Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why I'm Not An Arminian (Well, One Reason)

There are several reasons I'm a Calvinist. The main one is simply exegetical - period. You see, I've been around the block with enough historical theology and enough discussions with Arminians to have long ago concluded that their theology consists of nothing but philosophical and ethical objections to Calvinism. Indeed, if one reads the interactions that Arminius had with his own contemporaries, we see this at work even then. He objected to Supralapsarianism, on largely ethical grounds.

In other words, "Calvinism (in his case Supralapsarian Calvinism) can't be true because of...." (insert outcome here). Succinctly put, it seems to me that Arminians (and some Neo-Amyraldians) are awfully concerned about defending God's reputation. To take just one example, if God decrees evil, then, so they object, He is the "author" of evil. That's not acceptable to them, so, they reason, it can't be true. Indeed, we've seen this phenomenon at work on this very blog in recent history, in our dealings with Arminians like Ben and Thibodeux. We've also seen this in dealing with "RobertHenRonymous," when he objects to "exhaustive determinism" because if true then - insert outcome here (either "x is not a 'real' choice or "God is the author of evil").

The problem should be obvious. As Christians, we should never begin with this sort of aprioristic sort of thinking - and this applies equally to Calvinists as it does to anybody else. As Calvinists, we're told that we start with certain ideas about God's sovereignty and philosophical determinism and then deductively arrive at our theology from there. As Steve has pointed out, this objection is schizophrenic.
i) On the one hand, they claim that Calvinism is an axiomatic system. We begin, so we’re told, with the axiom of predestination, and then we deduced everything from our axiom. So our method is aprioristic. And we filter the Bible through our Calvinistic grid.

ii) On the other hand, they attack Calvinism because of the unacceptable consequences of our theology. How can we believe in a God who blames us for Adam’s sin? How can we believe in a God who predestines some people to hell? How can we believe in a God who decrees natural disasters?

The answer is: we believe these things because they are taught in Scripture, and we believe the Bible. We begin with the Bible and take it from there.

By contrast, it’s the critics of Calvinism who begin with certain consequences, which they deem to be unacceptable, and then construct a theological system to avoid those consequences.
Aprioristic methodology is the heart of rationalism. We see it at work all the time. Arminians do this with respect to LFW and "the love of God." They begin with these ideas and then work from that posture. We've even documented this through their own admissions - for example, Miley's theology, and in our own interactions with them in the past 2 or 3 weeks, they've admitted that "free will" is a presupposition that they bring to Scripture - not an action theory that is actually taught by Scripture (indeed, I've demonstrated repeatedly that Scripture explicitly and unequivocally contradicts LFW). The Orthodox, as in the case of Perry Robinson, use Christology in this fashion. Calvinism can't be true because (insert some Christological heresy here, no matter how tendentious) results. Roman Catholics often work from ecclesiology. Even Baptists and Presbyterians do this. Baptists do this with "Baptist tradition" more and more (just take a look at some of the SBC blogs these days), and we've been locked in debate with Presbyterians over ecclesiology now for centuries, with both sides accusing the other of rationalism - for example, Baptists will accuse Presbyterians of using their version of covenant theology to draw inferences about baptism and thus ecclesiology.

Now, why mention this? Because with respect to atheism, I've noticed a trend lately. Namely, the arguments that are often presented by the Debunkers generally seem to beg the question in favor of Arminianism. Let's take this article.

Note the question about God's love.
"Christian, how do you reconcile the God of reason, the God of perfect love, with the ways he dealt with people who worship other gods? This is some very nasty stuff here. He will make them eat the flesh of their children and neighbors! "
Now, I ask, why would any Calvinist find this question the least bothersome? God's love is not His only attribute. That objection might work against a doctrinally inept Southern Baptist Arminian, but it won't work against us Calvinists, particularly Supralapsarians, but, really, an Infra shouldn't find this at all a problem either.

God punishes the sins of His people by permitting them to fall into greater sin and with atrocities befitting reprobated pagans to fall upon them. So,what's the problem, exactly? Oh, I see, the idea that God "decrees" evil.

Unlike the Arminian, I don't feel a need to defend God's honor where He has chosen not to defend it Himself. Indeed, I have a bigger problem with Arminians who don't bother to follow their own theology on this very point. They too have an order of decrees, and that includes the permission of evil.

The difference between Calvinists and Arminians is not over the fact of permission, but it's nature. For the Calvinist, the Fall, to take an example, was planned all along. The Arminian view most often expressed is that the Fall was permitted - ineffaciously, so Redemptive History is ultimately, if we take it to the logical end, "Plan B." Of course, I should quickly note that Molinist Arminians are in a real pickle here, since they affirm that God instantiated only this world of all possible worlds, which leads to a whole set of objections from us with respect to how they can object to Calvinism if that's true - but I digress.

Let's see how this plays out in practice...


Loftus wrote,

Gene said...What's wrong with God decreeing the existence of evil?

What's wrong with this? Your God is a despicable thug, a degenerative dictator, who can never be trusted, and who is unworthy of any kind of worship. Why you cannot see this is because you are blind. Why you’re so willing to bite this bullet in order to solve the problem of evil baffles me to no end. You believe the weight of evidence of historically conditioned documents as idiosyncratically interpreted by you, over the weight of the empirical evidence of horrible evils themselves. You must be very sure you are right about these historical documents in order to dismiss so easily the presence of the evil that surrounds you. It makes me think of pantheists with maya, who also deny what they experience on a daily basis.
What's wrong with this? It's a load of emotionalism without any substance. You cannot see this because you're blind - no, stupid - no, incompetent. Hmmm, it's difficult to find the right description here; there are just soooo many.

Let's connect the dots here:

You asked a question in your "article" to us about an "all loving God." The problem is, of course, that, as Calvinists, we deny that God is "all loving." So, you're complaint would only work against some Arminians. You're like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target.

To even raise this objection, you need to establish that God is "all loving" if God exists. To do that, you'll need to do something like prove Arminianism over and against Calvinism. So, along with the rest of the poor argumentation and inept exegetical material in the article, all you've done is beg the question with respect to Arminianism - and, in a crushing blow for us Tblogers, posted it in a combox on this blog. The default mode of this blog is not Arminianism. It's Calvinism. All of us are Calvinists here, with the possible exception of Jason Engwer who has not, to my knowledge, taken a public stand on that and our resident, inactive, Lutheran, the Pedantic Protestant.

It's only "biting the bullet" with respect to theodicy, John, if it would thereby mean that there is such a thing as *gratuitous* evil - but as Calvinists, we deny this, and our theology does so quite consistently.

