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Christianity on free will

Ragnar
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9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?
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LogicalLunatic
Posts: 1,633
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9/14/2014 12:13:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

Out of curiosity, why are you attending a Catholic university?
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bulproof
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9/14/2014 12:16:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:48:00 AM, Double_R wrote:
Neither

I'm with him^^
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Arasa
Posts: 380
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9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

The real debate here is actually Armenianism vs Calvinism. That is, the "Free will, God does not control us" group (Armenianism), and the "Everything you do is pre-ordained and you have no control over your life" group (Calvinism). What many people have found to actually be the case is a mix between the two. Since complete free will contradicts God's sovereignty, and complete absence of free will would make the final judgment morally wrong (As one can easily say "Well, God made me do it").
We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

August Rasa, a 4:53 mind
bulproof
Posts: 25,218
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9/14/2014 10:44:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

The real debate here is actually Armenianism vs Calvinism. That is, the "Free will, God does not control us" group (Armenianism), and the "Everything you do is pre-ordained and you have no control over your life" group (Calvinism). What many people have found to actually be the case is a mix between the two. Since complete free will contradicts God's sovereignty, and complete absence of free will would make the final judgment morally wrong (As one can easily say "Well, God made me do it").
We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

August Rasa, a 4:53 mind

I must have missed where you reinstated god's sovereignty whilst also allowing free will.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
dee-em
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9/14/2014 11:05:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:

We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

That's a contradiction.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

If you know the choice he will make then there is no real choice. It's only the illusion of choice. There's no running away from it.

If you know the man is going left with no possibility of going right then it doesn't matter what the man thinks. His future is predetermined. He may sail through life thinking he has free will but he doesn't. God has known perfectly at every step what he will do and when he will do it. He's like a train on a track on which no deviation is possible. Hence his free will is illusory and non-existent.
heart_of_the_matter
Posts: 408
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9/14/2014 11:10:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

God has given people free will is the correct answer.
As far as Pharaoh, I am guessing that you may perhaps be referring to Exodus...perhaps something like Exodus 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh"s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

which is easily explained...that translation is wrong...the Lord didn't harden Pharaoh's heart...Pharaoh did that himself...a more correct translation would be found here: (click on footnote "a" in the verse)
https://www.lds.org...

JST Ex. 7:13 And Pharaoh hardened his heart "
bulproof
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9/14/2014 11:16:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:10:36 PM, heart_of_the_matter wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

God has given people free will is the correct answer.
As far as Pharaoh, I am guessing that you may perhaps be referring to Exodus...perhaps something like Exodus 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh"s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

which is easily explained...that translation is wrong...the Lord didn't harden Pharaoh's heart...Pharaoh did that himself...a more correct translation would be found here: (click on footnote "a" in the verse)
https://www.lds.org...

JST Ex. 7:13 And Pharaoh hardened his heart "

Only if you can prove that you used Urim and Thummim to translate them.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Ragnar
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9/15/2014 2:15:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:48:00 AM, Double_R wrote:
Neither
Given the religious context of the original question... Please explain your answer?

At 9/14/2014 12:13:26 PM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
Out of curiosity, why are you attending a Catholic university?
A few reasons, a good one I can list is it has a very good business school, 80something% hire rate on graduates, vs 80something% unemployment on graduates in comparable programs near me.

At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:
...God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.
I wholly agree that us being predictable does not negate free will.

At 9/14/2014 11:10:36 PM, heart_of_the_matter wrote:
As far as Pharaoh, I am guessing that you may perhaps be referring to Exodus...perhaps something like Exodus 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh"s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

which is easily explained...that translation is wrong...the Lord didn't harden Pharaoh's heart...Pharaoh did that himself...a more correct translation would be found here: (click on footnote "a" in the verse)
https://www.lds.org...

