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One of the points of Molinism is to explain how God can get guaranteed, desired choices from creatures. Any given choice is determined by the chain of causes that goes back to God's creative act. Once God creates the universe, ALL choices are determined. Perhaps your use of the word "forced" is the problem. Let's take it out. You agree that circumstances determine choices without fail? Molinism falls apart if you deny this, as far as I can see. But if you agree, then LL is correct.

 

 

Hello OC, I'm better informed on Molinism now and understand that Molinists don't hold that God as first cause of the universe is the first efficient cause of someone's decision. The argument rests, as I understand it, just on God's middle (fore)knowledge: God knows that under circumstances x, y and z, Ruth will choose P, so he creates a world in which x, y and z occur, because he knows that Ruth will then choose P. That's all the Molinist holds, right?

 

I don't think the difference from Arminianism is very significant, quite frankly, and I think the whole position fails to do justice to the clear sense of statements in the Bible like God hardened Pharaoh's heart, and many others that have been quoted. Anyway, my earlier belief was wrong, that Molinism holds God is the first efficient cause of free decisions of creatures.

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I want to thank OrdianryClay for demonstrating why talking to Christians about religion is a complete waste of time. Never bother in real life. Christians always try to pull the same dishonest trick

This is exactly why conversations like this are pointless. One side uses historical and scientific fact, observation of the real world, and logic. The other accepts only information that conforms to w

I'm done making threads like this, I have no interest in having discussions with "christians" anymore. You all have your heads so far up your asses that it's literally a waste of my time.

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Free will is articulated in scripture by the endless choices it states we have.

Predestine means to determine in advance.

You don't have endless choices when a particular action has already been selected for you.

God has the endless choices, not you.

The script was already written by God, ahead of time.

You are equivocating on the word script. An actualized world was written ahead of time. The choices we have within the circumstances are real and are not forced only foreknown. God knows unerringly, it may seem confusing because we can not fathom a mind that has complete foreknowledge .

 

Jos 24:15

And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.

A truly free choice would not have an ultimatum attached.

Christian theology sits on the foundation of a threat based ultimatum, not unlike that of a Mafia boss.

This is a very silly statement on it's face. Because a choice has consequences does not mean the choice does not exist. Consequences are logically distinct from the choice that results in the consequences. No one is forced to eat there a complete chocolate cake even if they love chocolate cakes.

 

Both Acts 2:23 and 4:28 are compatible with middle knowledge and free will.

You don't have free will when your script was written in advance by an outside power.

You just said that. You should break that habit. It is very unimpressive and certainly unconvincing.
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He predetermined the actualized world in which the choices spoken of were made. The players could have chosen differently, but God would have foreknew such an alternate choice and actualized a different world. Logically it is very simple.

The players could not have chosen differently when a choice isn't theirs to make.

 

Eph 1:4-5,11

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

 

According to whose will?

According to his will, not yours.

And we have a large number of verses indicating choice.

 

Pro 1:29

Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD.

 

So we have clear indications we have choice from three sources:

1) Scripture

2) Our own intuition that tells us we have a choice. I simply don't believe anyone who tells me hat they are not freely choosing to read this post at this moment. Sorry.

3) Science currently indicates we have choice. There is no science that currently describes our brans as deterministic automata.

 

You see you are freely chosing to be selective in your judgement. You are focusing on a set of verses to the exclusion of other facts. The scripture you quote is beautiful, wonderful and true, but must be interpreted in the contewxt of all we know.

 

God, did indeed work His will in creating the world we live in. Through God's will and providence we are all found within our circumstances. Through these circumstances He did choose people and predestine people to be His, but that does not mean He removed our free will or forced us to be His. The brute choice we make still exists, He simply predestined us through His choice of circumstances which He foreknew.

 

 

Rom 9:28-29

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

Predestination = to know and to determine in advance.

Predestine does not mean forcing our will. He, through His divine providence, created a world in which "all things work together" as the verse states.

 

 

So you have ...

1) Clear scriptural indications of our ability to choose.

So you also have...

Clear scriptural indictations that God predestines at least some humans to a particular action, role, or condition.

 

Rom 9:11-13

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

 

Who determines physical deformities? God does.

The individual has no choice in the matter.

 

Exo 4:11

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

 

God subjected creation to a curse, against its will, because God wrote the script in advance.

 

Rom 8:20-21 (NLT)

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope,

the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

 

Rom 8:20

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

 

At best, one can only claim that God may give choice in some matters but not in others.

The slighest amount of predestination being present is enough to render claims about universal free will as merely subjective exercises in pushing jello around a plate.

Here you are confusing natural occurrences with our free will. We are subject to laws of physics, which include the biological limitations of our bodies. Yes, God choose the circumstances of our physical existence, which is what I've been saying all along. These circumstances influence us in our free will choices, absolutely. God knew the influences these circumstances would have on our choices. That is why He choose those circumstances.

 

At least what we can say is we, universally, have the free will to chose whether we do evil or good. This choice is squarely on our shoulders.

 

 

 

2) Quoted counter verses that can be interpreted easily within a middle knowledge framework.

That's right, and there are plenty of verses that easily shot to pieces claims about universal free will and endless choices.

Your response does not make any sense in the context of what you quoted. You did not address the fact that the verses you quote can be explained logically within the context of middle knowledge. You may disagree with that but a better response on your part would be to address that issue. As I stated 1) and 2) combine to allow us to harmonize an incredibly deep subject, God's omniscience/omnipotence and our free will.

 

The fact that such a harmonization is possible renders null and void any argument you make that Christianity is invalid because you choose to perceive a conflict between God and our free will

 

I don't see the problem. I'm very comfortable both logically and theologically with molinism.

You don't have to see a problem.

You can believe anything that makes you feel comfortable.

Christian theologians have never been able to agree on these issues.

That's because there is no proper interpretation of theological word salad which conflicts with itself.

It has no more resolution that trying to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Just because Christian theologians disagree does not mean there is a logical problem with scripture or God does not exist. It simply means Christian theologians fail to agree. People disagree all the time, and that does not negate real truth. That is silly. Those who disagree freely choose to do so based on their own circumstances. Just as you have freely chosen to respond to my post and have made a myriad of other fee will choices in your life.
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well, Pharoah seems not have the choice of choosing when God hardens his heart?

 

God through His middle knowledge knew the circumstances needed for Pharaoh to act the way He did through his own free will. Same case with Pilate.

And scripture undermines the notion about free will in these cases.

God determined the position of Pharaoh, as he does with all human authority on earth (Rom 13:1-3).

Not according to their will, but by his will and purpose.

