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DFT_Dave DFT_Dave is offline
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April 28th, 2011, 11:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
If there is no cause for the "cause of your choice," then the "cause of your choice" qualifies as a "causeless cause." (There are only two options here: a "causeless cause" or an "infinite regress") "Causeless causes" are spontaneous or random.

You're simply demonstrating that you lack the intellectual capacity to grasp the point. If our choices are completely predetermined, then what we call "possibilities" must be deemed purely illusory.
For the sake of your argument I will grant, for the moment, that I am proposing that my choices are uncaused, spontaneous, and random, as you say; is this a reasonable explanation for why the God of open theism does not have complete foreknowledge of the future? Or, do open theists, still have a problem? Are we damned if we do and damned if we don't?

I have been going over past threads I was part of since I started in 05. Last night I saw, in 07, you had a thread called, Determinism, Indeterminism, Will, Intelligence and Atheism. I wrote this one post.

Quote:
May 19th, 2007, 12:58 PM
Damian, Brilliant posts. The first rule of rationality--the rule of definition--is the first to be broken by those who don't see the accuracy--or non-contradiction--of your proposition. If you are not OV, you seem to me, to be almost there.
This was your response.

Quote:
Thanks. I suppose you can use this argument to charge Calvinism (the Settled View) with pantheism. I don't necessarily have a problem with pantheism; others may. I was simply attempting to argue that determinism implies pantheism. Of course, indeterminism has theological implications as well. This thread was mainly intended for atheists. Unfortunately, they're not participating. This may be an indication that my argument is fairly bullet proof.
http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=37752

I read the entire thread. It's not a long one, but I consider it a very good one because it has great insight. I particularly like these two comments of yours to mighty_duck.

Quote:
You are telling me that this "entity" ==> is intelligent and alive and yet denying that the software which is producing it is not. They're not separate. The "jump" emoticon is simply one process that is part of a larger process. If the little green jumping guy is "intelligent," then the whole shebang must be also because the whole is determining the part.

Determinism is a mechanical worldview and the computer program analogy is a very apt one. In fact, you used the same analogy in the past and argued there is no difference between artificial intelligence and real intelligence.
Was your argument against atheism then and your argument against open theism now also a proof for your world view--panentheism? I really liked your argument against atheism--natural determinism implies an intelligence it denies. I totally agreed with you and thought that was the best "short" refutations of atheism I have ever read.

You had included then as you do now the same definitions for determinism and indeterminism, but I didn't know then that you used a two-stage model of free will. This suprises me because James, who first proposed it in 1884, credits Darwin for inspiring his idea of the evolution of free will, which does not require the existence of God and therefore intelligence, according to atheists. So, could it be argued there is a contradiction in your argument against atheism because you affirm atheism in your acceptance of two-stage free will?

--Dave





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April 29th, 2011, 06:08 AM

I wonder if Sam had a response to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samstarrett View Post
Yep. God is responsible for everything that happens.
That's a horrible accusation! I think everyone is responsible for their own actions.

Quote:
The difference is that if you believe God ordained all things, then even the 'bad' things are working towards the ultimate good, but if you think God didn't know what was going to happen and simply chose not to intervene in various crimes and disasters, then it seems that bad things are happening to no good end. Either way, though, God is responsible for it.
Or we can lay responsibility according to good judgement.





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DFT_Dave DFT_Dave is offline
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April 29th, 2011, 09:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
If there is no cause for the "cause of your choice," then the "cause of your choice" qualifies as a "causeless cause." (There are only two options here: a "causeless cause" or an "infinite regress") "Causeless causes" are spontaneous or random.

You're simply demonstrating that you lack the intellectual capacity to grasp the point. If our choices are completely predetermined, then what we call "possibilities" must be deemed purely illusory.
I found this post of mine in a thread named do we have free will from 07.

Quote:
"Free will: freedom of decision or choice between alternatives." --Webster's Dictionary

How can anyone say that "free will by definition does not exist"? If choices exist then so does free will. If free will does not exist then choices do not exist either.

We define choices as an act of free will between alternatives. If there is no free will then we are not making any choices.

