grace through faith and are only effective for those who believe."

 

God calls all people to repent and believe the gospel, and enables those who hear the gospel to respond to it positively in faith. While all have been given the ability by God's grace (resistible)  through the Atonement. Those who hear the gospel may either accept it by grace or reject it to their own eternal destruction.

 

In essence, Christ restored the option Adam and Eve had in the garden. Adam and Eve were perfect and given the choice to love God and obey His will or reject His will by eating from the tree. They failed and it caused all of humanity to be prone to choose their own will over God's, but through the atonement we are enabled to choose to repent and submit our wills to His or continue to reject His will.

 

Hopefully the above answered this question if not let me know.

I don't mean its theological function, I mean the mechanism by which a free will would actually work. Where do free decisions come from? If they are not caused exclusively by existing reasons, then wouldn't they be at least partially random?

 

Do you mind if I link another person this? If you don't mind I'll put it in my next post, and we can discuss some of it too if you want. Otherwise I can give a rough answer myself.

I leave this to your free will. :-P

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Guest Mike Spero
 

My profile pic is a selfie of me swimming. obvi

Lol cx Nice selfie! :woot:

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I disagree on this. See this article for a related point.

 

 

You can't hate God without the knowledge of good and evil.

 

I also believe that there is resistible grace offered to all, and that is is always resisted, thus why we also need irresistible grace gifted apart from any offer.

 

 I disagree with the notion of irresistible grace. Comparisons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism#Comparison_among_Protestants

 

I don't mean its theological function, I mean the mechanism by which a free will would actually work. Where do free decisions come from? If they are not caused exclusively by existing reasons, then wouldn't they be at least partially random?

 

 God's ultimate and supreme free will. He enables humanity to be free moral agents.

 

I leave this to your free will. :-P

 

:P I am predestined to anyways so here goes: http://reknew.org/2008/01/how-do-you-respond-to-romans-9/

Edited by God-Sent

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You can't hate God without the knowledge of good and evil.

Why not? You don't have to understand something for it to be a part of you. I don't understand my nervous system, but it has quite an impact on my life.

 

I disagree with the notion of irresistible grace. Comparisons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism#Comparison_among_Protestants

 

I know.

God's ultimate and supreme free will. He enables humanity to be free moral agents.

Still, how could such a will exist? We are obviously influenced by factors beyond us, so what part of ourselves is unaffected by everything else so as to make a truly independent choice? How is free will anything different than random will? Also, given what you said, is our evil actually rooted in God's free will?

 

:P I am predestined to anyways so here goes: http://reknew.org/2008/01/how-do-you-respond-to-romans-9/

I find point 1 to be too subjective. Points 2 and 3 miss the idea that these Romans 9 examples come from the intersection of individual and corporate identity, and the intersection of vocation with salvation. Jacob, for example, was an individual chosen to head up a corporate group that would be both his vocation and lead to his and their salvation. Romans 9 is the place where individual/corporate, vocational/soteriological matters all come into play in the same examples. Point 4 is flawed in that it misses the flow of Paul's argument. The end of the chapter shows the result of God's work of election, not the mechanism. Point 5 would take longer to argue more in depth, so I will just quote to contrary from the NET Bible translation notes: "The potter-clay motif seems to have one point: The potter prepares the clay." Point 6 doesn't seem to have much basis to it.

I would further argue that the objections Paul anticpates and responds to in Romans 9 are the exact same objections people use against Calvinism, which would not make sense if what he was saying was so non-Calvinist.

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Why not? You don't have to understand something for it to be a part of you. I don't understand my nervous system, but it has quite an impact on my life.

 

Would you say then that Adam and Eve could have hated God prior to partaking of the tree? Do you hold also then that only Adam was able to choose to sin, and the rest of us are plain out of luck, because unlike Adam by default we're stuck choosing sin.

 

 

Still, how could such a will exist? We are obviously influenced by factors beyond us, so what part of ourselves is unaffected by everything else so as to make a truly independent choice? How is free will anything different than random will? Also, given what you said, is our evil actually rooted in God's free will?