Rom 13:1-3

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

 

He gave us the free will to follow their rules, else He would not tell us to be subject to them. Again, you are very selective in your thinking. Very narrow.

 

Rom 9:15-17

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

 

God then promises to take affirmative actions to harden the heart of a fixture that he set in place, as part of God's plan to glorify himself to the world.

 

Exo 4:21

And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

 

This is the same God that will purposely send delusions and evil spirits to influence human behavior.

 

2 Thess 2:11

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Ultimately our circumstances were, and are, subject to God's will. This took action on God's part. This is what I have been saying. So there is nothing surprising here and nothing that negates universal free will. God's actions have, and will lead, to people being deluded, but the choice to believe these delusions or the choice to act out given a hardened heart is still the individuals. Some give up their search for truth early, or some simply choose not to believe for personal reasons, it is still all a choice.

 

Joh 5:39-40

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

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The doctrine of middle knowledge is a philosophical argument.

Yes, but isn't it telling that we need "philosophical arguments" to mutilate or invert the meaning of any plainly written verse that doesn't fit your preconceptions.

 

The philosophy comes into play because we have other verses that tell us we have free will also. Reasoning about scripture is fine in the eyes of God.

 

Isa 1:18

"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, ...

But that's not the Christian God.

 

The Christian God is this:

 

"Come now, let me tell you what you need to do to avoid my wrath."

"If you want to engage in reasoning, make sure you reach the proper conclusion....or else."

Circumstances of choice do not remove a choice.

 

The Christian God is the God of the Old Testament.

 

Act 3:13

"The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.

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We are not free agents.

 

I disagree circumstances force choices. You and I are both participating in this thread, which is a small subset of shared circumstances in our lives, yet you choose not to believe in Christ and I do. Now naturally you will claim some other circumstances outside this thread have determined the difference in our belief, but we have no reason to believe so based on induction of the small set we share. What magic set determines the difference.

 

Also, the assertion that we have no free will is to claim we are deterministic machines, which is a scientific claim. The science in this area is very speculative, and such science does not exist at the moment.

 

We are not deterministic. You are not a free agent to even remotely affect the pre-outcomes of choice.

 

I had no choice to be born in Africa. Ergo everything since my birth was choice based on that/those circumstance(s). Had I been born in the US or visa versa with you, your life would have followed a totally different path.

 

Free will in relation to belief of a mythical/imaginary being are of no consequence and is pointless debating it. There are no consequences linked to belief or lack thereof, mere speculation.

 

You pretty much see a pre-deterministic model by reflection of your past however taking this to a philosophical level is pointless as then you enter the realm of space time continuums and the like and mostly a lot of if onlys.

 

Very simple example. Had I stayed on in Zimbabwe another decade, I would have met another wife and my current and only wife another husband. I would have other kids or none and likewise with my wife. Does that mean we were destined to meet; her 1000km from her home town and me more than 1500km from mine?

 

No, her circumstances finding her way to the town we stay in and mine were radially different. Mine esp. followed a path of drug abuse and to get clean I had to forcibly extract my self out of the city where I knew all the dealers as I was one myself. Plus I needed a job and my dad could organise one for me, he was in recruitment.

 

My religious conversion came some 7 years later.

Yes, I agree we are not deterministic, and I also agree we are influenced by our circumstances. How does that negate free will? You could still make a myriad of differing choices in the circumstances you did find yourself in.
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One of the points of Molinism is to explain how God can get guaranteed, desired choices from creatures. Any given choice is determined by the chain of causes that goes back to God's creative act. Once God creates the universe, ALL choices are determined. Perhaps your use of the word "forced" is the problem. Let's take it out. You agree that circumstances determine choices without fail? Molinism falls apart if you deny this, as far as I can see. But if you agree, then LL is correct.

 

 

Hello OC, I'm better informed on Molinism now and understand that Molinists don't hold that God as first cause of the universe is the first efficient cause of someone's decision. The argument rests, as I understand it, just on God's middle (fore)knowledge: God knows that under circumstances x, y and z, Ruth will choose P, so he creates a world in which x, y and z occur, because he knows that Ruth will then choose P. That's all the Molinist holds, right?

That's a good summary.

 

I don't think the difference from Arminianism is very significant, quite frankly, and I think the whole position fails to do justice to the clear sense of statements in the Bible like God hardened Pharaoh's heart, and many others that have been quoted. Anyway, my earlier belief was wrong, that Molinism holds God is the first efficient cause of free decisions of creatures.

Hi, I would suggest this book to understand more fully the deferences between the doctrines of foreknowledge. Very good and the kindle version is cheap and easy to get using Kindle Cloud. Dr Craig also deals with God's providence in light of middle knowledge as well. God's providence is what determined Pharaoh's heart for example.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Foreknowledge-James-K-Beilby/dp/0830826521

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Free will is articulated in scripture by the endless choices it states we have.

Predestine means to determine in advance.

You don't have endless choices when a particular action has already been selected for you.

God has the endless choices, not you.

The script was already written by God, ahead of time.

You are equivocating on the word script. An actualized world was written ahead of time. The choices we have within the circumstances are real and are not forced only foreknown. God knows unerringly, it may seem confusing because we can not fathom a mind that has complete foreknowledge .

Predestine means to determine in advance.

You are not addressing the issue.

You have in no way proved that predestination only means foreknowledge.

According to scripture, God determines and sets certain circumstances in place by his will.

Humans have no say in such matters.

 

Jos 24:15

And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.

 

A truly free choice would not have an ultimatum attached.

Christian theology sits on the foundation of a threat based ultimatum, not unlike that of a Mafia boss.

 

OC-

This is a very silly statement on it's face. Because a choice has consequences does not mean the choice does not exist.

No, it’s your perpetual state of denial that’s silly.

The use of explicit violent threats by an outside force to coerce behavior is not the allowing of genuine free will.

Free means without charge, not subject to punishments, penalty, or other dire threats.

Your version of free will is merely a conditional choice that has impaired "free will" in an effort to skew the outcome.

The Mafia lord uses ultimatums to intimidate and coerce the process of choice.

The Christian God does the same with its threat of damnation for an incorrect choice being made.

 

Consequences are logically distinct from the choice that results in the consequences. No one is forced to eat there a complete chocolate cake even if they love chocolate cakes.

The Christian choice isn’t about the eating habits of cake lovers, it’s about eternal damnation for failure to comply to an ultimatum.

The choice is skewed by an outside force that employs threats to manipulate the outcome.

 

Both Acts 2:23 and 4:28 are compatible with middle knowledge and free will.