It's only those who embrace the Free Will Defense as you did when you were an Arminian, that would be led into having to admit that such evils existed if God decrees evil. Why? Because their theology is calculated as an objection to ours. We've been over this with them before. If God did not "decree" evil, then its unplanned, and unplanned evil could well be construed as, in fact, gratuitous.

So, I'm willing to "bite this bullet" because "biting this bullet" doesn't lead to where you think it does, unless you're an Arminian. That's what I keep trying to tell you, John. You write this sophomoric objections to Christianity that don't begin to touch our theology. I guess that's what you get for studying with Craig, good Arminian that he is. It makes the job much easier for us though.

So, here's just one more good reason I'm not an Arminian: I don't have to concede the "problem of evil" in order to offer a cogent theodicy. I think Arminians who object to Calvinism on an ethical basis need to step back and ask themselves why their theodicy concedes the problem of evil.

1. If LFW is not taught by Scripture, and is, indeed, contradicted by Scripture, it is false.

2. Therefore the FWD is not a sound defense and should be jettisoned.

3. If LFW is false, then so goes Arminianism, since LFW is a key pillar for it.

4. Moreover, the objection that Calvinism makes God the "author of evil" if God effaciously decrees it naturally leads to the concession of the so called Problem of Evil. Namely, if God didn't decree it; then there is such a thing as unplanned evil, whether moral or natural. If it's unplanned, it's gratuitous. That's a major concession, and it makes it look like Arminianism is convertible with Atheism, yet Arminians are not atheists by any stretch.

5. Finally, we should not seek to defend God's honor where He has not so sought to do so Himself. It is impertinent to speak in ways He has not licensed. He has not invoked the Free Will Defense, and His Word does not seek to deny that He foreordains all things. We should not do either.

51 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. To passively permit is to actively decree, if the one doing the permitting is omnipotent -- if the word "permit" is to have any normal meaning. As long as an Arminian supports the omnipotence of God, then they are saying that God decreed the existence of evil.

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  3. If one begins with the Scriptures open and simply says: "Whatever it says, I will believe," then that is taking God at his word. To devise theodicies that God has not put forward himself is to reject God's self-revelation in favor of our own impressions.

    Well said. As soon as a person says "I am a Christian" they commit themselves to this posture. When they leave this posture, it smacks of rebellion.

    That said, there are some things that come with maturity. Now, I'm not saying that all Arminians are spiritually "immature." Rather, I'm saying that, providentially, there are some things in life that I've learned the way I've learned things growing up - at first I didn't think my Mom and Dad knew anything, but over time I've learned that they were right. In this respect, having worked through some of these questions about decrees, providence, etc. I've learned that there comes a point when we have to say, "This is what God says. Either I accept this, or I don't."

    To passively permit is to actively decree, if the one doing the permitting is omnipotent -- if the word "permit" is to have any normal meaning. This too is well said. Arminians often object to the idea of God decreeing evil so they say God decreed the "possibility" of evil.

    A. The Bible never says this at all.

    B. As an ethical argument that's supposed to "get God off the 'hook.'" it doesn't work. God is still responsible or at least partially so, because He could have decreed otherwise or intervened but did not do so.

    So, the Arminian, if he was consistent, must concede the Problem of Evil when Atheist's raise it. Perhaps the reason that atheists raise this issue so much today is because Arminianism dominates the landscape. It's the most obvious target. Hopefully, as Reformed Theology enjoys a resurgence, this will change.

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  4. I said..."Christian, how do you reconcile the God of reason, the God of perfect love, with the ways he dealt with people who worship other gods? This is some very nasty stuff here. He will make them eat the flesh of their children and neighbors! "

    Gene responded...Now, I ask, why would any Calvinist find this question the least bothersome?

    Gee, I don't know Gene, for a Calvinist isn't a humane person. Should you have said instead, "why would a human being find this question the least bothersome?" You'd see the point.

    The most fundamental problem with Calvinism is that you would have no reason to trust such a God based on what you believe. Now I know you disregard what I say because I'm an atheist and that you would have a greater propensity to dialogue with a Christian Arminian brother, but regardless of who makes this argument it's a good one. You cannot respond by saying that as an atheist that I have my own set of problems, either, for that is a red herring, and an Arminian who doesn't have the problems I do could make the same argument. Besides, I have responded to my set of problems. When will you respond to yours?

    Now, given that your primary reasons for being a Calvinist are exegetical, and given the fact that there are some pretty strong arguments against that exegesis from Christian scholars like Jack Cottrell in his book God the Ruler, how sure can you truly be that Calvinism is correct such that you are not bothered by the philosophical problems with your case? Your Calvinism is a product of social influences and a historically conditioned interpretation (not shared by all, and changing every generation) of a historically conditioned document (the act of interpretation is difficult enough and how much more so of one written in a "low-context" society). It would be better if you just went with the horrible consequences of that which you believe and change your mind about Calvinism. I'm not asking you to be an atheist here, just asking you to seriously consider what your theology commits you to. From the human perspective you cannot trust your God. Why would you worship and love a being like that? It does not make sense. Stop and think. It would be akin to loving and worshipping a despicable thug who uses you and claims the reason why he does is because you're worthless. Why would you believe that your behavior is such that you deserve such treatment in the first place? Our "sins" are not that terrible of things that deserve hell. And there is no way to reasonably explain why God had to die for our sins.

    Okay, go ahead and call me stupid. You are so smart and intelligent and I am ignorant and dumb, right?

    You simply cannot be that confident in that which you affirm! the rejection is the easy part. We all do it. We reject other religions with complete ease and confidence. But when it comes to affirming what to believe after all of the rejections we cannot be as confident in that which we affirm as we are in that which we deny. I affirm atheism. but I hold that tentatively because I might be wrong in that which I affirm. A God might exist. I'm willing to entertain this, a philosopher's god, a deist god, like Flew. But you have all the answers, don't you? Everyone else is wrong, aren't they? I am stupid, right? What gives with that? It reveals a lack of an educated mind. What I see here is an indoctrinated mind, although I know you're not actually this way. Maybe you simply don’t express your doubts in public. I find it hard to believe you don’t have any. Several Christian scholars have publicly said they do. Are you being honest with us here?

    That's all for now. You completely baffle me. Sorry I’m so stupid. I’m trying to understand.

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  5. Loftus,

    You do know that simply repeating your oft-debunked assertions forever is not the same thing as providing an argument, don't you?

    On the other hand, thanks for making it easy to reject atheism!

