Board index Assorted Bible Questions

Assorted and general Bible questions that really don't fit any of the other categories

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby Pele » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:20 pm

> And if you want God to insure there is no unnecessary suffering, he will have to start controlling our bodies so we don't do anything unnecessary, and even controlling our minds so we hurt anyone unnecessarily. Take this far enough and we won't even be human anymore.

Won't he do exactly that in heaven? Do you then believe that once in heaven, "we won't even be human anymore"?

Here's another possibility: Adam and Eve sin, are exiled. God punishes them, alone, for their sin. Any children born to them are allowed back into the garden. This is pretty much what Christians and Muslims believe will happen after death: some people go to hell, where they are radically separated from other people, often their family members, who are sent to heaven.

Further, life on earth is unnecessary, as your god is omniscient: he's known what "x" will do before "x" is even born. He doesn't need to watch "x" grow into a serial killer with multiple victims in order to figure anything out.
Pele
 

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby jimwalton » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:34 pm

> Won't he do exactly that in heaven? Do you then believe that once in heaven, "we won't even be human anymore"?

Heaven is a different situation. The people in heaven will all have freely and willfully given God lordship of their lives. Here, God cannot take control of us without forcefully doing it. There, we would have made a free-will decision to allow God do as He wishes. Secondly, perhaps your view of heaven has dangerous realities and situations like our present lives, but heaven is going to be a different reality. With no potential for suffering and hurt, just possibly a fall off a cliff won't lead to a fall to the rocks below; possibly our skin won't get cut on things. Who's to say what the reality will be? But it's certainly not logical to conclude it will be just like Earth, and "we won't be human anymore."

> Any children born to them are allowed back into the garden.

Any children born to Adam and Eve had just as much access to God as A&E did. Abel succeeded (Gn. 2.4), as did Enoch (5.22-24), Noah (Gn. 6), and many others (Gn. 4.26 and through history). God doesn't punish us for the sin of A&E, but for our own sin.

> Further, life on earth is unnecessary, as your god is omniscient: he's known what "x" will do before "x" is even born. He doesn't need to watch "x" grow into a serial killer with multiple victims in order to figure anything out.

You're right that God knows, but his knowledge doesn't cause anyone to act. Knowledge is not causative. Only power is causative. Everyone has a chance to make their own decisions and figure things out. God adjusts (Jer. 12.1-18; Jonah 3-4). The only alternative to living life is not being alive at all. You certainly wouldn't want God to judge a man for being a serial killer who had never lived.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5118
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby Sorry Morry » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:53 pm

> This set of verses is the lex talionis, not the retribution principle. it is casuistic legal wisdom to let a judge know that the punishment should fit the crime. The principle is based on the idea of just reciprocity in the courts, limiting the punishment to the extent of the damage done. It's a principle of personal liability.

Why would he support retribution only in court, but not in everyday living? If I support forgiveness and acceptance in normal living, wouldn't it be highly likely that I support rehabilitation as punishment?

> God created all things, yes, but he did not make them the way they are.

How is someone born with mental illness that makes them act irrationally and commit horrible crimes not made/born that way?

> You are confusing knowledge and power. Knowledge doesn't cause anyone to do anything. Only power can cause. Just because God is not subject to time and therefore can see all things as if they are in the present doesn't mean by any stretch that the choices people make are God's fault

God is omnipotent. If I know that my child is going to jump into the lion enclosure in the zoo, but choose to be a bystander and watch him jump when I can easily go and stop him how is it not my fault?
Sorry Morry
 

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby jimwalton » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:10 pm

> Why would he support retribution only in court, but not in everyday living?

There is a difference between reciprocity and retribution. In reciprocity, people are given a punishment appropriate to their crime, and the innocent are vindicated. In retribution, good people always get rewarded and bad people always get punished. The first is a legal practice in courts, the second is a worldview of how God runs the world. These are distinct things. God doesn't run life by the retribution principle, but at the end of history when humankind is judged, we will all be judged fairly according to principles of just reciprocity, and in the final judgment God will reward the good and curse the bad. But that's not how life works, and the Bible is clear about that.

> How is someone born with mental illness that makes them act irrationally and commit horrible crimes not made/born that way?