JST Ex. 7:13 And Pharaoh hardened his heart "
Good answer, and thank you for finding that. It raises questions as to why someone (the translators) would libel against God... My own web searches for the answer found such things as ChristianAnswers.net claiming of it in essence "that God wills sin" so that he can punish it (often by killing non-sinners). I definitely hope your answer is the correct one about the religion.
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dee-em
Posts: 6,457
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9/15/2014 3:06:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:10:36 PM, heart_of_the_matter wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

God has given people free will is the correct answer.
As far as Pharaoh, I am guessing that you may perhaps be referring to Exodus...perhaps something like Exodus 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh"s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

which is easily explained...that translation is wrong...the Lord didn't harden Pharaoh's heart...Pharaoh did that himself...a more correct translation would be found here: (click on footnote "a" in the verse)
https://www.lds.org...

JST Ex. 7:13 And Pharaoh hardened his heart "

Typical Christian apologetics. Explain this one:

The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth"s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin"s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob"s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."

34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail."


Where was Mary's free will? God told her he was going to impregnate her and she would bear his son. She had no say in the matter but had to accept and do as she was told (lie back and enjoy it, basically). A clear violation of her free will.
ChrisL
Posts: 136
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9/15/2014 9:08:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

The real debate here is actually Armenianism vs Calvinism. That is, the "Free will, God does not control us" group (Armenianism),
...

and the "Everything you do is pre-ordained and you have no control over your life" group (Calvinism).

I have to interject here. As a professing Calvinist I can assure you that no knowledgable Calvinist would say that "...you have no control over your life". That is a misrepresentation. What we would say is that God foreordained the free choices of men. Such as the actions of Joeseph's brother. The scripture says that they meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.(Gen 50:20). You have one set of actions but two motives. God's and the brother's. But the brothers we're acting solely upon the intentions of their hearts. They did not do what they did to Joesph because they wanted to fulfill God's purpose. This is just one example.

What many people have found to actually be the case is a mix between the two.

Unless you completely redefine the terms in the age old debate, it would be impossible to have a mixture of both. They are, by nature, incompatible. The issue here is not wether one has "complete free will" or not. Both camps agree that man has free will. The debate lies in wether man has an "autonmous" free will. That is to say, a will that is self- governing and free of influence. The Calvinist say only God has an autonomus free will. The Arminians say both God and man posses it. But as R.C. Sproul put it so clearly, you cannot have two autonomus creatures. It would be like an irresistible force colliding with an immovable object. Someone has to loose.

Since complete free will contradicts God's sovereignty,

Once again, if what you mean is "autonomus" free will, then that is correct.

and complete absence of free will would make the final judgment morally wrong (As one can easily say "Well, God made me do it").

Sounds alot like Paul's fictional objectors in Romans 9. Anyone who responds that way would be saying something that Paul argued against. The Apostle is not one the wrong side of this argument. So the objecter has to be wrong.

Also, the objection would be wrong because God was not active in anyone's rebellion. His decree of these things do not need force to be carried out. Since none knows what God's sovereign decree is, they are all responsible to obey his prescriptive will. If they reject that, then that is what they will be judged for. This is linked to the idea of what is called compatiblism.

We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

This does not solve the problem. God simply knowing what we will do does not solve the issue of duel autonomy. If God " gives us the free will to do what we wish" means we can choose to do things contrary to God's decree, then God's sovereignty is trumped by man's. For instance... If God wanted little Suzy to live to be 80 yrs old, but some child killer comes and tragically murders Suzy at age 7, who is really sovereign in this scenario? Think of the impact that would have. What if God wanted to bring 3 children and 10 grandchildren into the world through Suzy? What if God wanted one of those children to be a minister that would lead many to Christ and make large contributions to the Church? This list of what if's could go on all day. Literally all of redemptive history can be alter by one decision of a man with an autonomous free will. But this is contrary to what the scriptures clearly teach. The bible says no one will thwart the will of God. God does whatever he pleases, in the heavens and amongst the inhabitants of the earth. So as I said in the beginning. You can't be in-between. It is not possible. Either God is sovereign and man is subject to His will. Or Man is sovereign and God is subject to his will.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

And the necessary ramification of this idea would be that the choices of man, not God, make up the fabric of time. God is not credited for anything that stems from the free choice of a human being. What your saying is when God created, he knew exactly how everything would play out, but it was not determined by Him. It was determined by the creatures he created. Think about what that means. Why worship God if he is not responsible for anything that man does. If all He did is look down the corridors of time and said "ohh look I win. Worship me." That is a very weak picture of God(with all due respect). Certainly not the picture that scripture paints for us.


