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August 15, 2012

Comments

Both Kunkle and Koukl have committed serious errors in their articles. Allow me to summarize them briefly.

Regarding Kunkle, he falls back on Plantinga's free will defense; but this leads to two problems: First, it seems to me that free will is impossible given the existence of an omnipotent and omniscient deity, and so that rules out Plantinga's response before it can get off the ground. Second, Christians who reject free will for theological reasons will not be able to appeal to Plantinga for their theodicy. In addition to these two problems, it's worth mentioning that in any case Plantinga's free will defense is not demonstrably consistent, and so at best it only sets up another hurdle for the LPE proponent. That is, Plantinga has not "decisively" answered the LPE as Kunkle claims.

Koukl's answer is even less satisfactory. In fact, it's not really an "answer" at all. Rather, Koukl thinks he can ignore the problem of evil and instead respond by challenging the skeptic with independent arguments against atheism. Those anti-atheistic arguments have obvious flaws, but even if they succeeded, they would do nothing to answer the problem of evil. We would be left on Koukl's view with a deity who is not omnibenevolent.

Hi Ben,

Could God still be omnibenevolent if he showed everyone mercy but you?

Thanks,
John

John,

I am not a proponent of the LPE. God could torture small animals and still be omnibenevolent, for all I know. My point above is that Kunkle and Koukle both fail to offer viable responses. We will have to look elsewhere if we want to defend against the LPE.

Ben,

You say, "First, it seems to me that free will is impossible given the existence of an omnipotent and omniscient deity, and so that rules out Plantinga's response before it can get off the ground."

"It seems to me..."

"Therefore it can't be true...."

Really?

Ben,

You really must be careful about invoking any Is-Statements of the All-Context sort. Perhaps we can explore how it is we know such a thing? Especially if these are simple assertions based on "It seems to me".

Circularity Ben, circularity.

Omni, Omni, Free, Slave.....that's quite a vantage point you see from, Ben.....

The so called problem of evil is not a reason for unbelief it is simply an expression of unbelief.

First, it seems to me that free will is impossible given the existence of an omnipotent and omniscient deity, and so that rules out Plantinga's response before it can get off the ground.

Ben, could you go into more detail about this? Why is free will inconsistent with an omnipotent and omniscient deity?

Sam,

It follows from considering just what we mean by causation and desire, as well as omnipotence and omniscience. Since God is omnipotent, then given a fixed creation W and a choice C made by a being in W, he could have created a universe V which is the same as W in every way save C. But he didn't do that. Instead, he created this universe, with all the choices made by created beings therein. Since he is omniscient, he intimately appreciates the consequences of his creative act. So when God creates the actual universe, this constitutes an expression of a desire on God's part to realize those choices instead of any other possible choices. That is to say, God deliberately causes us to make those choices in the sense that he desires and creates this universe where we do just that.

Since God is omnipotent, then given a fixed creation W and a choice C made by a being in W, he could have created a universe V which is the same as W in every way save C.

I'm not sure that's true. Let's make sure we agree on what it means to be omnipotent. I take it to entail the ability to do all things logically possible. If you take it to include the ability to do the logically impossible, then that may be where our difference lies.

But what you are suggesting, essentially, is that omnipotence includes the ability to determine a free will choice. It seems to me that would entail the ability to engage in a contradiction because it would mean the same action was both determined and not determined. (I'm assuming free will in the libertarian sense here.) Since it's logically impossible to determine an undetermined event, and since omnipotence does not include the ability to engage in logical contradictions, the inability to determine free will choices does not count against omnipotence. So there's no contradiction between God being omnipotent and God being unable to choose between creating a world where a being chooses C and a world where a being does not choose C.

Ben,

Again, on pain of circularity, and this by your own argued terms. How many images does Uncreated Love have, and, "Let Us make Man in Our Image" means what regarding Multiple-Perfects and One-Image? Have you reduced the Mind of Uncreated Love to that of the Created-Self, as in, how does Ben know the Truth of the things he is saying here while at the same time insisting Man's Consciousness cannot know such things?


It seems odd of you to over-reach beyond your own stated limits.


If there is but One Perfect Image of Love, how does Uncreated Love have choices in creating Reality A or B or C if He begins with, "Let Us make Man in Our Image"?


More importantly, how does Consciousness see into this arena?


You have argued Man's Consciousness cannot know the Mind of Uncreated Love.


The death of circularity.....


