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Author Topic:   Sacrifice
iano
Member (Idle past 2022 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 16 of 64 (493007)
01-05-2009 6:08 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Straggler
01-04-2009 4:58 PM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
Straggler writes:
To take your rather bizzarre analogy to it's logical conclusion....
-
If we were to sacrificially boil a human such that no more lobsters need face that particular fate would we be entitled to expect lobster-kind to recognise, appreciate and even revere our sacrifice? Would it be reasonable for us to sentance all those subsequent lobsters who fail to embrace this sacrifice to an eternity of repeat boilings?
As already stated, I hold that a person is firstly saved - AFTER that they come to realise and believe in what Christ achieved on their behalf. Note that they wouldn't be mere lobsters after being saved - they will have been raised in terms of order, to the level of humanity. That's what a born again lobster is - a lobster who has been raised to the level of human.
Stepping back outside the analogy; a born again human is one who has been raised to the order of God by God. They are adopted sons of God. Son's are same order as parent.
As for eternally boiled lobsters? If that is the destination plumped for by them by act of own will then I can't see any injustice involved. Eternal-damnation-by-God impinges as badly on Gods justice system as does suicide-by-cop on mans justice system.
Mans will ultimately, is what attains his being eternally damned
-
If men are but lobsters as compared to God then it is only because God saw fit to make us such inferior beings. For the creator of an inferior being to punish the creation for being inferior is unjust.
He's not punishing it because it's inferior. He's punishing it because it is a moral agent who choses to do wrong in the face of knowing what is right. Inferior perhaps, but not sufficiently so to render to blame other than ours. That God in his grace and love provides a way out from underneath the demands of his wrath shouldn't deflect us from the fact he hates that we chose to do evil.
-
The nature of foregiveness requires that the offended party pay whatever the cost of the offence is - themselves. You can't truly and completely forgive someone without doing so -whether the matter is a large one or a relative trifle.
I don't understand what you are saying here. Can you give a specific example?
Okay.
My friend calls me around only for me to find that he's poured a good chunk of his hard earned cash into a pristine, low mileage Porsche Cayman S (which he did in fact ). He hasn't had the chance to insure it yet - the ex-owner drove it over for him. But he can start it and run it up and down the drive. It's a beaut!
The phone goes and it's his mother asking if he'd be so kind as to take a trip to the supermarket to pick up some groceries for her, so off he sets in his other car - telling me to hang about, that he'll only be an hour or so.
5 minutes later I'm out in the Porsche. Just a spin around the block you understand, nothing too wild or fancy. Whilst checking out the cars ability to stay planted to the road in tight corners, I hit a patch of oil and loose it completely. Sideways into a tree - impacting right behind the passanger seat and into the engine bay. An airbag saves my life - but the car is a complete write off.
To the issue of forgiveness.
My friend says "I forgive you; you're still my best friend and if we were in the same position tomorrow I'd leave you behind with the keys again - but you need to pay for the car". In which case what he has forgiven (or swallowed into his own account) is the inconvenience of having to wait until I get enough together to purchase another Porsche + the betrayal of trust. That's not total forgiveness however.
He could also say "I wouldn't put you under the load of trying to find that kind of money so forget about paying for the car - but don't come around here again". He's forgiven the debt but not the betrayal.
Or he could forgive it all. I remain his friend, he would trust me with his next car, and I pay nothing at all to the cost of another car. Total forgiveness mean he pays everything: the cost of the car (or doing without it should he not have enough to buy another one), the absorbing of the pain of betrayal, the worry of leaving me with his next car.
Total forgiveness means the offended pays for all aspects of the offence against him. The offender pays nothing at all and is reinstated to the position he had had he never offended.
Adam (Lukes geneology tells us) was born a son of God. He and we fell from that position. Gods forgiveness reinstates us totally (our sin is said to be as far from his sight as the east if from the west, that he remembers it no more) so much so that we become sons of God.
-
No. I still don't understand why forgiveness requires sacrifice by the forgiver in principle. Especially physical sacrifice of any kind. Especially when the forgiver is an omnipotent and omniscient being.
I'm not sure how omnipotence and omniscience alter things. God has been offended against. In order to forgive the offence he must pay the cost due himself.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Straggler, posted 01-04-2009 4:58 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Straggler, posted 01-05-2009 11:47 AM iano has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 17 of 64 (493032)
01-05-2009 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by iano
01-05-2009 6:08 AM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
That's what a born again lobster is - a lobster who has been raised to the level of human.
That made me laugh out loud! Surreal. Salvador Dali would be proud of us!
If we were to sacrificially boil a human such that no more lobsters need face that particular fate would we be entitled to expect lobster-kind to recognise, appreciate and even revere our sacrifice? Would it be reasonable for us to sentance all those subsequent lobsters who fail to embrace this sacrifice to an eternity of repeat boilings?
As already stated, I hold that a person is firstly saved - AFTER that they come to realise and believe in what Christ achieved on their behalf. Note that they wouldn't be mere lobsters after being saved - they will have been raised in terms of order, to the level of humanity.
This doesn't really answer the question. The fate of the "saved" lobsters is not the point of contention.
The question relates to whether or not those lobsters that do nothing more than fail to ever recognise the sacrifice made in their name, those that fail to be saved, are deserving of their eternal pot boiling fate?
Do we not love our lobsters? Do we not recognise that, as mere lobsters, their capacity for recognising the significance of our sacrifice is somewhat limited? Do we not see that the expectation that our lobsters are even aware of the choice that confronts them is an expectation too far for the vast majority of lobster-kind?
I mean how aware do you think that the average lobster is?
Is it right that the default position, the catch all majority of those too ignorant or too unable to believe, should be an eternity of repeated and horrific pot boilings?
Stepping back outside the analogy; a born again human is one who has been raised to the order of God by God. They are adopted sons of God. Son's are same order as parent.
As for eternally boiled lobsters? If that is the destination plumped for by them by act of own will then I can't see any injustice involved. Eternal-damnation-by-God impinges as badly on Gods justice system as does suicide-by-cop on mans justice system.
Mans will ultimately, is what attains his being eternally damned
You could reasonably argue that one who chooses to knowingly take the "evil" path (lets assume for the sake of argument in a God given absolute form of morality) is deserving of ones fate.
The trouble is, that as the default position it appears to be, damnation is too all-encompassing. Given mans quite evident inability to adequately determine exactly what Gods moral absolutes are there will be many unwittingly conducting "evil". Then there are also those who object to faith and belief on grounds of reason. There are also the many who have a great deal of faith but faith that contradicts the faith that you say is required.
Imagine a Muslim so ardent in his faith that even if he were to be confronted with Christ as the son of God he would assume it to be a trick of the devil, so entrenched are his beliefs. What is his road to salvation?
Faith as a means of establishing who is worthy and who is not of salvation is a truly terrible method. But I will come back to this more thoroughly in answer to your other post.
