Stinky Piles of Rhetoric and Flawed Principles

This is a response that spans two articles and three people. I am making an article out of my responses because they are avoiding answering my questions and I'm hoping that I can get some feedback from others. Their comments are bold and italicized. I have referenced the articles at the end so anyone interested can follow the context.

In a nutshell I am challenging the principle of the original sin, the human sacrifice which depends on the principle of original sin and I am challenging the principle of the the problem of evil as a test and I am asserting that Christians have no concept about what properties an all powerful, all knowing, all good god should have. They have no concept of the infinite. Infinity has a lot of problems with paradoxes and if you look, you see that God has inherited those same problems.

david,
For you example, if you were to sacrifice your son so that others may live, I don't think anyone would call you terrible. The fact is, the sacrifice of your son cannot save anyone. The substitution of names in this case flawed.
It might be flawed, but it depends on your answer to this question (and honestly I don't think I would kill my son to save the world, or even a bus load of people).

What would you think of me if I crucified myself because I was punishing myself for a rule I made up? Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

If it sounds crazy then I would be killing son for nothing right? God could have changed the rules, he did it with the new covenant, he could have thought that human sacrifice was justifiably abhorrent and decided to handle it a different way. I would have.

Human sacrifice, killing yourself because of a rule you made, claiming to be a human, a son and a god all in one body, It is insane.

How do you know that jesus was really his son? mary's word? If jesus was an immaculate conception why didn't mark mention it?

God gave you a brain right? use it! why is it that these principles that supposedly came from a god seem so flawed? The principles don't translate into the real world. Why is that? Its what the bible tells us! Where did the bible come from, why does it say this?

Do your home work. Do some serious bible study. Look for the original texts. Study the history of the near east from the last ice age on, they call it the agricultural revolution.

get busy!

drsimrak
In regards to suffering, I would say that there is something that is to be gained in suffering. Once again, I come to my own lack of understanding, Why suffering? I don't know and the more I think about it, the more I realize that isn't the point.
You have not considered what an all powerful, all good, all knowing god should be able to do.
God should be able to do anything. In a breath, he could have spoken all christians into existence with their varying traits exactly as they would have turned out with without all the needless suffering. If he were really a loving god he should have made it so we could avoid the suffering and he could have avoided the 'pain' of having to sit on the sidelines and watch and just instilled the alleged virtues that result from suffering. This would not make us robots because the result is the same, only the process is removed. He could make them like he needs them. And I dispute that suffering makes us better than not suffering. That stands to be shown through something other than anecdotal evidence. In fact, I can show you that stress causes damage in people at the molecular level and causes the onset of depression and other harsher mental disorders. Just keep your eye out, you'll see me posting things about the brain, mind and behavior.

The point is that the world around us is collapsing and falling apart. The world around us bears witness that it is in need of a savior. All of mankind is dying and God has provided himself as our Savior in Jesus Christ. How ridiculous would it be if a drowning man to chose not to accept help from someone because he didn't like the shirt the rescuer was wearing.
This is completely subjective and as prup answered you, completely one sided and it avoids several qualifiers that make that untrue. The most you can say is that there are good things and bad things, and while we are evidenlty suffering from global warming due our screw ups, we can have a better quality of life, relatively disease free, to enjoy it with. (irony, i put that in there because some people have a hard time picking it up)

It's a question of faith and a matter of the heart. After all, it is with the heart that man believes unto salvation not with the mind. The true question is, do you need saving? If you think your fine or that you don't need or want the help of a God you view as cruel then so be it. But that doesn't change reality.
People believe with thier heart and not with their mind? What level of school did you make it through? Your self is a result of molecular electrochemical interactions in that chunk of meat in your skull and a good neurosurgeon could go in there and make you have a religious experience and think that god was in the room behind you as well making you think you had two arms on one side. You need to get a grip on reality. What is it about me that needs saving? I say that most people are good people, its just that minority percentage that ruins it for the rest of us!