Ben,

It seems one, or you, would need to offer an explanation as to the Nature of the Uncreated. Perhaps one is a Monotheist such that that Mind which precedes Mater is “Singular” as we take that, or, perhaps, within Uncreated Love we find Mind Knowing Mind, and this eternally, and therein we discover that Mind can after all know Mind, and further we find the Multiple-Perfects of Love’s Triune. In this we find Distincts which are not only Distinct, but Perfect, such that This is not That, and, This is Perfect, yet not That, and, That is Perfect, yet not This. What does this mean to Uncreated Love in what you and I see as “Choice” within Him or us, and, or rather instead, how would this change if we hold that there is but One Perfect Image of Love and Love precedes the Creative Act with, “Let Us make man in Our Image”? How many Realities could He create given all these conditions? Many? One?

I do not mean to dive into these views here, I only mean to ask you on what do you base your defense of the Mind of God on? Math? “I feel”? Whim? Very well, then there is no Truth-Statement to discover here other than yet another Contextual Arbitrariness, and this by your own previously argued terms.


Is Love Triune? What is “I” within Love? What is “You” within Love” What is that Singular “We” within Love? Does Mind precede Mater? Can Mind know Mind? And so forth…….. ..It is odd when the Agnostic proceeds to educate the Theist on that which he claims none can know and none can see. Odd indeed. He has chastised others for such circular reasoning all the while engaging in the same, and so forth.


We hold that Uncreated Love is Triune in that the I and the You are found within a singular We and, therein, your analysis may not have (it may have) accounted for all the possibilities. The Uncreated may be (or may not be) "more than" the Created in these arenas.

Sam,

You wrote:

But what you are suggesting, essentially, is that omnipotence includes the ability to determine a free will choice.

On the contrary, that is quite opposite to what I am suggesting! Rather, I'm saying that it is impossible for an omnipotent and omniscient God to create beings with free will.

You say that it's logically impossible to determine an undetermined event. I agree. But if God is omnipotent and omniscient, then his creation is completely determined by God's creative acts, via a similar argument as in my previous post (just substitute for the choice C any element of creation, choice or otherwise).

Regards,
Ben

Ben,

You assume God has options on how to create His-Image, which is Love's Multiple-Perfect- Distincts; this is an incoherent assumption.

Ben, I guess I'm not following you. Let me go back to what you originally said that I took issue with and explain why I interpreted it the way I interpreted it. Maybe you can clarify it for me. You said,

Since God is omnipotent, then given a fixed creation W and a choice C made by a being in W, he could have created a universe V which is the same as W in every way save C.

It's sounds like you're asking me to imagine two worlds that are alike in almost every way. The only difference between them is that a choice made in one world is different than a choice made in another world by the same being. And you're saying that if God is omnipotent, then he would be able to create either of these worlds. And that means that if God were omnipotent, then God could determine which one of these choices would be made by said being.

Now, assuming we're talking about a libertarian free choice here, it sounds like what you're saying is that if God were omnipotent, then God would have the ability to determine a libertarian free choice. Now, if you accept that a libertarian choice is a choice that is not determined, then you must be saying that if God is ominpotent, then God should have the ability to determine an undetermined event.

But now you're telling me that is not what you're saying. What you are saying, rather, is that if God is omnipotent, then God cannot create a being with libertarian free will. And the reason you're saying that is because if God is omnipotent, then everything that happens in the world must be determined by God's creative act.

I don't see why we should believe that, though.

Moreover, that confuses me about what you meant by "choice" in the above scenario. If you say that an omnipotent being can determine which choice a being makes, but the omnipotent being cannot create a being with free will, then you must be talking about choice in some other sense (maybe the compatibilist sense?). But if that's what you're talking about in the scenario when you say 'choice,' then what does it have to do with libertarian free will?

I would agree that an omnipotent being could create a world in which he determines the person's choice provided that person is free in the compatibilist sense rather than the libertarian sense. But what reason is there to think an omnipotent being must determine the being's choice? What is it about his omnipotence that prevents him from creating a being with libertarian free will and not determining that being's choice?

Ben,

On the contrary, that is quite opposite to what I am suggesting! Rather, I'm saying that it is impossible for an omnipotent and omniscient God to create beings with free will.

On what authority do you assert this as truth? It could never be anything more than your opinion.

Ben,

What would keep an omnipotent being from creating morally free willed creatures?

Thanks,
John

Sam,

Thanks for the response. You wrote:

And the reason you're saying that is because if God is omnipotent, then everything that happens in the world must be determined by God's creative act.