 

The same way time exists, because God allows it and sustains it. I'm referring to free will as in being a free moral agent having the ability to choose between right and wrong. In regards to the random will their is only two possibilities and that is to serve the will of God or that of Satan which is rebellion. I'm curious as to how you think Satan fell, because by nature he was created good, thus you can't blame his falling on nature.

 

I would further argue that the objections Paul anticpates and responds to in Romans 9 are the exact same objections people use against Calvinism, which would not make sense if what he was saying was so non-Calvinist.

 

I would still disagree as Paul would have picked a poor example if that were the case with regard to hardening Pharoh's heart. God only hardened Pharoh's heart, because he kept doing it himself. Also, Paul was posing a hypothetical not stating what is. God not willing that any should perish, and the fact that Hell was not created for man would go against  the notion of Him creating a person for  specifically for destruction.

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Would you say then that Adam and Eve could have hated God prior to partaking of the tree? Do you hold also then that only Adam was able to choose to sin, and the rest of us are plain out of luck, because unlike Adam by default we're stuck choosing sin.

I would say Adam and Eve were mutably good, and could have gone to evil, and now we inherit the sin they brought into the world, leaving us in need of a Savior to free our wills from sin.

 

The same way time exists, because God allows it and sustains it. I'm referring to free will as in being a free moral agent having the ability to choose between right and wrong. In regards to the random will their is only two possibilities and that is to serve the will of God or that of Satan which is rebellion. I'm curious as to how you think Satan fell, because by nature he was created good, thus you can't blame his falling on nature.

This definition of free will isn't helpful, though, because even Calvinists believe we can choose between right and wrong. The question is how choice works. Satan's fall was another example of a mutably good will going bad, but how this happened is beyond me. Yet that's okay by me, because if I could fully explain evil it wouldn't be all that evil.

 

I would still disagree as Paul would have picked a poor example if that were the case with regard to hardening Pharoh's heart. God only hardened Pharoh's heart, because he kept doing it himself.

That's not stated, though. It's one possible interpretation of what went down. The OT text seemed to refer to the hardening as Pharaoh's own doing or God's interchangably.

Also, Paul was posing a hypothetical not stating what is.

I don't think that's at all likely. It appears his question was rhetorical and meant to be taken as fact.

God not willing that any should perish

Agreed, but people on a diet aren't willing that they should forsake cake, but they do it anyway.

and the fact that Hell was not created for man

Arguments should probably not be based on obscure passing references, which the verse to which you refer is.

Also, I'm not sure this article adds much from the last one, except with the focus on Israel/Gentile stuff.

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This definition of free will isn't helpful, though, because even Calvinists believe we can choose between right and wrong. The question is how choice works.

 

 

What do you mean by the ability of choosing between right and wrong?  How can a person choose right when bound to wrong from the start?

 

Total Depravity combined with Unconditional Election negates any form of choice with regard to Calvinism. It's like driving a car with breaks that don't work and saying you can stop it if you chose to.

 

Arguments should probably not be based on obscure passing references, which the verse to which you refer is.

 

I fail to see how it is obscure when it states what it means explicitly.

 

Also, I'm not sure this article adds much from the last one, except with the focus on Israel/Gentile stuff.

 

It's a proper exegesis on the passage and it's meaning within it's historical and narrative context.

 

Taking Romans 9 to mean what you interpret it as then would mean that God creates certain people to sin and cause evil. Would that not make God the author of sin? If not, how so?

 

 

How is free will anything different than random will?

 

I wanted to go back to this question. I will clarify that free will is subject to influence and coercion, but that does not make it bound. It comes off as asking what makes a person choose what he or she does? Which comes down to “What necessitates choices that aren’t necessitated?”" unless I am misunderstanding it. In a similar vein to this topic:

 

1. Do you believe our will and thoughts are random?

2. What did God base who He predestined on?

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What do you mean by the ability of choosing between right and wrong?  How can a person choose right when bound to wrong from the start?

