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Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:35 pm

> You refuse to come. Can you blame me if you "die without believing" because my evidence wasn't convincing?

If you are all-powerful, yes.

> If you think the evidence I describe is not good or convincing, then that wouldn't change if you were given another life or reincarnated.

If it is the case that I would never choose differently, then I am a robot. If I would choose differently then your point is moot.

> If in that life you have the same consciousness, then you wouldn't choose God any different then than you do now.

The environment plays a huge role in what decisions one makes.

> Living separated from God is the only possible consequence in a system where you have chosen to separate from God.

No it isn't.

> If you want God, choose Him now. He offers you His mercy even today, even now.

This didn't address the point. Is looping a life better or worse than hell?

> Why I bother to point this out is because often those who consider hell to be unfair are picturing the same punishment for all, which is most likely not the case, and infinite punishment for finite crimes, which may also not be the case.

At this point it's dishonest of you to keep doing this. The ONLY aspect of hell I am talking about is suffering. Not fire, not degree.

> If it were possible for God to be unjust, then He couldn't possibly be God.

You're saying that if I show that the being we're talking about is unmerciful than that being, though still existing, would not be God?
Axis of Evil
 

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:49 pm

> If you are all-powerful, yes.

Then you misunderstand omnipotence. It doesn’t mean there are no limits to what God can do (Mk. 6.5). It means God is able to do all things that are proper objects of his power. It is no contradiction that God is able to bring about whatever is possible, no matter how many possibilities there are. The omnipotence of God is all-sufficient power. He can never be overwhelmed, exhausted, or contained. He is able to overcome apparently insurmountable problems. He has complete power over nature, though often he lets nature take its course, because that’s what He created it to do. He has power over the course of history, though he chooses to use that power only as he wills. He has the power to change human personality, but only as individuals allow, since He cannot interfere with the freedom of man. He has the power to conquer death and sin, and to save a human soul for eternity. He has power over the spiritual realm. What all of this means is that God’s will is never frustrated. What he chooses to do, he accomplishes, for he has the ability to do it.

There are, however, necessarily certain qualifications to omnipotence. He cannot arbitrarily do anything whatever we may conceive of in our imagination, as you are suggesting.

* He can’t do what is logically absurd or contradictory (like make a square circle or a married bachelor)
* He can’t act contrary to his nature. Self-contradiction is not possible. He can only be self-consistent, and not self-contradictory.
* He cannot fail to do what he has promised. That would mean God is flawed.
* The theology of omnipotence rejects the possibility of dualism
* He cannot interfere with the freedom of man. Luke 13.34. If God can override human free will, then we are not free at all.
* He cannot change the past. Time by definition is linear in one direction only.
* It is not violated by self-limitation on the part of God, nor does it imply the use of all the power of God

Leibniz & Ross philosophically state omnipotence in what’s called a “result” theory: theories that analyze omnipotence in terms of the results an omnipotent being would be able to bring about. These results are usually thought of as states of affairs or possible worlds: a way the world could be. A possible world is a maximally consistent state of affairs, a complete way the world could be. The simplest way to state it may be, “for any comprehensive way the world could be, an omnipotent being could bring it about that the world was that way.” Therefore it is not true that "if I can imagine it, an omnipotent being can make it." Ross formulated it as “Since every state of affairs must either obtain or not, and since two contradictory states of affairs cannot both obtain, an omnipotent being would have to will some maximal consistent set of contingent states of affairs, that is, some one possible world.”

> If it is the case that I would never choose differently, then I am a robot. If I would choose differently then your point is moot.

You're not a robot. But if you are the same person in another life, then you would be the same as you are now. So make your choice now. This is the card you have in your hand now. There's no reason to hold out for a re-do.

> The environment plays a huge role in what decisions one makes.

Some part, yes. But you always have free will to make your own choices. Some people in lousy conditions grow up lousy, but some grow up strong and good. We all have choices to make about who we are going to be.

> "Living separated from God is the only possible consequence in a system where you have chosen to separate from God." No it isn't.

Here's the logic:

* I have free will
* I choose to separate from God
* Therefore I am separated from God.

And you say, "No it isn't"? Especially when I have been telling you that anyone can choose at any time to come to God? No explanation from you except, "Nope"?

> This didn't address the point. Is looping a life better or worse than hell?

