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Author Topic:   Christianity and the End Times
Stile
Member
Posts: 3281
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 586 of 1581 (837059)
07-26-2018 8:55 AM
Reply to: Message 570 by Faith
07-25-2018 1:31 PM


Re: Consider Open Theism
Faith writes:

God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, which means He can't NOT be in control of everything, and everything He does is precisely calibrated as the perfect response to everything that happens.

That's exactly the point.

If God can't NOT be in control of everything... then it's impossible for anyone to ever freely (apart from God's control) choose to want to be with God simply because they (individually and totally apart from God) want to.
-Here, God misses out on an extremely powerful concept - the concept of an intelligent being deciding to love another when there is absolutely no control over them in any way to do so.

And if God could create a being that is completely apart from His own control... then He could see whether or not such a being might choose to want to be with God of their own decisions.
-Here, God can partake in the powerful concept of an intelligent being deciding to love another when there is no other control over them.
-However, here, God MUST NOT be in control of everything... otherwise the meaning of another-intelligent-being-with-no-control-over-them-choosing-to-be-with-God is lost.

I'm not saying reality is one way or the other.
I'm simply saying that reality cannot be both. And if you're claiming that God "can't NOT be in control of everything..." then you have to accept that God cannot experience the powerful meaning of having some other intelligent being choose to love Him without any control occurring over that other intelligent being.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 570 by Faith, posted 07-25-2018 1:31 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 596 by Faith, posted 07-26-2018 5:39 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4609
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 587 of 1581 (837067)
07-26-2018 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 584 by NoNukes
07-25-2018 5:32 PM


Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
NoNukes writes:

I wouldn't go so far as the Open Theism argument. I don't see the need to apply any limits to what God can do. But God appears to choose to allow humans to determine at least their earthly destiny and does not appear to pre-determine every flutter of a butterflies wing.

I recently read a very good book on this subject. The writer holds a PHD in philosophy and religious studies from McGill, (Montreal) and, as well masters degrees in humanities, social sciences from the University of Toronto and a math degree as well. He has written a book called Freedom All the Way Up in which he talks about God creating a world using randomness with enough possible outcomes that allows for a sufficiently high degree of probability that given sufficient times it would produce creatures capable of choosing agapic love.

I found his argument quite compelling.

Here is a quote from this web site.

Randomness in Creration and God's Plan for Agape Love

quote:
“The physical-chemical processes of this Creation, which employ a continuous interplay between randomness, order, and emergent complexity, do not permit total predictability, such as predicting every specific neural pathway for every type of agape-capable being that will ever emerge on every possible eco-niche in the universe. Only a system without randomness could provide such deterministic predictability, but such predictability and control is not God’s objective. Rather, God has created the physical-chemical system we experience in our universe, with its particular balance of randomness, order, emergent complexity, laws, regularities, and probabilities, because it provides just what God desires, namely, a process by which beings with neurophysiological agape-capabilities and meaning-making capabilities would emerge through convergence and multiple realizability. This process provided God with a degree of predictive resolution such that God foreknew, from God’s design of the initial conditions of the universe(s), that many possible routes could come about to provide agapic neurophysiological capabilities, and that one or more of these would actually come about (through asymptotic probability over sufficient time), without needing to predict which actual routes would come about. This is the heart of the probability component of the agape/probability account.”

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 584 by NoNukes, posted 07-25-2018 5:32 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 588 by Tangle, posted 07-26-2018 12:19 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6354
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 588 of 1581 (837071)
07-26-2018 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 587 by GDR
07-26-2018 11:26 AM


Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
GDR writes:

I recently read a very good book on this subject. The writer holds a PHD in philosophy and religious studies from McGill, (Montreal) and, as well masters degrees in humanities, social sciences from the University of Toronto and a math degree as well. He has written a book called Freedom All the Way Up in which he talks about God creating a world using randomness with enough possible outcomes that allows for a sufficiently high degree of probability that given sufficient times it would produce creatures capable of choosing agapic love.