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  6. So what you are saying is that the creator of the universe, which you admit may exist, cannot make ethical demands upon you unless you previously agree with them. But, if he does make ethical demands upon you and you don't agree, you aren't bound by them. But if he makes ethical demands which you don't agree with and yet he still tries to bind you by them and punish you he, is an evil deity not worthy of the respect you aren't paying him anyway? I find it telling that the only god you are willing to believe in is one that you yourself have come up with. Of course God is going to look angry and full of wrath to you: you are living in open, premeditated, flagrant and willful rebellion against his right and holy rule. You have no right to expect anything else from him at this point.

    Rail all you want against Calvinism. About two paragraphs into your diatribe against it, it was painfully obvious that you don't understand the Calvinist position. Whatever “calvinism” you think you debunked, it wasn't that held by me or by any other Calvinist I know. The real problem you have is with a holy God who holds you accountable for your actions. You want to be free to do as you please, so you do what you can to convince yourself that there is no God. Yet, your entire being is telling you that he does exist and that he does have ethical demands and that you do fail to meet them. You call us stupid because we believe God and are grateful for his salvation from slavery to death and sin. We are equally baffled why you won't admit that you sin, repent and believe.

    This isn't a debating point. You really didn't come here to debate anyway. This is a point that you and you alone have to come to and deal with. God created Adam upright. Upright but able to fall. Adam fell in sin. As your representative, he cast you into slavery to sin. Now, the wages of sin is death, and this is due to you both because Adam represented you AND because of your own personal, continual, willful and prideful sinning. Call it unfair all you want. You didn't design the system. It only seems unfair because you choose not to believe. Believe what? That Jesus Christ is the new Adam. Therefore, all who believe in him are counted righteous in him. He is the sanctuary that you can flee to. He is the Ark in which you can be saved from the wrath to come. He bore the penalty for sin so that we might be saved. If you would be saved, all you need to do is to believe into Jesus Christ. He is sufficient to save all who will come to him. He is not a harsh master. He is gentle and lowly of spirit. He is compassionate, full of mercy and forgiveness. But he is also Lord. Lord of all. Therefore, the way to receive his mercy is not to argue against him, not to negotiate with him, but to bow before him as a sinner in need of his grace. If you do, he will save you. But if you don't, then you can expect nothing from him but the wrath you now feel. His anger against sin is greater than your anger against him. He will win. A day is coming in which God will judge the whole earth. On that day, if you are not in Christ you will be damned, with no excuse other than your own willful disobedience. What use will your arguments be on that day?

    God is not what you think he is. He is not the tyrant you choose to see. He has revealed himself to you, both in the world around you so that you would be without excuse as to his being, but also in his Word. But the first step towards understanding him as he has revealed himself is to submit yourself to him.

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  7. The above comment was for Mr. Loftus, not for the original post which it perhaps may have seemed.

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  8. Pike, I don't think my comments have been debunked, okay? I think it is your theistic views that have been adequately debunked such that I wonder why you keep repeating and believing them.

    This to me is a funny place to stand. On the one hand you think my arguments are old and tired and often debunked, whereas I think likewise of your views. From the Euthyprho dilemna to Hume, to Kant, to Reimarus, to D.F. Strauss, to Voltaire, Spinoza, to Nietzche, Paine, Ingersoll to Kaufmann, Russell, Mackie, Stein, Smith, Martin, Parsons, Everitt, Schellenberg, Oppy, Draper, Drange, Weisenberg, Stenger, Ehrman, Avalos, Ludemann, Price, Carrier, John Hick, Sagan, Callahan, Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, Kurtz, Beversluis, Wielenberg, Shermer, Steele, and others, your views are history, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe I should just say that whenever you try to argue against me and not try to deal with anything you say?

    The fact that there are fewer atheists writing and more Christian responses means nothing to me. For every atheist book there are several Christian responses so you can claim the last word, and claim we've been answered. But it doesn't follow that the arguments of these authors have been sufficiently answered in every respect. No one has yet attempted a serious refutation of the argument in my new book to come out soon.

    Oh, but that's right, I've been debunked already.

    Pure assertion.

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  9. Okay, Tipton, I’ll bite.

    I cannot worship a God who commands child sacrifice or genocide, nor can I worship one as stupid as we find in the Bible. I may cower before him, but I can never love him. And you’re right, the only god I could believe in is one that makes sense, or if it doesn’t make sense, then in order to believe in such a god there had better be overwhelming evidence that he exists, which there isn’t.

    You’re claiming that I don’t understand Calvinism, is ignorant. It assumes that if I did understand it like you do that I’d believe, and since I don’t then I don’t.

    You say you’re baffled why I don’t repent. Given the nature of the Christians here at Triablogue, part of the reason I don’t believe is because of how they treat me. I want nothing to do with a hateful religion that can easily demonize people who sincerely disagree. People like that have burned others alive at the stake based upon the Bible for two centuries, and did the same to witches for three centuries. I don’t think you fully grasp this problem. Maybe if it was you who were burned at the stake you would, and as a Reformed believer you probably would’ve.

    The rest of what you said is pure nonsense. Upon reading what you wrote would you now agree that I understand your view or not? After all, I read it. So if I don’t understand it then it must be because you don’t understand it, or that you can’t articulate what it is you believe. I just reject it and I’ve stated why. In fact, Arminians agree with me so this debate has nothing to do with who is debating it. Christians agree with me about your theology. You cannot say of them that they are unrepentant, can you, or that they are in willful disobedience to the truth? Oh, but yes you will, won’t you? Poppycock. The evidence is against you.

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  10. "No one has yet attempted a serious refutation of the argument in my new book to come out soon."

    Which argument in your book hasn't already been addressed?

    You've got Hume's argument against miracles, burden of proof on the theist, assumed methodological naturalism, claimed 'barbarities' in the OT, ancient people were superstitious and irrational, people in different geographical areas believe different things, Christians' have done wrong in the past, slavery, and the problem of evil.

    You've posted on all of these topics previously, and you have been responded to by many people, on all these issues, many times, and at great length.

    You are flat-out lying when you claim that no one has responded to you.

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  11. Here's an example of what I mean.

    Pendray said...You are flat-out lying when you claim that no one has responded to you.

    Here's what I said...No one has yet attempted a serious refutation of the argument in my new book to come out soon.

    Would someone who gerrymanders the texts of the Bible to make them inerrant do the same job here in showing I was not lying?

    Sheesh.

    I want nothing to do with this type of Christianity. Coming here only reinforces that, and it motivates me. Maybe I needed a boost. Maybe that's why I'm here. To gain new resolve. Well, that's the result anyway. Thanks.

