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The meta-thread about the ex nihilo threads

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  • The meta-thread about the ex nihilo threads

    Maybe those of us wanting to debate ex nihilo should just discuss how we want to go about it.

    7up, you seem to be wanting a smaller number of threads to follow, and to not have to make the same argument in five different posts?

    I mainly want to have a focused discussion so that I can keep up with it. 7up and Bill tend to respond to each other in these ten-foot-long posts that venture into about 462 side topics, and if I'm trying to respond to 7up in the same thread it gets unwieldy. I have to sort through pages and pages just to find the posts that were part of my discussion with 7up, and then if 7up (understandably not wanting to type the same thing over again) refers me to his post to Bill I have to sort through the ten pages of it and find the inch or so that's relevant.

    I've been the lone Christian posting in an atheist forum so I can sympathize with 7up trying to answer all us non-Mormons here for the most part singlehandedly. And I know I tend to bring up side topics too, even when I'm trying hard not to. So my suggestion is that we have threads dedicated to one single, specific topic with stricter moderation about going off-topic. For instance:
    • Could God have created Adam and Eve in such a way that they wouldn't sin?
    • Bible passages for/against ex nihilo
    • Definition of free will
    • Necessary conditions for free will
    • In ex nihilo, did God create evil?
    • Is God responsible for preventing evil?


    Etc.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    The problem I see is that all of those points intersect each other at various places. There is no way to allow multiple people to participate in a thread without some wandering.

    Here is what I suggest KD...

    Start a Gym thread with you and 7up on whatever topic you want. Ask the moderator to create a comment thread for those who want to discuss the debate thread but only you and 7up can participate in the debate thread, one on one. And you and 7up cannot participate in the comment thread.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm just about done with this topic. 7up does not understand middle knowledge, nor does he even try to account for it. And that is the central flaw in his thesis that ex nihilo creation does not allow for free will.
      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
        I'll just keep plugging away in my original thread.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
          I'm just about done with this topic. 7up does not understand middle knowledge, nor does he even try to account for it. And that is the central flaw in his thesis that ex nihilo creation does not allow for free will.

          I DO understand middle knowledge. I DO account for it. In fact, my argument is more powerful when you consider God's middle knowledge, and I have detailed those aspects of the discussion as well.

          God is creating not only every person and everything about that person from nothing, but God also engineers the environment in which that person will enter. Furthermore, with middle knowledge, God would know how each person that God may want to create from God's mind would react to any given circumstances before God ever even decided to create that individual, therefore existence is the exact result of what God created it to be; nothing more, and nothing less.

          That is covered, in part, in the "Solitary Problem" video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qduIGkSy1Ro


          -7up

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by seven7up View Post
            I DO understand middle knowledge. I DO account for it. In fact, my argument is more powerful when you consider God's middle knowledge, and I have detailed those aspects of the discussion as well.
            We will see below that you don't.

            God is creating not only every person and everything about that person from nothing, but God also engineers the environment in which that person will enter.
            Based on His foreknowledge of their choices in the situation.

            Furthermore, with middle knowledge, God would know how each person that God may want to create from God's mind would react
            No. God knows how each person WILL react, not simply WOULD, and thus actuates the single reality that corresponds to that choice. The difference is subtle, but important to this discussion.

            For what you are wrongly claiming, it would be like God is Burger King, and knows that you would only order a hamburger, so there was never anything called a chicken sandwich even possible. That is how you are trying to explain ex nihilo. The correct view is that there are multiple possible realities, one where there are only hamburgers, one where there are only chicken sandwiches, and one with both. All three are logically potential creations, but because God has exhaustive foreknowledge, He already knows which one you will choose, and therefore, actuates the only reality with the choice you made. The other realities still exist in God's mind as potential, but unactuated, realities. Hence, God does not dictate the choice by His creating the reality that we freely choose.

            to any given circumstances before God ever even decided to create that individual, therefore existence is the exact result of what God created it to be; nothing more, and nothing less.
            This is true to a certain extent. However, it assumes there was no foreknowledge involved of the free choices, and of the potential to create a world where the other choices could be real.

            That is covered, in part, in the "Solitary Problem" video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qduIGkSy1Ro
            Your whole video is nothing more than a "If a tree falls in the forest with no one around, does it make a sound?" You really have an over inflated view of your arguments.
            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


            • #7
              7UP: God is creating not only every person and everything about that person from nothing, but God also engineers the environment in which that person will enter.

              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
              Based on His foreknowledge of their choices in the situation.
              Exactly.

              7UP: Furthermore, with middle knowledge, God would know how each person that God may want to create from God's mind would react

              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
              No. God knows how each person WILL react, not simply WOULD, and thus actuates the single reality that corresponds to that choice. The difference is subtle, but important to this discussion.

              ....The other realities still exist in God's mind as potential, but unactuated, realities.
              I chose my words correctly Bill. God knows how each person WOULD react, in each of the "potential realities". Yet God decided which individuals to place into the actuated reality, and therefore, by deciding which individuals to make real, determined which "reactions" by those individuals would become reality.