I don't see why we should believe that, though.

Well I gave an argument for it. I used a choice as the variable, but you don't have to limit yourself to choices. Let D be an (unspecified) object or event in creation. God could have created a world just like this one, except for D. But he didn't. Instead, he deliberately and with full appreciation for the consequences acted to create this world, which includes D. This constitutes an expression of God's desire.

What does this mean? Well, God desired D, and acted in just the right way so that D happens/exists, when he could have chosen instead to act in a different way where D does not happen/exist (but everything else is held fixed). This is what I mean when I say that God causes D to happen/exist.

You continue:

But if that's what you're talking about in the scenario when you say 'choice,' then what does it have to do with libertarian free will?

I mean a choice in general, and not any particular kind (compatibilist or libertarian). Of course, as you rightly observe, in the end it couldn't possibly be libertarian free will, because then we would wind up with a contradiction. But we don't assume that the choice is nonlibertarian. Rather, we conclude that it is nonlibertarian.

John,

You asked:

What would keep an omnipotent being from creating morally free willed creatures?

I gave an argument in my third comment (the ninth total), and summarized it again in my latest comment before this one.

Ben,


“God could have created a world just like this one, except for D. But he didn't.”


This reveals a few incoherencies within your analysis, in particular as revealed by Love’s Cross. When we come to [that] we do not find a kind of “wrench” by which Uncreated Love “adjusts” a sort of “thing” called the Created-Self. Rather, there is this: [Ransom]. Inside of that arena we have a certain flavor called [culpability] and not mere [immaturity]. However we get to [culpability] is not important, so long as we arrive there, and, through that, Ransom’s Necessity. Either a libertarian or a compatible-ist view may, it seems, account for a Necessary Ransom found within Love’s Cross. However, hard-determinism as you describe seems unable to get us there as both the A-theistic and the Theistic forms of hard-determinism fail, for the same reasons, to account for the nuance of volition and thus of culpability and thus of the [Ransom] of Love’s Cross.

Another incoherency is the assumption of “Power could have done…..” When we speak of the Created, we may as you say speak of an infinite variety, and so forth. However, we are told that in creating [Man] God does not create quite “any-thing” but rather He there sets out to create “His-Own-Image”. This brings in limits of Ends. And, thus, limits of Means in that Love sets out to mirror the Singular One-Image of Love Himself as is found within the Community of [Multiple Distinct Perfects]. How these variables impact what Love will look like is not immediately apparent unless one, after first having accounted for the odd reality of [Multiple Distinct Perfects], then accounts for the Necessary Differences found between the [Community of Uncreated Selves within Love’s Triune] and the [Community of the Uncreated-Self among/with the Created-Self]. Until one dives into the God Who Is-Love, Who Is-Triune, one cannot prescribe what Power can and cannot do in creating His-Image.

Another incoherency is an inability to account for the Necessary Divergence found between the First Adam and the Last Adam as found in some sort of Wedding among the Created and the Uncreated where Uncreated Word is made Flesh. Once the God [above] becomes the God [within] we find we cannot pit the God [above] against the God [within] and this analysis cannot be understood without incorporating [Seed], [Resurrection], [Yet-Sinning], and [No-More-Sin]. It’s blurry. The missing elements in your analysis in this arena will not be apparent to you for they stem from your missing elements in the arena of [Cross] / [Ransom] and the arena of [Love / Triune] and the arena of that odd reality of [Multiple Distinct Perfects] within the Triune, as described earlier. Put simply, your errors early on have lead to yet larger errors later on.

Because you do not hold that God, or Ultimate Reality, is Triune, and, because you do not hold that God, or Ultimate Reality, Is-Love, and, because you do not hold that Love’s Cross is [Ransom], your analysis is incoherent. It is, however, perfectly coherent for a [Monolithic Non-Person] who, or rather which, creates [Non-Person-Things] which do not thus mirror Love Himself nor His Community of Persons nor the Triune’s odd reality of [Multiple Distinct Perfects]. Until one dives into the God Who Is-Love, Who Is-Triune, and, until one dives into [Cross] / [Ransom], one cannot accurately prescribe what Power can and cannot do in creating His-Image.

God is love.

Ben,


You may hold that the Triune’s [Multiple Distinct Perfects] is too odd to work off of, but, it is not. Such a state of affairs is the basis of all of reality. The Multi-Verse, should it prove true, will simply testify of the Triune, and could thus only lead us back to that Uncreated Mind which precedes all things.