 

You don't have free will when your script was written in advance by an outside power.

 

OC-

You just said that. You should break that habit. It is very unimpressive and certainly unconvincing.

Impressing you has nothing to do with it.

It’s a matter of holding you accountable for your repeated claims about "God", which are little more than wishful thinking.

You keep denying the scripture, along with repeating your claim that predestination only means foreknowledge.

You have done nothing to prove that God doesn’t determine outcomes in advance, as scripture indicates.

You should break the habit of pretending to have superior knowledge of God.

 

Naturally, your version of God can be anything you want it to be, and if you're going to make claims about it, then preface your claims with "my version of God".

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He predetermined the actualized world in which the choices spoken of were made. The players could have chosen differently, but God would have foreknew such an alternate choice and actualized a different world. Logically it is very simple.

The players could not have chosen differently when a choice isn't theirs to make.

 

Eph 1:4-5,11

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

 

According to whose will?

According to his will, not yours.

 

OC-And we have a large number of verses indicating choice.

 

Pro 1:29

Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD.

 

So we have clear indications we have choice from three sources:

1) Scripture

And as already shown multiple times by scripture, that is by no means universal.

 

2) Our own intuition that tells us we have a choice. I simply don't believe anyone who tells me hat they are not freely choosing to read this post at this moment. Sorry.

Your opinion and desires are not a clear indication of anything.

It's not binding on anyone other than yourself.

 

3) Science currently indicates we have choice. There is no science that currently describes our brans as deterministic automata.

How does this rule out God’s sovereign will?

Are you saying that science is more important and that it overrides scripture?

 

You see you are freely chosing to be selective in your judgement. You are focusing on a set of verses to the exclusion of other facts. The scripture you quote is beautiful, wonderful and true, but must be interpreted in the contewxt of all we know.

No, you don’t think they are true, at least not until after you’re rewritten them to conform with your desires.

The context is God’s sovereign will and the verses clearly show that God not only has foreknowledge, he determines outcomes in advance.

 

God, did indeed work His will in creating the world we live in. Through God's will and providence we are all found within our circumstances. Through these circumstances He did choose people and predestine people to be His, but that does not mean He removed our free will or forced us to be His. The brute choice we make still exists, He simply predestined us through His choice of circumstances which He foreknew.

Then prove it.

Prove that God doesn’t predestine events and choices in advance as scripture says.

Prove that when it says God determined roles for people in advance that it didn’t remove their “free will”.

Prove that deformed babies and other birth defects are the product of individual free will.

Scripture says God determines these things.

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Rom 8:28-29

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

Predestination = to know and to determine in advance.

Predestine does not mean forcing our will. He, through His divine providence, created a world in which "all things work together" as the verse states.

The very act of determining something in advance renders free will moot.

God’s will trumps your will.

All things work together for his purpose.

God works all things according to his will per Eph 1:11.

That’s what the scripture says.

 

Eph 1:11 NCV

In Christ we were chosen to be God's people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with his plan. And he is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants.

 

Predestine means to know and determine in advance.

 

So you have ...

1) Clear scriptural indications of our ability to choose.

 

So you also have...

Clear scriptural indictations that God predestines at least some humans to a particular action, role, or condition.

 

Rom 9:11-13

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

 

Who determines physical deformities? God does.

The individual has no choice in the matter.

 

Exo 4:11

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

 

God subjected creation to a curse, against its will, because God wrote the script in advance.

 

Rom 8:20-21 (NLT)

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope,

the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

 

Rom 8:20

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

 

At best, one can only claim that God may give choice in some matters but not in others.

The slighest amount of predestination being present is enough to render claims about universal free will as merely subjective exercises in pushing jello around a plate.

 

OC-

Here you are confusing natural occurrences with our free will.

Here you are denying the power of God’s sovereign will and actions, calling them mere “natural occurrences”.

 

We are subject to laws of physics, which include the biological limitations of our bodies. Yes, God choose the circumstances of our physical existence, which is what I've been saying all along.

The circumstances are the product of God’s direct action.

 

Exo 4:11

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

 

These circumstances influence us in our free will choices, absolutely. God knew the influences these circumstances would have on our choices. That is why He choose those circumstances.

God’s actions not only influence, they determine some things in advance.

In these cases, God’s sovereign choice and will trump human will and choice.

At best, one can only claim that God may give choice in some matters but not in others.

 

At least what we can say is we, universally, have the free will to chose whether we do evil or good. This choice is squarely on our shoulders.

Scripture indicates otherwise.

Prove that “universal free will” trumps God’s sovereign will.

 

2) Quoted counter verses that can be interpreted easily within a middle knowledge framework.

[

That's right, and there are plenty of verses that easily shot to pieces claims about universal free will and endless choices.

 

OC-Your response does not make any sense in the context of what you quoted. You did not address the fact that the verses you quote can be explained logically within the context of middle knowledge.

And your repeated denials of God’s sovereign actions make no sense within the framework of an all powerful creator that works everything out according to his will.

You did not address the fact that predestination means to foreknow and to determine in advance.

 

You may disagree with that but a better response on your part would be to address that issue. As I stated 1) and 2) combine to allow us to harmonize an incredibly deep subject, God's omniscience/omnipotence and our free will.

You may disagree but a better response would be to acknowledge God’s power and actions and address the ramifications of scripture, without attempting to hide God behind a veil of mere foreknowledge.

 

The fact that such a harmonization is possible renders null and void any argument you make that Christianity is invalid because you choose to perceive a conflict between God and our free will

According to this logic, the possibility of elves living on Neptune renders null and void any argument that they don't.

Therefore, the fact that you cannot prove a single thing concerning your musings about this “God”, makes null and void any argument you make about universal free will being in effect.

Your perception of a harmonization, which is rooted in diluting God's sovereign will, doesn't undo the scripture.

In fact, you contradict the implications of scripture, which indicate that God’s sovereign will and choice will always trump human will when he sees fit.

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I don't see the problem. I'm very comfortable both logically and theologically with molinism.

 

centauri-

You don't have to see a problem.

You can believe anything that makes you feel comfortable.

Christian theologians have never been able to agree on these issues.

That's because there is no proper interpretation of theological word salad which conflicts with itself.

It has no more resolution that trying to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

 

OC-Just because Christian theologians disagree does not mean there is a logical problem with scripture or God does not exist. It simply means Christian theologians fail to agree.

Then Christians are in no position to advertise their God as being a reality.

The prayer of Jesus was that all believers be in perfect unity.

 

People disagree all the time, and that does not negate real truth. That is silly.

Then scripture is silly, because it doesn’t allow for multiple interpretations to be true.

