"When I say that Arminians don't believe that God would caually determine evil, we mean first of all that God may allow sin to happen, but that He, being holy, would never cause it."
That's a false dichotomy. Arminianism doesn't take the position that God merely "allowed" evil to happen. Arminianism has a doctrine of creation and concurrence. It's not as if the world came into being all by itself.
"He may allow pain and trials to come into our lives, but He would not decree that we cannot choose otherwise but to sin."
But a little lower down you say:
"Well, I do not argue that there was something else he was going to do instead. To argue that anything would have happened if things were other than they are is completely hypothetical."
So if, by your own admission, there wasn't something else the human agent was going to do instead of sinning, how is your objection either coherent or relevant?
"God never allows us to be tempted beyond what we are able, through His grace."
Except for the fact that in Arminian theology, he does allow Christians to be overcome by sin. When push came to shove, they didn't have the willpower to resist the temptation. The temptation was stronger than their resolve to resist.
"Are you saying that if God (a force outside of us) doesn't causally determine (rather than just allow) everything we do, that He isn't really a God at all? And that, by logical necessity, if we don't believe that God causally determines everything, but rather allows sin, that we don't really believe in a God at all? Is that the logic? I'm just trying to understand... Wouldn't that mean that all the godly men throughout history who didn't believe in calvinism weren't really saved and didn't really believe in God at all?"
You keep resorting to this emotive, girly-girl rhetoric to deflect principled criticisms of Arminian theology based on what Arminians themselves strenuously say about God's relation to the world. But if Arminian theology has untoward consequences, then that's your problem, not mine. That's a question which Arminians need to wrestle with themselves. Don't throw your problems back on my lap, as if it's bad form for me to hold Arminians to their own representations.
"I will take it as a concession that the rebotic metaphor serves as a tight enough analogy to Calvinistic determinism, in accordance with your statement."
You can take that as a concession if you prefer to be dishonest and palter in equivocal usage.
"That is really all I was after."
What you were after is the specious appearance of a quick win, so that you can scurry back to your Arminian blog and falsely advertise a fatal concession.
"Now, you and other Calvinists can try to explain how creatures controlled in such ways are still meaningfully 'volitional' or 'responsible' for their irresistibly controlled thoughts, desires, 'choices', and actions, but that would require far more 'qualifications' and 'explanations' than any Arminian needs to make his point (just as I rather easily made the point above)."
i) That illustrates the limitations of any metaphor. And it's silly to think you can either prove or disprove a position by endlessly tweaking a metaphor. At best, a metaphor is just a limited illustration. It is not the actual position. I wouldn't attempt to keep refining a metaphor beyond it's natural limits.
ii) It's not as if I haven't responded to Arminian objections before. The explanations are readily available.
iii) Moreover, you haven't made your point. What you done is to assert that a predestined agent is equivalent to a puppet, then further assert, assuming that comparison, that a predestined agent lacks "meaningful" volition or responsibility. So all you've really done is to beg all the key issues every step of the way, then pat yourself on the back as if you'd scored a major accomplishment. That's a wonderful exercise in self-deception.
"In the end, despite word games and deflections, it all boils down to the same thing, as you freely admitted above."
This is yet another instance where you lapse into dishonesty. Since you insist on using the robotic metaphor, I explored that metaphor for the sake of argument. And even on your own terms, it's hardly a "word game" or "deflection" to distinguish between an automated vacuum cleaner and a conscious android with adaptive programming. To the contrary, that's a serious philosophical debate in AI literature and science fiction.
"But even if it was a perfect analogy and an essential synonym, it would still serve the intended purpose of showing that a Calvinist 'agent' is nothing more than a robot, without needing to redefine 'robot' to make it a synonym."
To the contrary, if you humanize a "robot," like Data, so that your robot is psychologically indistinguishable from a human being in the key features of personhood (a la the Turing test), then a 'robot' becomes a synonym for a humanoid person. In which case, a predestined agent is "nothing more" than a human person. Your analogy collapses into identity and tautology.
"One that I think is easily understood by most people (and no, I don’t have any 'polling data', but I have never come across someone who has had any difficulty in understanding the analogy and what is meant by it."
People who understand debates over AI also understand the difference between Lt. Commander Data and a computerized lawnmower.
"Like I said before, I don’t have time for debate right now."
Like you said before, and like you continue to say as you continue to post comments to me and others. So that's a phony disclaimer.
You're just using that as an escape route because you can't actually defend your own position.