As I said before, if there were no freewill then not a single word on this debate comes from the person saying it. "There is no freewill" is a self-defeating argument because it removes "self" from being able to giving it.

Determinist: "I believe there is no freewill"
Free Will Theist: "Why not?"
Determinist: "Because all my thoughts and actions are caused and conditioned by things outside my self."
Free Will Theist: "Then those thoughts and actions are not yours, including the belief that there is no freewill."

The determinist violates the Rational laws of definition and non-contradiction and removes personal responsibility from everyone for anything. If determinism is true then it is responsible for my belief in free will.

--Dave
This was your response: http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...t=37805&page=2

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave
"Free will: freedom of decision or choice between alternatives." --Webster's Dictionary
Excellent definition. Succinct, concise, to the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave
How can anyone say that "free will by definition does not exist"? If choices exist then so does free will. If free will does not exist then choices do not exist either.
Good point. Free will is axiomatic. Any attempt to deny it, presupposes it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave
We define choices as an act of free will between alternatives. If there is no free will then we are not making any choices.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave
As I said before, if there were no freewill then not a single word on this debate comes from the person saying it. "There is no freewill" is a self-defeating argument because it removes "self" from being able to giving it.
Agreed. I am glad that someone other than myself has pointed this obvious fact out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave
Determinist: "I believe there is no freewill"
Free Will Theist: "Why not?"
Determinist: "Because all my thoughts and actions are caused and conditioned by things outside my self."
Free Will Theist: "Then those thoughts and actions are not yours, including the belief that there is no freewill."
I would add that if free will is true, then there are obvious theological implications. However, even if determinism were true, there are also theological implications. Regardless of whether you are a determinist or indeterminist (and you do have to "choose" between the two), some form of theism is implied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave
The determinist violates the Rational laws of definition and non-contradiction and removes personal responsibility from everyone for anything. If determinism is true then it is responsible for my belief in free will.
What are the "rational laws of definition?"

Agreed. If determinism is true, then my beliefs - whatever I believe - are predetermined.
I quess we agreed back then, what changed for you?

--Dave





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April 30th, 2011, 02:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
For the sake of your argument I will grant, for the moment, that I am proposing that my choices are uncaused, spontaneous, and random, as you say; is this a reasonable explanation for why the God of open theism does not have complete foreknowledge of the future? Or, do open theists, still have a problem? Are we damned if we do and damned if we don't?
That chance is at play is a reasonable explanation why a temporal God would not have complete foreknowledge of the future. It is also the only reason why the future would be open. Also, it provides the basis for a "free will theodicy" (chance introduces chaos).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
Was your argument against atheism then and your argument against open theism now also a proof for your world view--panentheism? I really liked your argument against atheism--natural determinism implies an intelligence it denies. I totally agreed with you and thought that was the best "short" refutations of atheism I have ever read.
Actually, contemporary physics dispels the myth of atheistic materialism. Open theism (as well as some formulations of process theology) has an infinite regress problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
You had included then as you do now the same definitions for determinism and indeterminism, but I didn't know then that you used a two-stage model of free will. This suprises me because James, who first proposed it in 1884, credits Darwin for inspiring his idea of the evolution of free will, which does not require the existence of God and therefore intelligence, according to atheists. So, could it be argued there is a contradiction in your argument against atheism because you affirm atheism in your acceptance of two-stage free will?
Why would I have a problem with evolution? Evolution is based on random events (physically uncaused events). I love randomness. The Spirit is spontaneous! (You are creating this false dichotomy - namely, if evolution is true, then spirituality is not.)

The "two stage model of free will" is employed in process theology (Whitehead was influenced by James).



   
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April 30th, 2011, 09:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damian View Post

That chance is at play is a reasonable explanation why a temporal God would not have complete foreknowledge of the future. It is also the only reason why the future would be open. Also, it provides the basis for a "free will theodicy" (chance introduces chaos).

Actually, contemporary physics dispels the myth of atheistic materialism. Open theism (as well as some formulations of process theology) has an infinite regress problem.

Why would I have a problem with evolution? Evolution is based on random events (physically uncaused events). I love randomness. The Spirit is spontaneous! (You are creating this false dichotomy - namely, if evolution is true, then spirituality is not.)