Who's to know? Is it better to bring your own lunch or to ride the bus? Is a meaningless life better or worse than a life of separation? And if both have the opportunity to turn to God, then one is not worse than another. And if avoiding judgment for rejecting God is what you want, then come to God now.

> The ONLY aspect of hell I am talking about is suffering.

So I'll repeat what I said from C.S. Lewis and my comments after it: You object to the doctrine of hell. What are you asking God to do? To wipe out past sins at all costs and to give anyone who wants it a fresh start, smoothing difficulties and offering help? But He has DONE that. That's what his death and resurrection were all about. OK, then, are you asking God to forgive you? It's a RELATIONSHIP. He will forgive anyone who wants it, and cannot forgive those who choose not to be forgiven. To leave you alone then? Well, I'm afraid that's what hell is.

If a game is played, it must be possible to lose it. If there is a way that must be found by the will, and by love, then it must be possible to refuse it. If the happiness of a person is honestly the result of self-surrender, then no one can make that decision except himself, and he may refuse. I would love to say everyone will be saved. But then I'd have to ask, "Will they be saved against their will, or with it?" If I say "against their will," I'm in the middle of a contradiction; how can self-surrender and love be involuntary? But if the answer is "With their will," it begs the question: "What if they will not give in?"

> You're saying that if I show that the being we're talking about is unmerciful than that being, though still existing, would not be God?

Obviously you think God is unmerciful. Give me your example.
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Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:47 pm

> Then you misunderstand omnipotence.

No I don't. There is nothing here that would be limiting God in any ways you described.

> But if you are the same person in another life, then you would be the same as you are now.

If you are saying that no matter how many lives I was given I would always choose the same as the first, then that makes me a robot.

> But you always have free will to make your own choices.

Not according to you given you keep stating no matter how many lives we are given we always will choose the same as any other.

> Who's to know?

You. You said hell was suffering and life beautiful.

> Especially when I have been telling you that anyone can choose at any time to come to God? No explanation from you except, "Nope"?

You keep repeating that no matter how much time one is given, they will never make a different choice if in 1 lifetime they would not choose God. You can't be free to choose something you will never do in an infinite amount of time.

> What are you asking God to do?...To leave you alone then?

Given my 3 options are still on the table, no.

> If a game is played, it must be possible to lose it.

Not if it's a game designed where everyone wins.

> Obviously you think God is unmerciful. Give me your example.

Hell, dude. Also the contradiction with the all-just part, but that's not the current topic.
Axis of Evil
 

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:47 pm

> There is nothing here that would be limiting God in any ways you described.

Sure there is. First of all, omnipotence doesn't mean that God can do absolutely anything we imagine, even if it's self-contradictory. Secondly, God can't interfere with human free will, or it's not free.

> If you are saying that no matter how many lives I was given I would always choose the same as the first, then that makes me a robot.

No, what I'm saying is that if you won't decide in favor of God in this life, whatever would make you think you'll choose it in another?

> you keep stating no matter how many lives we are given we always will choose the same as any other.

What I'm saying is that you are you, and I presume you are self-consistent. Whatever makes you think you would choose God in another life since you are so adamantly against God now?

> You said hell was suffering and life beautiful.

Hell is separation from God, and therefore suffering. Life with God (not separated) is beautiful. But if you are in a chain of endless meaningless lives where you refuse to acknowledge God no matter how many chances you are given, and you go through life after life apart from him, who's to say what is worse: An endless chain of meaningless lives separated from God where you have an opportunity to turn to Him and find life, or a time of separation from God in the afterlife, with possible opportunities to turn to Him and find life. But it may also be the case that in the afterlife you will be held to your decision. It would be better to turn to God now.

> Not if it's a game designed where everyone wins.

So you want no accountability? Mother Theresa and Adolph Hitler both win? Hitler is not accountable for his horrific slaughters of millions? Only mercy for all, no judgment for any? What's fair about that? What's "just" about that?
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Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:56 am

> First of all, omnipotence doesn't mean that God can do absolutely anything we imagine, even if it's self-contradictory. Secondly, God can't interfere with human free will, or it's not free.

I never described anything inconsistent with any of the rules you gave for God's limitations.

> No, what I'm saying is that if you won't decide in favor of God in this life, whatever would make you think you'll choose it in another?

Free will.

> Whatever makes you think you would choose God in another life since you are so adamantly against God now?

