Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Abortion Should Be A Prominent Issue, But Probably Won't Be

Rudy Giuliani's loss in Florida solidifies the expectation that he won't be the Republican nominee. We can expect a presidential campaign in which a pro-life Republican will be competing with a pro-choice Democrat. The next Supreme Court appointment has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade, and I suspect that some of the liberal members of the Supreme Court are interested in retiring, but would prefer to wait for a liberal President before doing so. For that and other reasons, abortion ought to be a major issue in this upcoming presidential campaign.

I doubt that it will be widely perceived or treated as a major issue, though. We're already hearing that the economy is the issue of most interest to voters. I don't doubt that polling data, but I suspect that the public perception of which issues are most important is highly malleable and shaped largely by the media. Most of the media will give a lot of attention to issues like the economy and healthcare while neglecting abortion.

But a presidential candidate has a lot of opportunities to communicate with the public and alter the public perception of which issues are most important. I hope that the Republican nominee, probably John McCain, will use those opportunities better than his predecessors have. I doubt that he will, though. He'll probably take an approach similar to what we've seen from other recent Republican candidates. He'll argue for the pro-life position when asked about it, which won't happen often, and he'll argue for it mostly in vague terms and without much persuasiveness. It will be beneficial to have a pro-life President in office, and a lot of good will result from it on issues like the appointment of judges. But there will be a lot of missed opportunities.

Given how much attention issues like the economy and healthcare receive, I'd like to see a pro-life candidate discuss the connection between issues like those and abortion. What effect does the elimination of tens of millions of people from a population have on the economy? On social security? On our competition with other nations, including nations that are hostile toward the United States and have higher birth rates? Etc. The pro-life side of the abortion argument seems to be winning in America, but probably would be winning much more effectively if the political leaders in the movement would be better informed, more courageous, and more innovative. I don't expect to see that this year, but maybe we'll see some small steps in the right direction.

119 comments:

  1. "I'd like to see a pro-life candidate discuss the connection between issues like those and abortion. What effect does the elimination of tens of millions of people from a population have on the economy? On social security? On our competition with other nations, including nations that are hostile toward the United States and have higher birth rates?"

    So your main objections to abortion are pragmatic ones? And even if you are correct, why should the country's good outweigh the good to the individual? You would ruin a woman's life by forcing her to have a baby because you think the social security system would benefit? This is totalitarian thinking. There are a million ways the State could benefit if our liberties are curtailed and taxes increased.

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  2. Would it kill the pro-life candidates to get their pro-life 'talking points' (I use the word half-cynically) from a decent source at least? Sthg like R Alcorn's Pro-Life Answer to Pro-Choice Questions? I'd LOVE to see a politishun break out the whooping stick in one of those patsy 'debates' sometime... probably won't happen.

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  3. Should be *Answers*... oops.

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  4. I'm sure Jason's primary objections to abortion are not pragmatic ones. Rather, his point was just that the issue that the media is hailing as *the* issue this election is itself also related in various ways to abortion. If we had pro-life presidential candidates who were more innovative, perhaps they could not only argue persuasively in favor of abortion, but could *also* point out the connection between abortion and the issue that many people think is the most important--the economy.

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  5. Correction:

    Obviously the clause "perhaps they could not only argue persuasively in favor of abortion" should be: "perhaps they could not only argue persuasively *against* abortion"

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  7. "You would ruin a woman's life..."

    You would that we *murder* smaller women so has to keep other women at their comfort level?

    So your main objection is pragmatic - the outcome an abortion would have on a woman-? ;-)

    And, even if you are correct, why should the woman's "good" (as defined in terms of the typiocal exorbitant American lifestyle) outweigh the *life* of the unborn by forcing her to die because you think that the mother should be living at a certain level comfort.

    Nice beggs and self-excepting reasoning.

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  8. Good thoughts. Let's pray to our Lord that He would have mercy on us, and help us turn Roe vs. Wade, so that abortions, the ripping apart of babies limbs and heads, and bodies, will be illegal once again, as it was in 1972.

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  9. Hi Travis. Nice to see you back in the saddle. Welcome back.

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  10. Abortion = God's Plan

    The Hand of Providence is mysterious indeed

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  11. Calvin said:
    Abortion = God's Plan

    The Hand of Providence is mysterious indeed

    **********************

    Since we've often presented a Reformed theodicy at Tblog, your comment doesn't make a dent in the issue at hand.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Who said it made a dent?

    I was just stating a fact.

    Let me know if you need help understanding.

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  13. Calvin said:

    "Who said it made a dent? I was just stating a fact."

    Now you're playing dumb (unless you really are dumb. Take your pick).

    What you were attempting to do is to insinuate that if something is decreed, then it is inconsistent of us to condemn it.

    This is simpleminded for reasons I've frequently given in discussing the problem of evil.

    "Let me know if you need help understanding."

    I'll let you know as soon as you can demonstrate your understanding of Reformed theodicy.

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  14. You're inserting all sorts of words/ideas, Steve.

    Look at what I wrote:

    "Abortion = God's Plan

    The Hand of Providence is mysterious indeed"

    What is incorrect with this? Do you disagree? Is abortion not a part of God's plan? Are God's ways not mysterious at times?

    Just stick to what I wrote, not what your fevered imagination wants to address.

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  15. Calvin said:

    "You're inserting all sorts of words/ideas, Steve."

    You're welcome to play dumb if you like. Unless you really are dumb. Take your pick.

    You're also welcome to showcase your simpleminded grasp of Reformed theodicy.

    "Just stick to what I wrote, not what your fevered imagination wants to address."

    I'm under no obligation to just stick with what you wrote. I'm under no obligation to play your stupid game.

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  16. "Abortion = God's Plan

    The Hand of Providence is mysterious indeed"

    God has allowed this nation to kill babies, and it's a wickedness that He has appointed for us, and yet He remains holy and righteous, and we are evil for killing innocent life in the millions, and guilty as charged.

    Pray that God would grant us repentance. Or otherwise face the judgment of God's holy wrath.

    Here's God's greatest sovereign act: " .. Him, being delivered by the DETERMINED PURPOSE and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death." Acts 2:23

    God appointed Christ to die, and those who judged Him with wicked hearts are guilty.

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  17. Steve, I think you forgot to answer this:

    "What is incorrect with this? Do you disagree? Is abortion not a part of God's plan? Are God's ways not mysterious at times?"

    Hope this helps jog your memory old timer...

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  18. Calvin said:
    Steve, I think you forgot to answer this:

    "What is incorrect with this? Do you disagree? Is abortion not a part of God's plan? Are God's ways not mysterious at times?"

    Hope this helps jog your memory old timer...

    **********

    "Calvin," I think you forgot to respond to my Reformed theodicy. I've already dealt with this sort of question (many times before).

    Hope this helps jog your memory small timer...

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  19. Ah yes, I think I recall one of your clear, succinct answers like:

    "Its in the literature..."

    Cute.

    Abortion = God's Plan

    Our God is an Awesome God.

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  20. Calvin said:
    Ah yes, I think I recall one of your clear, succinct answers like:

    "Its in the literature..."

    Cute.

    *****************

    Advertising your ignorance of my well-documented answers just makes you look...ignorant.

    To take a few examples:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/10/lazarus-come-forth.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/10/consolations.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/10/good-out-of-evil.html

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Supporter of Calvin1/30/2008 7:03 PM

    Steve mockingly said to Calvin: Hope this helps jog your memory small timer...

    Small timer???

    I find this extremely funny coming from the diminutive Steve Hays who in real life outside cyberspace, is only about 5 foot 4 inches tall. You’d never know about his small size by his volume of words though.

    Supporter of Calvin

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  23. Supporter of Calvin said...

    "I find this extremely funny coming from the diminutive Steve Hays who in real life outside cyberspace, is only about 5 foot 4 inches tall."

    You need to use some Windex on that crystal ball of yours. In real life, Steve Hays is 5 foot 10 1/2 inches tall.

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  24. Donsands said "God has allowed this nation to kill babies, and it's a wickedness that He has appointed for us, and yet He remains holy and righteous, and we are evil for killing innocent life in the millions, and guilty as charged."

    In other words, Abortion = God's Plan. The Tbloggers want to adorn this equation to such a degree that it becomes unrecognizable. But it's still there, and on the Tbloggers' Reformed assumptions, it is inescapable. Why condemn those who were "appointed" to kill babies, but not condemn the one who had the power to stop it but stood idly by and even "appointed" it? Ah, Donsands himself stated the going mantra: "He remains holy and righteous". The Reformed theodicy is simply to retreat into overt denial.

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  25. Unmuzzled said:

    In other words, Abortion = God's Plan. The Tbloggers want to adorn this equation to such a degree that it becomes unrecognizable. But it's still there, and on the Tbloggers' Reformed assumptions, it is inescapable. Why condemn those who were "appointed" to kill babies, but not condemn the one who had the power to stop it but stood idly by and even "appointed" it?...The Reformed theodicy is simply to retreat into overt denial.

    *************************

    Notice that he makes a string of emptyheaded assertions instead of engaging the Reformed theodicy. Because he can't.

    He offers no counterargument. Just another irrational unbeliever mouthing off.

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  26. I'd add that if you click on my topical index and scroll down to theodicy, you'll see that I've done several other posts I've done on the problem of evil. And that doesn't include some of my more recent interactions with John Loftus.

    http://www.reformed.plus.com/triablogue/hays_topical_index.html

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  27. Nyberg Woods1/30/2008 8:39 PM

    Steve, is abortion part of God's plan, or not? A "Yes" response to this question would mean: abortion *is* part of God's plan. A "No" response to this question would mean: things happen that are not part of God's plan.