The "two stage model of free will" is employed in process theology (Whitehead was influenced by James).
I demonstrated how open view, dynamic free theism, solves the problem of "infinite regress" in a debate with Balder.

What is Time? http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=29473

You did not answer this question.

Was your argument against atheism then and your argument against open theism now also a proof for your world view--panentheism?

Is your world view "pan" or "panen"? Explain how you answer the very questions you have raised.

And, could it be argued there is a contradiction in your and Whitehead's argument against atheism because you and he affirm atheism in your acceptance of two-stage free will that explains how free will works with no need of God to explain it?
"You are creating this false dichotomy - namely, if evolution is true, then spirituality is not."
What I am saying is, atheists will say, if evolution is true then we don't need God to explain free will. If you believe in God, as in pan or panen, how does his existence, effect or work with the two--stage model of free will, especially if this model does not depend upon his existence to explain it?

"Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!"

--Dave

Did you see my last post #168?





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April 30th, 2011, 02:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
You did not answer this question.

Was your argument against atheism then and your argument against open theism now also a proof for your world view--panentheism?

Is your world view "pan" or "panen"? Explain how you answer the very questions you have raised.
If "determinism" is true, then this implies "pantheism." If "indeterminism" is true, then this implies "panentheism." That being said, the prevailing scientific evidence (quantum mechanics) holds that nature is fundamentally indeterminate. (Whitehead's "process metaphysics" was informed by quantum theory.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
And, could it be argued there is a contradiction in your and Whitehead's argument against atheism because you and he affirm atheism in your acceptance of two-stage free will that explains how free will works with no need of God to explain it?
Free will (libertarian) qualifies as a supernatural event by virtue of the fact that it defies a naturalistic explanation.

By the way, Whitehead was originally an agnostic and/or atheist. But he realized that he needed to posit a divine reality in order to provide a foundation for his metaphysics. Also, James defended religious faith with his "will to believe" argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damian
You are creating this false dichotomy - namely, if evolution is true, then spirituality is not.
What I am saying is, atheists will say, if evolution is true then we don't need God to explain free will. If you believe in God, as in pan or panen, how does his existence, effect or work with the two--stage model of free will, especially if this model does not depend upon his existence to explain it?
Free will presupposes the soul - "uncaused causes" are supernatural explanations, not naturalistic ones. And I am more than happy to have that argument with any atheist who begs to differ.



   
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April 30th, 2011, 07:19 PM

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Originally Posted by Damian View Post
If "determinism" is true, then this implies "pantheism." If "indeterminism" is true, then this implies "panentheism." That being said, the prevailing scientific evidence (quantum mechanics) holds that nature is fundamentally indeterminate. (Whitehead's "process metaphysics" was informed by quantum theory.)

Free will (libertarian) qualifies as a supernatural event by virtue of the fact that it defies a naturalistic explanation.

By the way, Whitehead was originally an agnostic and/or atheist. But he realized that he needed to posit a divine reality in order to provide a foundation for his metaphysics. Also, James defended religious faith with his "will to believe" argument.

Free will presupposes the soul - "uncaused causes" are supernatural explanations, not naturalistic ones. And I am more than happy to have that argument with any atheist who begs to differ.
Please keep going. You have placed a number of threads and asked a number of good questions and I hope you also have the answers. Explain what exactly "you" believe about the nature of God and his relationship to the will of man.

--Dave

Please answer post #168





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May 1st, 2011, 09:28 AM

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Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
Please keep going. You have placed a number of threads and asked a number of good questions and I hope you also have the answers. Explain what exactly "you" believe about the nature of God and his relationship to the will of man.
"Ultimately everyone must remember the Will of God, because ultimately everyone must recognize himself. This recognition is the recognition that his will and God's are one." (source: "A Course in Miracles")


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Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
Please answer post #168
I have already addressed it by responding to your previous posts.




