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KD and 7up on ex nihilo, free will and evil

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  • KD and 7up on ex nihilo, free will and evil

    On God creating people ex nihilo:

    1. I don't see why it should not be possible for God, being omnipotent and all, to create a separate, creative consciousness that is capable of coming up with its own thoughts, thoughts that would not have originated with God (c.f. Jer 32:35, Hosea 8:4, Pr 16:1). You can say all you want to about God creating our personalities, interests, strengths and controlling our environment, but even those together don't dictate every thought that comes into our heads. If someone invents a new word or writes a song or even just asks, "What happens if I put these two things together?", those are creative ideas that can't be predetermined by looking at the knowable facts about that person.

    2. I hypothesize that God "could not"* create someone who would be morally perfect in their life on Earth (that is, in a life outside of heaven where they are subject to temptations and physical weaknesses). Moral perfection -- in this case meaning moral perfection even when tested or tempted -- is a divine attribute, because as Jesus himself said, "God alone is good." I hypothesize that only God possesses divine attributes -- that if someone were morally perfect, they would have to have all the other divine attributes as well, including the attribute of eternal existence, which would mean they could not have been created.

    Also, since God alone is good, for God to create someone else who was perfectly good, wouldn't that person's consciousness have to be the same as God's -- i.e. wouldn't this other good person have to essentially be a fourth member of the Godhead, someone whose thoughts and will were perfectly aligned with the Father?

    Furthermore, if God did create a morally perfect person, that person would be deserving of glory for their innate righteousness -- yet God does not share his glory with others (Is 42:8)

    Feel free to provide a Biblical reference to disprove this.

    *I am using "could not" in the sense that we used it in a previous discussion, something like "it would go against some higher law," not "can't" in the sense of "doesn't possess the physical power necessary"




    On a side note, since the old TWeb went down I have since learned what "without body, parts or passions" is supposed to mean. This is from Knowing God by J.I. Packer. Packer basically says that "without body" means not limited by space or distance, "without parts" means he is an integrated whole that never changes, and "without passions" doesn't mean he doesn't have emotions, but rather that his emotions "have the nature of deliberate, voluntary choices, and therefore are not of the same order as human passions at all."

  • #2
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      That's what
      - She

      Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
      - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

      I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
      Stephen R. Donaldson

      Comment


      • #4


        We need an empty popcorn smiley so I can accuse those of using it before me of hogging all of it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
          You can say all you want to about God creating our personalities, interests, strengths and controlling our environment, but even those together don't dictate every thought that comes into our heads.
          How we behave is a reflection of who and what we are. Why do you believe that God, creating every single minute detail of our being, can essentially deny culpability of the actions of those beings He creates out of nothing?

          Nobody has been very specific. The analogies in the video are very, very detailed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxOiYvKDack
          The reason why I recommend the video is because concepts are much more easily understood when you combine audio/visual illustrations. The "knee-jerk" reaction to me saying that there is no free will with ex nihilo, is to say ... "God can just create ex nihilo AND give free will. Problem solved." Yet they do not think the issues through, or even demonstrate in their responses that they have tried to understand the concepts presented.

          So, I will try to bring the issues to light in even greater detail for you, Kind Debater.

          -7up

          Comment


          • #6
            Let me describe a few more things in more detail that nobody has bothered to address. In the presentation, I give an example concerning a scientific concept - electron mobility. The idea is that the "location" of an electron can be considered to be "random". I am not saying that randomness is necessarily the same as free will, only that this can be used as a parallel in thinking about different choices/options that a person may have with free will. My argument of rolling dice makes a point that is valid even if it were entirely random. So:

            A) Let's say that God is going to create, Ex Nihilo, 3 individual 6 sided cubes. They roll as follows:

            1) 4, 4, 2, 6, 2

            2) 1, 2, 5, 3, 6

            3) 3, 5, 1, 3, 1

            Let's say, for example, that even numbers are moral (good) decisions, and odd numbers are amoral (bad) decisions.

            Now, one aspect of problem of ex nihilo includes the idea that, if God is going to decide to create one of these (knowing what will happen beforehand), which one would he create? Especially considering that amoral decisions will lead to eternal damnation.

            In the video, I invite someone to contrast that scenario with the idea that there are entities that already exist. In that case, God may know which combination will be rolled before hand, but God is not deciding which ones will exist and which ones will not exist. He has to deal with the entities of free will which are already there.