              That is simply the first point that I made in the discussion; but only part 1.

              I have already beaten you on this Bill. I have already answered all your responses beyond your ability. Not that ability has anything to do with it. I have the benefit of having truth on my side.

              All you are doing are repeating things on a level far too shallow , which demonstrates your inability to understand. I will allow Mark Hausam, to make a few points for a moment, which lead into my second point on the subject:


              "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."


              Now, based on our previous conversations on this, I can almost guarantee that most of what Mark Hausam explained above went over your head, therefore, I will try to tie it into our previous conversations on the videos that I provided in a way that will hopefully be comprehended by even you. The main arguments I made on this topic, which addresses my points as related to this issue are found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxOiYvKDack

              First, as alluded to in the introduction of this post, I start out with the idea that even IF, choices were entirely random (like random dice) and had nothing to do at all with our created characteristics (or nothing to do with who or what God created us to be), God still determines outcomes by deciding which random cubes would exist, and which would not, .... thus simply by that creation, would determine which "choices" would be made. However, as you already admitted yourself, choices are not simply random. So, on to the next part.

              Second, I argue that God has power over outcomes by designing every single aspect of who and what we are, as Hausam explains above, "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."

              The reason I presented the arguments on these two levels, is because first people try, as you did, to say that choices are not simply random. Right. Because they are determined by who and what we are. On the other hand, if you try to go the other way, and try to claim that God does not create our motivations, desires, loves, values, priorities, etc., then you also have no recourse in your argumentation.

              Originally posted by Bill the Cat
              7up does not understand middle knowledge, nor does he even try to account for it. And that is the central flaw in his thesis that ex nihilo creation does not allow for free will.
              So, you come into this new thread and accuse me of not knowing about "middle knowledge". Then I demonstrated that not only did I know about it, but I addressed it specifically, and demonstrated that it does not affect the significance of my arguments. In fact, if you had paid attention to the initial video, those "potential dice" that God decided not to create are the very representation of "middle knowledge".

              Like I said Bill. You have nothing. You are too dense to realize it. Before the Forum crashed last year, at least Apologia Phoenix had the logic and sense to say from the get go that Ex Nihilo was not an essential aspect of his theology. That was smart of him to allow himself an out, unlike you.

              You have nothing more to offer on this conversation. Perhaps you should simply bow out, and just follow the thread with Kind Debater as an observer.

              -7up
              Last edited by seven7up; 06-18-2014, 04:24 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm thinking more and more that 7Up is NRAJeff.
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seven7up View Post
                  7UP: God is creating not only every person and everything about that person from nothing, but God also engineers the environment in which that person will enter.



                  Exactly.
                  Therefore my point remains unrebutted. But, you continue in your post to act like you don't agree with my claim, despite you agreeing here.

                  7UP: Furthermore, with middle knowledge, God would know how each person that God may want to create from God's mind would react



                  I chose my words correctly Bill.
                  No you didn't. Your choice of words shows that you do not understand the first thing about middle knowledge.

                  God knows how each person WOULD react, in each of the "potential realities".
                  No!! He knows how they WILL react - meaning He is already aware of what the outcome of the choice will be. And through that foreknowledge, He actuates the world that corresponds with the conditions that will exist in the outcome of that choice.

                  Yet God decided which individuals to place into the actuated reality,
                  And those who He "decides" not to place never existed in the first place. There is no "discard pile" for God. His foreknowledge is perfect and complete. He knows the beginning from the end. If He foreknows something, it will exist just as He has foreknown it. He does not make it happen, but He knows exactly how it will happen.

                  and therefore, by deciding which individuals to make real, determined which "reactions" by those individuals would become reality.
                  Again, this assumes that there are potential beings He foreknows, and then subsequently decides not to create, making them not foreknown, yet they were foreknown. It's a logical contradiction that you simply refuse to grasp.


                  That is simply the first point that I made in the discussion; but only part 1.
                  And it betrays your abysmal lack of understanding on the simplest matters of middle knowledge.

                  I have already beaten you on this Bill.



                  I have already answered all your responses beyond your ability.
                  You don't even understand the basic fallacy you are making. Your "abilities" are a joke.

                  Not that ability has anything to do with it. I have the benefit of having truth on my side.
                  No you don't. You have gone all-in with a pair of deuces hoping no one will see through your bluff. Well, this full house here at TWeb can see through you like cheap celophane wrap.

                  All you are doing are repeating things on a level far too shallow , which demonstrates your inability to understand.
                  Says the clown who can't even see the first year fallacy he is making...

                  I will allow Mark Hausam, to make a few points for a moment, which lead into my second point on the subject:
                  Hausam is wrong. I don't know why you keep bringing him into this discussion. But because I am a glutton for laughs, I'll respond to him too...
                  "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.
                  Asserted. And I disagree.