Of course they were born that way, but God didn't make them that way. Science is a cause and effect thing, and God lets the world work according to cause and effect. There are genetic mutations, chromosomal abnormalities, health and disease. If God were to interfere in the causal spectrum with regularity, there would be no science. Nothing would be regular or predictable. Even our reasoning power would be non-existent because nothing would make sense. It's neither biblical nor rational to claim that because someone was "born with mental illness that makes them act irrationally and commit horrible crimes" that God made them that way.

> God is omnipotent.

Ah, now you've changed. Before you said, "if god made a human being knowing that they will...", so you were talking about knowledge. Now you've switched to power.

The answer to your question comes from a proper understanding of what omnipotence is. You want God to stop what in specific? All stupid decisions? All dangerous decisions? All accidents? All suffering? All pain? If so, you want God to control every movement of our bodies, and therefore also every thought in our minds. In other words, we won't have personalities, and we won't be human any more, but just robots. We won't be able to reason, love, laugh, decide, forgive, or show kindness. There would be no such thing as science because we wouldn't be able to observe, weigh data, reason, or draw conclusions. It would all be rote. Exactly what is it you want God in his "omnipotence" to do? Think it through to all its logical conclusions, please, because I think what you are suggesting, if pushed further out, is both nonsense and impossible.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5118
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby Sorano » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:19 pm

When you mention free speech, I feel like we're on the same idea. Except that my point is that when god lets one's actions affect another's free will, whose free will is he caring about? When it comes to free speech, we avoid hate speech at all costs. Maybe what you mean is that condemning sinners is equivalent to us punishing hate speech, is that it? All I can say is that that looks incredibly human; easier to associate to human laws than to godly laws.

> God is always at work (often behind the scenes) to redeem bad choices, to counsel for good choices, to warn against mistakes, and to make things right after humans screw them up.

Interesting that you mentioned Noah in the same response when you mentioned God fixing things up. How does he redeem bad choices? With our consciousness? Is he aware that it's not very effective, and maybe a more personal revelation would avoid further threat to others' free will? Or do you think he's already doing that, but people who're convinced of his presence and intentions really can and do still make bad choices?

> If God interfered up front, we'd scream "WRONG!" because He would be constantly interfering in people's free will. But if He waits, people scream "WRONG!" because he allows evil.

But would it work? Can he interfere in front of us and avoid murdering, even though it'd make us hate him for it? If he's interfering with our free will, it's just as much as bad people limit their victims' free will, except he's fixing it. Also, in John's gospel, Jesus has kept a woman from being stoned by telling that 'that who is without sin, throw the first stone' or somehting like that. I can pretend the gospel, as hearsay, didn't include all he said; maybe he went as far as explaining how could one think it'll solve anything to stone her to death?

> The choice you have is essentially the same as hers: will you insist on being autonomous and seek wisdom outside of God, or will you trust His wisdom and be found in Him?

Yeah, there are consequences, but which did Eve know of? And why is it discouraged that we seek wisdom on our own? Why is it that we're only rewarded for trusting him, but not for trying to be self-sufficient, to then encourage us to fulfill our aspirations by ourselves? Also, this is not a 'let god fix it for ya' advice, right? Like, I won't cross the street trusting god instead of looks both sides. If I'm to trust god in regards to things beyond this material world, I'm yet to be convinced of what is it that even is beyond this world, and what do I have to do with it. Trust is a conclusion based on past experiences, like I trust my friends, or inherent to us, like I trust my parents since I was born. Maybe Adam could've trusted him, since he tried so hard to give him a partner, until he got Eve, but Eve? And I don't care about those two. Why should I, say, trust god over the friendship lessons from Princess Twilight Sparkle? All I get from both is media showing how it's supposed to work, like prophecies and MLP:FiM episodes, and I can use my own confirmation bias to convince myself that either one is true, regardless of actual evidence of any.

> We create doors to be doors, cars to be cars, and computers to compute.

But objects don't have feelings or consciousness. How is that any different from a parent raising a child to be what they want it to be, instead of having its own purposes in life?

> You were designed to be a child of God. Within that purpose, you could have aspirations for science, business, art, music, law, philosophy, or a thousand other things.