What is a choice? A choice is a mental event when deliberations of conceivable actions stop and action based on those deliberations begin. That happens no matter what constraints nature places on choice. Just as our human nature prevents us from choosing to become a dolphin without negating the choosing process, neither does our sin nature preventing us from choosing perfection negate the choosing process.

 

Total Depravity combined with Unconditional Election negates any form of choice with regard to Calvinism. It's like driving a car with breaks that don't work and saying you can stop it if you chose to.

No, it's like driving a car with fully functioning brakes but being too stubborn to ever hit them.

 

I fail to see how it is obscure when it states what it means explicitly.

I assume we are dealing with Matthew 25:41, which says, "Then He will also say to those on the left, Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!" Yet it gives no more detail or explanation than that, and I don't think it therefore qualifies for strong use in debate.

 

It's a proper exegesis on the passage and it's meaning within it's historical and narrative context.

I know this; I just meant that most of what the article said was in the previous one, except for the stuff on the Jew/Gentile role, but I didn't find that substantial enough to warrant reply.

 

Taking Romans 9 to mean what you interpret it as then would mean that God creates certain people to sin and cause evil. Would that not make God the author of sin? If not, how so?

No, I'm an infralapsarian. That means that for the purpose of election, God already saw mankind in their fallen state, so they were already in sin and condemned for it. God allowed the fall (as He does in Arminianism), and then from the vantage point of seeing a fallen, sinful humanity chose to elect some to salvation.

 

I wanted to go back to this question. I will clarify that free will is subject to influence and coercion, but that does not make it bound. It comes off as asking what makes a person choose what he or she does? Which comes down to “What necessitates choices that aren’t necessitated?”" unless I am misunderstanding it.

Yes, that's my question for you. My belief is in basic causal determinism.

In a similar vein to this topic:

 

1. Do you believe our will and thoughts are random?

Not at all, but entirely determined by prior causes.

2. What did God base who He predestined on?

His own wisdom.

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What is a choice? A choice is a mental event when deliberations of conceivable actions stop and action based on those deliberations begin. That happens no matter what constraints nature places on choice. Just as our human nature prevents us from choosing to become a dolphin without negating the choosing process, neither does our sin nature preventing us from choosing perfection negate the choosing process.

 

There is no process of choice if by nature you're unable to choose the option given.

 

 

No, it's like driving a car with fully functioning brakes but being too stubborn to ever hit them.

 

 Don't forget to add if your legs were paralyzed. Man's heart is paralyzed by sin, thus he can't choose to do anything but sin without God.

 

I assume we are dealing with Matthew 25:41, which says, "Then He will also say to those on the left, Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!" Yet it gives no more detail or explanation than that, and I don't think it therefore qualifies for strong use in debate.

 

What more needs explained?

 

No, I'm an infralapsarian. That means that for the purpose of election, God already saw mankind in their fallen state, so they were already in sin and condemned for it. God allowed the fall (as He does in Arminianism), and then from the vantage point of seeing a fallen, sinful humanity chose to elect some to salvation.

 

 God chose who He would save arbitrarily? He didn't actually die for everyone then, but only the ones He decided in advance.

 

Yes, that's my question for you. My belief is in basic causal determinism.

 

 

“What necessitates choices that aren’t necessitated?”

 

"This line of questioning is not only logically absurd, but also requires assuming that all of our decisions must be necessitated, when that is in fact the proposition...trying to be proven. This fallacy is more formally known as ‘begging the question,’ a form of circular reasoning.Not at all, but entirely determined by prior causes.

 

Calvinistic apologists often employ such fallacies in attempts to prove that libertarian free will is nonsensical, but looking to God as an example of how the will functions, we can see that a being with a free will can make choices without them being necessitated by something outside of its own will. For example, there was no principle in God that impelled Him to save anyone, but He chose to anyway. If God is truly free, then it’s absurd to argue that that there are conceptual problems with the very idea of free will, and hence no tenable logical basis to argue that it couldn’t exist in human beings.

