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Babies etc: Tyrel and RBerman

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  • Babies etc: Tyrel and RBerman

    I took the liberty of carrying this over from a private discussion. If this doesn't meet with Tyrel's approval, I'll ask this thread to be removed.

    Originally posted by Tyrel
    So then, suppose that somebody has not the physical faculties enabling any attitude of rebellion (perhaps not allowing any attitude at all), such as by having a severely malformed brain, or having no brain at all (as of yet), would this still qualify as all men sinning? I note that the brain and the mind are not identical, but I do hold a hylomorphic view of the body-soul relation (not a substance-dualist view, I'm a little too old-school orthodox for that).
    Someone with minimal cognition has very little ability for actual thoughts of rebellion against God, but that doesn't mean that his soul is not in rebellion. In my understanding of the Roman doctrine of "limbo," unbaptized infants occupy the mildest circle of hell: Hell by virtue of their Original Sin, which makes them guilty; and the mildest circle by virtue of their very limited ability, because for those to whom little is given, little is required. That seems biblical, except that (1) the mildest circle may still be pretty bad, and (2) I don't believe in an opere ex operato baptismal removal of Original Sin. I do allow that God may choose to regenerate anyone whom He wishes, whether an infant or otherwise, to change rebellion into faith and thus salvation. Concerning whether God does this for all, some, or no infants, Scripture is silent, and so am I.

    Further, I'm not sure how far down the Calvinist rabbit hole you go, but do you agree with the Kantian axiom that 'ought implies can'? Further, if you do, then what think you about libertarian free will? In connection (again, only if you do accept that Kantian axiom), do you believe that a child in the womb 'ought' not rebel?
    Libertarian Free Will strikes me as both unnecessary (trying to solve a problem that the Bible does not encourage us to think of as a problem) and self-contradictory, since it appears to entail wanting what you don't want. I find no biblical warrant for Kant's axiom as a good summary of Divine justice, nor any confidence that we know what the soul of an infant cannot do. A child in the womb, like a child or adult outside the womb, ought not to rebel against his Maker.

    Alternatively, if you are a right-proper Calvinist, are you also a presuppositionalist like van Till, and if you are, are you a meaning holist (i.e., do you adopt a coherence theory of truth in place of a correspondence theory of truth)?
    I am not familiar with those terms. I find presuppositionalism as I understand it a useful tool, but not to the exclusion of evidentiary apologetics as well. Really most people don't respond well to logical appeals anyway. We believe what we want to believe, and then we look for some sort of post hoc justification to rationalize our biases.
    Last edited by RBerman; 02-27-2014, 12:48 AM.

  • #2
    What about the view that babies don't have shame?
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    • #3
      How do babies without brains still have faith? Also, how do babies in the womb have faith without anyone preaching to them?

      I don't buy JP Holding's liberal view of hell. But I do agree that babies have not earned any shame.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
        What about the view that babies don't have shame?
        As a general rule, they have very poor fashion sense. And then there's this.

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        • #5
          What do Roman Catholics think happens to babies that die in utero? Or is this what the thread is about? In which case, a lot of embryos in limbo.
          If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RBerman View Post

            Libertarian Free Will strikes me as both unnecessary (trying to solve a problem that the Bible does not encourage us to think of as a problem) and self-contradictory, since it appears to entail wanting what you don't want.
            Well, when you judge LFW based on a Calvinist perspective it would most definitely seem self-contradictory. But of course, we should judge each system based on its own merits & presuppositions (& inspired scripture of course) rather than on the merits and presuppositions of another system.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
              Well, when you judge LFW based on a Calvinist perspective it would most definitely seem self-contradictory. But of course, we should judge each system based on its own merits & presuppositions (& inspired scripture of course) rather than on the merits and presuppositions of another system.
              I can't think of a coherent system in which "wanting what you don't want" would not be self-contradictory. But this thread was really more about babies than LFW.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RBerman View Post
                I can't think of a coherent system in which "wanting what you don't want" would not be self-contradictory. But this thread was really more about babies than LFW.
                Yes, I meant to say that I was not trying to derail the thread. I just wanted to point out that by sayin 'wanting what you don't want' presupposes a deterministic viewpoint of the will and how decisions are made. So yes, it wouldn't be coherent because it is trying to marry LFW conclusions to deterministic presuppositions & definitions.

                In other words, the idea of 'wanting what you don't want' is not an LFW concept. Rather it arises when trying to see if LFW is coherent with determinism. (surprise - it's not).


                But then again...perhaps another thread, and another time. Not meaning to derail.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                  What do Roman Catholics think happens to babies that die in utero? Or is this what the thread is about? In which case, a lot of embryos in limbo.
                  In the RCC the idea of Limbo has always been considered a philosophical idea that has no scriptural support, thus in the last several decades it has been eliminated as a doctrine of faith - the RCC official position these days is believe what you want to believe concerning those who have not had the opportunity to learn about Christ...

                  As an aside: we learn in Acts of those who received the Holy Spirit without Baptism...which is of more importance God's endowment or a prescribed ritual which is simply for the benefit of people (ie: the comfy feel)...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RBerman View Post
                    I am not familiar with those terms. I find presuppositionalism as I understand it a useful tool, but not to the exclusion of evidentiary apologetics as well. Really most people don't respond well to logical appeals anyway. We believe what we want to believe, and then we look for some sort of post hoc justification to rationalize our biases. [Emphasis added.]
                    What does this say of Calvinists and those who believe in unending conscious torment?

                    If you start with the belief that God has exhaustively determined all things (even the very words I'm typing), then everyone at all times is believing precisely what God wants them to believe when he wants them to believe it. According to this line of thought, God's "decretive will" always reigns supreme. My denial of your beliefs in (e.g.) unconditional reprobation and endless conscious torment, then, are ultimately a result of God's foreordainment. The reason I find your reasoning absurd in this instance (and many other instances perhaps) is also because of God's determination. Every false or spurious belief that has ever been perpetuated finds its origins in God's sovereign, exhaustive deterministic will (conveniently mediated by "second causes", of course). In the end, those who believe falsehoods are doing exactly what God wants. The kicker is this: God will hold persons morally accountable for doing that which he has determined they do. The "preceptive will" of God is a ruse. According to Calvinism all of creation is doing what God wants when he wants.

                    Assuming your belief in exhaustive divine determinism is false, however, I am likely justified in finding the above "reasoning" quite absurd.
                    Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-27-2014, 10:46 PM.
                    For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

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                    • #11
                      Why does that sound like what happens to fictional characters in a story?
                      If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For an early text grappling with conundrum of infant deaths, check out Gregory of Nyssa (you can skip down past the intro to just above page 374, starting with "A human being enters. . . ."
                        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

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                        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                          Why does that sound like what happens to fictional characters in a story?
                          Excellent question. (I trust already you know the answer.)
                          For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Remonstrant View Post
                            What does this say of Calvinists and those who believe in unending conscious torment?
                            The idea that our choices and opinions spring from our nature seems quite Calvinist.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                              Why does that sound like what happens to fictional characters in a story?
                              Indeed, Hebrews 12:2 refers to Jesus as the "author and perfecter of our faith."

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