He's not punishing it because it's inferior. He's punishing it because it is a moral agent who choses to do wrong in the face of knowing what is right. Inferior perhaps, but not sufficiently so to render to blame other than ours. That God in his grace and love provides a way out from underneath the demands of his wrath shouldn't deflect us from the fact he hates that we chose to do evil.
I think very very few men would ever choose to do that which they consider to be outright evil. Nobody, even those despised and hated for their actions by the overwhelming majority, ever actually consider themselves to be evil (except maybe for a very tiny handful of interesting psychological cases).
The choice you talk about is a false one. A "choice" weighted like a Mugabe style election where a no-vote counts as a vote in favour of damnation.
Regarding forgiveness:
My friend calls me around only for me to find that he's poured a good chunk of his hard earned cash into a pristine, low mileage Porsche Cayman S (which he did in fact ). He hasn't had the chance to insure it yet - the ex-owner drove it over for him. But he can start it and run it up and down the drive. It's a beaut!
The phone goes and it's his mother asking if he'd be so kind as to take a trip to the supermarket to pick up some groceries for her, so off he sets in his other car - telling me to hang about, that he'll only be an hour or so.
5 minutes later I'm out in the Porsche. Just a spin around the block you understand, nothing too wild or fancy. Whilst checking out the cars ability to stay planted to the road in tight corners, I hit a patch of oil and loose it completely. Sideways into a tree - impacting right behind the passanger seat and into the engine bay. An airbag saves my life - but the car is a complete write off.
To the issue of forgiveness.
My friend says "I forgive you; you're still my best friend and if we were in the same position tomorrow I'd leave you behind with the keys again - but you need to pay for the car". In which case what he has forgiven (or swallowed into his own account) is the inconvenience of having to wait until I get enough together to purchase another Porsche + the betrayal of trust. That's not total forgiveness however.
He could also say "I wouldn't put you under the load of trying to find that kind of money so forget about paying for the car - but don't come around here again". He's forgiven the debt but not the betrayal.
Or he could forgive it all. I remain his friend, he would trust me with his next car, and I pay nothing at all to the cost of another car. Total forgiveness mean he pays everything: the cost of the car (or doing without it should he not have enough to buy another one), the absorbing of the pain of betrayal, the worry of leaving me with his next car.
Total forgiveness means the offended pays for all aspects of the offence against him. The offender pays nothing at all and is reinstated to the position he had had he never offended.
OK. But to make your analogy work in terms of the payment that you claim is necessary you had to include an element of material wealth (the car) that is difficult or even impossible to replace.
Your claim is that there is always a price to pay in forgiveness. Whether it be physical sacrifice, repayment of a car etc. etc.
What if the scenario used omits any material thing? What if the only offence committed involves a single betrayal of trust? Then who has to pay anything for the one whose trust has been broken to reinstate his trust and forgive?
I still don't see why the forgiver need do anything other than choose to forgive if that is his want?
I'm not sure how omnipotence and omniscience alter things. God has been offended against. In order to forgive the offence he must pay the cost due himself.
Because an omnipotent being can decide what the cost is or even whether there need be any cost at all.
It is still unclear why there need be a physical cost in the case of mans sins rather than just a re-instatement of trust/love/whatever anyway.
I will address your other post regarding the nature of faith and the freewill or otherwise of Jesus later.
I read your lobster line and just could not help myself but respond to that one first!!!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by iano, posted 01-05-2009 6:08 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by iano, posted 01-05-2009 3:59 PM Straggler has replied

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 64 (493042)
01-05-2009 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Straggler
01-04-2009 5:09 PM


Re: Sacrifice & Truth
Straggler writes:
Instead I have advocated that if there are choices of ultimate importance to be made be men then the opportunity for informed choices should be given to all equally. Relying on faith, which is open to deceit, delusion and misuse is a particularly poor method of achieving the stated aim of getting men to make the preferred and informed choice of their own accord.
1. But there was a period of time after the flood when (abe: the entire global population of) 8 persons all had the knowledge of the truth and thus equal opportunity. Though God warned that if the fathers did not teach and warn the children etc that truth would be lost and the descendents would suffer the consequences, void of the blessings of God.
"My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge I will also reject you......I will also forget your children." Hosea 4:6 OT
Romans 1:21: ......when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; b became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...24: Therefore God also gave them up to to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves; 25: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator.
Example: The American dream via of the blessings of God/Jehovah, the Biblical god because Biblical truth, from which blessings originate, wanes down through the generations.
2. We Biblical fundamentalists have no reason whatsoever to rely on blind faith. Biblical faith is established on fulfilled prophecy, archeology, social benefits and personal experience.
The Bible is unique. No other religious book has this. All others rely on blind faith with nothing substantial to base the faith on.
Even the sacrificial crucifixion of Jesus on the cross was not expected by Jehovah to be a blind faith event to believe in. Jesus and the apostles continually, throughout their ministries to quote and cite OT prophecies to verify that this event was fulfillment of prophecy. Isaiah 58 and other verses in Isaiah as well as those in Psalms, Daniel and others were significant relative to substantiating the event of the messianic sacrificial redemption from sins before the messianic rule of messiah would happen. Thus Jesus effected salvation to, not only the messianic Jewish nation, but to all nations including Gentiles who will share in that messianic era emerging upon us as events come in place for the 2nd advent of the sacrificial messiah as world ruler on MT Zion, the Temple Mount.
Edited by Buzsaw, : Add phrase as indicated

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Straggler, posted 01-04-2009 5:09 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by kjsimons, posted 01-05-2009 2:05 PM Buzsaw has not replied
 Message 22 by Straggler, posted 01-06-2009 7:38 AM Buzsaw has replied

  
kjsimons
Member
Posts: 824
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 19 of 64 (493044)
01-05-2009 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Buzsaw
01-05-2009 1:36 PM


Re: Sacrifice & Truth
But there was a period of time after the flood ...
What flood? You could not possibly mean the global flood that there is no evidence for flood do you?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Buzsaw, posted 01-05-2009 1:36 PM Buzsaw has not replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2022 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 20 of 64 (493050)
01-05-2009 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Straggler
01-05-2009 11:47 AM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
Straggler writes:
That made me laugh out loud! Surreal. Salvador Dali would be proud of us!
-
The question relates to whether or not those lobsters that do nothing more than fail to ever recognise the sacrifice made in their name, those that fail to be saved, are deserving of their eternal pot boiling fate?
Firstly. I was pointing out that a persons recognition of Christ as Saviour arises out of their having been saved. That such recognition is a consequence of and subsequent to having been saved. So, in reframing your query we must first state that folk who fail to recognise his sacrifice are those whose primary problem is that they weren't saved. That's why they didn't recognise Jesus as saviour.