" -JC_Thibodaux

 

His own wisdom.

 

What caused Him to will the way He did? Claiming He just did avoids the question.

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I'm not trying to come of as antagonistic and I apologize if at any point I do. I'm honestly trying to understand how there is any actual choice involved with what you're saying.

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There is no process of choice if by nature you're unable to choose the option given.

You still have options to work with, and if you wanted to, you could even choose to repent, but you don't want to and indeed cannot want to because of sin.

on't forget to add if your legs were paralyzed. Man's heart is paralyzed by sin, thus he can't choose to do anything but sin without God.

The difference is that the man in the car wants to break, but cannot anyway, whereas the sinner does not want to repent, nor is his will even in good enough shape to want to, but if he did want to repent he could. The only thing which keeps sinners from repenting is their own sinful will.

God chose who He would save arbitrarily?

Not arbitrarily. Just not based on the person. His choice has reasons, but not ones we understand.

He didn't actually die for everyone then, but only the ones He decided in advance.

Semantics. You could just as easily say that in Arminianism Jesus only died for those who He foreknew would choose Him. In both scenarios, Jesus'atonement makes salvation possible on the basis on repentance. Anyone who repents will be saved and covered at the cross.

 

“What necessitates choices that aren’t necessitated?”

 

"This line of questioning is not only logically absurd, but also requires assuming that all of our decisions must be necessitated, when that is in fact the proposition...trying to be proven. This fallacy is more formally known as ‘begging the question,’ a form of circular reasoning.Not at all, but entirely determined by prior causes.

My mistake; I misunderstood you. Still, it would seem that choices which are not necessary are instead altogether arbitrary and just luck.

 

Calvinistic apologists often employ such fallacies in attempts to prove that libertarian free will is nonsensical, but looking to God as an example of how the will functions, we can see that a being with a free will can make choices without them being necessitated by something outside of its own will. For example, there was no principle in God that impelled Him to save anyone, but He chose to anyway. If God is truly free, then it’s absurd to argue that that there are conceptual problems with the very idea of free will, and hence no tenable logical basis to argue that it couldn’t exist in human beings.

" -JC_Thibodaux

God does not have entirely free will. Scripture says it is impossible for God to lie, for example. Also, God's will and a human will cannot operate in the same manner since God is atemporal, immaterial, and transcends causality, while man is bound by time, affected by physical neurological processes, and embedded in a causal system.

 

What caused Him to will the way He did? Claiming He just did avoids the question.

No one claims to know the answer to this. We should not expect to know the details of God's plan and intentions.

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You still have options to work with, and if you wanted to, you could even choose to repent, but you don't want to and indeed cannot want to because of sin.

 

1. You could if you wanted to.

2. but you don't want to

3. In fact you are unable to want

4. this is because of sin.

 

You're statement is self-refuting. Sin renders a person unable to choose, therefore it is nonsensical to say a person could choose.

 

 

while man is bound by time, affected by physical neurological processes, and embedded in a causal system.

 

I guess I have no choice. :P

 

"If what he says is true, he says it merely as the result of his heredity and environment, and of nothing else. He does not hold his determinist views because they are true, but because he has such-and-such stimuli; that is, not because the structure of the universe is such-and-such but only because the configuration of only part of the universe, together with the structure of the determinist’s brain, is such as to produce that result. . . . Determinism, therefore, cannot be true, because if it was, we should not take the determinists’ arguments as being really arguments, but as being only conditioned reflexes. Their statements should not be regarded as really claiming to be true, but only as seeking to cause us to respond in some way desired by them." -J. P. Moreland

 

"Determinism is self-stultifying. If my mental processes are totally determined, I am totally determined either to accept or to reject determinism. But if the sole reason for my believing or not believing X is that I am causally determined to believe it, I have no ground for holding that my judgment is true or false." -H.P. Owens

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1. You could if you wanted to.

2. but you don't want to

3. In fact you are unable to want

4. this is because of sin.