The dellema can only be settled when we take all that the bible says into account. Scripture teaches that God is in sovereign control. It also teaches that man is responsible for his own actions. There are examples throughout scripture, such as the story of Joeseph, that show us how these two truths co-exist. We can only go as far as the bible goes. No more, no less.
bulproof
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9/15/2014 10:11:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 9:08:22 AM, ChrisL wrote:

Replying to keep the responses shorter. Hope you don't mind.

Does your god know everything that has and is and will happen?

ie is your god omniscient? Is there a past present and future in god's existence? Or is it all now to god?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
ChrisL
Posts: 136
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9/15/2014 12:53:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 10:11:14 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 9/15/2014 9:08:22 AM, ChrisL wrote:

Replying to keep the responses shorter. Hope you don't mind.

Does your god know everything that has and is and will happen?
Yes.

ie is your god omniscient?
Yes.
Is there a past present and future in god's existence? Or is it all now to god?
If you are asking if God is bound to time, No. God existed before time. He, in fact created time and decreed his own interaction with man in time.

Not sure if these questions were posed to me. If so, here are my answers.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,244
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9/15/2014 2:26:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

Since you are asking in a Catholic sense. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1730 God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. "God willed that man should be 'left in the hand of his own counsel,' so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him."

http://www.vatican.va...
Geogeer
Posts: 4,244
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9/15/2014 2:31:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 3:06:18 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:10:36 PM, heart_of_the_matter wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

God has given people free will is the correct answer.
As far as Pharaoh, I am guessing that you may perhaps be referring to Exodus...perhaps something like Exodus 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh"s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

which is easily explained...that translation is wrong...the Lord didn't harden Pharaoh's heart...Pharaoh did that himself...a more correct translation would be found here: (click on footnote "a" in the verse)
https://www.lds.org...

JST Ex. 7:13 And Pharaoh hardened his heart "

Typical Christian apologetics. Explain this one:

The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth"s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin"s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob"s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."

34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail."


Where was Mary's free will? God told her he was going to impregnate her and she would bear his son. She had no say in the matter but had to accept and do as she was told (lie back and enjoy it, basically). A clear violation of her free will.

Simple you add in the verse that you left out, Luke 1:38 -

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
DPMartin
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9/15/2014 3:42:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

Well the case with the Pharaoh if we are talking about the hardening of pharaoh"s heart, the Lord God knows what choices a person will make, in given circumstances requiring a decision. No different then what a designer/maker knows what he has designed will do in certain circumstances. And men do glory in their choices.

But the concept of, there no such thing as free will, setting the theology of Calvinism aside, in the context of Christianity is only if one is in agreement with God"s choices for him. If one agrees that his own choices or judgement is what is good for him, then "free will" is a reality for that person, but in biblical context the result of that is death. If one agrees that God"s choices or judgements are what is good for him, then free will and the knowledge of the Word of God do not coexist. And the result of God"s choice in the context of Christianity is Life, Life everlasting.

When God made Adam and Eve there is no question that they were made in the image and likeness of God, but after they decided to live by their own judgement of what is good for them, that life they were given died and what remain is the life of the flesh, hence ashes to ashes and dust to dust. And the son of Adam was in Adams image and likeness. Not God"s.