    So, yes or no, is abortion part of God's plan?

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  28. Nyberg Woods said:
    Steve, is abortion part of God's plan, or not? A "Yes" response to this question would mean: abortion *is* part of God's plan. A "No" response to this question would mean: things happen that are not part of God's plan.

    So, yes or no, is abortion part of God's plan?

    *************************************

    If you want my answer, you can read my theodicean posts (see above).

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  29. Burnside Bridge1/30/2008 9:16 PM

    Yes or no, Steve? Which is it?

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  30. Supporter of Calvin1/30/2008 9:47 PM

    Steve says: You need to use some Windex on that crystal ball of yours. In real life, Steve Hays is 5 foot 10 1/2 inches tall.

    Not using a crystal ball, my sources are much more reliable than that, I’ll give you another inch so that you will feel better about yourself. The diminutive Steve Hays is about 5 foot 5 inches tall in real life.

    Oh, and Steve why can’t you answer the question about abortion being part of the plan of God with a direct Yes or No?

    If Steve is not honest about his height, why should we expect him to be honest in answering other questions.

    Supporter of Calvin

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  31. BURNSIDE BRIDGE SAID:

    “Yes or no, Steve? Which is it?”

    I’m not someone you can play for the fool. You are trying to plant a tripwire question in the vain hope that I will compliantly step on your wire.

    Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not about to walk into your stupid little trap. Every time you ask me a tripwire question, I will step over it rather than on it.

    A word of advice: if you’re going to plant a tripwire, make sure you bury it deep in the grass where no one can see the wire.

    At first, “Calvin” lied about his intentions. Then “Unmuzzled” tipped his hand.

    You never meant to ask an honest, yes-or-no question. Instead, you have an ulterior motive, which “Unmuzzled” openly admitted.

    I’ve blogged on the relationship between God’s decretive will and his preceptive will. You will find my answer, along with the supporting arguments, in the links I’ve given you.

    Since you’re not smart enough to be devious, you might try to be honest for a change.

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  32. "Since you’re not smart enough to be devious..."

    That statement is quite an admission on your part, Steve.

    But again, there was nothing "ulterior" about the question. It's as "in broad daylight" as one can get: is abortion part of your god's plan, or not? You choose not to answer this question. Instead of addressing it, you rail against the one posing it.

    It is here where we have your answer.

    Thank you, Steve.

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  33. Abortion = God's Plan

    Egads!!! I shot the wrong person!

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  34. Re: Lazarus post #1, this explanation is implausible on the face of it. You're saying that experiential knowledge of God's goodness is a MSR for God to decree that some people are unregenerate and evil (hence headed for hell).

    Even assuming that experiential knowledge is a good that would justify creating the damned, there is still the objection that God did not have to create them.

    Why couldn't God have followed a docetic universalist theodicy: 'evil' people might appear to exist and do evil, but would be animated illusions without souls. Then God's elect would get their 'real' experience of God's mercy and justice, and only the elect would exist as real conscious agents. So the fact that people are going to hell is gratuitous and therefore unjust and cruel. Therefore the God of the Bible does not exist. This is an internal critique, since scripture says God is righteous.

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  35. I'll answer the question for all you Calvin freaks...

    YES, Abortion is part of God's plan. Just because I don't like it, that doesn't mean God's plan isn't perfect.

    Abortion is part of God's perfect plan. It is not the place of the pot to question the potter, so zip it.

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  36. Monkey See Monkey Do1/30/2008 11:33 PM

    The Idiot said...

    "Why couldn't God have followed a docetic universalist theodicy: 'evil' people might appear to exist and do evil, but would be animated illusions without souls."

    Wouldn't that mean God was lying? Hey, maybe THAT is why! I'm so glad Saint Darwin evolved my brain enough to grasp simple logic. Someday, my descendants will kill all of yours.

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  37. monkey see, god has been 'less than truthful' many times in the good book...

    sorry to disappoint you!

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  38. Paul Moronata1/30/2008 11:46 PM

    MSMD screeched:
    Wouldn't that mean God was lying?

    That wouldn't be the first time. Didn't God put a lying spirit in the mouths of the false prophets who told Ahab to 'go up' to Ramoth-freaking-Gilead? Was not Rahab rewarded for deceitful behavior? What about 2 Thes 2:11?

    It doesn't matter for what purposes these deceits were for, these verses show that God *does* in fact deceive.

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  39. If people freely abort according to their will, they are guilty (compatibilism). Let's grant that this is true, as it is plausible.

    But since God decreed it he is also guilty. Just because the proximate cause is a cause, does not mean the remote cause is NOT a cause. In this case, the remote cause is not morally insignificant either (as would a deistic God that was only the cause of evil in the sense that he created rather than refrained from creating). God *decreed* the abortion specifically.
    He is a remote cause, like the man who hires the hitman is a remote cause. Not like a knife manufacturer who makes a knife to kill someone is a remote cause.
    I grant you compatibilism is true, yet God's guilt remains. In the book 'Why I Am Not A Calvinist' they compare it to a sheriff who brainwashes a few kids from an early age into having criminal tendencies so that later on they commit crimes and the sheriff can show how just and righteous he is by apprehending them.

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  40. Paul Hill wrote "But since God decreed it he is also guilty. Just because the proximate cause is a cause, does not mean the remote cause is NOT a cause."

    In fact, if the "remote cause" is supposed to be the Christian god, who governs all of human history according to a "plan" of his own devising, then this "remote cause" is actually the ultimate cause, and the so-called "proximate cause" is just a scapegoat for those who are reluctant to find their god blameworthy.

    Paul Hill "God *decreed* the abortion specifically."

    Donsands openly confirmed this point when he said "God has allowed this nation to kill babies, and it's a wickedness that He has appointed for us."

    So for the Reformed Christian, the only answer could be: abortion *is* part of God's plan.

    Steve Hays has resisted signing onto this, even though it's clear from his writings that he agrees with the essential premises here. He affirms that there is a god, that it is the Christian god, that it regulates human history according to its own "plan," and that nothing outside that "plan" can happen (otherwise it would not be "sovereign"). He just doesn't want to put 2 and 2 together and come up with 4. The rest of us can.

    This is why, instead of answering a straightforward question that is not at all intended to be "ulterior", as he has charged, he attacks visitors to his blog personally, ridiculing their intelligence and directing them to something he's already written to answer the question that has been posed to him. If he has already answered the question, why doesn't he quote the relevant section from his paper which addresses it? Where does his paper say whether or not abortion is part of God's plan?

    No, he won't do that. Instead, he will hide behind insults and innuendo, heaping up contempt for those who don't "believe."

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  41. "they compare it to a sheriff who brainwashes a few kids from an early age into having criminal tendencies so that later on they"

    This is a silly comparison.

    God is holy and perfectly righteous.
    Mankind kind is sinful, and rebellous towards God. We hate God, and we want nothing to do with Him, unless He bows to our desires.

    God allows us to sin, and we are 100% guilty for our sin.

    Can God harden a rebels mind, and do what He purposes to do with this already self-willed rebel?

    Surely He can.

    The amazing thing about this holy God who hates sin, and sinners, is that He also loves sinful self-centered rebels.

    He loves them so much He died for them.

    God is sovereign. He can raise a king up to judge His people in a harsh way, and then call this same king on his evil acts against His people.

    God is pure and innocent, because He owes us, that is all mankind, NOTHING. He owes us NOTHING.

    And He gave us everything in His Son, Jesus Christ.

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  42. Can God harden a rebels mind, and do what He purposes to do with this already self-willed rebel?

    But Don, the problem is that God's decree is prior to the self-willed rebel. I would grant it is morally permissible for God to direct someones depravity in ways that are good, but his decree is still prior to depravity.

    Calvinism does not argue that *everyone* has libertarian free will and loses it by sinning, and then needs saving (or even Adam and Eve if you're a supra). That would be morally acceptable. Calvinism teaches that God decreed the initial depravity itself. He did not simply 'foresee' it.

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  43. God was able to run an infinite number of simulations in advance of creating the actual universe.

    Thus he passively foresees what people will do in the simulation and uses this knowledge to come to his decision as to how to create the actual world.

    Thus we are able to reconcile God's sovereignty and righteousness, and man's responsibility.

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  44. "Calvinism teaches that God decreed the initial depravity itself."

    Are you saying that Calvinism says God decreed that Adam would disobey Him?

    I don't think they teach that. I surely don't.

    Adam freely rebelled against God. Adam died, and became cursed, as all the earth was also cursed.

    Was it God's purpose for all this to take place, yes, but He is sepertaed from Adam's sin. Adam is fully responsible for his disobedience.

    In fact, I believe though God knew this, and even purposed it, that it grieved Him when His son disobeyed Him.

    Can we understand this completely? I can't.
    God's ways, and thoughts, are thousands of light years beyond our finite puny minds.

    The Scriptures are written for us as a treasure of wisdom. That is, all the revealed things therein. The secret things are for God, and not us.

    One day, perhaps, when we see Christ and God, we will understand. But perhaps even then, we will be overwhelmed with this mystery.
    I don't know.

    I do know that God owes us NOTHING.

    He has mercy on whom He wills. He is not required to have mercy.

    And He can harden whom He wills. So it's God's mercy that is the sweetest thing for man's soul. His sovereign grace, if it has found your soul, is what makes life precious.

    Blessings.

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  45. 1) To “MT. TABOR”:

    You continue to play dumb, as if anyone is taken in by your stupid ploy. You want a sound bite answer without an explanation.