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  13. John,

    "It assumes that if I did understand it like you do that I’d believe, and since I don’t then I don’t. "

    Actually, John, if you understood Calvinism I would only assume that you could correctly represent it. What you represented on the link you provided was not Calvinism. You can understand a position without believing in it, but you cannot accurately represent a position you don't understand. If you understand a position and yet you misrepresent it, it usually means that you are dishonest.

    I am not claiming you are dishonest, so I assume that the reason you posted as you did (in the link) is because you do not understand the position. It is clear that you don't believe it. Believing and understanding are two different things.

    As for the rest of your post, it isn't as though it is surprising. Everyone else is to blame but you. The people on this blog for the way they treat you. God for not worshiping you and your intellect the way you do. God for not creating the world in such a way that someone in open rebellion against him might agree with it. I hope you have a real good argument on the last day. After all, it isn't us you need to convince, it is God.

    However, each of us was once like you. We all once lived in open rebellion as well. And, of course, all of us live in varying degrees of consistency with our beliefs. Please don't take this as patronizing, but: we really do understand where you are coming from. I did not come here to debate these issues with you. I, for one, felt that at least someone needed to take the time to explain the Christian gospel to you. Of course, someone else could have done it better. But the essence is there. If you reject it, it makes no difference to me: it only means that I have found yet one more person in need of redemption. Therefore, I will pray for you. If you have honest questions about these issue, then we can discuss them. However, again, I am not going to "debate" them with you.

    If I had to guess, I would say that the number one issue you have is that you don't understand sin. Therefore you don't understand wrath. And you don't understand sin because you don't understand God's holiness. And because you don't understand God's holiness, you don't understand your need for a vicarious substitutionary atonement. Neither then can you understand types and shadows of such an atonement in the Old Testament. I say you don't understand them because I have yet to hear you accurately represent them as we would speak of them and then show how they are incompatible with one another or with the Bible or with your own well thought out position. Until you can accurately represent them back to us, you cannot expect us to take you seriously as an atheist apologist. Now, granted, I am sure you have dealt with them at great length in some other place. But what I am talking about is right here, within these comments on this blog. Here you have shown nothing but contempt for the Christian position, and nothing but misrepresentation with regard to that position. I know you don't believe it. Give me a little credit for not being stupid. I just am not sure yet you really understand it.

    John, there are answers to each of your questions, to each of your objections. Granted, some will be more satisfying than others. Some may be difficult to fully grasp. However, forgive me for saying this, it seems that you are more interested in telling us how God cannot exist than in listening to any answers we may provide.

    Maybe that is so. If so, let me know so that you can go on arguing with other people. However, I want you to know that I both sincerely believe in what I say and that I sincerely want you to believe it too. Not because it makes me feel better, but because it is the truth. It is the only truth that will set you free.

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  14. Loftus said:
    ---
    Pike, I don't think my comments have been debunked, okay?
    ---

    No one ever said you were the brightest bulb in the lamp.

    Loftus said:
    ---
    On the one hand you think my arguments are old and tired and often debunked, whereas I think likewise of your views.
    ---

    It only took you three years to grasp this. Progress.

    Loftus said:
    ---
    Maybe I should just say that whenever you try to argue against me and not try to deal with anything you say?
    ---

    It would be a step up from your current response to me, which is "You're banned from posting here, idiot." You know, cuz you're so open and willing to look at opposing views and all...

    Loftus said:
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    The fact that there are fewer atheists writing and more Christian responses means nothing to me.
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    The fact that I mentioned nothing about fewer atheists writing and more Christian responses apparently means nothing to you either.

    Loftus said:
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    No one has yet attempted a serious refutation of the argument in my new book to come out soon.
    ---

    No one has yet attempted a serious refutation of the argument in my new book that's already out either.

    Loftus said:
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    Oh, but that's right, I've been debunked already.

    Pure assertion.
    ---

    Supported by a simple archive search of the blog.

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  16. "The most fundamental problem with Calvinism is that you would have no reason to trust such a God based on what you believe."

    This demonstrates that Loftus doesn't understand Calvinism.

    Loftus' reply to that observation is:

    "You’re [sic] claiming that I don’t understand Calvinism, is ignorant. It assumes that if I did understand it like you do that I’d believe, and since I don’t then I don’t."

    Actually, that's not it. If Loftus understood Calvinism as Calvinists do, he wouldn't raise such inane criticisms.

    But I know where this is coming from for Loftus.

    You see, the problem is that Loftus has no reason to fail to believe Calvinism based on his own beliefs. In other words, his own belief system provides no logical way for him to reject the truth of the gospel.

    He rejects it, but not consistently. If he did understand his own position better, he'd recognize that.

    That's the major problem: Loftus doesn't understand atheism, with the minor problem being that Loftus doesn't understand Calvinism.

    All this banter about not believing the gospel because he doesn't like how people who call themselves gospel believers treat him is the most childish of the silliness I've seen.

    Here there are people trying to help him escape eternal judgment and he's whining that they are not being nice enough about it.

    It's a bit like a heart attack victim complaining of electric shock torture, because someone tried using paddles from the crash cart to try to resuscitate him.

    -Turretinfan

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  17. John,

    You said: "No one has yet attempted a serious refutation of the argument in my new book to come out soon."

    Yes, they have!

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  18. Mark how dare you gerrymander down the street, trying to find contradictions in my posts. You idiot.

    I was taught by William Lane Craig. And he was taught by your mom.

    Just because someone has answered all the arguments in my book, doesn't mean they've answered them.

    Idiot.

    Every time I come here, I'm belittled, I'm demonized, and then I'm struck down in my prime. I complain about it. I leave. And then I come back.

    And do you know why I do this? Do you?

    Well if you can gerrymander that fountain of filth you say God wrote, why should I expect you to understand my secular lifestyle?

    I move in mysterious ways. You on the other hand wouldn't know an outsider test, if it painted itself bright green, leaped onto a table, and starting shouting "I'm an outsider test". And do you know why?

    Because of your control beliefs. Your control beliefs stop you performing an outsider test.

    Only I can perform a real outsider test. I pity the fool who attempts an outsider test, if his names not John Loftus.

    That's it, I won't be back again.

    But I will return.

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  19. Hi John!

    You wrote: "The most fundamental problem with Calvinism is that you would have no reason to trust such a God based on what you believe. Now I know you disregard what I say because I'm an atheist and that you would have a greater propensity to dialogue with a Christian Arminian brother, but regardless of who makes this argument it's a good one."

    I say: But John, this is an odd claim, considering I've dealt with this very argument of yours twice now:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/would-you-chuck-bad-arguments.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/internal-inconsistencies-loftusism.html

    So, John, it's not like you haven't been answered.