Your question then becomes: "Is it fair that folk who fail to be saved perish eternally". Well, the answer to that depends upon the role they play in their not being saved. If it turns out that "failure to be saved" is the result of an wilful and persistant refusal to be brought to salvation then yes, of course a person can be said to deserve what they persistantly (effectively) willed for.
-
Do we not love our lobsters? Do we not recognise that, as mere lobsters, their capacity for recognising the significance of our sacrifice is somewhat limited? Do we not see that the expectation that our lobsters are even aware of the choice that confronts them is an expectation too far for the vast majority of lobster-kind?
I mean how aware do you think that the average lobster is?
Is it right that the default position, the catch all majority of those too ignorant or too unable to believe, should be an eternity of repeated and horrific pot boilings?
As was pointed out above, recognition of Christs sacrifice is not the deciding factor as to whether or not a person is saved. It would be unreasonable, in any case, to expect people to recognise something for which they either had no evidence or for which they were born too early/wrong location to have even heard of it! And God is nothing if not reasonable.
No, the deciding factor lies elsewhere and it is safe to say that everybody who has ever lived (leaving aside debate over fringe groups such as infants or the retarded) is/was equipped sufficiently for the task at hand. Everyone has a conscience (or a "knowledge of good and evil" if you prefer). It is their response to what their conscience communicates to them which ultimately informs God about their hearts desire. There are two main paths to be trodden in this respect. Either a person
- will struggle (with increasing desperation) with their wrong doing in the face of knowing what is right.
- or they will suppress and mute and drown out that which tells them they do wrong in order that they be freed from the discomfort associated with so doing.
Two possible trajectories to follow > Two hearts desires revealed in those trajectories followed > Two destinations made available to accomodate a persons hearts desire > With God and what God represents/Against God and what God represents: the same question posed to everyman as was posed to the first man
-
You could reasonably argue that one who chooses to knowingly take the "evil" path (lets assume for the sake of argument in a God given absolute form of morality) is deserving of ones fate.
The trouble is, that as the default position it appears to be, damnation is too all-encompassing. Given mans quite evident inability to adequately determine exactly what Gods moral absolutes are there will be many unwittingly conducting "evil". Then there are also those who object to faith and belief on grounds of reason. There are also the many who have a great deal of faith but faith that contradicts the faith that you say is required.
I appreciate the point, but it's not about whether or not a man does evil or not - for he is sure to knowingly do so time and again quite aside from any worldy/local restraint/encouragement which might influence the degree to which he does evil. Doing evil is as central to a mans nature as catching mice is to a cats - that is the clear Biblical statement on the matter, and one which arises out of Gods holiness being the standard of good and evil - not our relativistic, sin-excusing moral systems.
The issue is mans response to the desire for evil which his nature causes to well up in him. Globally speaking is he deep-down repulsed by it - even if rejoicing in the moment of fruit-tasting. Does he mourn over himself when his conscience reveals after-the-fact-truth which before-the-act-myth rendered cosmetically desirable and impossibly irresistable. Or does he jump in enthusiastically, burying the small voice which would seek to tell him that what he does is wrong both before and after the fact. And does he persist in suppression when the thrill of the current level of evil wears off (and it will wear off) so as to be able to sink down to the next level. Does he, instead of mourning over himself, excuse himself and justify himself to himself?
This is the heart of a man that God sees. And God is not looking so much at the evil done or the depths to which a person has sunk. Its "what's this mans heart response to the depraved position he finds himself in". Certainly all men will have suppressed their consciences and all men will have rejoiced in their evil and mourned their evil. But to what end is a persons trajectory leading them to? To an evermore silenced conscience - one that dismisses any real wrongdoing and says "I'm not such a bad chap". Or is it one which grips them evermore in the certainty that they, whatever outside appearences, are rotten to the core.
A mans very own sin is used as a tool to lead him to Christ - for sin can lead a man into the pit where even he recognises his depravity. The question is does he despair when he finds himself there. Or does he deaden his soul so as to extinguish the pain. Pain is a good thing - it's always designed to tell us there is something wrong. It's not a good idea to take action to take pain killers.
-
Imagine a Muslim so ardent in his faith that even if he were to be confronted with Christ as the son of God he would assume it to be a trick of the devil, so entrenched are his beliefs. What is his road to salvation?
His road is precisely the same as the above road - he has a conscience doesn't he, he does evil doesn't he?. A persons religion or lack of it doesn't hide their hearts response to God. Religion is not the realm in which these things are decided - the real realm flies under Religions radar.
Nor does their intellectual objection to faith prevent the game playing out. As already mentioned, religious faith is something that is given to a person after they have been saved - it's a marker of their salvation not a cause of it. So there is no role for an intellectual objection to faith prior to / at the point of salvation (indeed, the fact that intellectually brilliant people believe should cause you to question that objection)
Faith in the sense of belief-which-saves-a-person need not reference God at all. That is to say, the faith which saves is described as "believing what God says", to be convinced of what he is trying to convince you of. There is no need to attach the word God to this thing called conscience in order that you be convinced of what your conscience is attempting to bring you to conviction about. Believe it finally (and in the total sense aimed at your salvation) and you will have done precisely as Abraham did. You will have believed God. And he will save you.
All without having to first believe in Christ or first believe in Gods existance.
(It's not saving faith but it does illustrate the principle neatly: if you truly believe stealing is wrong (even though you yourself steal at times) then you believe God in this matter (even if you don't believe in God))
-
Faith as a means of establishing who is worthy and who is not of salvation is a truly terrible method. But I will come back to this more thoroughly in answer to your other post.
Hopefully the above reframes the faith we need to be dealing with. Salvation by believing God - not the religious conviction that follows your salvation. There is no need to bark up the same wrong tree which R. Dawkins spent so much time woofing up with The God Delusion
-
I think very very few men would ever choose to do that which they consider to be outright evil. Nobody, even those despised and hated for their actions by the overwhelming majority, ever actually consider themselves to be evil (except maybe for a very tiny handful of interesting psychological cases).
The choice you talk about is a false one. A "choice" weighted like a Mugabe style election where a no-vote counts as a vote in favour of damnation.
The Bibles position on a man doing evil, but not considering himself to be doing evil, utilises the phrase "suppression of truth". It is indeed possible for a man to consider himself as you say and this is how he achieves it - he suppresses that which would tell him he was doing evil / wrong / "inappropriate" / selfish / proud etc//
Like I say, it's not a matter of if a man does evil but what his reponse is to the evil he will surely and knowingly do (whatever term he choses to ascribe to it).
Moreover, I see no need that the conscience react to each and every evil a man does. A sample selection of his total evil, in which conscience was deployed and mans reaction to it noted (his suppression of it or living with the discomfort that lack of suppression brings) would suffice as indication of his hearts desire. Given Gods standard for what constitutes good and evil and given the nigh-on constant activity of our consciences, it's safe to suppose a decent body of evidence being built up this way or that.