                  In fact, creation ex nihilo logically leads directly to Calvinistic determinism.
                  Only if middle knowledge is left completely out of the picture. However, when, as Hausam does, one treats creation as a giant wind-up toy, then it can lead there.

                  So, there is a conflict between ex nihilo creation and some of the central features of the Arminian universe.
                  Again, only if you ignore one of the most central tenets

                  The concept of “free will” allows the force of creation ex nihilo to be effectually negated so that the independence Arminianism requires can exist.
                  No it doesn't. It allows for God to have foreknowledge of the independent free will decisions of the moral agent and create accordingly so as not to cause a logical contradiction or to create an automaton.

                  It does this by creating a “causal gap” between God’s creative activity and the actual essence of our will and choices.
                  And the "gap" is filled by His perfect foreknowledge.

                  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.
                  Correct. But before we were created, those choices were perfectly known to God, so even though God did not determine the choices, He created based on those choices before the creature even existed.

                  The reason for their existence, since they are undetermined and first-causal, cannot be anything God has done.
                  Not true. There is no "first causal" when it comes to foreknowledge. It simply "is". Nothing can exist that God did not foreknow would exist, and He causes them to exist based on His foreknowledge of their existence, not His determining of their outcomes.

                  They are not traceable to any creative action of God, but are wholly self-originated in their nature.
                  False. They are an action of God in that He actuates the reality that corresponds with it. Without God actuating that reality, it would not exist. Therefore, it can not be said to be "first" causal, since it existed as foreknowledge in God's mind before God created.

                  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.
                  That's EXACTLY where it is found.

                  God’s act of creation was a cause that had some effects.
                  Which were exactly foreknown by God.

                  By definition, an effect is something that exists by means of having been determined by some preceding action as its cause.
                  But it does not explain foreknowledge of the outcome. God did not create and then PREDICT the outcome, He created BECAUSE of the outcome.

                  If our choices are undetermined by God and first-causal by nature, they therefore cannot be effects of God’s creative activity.
                  Well, it's a good thing that they aren't "first causal". They existed in God's mind as foreknowledge, and He caused based on His foreknowledge.

                  They cannot be explained by it or traced back to it.
                  This again is wrong.

                  They are wholly self-existent or self-originated.
                  Nope. They can not exist without God.

                  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.
                  Yes He can. It's because He is not confined to linear time experience.

                  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."
                  The rest of this is more of the same rambling nonsense built on a strictly linear-based premise that fails a basic scrutiny of how foreknowledge works. Just like you fail to grasp it.


                  Now, based on our previous conversations on this, I can almost guarantee that most of what Mark Hausam explained above went over your head,
                  No it didn't. It is really simple. Hausam's strawman explanation of "god" in an Arminian view completely confines this god to a temporal sequence of events, of which He has no control or knowledge of the results. It uses terms like "first" and "after" which hold no meaning to God's foreknowledge's ability NOW to know exactly what WILL happen without Him being the lone cause of it happening. He claims these things are "free will" yet completely misses the meaning of free will as a cooperation between God's foreknowledge and our ability to choose - instead focusing on knocking over a strawman that boils down to "wholly independent will", like we are the ones creating the reality we choose.

                  therefore, I will try to tie it into our previous conversations on the videos that I provided in a way that will hopefully be comprehended by even you. The main arguments I made on this topic, which addresses my points as related to this issue are found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxOiYvKDack
                  Stop posting links to your videos. You've been warned before.

                  First, as alluded to in the introduction of this post, I start out with the idea that even IF, choices were entirely random (like random dice) and had nothing to do at all with our created characteristics (or nothing to do with who or what God created us to be), God still determines outcomes by deciding which random cubes would exist, and which would not, .... thus simply by that creation, would determine which "choices" would be made. However, as you already admitted yourself, choices are not simply random.
                  And I've already refuted that part. God does not determine the outcomes by choosing which cubes would exist. If the roll is a 6, it is because God both 1) knew the roll would be a 6 before it was ever rolled, and 2) Knew that the roll would not be a 1-5 before it was ever rolled. So, God creates the reality where the 6 is rolled, but DOES NOT ROLL IT HIMSELF, and does not create the one where a 1-5 was rolled. And He did so, not because He desired (or forced) the 6 to be rolled, but because He knew the 6 would be rolled.



                  So, on to the next part

                  Second, I argue that God has power over outcomes by designing every single aspect of who and what we are, as Hausam explains above, "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."
                  This would make it literally impossible to act contrary to our natures, yet we can do so. And God designs us based on His foreknowledge of us.

                  The reason I presented the arguments on these two levels, is because first people try, as you did, to say that choices are not simply random. Right. Because they are determined by who and what we are. On the other hand, if you try to go the other way, and try to claim that God does not create our motivations, desires, loves, values, priorities, etc., then you also have no recourse in your argumentation.
                  Sure I do. The two levels of your argument rest on your dismissing of God perfectly knowing NOW what WILL happen, and through HIS foreknowledge of those events, actuates reality to conform to that foreknowledge, which exists in Him alone.