    You’re like a crooked lawyer who tries to extort a misleading answer from a witness by not permitting the witness to supply the context. I’m under no obligation to answer questions the way you frame them, especially when I’m dealing with an unscrupulous disputant like yourself.

    2) To “Paul Hill”:

    i) I reviewed that book 4 years ago, as well as having a follow-up discussion with Walls.

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2004/08/calvin-or-wesley-1.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2004/08/calvin-or-wesley-2.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2005/02/walls-on-walls.html

    ii) You’re also raising a stock objection to Calvinism rather than dealing with the specifics of my theodicy.

    Unless and until you address *my* arguments, all you’ve accomplished is to empty your ordnance into the bushes.

    iii) The FWD does not let God off the hook. God foreknows the outcome if he creates the world, yet he creates the world in full knowledge of the outcome.

    4) To “THEIDIOCY”:

    The human race is constituted by ancestors and descendants. Illusory reprobates cannot beget actual elect human beings.

    4) To “Ross Island”:

    Refer back to (1)-(2).

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  46. Time and again, Hays refuses to address the question that has been posed to him. Instead of answering the question, he belittles the one posing the question. He makes no progress, and only shows how one little poke will burst his over-inflated bubble. And what a sight it is to behold.

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  47. It seems apparent to me that every single one of the commentors who don't sign in to blogger accounts are the same person posting repeatedly. I guess when you don't have an actual argument, the best you can do is spam and pretend the vast amount of volume can make up for the lack of substance.

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  48. Peter, for one thing, there is more than one non-blogger commentor engaged here. Also, the issue at stake here is not an argument, but a simple question and Steve Hays' reluctance to answer it.

    Let us know if you need more explanation.

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  49. I-205 said:

    "Peter, for one thing, there is more than one non-blogger commentor engaged here. Also, the issue at stake here is not an argument, but a simple question and Steve Hays' reluctance to answer it. Let us know if you need more explanation."

    The atheist commenter(s), whether one or several, can continue their futile efforts to bully me into playing their game by their rules. They're welcome to waste as much of their time as they like.

    I've given them more than enough information to answer the question for themselves.

    I'm not going to be a player in a rigged game. They'll have to try their ambush tactics on someone else. Their camouflage isn't working here.

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  50. Sammy Sardine1/31/2008 10:47 AM

    peepee, you cretin, why not just check the IP addresses to confirm there is more than one commenter?

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  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  52. As a believer, I have no problem saying this:

    Abortion is part of God's plan.

    What right does the pot have to question the potter?

    Zip it pots.

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  53. Observer of Calvinism1/31/2008 12:59 PM

    Steve Hays strongly asserts: I'm not going to be a player in a rigged game.

    Too late.

    If God has predetermined everything as you believe, then you already are part of a rigged game.

    In fact if your deterministic system of theology is true, every one of us is part of, and a player, in this same rigged game. In this perspective it’s all rigged so we already know the answer to the question about whether or not abortion is part of God’s plan. The abortions which occur and every other event, good or evil, is just as rigged as every event of this game if it is all rigged beforehand. That is the real question here: is every event that happens rigged beforehand or not?

    Observer of Calvinism

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  54. Someone Too Indistinguishable From Everyone Else To Get His Own Name said:
    ---
    Peter, for one thing, there is more than one non-blogger commentor engaged here.
    ---

    Anyone can post as many comments under different nicknames as they want to and pretend they are a different person. The subject matter and styles of the commentors are what indicates they are probably from the same person.

    They may not be. You guys could all be from the same Junior High. But parsimony leads me to think you're one sad, lonely individual who has nothing better to do with his time than to ask questions that have already been answered, to ignore the links to those answers, and to spam comboxes. Even if there is more than one of you, that only demonstrates that the second person to write is dumb as a block since he's ignored the same responses you've ignored and felt the need to say that which has already been stated, which doesn't help anyone.

    Either way, you (take it singularly or plural, as applicable) don't impress me. I really have to wonder what you think you're going to accomplish here. Since it's obvious you're not interested in rational discourse, apparently you have such a pathetic life that this is a highlight for your day. You have my pity.

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  55. Observer of Calvinism said:

    If God has predetermined everything as you believe, then you already are part of a rigged game.

    In fact if your deterministic system of theology is true, every one of us is part of, and a player, in this same rigged game. In this perspective it’s all rigged so we already know the answer to the question about whether or not abortion is part of God’s plan. The abortions which occur and every other event, good or evil, is just as rigged as every event of this game if it is all rigged beforehand. That is the real question here: is every event that happens rigged beforehand or not?

    ************************

    Aside from the fact that you're equivocating, one needs to distinguish and properly relate such things as ends and means, primary and secondary causes, predestination and providence, as well as God's decretive and preceptive will.

    Once again, I've addressed this objection on multiple occasions. Where is your counterargument?

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  56. "Abortion is part of God's plan."

    This statement as it here may not represent the Lord God in the way He wants to be represented.

    God was quite angry with Job's friends, though much of what they said was right, but on the whole they made statements of the Lord that were not right.

    Need to be very careful with God's holy name.

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  57. Calvinist Conspiracy1/31/2008 2:31 PM

    Poor Don, you live cowering in fear of an imaginary being. All that worry over nothing. Come out of her. Break free of the bonds the TBloggers have entwined you in.

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  58. "All that worry over nothing."

    All what worry?


    I have no worries mate.

    Jesus my Lord and risen Savior has blessed me with His peace, not like the world's peace. It's a peace that passes all human comprehension.

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  59. Julius Wellhausen1/31/2008 6:52 PM

    The subject matter and styles of the commentors are what indicates they are probably from the same person.

    No wonder you don't subscribe to JEDP! You're too DUMB to perceive stylistic differences!

    Mosesdidit!
    :::YAWN!!!:::

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  60. Steve,

    Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

    Sincerely,

    A Honest Questioner

    ReplyDelete
  61. Julius Wellhausen said...
    The subject matter and styles of the commentors are what indicates they are probably from the same person.

    No wonder you don't subscribe to JEDP! You're too DUMB to perceive stylistic differences!

    Mosesdidit!
    :::YAWN!!!:::

    1/31/2008 4:52 PM

    ************

    No wonder you hold to JEPD! You're too DUMB to perceive stylistic differences!

    Abunchofguysdidit!

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  62. Julius Wellhausen said...
    The subject matter and styles of the commentors are what indicates they are probably from the same person.

    No wonder you don't subscribe to JEDP! You're too DUMB to perceive stylistic differences!

    Mosesdidit!
    :::YAWN!!!:::

    1/31/2008 4:52 PM

    ************

    No wonder you hold to JEPD! You're too DUMB to perceive stylistic similarities!

    Abunchofguysdidit!

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  63. Bullrush Johnny1/31/2008 9:51 PM

    It's quite interesting: some Christians are quite open about abortion being part of God's plan. Others, like Steve Hays, for reasons which remain totally unclear, are unwilling to say either way. Instead, he wants readers to "get lost" by chasing the answer that doesn't exist in some writing of his, hoping that by the time we realize his essays don't address the question, we'll have forgotten what it was. And he's the one accusing the questioners of playing games? My oh my! What a tangled web Steve Hays has been caught in this time!

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  64. Donsands "Jesus my Lord and risen Savior has blessed me with His peace, not like the world's peace. It's a peace that passes all human comprehension."

    It's so peaceful, even Donsands doesn't understand it.

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  65. Instead, he wants readers to "get lost" by chasing the answer that doesn't exist in some writing of his, hoping that by the time we realize his essays don't address the question ...

    'Love thy neighbor as thyself' doesn't contain the words 'murder' or 'stealing', therefore it doesn't address the question of whether one should murder or steal!

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  66. bullrush johnny2/01/2008 12:08 AM

    Steve,

    Was my flacid nether region part of God's plan.

    Yes or no.

    Untangle that web.

    Sincerely,

    Bullrush Johnny

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  67. Bullrush said:
    ---
    It's quite interesting: some Christians are quite open about abortion being part of God's plan. Others, like Steve Hays, for reasons which remain totally unclear, are unwilling to say either way.
    ---

    I know what Steve's position is. You know how I know it? (This is really an amazing concept now, you ready for it?)

    I READ STEVE'S MIND!!!

    Yes, amazing as it seems, it is actually possible for someone to read another person's mind using ESP (English Symbols Perused). This method used to be known as "literacy" but in today's post-modern world we must call it "magic."

    Steve put his thoughts into the English language and (get this now!) I read them. No, there's no trick to it, although it might help if you were home schooled. Publik Edjukashun being what it is today (not much) it would be rather difficult for you to graduate high school with an English proficiency above that of a drunken Frenchman.

    Apparently, when people become atheists they undergo mental cariosity that makes it impossible for them to communicate beyond :::YAWN!!!::: and Goddidit. This explains why they remain troglodytical ribalds.

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  68. Tell me, Uncle, if there is a God, why is there poverty and baldness?

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  69. "It's so peaceful, even Donsands doesn't understand it."

    "Jesus said, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, .... Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14: 23-27

    "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-7

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  70. Z. C. Davodil2/01/2008 8:53 AM

    PP: "Steve put his thoughts into the English language and (get this now!) I read them."

    So Peter, since Steve is unwilling, could you save us some time and paste the relevant portion from Steve's writings where he says whether or not abortion is part of God's plan?

    Thanks, chap!

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  71. Z.C. said:
    ---
    So Peter, since Steve is unwilling, could you save us some time and paste the relevant portion from Steve's writings where he says whether or not abortion is part of God's plan?
    ---

    Why should I do all the leg work for you? It's in the links Steve's provided. All you have to do is read them. You obviously need practice at this, so I would only be enabling your idiocy if I did this for you.