Later Straggler - this pc of mine is about to crash!
-
What if the scenario used omits any material thing? What if the only offence committed involves a single betrayal of trust? Then who has to pay anything for the one whose trust has been broken to reinstate his trust and forgive?
The person whose trust is broken has an entitlement and the entitlement in our example would be my friends breaking off of the friendship altogether or his diminishing of the quality of the friendship downwards a notch (friendship being a trust based thing). He would be acting righteously (in both our economy and Gods -our economy referencing Gods eye-for-an-eye economy) were he to act so. He would/should have no guilt about acting so (assuming he took the right level of action) and I could have no complaint. Justice would have been done.
In forgiving me and maintaining our friendship and extending his trust as before, he is forfeiting his right to exact the righteous retribution due him. He is also forfeiting the right someone has to be wary around someone they have reason not to trust - when he leaves me behind with his next car (a BMW M3 I gather) he won't have any justification for entertaining a mistrusting thought. If forgiving me completely my "sin" need be as far from his recall as the east is from the west.
That love is his motivation for forgiving doesn't alter the forfeiting of these rights.
-
I still don't see why the forgiver need do anything other than choose to forgive if that is his want?
That is what my friend does, but whether patent to him or not, payment is what he is inevitably doing
-
Because an omnipotent being can decide what the cost is or even whether there need be any cost at all.
I'm not sure that's the case. Omnipotence doesn't mean God can confound logic for example. It doesn't mean he can lie. It doesn't mean either, that he can sustain an assault on his law without his law demanding due penalty. The level of penalty (logically) will always reflect the level of the offence. And I don't see how God can decide on the level of offence against him - it would be what it would be dependent upon what his holy nature is. God can't change his nature afterall.
-
It is still unclear why there need be a physical cost in the case of mans sins rather than just a re-instatement of trust/love/whatever anyway.
I'm not sure what you mean here but we experience betrayal of trust physically. Crying, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, tension etc.
I will address your other post regarding the nature of faith and the freewill or otherwise of Jesus later. I read your lobster line and just could not help myself but respond to that one first!!!
Note to self: fish makes good bait
Edited by iano, : No reason given.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Straggler, posted 01-05-2009 11:47 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Straggler, posted 01-06-2009 9:05 AM iano has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 21 of 64 (493113)
01-06-2009 7:21 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by iano
01-04-2009 9:11 PM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
Straggler writes:
As you are no doubt aware I have little respect for faith.
Iano writes:
Don't stretch the analogy but until you have an orgasm you can't really preach on what it can and cannot do. Suffice to say that God is able to alter your neural network (if you insist on looking at a spiritual knowledge as an arrangement of the atoms in your brain) so that you believe in Christ as your saviour to the same degree you believe the external reality is real.
Suppose that God can open doors you couldn't imagine openable. And suppose he can ensure those doors stay open.
Straggler writes:
As a means of separating the "worthy" from the "unworthy" it is a truly appalling method.
Iano writes:
You've missed something I think - though perhaps that's my fault.
Faith (in the sense of it being 'a knowledge of Gods existance' or 'the certainty that Christ is your saviour') is given to those who have first "believed God".
That is to say:
First you believe God.
Then you are given the evidence necessary to believe that God exists and that Christ is your saviour.
THE INEFFICIENCY AND ABUSE OF FAITH
Whilst I am not in a position to deny or refute your assertions regarding the glorious nature of your own personal beliefs I am, from my vantage point of faithlessness, able to take a wider perspective regarding the suitability (or otherwise) of faith as a means of differentiating between the “worthy” and the “unworthy”. A perspective that you, immersed as you are in your own “one true faith”, seem unable or unwilling to acknowledge. To explain my position more fully lets consider the following:
1. The Faithful: How many different religions place an equal emphasis on faith as a means of separating the worthy from the unworthy? How many of these faiths are contradictory and thus incompatible with each other? When a Muslim, for example, proclaims the splendour and glorious nature of his personal faith exactly as you have done above, is he lying? Is he deluded? For not accepting Jesus Christ as his personal saviour is he to be consigned to hell? From his perspective it is you who has fallen foul of deceit or delusion. From his perspective it is you who will never know the wondrousness associated with having discovered the “one true faith”.
And how is one who is uncontaminated by cultural predisposition to choose between these different faiths? How is he to make the “correct” choice? By reason alone? Surely this contradicts the very nature of faith? By listening “to his heart”? Are you so arrogant as to claim that those of different and contradictory faiths to you own do not feel in their hearts, exactly as you presumably do, that they are blessed with having discovered the ultimate truth?
There is no method of differentiating between competing faiths and the very nature of faith makes any differentiation inherently impossible.
If the very nature of faith is such that even those who actively seek it, if even those who embrace the method of salvation preferred by God, if even the faithful are still less than likely to find God’s intended path then it has to be said that, at best, faith is a woefully inefficient method of spreading the word.
2. The Deceitful: Consider those who would wish to intentionally manipulate or control the masses. What is their best strategy for achieving their aims? How about the promotion of irrationality, the abandonment of reason and the advancement of the notion that wrapping oneself in the warm embrace of unquestioning reverence for a “higher authority” is somehow a noble pursuit? The promotion of faith as a strategy for mass control is an obvious and well worn one.
Why would God choose a strategy for the communication of his message that is not only deeply inefficient but also incredibly and easily open to abuse by those who would deceive?
3. The Faithless: Given all of the above are those who resist faith and insist on the application of reason necessarily choosing to reject God (as is often intimated by the EvC born again contingent)? Is the insistence that a perfect God would not devise such an imperfect, inefficient and easily abused method of getting his favourite creation through the pearly gates of heaven really a denouncement of God himself? No. It is a denouncement of faith and his fellow men who would advocate it.
It is unfair to expect a man of reason to reject his training and nature in order to embrace that which he knows is all too likely the product of deceit or delusion.
If there is a God then he gave us our ability to reason. He also made reason a far more powerful and reliable method of differentiating between truth and falsehood than faith. Regardless of what the faithful of all the various faiths may say and regardless of what any particular holy book may claim the emphasis on faith over reason as the means to salvation is surely the work of one who wishes to divide mankind and lead him astray from “the one true path” (should such a thing exist).
Faith is about as poor a choice for conveying a message of truth as one could hope to devise. Why would God put such emphasis on something so inherently flawed?
Iano writes:
The bigger they come the further they fall - and I mean that respectfully. Christ as holy and co-equal with the father has a ways further to go to be reviled in his fathers eyes than we do - us being steeped in sin as we are.
And Christ was carrying far more sin than any individual I can think of
Iano writes:
Christ being alive spiritually to God (of course) could be potentially separated from God spiritually. On the other hand, a man who is already separated spiritually from God can only remain so. For the one there is the wrench of separation to be experienced for the other there is continuance of existance which is all he knows.