                  So, you come into this new thread and accuse me of not knowing about "middle knowledge". Then I demonstrated that not only did I know about it, but I addressed it specifically, and demonstrated that it does not affect the significance of my arguments.
                  You demonstrated that you are ignorant of it. That much is plainly obvious.

                  In fact, if you had paid attention to the initial video, those "potential dice" that God decided not to create are the very representation of "middle knowledge".
                  Not really. The sides of a single dice may be seen as representations of it, but not the dice themselves. For every dice roll, there are 5 counterfactuals. God knows of all 6 possibilities, but only actuates the one that He knows will be rolled. This does not negate the existence of the possibility of the other 5 results, nor does it mean that God directly caused the result despite creating the reality where it existed. He simply knew through middle knowledge which one of the 6 "realities" would be rolled and created it based on that knowledge.

                  Like I said Bill. You have nothing. You are too dense to realize it.
                  No, 7. It's you who has nothing. That's why you have had to use other peoples' arguments.

                  Before the Forum crashed last year, at least Apologia Phoenix had the logic and sense to say from the get go that Ex Nihilo was not an essential aspect of his theology. That was smart of him to allow himself an out, unlike you.
                  It's not essential to mine either. I just believe it is the most logically defensible.

                  You have nothing more to offer on this conversation. Perhaps you should simply bow out, and just follow the thread with Kind Debater as an observer.
                  Perhaps you should deflate that over inflated ego of yours. I've answered every single one of your infantile claims and proven that you do not even begin to understand Ex Nihilo from the standpoint of middle knowledge. But, I'm sure you will still feign ignorance on what I am saying and continue to make the same empty blustering rants that have been thoroughly defeated.
                  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


                  • #10
                    First, let's address "middle knowledge".

                    7UP: God is creating not only every person and everything about that person from nothing, but God also engineers the environment in which that person will enter.

                    In the video presentation, I gave examples of different 6 sided cubes. Let's say that I take one die and it rolls as follows:

                    2,4,2,5,1

                    However, let's say that the cube was rolled on a surface made of wood. If it were rolled on a rubber surface, that very same cube would have rolled:

                    5,6,1,3,2

                    on a glass surface , 3,4,2,5,1 on the moon (with less gravity) perhaps it would roll 1,2,1,4,3

                    The point is that with "middle knowledge", God would know how an individual cube would roll in any kind of environment.

                    And guess what? Pointing out the idea of God having "middle knowledge" does not help you in the slightest in your argument against me. Sorry Bill.


                    Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                    Therefore my point remains unrebutted. But, you continue in your post to act like you don't agree with my claim, despite you agreeing here.
                    I agree with your claim that, in creation ex nihilo, God both creates the creatures out of nothing as well as the environment in which that creature is placed to react in. This is one of the reasons why God is determining all outcomes according to your theology.

                    7UP: Furthermore, with middle knowledge, God would know how each person that God may want to create from God's mind would react
                    ...I chose my words correctly Bill....God knows how each person WOULD react, in each of the "potential realities".


                    Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                    No you didn't. Your choice of words shows that you do not understand the first thing about middle knowledge.

                    ... He knows how they WILL react - meaning He is already aware of what the outcome of the choice will be. And through that foreknowledge, He actuates the world that corresponds with the conditions that will exist in the outcome of that choice.
                    You are simply misusing language. WILL refers to something that DOES happen. This is referring to the reality that exists (ie the reality that God DID create).

                    WOULD is referring to the potential realities that God COULD HAVE created, but decided not to create. You cannot say that these realities WILL happen, if God never created them in the first place. Here is what you said in the previous post:

                    Originally posted by Bill the Cat
                    For what you are wrongly claiming, it would be like God is Burger King, and knows that you would only order a hamburger, so there was never anything called a chicken sandwich even possible. That is how you are trying to explain ex nihilo.
                    Talking to you is like talking to a brick. You just completely reversed what I have been explaining this entire time. That is exactly the OPPOSITE of how I have been explaining Ex Nihilo. You correctly describe what I have been explaining all along HERE:

                    Originally posted by Bill the Cat
                    The correct view is that there are multiple possible realities, one where there are only hamburgers, one where there are only chicken sandwiches, and one with both. All three are logically potential creations, but because God has exhaustive foreknowledge, He already knows which one you will choose, and therefore, actuates the only reality with the choice you made. The other realities still exist in God's mind as potential, but unactuated, realities.
                    Right. That is why in my video presentation, I show the different number combinations as being different "potential, but unactuated realities". Which is exactly what you said here.

                    Originally posted by Bill the Cat
                    And those who He "decides" not to place never existed in the first place.
                    Correct.