It doesn't matter how many ologies people have, they have no more knowledge of God than you or I. Once upon a time you got literate people making wordy stuff up, these days you get sciency sounding stuff made up too. It's all of a piece; not a shred of actual evidence for any of it - just different kinds of people making stuff up to suit their worlds.

btw - we already know that there is enough randomness and time to create us, because here we are. Whether a god set it up is still an unanswered question. And whether it was *your* god is yet another.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 587 by GDR, posted 07-26-2018 11:26 AM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 589 by Phat, posted 07-26-2018 12:29 PM Tangle has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11579
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 589 of 1581 (837073)
07-26-2018 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 588 by Tangle
07-26-2018 12:19 PM


Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
There are a lot of unanswered questions, Tangle. One thing that I disagree that you predict is that religion is dying. You will find that it will never die as future problems and challenges occur. You may well argue that it is a crutch and that rationale and reason are in fact our anchors, but when times get extremely tough and the solutions get scarce people will always turn to belief.

A couple of questions for you:

  • Hypothetically if you were to entertain a theistic argument, does Open Theism sound more rational than Calvinism? Note that I say hypothetically were you to argue from a theistic perspective...I realize that you think its all bollocks.

  • Why specifically do you think that faith and belief are not at all good for people to entertain?

  • Assuming God does not exist, do you still see the threat of a possible global war/endtime scenario due to the foibles of humans themselves? What is a good course to take to avoid such a disaster?

    Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
    ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
    You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 588 by Tangle, posted 07-26-2018 12:19 PM Tangle has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 590 by Tangle, posted 07-26-2018 12:44 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
     Message 591 by ringo, posted 07-26-2018 12:56 PM Phat has responded

      
  • Tangle
    Member
    Posts: 6354
    From: UK
    Joined: 10-07-2011
    Member Rating: 2.4


    Message 590 of 1581 (837075)
    07-26-2018 12:44 PM
    Reply to: Message 589 by Phat
    07-26-2018 12:29 PM


    Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
    Phat writes:

    One thing that I disagree that you predict is that religion is dying.

    The facts, as usual are against you. Need I produce the data yet again?

    You will find that it will never die as future problems and challenges occur. You may well argue that it is a crutch and that rationale and reason are in fact our anchors, but when times get extremely tough and the solutions get scarce people will always turn to belief.

    Times are getting better Phat. And the fact that some people might turn to religion as a last resort should give you the clue that we invented it because of need, not fact.

    Hypothetically if you were to entertain a theistic argument, does Open Theism sound more rational than Calvinism?

    Calvanism is preposterous. Theism is at least internally consistent.

    Why specifically do you think that faith and belief are not at all good for people to entertain?

    It's such a waste of time and resource. I don't know what the global turnover of organised religion is but it's a collossal figure and the time you guys spend on your knees begging is enormous. Time and miney better spent doing something actually useful.

    Quite apart from people needing to growup and think for themselves, stop creating warring tribes and get in with leading useful lives.

    Assuming God does not exist, do you still see the threat of a possible global war/endtime scenario due to the foibles of humans themselves? What is a good course to take to avoid such a disaster?

    That's a confused question. Wars will occur whether there's a god or not. We know what the best chance of avoiding them is - increased trade, more equal sharing of wealth, democracy and solid institutions defending it, education, health systems, treaties etc etc


    Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

    "Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

    "Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
    - Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 589 by Phat, posted 07-26-2018 12:29 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

      
    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 15740
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 1.7


    Message 591 of 1581 (837076)
    07-26-2018 12:56 PM
    Reply to: Message 589 by Phat
    07-26-2018 12:29 PM


    Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
    Phat writes:

    ... when times get extremely tough and the solutions get scarce people will always turn to belief.


    Policeman: We're here to evacuate you because of the flood.
    Lady: God will protect me.
    Man in a boat: We're here to evacuate you.
    Lady: God will protect me.
    Man in a helicopter: We're here to evacuate you.
    Lady: God will protect me.
    ...
    Dead lady (to God): But... but... but... I thought you were going to protect me.
    God: I sent you a policeman, I sent you a boat, I sent you a helicopter....

    Except that it was us who sent the policeman and the boat and the helicopter.