Surely one is either separated from God or one is not? It was my understanding that (the whole lake of fire thing apart) hell, the ultimate horror, consisted of complete separation from God. No?
Does it say in the bible that ones level of sin or ones previous proximity to God somehow make the effect of this separation worse? Or are these your own conclusions (arguably) based on a need to make the "facts" fit the story?
DID JESUS HAVE A CHOICE?
Straggler writes:
One additional question. Did Jesus have a choice, did he exhibit freewill, with regard to facing his fate of crucifixion and forsakenness? Or was it predetermined and thus lacking in choice?
Predetermination is a tricky subject when it comes to a God considered by orthodoxy not to be bound by time. The basis for his knowing "what will occur" can, for example, be based on knowing what has already occurred (past and future both occupying the eternity-enrobed bubble called "time")
Thus Christs eternal choice to incarnate for the purpose of dying doesn't alter Christs in time ability to freely choose to go to the cross. If he choose not to in time then that is what would be pre (or post) determined to occur.
If we are considering the nature of predetermination and freewill from the perspective of God then, much like the discussion regarding the nature of temporary separation from God in an eternal frame of reference, we are drawn to a stalemate by our mutual ignorance of eternity. I will accept that.
However in the case of Jesus and freewill we are not talking about predetermination from God's perspective. We are considering predetermination from man's perspective.
Was not the sacrifice of Christ to atone for our sins supposedly foretold and known to man? Is it not a much vaunted "fact" of Chrsitianity that the Old Testament predicted the happenings of the New Testament?
Given that man knew of this predetermined act of sacrifice (if willing to recognise it as such) how can we meaningfully claim that Jesus acted of his own freewill? And if he did not act of his own freewill how can any form of sacrifice on the part of Christ meaningfully be claimed?
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by iano, posted 01-04-2009 9:11 PM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by iano, posted 01-06-2009 10:08 AM Straggler has replied
 Message 31 by iano, posted 01-06-2009 11:27 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 22 of 64 (493114)
01-06-2009 7:38 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Buzsaw
01-05-2009 1:36 PM


Re: Sacrifice & Truth
1. But there was a period of time after the flood when (abe: the entire global population of) 8 persons all had the knowledge of the truth and thus equal opportunity. Though God warned that if the fathers did not teach and warn the children etc that truth would be lost and the descendents would suffer the consequences, void of the blessings of God.
"My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge I will also reject you......I will also forget your children." Hosea 4:6 OT
Regardless of the number of people originally informed, faith remains an appallingly bad choice with regard to reliably getting imperfect free-will laden creatures to make the desired choices of their own accord. Especially when you consider that God must have known that their numbers would swell from a mere 8 to around 7 billion. See Message 21 to Iano for a more detailed critique on the use of faith to this end.
2. We Biblical fundamentalists have no reason whatsoever to rely on blind faith. Biblical faith is established on fulfilled prophecy, archeology, social benefits and personal experience.
The Bible is unique. No other religious book has this. All others rely on blind faith with nothing substantial to base the faith on.
Islamic scholars claim otherwise........
Also I don't see why one needs advocate faith, as unreliable and open to abuse as that method is, if reason and evidence are also on your side?
Even the sacrificial crucifixion of Jesus on the cross was not expected by Jehovah to be a blind faith event to believe in. Jesus and the apostles continually, throughout their ministries to quote and cite OT prophecies to verify that this event was fulfillment of prophecy. Isaiah 58 and other verses in Isaiah as well as those in Psalms, Daniel and others were significant relative to substantiating the event of the messianic sacrificial redemption from sins before the messianic rule of messiah would happen. Thus Jesus effected salvation to, not only the messianic Jewish nation, but to all nations including Gentiles who will share in that messianic era emerging upon us as events come in place for the 2nd advent of the sacrificial messiah as world ruler on MT Zion, the Temple Mount.
I have asked Iano and I will ask you too: Did Jesus have freewill?
How can freewill be compatible with prophecy? And if Jesus did not have freewill it must somewhat dampen the the reverence with which we should view his sacrifice. No?
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Buzsaw, posted 01-05-2009 1:36 PM Buzsaw has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Buzsaw, posted 01-06-2009 8:34 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 23 of 64 (493124)
01-06-2009 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by iano
01-05-2009 3:59 PM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
Before continuing I should concede that my (all but) assertion in the OP that there was no sacrifice made by Christ has been refuted. At least in so far as Christian thought is consistent in this area.
Nothing anyone has said regarding the physical pain or physical death of Jesus Christ really holds any water with regard to significant sacrifice of any sort. BUT the notion that separation from God (albeit temporarily) constitutes sacrifice was overlooked by me and does add an extra dimension to the discussion. In this respect I have been somewhat educated regarding Christian teachings by yourself, Buz and ICANT.
Having said that it still remains to be seen whether or not the nature, extent, necessity and even the prophesised inevitability of this sacrifice are consistent with the Christian claims of significance and worth.
Firstly. I was pointing out that a persons recognition of Christ as Saviour arises out of their having been saved. That such recognition is a consequence of and subsequent to having been saved. So, in reframing your query we must first state that folk who fail to recognise his sacrifice are those whose primary problem is that they weren't saved. That's why they didn't recognise Jesus as saviour.
So what exactly are the criteria for being saved? And where are they defined? My understanding is that the vast majority of humanity remain unsaved (and this certainly fits with what ICANT, for example, seems to be saying) and will therefore face eternal damnation. Is this incorrect according to your version of Christian thought?
Your question then becomes: "Is it fair that folk who fail to be saved perish eternally". Well, the answer to that depends upon the role they play in their not being saved. If it turns out that "failure to be saved" is the result of an wilful and persistant refusal to be brought to salvation then yes, of course a person can be said to deserve what they persistantly (effectively) willed for.
How about a persistent and wilful denial that faith is a viable method of determining truth? Where does that leave the wilfully faithless?
Or how about those that wilfully deny Christ because he is incompatible with the path to salvation that they have placed their own glorious faith in? How are they to achieve redemption?
- will struggle (with increasing desperation) with their wrong doing in the face of knowing what is right.
- or they will suppress and mute and drown out that which tells them they do wrong in order that they be freed from the discomfort associated with so doing.
Two possible trajectories to follow > Two hearts desires revealed in those trajectories followed > Two destinations made available to accomodate a persons hearts desire > With God and what God represents/Against God and what God represents: the same question posed to everyman as was posed to the first man
This still requires that man consistently and personally actually knows what is wrong and what is right in an absolute sense. No?