Gen:5:1: This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2: Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3: And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

So free will attributed to God"s likeness in man, is hooy though yes many Catholics follow that theology. The Catholic community as a whole has so many conflicting theologies, from its long history maybe, it really doesn"t know what it believes as a Church as a whole, and these days requires little agreement as possible to be as world friendly as possible. Jesus said straight out that what ever the Father will He does. If one is a child of God, God"s will is what he goes by, not his own.
dee-em
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9/15/2014 6:38:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 2:31:33 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 9/15/2014 3:06:18 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:10:36 PM, heart_of_the_matter wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

God has given people free will is the correct answer.
As far as Pharaoh, I am guessing that you may perhaps be referring to Exodus...perhaps something like Exodus 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh"s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

which is easily explained...that translation is wrong...the Lord didn't harden Pharaoh's heart...Pharaoh did that himself...a more correct translation would be found here: (click on footnote "a" in the verse)
https://www.lds.org...

JST Ex. 7:13 And Pharaoh hardened his heart "

Typical Christian apologetics. Explain this one:

The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth"s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin"s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob"s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."

34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail."


Where was Mary's free will? God told her he was going to impregnate her and she would bear his son. She had no say in the matter but had to accept and do as she was told (lie back and enjoy it, basically). A clear violation of her free will.

Simple you add in the verse that you left out, Luke 1:38 -

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

How does that help? God told her he would ravish her via his ghost and that he always kept his word. She was given no say in the matter. Where is her choice? All she could do was bow to the inevitable and be impregnated. A clear case of a powerful being violating the free will of a weaker one.
Arasa
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9/15/2014 6:50:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 10:44:59 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

The real debate here is actually Armenianism vs Calvinism. That is, the "Free will, God does not control us" group (Armenianism), and the "Everything you do is pre-ordained and you have no control over your life" group (Calvinism). What many people have found to actually be the case is a mix between the two. Since complete free will contradicts God's sovereignty, and complete absence of free will would make the final judgment morally wrong (As one can easily say "Well, God made me do it").
We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

August Rasa, a 4:53 mind

I must have missed where you reinstated god's sovereignty whilst also allowing free will.

God's sovereignty (Knowing what will happen) and free will (Allowing us to choose what we will do).
Arasa
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9/15/2014 6:51:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:05:43 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:

We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

That's a contradiction.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

If you know the choice he will make then there is no real choice. It's only the illusion of choice. There's no running away from it.

If you know the man is going left with no possibility of going right then it doesn't matter what the man thinks. His future is predetermined. He may sail through life thinking he has free will but he doesn't. God has known perfectly at every step what he will do and when he will do it. He's like a train on a track on which no deviation is possible. Hence his free will is illusory and non-existent.

Knowledge of what a person will choose does not remove the choice that they have. It means that you know what their choice will be. Knowing the result of choice does not eliminate the choice that brought it about.

August Rasa, a 4:53 mind
dee-em
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9/15/2014 7:30:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 6:51:46 PM, Arasa wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:05:43 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:

We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

That's a contradiction.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

If you know the choice he will make then there is no real choice. It's only the illusion of choice. There's no running away from it.

If you know the man is going left with no possibility of going right then it doesn't matter what the man thinks. His future is predetermined. He may sail through life thinking he has free will but he doesn't. God has known perfectly at every step what he will do and when he will do it. He's like a train on a track on which no deviation is possible. Hence his free will is illusory and non-existent.

Knowledge of what a person will choose does not remove the choice that they have. It means that you know what their choice will be. Knowing the result of choice does not eliminate the choice that brought it about.

I'm afraid it does. Let's make it simple. Answer true or false to each of these statements.

1. God knows every choice you will ever make. True/False.
2. If God knows every choice, the future is predetermined. True/False.
3. If the future is predetermined, every choice is fixed. True/False.
4. If every choice is fixed, there is no actual freedom to choose. True/False.
5. If there is no actual freedom to choose, there is no free will. True/False.

Which one are you going to say is false and why?
Arasa
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9/15/2014 9:56:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 7:30:49 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 9/15/2014 6:51:46 PM, Arasa wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:05:43 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:

We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

That's a contradiction.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

If you know the choice he will make then there is no real choice. It's only the illusion of choice. There's no running away from it.