God is love.

Hi Ben,

I read your third comment (and all others in this thread) and it is not an argument, it is an assertion. You have asserted that the mere existence of an omnipotent God precludes the possibility of any genuine moral choice. This ignores a very real possibility....that an omnipotent God could choose to create morally free willed creatures with the ability to make choices contrary to the perfect will of the Creator.

Again, what keeps him from doing so? Your opinion or something else?

Regards,
John

John,

You wrote:

You have asserted that the mere existence of an omnipotent God precludes the possibility of any genuine moral choice.

Actually, I didn't say anything about the existence of God precluding the possibility for "genuine moral choice." In fact we can and do make real, genuine moral choices regardless of whether or not God exists, is omnipotent, etc. The question at hand is whether or not those choices are free, in particular free from God's determination. As my argument shows, if an omnipotent and omniscient creator-God exists, then they are not.

You continue:

This ignores a very real possibility....that an omnipotent God could choose to create morally free willed creatures with the ability to make choices contrary to the perfect will of the Creator.

I argued that this is impossible. Allow me to copy-paste it for you here:

"Since God is omnipotent, then given a fixed creation W and a choice C made by a being in W, he could have created a universe V which is the same as W in every way save C. But he didn't do that. Instead, he created this universe, with all the choices made by created beings therein. Since he is omniscient, he intimately appreciates the consequences of his creative act. So when God creates the actual universe, this constitutes an expression of a desire on God's part to realize those choices instead of any other possible choices. That is to say, God deliberately causes us to make those choices in the sense that he desires and creates this universe where we do just that."

Regards,
Ben

I think you guys are confused as to Ben’s argument.

He is saying that if God has foreknowledge, that foreknowledge has determined the outcome.

Romans 8: 29-30 is a good example of this conundrum. If we were chosen before time began to be holy and blameless in his sight (Ephesians 1:4) how did we have choice in the matter? If two people hear the gospel why is one appointed for eternal life (Acts 13:48) and given grace before the beginning of time (2 Timothy 1:9) and not the other? God sees us before we are born and records everyday of our life in his book and lays it out before a single day has passed (Psalms 139:16). Ben has a valid question. How do we have free choice if God has already determined our choices for us?

Jeff G,

When we look into the Cross and its Ransom and into the Triune's Multiple Distinct Perfects we see how both conditions are satisfied, and easily so. It is both, not either/or, and thus I find the compatible-ist view the best. Not the "correct" description but something more like the "closest of the three" of what is most likely the Actuality of it. It is like the Triune and its Multiple Perfect Distincts (that effects created reality as well) in that you have to stay in the middle for if you insist on One, or, if you insist on Three, you are both perfectly correct and perfectly mistaken.

Jeff G,

I'm sorry, I meant to say "Multiple Distinct Perfects".......

This challenge is considered solved by many philosophers and theologians.

Is is? That's news to me. I've got a BA in Philosophy and an MDiv. I wouldn't consider myself an expert in Philosophy, but I'm fairly well read.

I've never heard any suggest, until now, that the problem of evil is "solved."

brgulker,

It is solved. Love Himself spreads His arms wide, and He gives His-Self away, pours His-Self out, and that for the Beloved Other. That Eternally Sacrificed Self does there, up on a Hill, that which He does forever within Himself inside of Love's I-You and singular We.

Scbrownlhrm,

Thanks for the reply, but I have no idea what you are talking about. God’s Triune perfection doesn’t seem to be Ben’s question. If we say God is Triune, that’s fine and easily defendable. And when we look at the Cross and it’s Ransom, again defensible, not as easily as Trinity, because you have to explain a need for it. Which is where Ben’s question would fall more into this category. Not where he was going, but could still validly be asked: If we were predestined without choice, what is the need of the Ransom or the Cross?

Ben hasn’t been talking about the Cross or God’s Triune Multiple Distinct Perfects or even God’s Love. You seem to be trying to change his premise of “If there is a God, then there is no Choice” to “God is Love and Triune, therefore God exists and both choice and non-choice are equal” Which doesn't make sense.

Ben,

If we headed over to the local pub, which has only 5 selections of beer, would you use the fact that your choices are limited as evidence that I made your choice for you?

Clearly you wouldn't, so why does this logic cash out for you when applying these ideas to other areas of life, including your thoughts about God?