    And, as far as not trusting God to save you on Calvinism, you're using one of the arguments from history. One of the arguments ancient, dumb, superstitious people used. The ancients used to say, "Well, if God is so sovereign, as you say, then can he send the virgin Mary to hell?" So, the middle ages are calling, they want their arguments back, John.

    Our answer to you is the same as was given back then. You are forgetting to add that feature of Calvinism we have used to adress these types of arguments. You are, again, not offering an *internal* critique. You're critiquing *parts* of systems. This isn't intellectually virtuous on your part. You're not studying up on your opponent. Etc., etc., etc.

    That part you're forgetting is called "covenant theology." God binds himsef by his covenant when he saves someone. What he says is that if he violates his covenant, he will kill himself. Since this is impossible, it is impossible for God to violate his covenant. Therefore, your critique, mutatis mutandis, is seen to be a non-starter.

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  20. I'm an untutored idiot trying to rectify matters. What does "LFW" stand for?

    I've seen it used numerous times in numerous posts, but this is the first time I've girded up the courage to admit my shame in not knowing what "LFW" stands for.

    Thanks.

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  21. L = Libertarian

    F = Free

    W = Will

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks Paul Manata. I googled the term and read the following link:

    http://www.theopedia.com/Libertarian_free_will

    I hope that short article is sufficient and accurate in its overview.

    Q: Is a "compatibilist" someone who tries to have it both ways, and thus transcend the Calvinist/Arminian debate?

    Is "compatibilism" a reasonable option?

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Is a "compatibilist" someone who tries to have it both ways, and thus transcend the Calvinist/Arminian debate?"

    Calvinists are compatibilists.

    Compatibilism is a form of determinism that allows for free choices.

    Free-choice and Determinism are 'compatible'.

    ReplyDelete
  24. TU&D,

    Calvinists are (semi-)compatibilists.

    I posted something on this a while back:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/contemporary-compatibilism.html

    the post looks a lot longer than it is only because of the comments. You don't have to read thos eif you don't want to.

    ReplyDelete
  25. From one perspective, a compatiblist is someone who believes that both human freedom and predetermination are compatible.

    From another perspective, a compatibilist is one who believes that both human responsibility and predetermination are compatible.

    Either way, Calvinists are compatibilists.

    Arminians and (at least some) Hyper-Calvinists fall off on either side of the compatibilism divide - the former denying predetermination, and the latter denying responsibility/freedom.

    -TurretinFan

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  26. Dear Saint&Sinner, Paul Manata, and TurretinFan,

    Thanks for your responses. They've been very helpful.

    Now to continue my foray as untutored idiot, I shall now proceed as a Calvinist compatibilist to pointedly ask: "WTF is the problem here? Just adopt compatibilism! You get both free will and God's sovereignty. What's not to like? Just let compatibilism be the laser beam that slices through all the muddy rhetorical fog and be done with it!"

    A pox on both houses of Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinists!

    ReplyDelete
  27. The problem, Truth Divides, is that a compatibilistic notion of freedom gets the Calvinist nowhere, as in no where.

    Your actions are determined as well as your desires to do those actions. So by merely saying that you have compatibilistic freedom to act as you desire means nothing. For you do not have freedom to desire anything but what the Calvinistic God decrees that you desire. To step back a bit it doesn't trouble the Calvinist to say he was determined to do a given action because that action was what he desired to do. BUT, and this is a big BUTT, he could not have desired anything else.

    Ahhh, but I'm ignorant, and so are theists like William Hasker.

    ReplyDelete
  28. "The problem, Truth Divides, is that a compatibilistic notion of freedom gets the Calvinist nowhere, as in no where."

    It's not aimed to get people places. It's just a statement of the true state of affairs.

    "Your actions are determined as well as your desires to do those actions. So by merely saying that you have compatibilistic freedom to act as you desire means nothing."

    If it really meant nothing, it would not provoke the controvery it does. In fact, it does mean something, it means something that the natural mind hates: God is in control even of the free acts of His creation.

    "For you do not have freedom to desire anything but what the Calvinistic God decrees that you desire."

    And that is good thing. But it is not helpful for those who wish they were outside of God's control.

    "To step back a bit it doesn't trouble the Calvinist to say he was determined to do a given action because that action was what he desired to do. BUT, and this is a big BUTT, he could not have desired anything else."

    a) The Calvinist could have desired something else if God had so ordained.

    b) The ordinary (common sense) view of human freedom has to do with men doing what they want to do. The desire of man is the cause of action of man. Stepping behind that is starting to address something other than conventional, common-sense freedom.

    "Ahhh, but I'm ignorant, and so are theists like William Hasker."

    No (other) comment.

    -Turretinfan

    ReplyDelete
  29. "Ahhh, but I'm ignorant, and so are theists like William Hasker."

    William Hasker is a libertarian. So, of course he's going to disagree with compatibilism, you dope-smoker.

    ReplyDelete
  30. turretinfan said...And that is good thing. But it is not helpful for those who wish they were outside of God's control.

    I cannot be outside of your God's control, don't you know your own beliefs? I am doing what he decreed for me to do. I am doing what he made me desire. Sheesh.

    I want to walk away from such ignorance along with an angry man's theology, but I just can't stay away. Ignorance causes misery.

    ReplyDelete
  31. John Loftus,

    I read the first 1/8th or so of the link you provided about your upcoming book. You quote Ruth Tucker. Which made me stand up and take notice. A blog that I have been frequenting, Parchment and Pen (aka reclaimingthemind.org) has Ruth as one of the blog co-contributors. I have been growing disenchanted with that blog recently, and Ruth is one of the reasons, although not the major reason.

    For you to quote Ruth as support for your arguments for atheism confirms the inklings of displeasure that I've experienced in reading Professor Tucker.

    She's an enabler and a "useful idiot" for atheist apostates. Yuck.

    ReplyDelete
  32. turretinfan said: And that is good thing. But it is not helpful for those who wish they were outside of God's control.

    JWL replied: I cannot be outside of your God's control, don't you know your own beliefs?

    a) Ummm ... can you read?

    b) If so, what on earth would make you think that anything from what I wrote is in conflict with your inability to be outside of God's control? You can wish you were outside his control, but wishes aren't horses.

    JWL: "I am doing what he decreed for me to do. I am doing what he made me desire. Sheesh."

    Yes, and if you continue to desire what you do, you'll be condemned for both your actions and desires. The fact that it is according to God's decree will not provide you with an excuse.