            While all of this under section A here is quite problematic for someone who believes in an omnipotent and omniscient God creating Ex Nihilo, that point is only a small aspect of the discussion. It argues a point as if our characteristics have nothing to do with any decision we might make. But the point is still valid nonetheless. Now to the next one.

            B) As I said, randomness is not necessarily how our choices work. When I go downstairs for breakfast, I don't choose cocoa puffs rather than cheerios "randomly". I have a reason or a preference for making a decision. Anybody who has children knows that every child is unique. You could have identical twins who you raise in the same way, but their personalities will be different. My daughter has an aversion to chocolate. She always has from age 2. Still doesn't like chocolate. She will choose Cheerios over cocoa puffs every time. If God creates me with a gluten allergy, I may avoid cereal altogether. Some people have a short fuse; get angry easily. Some people are greedy; some lazy. Some people have homosexual tendencies. You get the point.

            If God creates every aspect of who and what I am from God's own imagination, and God knows how I will respond in any given situation, and God knows that by creating me differently would result in different "choices" in certain scenarios, then God truly has complete and total unilateral control.

            C) Also in the presentation, I provide an illustration of atoms. On one hand, the atoms appear to have electrons that may be at random locations within the electron cloud. However, based on the make-up of of any particular atom, you have certain properties. This is an interesting analogy because you have a combination of set characteritics based on the subatomic particles present in the atom, but you also have the randomness of the electron locations in the cloud.

            Despite a certain amount of variability and randomness, the atoms are rather predictable. Mercury behaves differently than lead. Helium behaves differently than Oxygen. Would God create both silver and helium out of nothing, and then blame and punish silver because it sinks in water? Would God blame and punish Helium because it rises in air?

            Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post

            Furthermore, if God did create a morally perfect person, that person would be deserving of glory for their innate righteousness -- yet God does not share his glory with others (Is 42:8)
            Would you say that the God you believe in purposefully creates amoral persons because He does not want to share glory with anyone else? God purposefully creates inferior beings, even though He could potentially create better ones?

            In Ex Nihilo creation, your point appears to be true, but I don't think that pointing it out is going to help your case.

            Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
            1. I don't see why it should not be possible for God, being omnipotent and all, to create a separate, creative consciousness that is capable of coming up with its own thoughts, thoughts that would not have originated with God ...
            Why do you think it is possible? You would like to think that it is possible, because defending your religious dogma depends on it. Your wishful thinking cannot wash away the problems with the theological construct of creation "out of nothing", which is an extra-Biblical assumption to begin with.

            -7up

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seven7up View Post
              ... Especially considering that amoral decisions will lead to eternal damnation.
              This is simply and patently absurd. The thief on the cross lived a life of amoral decisions, while one single moral decision redeemed him.
              That's what
              - She

              Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
              - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

              I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
              Stephen R. Donaldson

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by seven7up View Post
                How we behave is a reflection of who and what we are. Why do you believe that God, creating every single minute detail of our being, can essentially deny culpability of the actions of those beings He creates out of nothing?
                God did create people while knowing in advance that they would do evil. However:

                1. God did not directly create evil -- he did not design people to do evil, give them evil desires, etc. Evil begins when people use their independent thinking processes to devise immoral ways of trying to meet their natural needs/wants.

                2. What evil does occur is under God's supervision, if you will. Take the book of Job, for instance. God permitted Satan to test Job, but placed limits around what Satan could do and for how long he could do it. At the end of the test, God healed Job, restored his fortune and enabled him to have a second family (and presumably Job is currently reunited with both sets of children). Satan will ultimately be punished and locked up forever. It's the same with any evil that occurs -- God is aware of it before it happens, he limits it, punishes it and ultimately brings it to an end. All who suffer the effects of evil will either be restored or be punished justly for their own evil acts. And finally, God can bring good out of evil since he is sovereign.


                The reason why I recommend the video is because concepts are much more easily understood when you combine audio/visual illustrations.
                You do realize I'm India and that we've had this discussion before, right? I did watch a couple of your videos before, but I'm really a visual person so the video presentation didn't really help to further my understanding of your points.

                Originally posted by seven7up View Post

                A) Let's say that God is going to create, Ex Nihilo, 3 individual 6 sided cubes. They roll as follows:

                1) 4, 4, 2, 6, 2

                2) 1, 2, 5, 3, 6

                3) 3, 5, 1, 3, 1

                Let's say, for example, that even numbers are moral (good) decisions, and odd numbers are amoral (bad) decisions.

