Out of this discussion Calvindude said: That we recognize something happens according to the will of God does not in any manner mitigate against the responsibility of those involved in the action. And on the face of it, it is most certainly not illogical to hold to this:
1. Those who murder are guilty and ought to be punished.
2. God ordains that John murder Bill.
3. John is guilty of murder and ought to be punished.
God’s ordination of these events does not alter the responsibility of the actors involved. Whether you agree or disagree with this is, at this point, irrelevant. It is only a matter of simple logic here.
There is indeed a problem here, depending on what you mean by the words “ordain” and “ordination.”
If we understand these words to mean that God caused John to kill Bill in the sense that: 1) God made John desire to kill Bill (that is, there was nothing John could possibly do to resist the God-implanted desire to kill Bill), and 2) God made John kill Bill (that is, there was nothing John could possibly do to resist this God who decreed that John should kill Bill). Then God killed Bill.
How in the world is it possible to blame John for killing Bill? Under these circumstances John is blameless. If I forced John to kill Bill (that is, if I had the means and the power to do this) then I would be guilty of killing Bill. No reasonable court would think otherwise, providing there is evidence I did this. There is no dual causation here. God decrees both man’s desires and his actions, and man cannot resist.
So how in the world is it remotely possible that John can be blamed in any way shape or form for killing Bill, even though he wanted to kill Bill? Yes, he wanted to kill Bill, and he executed the evil deed. But God “caused” him to want to kill Bill in the first place, and God “caused” him to actually do the deed! To understand this in any other way is to participate in what I call Logical Gerrymandering. God is to be blamed for all of the evils in human history, period.
This Calvinistic God is not a God of love at all, by our moral standards. But it’s claimed God has transcendental standards, and we cannot presume to judge God. What possible standards could God have for claiming he’s a God of love with all of the suffering he “causes” in our world? His ways are mysterious, we’re told. He is the potter, we are the clay, we’re told. But few of his actions makes any sense coming from a purported God of love. And yet we’re told to believe, in spite of these difficulties, even though whether we believe or not is also decreed by God. We are a painting, created by God, we’re told. He puts us in our place to make a beautiful painting. In his painting he needs dark ink that serves to highlight to bright ink. Who are we to judge what he’s doing with the painting?, we’re asked.
But on this side of death we are trying to figure out whether we should believe and worship such a God. And from this side of death he isn’t a God we can respect or love at all. There are people who spend their whole lives in prison because God decreed that they should murder someone, and then God also decreed that they should be convicted of the crime. But that's not all. When they die God then sends these prisoners to hell to suffer forever because he decreed this too. Who punishes God for this? I could go on and on here about the pain and suffering God has inflicted on us as “his loving creatures,” especially the whole notion that God decrees billions of our mothers, siblings, spouses, children and friends to spend eternity in hell in a conscious torment for what they’ve done (which God also decreed). How this gives glory to God is utterly nonsensical. It utterly shames him, because it's obvious he could've likewise "ordained" that all of his creatures obeyed him and will be in heaven for eternity. But having people suffer forever in hell purportedly brings him more glory. There's only one word I can think of to describe this: BULLSHIT!
To answer that God can do whatever he wants to because he created us, merely says God has the power to do whatever he wants. He is a bully and will have his way with us regardless. He doesn’t love us. He’s just making a painting, or a jar of clay. We are just pawns.
According to Clark Pinnock, “One need not wonder why people becomes atheists when faced with such a theology. A God like that has a great deal for which to answer.” [Predestination and Free Will , ed Basinger, (IVP, 1986, p. 58).
Given the nature of this horrible Calvinistic God, and the fact that Christians disagree over almost every doctrine of theirs, what is the likelihood that the Calvinistic God actually exists versus the possibility that their exegesis of the Bible is faulty? To me it's obvious.
Of course, I go further and deny the Bible too, but one step at a time....baby steps.