                    Originally posted by Bill the Cat
                    His foreknowledge is perfect and complete. He knows the beginning from the end. If He foreknows something, it will exist just as He has foreknown it. He does not make it happen, but He knows exactly how it will happen.
                    I myself will not speculate on the nature of God's foreknowledge, however, I do recognize that this is how you understand it. And it does not help your position in the slightest. In fact, it only makes matters worse for your dogma from a philosophical perspective.

                    7UP: ...and therefore, by deciding which individuals to make real, determined which "reactions" by those individuals would become reality.

                    Originally posted by Bill the Cat
                    Again, this assumes that there are potential beings He foreknows, and then subsequently decides not to create, making them not foreknown, yet they were foreknown. It's a logical contradiction that you simply refuse to grasp.
                    It is not a logical contradiction for God to know which potential realities COULD exist, and what WOULD occur IF God would have created that potential reality. You yourself argued for the concept above.

                    Make up your mind Bill. I will discuss Mark Hausam's quote in my next post.

                    -7up

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Um, 7up, did you miss Sparko's warning about the huge Hausam quotes? http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...ll=1#post67951

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seven7up View Post
                        First, let's address "middle knowledge".

                        7UP: God is creating not only every person and everything about that person from nothing, but God also engineers the environment in which that person will enter.

                        In the video presentation, I gave examples of different 6 sided cubes. Let's say that I take one die and it rolls as follows:

                        2,4,2,5,1

                        However, let's say that the cube was rolled on a surface made of wood. If it were rolled on a rubber surface, that very same cube would have rolled:

                        5,6,1,3,2

                        on a glass surface , 3,4,2,5,1 on the moon (with less gravity) perhaps it would roll 1,2,1,4,3

                        The point is that with "middle knowledge", God would know how an individual cube would roll in any kind of environment.
                        Partially correct. He would also know which environment it would actually be rolled on, and the others would be mere counterfactuals that did not exist as anything more than possibilities. He would create the world where the actual combination will happen. But, again, the "middle knowledge" is not forcing the dice roll to be a certain thing God determines by creating an environment where there is no other possibility. That's where Hausam goes horribly awry.

                        And guess what? Pointing out the idea of God having "middle knowledge" does not help you in the slightest in your argument against me. Sorry Bill.
                        It makes everything work. So, trying to handwave it away because you just don't understand it doesn't work on me. Sorry 7.



                        I agree with your claim that, in creation ex nihilo, God both creates the creatures out of nothing as well as the environment in which that creature is placed to react in. This is one of the reasons why God is determining all outcomes according to your theology.
                        No He isn't. This statement alone shows you have no clue how God's foreknowledge and middle knowledge work. By determining the outcome instead of simply knowing the outcome in advance and creating the world where that outcome comes to pass, that contradicts my theology. So, this is a straw man you are building.

                        7UP: Furthermore, with middle knowledge, God would know how each person that God may want to create from God's mind would react
                        ...I chose my words correctly Bill....God knows how each person WOULD react, in each of the "potential realities".




                        You are simply misusing language. WILL refers to something that DOES happen. This is referring to the reality that exists (ie the reality that God DID create).
                        Exactly. He knew it WILL happen exactly the way it does. Knowing what someone WOULD do in a situation is not the same as knowing what they WILL do. The first is only predictive knowledge while the other is exhaustive knowledge.

                        WOULD is referring to the potential realities that God COULD HAVE created, but decided not to create.
                        Wrong. Those are the "would not", since they were not created.

                        You cannot say that these realities WILL happen, if God never created them in the first place.
                        Exactly my point. When God knows what we WILL do, He creates exactly based on that knowledge.

                        Here is what you said in the previous post:



                        Talking to you is like talking to a brick.
                        That's funny coming from the strawman king who can't even get the basics of my theology correct.

                        You just completely reversed what I have been explaining this entire time. That is exactly the OPPOSITE of how I have been explaining Ex Nihilo.
                        That's how Hausam is explaining it. Which is why he is absolutely wrong on Ex Nihilo leading directly to determinism. Thank you for that admission. Now, will you stop using his bass ackwards explanation?

                        You correctly describe what I have been explaining all along HERE:



                        Right. That is why in my video presentation, I show the different number combinations as being different "potential, but unactuated realities". Which is exactly what you said here.
                        And that part, you have at least grasped. That there are possibilities that are not created. Where you fail horribly to understand from the Arminian views of free will and ex nihilo is WHY they are not created.


                        Correct.
                        Ergo Ex Nihilo and free will are compatable.



                        I myself will not speculate on the nature of God's foreknowledge, however, I do recognize that this is how you understand it. And it does not help your position in the slightest. In fact, it only makes matters worse for your dogma from a philosophical perspective.
                        Au contraire. It fits hand in glove.

                        7UP: ...and therefore, by deciding which individuals to make real, determined which "reactions" by those individuals would become reality.