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  72. I read through the links, and did not find any direct answer to whether or not abortion = God's plan.

    I see lots of made up crap about secret wills and such, but not a direct answer to the question.

    Since this poor, honest, seeker is obviously not clever nor intelligent enough to intuit from Steve's posts what his answer is, perhaps he could just answer the simple question?

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  73. Observer of Calvinism2/01/2008 12:47 PM

    Steve says: Aside from the fact that you're equivocating, one needs to distinguish and properly relate such things as ends and means, primary and secondary causes, predestination and providence, as well as God's decretive and preceptive will.

    I am quite familiar with how Calvinists use these kinds of distinctions to deal with (evade?) the problem. I do not believe these efforts to be successful, however. Perhaps an example may help some to see the problem more clearly.

    Suppose we have two young men in their early thirties, both suffering from brain damage. In the one case, his mother drank heavily while pregnant and when he was born he was born with the brain damage. Actions by another person, not his own actions, led directly to his condition. In the other case, he was born healthy, and enjoyed going to parties and drinking and then driving fast cars with his friends. Though convicted of a DUI he continued to engage in the alcohol and fast car driving, though he knew what he was doing was wrong and was against the advice of well meaning persons including his mother. Then one time, he chooses to go to a party, drinks heavily, gets in a fast car and ends up having a car accident resulting in his brain damage. In his case his own actions led to his condition. I believe that most of us would pity the first person and not blame them for their condition when their choices were not the reason for their condition. We would hold the mother responsible for predetermining her son’s condition by her drinking. On the other hand, we would have no trouble blaming the second man for his condition as his condition resulted directly from his own choices.

    Similarly, if a person is predetermined to end up in hell, before birth, apart from his choices, we would hold the person who predetermined his condition responsible for his condition. If a person became and remained an unbeliever, after having heard the Christian message and repeatedly and freely chose to reject the message. We would hold him, not others, responsible for his condition. Van Inwagen gets to this notion with his consequence argument (if things are determined way before we are born, things we have no control over, these prior conditions which predetermined our present condition would be the factors responsible not us).

    Most people do not have a problem with holding people responsible for evil things they choose to do (like our irresponsible and rebellious young drinker and driver) while at the same time seeing that the first young man whose brain damage was predetermined by his mother’s actions while pregnant leads to her being responsible for his condition not him. Calvinists can attempt to mitigate this problem with talk about primary and secondary causes, the decretive versus the preceptive will, etc. etc. but for most people they find real differences between predetermination and freely chosen acts. Again it is seen in the difference between someone being predetermined to go to hell (what Calvinists call reprobates) versus someone repeatedly and freely rejecting the Christian message and going to hell. In this context as the original question concerned abortion: the difference is between God predetermining abortions as events that He wants to happen, versus people freely choosing to perform abortions contrary to God’s will. I probably do not need to say anything else here as it is an issue of Calvinists dealing with the problem successfully or not.

    Observer of Calvinism

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  74. Seeker Bob said:
    ---
    I read through the links, and did not find any direct answer to whether or not abortion = God's plan.

    I see lots of made up crap about secret wills and such, but not a direct answer to the question.

    Since this poor, honest, seeker is obviously not clever nor intelligent enough to intuit from Steve's posts what his answer is, perhaps he could just answer the simple question?
    ---

    There's a reason Steve won't play your game here (and that's all it is). You're not interested in the truth at all. A conversation with you would go like this:

    Steve's presented his general argument already. You claim (as you've already done) that it doesn't mention abortion by name. Let us suppose that Steve wastes his time and includes a statment about abortion. You'll say, "Ah, but that's just a general statement about abortion. It doesn't mention Jane Smith specifically." So Steve wastes more time to include Jane Smith. You then say, "Ah but that just includes Jane Smith generally, it doesn't refer to which of her specific abortions." Blah blah blah.

    Only an idiot would want to play such a game. Since it's clear to everyone that this is what you would do, and since you've not bothered in the least to try to look at the position Steve's already put forth and referenced, why should he waste his time with you? Either you are asking a bogus question out of malice because you're playing your stupid game, or you really are actually too dumb to grasp specifics from a general principal. In either case, it is not worth taking more than two and a half seconds to "converse" with you.

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  75. Seeker Bob said:

    "I read through the links, and did not find any direct answer to whether or not abortion = God's plan."

    I never said you'd find a "direct" answer. There's such a thing as logical implication. Inferring the specific from the general.

    "I see lots of made up crap about secret wills and such, but not a direct answer to the question."

    So you think God has revealed everything he plans to do? Has God told you what's going to happen to you tomorrow?

    "Since this poor, honest, seeker is obviously not clever nor intelligent enough to intuit from Steve's posts what his answer is, perhaps he could just answer the simple question?"

    If you paid attention to where other commenters like Unmuzzled, PAUL HILL, OBSERVER OF CALVINISM are going with this, you'd see that it's not a "simple question," but a loaded question. They want a simple answer to a loaded question so that they can isolate the answer from other aspects of Reformed theology that qualify the answer in morally relevant respects.

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  76. observer of calvinism said...

    “Van Inwagen gets to this notion…”

    i) Your starting point says it all. When I do theology, I don’t begin with philosophy. I begin with revelation.

    ii) I’d add that there are many philosophical objections to LFW as well.

    “Most people do not have a problem with holding people responsible for evil things they choose to do (like our irresponsible and rebellious young drinker and driver)…”

    i) Once again, your starting point says it all. When I do theology, I don’t hold a wet finger to the wind and ask what “most people” believe. I begin with revelation. You’re welcome to your weathercock theology, but I’ll stick with the Word of God.

    ii) It’s also duplicitous for you to invoke a philosopher like van Inwagen, and then downshift to a populist appeal. If you’re serious about philosophy, then philosophy often challenges common sense.

    “While at the same time seeing that the first young man whose brain damage was predetermined by his mother’s actions while pregnant leads to her being responsible for his condition not him.”

    A Calvinist like Edwards distinguishes between natural inability and moral inability.

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  77. Observer of Calvinism,

    Do you believe all mankind is cursed because of Adam's rebellion?

    Adam freely disobeyed God, and died spiritually. All humnas are born cursed, and spirit-dead. Do you believe this?

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  78. Don, you should really read Why I am Not A Calvinist. They refute Sproul's infra 'Federal Headship' theory you refer to. If it is necessary to you that someone at some point in time *must* have had libertarian free will in order for God to be just in predestining, you might want to reconsider being a Calvinist.

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  79. Observer of Calvinism2/01/2008 2:29 PM

    Steve says: i) Your starting point says it all. When I do theology, I don’t begin with philosophy. I begin with revelation.

    ii) I’d add that there are many philosophical objections to LFW as well.

    Who says I don’t start with revelation? How do you know that about me? Revelation presents a God who freely chooses his actions (e.g. he created the world freely but equally freely did not have to create the world as his actions are neither predetermined nor necessitated). The revelation says that we are created in His image, so I take that to mean that we have self-consciousness, the ability to reason, and the ability to freely choose our actions as he does.

    And I’d add that there are many philosophical objections against Christianity as well, so. Having objections against your position does not mean your position is false now, does it?

    Steve repeats himself with: i) Once again, your starting point says it all. When I do theology, I don’t hold a wet finger to the wind and ask what “most people” believe. I begin with revelation. You’re welcome to your weathercock theology, but I’ll stick with the Word of God.

    Saying it again does not make it true. My starting point is revelation which is a primary reason why I reject your determinism/Calvinism.

    Steve also said: ii) It’s also duplicitous for you to invoke a philosopher like van Inwagen, and then downshift to a populist appeal. If you’re serious about philosophy, then philosophy often challenges common sense.

    I appealed to Van Inwagen to make a point about a notion most of us (except for Calvinists and other determinists such as yourself) hold to: namely, if causal factors previous to our existence bring about our actions then we cannot be held responsible for these actions. Most people accept this idea and I appealed to Van Inwagen for those more philosophically inclined.

    Lastly Steve said: A Calvinist like Edwards distinguishes between natural inability and moral inability.

    And that distinction is irrelevant to the example I gave (and to the issue of God predetermining for abortions to occur or not). Again, we hold the one young man responsible because his choices brought about his brain damage and we do not hold the other responsible for his predetermined condition because another person made choices before he was born that eventuated in his condition. Edwards’ distinction was/is used by Calvinists to argue that people suffering from total depravity have the ability to do things (natural ability) but not the will to do certain things (moral inability). This distinction has nothing to do with my example nor with the original problem (whether or not God predetermines for abortions to occur as events that He wants to occur).

    Observer of Calvinism

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  80. Observer of Calvinism2/01/2008 2:39 PM

    Donsands asked: Do you believe all mankind is cursed because of Adam's rebellion?

    Adam freely disobeyed God, and died spiritually. All humans are born cursed, and spirit-dead. Do you believe this?

    According to Romans 5 the sin of Adam has resulted in guilt for all of his descendants.

    You claim: Adam freely disobeyed God, and died spiritually. He disobeyed freely only if his action was not predetermined and he had a choice to both obey or disobey. If you are a Calvinist and believe that all events are predetermined then Adam did not sin freely, he sinned because he had to, as he was predetermined to do so and could not have done otherwise. It is a bit inconsistent to claim that people sin because they freely choose to do so, when in fact their every move is predetermined. If we were able to predetermine all of the chess moves of someone in a particular game, it would not be accurate to say that they were making their chess moves freely. Similarly, if every event is predetermined by God (including the fall of Adam into sin), then none of us ever acts freely, we do what we were predetermined to do.