Free will.

> Hell is separation from God, and therefore suffering. Life with God (not separated) is beautiful.

Is current life with or without God?

> So you want no accountability?

I want one of the 3 options I gave rather than eternal suffering. A merciful God would always give people an opportunity to satisfy whatever prerequisites for heaven (or at least not hell) there are, even Hitler.

Let me ask you this. Say you were in heaven and saw God judging me. He says "Axes didn't believe in me so he goes to Hell". You are there seeing me ask for another opportunity on earth.

Which of these would you say?

    1) You had you're chance, reap the punishment
    2) Yeah, we'll give you another shot. In fact, we'll give you as many shots necessary
    3) Even if you had another life, you'd still choose to reject God.

I assume you'd pick #3 in which case I wouldn't have the free will to choose otherwise.
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Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:03 am

> Free will...free will

If you think that sometime in the future you will choose God, then choose Him now. Why wait for all the benefits? Why risk that your opportunity may go by, or that with more time you would go the opposite direction and become even more entrench in your opposition. Now is the time to respond to God's invitation.

> Is current life with or without God?

It's half and half. You are separated from a relationship with God, but you have the benefits of general grace that all of us share by being part of life: knowing love from other people, having some happiness and laughter, general health, appreciating beauty around us, being able to experience sunshine and rain—all these things and more. In the afterlife, those who choose to be separated from God will be truly separated from Him.

> I want one of the 3 options I gave rather than eternal suffering.

You'll have to take that up with Jesus when you see Him. I've explained to you that they are basically non-choices, so you'll have to discuss it further with Him.

> You are there seeing me ask for another opportunity on earth.

I don't get it. Why would you want another chance when you don't want to take advantage of the chance you have now? Right now you have that chance. Why the games? Answer that question for me: Why don't you turn to God now if you think you may be open to it in some other iteration?
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Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:46 pm

> If you think that sometime in the future you will choose God, then choose Him now.

Do you say the same about people who haven't found Jesus, but might later in life? Why wouldn't the same apply to longer lives and more opportunities?

> You are separated from a relationship with God, but you have the benefits of general grace that all of us share by being part of life

So then looping this instead of ending it and the person going to hell would be more merciful.

> You'll have to take that up with Jesus when you see Him.

Or you can end the discussion honestly and say "you bring up points I can't answer". You haven't explained at all how my options wouldn't be better than eternal suffering.

> Why would you want another chance when you don't want to take advantage of the chance you have now?

Are you going to give me another chance or not?

> Why don't you turn to God now if you think you may be open to it in some other iteration?

I don't see any good evidence now, but if the evidence exists maybe I'll be able to see it later. Unless you think I am a robot incapable of seeing it, then you have to admit I'll have at least a chance.
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Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Wed May 08, 2019 3:02 am

> Do you say the same about people who haven't found Jesus, but might later in life? Why wouldn't the same apply to longer lives and more opportunities?

You know what kind of world we live in. An active shooter walks into a place of innocent people and kills as many as he can. A lunatic drives a car or truck into a crowd of people and kills some. Tornadoes strike and people die. No one knows which day will be his last—if there is a "later in life." No one knows. If you know what you want, do it now. Carpe Diem.

> Why wouldn't the same apply to longer lives and more opportunities?

It might, but it might make things worse. And since punishment fits the offense, knowing the trajectory of humanity, the risk of getting worse is greater than the chance of getting better.

> So then looping this instead of ending it and the person going to hell would be more merciful.

As I've explained several times, I don't think so. "if you are in a chain of endless meaningless lives where you refuse to acknowledge God no matter how many chances you are given, and you go through life after life apart from him, who's to say what is worse: An endless chain of meaningless lives separated from God where you have an opportunity to turn to Him and find life, or a time of separation from God in the afterlife, with possible opportunities to turn to Him and find life. But it may also be the case that in the afterlife you will be held to your decision. It would be better to turn to God now."

> Or you can end the discussion honestly and say "you bring up points I can't answer".

I can answer them and have. But you keep asking the same questions as if I haven't said anything, as if you are ignoring or rejecting my answers. Then don't blame me for not answering. Since you don't accept my answers, you'll have to take that up with God when you face Him.

> You haven't explained at all how my options wouldn't be better than eternal suffering.