If you know the man is going left with no possibility of going right then it doesn't matter what the man thinks. His future is predetermined. He may sail through life thinking he has free will but he doesn't. God has known perfectly at every step what he will do and when he will do it. He's like a train on a track on which no deviation is possible. Hence his free will is illusory and non-existent.

Knowledge of what a person will choose does not remove the choice that they have. It means that you know what their choice will be. Knowing the result of choice does not eliminate the choice that brought it about.

I'm afraid it does. Let's make it simple. Answer true or false to each of these statements.

1. God knows every choice you will ever make. True/False.
2. If God knows every choice, the future is predetermined. True/False.
3. If the future is predetermined, every choice is fixed. True/False.
4. If every choice is fixed, there is no actual freedom to choose. True/False.
5. If there is no actual freedom to choose, there is no free will. True/False.

Which one are you going to say is false and why?

true, poor wording, worse wording, true by accident, true.

1. Correct.
2. Predetermined does not mean just that you know everything. It means you actively determined that something should happen. Commanding something to happen is different from knowing that it will.
3. Technically, if one follows the poor wording on your second point, then yes it would be true. However, considering the actual wording, it would be false.
4. Again, the word "Fixed" was based off of your second and third point, so I will utilize the correct wording. Your use of the word "fixed" is based off of your predetermination point, and so will say that by that mark, of course, true. By the correct wording of "Fixed", then it is still true, but this does not mean that it is predetermined.
5. True.

What I am seeing is a poor understanding of the words "Predetermined", "Fixed", and the difference between "Predetermined" and "already known".

August Rasa, a 4:53 mind
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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9/15/2014 9:58:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 2:15:40 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:48:00 AM, Double_R wrote:
Neither
Given the religious context of the original question... Please explain your answer?

It was really just a snark comment from an atheist. But seriously speaking, your question of "which you should believe" is the wrong question. The question you should be asking is: "Should I believe either of these interpretations?". To answer that the only advice I can give you is to read the bible yourself and figure out which is more consistent with it.

This is of course after doing some thinking on why the bible should be accepted in the first place, but that's another topic.
phantom
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9/15/2014 10:54:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

The non-existence of free will is incompatible with moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is pretty central to Christian morality. So you should either accept free will or deny Christian morality.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
dee-em
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9/15/2014 10:55:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 9:56:59 PM, Arasa wrote:
At 9/15/2014 7:30:49 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 9/15/2014 6:51:46 PM, Arasa wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:05:43 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:

We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

That's a contradiction.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

If you know the choice he will make then there is no real choice. It's only the illusion of choice. There's no running away from it.

If you know the man is going left with no possibility of going right then it doesn't matter what the man thinks. His future is predetermined. He may sail through life thinking he has free will but he doesn't. God has known perfectly at every step what he will do and when he will do it. He's like a train on a track on which no deviation is possible. Hence his free will is illusory and non-existent.

Knowledge of what a person will choose does not remove the choice that they have. It means that you know what their choice will be. Knowing the result of choice does not eliminate the choice that brought it about.

I'm afraid it does. Let's make it simple. Answer true or false to each of these statements.

1. God knows every choice you will ever make. True/False.
2. If God knows every choice, the future is predetermined. True/False.
3. If the future is predetermined, every choice is fixed. True/False.
4. If every choice is fixed, there is no actual freedom to choose. True/False.
5. If there is no actual freedom to choose, there is no free will. True/False.

Which one are you going to say is false and why?

true, poor wording, worse wording, true by accident, true.

1. Correct.
2. Predetermined does not mean just that you know everything. It means you actively determined that something should happen. Commanding something to happen is different from knowing that it will.

Wrong. If we are talking about God, then it is the idea that everything is known in advance. It has nothing to do with commanding something to happen and everything to do with knowing what will happen as a certainty. The origins of the word are the prefix "pre" and the word "destiny", ie. known fate.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

3. Technically, if one follows the poor wording on your second point, then yes it would be true. However, considering the actual wording, it would be false.