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May 1st, 2011, 02:00 PM

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Originally Posted by Damian View Post
Why is the God of "open theism" without complete foreknowledge of the future?
Not being familiar with the concept of open theism. I googled open theism and copied the following from the website:http://carm.org/open-theismOLD

Being new at some of this computer stuff, I will proceed with the understanding that since I have given credit to the website from which I copied this information that this is ethically acceptable. If this is not ethically acceptable, it would not bother me is this post was erased by the website monitors.



"What is openness theology?

Openness Theology (commonly referred to as Open Theism and Free Will Theism) connects with the spirituality of many Christians throughout the history of the church especially when it comes to prayer. Many Christians feel that our prayers or lack of them can make a difference as to what God does in history. The Openness of God is an attempt to think out more consistently what it means that God enters into personal relationships with humanity. We want to develop an understanding of the triune God and God's relationship to the world that is Biblically faithful, finds consonance with the tradition, is theologically coherent and which enhances the way we live our Christian lives. On the core tenets of the Christian faith, we agree, but we believe that some aspects of the tradition need reforming, particularly when it comes to what is called "Classical Theism." We believe that some aspects of this model of God have led Christians to misread certain Scriptures and develop some serious problems in our understanding of God which affect the way we live, pray and answer the problem of evil.
- Dr. John Sanders

summary of openness theology

According to openness theology, the triune God of love has, in almighty power, created all that is and is sovereign over all. In freedom God decided to create beings capable of experiencing his love. In creating us the divine intention was that we would come to experience the triune love and respond to it with love of our own and freely come to collaborate with God towards the achievement of his goals. We believe love is the primary characteristic of God because the triune Godhead has eternally loved even prior to any creation. Divine holiness and justice are aspects of the divine love towards creatures, expressions of God's loving concern for us. Love takes many forms-it can even be experienced as wrath when the lover sees the beloved destroying herself and others.

Second, God has, in sovereign freedom, decided to make some of his actions contingent upon our requests and actions. God elicits our free collaboration in his plans. Hence, God can be influenced by what we do and God truly responds to what we do. God genuinely interacts and enters into dynamic give-and-take relationships with us. That God changes in some respects implies that God is temporal, working with us in time. God, at least since creation, experiences duration.[1] God is everlasting through time rather than timelessly eternal.

Third, the only wise God has chosen to exercise general rather than meticulous providence, allowing space for us to operate and for God to be creative and resourceful in working with us. It was solely God's decision not to control every detail that happens in our lives. Moreover, God has flexible strategies. Though the divine nature does not change, God reacts to contingencies, even adjusting his plans, if necessary, to take into account the decisions of his free creatures. God is endlessly resourceful and wise in working towards the fulfillment of his ultimate goals. Sometimes God alone decides how to accomplish these goals. Usually, however, God elicits human cooperation such that it is both God and humanity who decide what the future shall be. God's plan is not a detailed script or blueprint, but a broad intention that allows for a variety of options regarding precisely how these goals may be reached. What God and people do in history matters. If the Hebrew midwives had feared Pharaoh rather than God and killed the baby boys, then God would have responded accordingly and a different story would have emerged. What people do and whether they come to trust God makes a difference concerning what God does-God does not fake the story of human history.

Fourth, God has granted us the type of freedom (libertarian) necessary for a truly personal relationship of love to develop. Again, this was God's decision, not ours. Despite the fact that we have abused our freedom by turning away from the divine love, God remains faithful to his intentions for creation and this faithful love was manifested most fully in the life and work of Jesus.

Finally, the omniscient God knows all that can be known given the sort of world he created. The content of divine omniscience has been debated in the Christian tradition; between Thomism and Molinism for example. In the openness debate the focus is on the nature of the future: is it fully knowable, fully unknowable or partially knowable and partially unknowable? We believe that God could have known every event of the future had God decided to create a fully determined universe. However, in our view God decided to create beings with indeterministic freedom which implies that God chose to create a universe in which the future is not entirely knowable, even for God. For many open theists the "future" is not a present reality-it does not exist-and God knows reality as it is.