I've explained it several times. And I've also explained that it's not necessarily eternal suffering. What I said was, "Not all Christians, you should know, believe in the traditional concept of hell and its being infinite. There are theories about reconcilationism, semi-restorationism, modified eternalism, and annihilationism, all with some kind of scriptural backing. In other words, hell isn't necessarily eternal for all who enter it. It may only be eternal for those who refuse to be reconciled."

And then I showed you the quote from C.S. Lewis twice. What do you mean I haven't explained? I have explained; you have not accepted my explanation, which is your prerogative.

> Are you going to give me another chance or not?

Every minute that goes by, you have another chance. You've had millions, and you may possibly have millions more. I don't have to give you another chance. Since you are still breathing, God has given you another chance to come to Him.

> I don't see any good evidence now, but if the evidence exists maybe I'll be able to see it later. Unless you think I am a robot incapable of seeing it, then you have to admit I'll have at least a chance.

There are plenty of both logical and scientific evidences. I'll write them briefly here so you can think about them.

Cosmological argument: The universe had a beginning. The idea of an infinite universe is absurd. Something outside of the universe had to have caused it to bang.

Ontological argument: If God doesn't exist, his existence is logically impossible. If he does exist, his existence is necessary. Since we know God is not impossible, he must be necessary.

Teleological argument: We don't know of anything that shows evidence of being purposefully designed that was not indeed purposefully designed. Many parts of the universe exhibit purpose. Therefore it's logical to assume the universe could be the product of purposeful design.

Analogical argument: Everything we humans produce for a particular purpose is designed for that purpose by someone intelligent enough to have designed it. The universe has many characteristics that seem like it was produced for a particular purpose. It's reasonable to conclude that the universe was designed by an intelligent being.

The argument of other minds: I can't prove that other minds exist, but it's logical to believe that. I can't prove what other minds are thinking, and yet it's reasonable to assume they are. The bulk of my commonsense beliefs about others minds is more probably than not on my total evidence. Using that analogy, then, belief in God is rational, being more probable than not on the total evidence.

Argument from consciousness: Genuinely nonphysical mental states exist (feelings, thoughts, emotions). The explanation for such mental states is either personal or scientific. The explanation for nonphysical mental states is not a natural scientific one, for no naturalistic explanation postulated thus far has been capable of accounting for how the mental can arise from the physical. Therefore the best explanation for now of nonphysical mental states is a personal one. If the explanation is personal, then it is theistic.

Axiological argument: Since there is evil in the world, there must also be good (or we wouldn't know evil was evil). If those words mean anything, there must be a standard by which to measure them. And if there is a standard, there must be a source for that standard. That source must be moral, objective, and personal.

Linguistic argument: Language is effective only if endowed with meaning. Meaning is non-material; it is neither energy nor matter. The essence of meaning is entirely distinct from energy and matter. Language demands a non-material source, since meaning is non-material. Language therefore demonstrates that we as humans possess non-material attributes. The most plausible source for that is an entity with mental faculties qualitatively similar to our own but vastly superior.

God makes sense of the existence of abstract entities.
God makes sense of the origin of the universe.
God makes sense of the complex order in the universe.
God makes sense of objective moral values in the world.

The resurrection of Jesus. The established facts surrounding the resurrection, and the inferences that can be made from subsidiary arguments and evidences are more plausible than alternative explanations.

The credibility of the Bible: The historical evidences, its trueness to life, its value for life, and its spiritual power.

The testimonies of other people whom I respect. It's tough to deny when you can see people change right before your eyes from one kind of person to another, qualitatively different, kind of person.

My experiences of God. I am convinced God exists wholly apart from arguments. They are properly basic beliefs, just like my belief in and experience of the external world and the existence of minds besides my own, such as yours.

The arguments against the existence of God are usually (1) the problem of evil, and (2) science. But neither of those mount any kind of argument. It's very possible to have a good and all-powerful God who allows evil, and science squares better with theism than with atheism. Usually the arguments from atheists boil down to, "I don't find the evidence for God's existence convincing enough," and yet they can offer precious little evidence in rebuttal for what they believe.

The evidences for theism are far stronger than the evidences for scientific naturalism or support of the atheistic position. These are arguments are not 100% (there are some weaknesses, so they're only about 80%), and you may be able to even point out the weaknesses. But the arguments against are close to 0%. If we are going to infer the most reasonable conclusion, theism is by far the winner.


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