Regards,
John

Jeff,

Its not choice and nonchoice but rather it is the Uncreated's control and the Created's agency. We find both Constraint & Agency within One & Three....... to insist on either is perfect precision & perfect error. This is the very nature of reality's bedrock, which is God, thus it is the nature of our reality. That is the short version.........there is a better, but too long, painting.....

Jeff G wrote:

"I think you guys are confused as to Ben’s argument."

Hi Jeff,

Ben has been around the blog for a while. He is bright, articulate and generally respectful. He is also very obtuse. He will pretend to not know what Christians mean by things like "objective morality" and "free-will". These terms have particular meaning which he is aware of. So please forgive some of us if the interaction in this thread reflects past encounters with Ben.


"He is saying that if God has foreknowledge, that foreknowledge has determined the outcome."

Jeff, are you saying that God has determined every single one of my choices such that I had no choice in even the words I would write to you today?

Regards,
John

brgulker, as Melinda noted, there are different formulations of the problem of evil. In order to solve the logical problem of evil (not existential or evidential), one only needs to show that it isn’t logically contradictory for God and evil to exist, and that has been done.

From Wikipedia (take it as you will), in the section on acceptance of Plantinga’s solution:

“Plantinga's defense has received wide acceptance among contemporary philosophers”

“Robert Adams says that "it is fair to say that Plantinga has solved this problem.”

“most philosophers accept Plantinga's free will defense and thus see the logical problem of evil as having been sufficiently rebutted.”

And from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy ("A Peer-Reviewed Academic Resource"):

What should we make of Plantinga’s Free Will Defense? Does it succeed in solving the logical problem of evil as it pertains to either moral or natural evil?...

Since the logical problem of evil claims that it is logically impossible for God and evil to co-exist, all that Plantinga (or any other theist) needs to do to combat this claim is to describe a possible situation in which God and evil co-exist. That situation doesn’t need to be actual or even realistic. Plantinga doesn’t need to have a single shred of evidence supporting the truth of his suggestion. All he needs to do is give a logically consistent description of a way that God and evil can co-exist…. All that Plantinga needs to claim on behalf of (MSR1) and (MSR2) is that they are logically possible (that is, not contradictory).

Does Plantinga’s Free Will Defense succeed in describing a possible state of affairs in which God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil? It certainly seems so. In fact, it appears that even the most hardened atheist must admit that (MSR1) and (MSR2) are possible reasons God might have for allowing moral and natural evil. They may not represent God’s actual reasons, but for the purpose of blocking the logical problem of evil, it is not necessary that Plantinga discover God’s actual reasons.

Since (MSR1) and (MSR2) together seem to show contra the claims of the logical problem of evil how it is possible for God and (moral and natural) evil to co-exist, it seems that the Free Will Defense successfully defeats the logical problem of evil.

I’m sure not everyone agrees. And I think the actual solution to the problems (logical, existential, evidential) of evil lies elsewhere, but in general, Plantinga’s defense has made good headway among philosophers, who now agree that God and evil are not necessarily contradictory.

Ben, I think I have a handle on your argument now. You appear to believe:

1. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then God is able to determine every event that happens.

2. If a being has libertarian freedom, then God cannot determine every choice that being makes.

It follows from these two premises that if God is omniscient and omnipotent, then there can't be a being with libertarian freedom. Or, if there is a being with libertarian freedom, then God cannot be omniscient and omnipotent. Either way, there is a contradiction between the notion that God is omnipotent and omniscient and the notion that we have libertarian freedom.

I don't think there is any contradiction between God being omnipotent and omniscient and us having libertarian freedom. I would resolve the above argument by qualifying both premises. This is what I would say:

1'. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then God is able to determine every event that happens as long as he doesn't create beings with libertarian freedom (or as long as he doesn't create any other entity capable of random undetermined action).

2'. If a being has libertarian freedom, then God cannot determine every choice that beings makes (except that God can determine that being's choice by overriding/canceling its libertarian freedom in particular circumstances).

With those two premises, there's no contradiction between God being omnipotent and omniscient and there being creatures with libertarian freedom. If there were creatures with libertarian freedom, there only one thing God couldn't do--God couldn't determine that somebody freely act in some particular way (i.e., he couldn't determine an undetermined event). But as I explained a few posts back, that doesn't count against his omnipotence since omnipotence doesn't include the ability to engage in contradictions. Since it's possible to be omnipotent even without the ability to determine undetermined events, then there's no contradiction between there being a God with omnipotence and there being creatures with libertarian freedom.

brgulker,

I've never heard any suggest, until now, that the problem of evil is "solved."

