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Re: The Contradiction [Re: Tom] #85285
02/11/07 05:59 PM
02/11/07 05:59 PM
Tom  Offline OP
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
It’s completely different. Your question is flawed because it poses a contradiction between God’s attributes. God can’t create a rock He can’t lift exactly because there is nothing He can’t do and, therefore, no rock He can’t lift.

"God can't create a rock He can't lift because there is nothing He can't do, and therefore no rock He can't lift." This is self-contradictory. One the one hand you say there's nothing God can't do, and on the other you say that God can't create a rock He can't lift. You even give as the reason that which makes your statement self-contradictory. You can't have "God can't do A" followed by "because there's nothing God can't do". That's not arguing from premise to conclusion in a valid way.

So omnipotence can’t contradict omnipotence.

There's nothing in the argument involving omnipotence contradicting omnipotence. The point of the statement is simple. It's simply stating that God cannot do something which is logically impossible. He can't create round squares, or both condemn and save someone, or both create the earth and not create it.

It's the same as saying that God is not omnipotent if He can't be bad.

It's not in any way the same as this. I have no idea how you came to this conclusion.

On the other hand, if God didn’t know the future, He wouldn’t be omniscient.

Agreed.

Besides, the argument that God's foreknowledge and man's free will are incompatible is also completely flawed.

Agreed. I'm not arguing that.

The fact that God knows the future doesn’t fix it.

Also agreed. I haven't been arguing this either. You seem not to have been understanding what I've been writing. I haven't written anything along the lines of what you are arguing against.

Someone gave a good example about this. Let's say I use a time-machine to travel forwards in time to next week. I write down all your actions on Thursday in a book, seal the book and travel back again. I present you with the sealed book and tell you not to open it until the end of Thursday. When you read it, you see that I had prior knowledge of all your actions. Did I remove your free will? No, because I simply observed. I did not set in motion all the events leading up to your actions.

This is supposing such a thing is possible, which is what our whole conversation is about. That is, this whole example is presupposing that the future is fixed. If the future weren't fixed, it wouldn't be possible to time travel forward to see what it is, and then come back and report on it, would it?

In the same way, if you travel to the future, watch a horse race and then travel back, you know what the result of that horse race will be, but did you make that specific horse win the race?

This is scratching where it doesn't itch. No one is arguing about for a causual link between knowledge and the perforamnce of an action. Everyone knows that my knowing that you will do something doesn't force you do it. That is not, and has never been, the subject of the conversation. The point under consideration is not knowledge of the future, but the nature of the future. Is it fixed or open? Does it consist of events which are as real as the past, except for us who have a foggy view? Or is there an ontological difference between the past and the future? That's really what's under discussion.

MM is arguing for an ontological equivalence for the past and future, which position one is free to take. But one should adopt points of view which are logically consistent with this position, as the Calvinists have, if that's the premise one wishes to start from.


Now, while you tried to answer my first argument, I saw no answer for the following two:

1) our character is affected by the Holy Spirit's action, therefore, for someone to know what kind of character I will develop, he will have to know how I will respond to the Holy Spirit's working in my life (which, of course, is determined by my choice).

At what age do you think our character is developed to an extent that one could comment on what it will be like? My guess would be at around age 3. I don't see a problem with God to know what one will basically be like before being born.

2) If God knew the character a person would develop, the person's character would be fixed, according to your position, and so would be his salvation or perdition, which are determined by the character. While the same might not be said about your personality, your character is entirely determined by your free will. Is your character fixed by God’s foreknowledge?

I don't believe our character is fixed at all. I think you're taking to rigid a view of what's involved in God's knowing someone's character. This isn't speaking to whether one will be saved or not. Esau could have been saved, and Jacob could have been lost. The things God said about their characters would still have been true. For example, Esau, after spending most of his life not having a heart to follow God, could have, later in life, responded to the pleading of the Holy Spirit, which He was no doubt making, just as Manassah responded at the end of his life. If God had prophesied regardeing Manassah that he would have a heart that would not follow God, that would be true, wouldn't it? Yet Manassah was not lost.