There was nothing wrong with my wording. It is your lack of understanding on what predeterminism is. Read the wikipedia article.

4. Again, the word "Fixed" was based off of your second and third point, so I will utilize the correct wording. Your use of the word "fixed" is based off of your predetermination point, and so will say that by that mark, of course, true. By the correct wording of "Fixed", then it is still true, but this does not mean that it is predetermined.

Yes it does.

5. True.

What I am seeing is a poor understanding of the words "Predetermined", "Fixed", and the difference between "Predetermined" and "already known".

Would you like to try again after correcting your misconception about the meaning of predeterminism?
Ragnar
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9/16/2014 1:52:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 9:58:36 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 9/15/2014 2:15:40 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:48:00 AM, Double_R wrote:
Neither
Given the religious context of the original question... Please explain your answer?
It was really just a snark comment from an atheist.
Thank you for your honesty. I'm an atheist as well.
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Arasa
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9/16/2014 9:56:03 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Knowledge of what a person will choose does not remove the choice that they have. It means that you know what their choice will be. Knowing the result of choice does not eliminate the choice that brought it about.

I'm afraid it does. Let's make it simple. Answer true or false to each of these statements.

1. God knows every choice you will ever make. True/False.
2. If God knows every choice, the future is predetermined. True/False.
3. If the future is predetermined, every choice is fixed. True/False.
4. If every choice is fixed, there is no actual freedom to choose. True/False.
5. If there is no actual freedom to choose, there is no free will. True/False.

Which one are you going to say is false and why?

true, poor wording, worse wording, true by accident, true.

1. Correct.
2. Predetermined does not mean just that you know everything. It means you actively determined that something should happen. Commanding something to happen is different from knowing that it will.

Wrong. If we are talking about God, then it is the idea that everything is known in advance. It has nothing to do with commanding something to happen and everything to do with knowing what will happen as a certainty. The origins of the word are the prefix "pre" and the word "destiny", ie. known fate.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

3. Technically, if one follows the poor wording on your second point, then yes it would be true. However, considering the actual wording, it would be false.

There was nothing wrong with my wording. It is your lack of understanding on what predeterminism is. Read the wikipedia article.

4. Again, the word "Fixed" was based off of your second and third point, so I will utilize the correct wording. Your use of the word "fixed" is based off of your predetermination point, and so will say that by that mark, of course, true. By the correct wording of "Fixed", then it is still true, but this does not mean that it is predetermined.

Yes it does.

5. True.

What I am seeing is a poor understanding of the words "Predetermined", "Fixed", and the difference between "Predetermined" and "already known".

Would you like to try again after correcting your misconception about the meaning of predeterminism?

I would like to make two points here:

The first is that one should never cite wikipedia for anything. Its open-editing policy makes it unusable for intellectual debate.

Second, your own article says that "The term predeterminism suggests not just a determining of all events, but the prior and deliberately conscious determining of all events."

The issue here has no quarrel with my statement that there is a difference between foreknowledge and predeterminism. Therefore, I hold to my earlier statements concerning a poor wording on your part, and request that you concede yours.

August Rasa, a 4:53 mind
Arasa
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9/16/2014 10:08:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 9:08:22 AM, ChrisL wrote:
At 9/14/2014 10:00:22 PM, Arasa wrote:
At 9/14/2014 11:27:47 AM, Ragnar wrote:
I'm attending a catholic university, and two of my teachers are in strong disagreement. One believes in the Imago Dei (humans created in the divine image, affording us such things as free will...), the other (while being a much stronger believer in God) insists the bible never says we have free will, so there is no contraindication when God takes free will away from the Egyptian Pharaoh (since he never had it to begin with) as an excuse to torture and kill people.

Which should I view as correct?

The real debate here is actually Armenianism vs Calvinism. That is, the "Free will, God does not control us" group (Armenianism),
...

and the "Everything you do is pre-ordained and you have no control over your life" group (Calvinism).