Jesus prayed for complete unity.

The failure of that prayer indicates that Jesus wasn’t sent by God.

 

Those who disagree freely choose to do so based on their own circumstances. Just as you have freely chosen to respond to my post and have made a myriad of other fee will choices in your life.

When did you ask to be born?

When did you choose to be born human, male or female, and your genetic makeup?

You have no way to know with any degree of certainty how often God might determine even the smallest aspects of your existence.

Scripture says he has no problem doing this.

The burden of proof is on you to show that God never does this, and rewriting scripture isn't proof.

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pratt-well, Pharoah seems not have the choice of choosing when God hardens his heart?

 

OC-

God through His middle knowledge knew the circumstances needed for Pharaoh to act the way He did through his own free will. Same case with Pilate.

 

centauri-

And scripture undermines the notion about free will in these cases.

God determined the position of Pharaoh, as he does with all human authority on earth (Rom 13:1-3).

Not according to their will, but by his will and purpose.

 

Rom 13:1-3

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

 

OC-

He gave us the free will to follow their rules, else He would not tell us to be subject to them. Again, you are very selective in your thinking. Very narrow.

The narrowness is yours.

The rulers were set in place by God, by his will.

 

Rom 9:15-17

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

 

God then promises to take affirmative actions to harden the heart of a fixture that he set in place, as part of God's plan to glorify himself to the world.

 

Exo 4:21

And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

 

This is the same God that will purposely send delusions and evil spirits to influence human behavior.

 

2 Thess 2:11

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

 

OC-

Ultimately our circumstances were, and are, subject to God's will. This took action on God's part. This is what I have been saying. So there is nothing surprising here and nothing that negates universal free will.

Nothing that negates universal free will????

You live in a dreamy world of denial, which also isn't surprising.

However, denial on your part doesn’t wipe away these verses or all the ones I listed previously.

All it takes is one instance of God determining a condition, event, or role in advance to negate your claims about “universal free will”.

God’s will trumps human will as he sees fit.

These verses and others, clearly indicate that God takes direct affirmative actions that determine or ensure an outcome in advance, even if it is against the will of the creation.

Predestination means to determine in advance.

 

God's actions have, and will lead, to people being deluded, but the choice to believe these delusions or the choice to act out given a hardened heart is still the individuals. Some give up their search for truth early, or some simply choose not to believe for personal reasons, it is still all a choice.

Prove that it’s all a choice.

Prove that God didn’t manipulate Pharaoh to make a particular choice.

Scripture says that God will manipulate people according to his will.

Scripture says that God will send delusions to ensure that an outcome is achieved.

Prove that God will not under any circumstances predestine people to a particular condition or role.

 

Joh 5:39-40

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

And God's sovereign will trumps human will as he sees fit.

 

Rom 9:16

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

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One of the points of Molinism is to explain how God can get guaranteed, desired choices from creatures. Any given choice is determined by the chain of causes that goes back to God's creative act. Once God creates the universe, ALL choices are determined. Perhaps your use of the word "forced" is the problem. Let's take it out. You agree that circumstances determine choices without fail? Molinism falls apart if you deny this, as far as I can see. But if you agree, then LL is correct.

 

 

Hello OC, I'm better informed on Molinism now and understand that Molinists don't hold that God as first cause of the universe is the first efficient cause of someone's decision. The argument rests, as I understand it, just on God's middle (fore)knowledge: God knows that under circumstances x, y and z, Ruth will choose P, so he creates a world in which x, y and z occur, because he knows that Ruth will then choose P. That's all the Molinist holds, right?

That's a good summary.

 

I don't think the difference from Arminianism is very significant, quite frankly, and I think the whole position fails to do justice to the clear sense of statements in the Bible like God hardened Pharaoh's heart, and many others that have been quoted. Anyway, my earlier belief was wrong, that Molinism holds God is the first efficient cause of free decisions of creatures.

Hi, I would suggest this book to understand more fully the deferences between the doctrines of foreknowledge. Very good and the kindle version is cheap and easy to get using Kindle Cloud. Dr Craig also deals with God's providence in light of middle knowledge as well. God's providence is what determined Pharaoh's heart for example.

 

http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/0830826521

 

Thanks for the rec. I can't look into this book now. Last week I read some of Craig's articles in refereed journals, as well as some rebuttals. So far I am not convinced. When I was a Christian I wrote a very long paper in a philosophy class trying to uphold something like Molinism against St. Thomas. A few weeks later I realized that I was clinging to what I wanted to be true about the God of the Bible. I became a Calvinist shortly after that - more scriptural and more economical.

 

Your verses to show that the Bible represents humans making choices are beside the point. Everyone agrees that the human makes choices. Such verses do not prove that those choices are not determined by God - the chain of proximate causes can be very long, so the Bible need not refer to God's initiative causality every time a creature's choice is mentioned. I'm not going to replicate Centauri's excellent work of assembling evidence for God's prior determination of events in creation.

 

It also remains to be demonstrated that the concept of "free will" even had been articulated by the first century A.D. Texts that merely talk about humans making choices do not demonstrate that their authors had the concept of free will. That concept may have been articulated by then, but from what I remember, intellectual historians tend to credit St. Augustine with it, or at least put it much later than the centuries in which the Bible was written.

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You are equivocating on the word script. An actualized world was written ahead of time. The choices we have within the circumstances are real and are not forced only foreknown. God knows unerringly, it may seem confusing because we can not fathom a mind that has complete foreknowledge .

 

 

OC, would you puleeze:

 

1. drop "forced" from your argument? It brings in too many experiential connotations, because usually when someone is forced, the person is aware of pressure. Awareness of God's prior causative action is not a topic in this discussion. So can we stick with some word more neutral, like "determined"?

 

2. When we try to construct philosophical arguments that lay a lot of weight on terms that we acknowledge are unknowable by us, we run huge danger of dealing in pseudo-questions. Centauri was right to raise the analogy to arguments about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I'll throw in the medieval argument, could the second person of the Trinity have been incarnated as a cucumber? Your recourse to the notion of God's omniscience, and of its being unfathomable to us, should be a RED FLAG that this whole topic is not a philosophical topic. I call the aforesaid notion a "floating variable." Maybe there's already a term of art for such notions. Since that notion does not have a determinate value, arguments that make use of it run the risk of being unfalsifiable.

 

You've already shown how the Molinist (incl. you) gives himself/herself permission to take many words in scripture not in their ordinary sense. If the value of προορίζω in an argument is not "mark out beforehand" but only "know beforehand," then we can't really go on.