Just to add to what Amy said...

"...we can concede that the problem of evil does not, after all, show that the central doctrines of theism are logically inconsistent with one another." J.L. Mackie, The Miracle of Theism, p. 154.

"“It is generally agreed that the following statements are logically compatible: (1) God is all powerful. (2) God is all good. (3) Evil exists in great abundance." Michael Martin, “Is Evil Evidence Against the Existence of God?” Mind, New Series, Vol. 87, No. 347 (Jul., 1978), p. 429.

"The logical form of the problem is not much of a problem for theistic belief; for the efforts to establish the inconsistency between (1) [God is omnipotent, omniscient, and all good] and (2) [there is evil] have been notoriously unsuccessful. And if we accept Plantinga’s assumption of incompatibalism, we must, I think, accept Plantinga’s argument as showing that (1) and (2) are not inconsistent." William Rowe, “Plantinga on Possible Worlds and Evil.” The Journal of Philosophy, Vol 70, No. 17, (Oct. 11, 1973), p. 555.

"Many philosophers now accept that Pike and Plantinga have successfully refuted the claim that there is a logical inconsistency involved in asserting both the existence of God and evil, and hence that there cannot be a deductive proof that God does not exist based on the existence of evil. We will take it that this is correct." Robert Pargetter, “Evil as Evidence against the Existence of God,” Mind, New Series, Vol. 85, No. 338 (Apr., 1976), p. 242.

I don't know about Robert Pargetter, but the other three are well knowing atheist philosophers. J.L. Mackie is especially interesting since he is the one Plantinga was specifically addressing when he first gave his free will defense. Plantinga caused Mackie to change his mind.

Sam and John,


Ben is being perfectly reasonable given his Non-Triune view of the Uncreated. He cannot fathom the Rigid Constraint and Distinct Agency found within the One and the Three, and as such I’m not sure it can be productive to appeal to his Monolithic-I approach as that will only lead to the Perfect Precision, and Perfect Error, of Rigid Constraint, which he describes well. The Distinct Agency within and among Three Perfects is there overlooked. Either direction, taken as the Only-Real, leads us astray. Love's Multiple Distinct Perfects underlie all that is Immutable/Eternal and as such we find much of that bleeding over into the Mutable/Temporal.

John,
Thank you also for your reply. I am not saying that, Psalms 139: 16 seems to be saying that. Also, it seems to be Ben’s argument. If there is a God then all choice is removed from the equation, because he knew all that would happen and because he knows what will happen, he made it happen. For if he didn’t want it to happen, it would not have. Thus, I would have no more choice in being saved, than an atheist has in being lost, that decision was made before time began according to 2 Timothy 1:9.

I have seen Ben’s posts before and as obtuse as he may be trying to be here, I felt like it was more of a talking past each other problem. Thank you for the correction.

"For if he didn’t want it to happen, it would not have....."


This assumes that if God wants B, but not A, then Power can make B and bypass A. This is not true in All-Cases depending on what A is (necessarily). Power cannot do what Power cannot do. Power cannot make round squares. And with Man we find God creating something in His-Own-Image, which brings in the Nature of Uncreated Love. Love has certain Necessary and Rigid Constraints and certain Necessary and Distinct Agencies within the One and the Three such that we could not bypass one in order to get to the other. Such is the fabric of the Uncreated, and, if the Created-Self struggles with a Being who is [Both] One [And] Three then the Door into such a Reality is not a closed door simply because the Created-Self struggles with such and desires to have "one or the other". "We" are "One". The Truth of the matter lies in between. If we claim this is illogical then we claim a Being who is [Both] One [And] Three is illogical in that description.


There is inside of Love Himself some very Necessary and Rigid Constraints, and, also, there are some very Necessary and Rigidly Distinct Agencies. This is Love's Triune and they co-exist side by side quite easily. If there is Actual Distinct Agencies within Love Himself (and there certainly are) then Agency will be found (most likely) in Created-Love's Image, and, if there are rigid limits on those Agencies within God (which there certainly are) then there will also be rigid limits on those Agencies in the Created (and there certainly are). We find all of these Properties living side by side in the Uncreated, and, thus Power cannot "bypass" one to leap-frog to the other, so to speak. Power cannot set out to make Man in Love's Image and [Not Have] these side by side [Rigid Constraints and Limits on Agency] and [Distinct Agencies Free Among Each Other]. That would be like thinking Power can make round squares.