                        It is not a logical contradiction for God to know which potential realities COULD exist, and what WOULD occur IF God would have created that potential reality. You yourself argued for the concept above.
                        It is a logical contradiction for God to create a different reality than the one He foreknew would be the actual reality. I'll give you a quick example. God perfectly knows that next Monday, I will visit the vending machine and select a candy bar. Now, God knows that I am a diabetic, and the candy bar is not the best choice I can make. But because He already perfectly knows that I will choose that candy bar, He will not actuate a world where I choose the protein packed cashews. Doing so would violate His exhaustive perfect foreknowledge and my free will choice. There is a POSSIBLE world where I will choose the cashews, but not an actual one, therefore, I will freely choose the candy bar, and God will actuate that world based on His knowledge of what my choice will be. For me, right now, that world does not exist. For God, it does in His mind.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Hausam is wrong. I don't know why you keep bringing him into this discussion. But because I am a glutton for laughs, I'll respond to him too...
                          Hausam: "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."

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Asserted. And I disagree.
                          He didn't just assert it. He goes into detail as to exactly why this is the case.

                          Hausam: In fact, creation ex nihilo logically leads directly to Calvinistic determinism.

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Only if middle knowledge is left completely out of the picture. However, when, as Hausam does, one treats creation as a giant wind-up toy, then it can lead there.
                          Middle knowledge does not help your case in the slightest. Furthermore, Calvinistic determinism is the result even if you consider God as creating individual spirits ex nihilo at conception.

                          Hausam: So, there is a conflict between ex nihilo creation and some of the central features of the Arminian universe.

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          There is no "first causal" when it comes to foreknowledge. It simply "is". Nothing can exist that God did not foreknow would exist, and He causes them to exist based on His foreknowledge of their existence, not His determining of their outcomes.

                          ... They are an action of God in that He actuates the reality that corresponds with it. Without God actuating that reality, it would not exist. Therefore, it can not be said to be "first" causal, since it existed as foreknowledge in God's mind before God created.
                          ...
                          But it does not explain foreknowledge of the outcome. God did not create and then PREDICT the outcome, He created BECAUSE of the outcome.
                          Your arguments here make no sense. Really you are just trying to weasel out of the problem. It appears that you are now trying to argue that God is forced to created what he creates, because God foreknew the creatures of creation and their outcomes, and by foreknowing something, God must actuate what He foreknew in his own mind. In other words, you appear to be arguing here that God is limited by God's own foreknowledge. Also, it looks like you are now denying what you said earlier about God knowing possible outcomes of worlds and creatures that He did not decide to actuate.

                          It is like me deciding to build a car, and I have no choice but to build the very first concept that comes to my mind, whether it is a good concept or not.

                          7up: First, as alluded to in the introduction of this post, I start out with the idea that even IF, choices were entirely random (like random dice) and had nothing to do at all with our created characteristics (or nothing to do with who or what God created us to be), God still determines outcomes by deciding which random cubes would exist, and which would not, .... thus simply by that creation, would determine which "choices" would be made. However, as you already admitted yourself, choices are not simply random.

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          And I've already refuted that part. God does not determine the outcomes by choosing which cubes would exist.
                          Because now your refutation seems to be that God MUST create the cube that God foreknew that He would create. Here you assert that God has no choice in the matter.

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          If the roll is a 6, it is because God both 1) knew the roll would be a 6 before it was ever rolled, and 2) Knew that the roll would not be a 1-5 before it was ever rolled. So, God creates the reality where the 6 is rolled, but DOES NOT ROLL IT HIMSELF, and does not create the one where a 1-5 was rolled. And He did so, not because He desired (or forced) the 6 to be rolled, but because He knew the 6 would be rolled.
                          And why does God not have the option of creating an entirely different cube, which would roll 1-5? What forces or limits God to create the cube that rolls a 6?

                          Is the idea that God's own foreknowledge causes God to create what He creates your final answer on this?

                          Hausam: If our choices are undetermined by God and first-causal by nature, they therefore cannot be effects of God’s creative activity.

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Well, it's a good thing that they aren't "first causal". They existed in God's mind as foreknowledge, and He caused based on His foreknowledge.
                          God's foreknowledge is the cause. This is quite a circular argument that you have developed. And we have not even gotten to the second, and more powerful part of the problem for you.

                          Hausam: They cannot be explained by it or traced back to it.

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          This again is wrong.
                          If God didn't create the creature, then the choices that creature makes would never be made to begin with.

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          They are wholly self-existent or self-originated.
                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Nope. They can not exist without God.
                          You are arguing out of both sides of your mouth again. Is it God's foreknowledge that determines whether or not the creature's actions become actualized (God's foreknowledge is the first cause), or are the creature's actions "first causal" by nature and God foreknows those actions?

                          Hausam: 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.

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Yes He can. It's because He is not confined to linear time experience..
                          It doesn't matter if it is linear or not. Is God's choice the cause OR is the creature's choice the cause? Which are you going to argue now?

                          -7up

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            7UP: So, on to the next part. Second, I argue that God has power over outcomes by designing every single aspect of who and what we are, as Hausam explains above, "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."