 

As they say where I come from, "OC, listen to yourself!"

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Free will is articulated in scripture by the endless choices it states we have.

Predestine means to determine in advance.

You don't have endless choices when a particular action has already been selected for you.

God has the endless choices, not you.

The script was already written by God, ahead of time.

You are equivocating on the word script. An actualized world was written ahead of time. The choices we have within the circumstances are real and are not forced only foreknown. God knows unerringly, it may seem confusing because we can not fathom a mind that has complete foreknowledge .

 

The choices we have are forced if every possible alternative to the one option God wants carries with it an ultimate and inescapable penalty. That is coercion of the highest order and lowest morality. It is evil masquerading as good, when it clearly is not.

 

The need to invoke an invisible, intangible, undetectable, timeless, spaceless and unfathomable mind to validate this line of argument is just ridiculous! Why not invoke that 'magic fix' to solve all the issues and be done with it!

There! "It is finished." wink.png

 

If there is confusion here, then the author of it is the one doggedly and dogmaticaly wielding the hammer of scriptural force-harmonization - banging together certain mutually-exclusive passages of scripture. That's not Centauri, Ficino or me. So who would that be, I wonder?

 

Jos 24:15

And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.

A truly free choice would not have an ultimatum attached.

Christian theology sits on the foundation of a threat based ultimatum, not unlike that of a Mafia boss.

This is a very silly statement on it's face. Because a choice has consequences does not mean the choice does not exist.

 

This is just muddying the waters. The deliberate obfuscation of a very clear and simple issue.

If all possible choices bar one (in all possible worlds as well as the actualized one) all lead to the same penalty, then the scenario is very simple.

God permits you to choose from many different paths, but whichever one you do choose, they all converge on the Lake of Fire.

The only one that does not is the one God wants you to take.

Consequently, if you wish to avoid eternal hellfire, you have no other choice but to bend to God's will on this matter.

His will be done, not yours!

 

Consequences are logically distinct from the choice that results in the consequences. No one is forced to eat there a complete chocolate cake even if they love chocolate cakes.

 

More obfuscation.

Nobody is forced to eat chocolate cake, but everybody IS forced to choose between Heaven and Hell.

Nobody will suffer unending agony from eating cake, but everone will suffer if they do not bend to God's coercive will.

By picking a mundane example, OC is attempting to falsely separate our unavoidable Earthly choice from it's Eternal consequences.

He knows full well that a person's unavoidable choice between just two options is the basis of Christianity.

He knows full well that just two unavoidable, eternal consequences are the unavoidable result of the above choice

 

The two cannot be divided. Not by spurious logic. Not by philosophistry. Not by Christianese double-speak.

In Christianity NOBODY is ever excused from having to make the choice for or against God.

God's unfathomable mind is even invoked by apologists to explain how the unborn and the under-age can enter heaven - even when they seem to have no ability to make any kind of choice.

Such an apologetic argument wouldn't be necessary if anyone were excused from making the necessary choice.

 

Both Acts 2:23 and 4:28 are compatible with middle knowledge and free will.

You don't have free will when your script was written in advance by an outside power.

You just said that. You should break that habit. It is very unimpressive and certainly unconvincing.

 

Centauri doesn't write to impress or convince you, OC.

You are laboring under a false assumption if you believe he is doing either of these things.

So which is it?

Do you think he's writing to impress/convince you or were you just saying something about him personally?

 

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Ad_hominem

 

BAA.

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To Ordinary Clay, Living Life, Centauri, Bornagainathiest, and everyone else who's interested:

 

I submit that the argument for Molinism (yes, time travel back to our discussion of April) is vitiated by an equivocation fallacy.

 

First, to recap: Molinism holds both that God is First Cause and that humans make decisions by free will. (see previous parts of thread for fuller exposition of this). The question matters as part of our bigger discussion of the Problem of Evil. Molinists like William Lane Craig and Ordinary Clay claim to have solved the problem of evil by showing that evil is the result of freely willed choices by creatures AND showing that God remains omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, and that God's grace does its job. “Freely” means “not determined by causes other than the agent’s will;" the agent is able to choose P or not-P.

 

So the issue matters for lots of us on here, whether we're believers or not.

 

Molinism makes a distinction among God's types of knowledge. To explain how decisions of creatures are free, Molinism posits that God foreknows by "middle knowledge" all possible worlds. Therefore He foreknows all the decisions that, say, Ruth will make in all possible worlds. Let's say He foreknows that Ruth will choose to believe in Christ in a world in which conditions x, y and z are actualized. God then creates a world in which x, y and z are actualized. The same holds in the case of all decisions of all free-willed creatures. The bundle gives us the actualized or "factual" world. If God had chosen to create one of the other worlds, in which different conditions would be actualized, then in some of these counterfactual worlds, Ruth would believe (i.e. x, y and z would be actualized in those worlds, too), and in others, she would not (in them at least x, y or z would not be actualized).

 

Here's why I think there is an equivocation on the term "Ruth" in this line of argument.

 

God's middle knowledge knows all the possible decisions of Ruth, including the one God likes, and God creates a world in which that one will be actualized. So by His middle knowledge He knows lots of counterfactual Ruths and the one actual Ruth whom He creates. By His free knowledge He knows the actual Ruth as actual. God knows by Middle Knowledge that she will choose P under conditions x, y and z. God wants Ruth to choose P. God therefore creates a world in which x, y and z are actualized, so that it’s guaranteed that Ruth will choose P.

 

But the actual Ruth is not identical to any of the counterfactual Ruths because not all that is true of the actual Ruth is true of them (and vice versa). So when the Molinist says, "God knows all the decisions Ruth would make in all possible worlds and chooses to create the world in which Ruth will make the choice he wants," the first "Ruth" in this sentence is not identical to the "Ruths" in the counterfactual worlds. There's an equivocation on "Ruth" lurking in here. The Molinist argument treats "Ruth", the inhabitant of the actual world, as a term that can be mutually substituted for "Ruth" the inhabitant of counterfactual worlds. One may grant Wm. Lane Craig that God can have knowledge of counterfactuals, but that’s not the issue. Not all that is true of Ruth the inhabitant of the actual world is true of Ruth the inhabitant of some counterfactual world. Therefore there is a vicious equivocation upon Ruth; the argument surreptitiously exploits a jump from the counterfactual Ruth to a conclusion about the factual Ruth. It is not legitimate to consider what "Ruth" would have decided in some counterfactual universe and compare that to what she decides in the actual universe, because there would be no "Ruth" in that universe, only someone else whose life narrative would make "her" a different person; there is no "she", identical in both parts of the argument, that supports inferences about one from conclusions that involve references to the other. Put another way, there is a missing middle term in the argument, and its absence is masked by the equivocation on "person" or "Ruth."