Because Ultimate Reality Is-Love, Love is the highest Ethic and thus the best of all worlds is a world in God's Image, as God is love, and, as such, the best of all words will have both Rigid Limits on Agency and also Actual and Distinct Agencies Free Among Eath Other. It will in that manner Mirror-His-Image. I view Libertarian Free Will to be void of those very same and necessary Rigid Constraints on Agency and Nature found within God, and, I view Hard Determinism to be void of the Actual and Distinct Agencies found in that Motion Among and Between Distinct and Free Selves inside of Love's Triune. Power cannot create Love in Love's Image and [Not Have] these properties because these properties are just what love [is].


If there will be a Child, there must be a Pregnancy. Power cannot bypass the gestation, just as, Power cannot fashion Man in Love's Image and bypass such Necessary Fabrics of His Nature. Like the Triune, if we insist on One, or, if we insist on Three, we are perfectly correct and perfectly mistaken.


Scbrownlhrm

Thank you for your reply. Again, I don’t know what you are attempting when you keep trying to point to a Triune God and say, “the Created-Self struggles with such…” All of creation points to a Triune God. All elements exist in three states, being totally separate, totally the same, and can exist in equilibrium. It’s not a far-fetched idea. It seems like you are trying to complicate it, for what reason, I do not know.

When you say “power cannot make round squares,” you are attempting to use words to define a state of being. If I want to take something that is round and shape it into something that is square, that is quite plausible. If I want to call something square that is actually round, I can do that as well, but my stating this as fact does not change the essence of something that just is. In the same way I can’t say “right” is “left” those words are already taken to describe a state of being.

Isn’t it easier to say, God is all powerful but he can’t do everything imaginable. Trying to put all of this philosophical mumbo jumbo in to make you sound like you know what you’re talking about seems a bit pretentious.

BTW “If there will be a Child there must be a pregnancy” negates creation. Power did bypass gestation.

Jeff,

By Child I simply meant the New Creation & the gestation eluded to in Romans........


Any thoughts on the Triune's Constraints & Agencies are apologized for.

Sam,

Thanks for the response. You wrote:

If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then God is able to determine every event that happens as long as he doesn't create beings with libertarian freedom

This doesn't seem to jive with the notion that God can do that which is logically possible. It's logically possible for a free human agent to make a different choice than he does, right? Then by the "logically possible" definition of omnipotence, God can create a world where that human agent makes choice C2 instead of C1 (and where everything else is held fixed).

Regards,
Ben

Ben,

You are still ignoring two things, or at least not addressing them.

One is the limited freedom among selves within the Triune.

Secondly there is the incorrect idea that God has "choices" on how to create a world of Love, as in, the incorrect assumption that if God wants B, and has gone through A to get there, then this proves God wants A. A may be Necessary for B to exist. You have not addressed this possiblity and how that relates to Power and God's "choices". If B is Love's Innate Nature as found within the Triune, then A is morally justified, though not desired, and really cannot be otherwise, for A demands the Good Motion of a Real Self into the Self, which, for the Created Self means dissection off of Life Himself (which is death) while, for the Uncreated it is but one more Motion toward Life. Thus such a move is inevitable, for it is a Move Love can make, though the Limit here on the Created is not a Limit which the Triune has within Himself for the obvious reason that the Uncreated is Self-Sufficient while the Created is not and thus dies should it ever cry I and not You.


As you do not hold to the Triune basis of all real things, I do not expect you to view this this way. The Multiple Distinct Perfects, and the Necessary differences in those Perfect Selves and how They interact with each other inside the Triune versus how a Created Self interacts with the Uncreated Other (and the consequences of those differences) gets us there.....


You may hold that the Multiple Distinct Perfects of the Triune are illogical. But this is the basis of all reality. If the Multi-Verse should ever prove true it will but testify of this very fabric and thus lead us back to that Mind which precedes all things.

Ben,

You argue from the basis of the incorrect idea that God has "choices" on how to create a world of Love, as in, the incorrect assumption that if God wants B, and has gone through A to get there, then this proves God wants A. A may be Necessary for B to exist. You have not addressed this possiblity and how that relates to Power and God's "choices".

Can God say of A "I hate A" if A is Necessary for B?

God does say He hates A.

How is this possible?

Ben,

If B is a World-Of-Love, will B justify A? What if God pays for A Himself, solves A Himself, knowing He cannot bypass it? How does the Uncreated create something Immutable in one-step if He Alone is Immutable? What is a Wedding? What is Love as seen inside the Triune?