What is to be known of God is made manifest in creation. But man chooses to deny that power. It's because of the hardness of men's hearts that they are given over to their own desires. If we want salvation we can have it, the choice is ours.
This is one of those piles of rhetoric that you guys leave behind every now an then. Theres no response to it because it so totally ignores reality. Once again lets all say it together, "it does not follow that because there is a world, there is a god that created it and that God is the christian God."
And there's that heart again, my heart is fine, no attacks yet. My mind is fine too, my morals and attitudes seem to be fine as I have a lot of friends that seem to like me as I'm sure is the case with most non-christians. Look, behaviour is not totally a matter of free-will, there are biological reasons for behaviour, and since that is the case your degree of free-will is limited, whether you want to belive it with your heart or not. I suggest thinking about it in your mind a little more. Thats what its best at.


Questioning what you believe and why is a good thing. Questioning to prove that you too can be like God is foolishness. The question is, who is God? Will we exalt ourselves as gods or will we humble ourselves and submit to the one true and living God even though we don't always understand?
Before you go submitting to something you better make sure it exists, because if everybody did that, that would be a lot of wasted resources with regards to labor that could go to making the world a better place. And no one is saying anything about wanting to be like god or be god, so you can just toss that stinky red herring out of here!

david,
Pain and evil are just part of the fabric, Christian or Atheist. But it is not right to say God is unjust if He Himself suffered.

rich,
People overcome great odds all the time. Why should it be easy? Why should we be handed something we didn't work for? Everyone would like it to be easier, even Christ in the gardin asked that the cup pass over him. He knew it couldn't be and he went through with it even though he asked not to, and he left it up to the Fathers will. A little less suffereing would sure be nice, making it easier to do what is right would be nice, but neither are our reality, so we accept it and do our best, that's all were asked.

With this kind of attitude there is never going to be resolution to pain and suffering because you are just giving to god, but you are not thinking that even if you do, it all happens in gods time right? So stop praying cause he already knows what you want and get off your butt and do something about the 'terrible world' you live in. Go volunteer at assisted living facilities, hospitals, homeless shelters, donate money to the organizations that handle disasters, volunteer at schools, go pick up trash on the side of the road. If you are already doing those things BRAVO, I take my hat off to you.


REFERENCES
Five Big Rocks

Schizophrenia Candidate Genes Affect Even Healthy Individuals

22 comments:

rebecca said...

God so loved the world he gave up his only son... But, of course, he didn't did he? Assuming the reality of the story there was no great sacrifice. Where is Jesus now? Why at the right hand of the father. A sacrifice means giving something up forever.

An eternal god has a son who lives among us mortals for a mere 33 years and then has a relatively short period of pain and then a death. Three days later this son is right back with his dad/himself. What kind of sacrifice is that? Especially for an eternal god for whom 33 years is less than the blink of an eye.

You said "Sounds crazy doesn’t it?" Your point was well made. There are so many crazy ideas like this within Christianity's story that once you start thinking, really thinking they just pop up everywhere. Good job on the answers.

DRSimrak said...

Lee,

I'm going to build my statements slowly and easily so that there isn't any trouble understanding.

"I am making an article out of my responses because they are avoiding answering my questions and I'm hoping that I can get some feedback from others."

That's what you said. Then you proceeded to take the answers that were given and come up with new questions. If you are not satisfied with the answers that are given then please say so and we can move forward, but it's rubbish to claim that no answer was given. If we are debating or even discussing a topic that is the respect that needs to be given.

"You have not considered what an all powerful, all good, all knowing god should be able to do. God should be able to do anything."

You should think through your statements first. God did do what he wanted. Just because he didn't do things your way doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

"This is completely subjective and as prup answered you, completely one sided and it avoids several qualifiers that make that untrue."

I responded to prup and am still waiting for a response. However I guess when creating a straw man it's best not to include incriminating evidence.

"People believe with their heart and not with their mind? What level of school did you make it through?"

I corrected your misspelling of "their" but other than that here is another of your quotes. For those reading through, we are now resorting to condescending comments made out of ignorance. The quote was a paraphrase taken from Romans 10:10.