                Now, one aspect of problem of ex nihilo includes the idea that, if God is going to decide to create one of these (knowing what will happen beforehand), which one would he create? Especially considering that amoral decisions will lead to eternal damnation.
                But this argument presupposes that God can and will create a loaded die that will only roll even numbers, as in your first example. That is what I am arguing against. For someone to be good all the time, even when tested, wouldn't they have to be God? The primary moral command is to love, but to love an imperfect being perfectly at all times requires perfect patience, mercy, perseverance, etc. We humans can't even love God, who is perfect, perfectly.

                B) As I said, randomness is not necessarily how our choices work. When I go downstairs for breakfast, I don't choose cocoa puffs rather than cheerios "randomly". I have a reason or a preference for making a decision. Anybody who has children knows that every child is unique. You could have identical twins who you raise in the same way, but their personalities will be different. My daughter has an aversion to chocolate. She always has from age 2. Still doesn't like chocolate. She will choose Cheerios over cocoa puffs every time.
                My husband and his family don't like chocolate either. More chocolate for me, I say.

                If God creates me with a gluten allergy, I may avoid cereal altogether. Some people have a short fuse; get angry easily. Some people are greedy; some lazy. Some people have homosexual tendencies. You get the point.
                God may create people with physical limitations, for his own reasons (e.g. the man born blind so that Jesus could heal him). I don't think he directly creates the desire to sin, though. Since we are finite beings and for various reasons he can't create us as deities, he gives us finite strength; but that's not the same as directly creating us with evil desires (see Romans 1). Improper anger, greed, laziness and sexual impurity are all corruptions of natural, God-given desires for justice, adequate physical provision, rest and marital intimacy.

                "You were blameless in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you." --Ezekiel 28:15

                If God creates every aspect of who and what I am from God's own imagination, and God knows how I will respond in any given situation, and God knows that by creating me differently would result in different "choices" in certain scenarios, then God truly has complete and total unilateral control.
                I disagree with the first statement here. God creates us but doesn't predetermine every thought we come up with. You have not addressed what I said in the OP:

                Originally posted by Kind Debater
                You can say all you want to about God creating our personalities, interests, strengths and controlling our environment, but even those together don't dictate every thought that comes into our heads. If someone invents a new word or writes a song or even just asks, "What happens if I put these two things together?", those are creative ideas that can't be predetermined by looking at the knowable facts about that person.
                I also disagree with the third statement insofar as it implies that God could create someone in such a way that they will do the right thing in any given scenario. Matt 24:22 makes it clear that there are trials that no human can pass unaided by God.

                In your view of things, why doesn't God a) fix the things that are wrong (give one person more patience, take away the other person's homosexual interest) and/or b) prevent scenarios where they would make wrong choices, e.g. by creating the world so that people's needs are always met?

                Would God create both silver and helium out of nothing, and then blame and punish silver because it sinks in water? Would God blame and punish Helium because it rises in air?
                Are you nothing more than a complex finite state machine? If you do something wrong, do you blame it on the imperfections of your pre-existant intelligence and the conditions you happened to be in at the time?

                You seem to be saying that in your view of ex nihilo, a person's actions can be determined by some set of variables (taste, strengths and weaknesses, environment, etc.), all of which are under God's control. But in LDS ex materia, all those same variables are still present and predetermined, either by God or by whatever stuff was in your pre-existing intelligence. What is the difference between these two scenarios that makes you think you have free will in one but not the other? (I think I asked this last time, but I don't remember what you said.)

                Would you say that the God you believe in purposefully creates amoral persons because He does not want to share glory with anyone else? God purposefully creates inferior beings, even though He could potentially create better ones?
                No, I'm saying his choice was to create people as they are or not create them at all. If my hypothesis is true, God couldn't create a morally perfect person any more than he can create a square circle, because only someone with divine characteristics can be morally perfect, and in my theology, a being with divine characteristics must be God and God can't be created. The fact that God doesn't share his glory with another is just one more reason why his creating another god is not an option.

                "Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength" --Isaiah 45:24

                Why do you think it is possible?
                Because all things are possible with God, and no one's shown me that it's not possible.