Does that not include people who feel inclined to war? You know, strategists? People who like guns, tanks, etc.? When we were beginning to build flying machines, like the 14bis and the Wright brothers' thing-y, was it from inside us the same you claim god has made us to be? When those flying machines were used in war, was it from inside us because that's how god has made us? Yeah, one is good and promotes our society with flying machines, transportation, science, etc. and another promotes death, but they both were ideas born in our heads in the beginning. If god doesn't encourage the latter, how could we even conclude that all 'good ideas' are from god? How would we know if planes were created from a godly human trait, or just a human trait?
Sorano
 

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:23 pm

> Except that my point is that when god lets one's actions affect another's free will, whose free will is he caring about?

Free will is free will. It has a certain dynamic of being exercised freely by each agent, sometimes complementing and sometimes conflicting against the free will of others. But it is what it is. God allows all free will. It's not that he cares more about one than another, but that he cannot stop the exercise of free will.

> Maybe what you mean is that condemning sinners is equivalent to us punishing hate speech, is that it? All I can say is that that looks incredibly human; easier to associate to human laws than to godly laws.

No, that's not what I mean. I think it's a fallacious equivalency that makes God look human. God's condemning sinners is more like a fair judge maintaining balance and order in a system, and also just reciprocity where the punishment fits the crime. The human system of justice is supposed to reflect the ideal form of it in God.

> you mentioned Noah

Right. Noah is an example of God bringing balance and order to a system that became disordered.

> How does he redeem bad choices? With our consciousness?

No, that's not how he does it, so your quick condemnation of him ("Is he aware that it's not very effective") is quite unfair. There are a hundred ways God redeems bad choices. For instance, Bishop Desmond Tutu, in South Africa, sat through the hearings of the crimes that whites committed on blacks in the name of God and the government. After two years of listening to the horrific accounts, Bishop Tutu came away with his faith strengthened. The hearings convinced him that perpetrators are morally accountable, that good and evil are real and that they matter. Despite relentless accounts of inhumanity, Tutu emerge from the hearings with this conviction: "For us who are Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof positive that love is stronger than hate, that life is stronger than death, that light is stronger than darkness, that laughter and joy, and compassion and gentleness and truth, all these are so much stronger than their ghastly counterparts." The tragic shooting of grade school children in Newtown, CT, in December of 2012, also tells a story of such redemption. There was an outpouring of grief, compassion, and generosity. There were acts of selflessness, not selfishness: in the school staff who sacrificed their lives to save children, in the sympathetic response of a community and a nation. There was a deep belief that the people who died mattered, and that something of inestimable worth was snuffed out on December 14.

> But would it work?

No, not necessarily. "Can he interfere in front of us and avoid murdering?" No. If He interferes in free will, it isn't free. And you know it wouldn't just be once, but every time we turn a corner. Pursue this thought (he could interfere, and it would be fixing it) to its edges and it falls apart like a soggy cake.

> Jesus has kept a woman from being stoned by telling that 'that who is without sin, throw the first stone' or somehting like that.

He didn't keep her from being stoned by interfering in free will but by the virtue of the wisdom of what he was saying. He didn't force anything.

> Yeah, there are consequences, but which did Eve know of?

She knew perfectly well. There's no reason to think of them as ignorant, barbaric, or naive.

> And why is it discouraged that we seek wisdom on our own?

God is the center of order, and wisdom is the ability to discern order. Relationship with God is the beginning of wisdom (Job 28.28; Prov. 1.7). There's nothing wrong with wisdom, but it must be acquired in appropriate ways at appropriate times. Because of our limitations, we are not able to decide for ourselves what is in our best interests and what is not. the omniscient and omnipresent God is the only one qualified, and so we must find wisdom where it resides: in Him.

> Why is it that we're only rewarded for trusting him, but not for trying to be self-sufficient

There's nothing wrong with strength and learning, but the fact is we are NOT self-sufficient. We are too limited and vulnerable to fill the role.

> Also, this is not a 'let god fix it for ya' advice, right? Like, I won't cross the street trusting god instead of looks both sides.

Right, it's not that.

> Trust is a conclusion based on past experiences

Agreed, and faith in the Bible is always based in evidence. We are never asked to trust until we have information and evidence.