    -Turretinfan

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Truth divides, you have a war mentality don't you? It's us or them with no middle ground, just like the Bible, right? Anyone not completely on your side who has doubts is a "useful idiot" eh? What a strange place to be. This is one of Ruth's Blogs where she mentioned what I wrote.

    Turretinfan said...JWL: "I am doing what he decreed for me to do. I am doing what he made me desire. Sheesh."

    Yes, and if you continue to desire what you do, you'll be condemned for both your actions and desires.


    If you cannot see the problem here you have blind faith. Isn't it time to stop and think about the conclusions you've reached from a historically conditioned document and reject such a theology as evil?

    There is no better statement of brainwashed mentality than that one. You not only don't see it, you will defend it.

    ReplyDelete
  35. TU&D,

    "Now to continue my foray as untutored idiot, I shall now proceed as a Calvinist compatibilist to pointedly ask: "WTF is the problem here? Just adopt compatibilism! You get both free will and God's sovereignty. What's not to like? Just let compatibilism be the laser beam that slices through all the muddy rhetorical fog and be done with it!"

    The Arminians don't get the kind of free will that they (a) want and (b) think is most respectable. Most of them think that the PAP (which I mentioned in my link above) is necessary for someone to have freedom and moral responsibility. Semi-compatibilism denies this. Most of them think that PAP is necessary for them to *make* choices.

    So, they don't like the *kind* of 'freedom' the compatibilist invokes (one with only guidance control, as Fischer would put it).

    John Loftus,

    "The problem, Truth Divides, is that a compatibilistic notion of freedom gets the Calvinist nowhere, as in no where."

    The problem, Truth Divides, is that John is a naturalist and a physicalist and I see no way for him to deny compatibilism. So, he gets himself no where.

    "Your actions are determined as well as your desires to do those actions. So by merely saying that you have compatibilistic freedom to act as you desire means nothing."

    This is a weak, sloppy, and unsophisticated portrayal of semi-compatibilism. You leave out reasons-responsiveness and guidance control and the rest. John, you should at least familiarize yourself with the relevant literature before using this combox to get off your "talking points."

    It is also vague to say "it means nothing." It is in English. Most people can read it. It's not meaningless gibberish. And, there you go again talking about *meaning,* as if there were anything other than your invented, subjective choices from which "meaning" is a arises as a subjective construction.

    "For you do not have freedom to desire anything but what the Calvinistic God decrees that you desire."

    And this means what, that you're skilled in the art of question begging?

    Your argument here is functionally this:

    "Determinism is meaningless because it's determinism."

    I don't really see the intellectual pull of that kind of argument, for some odd reason.

    "To step back a bit it doesn't trouble the Calvinist to say he was determined to do a given action because that action was what he desired to do. BUT, and this is a big BUTT, he could not have desired anything else."

    Your use of the modal operator "could" is vague. Sure we "could" have desired something else given a different decree. So, you'd need to lay off the sloppy and get on the organized.

    And again, your argument is:

    "Determinism is bad, because of determinism."

    "Ahhh, but I'm ignorant, and so are theists like William Hasker."

    Loftus repeatedly thinks that because he parrots the *conclusions* of others, does some name-dropping, the he's somehow elevated to their intellectual class. But that is absurd.

    Anyway,

    a) Hasker has to be come an open theist to get around the argument from theological fatalism. That's not very encouraging that his position is somehow superior to ours. Typically orthodox Christians don't like to mess with God's attributes to save their human "freedom."

    So, Hasker is only help to *open theist* libertarians. For those libertarians who still hold to the orthodox and traditional view of the extent of God's knowledge, he's no help. Thus you can't get much help from Hasker here.

    b) I guess I could just come back and fight you at your own level:

    Ahhh, but I'm ignorant, and so are atheists like John Martin Fischer.

    Give it a rest, Loftus. Your sophistry is boring.

    ReplyDelete
  36. John Loftus says,

    "If you cannot see the problem here you have blind faith. Isn't it time to stop and think about the conclusions you've reached from a historically conditioned document and reject such a theology as evil?"

    Loftus also reached conclusions from a historically conditioned document.

    He reasons:

    [1] The Bible teaches X.

    [2] X is bad, wicked, immoral, fill in the ______.

    [3] If a religion teaches X then the religion is probably false.

    [4] Christainity is proabbly false.

    John "reaches his conclusion" based on "a historically conditioned document."

    ReplyDelete
  37. JWL wrote: "If you cannot see the problem here you have blind faith."

    Actually, sir, matters are reversed. But this dialog has obviously ended, if your only response is to falsely accuse me of blindness.

    "Isn't it time to stop and think about the conclusions you've reached from a historically conditioned document and reject such a theology as evil?"

    a) Your calling anything evil is inherently contradictory to your belief system.

    b) Calling Scripture an "historically conditioned document," doesn't change the fact of its divine inspiration.

    c) God, not you, is the standard of what is good. You may think God is evil, but it is only because you do not see the matter clearly.

    "There is no better statement of brainwashed mentality than that one. You not only don't see it, you will defend it."

    Your mockery has me defending what I don't see, eh? How droll.

    In fact, you speak evil of things that you don't understand. You cannot rationally defend your own position, as has been demonstrated, and you have now descended to bare insult.

    -Turretinfan

    ReplyDelete
  38. John,

    Since we're just determined to do what we do, and think what we think, based on the laws of nature, why do you try to tell us to think differently? To chose other, less harmful beliefs? Why? We're just doing what we are determined to do. John, isn't what you're really doing in this thread just an illustration of how far you can fit your foot in your mouth?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Paul said…The problem, Truth Divides, is that John is a naturalist and a physicalist and I see no way for him to deny compatibilism. So, he gets himsef no where.

    As I said, the argument I’m making is the one Hasker has used. So how exactly is what Manata just said an argument against what his conclusions? [Just before I posted this I saw a couple of other comments like it. How do these responses apply to the argument at hand. How do they apply to Hasker? They don't, do they. So they are red herrings, something so odd coming from people who claim to be more informed than I.]

    Paul said…This is a weak, sloppy, and unsophisticated potrayal of semi-compatibilism. You leave out reasons-responsiveness and guidance control and the rest. John, you should at least familarize yourself with the relevant literature before using this combox to get off your "talking points."

    Gerrymandering. That’s all we get here. Intellectual gymnastics.

    FYI: “Nothing,” as in nothing different. I didn't think I needed to spell it out. I was wrong.

    Paul said…Give it a rest, Loftus. Your sophistry is boring

    Pot.
    Kettle.
    Black.