                You would like to think that it is possible, because defending your religious dogma depends on it. Your wishful thinking cannot wash away the problems with the theological construct of creation "out of nothing", which is an extra-Biblical assumption to begin with.
                The "problems" you refer to are your problems which exist in your way of thinking. They aren't problems for me, any more than the average atheist's objections are problems for me (or for you, for that matter). If Anna the atheist says she can't believe in God because she sees no evidence for his existence, that's reason for her not to believe; but it isn't reason for me not to believe, because I've seen plenty of evidence. Likewise, your moral and philosophical objections to ex nihilo are not problems for me. I see no contradiction between free will, ex nihilo and God's sovereignty. I have no objections to God being in control of the universe and permitting evil and creating people that he knows will end up in hell. I have zero reason to doubt God's goodness.

                As to whether or not ex nihilo is Biblical -- it seems to me, having skimmed your arguments with Bill, that it comes down to the meaning of various Hebrew/Greek words, and once it gets to that point each side will produce testimony from language experts that supports their particular view. In other words, if you want to read the verses as supporting ex nihilo, you can read them that way, and if you really want to read them as supporting ex materia, you can read them that way too. IMO there's enough Biblical support for ex nihilo that it's credible, to say the least, and there isn't anything that explicitly rules it out. But as I said, since you're determined to believe in ex materia, and you've examined the passages that would seem to support ex nihilo and ruled them out, I don't see that our discussing the various passages is going to bear any more fruit than your discussion with Bill has.

                That being said, I think there is some indirect Biblical support for the idea of God fashioning our souls, whether you want to say he did so ex nihilo or ex materia.

                1) Passages like Ex 35:30-35, Is 44:21-45:13, Pr 16:4, Luke 1:14-17, Rom 9:17-21 imply that God created specific people for specific purposes, gave them specific talents, etc.

                2) There is the concept of us belonging to God because he made us, and that doesn't seem to be valid or important if he only created our bodies and not our minds/souls. There may be more/better passages for this, but for instance Is 43:1, 43:6-7, 43:20-21, 44:1-5, 29:16, and again, Pr 16:4 and Rom 9:20-23.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                  2. I hypothesize that God "could not"* create someone who would be morally perfect in their life on Earth (that is, in a life outside of heaven where they are subject to temptations and physical weaknesses). Moral perfection -- in this case meaning moral perfection even when tested or tempted -- is a divine attribute, because as Jesus himself said, "God alone is good." I hypothesize that only God possesses divine attributes -- that if someone were morally perfect, they would have to have all the other divine attributes as well, including the attribute of eternal existence, which would mean they could not have been created.

                  Also, since God alone is good, for God to create someone else who was perfectly good, wouldn't that person's consciousness have to be the same as God's -- i.e. wouldn't this other good person have to essentially be a fourth member of the Godhead, someone whose thoughts and will were perfectly aligned with the Father?

                  Furthermore, if God did create a morally perfect person, that person would be deserving of glory for their innate righteousness -- yet God does not share his glory with others (Is 42:8)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    7UP wrote:

                    A) Let's say that God is going to create, Ex Nihilo, 3 individual 6 sided cubes. They roll as follows:
                    1) 4, 4, 2, 5, 2
                    2) 1, 2, 4, 3, 5
                    3) 3, 1, 1, 3, 6

                    Let's say, for example, that even numbers are moral (good) decisions, and odd numbers are amoral (bad) decisions.

                    Now, one aspect of problem of ex nihilo includes the idea that, if God is going to decide to create one of these (knowing what will happen beforehand), which one would he create? Especially considering that amoral decisions will lead to eternal damnation.

                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                    Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                    This is simply and patently absurd. The thief on the cross lived a life of amoral decisions, while one single moral decision redeemed him.
                    Your objection is simply and patently absurd.

                    The logic of my argument still holds even with your attempt to deny it. Look again at three possible cubes that God could decide to create above.

                    Instead of odd being amoral and even being moral, let's say that all of the numbers are amoral, except the number 6, which is the single choice necessary for redemption.

                    Happy Bill?



                    Another point I made in the video, which is illustrated in a clear way ... is that, creating Ex Nihilo, there is an infinite number of possible cubes that God could create, and each with it's own unique number combination. If God wants a cube to have the supposedly "random" combination of

                    4 1 2 3 5 4 4 3 3 4 4 5 1 2 6 1 5 3 5 6 6 5 1 3 2 5 3 2 ,

                    then God can simply decide to create this cube that God knows before hand will roll that very same combination.