    And our geese will blot out the sun.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 589 by Phat, posted 07-26-2018 12:29 PM Phat has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 592 by Phat, posted 07-26-2018 1:03 PM ringo has responded

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 11579
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.2


    Message 592 of 1581 (837077)
    07-26-2018 1:03 PM
    Reply to: Message 591 by ringo
    07-26-2018 12:56 PM


    Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
    Yes yes, I know. God uses humans to help each other. But surely God does not use you simply to give a man change for an afternoon drink. God would more likely give the man the ability to fish rather than simply handing over the spare change to keep him in bondage. Same with end times needs. Of course people need each other. In a perfect world, we would share what we have to those in need. But in an end times scenario, nobody in the Western world is going to share their own diminishing resources simply so that others can come up to the diminished level the West is adjusting to.

    You and I have argued this before regarding unionism. You always advocate ignoring the rich and urging the middle to help the bottom. My observation is that in an end times scenario, the middle is already being crushed, the bottom sees an opportunity to move up, and the rich still hold all the guns and gold (and military and legal) at their disposal. Try preaching to a newly homeless guy that he still has it better than 1/2 the world!


    Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
    ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
    You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 591 by ringo, posted 07-26-2018 12:56 PM ringo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 594 by ringo, posted 07-26-2018 1:26 PM Phat has not yet responded

      
    Tangle
    Member
    Posts: 6354
    From: UK
    Joined: 10-07-2011
    Member Rating: 2.4


    Message 593 of 1581 (837078)
    07-26-2018 1:04 PM


    Fyi


    Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

    "Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

    "Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
    - Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


      
    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 15740
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 1.7


    (2)
    Message 594 of 1581 (837080)
    07-26-2018 1:26 PM
    Reply to: Message 592 by Phat
    07-26-2018 1:03 PM


    Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
    Phat writes:

    God uses humans to help each other.


    Humans help each other. Ants help each other. The equation works out the same without God in it.

    Phat writes:

    But surely God does not use you simply to give a man change for an afternoon drink. God would more likely give the man the ability to fish rather than simply handing over the spare change to keep him in bondage.


    Why didn't your God teach that man to fish yesterday? Why do I still have to help him today? Again, the term "God" doesn't seem to be in the equation at all.

    Phat writes:

    But in an end times scenario, nobody in the Western world is going to share their own diminishing resources simply so that others can come up to the diminished level the West is adjusting to.


    Yes we are. I can see that you will oppose it but we will still do it.

    Phat writes:

    My observation is that in an end times scenario, the middle is already being crushed, the bottom sees an opportunity to move up, and the rich still hold all the guns and gold (and military and legal) at their disposal.


    Maybe you should throw that "end times" scenario away and give reality a chance.

    Phat writes:

    Try preaching to a newly homeless guy that he still has it better than 1/2 the world!


    I don't preach to the homeless at all. If he asks me for a sermon, I can direct him to one. So far, I've never met a homeless person who wanted one.

    And our geese will blot out the sun.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 592 by Phat, posted 07-26-2018 1:03 PM Phat has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 595 by NoNukes, posted 07-26-2018 5:37 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

      
    NoNukes
    Inactive Member


    Message 595 of 1581 (837087)
    07-26-2018 5:37 PM
    Reply to: Message 594 by ringo
    07-26-2018 1:26 PM


    Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
    I don't preach to the homeless at all. If he asks me for a sermon, I can direct him to one. So far, I've never met a homeless person who wanted one.

    I have met such people. I have directed and have driven them to hear a sermon when they have that desire. Yes, such requests are the exception rather than the rule, as are requests to be taken a laundry mat, to see a basketball game, or to do some work for pay, or to get some Popeye's chicken. But those are all things that homeless folk do indeed ask for.

    They probably won't ask a total stranger for those things.


    Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

    Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

    I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

    No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 594 by ringo, posted 07-26-2018 1:26 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

    Replies to this message:
     Message 597 by Faith, posted 07-26-2018 5:44 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

      
    Faith
    Member
    Posts: 30162
    From: Nevada, USA
    Joined: 10-06-2001
    Member Rating: 1.2


    Message 596 of 1581 (837090)
    07-26-2018 5:39 PM
    Reply to: Message 586 by Stile
    07-26-2018 8:55 AM


    Re: Consider Open Theism
    When the conversation gets to this point I fervently wish it had never come up. Although I consider it false I'd rather everybody thought like an Arminian than ended up with this sort of weird thinking that isn't Calvinism but is always provoked by it.