    Observer of Calvinism

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  81. "Van Inwagen gets to this notion with his consequence argument (if things are determined way before we are born, things we have no control over, these prior conditions which predetermined our present condition would be the factors responsible not us)."

    i) PvI is also a mysterian about this topic, so don't try to act as if he thinks your side has no problems.

    ii) PvI is also responsible for an argument which shows that on a libertarian scheme there is a problem with control too, so your libertarianism doesn't obviously escape the very same objection you apply to us.

    iii) The reasons responsive response seems to offer the needed agent involvement to ascribe responsibility.

    iv) Sean Choi's doctoral dissertation points out major flaws with the consequence argument.

    v) Your smoke and mirrors aren't fooling anyone.

    " if causal factors previous to our existence bring about our actions then we cannot be held responsible for these actions. Most people accept this idea and I appealed to Van Inwagen for those more philosophically inclined."

    That's simply false. Read "My Way" by Fischer. Or, if you'd like, take a poll. Go up to people on the street and ask them about a man who killed his entire family, raped his dog, and then ate the neighbors all the while he was predetermined or condition by genetic, environmental, sociological, etc., conditions. Would they say he was not "responsible?" Not according to the evidence.

    Take your bully tactics elsewhere.

    "Paul Hill said...
    Don, you should really read Why I am Not A Calvinist. They refute Sproul's infra 'Federal Headship' theory you refer to. If it is necessary to you that someone at some point in time *must* have had libertarian free will in order for God to be just in predestining, you might want to reconsider being a Calvinist.

    2/01/2008 12:02 PM"

    i) Then drop Christ's federal headship theory while you're at it.

    ii) Saying Adam was "free" doesn't mean he had "libertarian freedom." Well, it does if you're conditioned by antecedent factors to read all occurrences of "free" that way. :-)

    "If you are a Calvinist and believe that all events are predetermined then Adam did not sin freely, he sinned because he had to, as he was predetermined to do so and could not have done otherwise."

    So, and he also *wanted* to do it (adding the reasons qualifiers etc). That's enough for me. Just because you don't *like* our conception of freedom, or have a different definition, doesn't mean our view is false. You're the one who said "saying so doesn't make it so."

    I should add that we shouldn't even be talking to Henry/Robert/Anonymous since he's a tattle tale who runs around to other Reformed guys and cries about how mean we are. Why should I converse with a narc? A tattle tale? A cry baby?

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  82. "If you are a Calvinist and believe that all events are predetermined then Adam did not sin freely, he sinned because he had to, as he was predetermined to do so and could not have done otherwise." -observer

    So, and he also *wanted* to do it (adding the reasons qualifiers etc). That's enough for me. Just because you don't *like* our conception of freedom, or have a different definition, doesn't mean our view is false. You're the one who said "saying so doesn't make it so." -Paul

    Amen Paul.

    The testimony of the Scriptures rule. Our minds don't.

    "God Himself never sins but always brings about His will through secondary causes; that is, through personal moral agents who voluntarily, willingly do what God has ordained. These personal moral agents (both human beings and evil angels) are to blame for the evil they do.
    While the Arminian position objects that, on a human level, people are also responsible for what they cause others to do, we can answer that Scripture repeatedly gives examples where God in a mysterious, hidden way somehow ordains that people do wrong, but continually places the blame for the wrong on the individual human who does wrong and never on god Himself. The Arminian position seems to have failed to show why God CANNOT work in this way in the world, preserving both His holiness and our individual human responsibility for sin." -Wayne Grudem


    "If it is necessary to you that someone at some point in time *must* have had libertarian free will in order for God to be just in predestining, you might want to reconsider being a Calvinist." -Paul

    It's not necessary for me. Adam freely sinned. He was the one who brought sin into this world, when being tempted by the evil one rebelled against God.

    Was this ordained by God? Surely.

    As well as Christ was ordained before the foundation of the wordl to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

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  83. observer of calvinism said...

    “Who says I don’t start with revelation?”

    You do. You started with a philosophical objection rather than an exegetical objection. You followed that up with a populist objection rather than an exegetical objection.

    “How do you know that about me?”

    By your behavior. Unless you’ve been acting deceptively.

    “Revelation presents a God who freely chooses his actions (e.g. he created the world freely but equally freely did not have to create the world as his actions are neither predetermined nor necessitated). The revelation says that we are created in His image, so I take that to mean that we have self-consciousness, the ability to reason, and the ability to freely choose our actions as he does.”

    i) Let’s see you actually exegete LFW from the imago Dei passages.

    ii) By your flaccid logic, if x is true of God, and man is made in God’s image, then x is true of man. If God is omnipotent, then man is omnipotent. If God is omniscient, then man is omniscient. If God is eternal, then man is eternal. If God is invisible, then man is invisible. If God is immutable, then man is immutable.

    The quality of your reasoning leaves something to be desired.

    “And I’d add that there are many philosophical objections against Christianity as well, so. Having objections against your position does not mean your position is false now, does it?”

    I’m merely answering you on your own grounds. Sorry if you get upset when I measure you by your own yardstick and you come up short.

    “Saying it again does not make it true. My starting point is revelation which is a primary reason why I reject your determinism/Calvinism.”

    But you didn’t start with revelation. You appealed to popular opinion. And you treated that as if it’s some sort of trump card.

    “I appealed to Van Inwagen to make a point about a notion most of us (except for Calvinists and other determinists such as yourself) hold to: namely, if causal factors previous to our existence bring about our actions then we cannot be held responsible for these actions. Most people accept this idea and I appealed to Van Inwagen for those more philosophically inclined.”

    Philosophy is not a popularity contest. But I take it that, like a politician, you say one thing to one audience, and another thing to another audience.

    “And that distinction is irrelevant to the example I gave (and to the issue of God predetermining for abortions to occur or not)...”

    And what if your example is irrelevant to Calvinism? What you offered us was, at best, an argument from analogy minus the argument. You never showed how predestination is analogous to your illustration. Does the alleged parallel hold at the critical point of comparison?

    And, for that matter, you didn’t really offer an argument, just an illustration. That’s one of the problems. We can come up with imaginative examples to illustrate any position or contrary position. Suppose we illustrate libertarianism.

    Here’s a libertarian illustration. A mother is in the kitchen with her 2-year old. She has a pot of boiling water on the stove. She then leaves her 2-year old alone in the kitchen. He pulls the pot down and scalds himself to death. Is the mother culpable?

    Take open theism. She knew it was possible that he would scald himself to death. But she didn’t know if he would actually scald himself to death. Does that excuse her conduct? Or is she still guilty of putting him at risk of moral injury (not to mention the pain)?

    Take Arminianism. She foresaw that he would scald himself to death, but did nothing to prevent it. Does that excuse her conduct?

    Is either one of these libertarian alternatives morally preferable to saying that she planned it to happen that way?

    Dropping the illustration, according to Arminianism, God foresees abortions but doesn’t nothing to prevent them—even though it lies within his power to prevent them. Instead, he brings them to pass by instantiating what he foresees. Why do you think that’s morally preferable to Calvinism?

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  84. complicated. extremely.Some basics from my friend Glen Miller at Wittengenstein's Net(a truly brilliant website) and from my mentor and 'sensei' William Lane Craig, and from plantinga and moreland(those scalliwags!) and Dr. Steve Brown and a few backwoods evangelicals who actually drove the circuit in the old days! 1. foreknowing and foretelling are philosophical and analytical hybrids. 2.Sovereignty is complete. 3. Yes, sovereignty really is complete. 4. God can pre-ordain some to succeed but it is highly unlikely that in a "perfect knowledge/perfect justice" scenario he really pre-ordains someone to fail. 5. The same triune God who can sacrifice his son and allow his son to become sin and have all the sins of mankind course through his soul/mind and can "spiritually forsake" his own son, can certainly take a "middle knowledge" cognitive position concerning the free will foreknowledge/foretelling permutations of billions of sentient, free moral agent, intelligent beings created in the image of God with the mind of Christ and given dominion over a fallen world containing natural/spiritual/noetic/affirmative rebellious/passive ignorant evil.LOrd, i hope that makes some sense!

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  85. ""If it is necessary to you that someone at some point in time *must* have had libertarian free will in order for God to be just in predestining, you might want to reconsider being a Calvinist." -Paul"

    Donsands, I didn't say this, "Paul Hill" said it. I was quoting him.

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  86. But, Mr Manata, you must admit that at least on this point you agree with me! But in any case you were successful in keeping Don trapped in the TBlog Calvinistic barbed wire sheep pen. Congratulations.

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  87. If it is necessary to you that someone at some point in time *must* have had libertarian free will in order for God to be just in predestining, you might want to reconsider being a Calvinist." -Paul Hill

    It's not necessary for me.

    Adam freely sinned.
    He was the one who brought sin into this world, when being tempted by the evil one rebelled against God, and God cursed him.

    Was this ordained by God? Surely.

    As well as Christ was ordained before the foundation of the world to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

    The Almighty God is sovereign over all His creation, every star, every soul, every thought, every bullet fired in a war, every cancer cell, etc. etc.

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  88. Observer of Calvinism2/01/2008 7:06 PM

    Steve said: You do. You started with a philosophical objection rather than an exegetical objection. You followed that up with a populist objection rather than an exegetical objection.

    Here I started with a philosophical objection, but I believe that God freely created this world and created us in His image way before I ever heard of the terms libertarianism or compatibilism. Philosophers when they argue properly confirm what the revelation reveals.