This view may be called dynamic omniscience (it corresponds to the dynamic theory of time rather than the stasis theory). According to this view God knows the past and present with exhaustive definite knowledge and knows the future as partly definite (closed) and partly indefinite (open). God's knowledge of the future contains knowledge of that which is determinate or settled as well as knowledge of possibilities (that which is indeterminate). The determined future includes the things that God has unilaterally decided to do and physically determined events (such as an asteroid hitting our moon). Hence, the future is partly open or indefinite and partly closed or definite and God knows it as such. God is not caught off-guard-he has foresight and anticipates what we will do.

Our rejection of divine timelessness and our affirmation of dynamic omniscience are the most controversial elements in our proposal and the view of foreknowledge receives the most attention. However, the watershed issue in the debate is not whether God has exhaustive definite foreknowledge (EDF) but whether God is ever affected by and responds to what we do. This is the same watershed that divides Calvinism from Arminianism.
- Dr. John Sanders"



It clearly teaches the truths of our God given free will.

We certainly do have free will to the extent that we can choose what we think and what we can attempt to do.

I say attempt, because humans do not always investigate the real possibilities before making decisions.

Although God can subdue wars, there is no mention of praying for world peace.

That does not happen until the prince of peace returns as told in Revelation and straightens out this world.

We do affect what God does, for He keeps His promises.

Take for instance the promise in Proverbs 3:5-6 that God will direct our paths. That is a promise of God to believers. But there are three conditions we must decide to meet and therefore meet before God will fulfill His promise.

Namely,

1. The believer must trust in the Lord with all his heart

2. He must not lean unto his own understanding

3. He must acknowledge God in all his ways

Then and only then will God direct a believer's path.

But we must remember that life has its categories. We may meet his conditions in marriage but not in work habits. Therefore His fulfillment of His promise is limited, He will direct our paths in marriage, but not in work habits.

We must first fulfil what we can from the written word before God acts.

That is a free will decision on our part.

God however does have complete foreknowledge so He already knows what decisions we will make. Isaiah 57:15. Since God occupies all eternity, He is already living in the future, besides living in the past and present. Since God is living in the future, He knows what the future is precisely.

He knows what/if you are going to have for breakfast tomorrow and what you will be thinking about if/when you eat breakfast.

But God does not predestinate certain courses of action where our free will is involved. Our free will remains ours to exercise. God did not make, form and create preprogrammed robots.

Love is a decision of the free will. Whether it be to our neighbor or to God.

There is no reason for God to give commandments if we do not have free will to exercise the option of whether to obey or not.

There are certain future events that God will bring to pass and He has had some of them recorded. See I Thessalonians 4:13-18 for one example.

God will send JC back to pickup the Christian believers before the wrath comes.. Romans 5:9

So

oatmeal





"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayers." Acts 2:42

"For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Psalm 6:5

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May 1st, 2011, 09:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damian View Post

"Ultimately everyone must remember the Will of God, because ultimately everyone must recognize himself. This recognition is the recognition that his will and God's are one." (source: "A Course in Miracles")
Was Hitler's will also one with God's will?

Is God evolving with man?

--Dave





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May 1st, 2011, 10:07 PM

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Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post

God however does have complete foreknowledge so He already knows what decisions we will make. Isaiah 57:15. Since God occupies all eternity, He is already living in the future, besides living in the past and present. Since God is living in the future, He knows what the future is precisely.

He knows what/if you are going to have for breakfast tomorrow and what you will be thinking about if/when you eat breakfast.

But God does not predestinate certain courses of action where our free will is involved. Our free will remains ours to exercise. God did not make, form and create preprogrammed robots.

Love is a decision of the free will. Whether it be to our neighbor or to God.

There is no reason for God to give commandments if we do not have free will to exercise the option of whether to obey or not.

There are certain future events that God will bring to pass and He has had some of them recorded. See I Thessalonians 4:13-18 for one example.

God will send JC back to pickup the Christian believers before the wrath comes.. Romans 5:9

oatmeal
Isaiah 57:15 does not say that God is living in future.

--Dave





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May 1st, 2011, 11:41 PM

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Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
Was Hitler's will also one with God's will?
Didn't Jesus die for Hitler too? (Implicit in your question is the belief that you are more worthy of divine grace than others.)

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Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
Is God evolving with man?
This depends on your theology. I guess you could argue that God is working out God's salvation through us.



   
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