    • God is God, He can't not be in control of everything.
    • That fact does not affect our ability to live and act as if He isn't there.
    • What Calvinism identifies, based on the Bible, is our inability to choose salvation because of the Fall, not any other kind of free choice. this is really the doctrine of "total depravity" which means our loss of the ability to choose the things of God because of the Fall. God has to regenerate us, or "quicken" our spirits that were lost at the Fall in order for us to be saved. This is what it means to be "born again." And this gift from God would not have been possible if the Son of God had not become a man and died in our place on the cross to pay for our sins. Thanks to His sacrifice those who believe on Him can be regenerated and look forward to a happy eternity without sin or disease or any of the infirmities we suffer on earth.
    • As scripture says, we can't take credit for our salvation, it is entirely a gift of God "lest any man should boast."
    • We are incapable of "choosing to love Him" Hypothesizing some other possible way God could have done things is just futile. God is God, He can't be something other than God.
    • Trying to understand life in general in these terms only ties our heads up in knots.

    Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 586 by Stile, posted 07-26-2018 8:55 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    Replies to this message:
     Message 598 by NoNukes, posted 07-26-2018 5:55 PM Faith has responded

        
    Faith
    Member
    Posts: 30162
    From: Nevada, USA
    Joined: 10-06-2001
    Member Rating: 1.2


    (2)
    Message 597 of 1581 (837093)
    07-26-2018 5:44 PM
    Reply to: Message 595 by NoNukes
    07-26-2018 5:37 PM


    Re: Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
    I recently heard the story of a local Christian woman who felt called by God to take food to the many people she had just discovered are living on the edge in this community, most in motels. She takes them food and usually also prepares a meal to share with them to get to know them. She encourages them to take advantage of many available services. Over the last ten or so years many others have joined with her and donations have been coming in to help with the project. Many of those who have been helped have found jobs, moved up in the world and joined this growing movement to help others. And some have become Christians. This is how the church should work.

    Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 595 by NoNukes, posted 07-26-2018 5:37 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

        
    NoNukes
    Inactive Member


    Message 598 of 1581 (837095)
    07-26-2018 5:55 PM
    Reply to: Message 596 by Faith
    07-26-2018 5:39 PM


    Re: Consider Open Theism
    God is God, He can't not be in control of everything.

    Like you can tell God what he cannot do.

    That fact does not affect our ability to live and act as if He isn't there.

    You can do what you want. Does not stop what you are doing from being a complete farce.

    As scripture says, we can't take credit for our salvation, it is entirely a gift of God "lest any man should boast."

    You seem to think that it is either Calvinism or boasting. That is a false dichotomy.

    Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


    Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

    Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

    I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

    No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 596 by Faith, posted 07-26-2018 5:39 PM Faith has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 599 by Faith, posted 07-26-2018 5:59 PM NoNukes has responded

      
    Faith
    Member
    Posts: 30162
    From: Nevada, USA
    Joined: 10-06-2001
    Member Rating: 1.2


    Message 599 of 1581 (837097)
    07-26-2018 5:59 PM
    Reply to: Message 598 by NoNukes
    07-26-2018 5:55 PM


    Re: Consider Open Theism
    Oh well. I'm simply trying to describe what I understand to be the correct biblical theology and I believe Calvinism to be the correct biblical theology. Sigh.

    Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 598 by NoNukes, posted 07-26-2018 5:55 PM NoNukes has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 600 by NoNukes, posted 07-26-2018 8:50 PM Faith has not yet responded

        
    NoNukes
    Inactive Member


    Message 600 of 1581 (837115)
    07-26-2018 8:50 PM
    Reply to: Message 599 by Faith
    07-26-2018 5:59 PM


    Re: Consider Open Theism
    Oh well. I'm simply trying to describe what I understand to be the correct biblical theology and I believe Calvinism to be the correct biblical theology. Sigh.

    That's fine. I am pointing to what I see as weak points in your arguments (or in the arguments you accept) for what you believe to be correct.


    Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

    Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

    I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

    No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 599 by Faith, posted 07-26-2018 5:59 PM Faith has not yet responded

      
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