I didn't see any comment on the many EGW statements which bring out the God took a risk in sending Christ. The Scriptures are full of such statements as well, indicated that God takes risks. Now risk implies the opposite of a fixed future which can be reported on. If God was 100% certain Christ would succeed, He could hardly have told us He took a risk in sending Him. Similarly, if Christ was 100% certain that He would succeed, it could hardly have been said of Him that He "risked all."

Risk, by definition, means the possibility of failure. In fact, to make this clear, Ellen White wrote "at the risk of failure." The possibility of failure contradicts the idea of a future comprised of nothing but certainties.

When considering what Ellen White wrote, we need to take into consideration all that she wrote on a topic.


Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Re: The Contradiction [Re: Tom] #85286
02/11/07 06:02 PM
02/11/07 06:02 PM
Tom  Offline OP
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
TV: If God knows something is going to happen, and then intervene and by this intervention cause something else to happen (by for instance the human heeding the warning, then Gods foreknowledge wasn't the last word in the matter. Such is agreeable.

MM: His "interventions" are part of it, not an afterthought. When God watches the future like history He sees Himself interacting with FMAs. It's not like He goes back and does something different than He saw. That would be impossible.


John:That means that God can do nothing about what he knows.

Right! This is another problem with this idea. According to this idea, God can view the future, but is powerless to do anything about it.



Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Re: The Contradiction [Re: Tom] #85287
02/11/07 06:05 PM
02/11/07 06:05 PM
Tom  Offline OP
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
I haven't seen anyone deal with the argument I presented first on page 1, and have presented repeatedly since. Here it is again.

So far, everyone has agree that if God knows that A will happen, and not B, then A will happen, and not B. So A is 100% certain to happen. Given that this is the case, it is not possible for a person to do B, since one can't do something which cannot happen. Therefore any definition of free will which implies that a person can to either of A or B is logically inconsistent.


Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Re: The Contradiction [Re: Tom] #85288
02/11/07 06:21 PM
02/11/07 06:21 PM
Tom  Offline OP
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
TE: I can feel someone saying, "Eve could have chosen not to eat of the fruit, but if that had been the case, God would have known that." But the problem is that Eve's eating of the fruit was determined *before* she made her choice, not after.

MM: Determined? What do you mean? Sister White said nothing about it being determined.
Divine hindsight determines nothing. It simply reports the facts.

You're misunderstanding the meaning of my last sentence. I'm not sure if you can understand it. There might be some other way I can put it that would allow you to understand the thought. If I can think of something, I'll write it.

This argument is more difficult to understand than the one I started this topic with. I'd suggest taking a look at it (I've recently repeated it) and deal with it.



“From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency.” (DA 22)

Quote:
Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. (DA 49)


TE: Regarding the question if God knows if we will be saved, He didn't even know if Christ would be saved!

MM: None of the quotes you posted agree with this idea. You are assuming it.

All of them stated that Christ took a risk. None of them were an assumption on my part, but were instead direct statements of Ellen White's.

TE: God sees things the way they are.

MM: God also sees things the way they were before they are. He "calleth those things which be not as though they were." (Rom 4:17)

God sees the future the way it is. The future is different than the past. This is your fundamental assumption, and it's not correct. If it were the same as the past, we could not have free will under the libertarian definition (i.e. we can do either of A or B).

TE: God's understanding of the future is based upon His unlimited intelligence and knowledge.

MM: And yet you believe God does not know the future with certainty.

No, I don't believe this. God does know the future with certainty. He knows the future as it is. Until FMA's take actions to convert possibilities into realities, possibilities are an essential characteristic of the future.

Is God just a good guesser, or does He base of His knowledge of the future on hindsight?

Hindsight? His knowledge of the future is foresight. "Foresight" means to look ahead.

TE: Christ, the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, is a statement regarding God's character, not the inevitability of sin. It was never God's plan, design, or intent that sin would arise. Sin was not inevitable (or even likely).

MM: How could Sister White have stated it more plainly? There is nothing ambiguous about it, nothing tentative. She plainly says God knew Lucifer and man would sin. Period! No doubt about it. God's knowledge of the future is based on hindsight - not guess work.