No, the deciding factor lies elsewhere and it is safe to say that everybody who has ever lived (leaving aside debate over fringe groups such as infants or the retarded) is/was equipped sufficiently for the task at hand. Everyone has a conscience (or a "knowledge of good and evil" if you prefer). It is their response to what their conscience communicates to them which ultimately informs God about their hearts desire. There are two main paths to be trodden in this respect. Either a person
- will struggle (with increasing desperation) with their wrong doing in the face of knowing what is right.
- or they will suppress and mute and drown out that which tells them they do wrong in order that they be freed from the discomfort associated with so doing.
This seems like an interesting take on God's perspective on morality. You seem to be saying that if Hitler (to take an obvious and stereotypically extreme example) considers the extermination of the Jews and the invasion of Europe as morally justified and perfectly legitimate but agonises over the fact that he stole some money from a friend because he believes this action to be immoral and wrong - That God will recognise the moral anguish in his heart at his wrongdoing and consider him a man of conscience?
WTF?
Faith in the sense of belief-which-saves-a-person need not reference God at all. That is to say, the faith which saves is described as "believing what God says", to be convinced of what he is trying to convince you of. There is no need to attach the word God to this thing called conscience in order that you be convinced of what your conscience is attempting to bring you to conviction about. Believe it finally (and in the total sense aimed at your salvation) and you will have done precisely as Abraham did. You will have believed God. And he will save you.
All without having to first believe in Christ or first believe in Gods existance.
One has to first posess a conscience that is in tune with "what God says" or one will potentially commit acts of "immorality" without ever even considering conscience as a factor.
Straggler writes:
What if the scenario used omits any material thing? What if the only offence committed involves a single betrayal of trust? Then who has to pay anything for the one whose trust has been broken to reinstate his trust and forgive?
The person whose trust is broken has an entitlement and the entitlement in our example would be my friends breaking off of the friendship altogether or his diminishing of the quality of the friendship downwards a notch (friendship being a trust based thing). He would be acting righteously (in both our economy and Gods -our economy referencing Gods eye-for-an-eye economy) were he to act so. He would/should have no guilt about acting so (assuming he took the right level of action) and I could have no complaint. Justice would have been done.
In forgiving me and maintaining our friendship and extending his trust as before, he is forfeiting his right to exact the righteous retribution due him. He is also forfeiting the right someone has to be wary around someone they have reason not to trust - when he leaves me behind with his next car (a BMW M3 I gather) he won't have any justification for entertaining a mistrusting thought. If forgiving me completely my "sin" need be as far from his recall as the east is from the west.
That love is his motivation for forgiving doesn't alter the forfeiting of these rights.
This, whether intentionally or otherwise, is a circular argument. You are effectively claiming that the cost of forgiveness to the forgiver is the right not to forgive. Do you really find that a satisfactory answer?
Straggler writes:
I still don't see why the forgiver need do anything other than choose to forgive if that is his want?
That is what my friend does, but whether patent to him or not, payment is what he is inevitably doing
Then why cannot God work on this same basis (circular as it is). Let God forgive and let the payment for this forgiveness be the "forfeiting of his right to exact the righteous retribution due him".
No need for any of that messy crucifixion stuff and no need for Christ to suffer separation from God etc. etc.
Straggler writes:
Because an omnipotent being can decide what the cost is or even whether there need be any cost at all.
I'm not sure that's the case. Omnipotence doesn't mean God can confound logic for example. It doesn't mean he can lie. It doesn't mean either, that he can sustain an assault on his law without his law demanding due penalty. The level of penalty (logically) will always reflect the level of the offence. And I don't see how God can decide on the level of offence against him - it would be what it would be dependent upon what his holy nature is. God can't change his nature afterall.
1) A God that cannot lie, for example, is not omnipotent. Unless of course you define "omnipotence" in terms of what God can and cannot do. Such a God, a god of definitions, serves as little more than a debating tactic. We have discussed this before and I feel little worth in going over this area here. I can locate and continue that previous discussion if you are so inclined?
2) It seems very arbitrary as to which of God's laws God is compelled to obey himself and which he is not. When I have asked about God's actions in relation to the commandments I have been told, by yourself and others, that God is not constrained by such things. However now you speak of God's laws as all inclusive. Even of Him. This is contradictory and frankly suggests that you guys are making it up as we go along.
So, in summary, there seems little basis to insist that an omnipotent God need pay any price for forgiveness at all. And that even if it is accepted that a price must be paid then that payment can take the form of the forfeiting of "his right to exact the righteous retribution due him".
No?
ABE
I realise that you have not had a chance to answer the question as yet but I will reiterate it here anyway such that it is not forgotten.
Question: - Is the idea that Jesus had freewill regarding his sacrifice consistent with the idea that it was foretold and revealed to man as a prophecy?
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by iano, posted 01-05-2009 3:59 PM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 01-06-2009 9:32 AM Straggler has not replied
 Message 40 by iano, posted 01-07-2009 9:28 AM Straggler has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3183 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 24 of 64 (493132)
01-06-2009 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Straggler
01-06-2009 9:05 AM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
IANO writes:
God can't change his nature afterall.
So humans can do something God cannot do? We can change our nature, our attitudes, our behavior, etc but God cannot?
When someone gets in a car wreck and is inflicted with brain damage even a person's base psyche & personality can change. Litteraly they can become a different "person".
Sounds like we are more omnipotent than God? Care to refute?
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Straggler, posted 01-06-2009 9:05 AM Straggler has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by iano, posted 01-06-2009 10:14 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2022 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 25 of 64 (493134)
01-06-2009 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Straggler
01-06-2009 7:21 AM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
Straggler writes:
I am, from my vantage point of faithlessness, able to take a wider perspective regarding the suitability (or otherwise) of faith as a means of differentiating between the “worthy” and the “unworthy”. A perspective that you, immersed as you are in your own “one true faith”, seem unable or unwilling to acknowledge
I've a feeling that you've have missed the point that would deal with this. But let's see.
-
1. The Faithful: How many different religions place an equal emphasis on faith as a means of separating the worthy from the unworthy? How many of these faiths are contradictory and thus incompatible with each other? When a Muslim, for example, proclaims the splendour and glorious nature of his personal faith exactly as you have done above, is he lying? Is he deluded? For not accepting Jesus Christ as his personal saviour is he to be consigned to hell? From his perspective it is you who has fallen foul of deceit or delusion. From his perspective it is you who will never know the wondrousness associated with having discovered the “one true faith”.
We've already seen that faith in Jesus Christ or Faith in Allah or Faith in Buddhah etc. is not the basis by which person is deemed "worthy or unworthy" in Christianity. Rather, the criterion for salvation is "believing God" without a need to reference anything remotely Religious/God/Christ/Spirituality/Supernatural. One doesn't even need to believe in Gods existance in order to satisfy the criterion: "believe God".
Thus, Gods method of salvation transcends Religion - be it Faith in Allah Islam / Faith in Christ Christianity / Faith in God Judaism etc//. No faith (of that type) is required in order to be saved.