    You, my friend, start out with the wrong set of assumptions and are trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together inside of them. Good luck, but as confident as you appear, you know it can’t be done.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Loftus wrote: "Gerrymandering. That’s all we get here. Intellectual gymnastics."

    From our position, the bulk of what Loftus provides is self-defeating rhetorical vacuity.

    Suppose his false accusation were true? What would the point be? What if it were the case that Christian apologetics were merely as Loftus so repeatedly puts it?

    To answer those questions, one has to eventually appeal to values, values that (for Loftus) are invented according to his own imagination. Now, he's not that creative - so he borrows from others - but they have no transitive value. There's no reason we need to adopt as bad anything that he deems bad, or good what he calls good, if his fundamental position that there is no god, is true.

    But Loftus knows (at least deep down) that morality is an objective reality, which is why he makes the kinds of insults and criticisms he makes.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Paul said...Loftus also reached conclusions from a historically conditioned document.

    There is a difference between us Paul. I never said we cannot learn from historical documents. We can. I don't think they can give me evidence to believe though. We both agree that the Bible teaches X. However, I conclude that "If a religion teaches X then the religion is probably false." Since there are so many religions, I think if a religion teaches us to believe in a God we have all come to believe is acts like a demons, then that religion is probably false. The only reason you disagree is that you believe the Bible, such that since it teaches God can do whatever he wants to do, even evil, that's okay with you. Well that's not okay with me since I'm trying to assess whether such a God exists in the first place, whereas you have already come to believe that the historically conditioned document says, come hell of high water. And for you to ask me how I know such a God is evil when he commands genocide and child sacrifice is to ask me a completely ignorant question when compared to your alternative. Your standard is a barbaric one by the lights of civilized people everywhere, and it gives me reason to trust in my evolved sense of right and wrong based upon the sum total of human knowledge, rather than the Bible which has justified slavery, and witch hunts.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Truth divides, you have a war mentality don't you?

    No, I generally don't. There are times that I'll be a fierce servant-warrior for Christ. But only when it's appropriate and I'm called into service.

    It's us or them with no middle ground, just like the Bible, right?

    Do you mean between the Elect and the non-Elect? Yeah, I suppose you could make that argument. But the flaw in your argument is that the Elect are not privileged to know who the other Elect and the non-Elect are?

    Anyone not completely on your side who has doubts is a "useful idiot" eh?

    I never said that. That's a false imputation on your part.

    What a strange place to be.

    Are you kidding me? There's no other place I'd rather be than in the loving arms of God the Father, covered by the shed blood of Jesus, and blessedly assured by the on-going work and patient love of the Holy Spirit.

    ReplyDelete

  43. The most fundamental problem with Calvinism is that you would have no reason to trust such a God based on what you believe.


    1. Calvinism tends toward covenantalism. The God of the Covenant is purposeful, not arbitrary. He's predictable. All you're doing is trotting out the "if Calvinism is true, God is arbitary" objection. We've debunked this several times with several Armiinans and you.

    2. Is that an internal or external critique?

    a. If internal,it's demonstrably false.

    b. If external, what's the non-arbitrary epistemic warrant for the critique?

    "You’re [sic] claiming that I don’t understand Calvinism, is ignorant. It assumes that if I did understand it like you do that I’d believe, and since I don’t then I don’t."

    1. Really? Can you quote a single one of us saying, "If John Loftus understood Calvinism correctly he would be a believer?

    2. And we've been over your misrepresentations of Calvinism more than once.

    3. If you repeat yourself once more, I will take that as an admission that your past posts aren't worth anything and I'll kindly delete you from this thread. That's your choice. You banned, Pike I gather. Well, that can float two ways. Here's how this works, you get your say, I get mine, and, unlike you, I have the power of the ban here.

    Now, given that your primary reasons for being a Calvinist are exegetical, and given the fact that there are some pretty strong arguments against that exegesis from Christian scholars like Jack Cottrell in his book God the Ruler, how sure can you truly be that Calvinism is correct such that you are not bothered by the philosophical problems with your case?

    Cottrell's views have been throughly rebutted by Reymond and several others.

    There are no truly exegetical arguments vs. the doctrines of grace. Miley as much as admitted it himself. To take some examples: No Scripture teaches election grounded in foreseen faith. No Scripture teaches LFW. Scripture contradicts LFW. Ergo Arminianism is false. Indeed, Arminians like Walls and Dongell and even Craig admit that LFW is a philosophical construct. Craig even admits Molinism is a philosophical, not an exegetical, position. So, when I say that these key premises are not exegetical, I'm simply taking Arminian theologians at their own word.

    Now I know you disregard what I say because I'm an atheist and that you would have a greater propensity to dialogue with a Christian Arminian brother, but regardless of who makes this argument it's a good one.

    You've done nothing to establish an exegetical position for Arminianism or that the argument is "a good one."

    You cannot respond by saying that as an atheist that I have my own set of problems, either, for that is a red herring, and an Arminian who doesn't have the problems I do could make the same argument. Besides, I have responded to my set of problems. When will you respond to yours?

    Hmmm, take a look at the archives. I've made an exegetical case for many of the doctrines of grace and the foredination of all things. I've asked many Arminians to establish LFW via exegesis, not not a one of them has been able to do so.

    Manata, Hays, Pike, and the rest of us have all responded to you. To say otherwise is to lie, but you've proven yourself quite adept at that, haven't you?

    Your Calvinism is a product of social influences and a historically conditioned interpretation (snip)

    1. You make no pretense for logical consitency, do you, John? We've been told by your and your fellow atheists that our beliefs are product of genetics. Now, you're claiming "social conditioning, et.al." Which explanation is the right one?

    2. In another thread, you said you woudn't return here. Yet you keep coming here. You lack so much integrity that you can't keep your own word with a 24 hour period. Is that a product of your social conditioning?

    Okay, go ahead and call me stupid.

    ....Oh, I'm sorry, was this a rhetorical flourish, or do you really want me to do that?

    You are so smart and intelligent and I am ignorant and dumb, right? No, you're just hardened in your sins and blind to truth. 1 Cor. 2:14

    "You say you’re baffled why I don’t repent. Given the nature of the Christians here at Triablogue, part of the reason I don’t believe is because of how they treat me."

    1. But if your beliefs are a product of natural selection and genetics, this shouldn't matter, right?

    2. But if a person's beliefs are a product of social and historical conditioning, this shouldn't matter, right?

    3. Seems to me that you're just blaming others for your unbelief. If being told you are in sin and that you need to cast yourself on the mercy of God alone won't move you to repent, then your treatment by us as an apostate - which is the treatment due apostates - won't move you either. The only reason you don't repent is that you love your wickedness. I've told you before that we do this because we *do* care about you. We're treating you the way that parents would treat a child who had a serious, chronic addiction to heroin when they have reached the limits of their tolerance of that child. Your wickedness is your heroin, and we're treating you accordingly.