In regards to the electrochemical reactions and such, there's a lot that people still don't know and to relegate us to chemical reactions is short sided modernist thought at best. CS Lewis talks about that idea in his book "The Abolition of Man." But for simplicity's sake, I know that I am not my emotions. I also know that I am not my body. Who I am is not found in how I dress or what car I drive. There is a deeper aspect to man that science is still digging to understand.

You state that you don't think you need saving? Ok, I'm okay with that. Could you define good in absolute terms?

"This is one of those piles of rhetoric that you guys leave behind every now an then. Theres no response to it because it so totally ignores reality."

Reality is as follows from a scientific standpoint the "stuff" that the universe came from had to come from somewhere. Scientifically speaking the odds that amino acids would turn into proteins and then into life are so incredibly slim that they are considered an impossibility. That is the reality with which we are faced. Also, to say "it's not impossible because it happened" is the most unscientific of answers.

"Before you go submitting to something you better make sure it exists"

I'm absolutely positive that God exists and that He is all loving and all powerful and all knowing. I never said that someone should submit blindly, but that they should work it out and understand why.


There was more that I was going to respond to, but I'm done. There's no point. If you were interested in an honest discussion searching for truth, then I would stay. However, you make a lot of bold ignorant statements that are devoid of fact just as you claim that I do. One of which is that by believing in God I'm not helping make the world a better place. You don't know me or what I do.

True Christianity does not ignore the reality that people are in despair all around the world. I suppose however that it would be all to inconvenient to notice the things that were actually done in the name of Christ when it's so easy to accept the things that people claimed were in his name but were not.

When you resume your search for truth, I do pray to God that you find it. I would love to worship God beside you in heaven.

Joseph said...

drsimrak, I don't want to answer for Lee, since your comments are directed at him. However, I can't help but respond to one of your last statements. You said, "When you resume your search for truth, I do pray to God that you find it." This was one of my favorite invitations at the end of a sermon. By challenging people to seek truth, what I really meant is for them to open their minds to Christian dogma. I wasn't asking them to be critical in thinking and go where the facts led them. There was an underlying assumption on my part that I had found the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There was no truth outside of my truth...or so I thought.

Now, are you presuming that Christians have a corner on truth? How do you know that Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life? Do you really believe that the atheist's/agnostic's search for truth will lead us directly to your way of thinking, complete with the understanding of the Bible as being God's Word and then to the evangelical interpretation of the Scriptures? Finally, are YOU still seeking truth or do you feel that you have arrived at it already?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Drsimrak,
the quesition that you didn't answer and you are avoiding is
"if you had the ability to instantly make people with all the properties they would wind up with if they suffered through eighty years of life, would you do it?"

take a stand, which is the better principle, to make people go through the test on earth or to just avoid the needless suffering and make them like they would eventually turn out.

this is the question you are avoiding.

Nightmare said...

There was more that I was going to respond to, but I'm done. There's no point. If you were interested in an honest discussion searching for truth, then I would stay.

Translation: "You won't bow down and submit to my dogmatic rhetoric, so I don't wanna play." How very typical. I find very often that what Christians mean by "having an honest discussion searching for the truth" is in fact nothing of the sort, but rather Christianese code for "shut up skeptic and play my game".

David said...

"I'm hoping that I can get some feedback from others"

I thought that meant DRSimrak, rich, and me were off the hook this time.

Rebecca, "An eternal god has a son who lives among us mortals for a mere 33 years and then has a relatively short period of pain and then a death."

Exactly what kind of time period or degree of suffering would satisfy you? Drowning takes only moments, does that make it just a little easier?

"no great sacrifice"

Really? Maybe you should give it a try. Start with false accusations and insults and keep working your way to the cross from there.

Shygetz said...

There is a deeper aspect to man that science is still digging to understand.

And what, exactly, is that? C.S. Lewis had the excuse of not having our modern neuroscience to reference. What is your excuse?