> How is that any different from a parent raising a child to be what they want it to be, instead of having its own purposes in life?

A responsible parent teaches the truth, raises the child to be wise, and let's them pursue the course that is a fit for them, following their purposes in life. This is what the Bible teaches. We are to raise children in the way they should go, to know the truth but to follow their own path. Our purposes in God are all different. God has given us different personality, gifts, interests, passions, and purposes, but a well-governed life will still point in his direction. One president of a country may be a completely different personality and strategy from another, but both are ideally supposed to be serving the people for the good of the country. That's the idea.

> Does that not include people who feel inclined to war?

God created us with hands. We have a choice whether to use our hands to help or to punch. God created us with tremendous capability to reason and create. The expectation is that we would use such things to rule and subdue the Earth, which means to be co-regents with God to run and care for the world as He would. Humans chose to go against God, and war is one of the results of that defiance and rebellion we call sin. It's not how God made us, it's what we used our free will to do.

> If god doesn't encourage the latter,

God DOES encourage the latter. It's on just about every page of the Bible. "Do what is right." "Be honest." "Be good." Love your neighbor." "Treat people justly." "Care for the poor."
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5118
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby Sorano » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:21 pm

First of all, I wish to thank you for the clarifying response. I have discussions about this with my mom, but she can never bring on a deep explanation. That's why, for example, I mentioned the discouragement of seeking wisdom, for that's the only christian view I've been presented; what you mentioned feels much more in line with that another christian friend of mine says, though he says how god told him not to be gay anymore, so that was also responsible for my mention of selfish parents.

I just don't know why would divine creation be the explanation for humans "to follow their own path," but, for me, most importantly, it doesn't force me into a life that's not for me, like my friend trying not to fall for another boy.

> we are not able to decide for ourselves what is in our best interests and what is not.

Just today, I mentioned on an essay for sociology class the injustice of treatments for ASD kids that completely ignore the kid's well-being, by assuming they don't know what they need; and never teach them why is it that they treat them like that either. I also mention often with my therapist (I'm one of those ASD kids) that I understand the provess via which believers expand this idea that no one is self-sufficient on their own, and needs others, to our human society needing another being; though my point is that if everyone accepts how they depend on others (and on our planet), we can grow and prosper as human beings.

> the omniscient and omnipresent God is the only one qualified, and so we must find wisdom where it resides: in Him.

Do you have any insight as to how non-omniscient beings should know who is omniscient at all? Well, maybe if he did create the whole world, he is omniscient about everything in this world, which is what matters for our lives. But I wonder if that's enough for you.

> God DOES encourage the latter.

When I said the latter I meant the war stuff, as in: "one is good and promotes our society with flying machines, transportation, science, etc".is the former, and "and another promotes death" is the latter. But I understand what you meant. Also, I understand if you think this responses are getting too long, but I promise this is my last one, because you really reminded me of both my mom and my christian friend.
Sorano
 

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:27 pm

> though my point is that if everyone accepts how they depend on others (and on our planet), we can grow and prosper as human beings.

According to the Bible, we have tremendous capacity and capabilities as human beings. I'm not trying to say we're total incompetents. What I am trying to say is that we can't read people's minds, we can't see the future, we can't have all the elements necessary to consistently make great decisions, our weaknesses can derail or skew us, and even our strengths can work against us if we're not careful. Our knowledge of spiritual realities is close to nothing aside from what we've been told, and we're tragically poor at interpreting our circumstances. We simply are not self-sufficient, and our wisdom is so limited and limiting as to be an obstacle. It's not that we're dolts, but just that we're human.

> Do you have any insight as to how non-omniscient beings should know who is omniscient at all?

We can only know about God if He reveals Himself to us. Other than that we don't have a chance. The goal of God's plan is for Him to be in relationship with the people He has created. It would be difficult for people to enter into a relationship with a God they do not know or can't know. If His nature were concealed, obscured, or distorted, an honest relationship would be impossible. Therefore, in order to clear the way for this relationship, then, God has undertaken as a primary objective a program of self-revelation. He wants people to know him, and therefore makes Himself known to non-omniscient beings. The mechanism that drives this program of self-revelation is the covenant (one of the prominent themes of the whole Bible), and the instrument for self-revelation is Israel. The purpose of the covenant is to reveal God. That's the only way we can know.