    Steve also said: i) Let’s see you actually exegete LFW from the imago Dei passages.

    My method is simple: the revelation says that we are created in His image. So ask the question what does it mean that we are created in His image? I suggest the answer includes that we are similar to Him in certain respects including being self-conscious, having the ability to reason, and having the ability to perform our own actions (which will include the libertarian sense of freedom if the actions are our own and are not determined by another person).

    Steve continued: ii) By your flaccid logic, if x is true of God, and man is made in God’s image, then x is true of man. If God is omnipotent, then man is omnipotent. If God is omniscient, then man is omniscient. If God is eternal, then man is eternal. If God is invisible, then man is invisible. If God is immutable, then man is immutable.

    The quality of your reasoning leaves something to be desired.

    I don’t know of any Christian (perhaps a New Ager somewhere) who believes that since we are created in His image that that means we have his divine attributes. So your points here are pretty irrelevant. On the other hand, I do not know of any Christians who deny that we are in fact created in His image. So we are similar to God while not being identical. But then you knew that already, you just had to engage in some useless and irrelevant points. Which indicates that the quality of your reasoning leaves something to be desired.

    Steve said: I’m merely answering you on your own grounds. Sorry if you get upset when I measure you by your own yardstick and you come up short.

    What gives you the impression that I am upset? Nothing you have said is either surprising or upsetting. In fact, it is completely predictable and to be expected. I have observed your party line in action before.

    Steve said: But you didn’t start with revelation. You appealed to popular opinion. And you treated that as if it’s some sort of trump card.

    I did not appeal to popular opinion; I made the true and correct statement that most people when they understand the implications of determinism/calvinism find it to have certain problems (and so they reject it). This is no trump card it is simply the way things are. Now if you want to suggest that determinism is the view of most Christians today or even throughout church history, you will be mistaken.

    Steve said: Philosophy is not a popularity contest. But I take it that, like a politician, you say one thing to one audience, and another thing to another audience.
    I know that Philosophy is not a popularity contest, that is why they tend to argue so much! :-)

    Regarding the comment about being a politician. That is not accurate with respect to myself, because I don’t seek to please different groups by telling them what they want to hear. If anyone is like a politician, it is you, as you tell the party line that your fellow determinists want to hear. You have to defend a party line I do not.

    Steve said: And what if your example is irrelevant to Calvinism? What you offered us was, at best, an argument from analogy minus the argument. You never showed how predestination is analogous to your illustration. Does the alleged parallel hold at the critical point of comparison?

    People were discussing the point about whether abortion is God’s plan or not. Those like me who reject determinism believe that one of the implications of determinism is that it means that the predetermined event is both desired by God to occur and must necessarily occur as it is predetermined by God and carried out by Him. Those who reject this with respect to abortion believe that while God foreknows that it will occur and allows it to occur, he does not want it to occur nor necessitate its occurrence. My illustration was intended to show the conception that non-determinists have (where a distinction is made between holding someone responsible and blameworthy when they were not coerced into doing something and freely chose to do that action; and how we view a person whose condition results from events that occurred before they were born, events and factors that were completely out of their control, and events that did not involve their free choices at all).

    Steve said: And, for that matter, you didn’t really offer an argument, just an illustration. That’s one of the problems. We can come up with imaginative examples to illustrate any position or contrary position. Suppose we illustrate libertarianism.

    My example illustrated my point clearly if people see the difference between the one man and the other in terms of choice and responsibility.

    Steve says: Here’s a libertarian illustration. A mother is in the kitchen with her 2-year old. She has a pot of boiling water on the stove. She then leaves her 2-year old alone in the kitchen. He pulls the pot down and scalds himself to death. Is the mother culpable?

    I would say Yes. I believe they put that in the category of negligence in the law (things a reasonable person should have foreseen kind of thing).

    Steve said: Take open theism. She knew it was possible that he would scald himself to death. But she didn’t know if he would actually scald himself to death. Does that excuse her conduct? Or is she still guilty of putting him at risk of moral injury (not to mention the pain)?

    I do not know what open theism has to do with anything except that you probably don’t like open theists since they affirm libertarian free will. But yes, even if the mother is an open theist I believe her conduct endangered her child.

    Steve said: Take Arminianism. She foresaw that he would scald himself to death, but did nothing to prevent it. Does that excuse her conduct?

    Couple of problems with this. In your analogy you start with a human mother (ordinary and then open theist), in which case she is culpable for her actions as she chose to put the pot there and chose to leave the child unattended when she should have known better. Most of us would consider her negligent in her parental duties.

    Now midstream in you analogy you switch it to God (only God foreknows the future). While God may allow us to encounter dangerous situations and he created a world in which dangers are sometimes present. This is not the same as him intentionally putting the pot on the stove and intentionally leaving us unattended while he knew through his foreknowledge that we would get scalded and die. Most of us would distinguish God’s foreknowledge from him causing an event to occur (what you call instantiating). The classic example being when we sin. Though God foreknows our sin, he does not cause it or bring it about, we do. In your analogy the mother brings about the unsafe conditions by her intentional actions of putting the pot within reach of the child and her action of intentionally leaving the child unattended. She directly brings about the conditions that lead to the death of the child. God does not directly bring about the conditions that bring about sin, we do.

    Steve continues: Is either one of these libertarian alternatives morally preferable to saying that she planned it to happen that way?

    Even children understand the difference between Stevie accidentally/unintentionally causing Suzie to get hurt and Stevie intentionally causing Suzie to be hurt. For one he gets told to be more careful for the other he gets disciplined. Most of us understand that intentional actions of sin are more blameworthy than unintentional actions that result in harm. In our legal system they make a distinction between murder which requires intent and planning and manslaughter. The bible also discusses this distinction between intentional actions and accidental or unintentional actions.

    Steve then shares his punch line: Dropping the illustration, according to Arminianism, God foresees abortions but doesn’t nothing to prevent them—even though it lies within his power to prevent them. Instead, he brings them to pass by instantiating what he foresees. Why do you think that’s morally preferable to Calvinism?

    The first part is accurate: God foreknows abortions will occur. The second part is inaccurate as God works through his people and others to oppose abortion (so the statement that he does nothing to prevent them is false; or are you going to argue that the efforts of Christians and others to oppose and prevent abortions are completely meaningless and ineffective?). The third part is also inaccurate as God does not bring them to pass and instantiate all of what he foresees (if this principle were true then God foresees all sin and brings it all to pass and instantiates all sin; again a point that you will have a hard time persuading most Christians to accept).

    The non-calvinist has no problem distinguishing between what God foreknows versus what he instantiates (we believe that God can and does foreknow things which he does not bring to pass or instantiate, like sin and evil and abortions). Actually it is the determinist, the Calvinist who believes that God always brings to pass and instantiates what he foresees (this is true because you believe that God cannot foresee an event unless he ordained that event to occur and you believe that he ordains whatsoever comes to pass, so he only foreknows everything because he has ordained everything that comes to pass).
    Apparently, you just do not seem to see the difference between God foreknowing but not bringing to pass or instantiating an event, and God predetermining and bringing to pass and instantiating and foreknowing an event. That is the distinction being discussed in this thread with abortion being the test case.

    I would say he foreknows but does not instantiate abortions, while your view is that he both predetermines and instantiates abortions through secondary causes. And according to you God is only able to foreknow that the abortions will occur because he predetermined for them to occur. And whatever He wants to occur He predetermines to occur and uses secondary causes to bring to pass. And yet the secondary causes such as the abortionists are held responsible while God is not responsible for the abortions which God desired to occur and predetermined to occur and brought to pass through secondary causes.

    Observer of Calvinism

    ReplyDelete
  89. Paul Hill said:
    But, Mr Manata, you must admit that at least on this point you agree with me! But in any case you were successful in keeping Don trapped in the TBlog Calvinistic barbed wire sheep pen. Congratulations.

    2/01/2008 4:39 PM

    **************

    I don't follow. I do not agree with you. Perhaps you're being tremendously subtle?

    ReplyDelete
  90. "And whatever He wants to occur He predetermines to occur and uses secondary causes to bring to pass. And yet the secondary causes such as the abortionists are held responsible while God is not responsible for the abortions which God desired to occur and predetermined to occur and brought to pass through secondary causes."

    Amen.

    These are some incredibly deep subjects, and the soul is nourished in them, I believe.

    Also, in the same vein:

    And God causes all things, whether sin, evil, righteous deeds, life, or death, to work together for our good, those who He called, and are His beloved elect, those whom have been gripped with His mercy and Spirit, and who love Him.

    There's peace for a heart, if you have ears to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Tsk, tsk! What a spectacle! And all this could have been avoided if Steve had simply answered the question. But now even he admits that he doesn't really answer it. It's interesting how the Christians keep referring to the inquirers here as "stupid," or "idiot" or with some other insult, and yet it's the Christians who can't answer a simple question!

    Incredible!

    ReplyDelete
  92. Jaguk said:
    ---
    And all this could have been avoided if Steve had simply answered the question.
    ---

    No matter what Steve said, this is what would have happened. You're vapor-locked here, incapable of seeing beyond your box. If you were actually interested in learning, you'd deal with Steve's links. But you're not. You're just fishing for a soundbyte to shape into a club to beat upon someone's skull.