 

Afterthought: the Molinist might want to formulate the God's Middle Knowledge argument so as to avoid inferences about an actual person's decisions from premises that involve reference to the person's decisions in counterfactual worlds. But this won't work, because Molinism trades precisely on a distinction between the knowledge by which God knows all possible worlds, and thus, all a person's possible decisions, and the knowledge by which God knows the world He actually brings into existence. There is no Molinism anymore if you don't appeal to counterfactual "Ruths," but if you do, you equivocate when you draw conclusions about the actual Ruth.

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To Ordinary Clay, Living Life, Centauri, Bornagainathiest, and everyone else who's interested:

 

I submit that the argument for Molinism (yes, time travel back to our discussion of April) is vitiated by an equivocation fallacy.

 

First, to recap: Molinism holds both that God is First Cause and that humans make decisions by free will. (see previous parts of thread for fuller exposition of this). The question matters as part of our bigger discussion of the Problem of Evil. Molinists like William Lane Craig and Ordinary Clay claim to have solved the problem of evil by showing that evil is the result of freely willed choices by creatures AND showing that God remains omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, and that God's grace does its job. “Freely” means “not determined by causes other than the agent’s will;" the agent is able to choose P or not-P.

 

So the issue matters for lots of us on here, whether we're believers or not.

 

Molinism makes a distinction among God's types of knowledge. To explain how decisions of creatures are free, Molinism posits that God foreknows by "middle knowledge" all possible worlds. Therefore He foreknows all the decisions that, say, Ruth will make in all possible worlds. Let's say He foreknows that Ruth will choose to believe in Christ in a world in which conditions x, y and z are actualized. God then creates a world in which x, y and z are actualized. The same holds in the case of all decisions of all free-willed creatures. The bundle gives us the actualized or "factual" world. If God had chosen to create one of the other worlds, in which different conditions would be actualized, then in some of these counterfactual worlds, Ruth would believe (i.e. x, y and z would be actualized in those worlds, too), and in others, she would not (in them at least x, y or z would not be actualized).

 

Here's why I think there is an equivocation on the term "Ruth" in this line of argument.

 

God's middle knowledge knows all the possible decisions of Ruth, including the one God likes, and God creates a world in which that one will be actualized. So by His middle knowledge He knows lots of counterfactual Ruths and the one actual Ruth whom He creates. By His free knowledge He knows the actual Ruth as actual. God knows by Middle Knowledge that she will choose P under conditions x, y and z. God wants Ruth to choose P. God therefore creates a world in which x, y and z are actualized, so that it’s guaranteed that Ruth will choose P.

 

But the actual Ruth is not identical to any of the counterfactual Ruths because not all that is true of the actual Ruth is true of them (and vice versa). So when the Molinist says, "God knows all the decisions Ruth would make in all possible worlds and chooses to create the world in which Ruth will make the choice he wants," the first "Ruth" in this sentence is not identical to the "Ruths" in the counterfactual worlds. There's an equivocation on "Ruth" lurking in here. The Molinist argument treats "Ruth", the inhabitant of the actual world, as a term that can be mutually substituted for "Ruth" the inhabitant of counterfactual worlds. One may grant Wm. Lane Craig that God can have knowledge of counterfactuals, but that’s not the issue. Not all that is true of Ruth the inhabitant of the actual world is true of Ruth the inhabitant of some counterfactual world. Therefore there is a vicious equivocation upon Ruth; the argument surreptitiously exploits a jump from the counterfactual Ruth to a conclusion about the factual Ruth. It is not legitimate to consider what "Ruth" would have decided in some counterfactual universe and compare that to what she decides in the actual universe, because there would be no "Ruth" in that universe, only someone else whose life narrative would make "her" a different person; there is no "she", identical in both parts of the argument, that supports inferences about one from conclusions that involve references to the other. Put another way, there is a missing middle term in the argument, and its absence is masked by the equivocation on "person" or "Ruth."

 

Afterthought: the Molinist might want to formulate the God's Middle Knowledge argument so as to avoid inferences about an actual person's decisions from premises that involve reference to the person's decisions in counterfactual worlds. But this won't work, because Molinism trades precisely on a distinction between the knowledge by which God knows all possible worlds, and thus, all a person's possible decisions, and the knowledge by which God knows the world He actually brings into existence. There is no Molinism anymore if you don't appeal to counterfactual "Ruths," but if you do, you equivocate when you draw conclusions about the actual Ruth.

Craig wants to distance God from his ultimate responsibility.

It creates a type of "tail wags the dog" scenario.

The problem is that there are too many verses that have to be ignored or revised to fit the Craig theological construct.

He's created a watered down version of "God", where his sovereign will is compromised to accommodate "evil", by assigning it to the creation rather than the creator.

However, scripture indicates that God creates evil.

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To Ordinary Clay, Living Life, Centauri, Bornagainathiest, and everyone else who's interested:

 

I submit that the argument for Molinism (yes, time travel back to our discussion of April) is vitiated by an equivocation fallacy.

 

First, to recap: Molinism holds both that God is First Cause and that humans make decisions by free will. (see previous parts of thread for fuller exposition of this). The question matters as part of our bigger discussion of the Problem of Evil. Molinists like William Lane Craig and Ordinary Clay claim to have solved the problem of evil by showing that evil is the result of freely willed choices by creatures AND showing that God remains omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, and that God's grace does its job. “Freely” means “not determined by causes other than the agent’s will;" the agent is able to choose P or not-P.

 

So the issue matters for lots of us on here, whether we're believers or not.

 

Molinism makes a distinction among God's types of knowledge. To explain how decisions of creatures are free, Molinism posits that God foreknows by "middle knowledge" all possible worlds. Therefore He foreknows all the decisions that, say, Ruth will make in all possible worlds. Let's say He foreknows that Ruth will choose to believe in Christ in a world in which conditions x, y and z are actualized. God then creates a world in which x, y and z are actualized. The same holds in the case of all decisions of all free-willed creatures. The bundle gives us the actualized or "factual" world. If God had chosen to create one of the other worlds, in which different conditions would be actualized, then in some of these counterfactual worlds, Ruth would believe (i.e. x, y and z would be actualized in those worlds, too), and in others, she would not (in them at least x, y or z would not be actualized).

 

Here's why I think there is an equivocation on the term "Ruth" in this line of argument.