It's not for me to say how God manifests to someone who is saved - but who has never heard (nor ever will) of God-of-the-Bible or Jesus or Christianity. Suffice to say that that persons view of God might even appear pagan to my eyes - such is the level of information with which he has to build his model of God. A person isn't saved by the likeness with which they model Gods image - any more than they are saved by having the correct doctrine. Thankfully
So, what place this division between Religions/Philosophies when everyone can be saved by God irrespective of their country of birth, irrespective of the Religion of the land, irrespective of the philosphical leanings of their alma mater? What place, when these things form no impediment to God reaching man?
-
And how is one who is uncontaminated by cultural predisposition to choose between these different faiths? How is he to make the “correct” choice? By reason alone? Surely this contradicts the very nature of faith?
I can't speak for the spectrum of Religion but I know doctrinally and experientially that Christianity doesn't require that you chose for it. In my own case rational objection (not to say repulsion) to Christianity/God rose to it's greatest height very shortly before I was saved. It turned out to be an image of God I was objecting too - not God as he actually turned out to be.
The work of salvation is Gods alone. You might find yourself reasoning about it but there is no demand that you do so. You might find yourself engaging with Christians on a site like this - but there is no demand that you do. If you tumble into the boat flopping and wriggling you'll look back and see that it wasn't your reasoning or choice* that got you there. It was his fishing skills. You need do nothing at all.
-
By listening “to his heart”? Are you so arrogant as to claim that those of different and contradictory faiths to you own do not feel in their hearts, exactly as you presumably do, that they are blessed with having discovered the ultimate truth?
There is no method of differentiating between competing faiths and the very nature of faith makes any differentiation inherently impossible.
As indicated, I fully expect people who believe quite differently than I do to occupy heaven. I'm certainly not inclined to suppose God confined by the human tendency to ignore clear scriptural evidence pointing to Gods desire that all be saved - even though he accepts that many will (effectively) choose against* him
* note: that a person can't choose for God but can choose against him derives from the biblical indication that salvation is of Gods effort and damnation of mans will
-
2. The Deceitful: Consider those who would wish to intentionally manipulate or control the masses. What is their best strategy for achieving their aims? How about the promotion of irrationality, the abandonment of reason and the advancement of the notion that wrapping oneself in the warm embrace of unquestioning reverence for a “higher authority” is somehow a noble pursuit? The promotion of faith as a strategy for mass control is an obvious and well worn one.
Why would God choose a strategy for the communication of his message that is not only deeply inefficient but also incredibly and easily open to abuse by those who would deceive?
Go back to the garden of Eden and we see God setting up a choice. Prohibition on the one hand / provision of temptation on the other. For the sake of argument (and reason) assume the choice was assembled so as to be balanced.
Things are no different today. Lies of various types are utilised by God in order to ensure mankind have a route open which leads away from God. It can be the lie of all the works based religions. It can be the lie that material wealth and beauty will provide the contentment you yearn for. There is a lie available to suit all types and kinds of people.
(Do check out all those different Religions Straggler and you'll find they all share one thing in common. They all require that you work for your salvation. That you get your act together or go to church or worship or give alms or pray or follow rules or dress this way or meditate or...
One "Religion" doesn't require that you do a thing to be saved. Even if you believe God it will be because the evidence required to convict you was presented to you on a plate - by God. You don't have to lift a finger. One "Religion" in a million should blow at least some of the smoke away.)
-
The Faithless: Given all of the above are those who resist faith and insist on the application of reason necessarily choosing to reject God (as is often intimated by the EvC born again contingent)?
From personal experience I'd have to say no. As a mechanical engineer, pragmatic reasoning is an essential mode of operation - one which I happen to apply to most all areas of my life. Yet that tendency to reason and puzzle didn't stand in the way of my salvation - even though reason was being assaulted by the claims I was hearing about this God of the Bible. After the fact I find my reason reasons as before - but just according to a new landscape.
You don't arrive at God by reason. Nor do I think it possible to reason your way to a comfortable position away from him. Reason isn't equipped to provide final answers to that kind of question.
-
Is the insistence that a perfect God would not devise such an imperfect, inefficient and easily abused method of getting his favourite creation through the pearly gates of heaven really a denouncement of God himself?
The existance of false gods serves a purpose as we have seen. Perfection has to do with fitness for purpose. Not perceived fitness for perceived purpose.
-
If there is a God then he gave us our ability to reason. He also made reason a far more powerful and reliable method of differentiating between truth and falsehood than faith. Regardless of what the faithful of all the various faiths may say and regardless of what any particular holy book may claim the emphasis on faith over reason as the means to salvation is surely the work of one who wishes to divide mankind and lead him astray from “the one true path” (should such a thing exist).
Hopefully you will see that the faith you're talking of has nothing to do with saving faith I'm speaking of. They are different things altogether. This objection of yours might be raised on any Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist fora you frequent (although I'm think I'd be right in guessing you don't frequent such fora) but it has no more place here.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Straggler, posted 01-06-2009 7:21 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Straggler, posted 01-06-2009 11:14 AM iano has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 26 of 64 (493135)
01-06-2009 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Buzsaw
01-03-2009 4:26 PM


Re: Why Sacrifice?
But Jesus, immortal deity willingly sacrificed himself on the alter of a humiliating torture, pain and death who knew he would never have otherwise experienced death pain and lonely forsakeness by God for the sole purpose of ransoming millions of his own inferiors, expendable creatures of God, from the curse of death? We're talking apples and oranges here, so to speak.
1) As an omniscient being God/Jesus surely has knowledge and experience of everything? Including "death pain and lonely forsakeness". No? How can an omniscient being not know these things?
2) As has already been asked - Did Jesus have freewill regarding his sacrifice given that the whole thing had been foretold anyway?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Buzsaw, posted 01-03-2009 4:26 PM Buzsaw has not replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2022 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 27 of 64 (493137)
01-06-2009 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by DevilsAdvocate
01-06-2009 9:32 AM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
Sounds like we are more omnipotent than God? Care to refute?
"More omnipotent" is an oxymoron?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 01-06-2009 9:32 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 01-06-2009 10:28 AM iano has not replied
 Message 30 by Straggler, posted 01-06-2009 11:27 AM iano has not replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3183 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 28 of 64 (493138)
01-06-2009 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by iano
01-06-2009 10:14 AM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
"More omnipotent" is an oxymoron?
Not really, it is like saying "more perfect", it is gramatically incorrect since like the word "pefect", omnipotence implies an absolute. Thus something is either omnipotent or not omnipotent (there is no inbetween "more omnipotent". An oxymoron implies a self-contradictory sentance as in the phrase "cruel kindness". However, can you refute the rest of my argument:
Myself writes:
IANO writes:
God can't change his nature afterall.
So humans can do something God cannot do? We can change our nature, our attitudes, our behavior, etc but God cannot?