Reality is as follows from a scientific standpoint the "stuff" that the universe came from had to come from somewhere.

Science says no such thing. Study quantum mechanics, learn about virtual particles, then come back and talk to me.

Scientifically speaking the odds that amino acids would turn into proteins and then into life are so incredibly slim that they are considered an impossibility.

Which is why no scientist claims such a thing. Learn about evolution, then come can talk to me.

Also, to say "it's not impossible because it happened" is the most unscientific of answers.

Third strike, you're out. Shuffle ten decks of cards with different backs together. Now, note them one at a time, noting if the card is upside down or rightside up, the card itself, and the original deck it came from. Now, can you guess what your odds are of getting that particular sequence? I'll give you a hint: I have no intention of typing that many digits. So, such an event is so improbable that it could safely be conisdered impossible. And yet, it happened. Unscientific? Hardly.

There is nothing shameful about ignorance, but to claim knowledge in spite of your obvious lack is truly shameful.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi David, the question you are avoiding is:
"What would you think of me if I crucified myself because I was punishing myself for a rule I made up?"

If rebecca acutally tried it, accepted your challenge, what would you think of her?

David said...

Ok, I'm in.

Evil was not part of the original creation, it was the product of free will. Satan and Adam both had free will (not so sure about us). Adam chooses disobedience and sin enters the world. Sin is death which is separation from God.

The only way back to God is by sacrifice. God is just, the payment must be made. God is also merciful. So God gives himself justice, while giving us mercy by the sacrifice of himself on the cross having become human.

Justice is served. Mercy is extended. God is found to be benevolent by his willingness to suffer with creation.

It was not a rule He made up, it was the consequence of free will for Adam.

And rebecca's comment is still silly.

Shygetz said...

david said: Evil was not part of the original creation, it was the product of free will.

Free will was part of the original creation
Evil was an inevitable consequence of free will.
Therefore, evil was an inevitable consequence of the original creation. To say otherwise is to say that God cannot see the future.

This is a question I ask in pure ignorance, and I do not want to derail the discussion--does it say anywhere in the Bible that God can see the future? If so, please give me the verse.

The only way back to God is by sacrifice. God is just, the payment must be made.

No, sacrifice is the way God chooses. Remember, He is omnipotent. He set up the rules knowing full well the consequences; he could have set them up differently. He could have declared that His justice required fruit pie. He didn't--He chose blood sacrifice.

So God gives himself justice, while giving us mercy by the sacrifice of himself on the cross having become human.

Sacrifice requires losing something; what did God lose? And again, why set up the game to where you know your beloved children will lose and many will die?

Justice is served. Mercy is extended. God is found to be benevolent by his willingness to suffer with creation.

Justice HE set up knowing full well it's price. Mercy HE made necessary by setting humans up to fail in the first place. Such are not the acts of a benevolent being.

It was not a rule He made up, it was the consequence of free will for Adam.

Who set up the rule then? I thought God was omnipotent, the Alpha and Omega, and the Lawgiver. Is there someone else who sets up the Laws for God? I mean, SOMEONE set up the rules, right? Last I read, it was God who told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, knowing full well that Adam would. So, sounds to me like God IS setting up the rules, knowing full well the consequences.

And rebecca's comment is still silly.

Yes, in the way that accurate description of silly events are still silly.

drsimrak said: I'm absolutely positive that God exists and that He is all loving and all powerful and all knowing.

Another example for akakiwibear of absolute certainty in the posession of absolute truth shutting down reasoned inquiry--how can you be so sure that you are right?

If you were interested in an honest discussion searching for truth, then I would stay. However, you make a lot of bold ignorant statements that are devoid of fact just as you claim that I do. One of which is that by believing in God I'm not helping make the world a better place.

I re-read the post to make sure--he never said that. However, I'll say it now; your belief in God itself does nothing to make the world a better place. While it may motivate you to do things that are good (or bad), the belief itself is ineffectual outside your own head. If you disagree, then let's test it. You take your faith and a shovel and I'll just take a shovel, and we'll see who moves the mountain faster.