 

God's middle knowledge knows all the possible decisions of Ruth, including the one God likes, and God creates a world in which that one will be actualized. So by His middle knowledge He knows lots of counterfactual Ruths and the one actual Ruth whom He creates. By His free knowledge He knows the actual Ruth as actual. God knows by Middle Knowledge that she will choose P under conditions x, y and z. God wants Ruth to choose P. God therefore creates a world in which x, y and z are actualized, so that it’s guaranteed that Ruth will choose P.

 

But the actual Ruth is not identical to any of the counterfactual Ruths because not all that is true of the actual Ruth is true of them (and vice versa). So when the Molinist says, "God knows all the decisions Ruth would make in all possible worlds and chooses to create the world in which Ruth will make the choice he wants," the first "Ruth" in this sentence is not identical to the "Ruths" in the counterfactual worlds. There's an equivocation on "Ruth" lurking in here. The Molinist argument treats "Ruth", the inhabitant of the actual world, as a term that can be mutually substituted for "Ruth" the inhabitant of counterfactual worlds. One may grant Wm. Lane Craig that God can have knowledge of counterfactuals, but that’s not the issue. Not all that is true of Ruth the inhabitant of the actual world is true of Ruth the inhabitant of some counterfactual world. Therefore there is a vicious equivocation upon Ruth; the argument surreptitiously exploits a jump from the counterfactual Ruth to a conclusion about the factual Ruth. It is not legitimate to consider what "Ruth" would have decided in some counterfactual universe and compare that to what she decides in the actual universe, because there would be no "Ruth" in that universe, only someone else whose life narrative would make "her" a different person; there is no "she", identical in both parts of the argument, that supports inferences about one from conclusions that involve references to the other. Put another way, there is a missing middle term in the argument, and its absence is masked by the equivocation on "person" or "Ruth."

 

Afterthought: the Molinist might want to formulate the God's Middle Knowledge argument so as to avoid inferences about an actual person's decisions from premises that involve reference to the person's decisions in counterfactual worlds. But this won't work, because Molinism trades precisely on a distinction between the knowledge by which God knows all possible worlds, and thus, all a person's possible decisions, and the knowledge by which God knows the world He actually brings into existence. There is no Molinism anymore if you don't appeal to counterfactual "Ruths," but if you do, you equivocate when you draw conclusions about the actual Ruth.

 

You are engaging in an equivocation of the notion of identity. You use an undfined idea of being different people based on having made choices. You are not an actually different person just because you chose to make your post. You are the same person who happened to have made a choice. Following your reasoning we end up with absurdities involving responsibility. If we are different people after each choice then our justice system has no right prosecuting anyone because the person who committed the crime no longer "exists". Absurd.

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Craig wants to distance God from his ultimate responsibility.

It creates a type of "tail wags the dog" scenario.

The problem is that there are too many verses that have to be ignored or revised to fit the Craig theological construct.

He's created a watered down version of "God", where his sovereign will is compromised to accommodate "evil", by assigning it to the creation rather than the creator.

Have you read anything Craig has written?

 

However, scripture indicates that God creates evil.

No, it doesn't. He creates free will. Free will creates evil by their own choice.

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'god' created evil - read your damn bible, like the rest of us have.

 

Oh, and you're still one great big stupid arrogant fucking idiot.

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Okay so god creates a world in such a way as to know what someone would choose before he/she chooses it. Its how god can be omniscient and people have free will correct? And evil is apart of free will and is done by free choice. Correct?

 

I don't see how that changes the problem of evil. There is nothing in the bible as far as I understand it that said god had no choice but to create us. If he had a choice in creating us, and had no choice but to create a world with suffering in it. Then by any logical standard, if he is omni benevolent, then he shouldn't have created us in the first place.

 

If anything this idea of god creating a world where he knows the future but we have free choice if anything makes the problem of evil more of a issue. If X is bad, but A, B, C are good, then he could create a world were we only freely choose between A,B, C. Its the only way one could have free will in heaven. He can put choices in our way to make us do what he wants anyway, that is omnipotence. Why not take away evil then? Just because you can't do something, doesn't mean your free will is violated, it just means there is something you can't do.

 

It sort of leads one to a suitation of did god create evil.

 

If one were to use the middle knowledge idea against the problem of evil, one would have to say god is the creator of evil, because he picked the details to make us choose things.

 

To use a hypothetical, let us image, that god is creating the world. He decided to create a guy named Ian. He decides okay out of the 1000 options that could happen in this given time. Ian is going to do X, which will lead to B, and C. But what if C is the rape of a child. Then god would be responsible because he made it so, Ian would do X which ultimately led to C, and god knew it because he had middle knowledge and knew what Ian would choose in any given suitation. It bucks things back to the famous quote from Epicurius about how god is either evil or impotent. Middle knowledge as I understand it, when applied to the problem of evil makes god both. It doesn't mean god had no choice in allowing evil towards his goals. It means he wanted it to happen that way. That means he is no different then say Stalin, knowing that what he wanted was going to cause suffering on a massive scale. Murder to cause a good thing is still a murder, if you want to look at it in another light.

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Okay so god creates a world in such a way as to know what someone would choose before he/she chooses it. Its how god can be omniscient and people have free will correct? And evil is apart of free will and is done by free choice. Correct?

 

I don't see how that changes the problem of evil. There is nothing in the bible as far as I understand it that said god had no choice but to create us. If he had a choice in creating us, and had no choice but to create a world with suffering in it. Then by any logical standard, if he is omni benevolent, then he shouldn't have created us in the first place.

 

If anything this idea of god creating a world where he knows the future but we have free choice if anything makes the problem of evil more of a issue. If X is bad, but A, B, C are good, then he could create a world were we only freely choose between A,B, C. Its the only way one could have free will in heaven. He can put choices in our way to make us do what he wants anyway, that is omnipotence. Why not take away evil then? Just because you can't do something, doesn't mean your free will is violated, it just means there is something you can't do.

 

It sort of leads one to a suitation of did god create evil.

 

If one were to use the middle knowledge idea against the problem of evil, one would have to say god is the creator of evil, because he picked the details to make us choose things.

 

To use a hypothetical, let us image, that god is creating the world. He decided to create a guy named Ian. He decides okay out of the 1000 options that could happen in this given time. Ian is going to do X, which will lead to B, and C. But what if C is the rape of a child. Then god would be responsible because he made it so, Ian would do X which ultimately led to C, and god knew it because he had middle knowledge and knew what Ian would choose in any given suitation. It bucks things back to the famous quote from Epicurius about how god is either evil or impotent. Middle knowledge as I understand it, when applied to the problem of evil makes god both. It doesn't mean god had no choice in allowing evil towards his goals. It means he wanted it to happen that way. That means he is no different then say Stalin, knowing that what he wanted was going to cause suffering on a massive scale. Murder to cause a good thing is still a murder, if you want to look at it in another light.