    Too bad everyone else knows this is what you're doing. Pity that you haven't grasped this yet.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Yeah Jaguk, you got us, we can't answer that question. That's what's happening. You finally stumped us. We have been known to answer EVERY single objection ANYONE has EVER posted, except *this one!* We have reviewed books by Dawkins, Hitchens, Oppy, Le Poidevan, etc., etc., etc., yet YOUR question has stumped us. We have been emailing each other asking how to answer it. Is it "yes" or is it "no." We will let you know what our collective heads come up with. So, yes, you who would never make fallacious leaps and reason according to fallacies of false alternatives, you have pegged it. You have stumped us. We can't answer that question, and it wasn't EASILY implied in any of the links you were provided. You nailed Steve, oh stud of the stump. Baron of the befuddle. Master of the mystify. 'Don' of the disorient. Seigneur of the stupefy. Pontiff of the puzzle.

    Dude, you're a stud. No, we are not all laughing at you and your stupid game. We are not snickering at your inability to move on and phrase your question with its presuppositions and intentions exposed. We really do buy the fact that you just honestly and sincerely want to know the answer to a yes or no question. So desperate are you for knowledge that you ask 50 times. There's no hidden agenda.

    When you sleep tonight know that no one is laughing at you. We respect you and your brain.

    You truly are a academician, doctor, egghead*, genius, highbrow, intellect, intellectual, mastermind, prodigy, pundit, sage, and a scholar, sir!

    ReplyDelete
  94. hahahahaha burn!

    Jaguk - 0

    Anonymous - 1

    Thanks for making me spit my pop all over my keyboard.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I beleieve I did provide a plausible answer in my post in this thread (infra). Yes, it is complicated, but a triune God must be part of the "complication", as would a crucified Son of God, and no one here has responded to planinga/moreland/craig "middle knowlwedge" position, which, collectively provide a reasonable explanatory theodicy.

    ReplyDelete
  96. OBSERVER OF CALVINISM SAID:

    “My method is simple: the revelation says that we are created in His image. So ask the question what does it mean that we are created in His image? I suggest the answer includes that we are similar to Him in certain respects including being self-conscious, having the ability to reason, and having the ability to perform our own actions (which will include the libertarian sense of freedom if the actions are our own and are not determined by another person).”

    In other words, you don’t know how to do exegesis. You don’t even have a proper concept of what exegesis is, much less how to implement that concept.

    Here’s an example of how to exegete the concept of the imago Dei from Scripture:

    http://www.shef.ac.uk/bibs/DJACcurrres/Postmodern2/Humanity.html

    Whether or not we agree with Clines’ overall interpretation, he is doing exegesis. You, by contrast, haven’t begun to show that your definition is contained in the relevant passages of Scripture.

    “I don’t know of any Christian (perhaps a New Ager somewhere) who believes that since we are created in His image that that means we have his divine attributes. So your points here are pretty irrelevant. On the other hand, I do not know of any Christians who deny that we are in fact created in His image. So we are similar to God while not being identical. But then you knew that already, you just had to engage in some useless and irrelevant points. Which indicates that the quality of your reasoning leaves something to be desire.”

    Are you dense or dissembling? I’m responding to you on your own grounds. What you’ve done is to arbitrarily select certain respects in which you think that God and man are similar. You haven’t offered any criteria or external controls on where you draw the line.

    I’m merely taking your own argument to a logical extreme. I can understand why you’d want to abandon your own argument before it goes over the cliff, but that’s your car wreck, not mine.

    “I did not appeal to popular opinion; I made the true and correct statement that most people when they understand the implications of determinism/calvinism find it to have certain problems (and so they reject it). This is no trump card it is simply the way things are.”

    Now you’re dissembling. Aside from the fact that you have no statistical data to back up your sweeping claim, you are not introducing this claim into the discussion as a curious piece of information with no bearing on the argument. To the contrary, you are using this as leverage. To create a presumption against determinism. So, yes, indeed, you are appealing to popular opinion.

    It’s possible that you’re so dishonest that you are blinded to your dishonesty because you are blinded by your dishonesty.

    “That is not accurate with respect to myself, because I don’t seek to please different groups by telling them what they want to hear.”

    Your actual practice betrays your protestations to the contrary.

    “If anyone is like a politician, it is you, as you tell the party line that your fellow determinists want to hear. You have to defend a party line I do not.”

    You defend the libertarian party line.

    “Those who reject this with respect to abortion believe that while God foreknows that it will occur.”

    A demonstrable overstatement. Open theism would beg to differ.

    “People were discussing the point about whether abortion is God’s plan or not. Those like me who reject determinism believe that one of the implications of determinism is that it means that the predetermined event is both desired by God to occur and must necessarily occur as it is predetermined by God and carried out by Him….My illustration was intended to show the conception that non-determinists have (where a distinction is made between holding someone responsible and blameworthy when they were not coerced into doing something and freely chose to do that action; and how we view a person whose condition results from events that occurred before they were born, events and factors that were completely out of their control, and events that did not involve their free choices at all).”

    This is a flawed illustration since it fails to distinguish between different models of determinism. You need to show which model of determinism is analogous to Calvinism, and then show why that form of determinism is morally suspect. All you’ve done with your illustration is to oversimplify the issues and beg the question.

    “I would say Yes. I believe they put that in the category of negligence in the law (things a reasonable person should have foreseen kind of thing).”

    So, in consistency, you must believe that God is culpable for allowing rape to occur. Since he foresaw it, he was negligent in failing to prevent it.

    “I do not know what open theism has to do with anything except that you probably don’t like open theists since they affirm libertarian free will. But yes, even if the mother is an open theist I believe her conduct endangered her child.”

    Since you’re slow on the uptake, I’ll connect the dots for you. You are opposed to determinism on moral grounds. So I’m considering a couple of indeterministic alternatives. Sorry if you find that too difficult to apprehend.

    “Couple of problems with this. In your analogy you start with a human mother (ordinary and then open theist), in which case she is culpable for her actions as she chose to put the pot there and chose to leave the child unattended when she should have known better. Most of us would consider her negligent in her parental duties. __Now midstream in you analogy you switch it to God (only God foreknows the future).”

    For someone who’s fond of homespun illustrations, you have a pretty hard time following obvious analogies. So let’s take it real slow this time.

    In the illustration, the woman represents God and the child represents the human being (your “free” agent). There’s no “switch” to God. She always stood for God.

    And there’s no distinction between an ordinary mother and an open theist mother (or an Arminian mother). The “mother” (i.e. God) isn’t an open theist or Arminian.

    Rather, I’m presenting two different libertarian interpretations of her action, where she stands for God in both instances.

    Got it? Or do we need to go back and walk you through it all over again?

    “While God may allow us to encounter dangerous situations and he created a world in which dangers are sometimes present. This is not the same as him intentionally putting the pot on the stove and intentionally leaving us unattended while he knew through his foreknowledge that we would get scalded and die.”

    To the contrary, if he foresaw the outcome, and created that situation anyway, in full knowledge of the outcome, then he intended the result.

    “Most of us would distinguish God’s foreknowledge from him causing an event to occur (what you call instantiating).”

    Yes, you can draw that distinction, but how is it morally relevant given your prior admission that an agent who foresaw such an eventuality would be culpable (indeed, criminally negligent) if he let it happen?

    “In your analogy the mother brings about the unsafe conditions by her intentional actions of putting the pot within reach of the child and her action of intentionally leaving the child unattended.”

    In cases of rape, wouldn’t you say that God brings about the conditions which precipitate the rape? And not merely the conditions which render it possible. He foreknows that under such circumstances, a rape will occur, yet he brings them about anyway. How do you think that’s a moral improvement over what you find objectionable in Calvinism?

    “She directly brings about the conditions that lead to the death of the child. God does not directly bring about the conditions that bring about sin, we do.”

    i) How does a God who foreknows the future, and creates a world in which that future will eventuate, not directly bring about the conditions that bring about the sin of rape?

    ii) Also, why do you think the distinction between direct and indirect causation is morally relevant? Why couldn’t a Calvinist, with his doctrine of providence, avail himself of the same distinction?

    “Even children understand the difference between Stevie accidentally/unintentionally causing Suzie to get hurt and Stevie intentionally causing Suzie to be hurt. For one he gets told to be more careful for the other he gets disciplined. Most of us understand that intentional actions of sin are more blameworthy than unintentional actions that result in harm. In our legal system they make a distinction between murder which requires intent and planning and manslaughter. The bible also discusses this distinction between intentional actions and accidental or unintentional actions.”

    How is it “accidental” or “unintentional” if, according to you, God foreknows that outcome and creates the very world in which that outcome will eventuate?

    “The first part is accurate: God foreknows abortions will occur. The second part is inaccurate as God works through his people and others to oppose abortion.”

    A Calvinist would say the same thing.

    “(So the statement that he does nothing to prevent them is false.”

    Either you’re dense or dissembling. If you predicate that God foreknows an abortion, then God doesn’t prevent an abortion he foreknows. Indeed, he cannot—given your belief in divine prescience.

    He could prevent an abortion he doesn’t foreknow in the sense that, by preventing it, there would be no abortion to foreknow.

    “Or are you going to argue that the efforts of Christians and others to oppose and prevent abortions are completely meaningless and ineffective?).”

    I’m arguing on your grounds, not mine—and thus far you’re slipping and sliding like a cat on an ice rink.

    “The third part is also inaccurate as God does not bring them to pass and instantiate all of what he foresees.”

    He cannot “foresee” a future which will never eventuate. And he brings about the world in which that future will eventuate. Everything he foresees must come to pass—otherwise it wouldn’t be an object of foreknowledge. And it comes to pass because he instantiated that state of affairs. He actualized that outcome. The combination of creation and foreknowledge renders that outcome absolutely certain.

    “(If this principle were true then God foresees all sin and brings it all to pass and instantiates all sin; again a point that you will have a hard time persuading most Christians to accept).”

    i) Ah, yes—another appeal to popular opinion.

    ii) Once again, I’m arguing on your grounds, not mine. I’m holding you to the implications of your own position.