I have to interject here. As a professing Calvinist I can assure you that no knowledgable Calvinist would say that "...you have no control over your life". That is a misrepresentation. What we would say is that God foreordained the free choices of men. Such as the actions of Joeseph's brother. The scripture says that they meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.(Gen 50:20). You have one set of actions but two motives. God's and the brother's. But the brothers we're acting solely upon the intentions of their hearts. They did not do what they did to Joesph because they wanted to fulfill God's purpose. This is just one example.

What many people have found to actually be the case is a mix between the two.

Unless you completely redefine the terms in the age old debate, it would be impossible to have a mixture of both. They are, by nature, incompatible. The issue here is not wether one has "complete free will" or not. Both camps agree that man has free will. The debate lies in wether man has an "autonmous" free will. That is to say, a will that is self- governing and free of influence. The Calvinist say only God has an autonomus free will. The Arminians say both God and man posses it. But as R.C. Sproul put it so clearly, you cannot have two autonomus creatures. It would be like an irresistible force colliding with an immovable object. Someone has to loose.

Since complete free will contradicts God's sovereignty,

Once again, if what you mean is "autonomus" free will, then that is correct.

and complete absence of free will would make the final judgment morally wrong (As one can easily say "Well, God made me do it").

Sounds alot like Paul's fictional objectors in Romans 9. Anyone who responds that way would be saying something that Paul argued against. The Apostle is not one the wrong side of this argument. So the objecter has to be wrong.

Also, the objection would be wrong because God was not active in anyone's rebellion. His decree of these things do not need force to be carried out. Since none knows what God's sovereign decree is, they are all responsible to obey his prescriptive will. If they reject that, then that is what they will be judged for. This is linked to the idea of what is called compatiblism.

We find the middle ground to say that God gives us the free will to do what we wish, knowing full well what we are going to do beforehand.

This does not solve the problem. God simply knowing what we will do does not solve the issue of duel autonomy. If God " gives us the free will to do what we wish" means we can choose to do things contrary to God's decree, then God's sovereignty is trumped by man's. For instance... If God wanted little Suzy to live to be 80 yrs old, but some child killer comes and tragically murders Suzy at age 7, who is really sovereign in this scenario? Think of the impact that would have. What if God wanted to bring 3 children and 10 grandchildren into the world through Suzy? What if God wanted one of those children to be a minister that would lead many to Christ and make large contributions to the Church? This list of what if's could go on all day. Literally all of redemptive history can be alter by one decision of a man with an autonomous free will. But this is contrary to what the scriptures clearly teach. The bible says no one will thwart the will of God. God does whatever he pleases, in the heavens and amongst the inhabitants of the earth. So as I said in the beginning. You can't be in-between. It is not possible. Either God is sovereign and man is subject to His will. Or Man is sovereign and God is subject to his will.

Now, this is where many people leap to the "Well, if God knows it all beforehand, then we don't really have free will" bandwagon, but this is only somewhat correct. God knows about it in the same way that you can look into the future and see that a man will choose to go left instead of right. Knowing that he will go left does not remove the free will that he has to choose between left and right. You simply know the choice that he will make.

And the necessary ramification of this idea would be that the choices of man, not God, make up the fabric of time. God is not credited for anything that stems from the free choice of a human being. What your saying is when God created, he knew exactly how everything would play out, but it was not determined by Him. It was determined by the creatures he created. Think about what that means. Why worship God if he is not responsible for anything that man does. If all He did is look down the corridors of time and said "ohh look I win. Worship me." That is a very weak picture of God(with all due respect). Certainly not the picture that scripture paints for us.


The dellema can only be settled when we take all that the bible says into account. Scripture teaches that God is in sovereign control. It also teaches that man is responsible for his own actions. There are examples throughout scripture, such as the story of Joeseph, that show us how these two truths co-exist. We can only go as far as the bible goes. No more, no less.

First I would like to say that it is a pleasure to have a Calvinist here to keep me in check. I look forward to the conversations we will have on this site. Now, onto the meat and potatoes...