                    If there is another combination that God does not want, then He can simply refrain from creating it.

                    Like I said, this is one aspect whereby the Ex Nihilo framework gives God complete and unilateral control of every single "choice" we supposedly make within the context of creation from God's own mind.

                    -7up

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      7UP: How we behave is a reflection of who and what we are. Why do you believe that God, creating every single minute detail of our being, can essentially deny culpability of the actions of those beings He creates out of nothing?

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      God did create people while knowing in advance that they would do evil. However:

                      1. God did not directly create evil -- he did not design people to do evil, give them evil desires, etc. Evil begins when people use their independent thinking processes to devise immoral ways of trying to meet their natural needs/wants.
                      Let's think of Adam/Eve. They were:

                      1) ignorant (they did not know good and evil like God does)
                      2) easily deceived
                      3) disobedient
                      4) irrational

                      Are you telling me that out of any kind of creature possible from your God's infinite mind, that this is the kind of being that He came up with?

                      Doesn't it make more sense instead to understand that the possibilities were limited by the intelligences that God had available to work with? I describe a theology that explains why the world is the way it is, and why we are the way we are.

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      God did create people while knowing in advance that they would do evil. However:

                      2. What evil does occur is under God's supervision, if you will. ... All who suffer the effects of evil will either be restored or be punished justly for their own evil acts.
                      With Ex Nihilo, not only is evil done under God's supervision, it is done by God's will.

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      But this argument presupposes that God can and will create a loaded die that will only roll even numbers, as in your first example. That is what I am arguing against. For someone to be good all the time, even when tested, wouldn't they have to be God?
                      It wouldn't be a "loaded" die. It is still actually a randomly rolling cube. However, since God has all of the possible of cubes to choose from, God decides which cubes to create, and therefore God is choosing which number combinations will exist in reality. It is too bad that you didn't get that from the video presentation. The illustration was quite clear on that.

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      For someone to be good all the time, even when tested, wouldn't they have to be God?
                      No. Your assertion here is especially wrong in "classic theism". Don't you believe in an ontological divide between God and man? That would distinguish you from God even if you become morally perfect. Do you believe that we will be morally perfect in the next life? Does that make us God?

                      Furthermore, do you believe that we will have free will after the resurrection? How will our morality be then?

                      This is the classic part of this discussion where people make the false assumption that God MUST create morally flawed beings in order for them to be free.

                      In fact, if you simply take the point that sinning is irrational, especially when you take into consideration the consequences involved. Therefore, beings who are rational would not choose to sin.

                      7UP: If God creates me with a gluten allergy, I may avoid cereal altogether. Some people have a short fuse; get angry easily. Some people are greedy; some lazy. Some people have homosexual tendencies. You get the point.

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      God may create people with physical limitations, for his own reasons (e.g. the man born blind so that Jesus could heal him). I don't think he directly creates the desire to sin, though. Since we are finite beings and for various reasons he can't create us as deities, he gives us finite strength;
                      I agree that physical limitations are not the same as moral flaws. However, I believe that one of the reasons God gives us physical limitation is BECAUSE we have moral flaws. That is not the same as saying someone gets cancer specifically because they made a specific sin. We all need humilty to be taught to us, because we are by nature, lacking in that characteristic. Sometimes individuals need to be taught how to be charitable to others who have physical limitations.

                      "You were blameless in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you." --Ezekiel 28:15

                      How could they be blamed, when they did not even understand good or evil?

                      7UP: If God creates every aspect of who and what I am from God's own imagination, and God knows how I will respond in any given situation, and God knows that by creating me differently would result in different "choices" in certain scenarios, then God truly has complete and total unilateral control.

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      I disagree with the first statement here. God creates us but doesn't predetermine every thought we come up with. You have not addressed what I said in the OP:

                      Our thoughts and behaviors are external reflections of who and what we are on the inside. Who created every aspect of our being India? Again I point to Mark Hausam, a Calvinist, who explains that your view is clearly a logical contradiction.