                            Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                            This would make it literally impossible to act contrary to our natures, yet we can do so.
                            Do you expect God to act contrary to God's nature?

                            For starters, what is our nature? When a child is born in this world, what is the nature of that child. Is the child rational? Why not? When God created Adam and Eve, where did they get their motivations, desires, loves, values, priorities, beliefs, etc., that constitute who they are, that make up the real essence of Adam and Eve's actual being. Where did all of that come from? If Adam and Eve were rational , why did they make such an obvious blunder with such immense consequences?

                            7up: The reason I presented the arguments on these two levels, is because first people try, as you did, to say that choices are not simply random. Right. Because they are determined by who and what we are. On the other hand, if you try to go the other way, and try to claim that God does not create our motivations, desires, loves, values, priorities, etc., then you also have no recourse in your argumentation.

                            Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                            Sure I do. The two levels of your argument rest on your dismissing of God perfectly knowing NOW what WILL happen, and through HIS foreknowledge of those events, actuates reality to conform to that foreknowledge, which exists in Him alone.
                            I dismiss your circular argumentation, which does not address the issue at all. You are trying to have it both ways.

                            Is the creature's choice the reason for the choice being made? (Hausam calls this "first causal by nature") OR is God as creator the first cause?

                            7up: Like I said Bill. You have nothing. You are too dense to realize it.

                            Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                            No, 7. It's you who has nothing. That's why you have had to use other peoples' arguments.
                            I found Hausam's article AFTER I created the videos. If I had found it before, I would have quoted him along with all of the other scholars I quoted in the video series. In fact, now that I have his explanation, I plan on creating another video which includes his perspective and terminology.

                            7UP: Before the Forum crashed last year, at least Apologia Phoenix had the logic and sense to say from the get go that Ex Nihilo was not an essential aspect of his theology. That was smart of him to allow himself an out, unlike you.

                            Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                            It's not essential to mine either. I just believe it is the most logically defensible.
                            It is not working for you. You are just contradicting yourself.

                            Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                            Perhaps you should deflate that over inflated ego of yours.
                            Like I said, ego and intelligence don't have anything to do with it, other than your pride refusing to accept the obvious. The smartest person in the world couldn't defend your position. It is indefensible.

                            -7up

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seven7up View Post
                              Hausam: "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."



                              He didn't just assert it. He goes into detail as to exactly why this is the case.

                              No. He details why he THINKS that it is the case. And he misses. Horribly so.

                              Hausam: In fact, creation ex nihilo logically leads directly to Calvinistic determinism.



                              Middle knowledge does not help your case in the slightest.
                              Middle knowledge IS my case. Sheesh!

                              Furthermore, Calvinistic determinism is the result even if you consider God as creating individual spirits ex nihilo at conception.
                              No it isn't.


                              Hausam: So, there is a conflict between ex nihilo creation and some of the central features of the Arminian universe.



                              Your arguments here make no sense.
                              Yes it does. It makes perfect sense. You even go on to describe it (while disagreeing)

                              Really you are just trying to weasel out of the problem.
                              Um, no. It is a central tenet of the Arminian system that God has foreknowledge of the free will choices of the moral agent. How is a central belief a "weaseling out"?

                              It appears that you are now trying to argue that God is forced to created what he creates, because God foreknew the creatures of creation and their outcomes, and by foreknowing something, God must actuate what He foreknew in his own mind.




                              In other words, you appear to be arguing here that God is limited by God's own foreknowledge.
                              Correct!! As I said, since He foreknows it, it comes to pass. If it does not come to pass, He did not foreknow it as an actuality, only a potential.

                              Also, it looks like you are now denying what you said earlier about God knowing possible outcomes of worlds and creatures that He did not decide to actuate.
                              Nope. A possible world is not an actuated world. Only the world God foreknew will exist is actuated.

                              It is like me deciding to build a car, and I have no choice but to build the very first concept that comes to my mind, whether it is a good concept or not.
                              That's right. Except this car isn't just a hunk of impersonal metal, but an alive and breathing entity with the ability to choose. Some things are possible to choose (like whether to drive or park) while others are not (like whether to actually be a house plant). And within those possibilities, you know in advance what the car will do, so you create it based on that knowledge.

                              7up: First, as alluded to in the introduction of this post, I start out with the idea that even IF, choices were entirely random (like random dice) and had nothing to do at all with our created characteristics (or nothing to do with who or what God created us to be), God still determines outcomes by deciding which random cubes would exist, and which would not, .... thus simply by that creation, would determine which "choices" would be made. However, as you already admitted yourself, choices are not simply random.



                              Because now your refutation seems to be that God MUST create the cube that God foreknew that He would create. Here you assert that God has no choice in the matter.
                              For Him to choose otherwise would violate the cube's free will, and would change what God foreknew. That has been my argument all along, even in the old TWeb debate. It's just obviously taken you this long to get it.

                              Do you think God can create a cube that He has absolutely no idea what it will roll within an ex nihilo framework?