What the flaw in pure Calvinism comes down to is this: Why did God create man with the capacity for both good and evil, if not to allow them to choose between them? Of course God wanted little Suzy to live to be 80, but in a world in which God gave mankind free will, God (for lack of a better word) "allows" it to happen. God wants every single human being to be at His side for eternity, but some souls are not allowed this opportunity. So, the "If God wants it" argument becomes apparently false.

Now, there seems to be some confusion here: I am not saying that God is blind to what will happen, nor that God does not "allow" things to happen. God knows the good and bad that will come, and still allows us to make the choice (At last, an appropriate place for that word). So, sovereignty remains, but free will does as well.

Post Script: It should be noted that the original Calvinists were not so open to the idea of Free Will as they have become. The Armenians were not so open to God's foreknowledge as they are now. Slowly but surely, we make our way to the middle.

I could not address everything you said in your post (Character limit and all), but I hope that this was satisfactory for a discussion.
August Rasa, a 4:53 mind
dee-em
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9/16/2014 10:24:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/16/2014 9:56:03 AM, Arasa wrote:
Knowledge of what a person will choose does not remove the choice that they have. It means that you know what their choice will be. Knowing the result of choice does not eliminate the choice that brought it about.

I'm afraid it does. Let's make it simple. Answer true or false to each of these statements.

1. God knows every choice you will ever make. True/False.
2. If God knows every choice, the future is predetermined. True/False.
3. If the future is predetermined, every choice is fixed. True/False.
4. If every choice is fixed, there is no actual freedom to choose. True/False.
5. If there is no actual freedom to choose, there is no free will. True/False.

Which one are you going to say is false and why?

true, poor wording, worse wording, true by accident, true.

1. Correct.
2. Predetermined does not mean just that you know everything. It means you actively determined that something should happen. Commanding something to happen is different from knowing that it will.

Wrong. If we are talking about God, then it is the idea that everything is known in advance. It has nothing to do with commanding something to happen and everything to do with knowing what will happen as a certainty. The origins of the word are the prefix "pre" and the word "destiny", ie. known fate.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

3. Technically, if one follows the poor wording on your second point, then yes it would be true. However, considering the actual wording, it would be false.

There was nothing wrong with my wording. It is your lack of understanding on what predeterminism is. Read the wikipedia article.

4. Again, the word "Fixed" was based off of your second and third point, so I will utilize the correct wording. Your use of the word "fixed" is based off of your predetermination point, and so will say that by that mark, of course, true. By the correct wording of "Fixed", then it is still true, but this does not mean that it is predetermined.

Yes it does.

5. True.

What I am seeing is a poor understanding of the words "Predetermined", "Fixed", and the difference between "Predetermined" and "already known".

Would you like to try again after correcting your misconception about the meaning of predeterminism?

I would like to make two points here:

The first is that one should never cite wikipedia for anything. Its open-editing policy makes it unusable for intellectual debate.

Not true as you evidence below.

Second, your own article says that "The term predeterminism suggests not just a determining of all events, but the prior and deliberately conscious determining of all events."

And here you are quote-mining. You ignored the definition at the start and went straight to "Definitional difficulties". Nicely done.

However, it doesn't help you. I can live with that interpretation. It doesn't change my argument one iota. All events are determined. All choices are fixed in place. My argument stands unrefuted.

The issue here has no quarrel with my statement that there is a difference between foreknowledge and predeterminism. Therefore, I hold to my earlier statements concerning a poor wording on your part, and request that you concede yours.

My wording is fine. If God has perfect foreknowledge then it can only be because the future is predetermined. How is it possible otherwise? It's the same with prophecy. Prophecy would be impossible without predeterminism. The idea that you can have perfect foreknowledge without predeterminism is incoherent.
bulproof
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9/16/2014 10:33:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Second, your own article says that "The term predeterminism suggests not just a determining of all events, but the prior and deliberately conscious determining of all events."

What do you think the deliberate conscious determining of ALL EVENTS means?
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