True Christianity does not ignore the reality that people are in despair all around the world.

True Atheists are all witty, birlliant, kind to small children, and stunningly attractive. Therefore, atheists are the best group by far to belong to.

Wow, that's a nice trick. I may have to steal it. Oh, wait, looks like the damn Scots beat me to it.

There was more that I was going to respond to, but I'm done. There's no point. If you were interested in an honest discussion searching for truth, then I would stay.

You know, drsimrak, you could have gotten the same content across and saved a lot of typing by just writing "If you won't let me win, I'm taking my ball and going home!"

Lee Randolph said...

Hi David,
Glad you're in. Shygetz said what I wanted to say,
thank you shygetz for an elegant reply,
and I would add to that two things.
I'll nit pick a little and play 'where's waldo' with evil in the garden of eden picture and point out that there were two more instances of evil in the garden prior to adams disobedience. The snake and the idea in the snakes head.
But who's counting, right?

So anyway,
"What would you think of me if I crucified myself because I was punishing myself for a rule I made up?"

Lee Randolph said...

Hi drsimrak,
I have more time now so I'll respond to one of your comments.

The quote was a paraphrase taken from Romans 10:10.
I know, the point was that you should know better. You should think for yourself rather than parrot text that is outdated by thousands of years.

Which is the better principle, to make people go through the test on earth or to just avoid the needless suffering and make them like they would eventually turn out.

David said...

Lee & Shygetz,

"Evil was an inevitable consequence of free will. Therefore, evil was an inevitable consequence of the original creation."

I think that is true but there is a very important distinction between created and inevitable consequence. Man had a choice between right and wrong with wrong carrying a consequence. So the inevitable consequence of evil was easy to see coming, but it was necessary for free will. For God to ignore the consequence (change his rule as you say), he would remove free will itself. No consequence, no free will. I don't see how you can have it both ways.

"Mercy HE made necessary by setting humans up to fail in the first place."

I don't agree with that conclusion. I don't see how he set them up to fail. Unless they only had choice by exercising the choice which is a logical disconnnect.

"there were two more instances of evil in the garden prior to adams disobedience."

I see an evil satan, who had free will and chose disobedience, and i see tempation. I don't see that satan could cause any harm to the garden or Adam or Eve.

This gets to why I though Sweet Rock's first post was so good in the 5 big rocks thread (sweet rock's second post clarified that I had misunderstood the orignal).

I say God created the box and everything in it. Maybe not evil, but evil finds it's way in the box through the avenue of free will. The Bible says that believers are predestined to be gathered unto the Lord and all people are sinners.

So my big problem becomes saying God didn't create or INTEND evil, calling into question his creative or reasoning ability...OR...he predestines only a few that seems to be in conflict with his benevolence.

It requires me to say there is some free will component to salvation for the common man to protect my assumption of benevolence. And I'm Reformed, which allows no component of free will (regarding salvation).

Maybe I'll have to become baptist.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi David,
Man had a choice between right and wrong with wrong carrying a consequence. So the inevitable consequence of evil was easy to see coming, but it was necessary for free will.
you are ignoring two important facts. Stipulating that god exists. God created the architecture of the brain. The brain is not an optimum thinking machine. For making moral decisions that are so ultimately important, it is a poor mechanism. Secondly assuming there really were an adam and eve (which is utterly unfounded and contradicted by evidence) they did not have enough information to make an informed decision, and had they known the extent of the consequences I don't think they would have done it. Put yourself in that story, how would you have reacted if you were adam and didn't know anything about the consequences. How many times have you disobeyed your parents? Your boss? Your spouse? Your friend? How much did your prediction of the outcome play a part in your decision?

For God to ignore the consequence (change his rule as you say), he would remove free will itself. No consequence, no free will. I don't see how you can have it both ways.
I challenge the premise that this depends on. I don't think mankind was made with a mechanism suited to the task of making moral decisions that have such horrible consequences. Research supports that very well.