    All this banter about not believing the gospel because he doesn't like how people who call themselves gospel believers treat him is the most childish of the silliness I've seen.

    Here there are people trying to help him escape eternal judgment and he's whining that they are not being nice enough about it.

    It's a bit like a heart attack victim complaining of electric shock torture, because someone tried using paddles from the crash cart to try to resuscitate him.


    Well said, TF! Loftus is the unfaithful spouse that gets tossed out of the house by his wife and then complains that she wasn't nice about it.

    Your actions are determined as well as your desires to do those actions. So by merely saying that you have compatibilistic freedom to act as you desire means nothing. For you do not have freedom to desire anything but what the Calvinistic God decrees that you desire. To step back a bit it doesn't trouble the Calvinist to say he was determined to do a given action because that action was what he desired to do. BUT, and this is a big BUTT, he could not have desired anything else.

    The Calvinist doesn't argue for this action theory on a philsophical basis. I'm really not concerned with "compatibilism," and we only invoke it, really, to answer Libertarians on their own grounds. I'm concerned with what the Bible teaches. The Bible is very clear that we act from our natures. It's very clear that our desires are sufficient internal causes with respect to our actions and choices. That's all I need to defeat LFW from the Bible,and once I do that, I've defeated Arminianism, since LFW is central to Arminianism in a way that compatibilism is not central to Calvinism.

    You're also conflating a decree with providence. Decrees speak to certainty, not causality. We have a healthy doctrine of secondary causation.

    The Libertarian cannot answer this simple question, "Why does Agent A do Action B?" He can't answer it from the Bible in a way that comports with LFW. And if he affirms LFW, he can't answer it at all if he's consistent. Indeed, when I've asked this of Arminians who have come to this blog, they generally say, "Because they choose to do it." That response is obviously only a restatement of the question, not an answer to the question.

    And it's not as if Atheism is committed to LFW. Atheism is quite at home with determinism-of the naturalistic sort. In fact, in this very thread, you've attributed my beliefs to determinative causes. QED.

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  44. John Loftus,

    When apostle Paul got struck down with a bright light, he was very grateful later. IIRC, Nebuchanezzar got beat down pretty bad for awhile, but then he eventually wised up and worshipped God too.

    So what I'm saying is that while you just got mopped up by the Triablogue team, most recently by Gene Bridges, you shouldn't get pridefully angry, but instead, contrary to what you might have done in the past, be .... grateful!

    I thought this excerpt from Mr. Bridges was the most wonderful:

    "Seems to me that you're just blaming others for your unbelief. If being told you are in sin and that you need to cast yourself on the mercy of God alone won't move you to repent, then your treatment by us as an apostate - which is the treatment due apostates - won't move you either. The only reason you don't repent is that you love your wickedness. I've told you before that we do this because we *do* care about you. We're treating you the way that parents would treat a child who had a serious, chronic addiction to heroin when they have reached the limits of their tolerance of that child. Your wickedness is your heroin, and we're treating you accordingly."

    How's that for a hard palm slap to the face that's administered with tough love? Just repent of your heroin addiction, ask the Holy Spirit for strength in your struggles with heroin addiction, and surrender to Christ as your Lord and Savior. Then check yourself into a local rehab clinic with some good accountability counselors and submit to the Word of God.

    Hard cross to bear, but ultimately worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. John Loftus,

    "As I said, the argument I’m making is the one Hasker has used. So how exactly is what Manata just said an argument against what his conclusions? [Just before I posted this I saw a couple of other comments like it. How do these responses apply to the argument at hand. How do they apply to Hasker? They don't, do they. So they are red herrings, something so odd coming from people who claim to be more informed than I.]"

    And the argument I gave was my own. So, so what? My point still stands.

    Hasker doesn't hold to determinism, you do. That's a big difference. It's not as if Hasker is a determinist making arguments against determinism. And, the arguments you're making *are not* the ones Hasker makes. You are repeating his *conclusions.* You're not *arguing.* And, when you try to muster an argument, you don't even represent our position correctly.

    "Gerrymandering. That’s all we get here. Intellectual gymnastics."

    How's that? I poiinted out that your "arguments" were leavin out relevant information. You then try to avoid your burdfen and ignore what I said by calling it names.

    "FYI: “Nothing,” as in nothing different. I didn't think I needed to spell it out. I was wrong."

    Yes, you were wrong. Now, if you want to actually present my position, *and then* critique it, I'm all ears. Until now, you have not done so. You don't even know the proper vocabulary to use. You act as if you've never studied any of this before. Read your own atheists on compatibilism. They'll dismantle 85% of your objections to us.

    "You, my friend, start out with the wrong set of assumptions and are trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together inside of them. Good luck, but as confident as you appear, you know it can’t be done."

    Well, you could start off by *showing* me how I am wrong. How I do all of this. As it stands, you'll forgive me for dismissing your assertions as so much self-promoting banter, intended to save face.

    ReplyDelete
  46. JOHN W. LOFTUS SAID:

    "The most fundamental problem with Calvinism is that you would have no reason to trust such a God based on what you believe."

    Been there, done that.

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/07/calvinism-explains-everything.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/02/loftistic-problems.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/01/why-calvinists-cant-solve-problem-of.html

    ReplyDelete
  47. JOHN W. LOFTUS SAID:

    "The most fundamental problem with Calvinism is that you would have no reason to trust such a God based on what you believe."

    Been there, done that.

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/07/calvinism-explains-everything.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/02/loftistic-problems.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/01/why-calvinists-cant-solve-problem-of.html

    3/26/2008 7:06 PM

    **********

    and,

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/would-you-chuck-bad-arguments.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/internal-inconsistencies-loftusism.html

    ReplyDelete
  48. So John W. Loftus doesn't believe in the law of cause and effect?

    ReplyDelete
  49. John Loftus,

    You studied under William Lane Craig? And you don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus?

    Aw man. You've gotta be one of the heaviest disappointments in WLC's life.

    Since you're an atheist apostate, I guess it's senseless to ask whether you think you were once a true believer who fell away and lost salvation (Arminian view) or a never-was-believer false convert (Calvinist view).

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  50. Well, truth since this interests you we've written on this question several times to be found here, (questions 3-7).

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  51. Thanks John for the link.

    Out of curiousity, has any of your family and friends followed you in deconverting from biblical Christianity?

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