 

You're statement is self-refuting. Sin renders a person unable to choose, therefore it is nonsensical to say a person could choose.

Again, I ask that you define choice. A choice is weeding through conceivable actions and doing one of them. This happens no matter what options are eliminated due to nature. My argument would only be self-refuting if there was an explicit contradiction, which there is not. (1) does not contradict (3), nor (4).

 

I guess I have no choice. :P

 

"If what he says is true, he says it merely as the result of his heredity and environment, and of nothing else. He does not hold his determinist views because they are true, but because he has such-and-such stimuli; that is, not because the structure of the universe is such-and-such but only because the configuration of only part of the universe, together with the structure of the determinist’s brain, is such as to produce that result. . . . Determinism, therefore, cannot be true, because if it was, we should not take the determinists’ arguments as being really arguments, but as being only conditioned reflexes. Their statements should not be regarded as really claiming to be true, but only as seeking to cause us to respond in some way desired by them." -J. P. Moreland

 

"Determinism is self-stultifying. If my mental processes are totally determined, I am totally determined either to accept or to reject determinism. But if the sole reason for my believing or not believing X is that I am causally determined to believe it, I have no ground for holding that my judgment is true or false." -H.P. Owens

This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of determinism. Determinism isn't blind, arbitrary causes leading to arbitrary effects. The brain is a system, which processes experiences and reasons to create beliefs and opinions. Even a computer, which is a 100% deterministic system, can do basic logic. How much more so can the human brain, which is far more complex, come to true conclusions using determined rationality?

For a deterministic understanding of how beliefs work, it would be like this:

* Event A causes Thought A.

* Event B causes Thought B.

* Brain processes Thought A.

* Brain processes Thought B.

* Brain synthesizes results of Thoughts A and B to create belief C.

As long as the brain is processing and functioning properly, the resultant beliefs should be valid.

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Again, I ask that you define choice. A choice is weeding through conceivable actions and doing one of them. This happens no matter what options are eliminated due to nature. My argument would only be self-refuting if there was an explicit contradiction, which there is not. (1) does not contradict (3), nor (4).

 

 

 

Yes, but when the conceivable action is not possible then the ability to do so is voided. Good is not a conceivable action for a person who is evil by nature. There is no choice.

 

This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of determinism. Determinism isn't blind, arbitrary causes leading to arbitrary effects. The brain is a system, which processes experiences and reasons to create beliefs and opinions. Even a computer, which is a 100% deterministic system, can do basic logic. How much more so can the human brain, which is far more complex, come to true conclusions using determined rationality?

For a deterministic understanding of how beliefs work, it would be like this:

* Event A causes Thought A.

* Event B causes Thought B.

* Brain processes Thought A.

* Brain processes Thought B.

* Brain synthesizes results of Thoughts A and B to create belief C.

As long as the brain is processing and functioning properly, the resultant beliefs should be valid.

 

I have two separate questions, but I'll ask them apart.

 

Let's regress. What caused Event A? If you regress to the first cause you must logically come to the conclusion that God is the initial and determining cause of sin.

 

"On the one hand, supralapsarians as well as infralapsarians teach that God is not the Author of sin, but that the cause of sin lies in the will of man. Though, as the Omnipotent One, God
predestined the fall, and though, as Supreme Ruler, he executes his plan even by means of sin; nevertheless, he remains holy and righteous; of his own accord man falls and sins: the guilt is his alone: “Man falls according to the appointment of divine providence, but he falls by his own fault. . . . Man’s fall, sin, and the eternal punishment of many was not the object of ‘bare knowledge’ but of God’s decree and foreordination. Hence, the difference does not concern the content of God’s counsel. Both infra- and supralapsarianism deny the freedom of th
e will, reject the idea that faith is the cause of election and that sin is the cause of reprobation." -Bavinck

Adam, Eve, and Satan's sin therefore was not a self-determined desire, but determined by what God ordered them to do by their nature, which he creates.
Edited by God-Sent

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Yes, but when the conceivable action is not possible then the ability to do so is voided. Good is not a conceivable action for a person who is evil by nature. There is no choice.