    Your next three paragraphs merely reiterate your own evasions and confusions.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Pike: "No matter what Steve said, this is what would have happened."

    But what did Steve say? He certainly didn't answer the question. So had Steve answered the question affirmatively, that abortion *is* part of God's plan, how do you know what I would say? If Steve answered the question negatively, that abortion is *not* part of God's plan, how do you know what I would say? But had Steve answered the question one way or another, my comment would not have happened, contrary to your numbskullery.

    Pike: "If you were actually interested in learning, you'd deal with Steve's links."

    When I want to learn something, I ask questions. And when people evade questions, playing all sorts of duck-and-cover games, as Steve has (and then have his stooges tend to damage control), then things get interesting. As for "Steve's links," I'll take smoked sausage, thank you.

    Pike: "You're just fishing for a soundbyte to shape into a club to beat upon someone's skull."

    Soundbytes are all I've gotten so far, and you, Mr. Pike, have been quite the source for them. But "to beat upon someone's skull"? You have no idea who you're dealing with.

    Pike: "Too bad everyone else knows this is what you're doing."

    You've been picking up bad habits from Manata - when the going gets rough, he always pulls out the inflatable populace.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Smart Atheist2/01/2008 11:18 PM

    jypplix said...

    "You've been picking up bad habits from Manata - when the going gets rough, he always pulls out the inflatable populace."

    **********

    You've been picking up bad habits from Dan Barker - when the going gets tough he always pulls out the guilt by association.

    ReplyDelete
  99. atheists = pwned

    ReplyDelete
  100. ignorance is bliss2/01/2008 11:59 PM

    jypplix said....

    "When I want to learn something, I ask questions. And when people evade questions, playing all sorts of duck-and-cover games, as Steve has (and then have his stooges tend to damage control), then things get interesting. As for "Steve's links," I'll take smoked sausage, thank you."

    Didn't this "guise" get smoked out above.

    *BUMP*

    Anonymous said...
    Yeah Jaguk, you got us, we can't answer that question. That's what's happening. You finally stumped us. We have been known to answer EVERY single objection ANYONE has EVER posted, except *this one!* We have reviewed books by Dawkins, Hitchens, Oppy, Le Poidevan, etc., etc., etc., yet YOUR question has stumped us. We have been emailing each other asking how to answer it. Is it "yes" or is it "no." We will let you know what our collective heads come up with. So, yes, you who would never make fallacious leaps and reason according to fallacies of false alternatives, you have pegged it. You have stumped us. We can't answer that question, and it wasn't EASILY implied in any of the links you were provided. You nailed Steve, oh stud of the stump. Baron of the befuddle. Master of the mystify. 'Don' of the disorient. Seigneur of the stupefy. Pontiff of the puzzle.

    Dude, you're a stud. No, we are not all laughing at you and your stupid game. We are not snickering at your inability to move on and phrase your question with its presuppositions and intentions exposed. We really do buy the fact that you just honestly and sincerely want to know the answer to a yes or no question. So desperate are you for knowledge that you ask 50 times. There's no hidden agenda.

    When you sleep tonight know that no one is laughing at you. We respect you and your brain.

    You truly are a academician, doctor, egghead*, genius, highbrow, intellect, intellectual, mastermind, prodigy, pundit, sage, and a scholar, sir!

    2/01/2008 7:40 PM

    ReplyDelete
  101. best. tblog. thread. ever.2/02/2008 4:34 AM

    ding! ding! ding! ding!
    We've broken 100 comments!
    Congratulations all, thanks for all your hard work! Can't we all just get along?

    ReplyDelete
  102. :::YAWN!!!:::

    ReplyDelete
  103. Jacob Arminius2/02/2008 8:30 AM

    You finally stumped us. We have been known to answer EVERY single objection ANYONE has EVER posted, except *this one!*

    It's not so much that you're stumped, it's that you're too ashamed of your own barbaric theology (and rightly so) to answer a straightforward question about a real world situation.

    You must approach it with abstractions (perceptive will, decretive will, compatibilism) in order not to face the horror of your own system by considering a real world example. Then you expect your questioners to apply your abstractions to real world examples and are surprised that they don't buy it!

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  104. jacob arminius2/02/2008 8:48 AM

    Correct, Mickie. God would not be able to show off how Just and Merciful he was if there were no sinners to exact justice on or show mercy to. So he had to concoct them.

    If you got it, flaunt it. What's the use of having Divine Attributes if they're never demonstrated? And if demonstrating it necessitates creating people out of nothing just to suffer eternal torment, well, thems the breaks.

    ReplyDelete
  105. JACOB ARMINIUS SAID:

    It's not so much that you're stumped, it's that you're too ashamed of your own barbaric theology (and rightly so) to answer a straightforward question about a real world situation.

    You must approach it with abstractions (perceptive will, decretive will, compatibilism) in order not to face the horror of your own system by considering a real world example. Then you expect your questioners to apply your abstractions to real world examples and are surprised that they don't buy it!

    ************************************

    i) This is demonstrably false. I've applied my high Calvinism to many real world examples, such as Katrina, the S. Asian tsunami, and other natural disasters which exact a toll on human life.

    ii) I'd add that one can document the decretive/preceptive distinction in Scripture itself.

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  106. well, i suppose I am debating with myself, the atheists keep saying we are dodging their question and I think i gave a plausible answer. Free will, middle knowledge theodicy,foreknowing vs. foretelling, earth as test/preparation for sentient maximized eternity, etc. What I really think is that atheists do not really want an explanatory theodicy, they prefer their own conjured up ad lapidem half answers as their straw men. That is why William Lane Craig usualy destroys every ahteists he debates. You have to train the way you fight, the atheists here on this blog aren't even trying.

    ReplyDelete
  107. todd said:
    ---
    ...the atheists here on this blog aren't even trying.
    ---

    I disagree. I find them very trying. :-P

    ReplyDelete
  108. Being pro-choice is a position fully consistent with Christian ethics. I urge you to vote for candidates that believe women and their doctors should be making medical decisions - not politicians and interest groups. Don't let the Religious Right and their allies stack the courts any longer with anti-choice judges.

    - Rev. Chuck Currie
    www.chuckcurrie.com

    ReplyDelete
  109. Under your skin2/03/2008 1:20 AM

    jacob - "You must approach it with abstractions (perceptive will, decretive will, compatibilism) in order not to face the horror of your own system by considering a real world example. Then you expect your questioners to apply your abstractions to real world examples and are surprised that they don't buy it!"

    Well put. And still Steve Hays does not answer the question. I guess we'll never know if abortion is part of his god's plan or not. Perhaps he's afraid of weighing in on the issue.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Melvin Mackerel2/03/2008 8:45 AM

    I disagree. I find them very trying

    That's because you suppress the truth in irrationality. The invisible things have been clearly explained without recourse to God, so you are without excuse.

    Come on, you don't really believe this talking donkey wet wool on the floor rainbows-are-a-promise silliness.

    Join us.

    ReplyDelete
  111. breaking news:2/03/2008 8:59 AM

    Chuck Currie convinces Steve Hays of the Pro-Choice position. Paul Manata inspired to become ordained UCC minister.

    ReplyDelete
  112. From chuckcurrie.com:
    "Most mainline denominations (United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church USA, etc.) have taken official pro-choice stances.

    Being pro-choice is a position fully consistent with Christian ethics."


    How can anyone disagree with this straightforward syllogism?

    ReplyDelete
  113. - Rev. Chuck Currie,

    Have you ever seen an abortion? Just wondering.

    ReplyDelete
  114. If God forsees that a baby will be aborted, maybe he refrains from pasting a soul onto its physical body and reserves that soul for a later date. Therefore the aborted fetus really is just a clump of cells and the tragedy you allude to is non-existent.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Another Theidiot like Steve Hays2/03/2008 11:55 AM

    Good point, Theidiocy. Besides, on Steve Hays' view, how could a fetus in the womb be anything more than a nascent meat machine?

    Just wondering.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Another Theidiot like Steve Hays said:

    "Besides, on Steve Hays' view, how could a fetus in the womb be anything more than a nascent meat machine?"

    Document where that represents my view.

    ReplyDelete
  117. I'm well aware steve could reply that we can't evade moral responsibility by speculating on such matters.

    I just feel a sense of weariness that theology is just empty speculation on things we have no knowledge of. I start out with one epistemological axiom: only believe what can be empirically verified or logically deduced.
    I claim that since I take that as the initial axiom, the system is not self refuting (since that statement cannot itself be empirically verified or logically deduced).

    In addition, I'd say this system is no more absurd than any other, so I wonder why rabid theists such as the tbloggers would denounce it with such zeal.

    ReplyDelete
  118. I'd also take conservation as axiomatic. Why do we need for it to be 'divine' conservation? Things tend to persist. They tend not to mutate. Any occurrences to the contrary only appear so because primitive people were looking at a macro, not micro, level.

    The primitives probably regarded most natural occurrences (such as plant growth) as a 'miracle' (not in the sense of being unusual, but in the sense of lacking physical causation), which lent plausibility to the God hypothesis.

    Now all we can credit God with is
    1) 'initial conditions' and
    2) 'conservation',
    which is a lot less impressive than crediting him with all the processes we can now explain mechanistically.

    God only has 2 gaps left.

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  119. I assume the gang is praying to their non-existent deities right about now. If they give me a link to where they addressed this before, I'll shut up (at least until I read it and spot the fallacies).

    ReplyDelete