                              And why does God not have the option of creating an entirely different cube, which would roll 1-5? What forces or limits God to create the cube that rolls a 6?
                              Perfect knowledge of the outcome. It's not possible for God to create something He knows will not exist, potentially possible or not. He can't create a world where the possible roll of a 3 is real, nor can He create a world where an impossible 7 is rolled. He must create what He foreknows will be the real world.

                              Is the idea that God's own foreknowledge causes God to create what He creates your final answer on this?
                              Yes. It was my first answer too.

                              Hausam: If our choices are undetermined by God and first-causal by nature, they therefore cannot be effects of God’s creative activity.



                              God's foreknowledge is the cause. This is quite a circular argument that you have developed.
                              And it is logically sound. Any deviation from that violates another portion of God's attributes.

                              And we have not even gotten to the second, and more powerful part of the problem for you.
                              There is no problem here that God's perfect foreknowledge can't answer.

                              Hausam: They cannot be explained by it or traced back to it.



                              If God didn't create the creature, then the choices that creature makes would never be made to begin with.
                              And there would have never been foreknowledge of those choices, and therefore the creature would not have really existed in God's mind as anything other than a potential.


                              You are arguing out of both sides of your mouth again.
                              No I am not. It is perfectly consistent. You simply can't refute it because you have to steal arguments from elsewhere.

                              Is it God's foreknowledge that determines whether or not the creature's actions become actualized (God's foreknowledge is the first cause), or are the creature's actions "first causal" by nature and God foreknows those actions?
                              They exist simultaneously in God's mind, not in a "first and then" relationship.

                              Hausam: 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.



                              It doesn't matter if it is linear or not.
                              It matters absolutely!

                              Is God's choice the cause OR is the creature's choice the cause?
                              You worded it wrong. It is God's foreknowledge of the creature's choice. And they both are the cause, together, as both exist simultaneously in God's mind. God is the source of its creation while the presently known future choice of the agent is the direction it is created in.

                              Would you PLEASE stop splitting up my posts? If you do it again, I am going to report you for back to back posts!

                              Originally posted by seven7up View Post
                              7UP: So, on to the next part. Second, I argue that God has power over outcomes by designing every single aspect of who and what we are, as Hausam explains above, "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."



                              Do you expect God to act contrary to God's nature?
                              Of course not. But we are not God. His nature is pure and consistent. Ours is impure and consistent.

                              For starters, what is our nature?
                              Sinful. Unable to do good. Do you need the Bible verses that say that?

                              When a child is born in this world, what is the nature of that child.
                              Sinful, but innocent.

                              Is the child rational?
                              No. That part of the brain doesn't fully develop until we reach about 23.

                              Why not? When God created Adam and Eve, where did they get their motivations, desires, loves, values, priorities, beliefs, etc., that constitute who they are, that make up the real essence of Adam and Eve's actual being.
                              God.

                              Where did all of that come from?
                              From His foreknowledge.

                              If Adam and Eve were rational , why did they make such an obvious blunder with such immense consequences?
                              Because they listened to the serpent. I do not fathom to question why they did that, since scripture does not say why.

                              7up: The reason I presented the arguments on these two levels, is because first people try, as you did, to say that choices are not simply random. Right. Because they are determined by who and what we are. On the other hand, if you try to go the other way, and try to claim that God does not create our motivations, desires, loves, values, priorities, etc., then you also have no recourse in your argumentation.



                              I dismiss your circular argumentation, which does not address the issue at all. You are trying to have it both ways.
                              It addresses it just fine. You can dismiss it all you like, but you can't refute it. And I think that pisses you off to no ends knowing that you can't refute what I've explained. It works, and it works well within my system. It is consistent and logical.

                              Is the creature's choice the reason for the choice being made? (Hausam calls this "first causal by nature") OR is God as creator the first cause?

                              7up: Like I said Bill. You have nothing. You are too dense to realize it.
                              I have a logically coherent argument that neither you or Hausam can dent. And your incompetence has been put on display by it, so you whine and humorously run off claiming victory. It's a pathetic ploy.


                              I found Hausam's article AFTER I created the videos. If I had found it before, I would have quoted him along with all of the other scholars I quoted in the video series. In fact, now that I have his explanation, I plan on creating another video which includes his perspective and terminology.
                              Are you going to set the video's score to "If I only had a brain"?



                              7UP: Before the Forum crashed last year, at least Apologia Phoenix had the logic and sense to say from the get go that Ex Nihilo was not an essential aspect of his theology. That was smart of him to allow himself an out, unlike you.



                              It is not working for you. You are just contradicting yourself.
                              No I am not. I am logically consistent, and you can't stand it or refute it.


                              Like I said, ego and intelligence don't have anything to do with it, other than your pride refusing to accept the obvious.
                              You have an ego the size of Saturn! And it is on display here like you were competing for a Tony award...

                              The smartest person in the world couldn't defendat your position.
                              -7up
                              FIFY N/C
                              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

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