I don't agree with that conclusion. I don't see how he set them up to fail. Unless they only had choice by exercising the choice which is a logical disconnnect.
he set them up to fail by giving them a poor mechanism to make moral decisons with and did not give them enough information to base a decision on. You should look into addictive (cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, cocaine, etc) behavior and its neurological components. Also, think about your use of grammar. You don't think about it most of the time you just do it. thinnk about your creativity, you don't think about it, it just happens. There are sub-conscious process that go on in us that we are not aware of that shape our attitudes and behavior. Do you control your dreams? But dreaming is an important component of organizing information in your brain. Your personality depends on that, if you don't believe me, then look at someone with neurological damage. Family members, in a lot of cases, will say that they are not the same person.

I say God created the box and everything in it. Maybe not evil, but evil finds it's way in the box through the avenue of free will.
Then where did evil come from? Did god not expect it? God must have created it when he created the ability to choose. you have to choose between 'things' don't you? if there is obedience and disobedience, and disobedience is evil, then the fact that god created freewill and extended from satan to man shows that he created the options when he created 'freewill'. No choice, no options, choice, options. The options came from somewhere. If god was first and all things came from him, the options came from him too.

Your last two paragraphs threw me, I'm not sure I understand what you meant.

zilch said...

It has always boggled my mind that believers can reconcile God's omnipotence and omniscience with Man's free will. If God knows everything, He knew before the Creation that Man would fall. If God can do anything, that means He created Man deliberately in such a way that he would fall. Being deliberately created to fall, Man has no choice. Where's the free will?

A similar problem is the combination of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence. How can God be all-good, if there is evil in the world? Either you have to leave out one of these three qualities, or you have to define "benevolent" in a way that includes apparent evil. God Himself claims to have created evil in Isaiah 45:7- I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things]. I guess this is where Heaven comes in, by rendering all evil on Earth just a test.

David said...

Lee "he set them up to fail by giving them a poor mechanism to make moral decisons with and did not give them enough information to base a decision on."

I'll grant that Adam and Eve seem to lack information in the Genesis story, although the narrative is rather short at that point.

My problem with your point about a faulty neurologic capacity is that we view things from after the fall. Many of the problems you suggest would result and be evidence of the fall of man.

I struggle a little bit with the rigid predestination of the reformed faith. I was just trying to verbalize that. They (we) would say that all men were condemned by the fall, so gathering unto Himself was an act of mercy and not condemnation. I see too many warnings in the Bible to be compeletely comfortable with that. Since free will debates have spanned thousands of years, I don't expect to solve them today.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi David,
the assertion that the flawed reasoning inherent in each of us (some of which can be attributed to biological factors) is evidence for the fall doesn't follow. Especially since there is no evidence and no clue as when Adam and Eve might have popped into existence.

What does follow is that by reasoning from precedent, there is every reason to believe that our brains have always been this way or worse and no reason to believe they may have ever been better.

In case you are not familiar with reasoning from precedent, it goes like this.
To a degree, the same can be said for the sun. Reasoning from precedent, since the sun behaves in such a way that it has risen everyday in the past, we can reasonably presume that it will rise tomorrow. Since I can't think of day that the sun hasn't risen, and there is no documented case of the sun not rising every day, and the fact that there are other evidences that converge to suggest that the sun will rise again tomorrow and has never not risen, I can safely reason from precedent that it never has failed to rise.

I reason from precedent that failing any evidence to the contrary, I can reasonably presume our brains have always been this way and that any adams or eves would have had a similar brain to reason with. Add a lack of knowledge, and a general lack of life experience and that makes for a pretty unjust punishment.

What do you think of the principle of 'second chances'?

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

David: You make a very common mistake that, sadly, shows -- as have numerous surveys -- that defenders of 'Biblical inerrancy' rarely actually read the book they are defending. I would suggest you pick up your Bible and look first at Genesis 3 and then Job 1-2(and be prepared, whatever translation you use for a major shock in Job).