 

The problem of evil has two forms. The logical and the probabilistic. Middle knowledge definitively demonstrates that there is no logical problem of evil, and provides a plausible way of solving the probabilistic problem of evil. God can not make a free willed creature do things. All He can do is create the circumstances in which we will act. The world we see can plausibly be argued to be the optimum world in which free willed creatures can exist. Optimum from the stand point of God's goal which we assume is to allow His creation to accept Him in a loving relationship. IOW, this world may be the world in which the maximum number of people accept Him given our free will.

 

Read my posts in this thread. Read Craig's writing on the subject. If you truly want to understand you would take the time to study what is written on the subject.

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Craig wants to distance God from his ultimate responsibility.

It creates a type of "tail wags the dog" scenario.

The problem is that there are too many verses that have to be ignored or revised to fit the Craig theological construct.

He's created a watered down version of "God", where his sovereign will is compromised to accommodate "evil", by assigning it to the creation rather than the creator.

Have you read anything Craig has written?

Craig didn't write the verses in the Bible that show God's sovereign will trumps human will as he sees fit.

God’s will trumps your will.

All things work together for his purpose.

God works all things according to his will per Eph 1:11.

That’s what the scripture says.

 

Eph 1:11 NCV

In Christ we were chosen to be God's people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with his plan. And he is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants.

 

Who determines physical deformities? God does.

The individual has no choice in the matter.

 

Exo 4:11

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

 

God subjected creation to a curse, against its will, because God wrote the script in advance.

 

Rom 8:20-21 (NLT)

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope,

the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

 

Rom 8:20

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

 

At best, one can only claim that God may give choice in some matters but not in others.

 

centauri:

However, scripture indicates that God creates evil.

 

No, it doesn't. He creates free will. Free will creates evil by their own choice.

Yes, it does show that God creates evil as Isa 45:7 indicates.

Being being the source of all things, God created evil.

Evil, including ethical evil, are covered in Isa 45:7.

 

Isa 45:7

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things

 

Physical evil (deformity) is created by God.

 

Exo 4:11

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

 

God also engages in evil actions as part of a plan to glorify his name and display his power to the world (Exo 9:16, 15:11)

The firstborn Egyptians, including cattle, were killed in a divine display of power.

 

Exo 12:29

And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

 

The evil of sin, calamity or otherwise, originated with the same source that was supposed to have created all things.

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The problem of evil has two forms. The logical and the probabilistic. Middle knowledge definitively demonstrates that there is no logical problem of evil, and provides a plausible way of solving the probabilistic problem of evil. God can not make a free willed creature do things. All He can do is create the circumstances in which we will act. The world we see can plausibly be argued to be the optimum world in which free willed creatures can exist. Optimum from the stand point of God's goal which we assume is to allow His creation to accept Him in a loving relationship. IOW, this world may be the world in which the maximum number of people accept Him given our free will.

 

Moral suicide. That is what this is here. I don't even know where to begin. The holocaust and the rape of children is nothing compared to salvation. God is truely no different thento stalin or mao.

You remeber, what i said about defining omnitpotence and omnibenevolents into nothingness. That is what you just did here. And you seem to like distinction without a difference. Creating the environment in which someone will do what you want is the same as making them do what you want as far as I can see. I don't see how there is a measurable distinction. Though what I said about the Ian hypothetical works either way. It could be done by a puppet master or by brute force, it doesn't really matter. The process of molinism creates causation that leads to immoral conclusions. God created the circumstances to where we will would decide act bad. Different circumstances different outcomes. Outcomes lead to the creation of new circumstances, whatever those may be. But something, started the chain. And that chain starter, is who is responsible. The chain starter is god. So yes as you correctly pointed out molinism states that god creates the world in such a way that he knows what we would freely choose and how the universe will play out. He also knows the other possible outcomes. God becomes the puppet master that leads Ian hypothetical to rape a child. He puts A, B, C in Ian's way, which leads him to do J, and then the bad thing of X because of M L R. So unless you want to say, god doesn't know when bad things are going to be done, your going to have to own up to god creating them using molinism. The process can and is as far as I can see in a theistic universe, used in both settings. Its to prove that omniscience and free will can exist together. Its nonsensical to say that it works without including evil into it. Evil could even potentially just be caused indirectly. But its still caused. The same would be the case even if god didn't know the specific actions per se. He would be responsible for taking the risk. I am pretty sure I get the process of what middle knowledge is. You just hate my application of it. God created evil, and so therefore he is evil.

 

Sure, lets say for the sake of arguement, that god can't force a free willed creature to do things(I don't believe that to be the case but that is a different arguement). What would getting rid of the option of evil be. It would be no different then say not being able to buy sweets at a grocery store. You still have free choice but of other options only. The options for a omnipotent god would be only good ones. Its a bit analogous to say, humans throwing cars. Can not doing it, violate are free will? I see the idea of not being able to do evil much the same as not being able to throw cars. As you seemed to miss, its the only way one could ever have free will in heaven.

 

If this is the optimun world for all the things you talked about, heaven must be missing one. The most obvious one to drop is free will with makes this life totally pointless if your a god, and again makes him evil. Though my main issue to be to the point on the best of all possible worlds theodicy is that if god is omnibenevolent and perfect but can't do it any other way then this, by any logical standard he shouldn't be creating us at all. And if he can't do any better, then as epicurius rather bluntly put it, he is impotent.

 

Read my posts in this thread. Read Craig's writing on the subject. If you truly want to understand you would take the time to study what is written on the subject.

I cannot say I have read volumes of him. But what I have read on him on the problem of evil, was nonsensical and absurd. At least as far as I can see. I could just potentially just not get it. But I thought it was irrational and absurd. Makes me not care honestly about what the guy would have to say about Middle knowledge. All I have ever read or heard him say has shown me he doesn't have a rational bone in his body. I am no scholar of middle knowledge by any means. I couldn't write a book on the subject if someone put a gun to my head. But if someone says to me, okay god knows what you would freely choose before you choose it, and he picks what kinds of things you will do, so he knows exactly what will happen, that is something you don't need to read a volume to understand. That is molinism as I understand it. Correct me if I get that key point wrong please. I suspect you just don't understand my points on the problem of evil more then me getting middle knowledge wrong. Judging by how you just used two defense I don't find convincing, the best of all possible worlds and free will, I suspect its the former rather then the latter.
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