                      "Creation ex nihilo implies a radical metaphysical dependence upon God, one that logically guarantees that the creature will not be independent from God or be capable of independent contributions to reality in the ways envisioned in Arminian thought. In fact, creation ex nihilo logically leads directly to Calvinistic determinism. So there is a conflict between ex nihilo creation and some of the central features of the Arminian universe. The concept of “free will” allows the force of creation ex nihilo to be effectually negated so that the independence Arminianism requires can exist. It does this by creating a “causal gap” between God’s creative activity and the actual essence of our will and choices. Whatever God did in creating humans and their free agency, in the Arminian view, he did not create an unbroken causal chain from himself, or from his act of creating us and our agency, to the actual choices made by his creatures. Those choices are still undetermined by God. The reason for their existence, since they are
                      undetermined and first-causal, cannot be anything God has done. They are not traceable to any creative action of God, but are wholly self-originated in their nature. To put it
                      another way, the explanation for the particular choices free creatures make, in the Arminian view, cannot be found in the fact that God gave his creatures free agency. God’s act of creation was a cause that had some effects. By definition, an effect is something that exists by means of having been determined by some preceding action as its cause. If our choices are undetermined by God and first-causal by nature, they therefore cannot be effects of God’s creative activity. They cannot be explained by it or traced back to it. They are wholly self-existent or self-originated. God cannot create uncaused choices, directly or indirectly. He cannot create them directly, nor can he start
                      in motion a chain of causes and effects that eventually leads to them, for the very simple reason that they are, by definition, uncaused or self-caused. And the choices here cannot be separated from the person choosing. Since the choice is uncaused, the will that produces the choice must be uncaused. Since God did not create (even indirectly) any of the actual choices of the will, he did not create whatever it is in the will that is the cause of the actual choices we make. Even proponents of libertarian freedom will admit, although paradoxically, that the choices we make are the results of the motivations, desires, loves, values, priorities, beliefs, etc., that constitute who we are, that make up the real essence of our actual being. That is why our choices reveal who we are. If our choices were not produced from the essence of our being, they would not be
                      our choices fundamentally
                      and would not reveal anything about who we are. Therefore, if God were the creator of our being or the essence of who we are, as a logically consistent account of creation ex nihilo would affirm, he would also be the creator and cause, at least indirectly, of the actual choices we make. But since these cannot be causally traced back to God, in Arminianism, the essence of who we are that our choices flow from, and thus reveal and express, must also be unable to be traced back to God or his creative activity. Whatever God created ex nihilo when he created human beings, he thus did not create that which constitutes the real essence of our being and character. So we can see that, in Arminian theology, the main implications of the doctrine of creation ex nihilo are negated and the doctrine itself is thus, in effect, relegated to practical unimportance, since the most important part of who we are, that which defines our primary essence, is not created by God, but is self-existent or self-created.


                      7UP: Why do you think it is possible?

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      Because all things are possible with God, and no one's shown me that it's not possible.
                      I have, in many ways, you just aren't listening. Review Mark Hausam's discussion above. Maybe he can show you. The logical contradiction, which you claim exists and limits God, is right in front of your face. You are contradicting yourself even on this post to me that God cannot create "deities" for many reasons. One of those reasons is that you consider created beings to be entirely contingent (not first-causal by nature).

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      The fact that God doesn't share his glory with another is just one more reason why his creating another god is not an option.
                      The glory that Christ was given by the throne of His Father is the same glory that He will share with us (see Rev. 3:21) and God gains more glory when we are glorified in Christ. A God of gods is more glorious and superior than a God of feeble mutts.

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      I also disagree with the third statement insofar as it implies that God could create someone in such a way that they will do the right thing in any given scenario. Matt 24:22 makes it clear that there are trials that no human can pass unaided by God.
                      But what is it about an individual who is humble enough to accept aid from God?

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      In your view of things, why doesn't God a) fix the things that are wrong (give one person more patience, take away the other person's homosexual interest) and/or b) prevent scenarios where they would make wrong choices, e.g. by creating the world so that people's needs are always met?
                      God does not force change upon an individual. God COULD prevent scenarios where they would make wrong choices, but then those individuals would never learn the consequences of making mistakes. There is little opportunity for progress and learning in such a scenario.

                      Originally posted by Kind Debater View Post
                      Are you nothing more than a complex finite state machine? If you do something wrong, do you blame it on the imperfections of your pre-existant intelligence and the conditions you happened to be in at the time?