DA 22
From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. (DA 22)

Quote:
Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. (DA 49)


How could Sister White have stated it more plainly. There is nothing ambiguous about it, nothing tentative. She plainly says God took a risk in sending Christ. He foresaw the possibility that Christ would fail, but took the risk anyway.


Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Re: The Contradiction [Re: Tom] #85294
02/11/07 10:17 PM
02/11/07 10:17 PM
Mountain Man  Offline
SDA
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
JB: That means that God can do nothing about what he knows.

MM: God is not a man. His ability to know the future like history is beyond our comprehension. Saying that “God can do nothing about what He knows” implies He would change things if He could. But such an implication suggests God didn’t do it right the first time. That is impossible.

TE: That is, this whole example is presupposing that the future is fixed.

MM: The future is not fixed – history is fixed. God sees the future like history. He does not predict what will happen; instead, He reports what has happened.

TE: In fact, to make this clear, Ellen White wrote "at the risk of failure." The possibility of failure contradicts the idea of a future comprised of nothing but certainties.

MM: The word “risk” cannot mean the Father did not know if Jesus would fail or succeed on the cross. To insist He didn’t know is to imply God does not know the end from the beginning. This begs the question – How can God know “affliction shall not rise up the second time”?

TE: According to this idea, God can view the future, but is powerless to do anything about it.

MM: You are assuming there is something about it that needs correcting, which implies God did not get it right the first time. God does not make mistakes.

Re: The Contradiction [Re: Mountain Man] #85295
02/11/07 10:19 PM
02/11/07 10:19 PM
Mountain Man  Offline
SDA
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
TE: So far, everyone has agree that if God knows that A will happen, and not B, then A will happen, and not B. So A is 100% certain to happen. Given that this is the case, it is not possible for a person to do B, since one can't do something which cannot happen. Therefore any definition of free will which implies that a person can to either of A or B is logically inconsistent.

MM: There is no such thing as “B”. What has happened is “A”. It is based on God’s ability to see the future like history. Only “A” will happen because it is what happened.

TE: But the problem is that Eve's eating of the fruit was determined *before* she made her choice, not after.

MM: Again, there was nothing “determined” about it. God knew she would eat it because He already saw it happen.

TE: God sees the future the way it is. The future is different than the past. This is your fundamental assumption, and it's not correct. If it were the same as the past, we could not have free will under the libertarian definition (i.e. we can do either of A or B).

MM: God "calleth those things which be not as though they were." (Rom 4:17) From God’s perspective history and future are one and the same thing. God “inhabits eternity”. (Isa 57:15) Time and space does not apply to God in the same way it applies to FMAs.

TE: God does know the future with certainty. He knows the future as it is. Until FMA's take actions to convert possibilities into realities, possibilities are an essential characteristic of the future.

MM: This doesn’t make sense to me. You seem to be arguing that God knows the future with certainty but He doesn’t know what will happen in the future.

TE: Hindsight? His knowledge of the future is foresight. "Foresight" means to look ahead.

MM: It’s both. He knows the end from the beginning. God is God, therefore, hindsight and foresight are one and the same thing.

TE: He foresaw the possibility that Christ would fail, but took the risk anyway.

MM: I vehemently disagree. God did not know Jesus “would” fail. He knew Jesus would succeed. He never once doubted it. God does not doubt. He doesn't have to - He knows the end from the beginning.

Re: The Contradiction [Re: Mountain Man] #85297
02/11/07 11:42 PM
02/11/07 11:42 PM
J
John Boskovic  Offline
Dedicated Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,196
Ontario
Originally Posted By: Mountain Man
JB: That means that God can do nothing about what he knows.

MM: God is not a man. His ability to know the future like history is beyond our comprehension. Saying that “God can do nothing about what He knows” implies He would change things if He could. But such an implication suggests God didn’t do it right the first time. That is impossible.


Surely if it is beyond (y)our comprehension, then you should not assert what you do not know and what is not comprehensible.