When someone gets in a car wreck and is inflicted with brain damage even a person's base psyche & personality can change. Litteraly they can become a different "person".
That is can human's do something God can't? And if so, would that make him not omnipotent since we ourselves are not omnipotent?
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by iano, posted 01-06-2009 10:14 AM iano has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 29 of 64 (493142)
01-06-2009 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by iano
01-06-2009 10:08 AM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
I've a feeling that you've have missed the point that would deal with this. But let's see.
You make your points well and it does indeed seem that the form of faith that you advocate is, by and large, not the one I am railing against. However -
1) There are many out there less "liberal" in view than you regarding this matter
2) The point remains that an emphasis on faith, flawed and easily abused tool that it indisputably remains, is still more readily explained by human desire to deceive or self-delude than as a method of an omnipotent being disclosing the the truth.
It has to be said that you are beginning to sound more and more like (Ex EvC member) Jar as time goes on................. and he was quite often in serious disagreement with the more fundamentalist members here.
We've already seen that faith in Jesus Christ or Faith in Allah or Faith in Buddhah etc. is not the basis by which person is deemed "worthy or unworthy" in Christianity. Rather, the criterion for salvation is "believing God" without a need to reference anything remotely Religious/God/Christ/Spirituality/Supernatural. One doesn't even need to believe in Gods existance in order to satisfy the criterion: "believe God".
Thus, Gods method of salvation transcends Religion - be it Faith in Allah Islam / Faith in Christ Christianity / Faith in God Judaism etc//. No faith (of that type) is required in order to be saved.
It's not for me to say how God manifests to someone who is saved - but who has never heard (nor ever will) of God-of-the-Bible or Jesus or Christianity. Suffice to say that that persons view of God might even appear pagan to my eyes - such is the level of information with which he has to build his model of God. A person isn't saved by the likeness with which they model Gods image - any more than they are saved by having the correct doctrine. Thankfully
So, what place this division between Religions/Philosophies when everyone can be saved by God irrespective of their country of birth, irrespective of the Religion of the land, irrespective of the philosphical leanings of their alma mater? What place, when these things form no impediment to God reaching man?
Then there seems to be no real requirement for either religion or faith?
I can't speak for the spectrum of Religion but I know doctrinally and experientially that Christianity doesn't require that you chose for it. In my own case rational objection (not to say repulsion) to Christianity/God rose to it's greatest height very shortly before I was saved. It turned out to be an image of God I was objecting too - not God as he actually turned out to be.
The work of salvation is Gods alone. You might find yourself reasoning about it but there is no demand that you do so. You might find yourself engaging with Christians on a site like this - but there is no demand that you do. If you tumble into the boat flopping and wriggling you'll look back and see that it wasn't your reasoning or choice* that got you there. It was his fishing skills. You need do nothing at all.
Then there seems to be no real requirement for either religion or faith?
As indicated, I fully expect people who believe quite differently than I do to occupy heaven. I'm certainly not inclined to suppose God confined by the human tendency to ignore clear scriptural evidence pointing to Gods desire that all be saved - even though he accepts that many will (effectively) choose against* him
* note: that a person can't choose for God but can choose against him derives from the biblical indication that salvation is of Gods effort and damnation of mans will
Then there seems to be no real requirement for either religion or faith?
It also has to be said that none of the above passages remotely touch on the inherently flawed nature of faith and the question of why any God would choose to put such emphsais on something so flawed and easily abused.
Why "Blessed are those who believe but do not see" rather than "Blessed are those who seek to discard the false and verify the true by means of experiment and reason"?
For example.
Go back to the garden of Eden and we see God setting up a choice. Prohibition on the one hand / provision of temptation on the other. For the sake of argument (and reason) assume the choice was assembled so as to be balanced.
That is quite an assumption. I have always thought that the whole wily, deceitful talking snake thing was a particularly unfair addition to the scenario. Given freewill and God's commands alone, man might have stood a chance even taking into account his (God given - it has to be said) naivety and inherently inquisitive nature. But throw in the tempting talking snake and the outcome seems all but inevitable.
Things are no different today. Lies of various types are utilised by God in order to ensure mankind have a route open which leads away from God. It can be the lie of all the works based religions. It can be the lie that material wealth and beauty will provide the contentment you yearn for. There is a lie available to suit all types and kinds of people.
So simple freewill and the choice as to whether to accept God or not is not sufficiant? Instead we are besieged with trickery, trapdoors and pitfalls at every turn?
Why is God so intent on seeing us fail? Why does he feel the need to introduce the talking snake (metaphorically speaking now) at every opportunity?
There is a lie available to suit all types and kinds of people.
I think that there is a very good case to be made for religion, and an associated reliance on faith, to be just such a lie. Designed to appeal to a certain kind of person.
Straggler writes:
The Faithless: Given all of the above are those who resist faith and insist on the application of reason necessarily choosing to reject God (as is often intimated by the EvC born again contingent)?
From personal experience I'd have to say no.
Phew!!
Straggler writes:
If there is a God then he gave us our ability to reason. He also made reason a far more powerful and reliable method of differentiating between truth and falsehood than faith. Regardless of what the faithful of all the various faiths may say and regardless of what any particular holy book may claim the emphasis on faith over reason as the means to salvation is surely the work of one who wishes to divide mankind and lead him astray from “the one true path” (should such a thing exist).
Hopefully you will see that the faith you're talking of has nothing to do with saving faith I'm speaking of. They are different things altogether.
Hmmmm. OK. Ish. I am happy to leave the "nature of faith" side of things at that and get back to the more specific issue of sacrifice. Feel free to have a last word on faith in response to this post if you so wish.
This objection of yours might be raised on any Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist fora you frequent (although I'm think I'd be right in guessing you don't frequent such fora)
Well actually..... More recently I have been having some interesting discussions on EvC type topics with a Muslim acquainatnce on a different and less specific forum. But my exposure is admittedly limited.
but it has no more place here.
Iano hast spoken!!
That's a bit assertive!! But OK. Fine by me. As stated above.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by iano, posted 01-06-2009 10:08 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by iano, posted 01-06-2009 12:48 PM Straggler has replied
 Message 35 by iano, posted 01-06-2009 8:03 PM Straggler has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 30 of 64 (493143)
01-06-2009 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by iano
01-06-2009 10:14 AM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
"More omnipotent" is an oxymoron?
Imagine a being who can do all that your "omnipotent" God can. But that can also lie and sin.
If you have an issue with the phrase "more omnipotent" in this context then it says more about your insistence on an inadeqaute definition of the term "omnipotent", a definition based on what God supposedly can and cannot do, than it does on anybody elses conceptual meaning of the term "omnipotent" as applied without reference or comparison to the Chrsitian God.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by iano, posted 01-06-2009 10:14 AM iano has not replied

  
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