Good is a conceivable and possible action for sinners. Here's an example of how this works:

Bob sees a defenseless person holding $1,000. His mind then presents two logical possible responses. He can (A) beat the guy up and steal the money or (B ) leave him alone. He is completely capable of doing either option. He also has two desires, (1) to stay out of trouble and (2) to become rich. Now, because of sin in his heart, manifested as greed, desire (2) is stronger than desire (1). Thus, because greed in his sinful heart, desire (2) overcomes and he performs action (B ). However, had he desired (1) more than (2), he could have simply chosen to do option (B ). It was only his own sinful inclination towards (1) that led him to sin.

 

Let's regress. What caused Event A? If you regress to the first cause you must logically come to the conclusion that God is the initial and determining cause of sin.

First off, my example was about how beliefs are formed, refuting the idea that determinism is self-refuting. It had nothing to do with further issues. But I'll follow along anyway.

 

"On the one hand, supralapsarians as well as infralapsarians teach that God is not the Author of sin, but that the cause of sin lies in the will of man. Though, as the Omnipotent One, God

predestined the fall, and though, as Supreme Ruler, he executes his plan even by means of sin; nevertheless, he remains holy and righteous; of his own accord man falls and sins: the guilt is his alone: “Man falls according to the appointment of divine providence, but he falls by his own fault. . . . Man’s fall, sin, and the eternal punishment of many was not the object of ‘bare knowledge’ but of God’s decree and foreordination. Hence, the difference does not concern the content of God’s counsel. Both infra- and supralapsarianism deny the freedom of the will, reject the idea that faith is the cause of election and that sin is the cause of reprobation." -Bavinck

Adam, Eve, and Satan's sin therefore was not a self-determined desire, but determined by what God ordered them to do by their nature, which he creates.

Someone's nature is essentially who they are. Self = nature. Thus determined by nature = self-determined. God creates people who will sin.

I would also argue that there is no logically possible way for an omnipotent being to create someone without in some way predetermining all of his actions.

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Someone's nature is essentially who they are. Self = nature. Thus determined by nature = self-determined. God creates people who will sin.

 

Adam, Eve, and Satan's nature was perfect, therefore nature determined perfection. Where did the imperfection arise without self-determination?

 

 

Bob sees a defenseless person holding $1,000. His mind then presents two logical possible responses. He can (A) beat the guy up and steal the money or (B ) leave him alone. He is completely capable of doing either option. He also has two desires, (1) to stay out of trouble and (2) to become rich. Now, because of sin in his heart, manifested as greed, desire (2) is stronger than desire (1). Thus, because greed in his sinful heart, desire (2) overcomes and he performs action (B ). However, had he desired (1) more than (2), he could have simply chosen to do option (B ). It was only his own sinful inclination towards (1) that led him to sin.

Simplified:

 

Let's say you have a choice.You have the choice between A and B. Let’s say you choose A. You chose A, but you didn’t have to choose A. You could have chosen B and refrained from choosing A. But what your saying is you had to choose A because your desire to choose A was stronger than your desire to choose B, and we always go along with whatever our strongest desire is i.e. sin.

 

"So, it wasn’t really possible for you to choose B and refrain from choosing A since choosing A was your strongest desire. Only if you were determined to desire B and refrain from choosing A could you have chosen B. I have a hard time seeing how you’re free if you’re determined to choose something, thus removing any possibility of you choosing the alternative. In order for man’s will to be truly free, it must be entirely possible for him to choose something other than what he actually chooses. If it is not at all possible for a man to choose the alternative of what he actually chose, I don’t see how we can say he was “free” in any meaningful sense of the word." -Evan Minton

 

I would also argue that there is no logically possible way for an omnipotent being to create someone without in some way predetermining all of his actions.

 

 

Please expound upon this.

 

 

Apologies about the amount of quotes, but the quotes put it more eloquently than I can currently.

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