> Also, I understand if you think this responses are getting too long, but I promise this is my last one, because you really reminded me of both my mom and my christian friend.

I'm enjoying the conversation. I'm game to continue if you would like.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5118
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby Pele » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:45 pm

> The people in heaven will all have freely and willfully given God lordship of their lives. Here, God cannot take control of us without forcefully doing it. There, we would have made a free-will decision to allow God do as He wishes.

This doesn't solve the problem. A living human being faced with this God would be as able to make a choice as a dead human being faced with the same God. Once the human makes the choice to give up their free will to God, then, per your earlier statement, they stop being human. And if they don't, if there's a way for a human to allow God to do with them as he wants and retain their free will, then the free will defense fails.

Re "here, God cannot take control of us without forcefully doing it," this god is omnipotent. He can do whatever he wants, which makes his invisibility in the only world we have access to suspicious, especially if the "free will defense" stops operating post-mortem.

> You're right that God knows, but his knowledge doesn't cause anyone to act.

No, in this case it wouldn't, but that wasn't my point. He is omniscient. That omniscience, combined with omnipotence, undoes the need for this life. He doesn't have to "wait and see" who is willing to give him lordship, as he is not bound by anything, including time. That's what it means to be omniscient. And he's able to act on that knowledge: he's omnipotent.

I think that people who worship this God are not thinking through the consequences of making him both omniscient and omnipotent. Take one of these away.
Pele
 

Re: Christians must support 3-gen rule re: North Korea

Postby jimwalton » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:03 pm

> A living human being faced with this God would be as able to make a choice as a dead human being faced with the same God. Once the human makes the choice to give up their free will to God, then, per your earlier statement, they stop being human.

You misunderstand. Let me try again. It's not giving up one's free will that deprives them of their humanity, but not having it at all. If I want to talk a job as a servant in someone's household where it will be my every delight to do whatever they want me to do, I haven't yielded my humanity or my joy. If, however, a being possesses me and takes over my functions so that I am nothing but an unwilling tool, that's completely different. In the first case, I can tell someone I love them and still mean it. In the latter case, if I tell someone I love them they can't believe it, because it's not me speaking and I didn't choose to say it. The latter statement is meaningless.

> this god is omnipotent. He can do whatever he wants

There is a serious misunderstanding in many people's minds (since I have had this conversation with so many) that omnipotence means "I can do anything." It's just not true, and never was.

Omnipotence has never been adequately defined, but it certainly 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 can realize whatever is possible, and that no number of actualized possibilities exhausts his power. God can realize whatever is possible. The omnipotence of God is all-sufficient power. 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. He has the power to change human personality, but only as individuals allow. 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, certain qualifications of this all-powerful character of God. He cannot arbitrarily do anything whatsoever that we may conceive of. He can't do "everything."

* 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 cannot fail to do what he has promised.
* He cannot interfere with the freedom of man. Otherwise we're not free.
* He cannot change the past

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." 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."

> He is omniscient. That omniscience, combined with omnipotence, undoes the need for this life.

Show me the logical sequence for this. It doesn't make a shred of sense to me. We are beings independent of God. His complete knowledge, his ability to act outside of time, and His ability to use or not use His power to accomplish His work doesn't undo the need for this life. HIs omniscience doesn't take away our freedom to act and His right to respond to it. Read Jeremiah 18.1-12.

> And he's able to act on that knowledge: he's omnipotent.

He is certainly able to, but that neither means He does nor requires that He does. He can use or withhold His power as He wills.

> I think that people who worship this God are not thinking through the consequences of making him both omniscient and omnipotent. Take one of these away.

I've thought it through very deeply. Both of these are essential for God to be truly God, and neither interferes with our free agency as human beings. His knowledge is not causative and His power is variable according to the wisdom to use it it, temper it, or withhold it. These are both beneficial to our lives. If His knowledge were causative, we would not be human but mere determined robots. If His power were always on full, He'd be the cosmic bull in the historical china shop and wreak havoc on nature and humanity. Instead, understanding his knowledge is its proper context and his power with its necessary variability makes it all work, both logically and practically.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5118
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Assorted Bible Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


cron