You say:"I see an evil satan, who had free will and chose disobedience, and i see tempation."

No. Neither Satan nor 'the Devil" (not the same) appear in the Garden of Eden story. The Bible plainly states that 'the serpent' is, in fact a serpent. This is why God curses all 'serpentkind.'

In fact, there is absolutely no demonology of any kind in the entire Old Testament. This was a later addition by Christianity.

If you want to claim that, in some way, the serpent is a metaphor, feel free, but then don't complain when we -- and most believers as well -- see the entire story as a metaphor.

Shygetz said...

How could there be a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil if evil did not exist until Adam and Eve "created" it via free will? Can you have knowledge of something that doesn't exist?

And God could have left free will-and prevented the fall. All he had to do was not put the Tree of Knowledge where Adam and Eve could get to it.

Now, I can see the argument coming a mile away: "If God had removed the tree to where Adam and Eve couldn't get it, then they really didn't have free will at all!"

If you subscribe to this definition of free will, then it is simple to demonstrate that you cannot logically believe that free will exists. I cannot fly no matter how hard I choose to. I cannot teleport no matter how hard I choose to. Nature (or God) places plenty of constraints upon our abilities; God could have placed one more upon Adam and Eve's ability and prevented the fall while maintaining as much free will as exists.

Similarly, could you say that Adam and Eve truly made a free choice? After all, God knew that they would fall, right? So, Adam and Eve could NOT choose not to eat the apple, as doing so would make God wrong (which is impossible). So, a future-omniscient God limits free will absolutely, leaving only the illusion of free will, as no one has the ability to make any choice that was not already predetermined by God.

So, do we have true freedom to choose (or not to choose), or do we have a future-omniscient God? Can't have both.

David said...

Lee "In case you are not familiar with reasoning from precedent, it goes like this."

I understand your position.

Prup " You make a very common mistake that, sadly, shows -- as have numerous surveys -- that defenders of 'Biblical inerrancy' rarely actually read the book they are defending."

Sorry to disappoint you. I thought the serpant was used by Satan. So I'll take demonology behind door #2. Revelation 20 if I am allowed a new testament reference although I generally avoid them on this site.

No doubt, the debunkers here have more Bible knowledge than I. More passionate about it too.

Shygetz "How could there be a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil if evil did not exist until Adam and Eve "created" it via free will? Can you have knowledge of something that doesn't exist?"

I thought we established it was an inevitable consequence. Would not knowledge of evil and the experience of evil due to disobedience be the same thing?

"Similarly, could you say that Adam and Eve truly made a free choice? After all, God knew that they would fall, right? "

If I find you predictable, does that limit your free will to be so?

zilch said...

David asks:

If I find you predictable, does that limit your free will to be so?

If you created me, and are omnipotent and omniscient, yes.

If I make a coin that has two heads, can the coin come up tails when I flip it? This is exactly the same case: I made the coin, and I know, because of the way I made it, that it will come up heads. Omnipotence, omniscience, and free will are logically incompatible.

Shygetz said...

I thought we established it was an inevitable consequence. Would not knowledge of evil and the experience of evil due to disobedience be the same thing?

But it was not the Tree of Knowledge of Good that would be evil to eat of. It was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. If Adam never ate from it, then it would have remained the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and yet you would argue that evil never existed, so it would be the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Something That Never Existed Which We'll Call Hmmm I Don't Know Evil.

If God created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, then God must have created Evil.

Of course, this whole thing is silly, as silly as debating how many wings do the fairies in my garden have. There was no Adam and Eve, we are not made of clay, Eve was not crafted from the rib of Adam, there was no talking snake, and there was no magic tree. The cradle of humanity was in Africa, not Mesopotamia. Mankind is SIGNIFICANTLY older than 6,000 years. The cosmos weren't created in six days, nor in either of the two orders presented in Genesis. Black people (or Ashkenazi Jews, or redheads, etc.) aren't cursed descendents of Cain. I have mounds of evidence to back all of these statements up, and you have a fairy tale.