                      You seem to be saying that in your view of ex nihilo, a person's actions can be determined by some set of variables (taste, strengths and weaknesses, environment, etc.), all of which are under God's control. But in LDS ex materia, all those same variables are still present and predetermined, either by God or by whatever stuff was in your pre-existing intelligence. What is the difference between these two scenarios that makes you think you have free will in one but not the other? (I think I asked this last time, but I don't remember what you said.)
                      My response was this. Do you believe that God has free will?


                      As for God "fashioning" our souls, that is all fine and good, as long as you consider that God is limited in how He creates an individual, by what He has to work with.

                      -7up

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seven7up View Post
                        7UP wrote:

                        A) Let's say that God is going to create, Ex Nihilo, 3 individual 6 sided cubes. They roll as follows:
                        1) 4, 4, 2, 5, 2
                        2) 1, 2, 4, 3, 5
                        3) 3, 1, 1, 3, 6

                        Let's say, for example, that even numbers are moral (good) decisions, and odd numbers are amoral (bad) decisions.

                        Now, one aspect of problem of ex nihilo includes the idea that, if God is going to decide to create one of these (knowing what will happen beforehand), which one would he create? Especially considering that amoral decisions will lead to eternal damnation.

                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



                        Your objection is simply and patently absurd.

                        The logic of my argument still holds even with your attempt to deny it. Look again at three possible cubes that God could decide to create above.

                        Instead of odd being amoral and even being moral, let's say that all of the numbers are amoral, except the number 6, which is the single choice necessary for redemption.

                        Happy Bill?
                        It assumes that God is the one rolling the dice, also known as hard determinism. Accusing a Molinist of believing in hard determinism is called a straw man.


                        Another point I made in the video, which is illustrated in a clear way ... is that, creating Ex Nihilo, there is an infinite number of possible cubes that God could create, and each with it's own unique number combination. If God wants a cube to have the supposedly "random" combination of

                        4 1 2 3 5 4 4 3 3 4 4 5 1 2 6 1 5 3 5 6 6 5 1 3 2 5 3 2 ,

                        then God can simply decide to create this cube that God knows before hand will roll that very same combination.
                        Or He could simply not decide to create it. Or He could decide to create one that the one actually rolling it will roll a different combination. Every roll has the POTENTIAL and OPPORTUNITY to roll a 6 by the sheer existence of the side labeled 6. It is up to God to say what is His decisions for creating that particular "dice roller" is. That is God's justice.

                        The problem is that we are not "rolls of the dice", nor are our decisions. They are not "random". Dice rolls are really a poor analogy, but since you have invested so much of your argument in that analogy, you will never admit that it is a poor one.

                        If there is another combination that God does not want, then He can simply refrain from creating it.
                        Or He can create it anyway, allowing it the free will to "load the dice" if it chooses.

                        Like I said, this is one aspect whereby the Ex Nihilo framework gives God complete and unilateral control of every single "choice" we supposedly make within the context of creation from God's own mind.

                        -7up
                        And that is why your false summation of it is wrong.
                        That's what
                        - She

                        Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                        - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                        I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                        Stephen R. Donaldson

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                        • #13
                          I think this thread is for KD and 7up, according to the title. Therefore others should not post here unless Kind Debater (the thread starter) gives permission.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                            I think this thread is for KD and 7up, according to the title. Therefore others should not post here unless Kind Debater (the thread starter) gives permission.
                            Thanks, Sparko.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              7up, I am working on a response to your post. I have a lot written but I'm trying to get to a point where we aren't simply repeating ourselves. To that end, let me just say one thing here and see if that helps.

                              Originally posted by seven7up View Post
                              God does not force change upon an individual. God COULD prevent scenarios where they would make wrong choices, but then those individuals would never learn the consequences of making mistakes. There is little opportunity for progress and learning in such a scenario.
                              So individuals can learn and change. In this case, for the better. In some cases, for the worse, per Romans 1, since they can make choices that either bring them closer to God or take them further away. Either way, they change -- they don't remain the same as when they started.

                              Even if when they started was when God created them ex nihilo.

                              If you're going to say that if God created ex nihilo, then he should have created mini-Gods who would never change because they couldn't improve and would never make a wrong choice, then I guess this isn't going to go anywhere. If you can at least say that God could create ex nihilo someone who wasn't perfect but, in theory, had the tools to obey the finite set of commands God gave him -- which is what I'm going to argue was Adam and Eve's original state -- then don't you agree that such a person could change, for better or for worse? That they could have experiences, learn, decide to do things differently the next time -- or make mistakes?

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