But I do not hold your view about his knowledge. God and all the beings created in his image, utilize knowledge as an ingredient in the formation of judgment, decisions, and choices, as to what they will do. Your view of God's knowledge does not allow him that priviledge. Such a view of the knowledge of God is in an abstract (incomprehensible) sense. Further such a concept of knowledge and righteousness is completely technical or mechanical. It does not allow for a God of personal judgment.

God is a God of judgment; the ability which he also gave us. The judgment of God is not mechanical; is not based on what he watched on his TimeViewer-TV. God's judgment is personal utilizing elements to which there is no law; that is, not by means whereby such judgments can be formulated into a repetitive result. Knowledge is only one part that is utilized in the process of judgment to generate the desired result. Knowledge is not the judgment; and judgment is not knowledge.

God's Personal judgment is an activity that can only transpire in time and place.

Re: The Contradiction [Re: John Boskovic] #85299
02/12/07 12:09 AM
02/12/07 12:09 AM
Tom  Offline OP
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
TE: That is, this whole example is presupposing that the future is fixed.

MM: The future is not fixed – history is fixed. God sees the future like history. He does not predict what will happen; instead, He reports what has happened.

You're contradicting yourself. If God is reporting what has happened, then it's fixed. That's obvious. If it weren't fixed, then it could change, and something which God "reported" could happen differently than what He said.

TE: In fact, to make this clear, Ellen White wrote "at the risk of failure." The possibility of failure contradicts the idea of a future comprised of nothing but certainties.

MM: The word “risk” cannot mean the Father did not know if Jesus would fail or succeed on the cross.

That's all it can mean. It can't NOT mean that. Risk means "possibility of loss or injury". A synonym is "peril," which Ellen White also uses to explain the risk. "All heaven was imperiled for our redemption." What do you think this means?

To insist He didn’t know is to imply God does not know the end from the beginning.

No, it's not. That's not what the phrase to know the end from the beginning means. What the phrase means is what it says. It means to know the end from beginning; that is, if you go down this road (i.e. this beginning), then this end will follow. It doesn't mean that there's only one possible end. The end of the path depends upon which path you take. God knows the end of the path from its beginning. But until you choose the path, the end is just a possibility, and God knows it as such.

This begs the question – How can God know “affliction shall not rise up the second time”?

God sees every possible outcome, and in none of the possible outcomes does affliction arise a second time.

TE: According to this idea, God can view the future, but is powerless to do anything about it.

MM: You are assuming there is something about it that needs correcting, which implies God did not get it right the first time. God does not make mistakes.

No, this assumption is not made. Nor is this assumption pertinent to the observation. John's point was correct, and this is a well-known point regarding the point of view you are suggesting, which isn't even controverted by those who hold it. It's just a logical consequence of the view.


Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Re: The Contradiction [Re: Tom] #85300
02/12/07 12:12 AM
02/12/07 12:12 AM
Tom  Offline OP
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
TE: So far, everyone has agree that if God knows that A will happen, and not B, then A will happen, and not B. So A is 100% certain to happen. Given that this is the case, it is not possible for a person to do B, since one can't do something which cannot happen. Therefore any definition of free will which implies that a person can to either of A or B is logically inconsistent.

MM: There is no such thing as “B”. What has happened is “A”. It is based on God’s ability to see the future like history. Only “A” will happen because it is what happened.

There is not such thing as B? Well if that is the case, then free will (in the sense of being able to do A or B) does not exist. Since B does not exist, I can only do A. If can only do A, then I do not have free will (if free will is defined as the ability to do A or B).

Surely you must see this.

So do you have some other definition of free will you would like to suggest?


Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Re: The Contradiction [Re: John Boskovic] #85301
02/12/07 12:15 AM
02/12/07 12:15 AM
Mountain Man  Offline
SDA
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
John, what does judgment have to do with it? I simply said God knows the future like history. He knows the end from the beginning. God is not bound by time and space like we are. He "inhabits eternity". (Isa 57:15) He "calleth those things which be not as though they were." (Rom 4:17) God views the future with 20/20 hindsight. And He sees that He has done every right. He has no regrets. There is nothing to change.

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