Ben,

Also, you have given us no proof that the Individual Agency found within the Triune, and therefore in A as well as in B, does not or cannot exist. If it does exist, and we hold that it does, then ther are two options: Create the Created-Self who will fall (He knows this) or do not create. Love "is" what love is and cannot be some other reality. The Final/Highest Good being Love, Love will Create. God creates, then, Real Selves as are found in the Triune, though they are not Immutable. It cannot be otherwise. "If" love "then" Constraint/Agency (as described above). "I know they will use this freedom to dive into Self" is not a feature of the Divine which destroys that limited freedom or that limited Agency. It is but a constraint on Power based on the Uncreated, and thus Necessary, Nature of Love.

How is it that God says, "I hate A"?

If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then God is able to determine every event that happens as long as he doesn't create beings with libertarian freedom
This doesn't seem to jive with the notion that God can do that which is logically possible.
I think it does. If there were beings with libertarian freedom, then God would not be able to determine every event that happens without overriding their freedom because it would be logically impossible for him to do so.
It's logically possible for a free human agent to make a different choice than he does, right?
Right. But it's not logically possible for God to determine which choice they will freely make.
Then by the "logically possible" definition of omnipotence, God can create a world where that human agent makes choice C2 instead of C1 (and where everything else is held fixed).
I don't think that follows because actualizing such a state of affairs would require God to perform a logically impossible task--determining an undetermined event.

"If" love "then" Constraint/Agency (as described above). "I know they will use this freedom to dive into Self" is not a feature of the Divine which destroys that limited freedom or that limited Agency. It is but a constraint on Power based on the [Uncreated], and thus [Necessary], nature of Love.


Ben assumes that God has choices on how to go about creating His Own Image yet he does not address how Image constrains Power. Love limits Power because it is the Image being created, and because Power has but two "choices" therefore. To create or not to create that Mirror of Himself. If He repeats the Image of the Triune, there will be some degree of freedom and some degree of constraint based on Nature there in the Community of All Real Selves, including the Triune. It can't be some "other way". God's Power cannot overide His Love/Nature/Immutablity exactly because it is Immutable Nature. Ben is arguing from the mistaken vantage point that it can.


How can Power mutate the Immutable Love? And, even if it could, the result woudl be some other reality. It would not be love.


Sam,

You deny that it is logically possible for God to create a universe where the human agent makes choice C2 instead of C1. But you agree with me that it is logically possible for the human agent to make choice C2 instead of C1. Let's call these logically possible worlds W1 and W2, corresponding to choices C1 and C2, respectively. Since it is not possible for God to create a universe where the person chooses C2, then in W2 God didn't create the universe.

So by creating the universe, God ensured that a world like W2 (where the person chooses C2) is not actual, that is, he has ensured that the actual world is a world where the person chooses C1. So in that sense he has determined the person's choice.

Any way you cut it, it seems that God must always determine our choices.

Ben,


Your assumption of W1 and W2 is misguided on the simple reason that you have not accounted for the fact that Ends limits Means, or, Image limits Power. In the case of the God Who is love, God sets out to create an Actual Self in the Image of Him-Self, and thus there are not an infinite number of W’s to “play with” as in your over-simplified models, which work well with Math, or with other such Non-Person, Non-Love “things”, etc. but not with Personhood as found within Community.

Image constrains Power. Love limits Power merely because it is the Image that happens to be being created thus Power has but two "choices" therefore: To create or not to create that Mirror of Himself. Your W2 and W1 and W3 and W4 and W5 work for many things, but for the Mirror of the Uncreated Triune there is but this: Let Us create Man in Our Image, as, such a Mirror reflects but one image. If He repeats the Image of the Triune, there will be some degree of freedom and some degree of rigid constraint based on Nature there in the Community of All Real Selves, including the Triune, as described earlier. Again, you do not see God as Triune and so of course your entire body of thinking here is misguided and based in the Math of Non-Personhood. There is no W2. It can't be some "other way". God's Power cannot override what His Image “is” exactly because it is the image of the immutable nature of Love’s Triune. Thus you are arguing from the mistaken vantage point that Power can make any world He wishes and call it “love”.

You are also mistaken because you consider Choice A and Choice B and Choice C etc. to be that which God chooses among. But, again, the Divine Choice among Multiple Distinct Perfects will be reflected in but one choice: To create or not to create. If Creation, then that same Constrained/Free Agency as is found in the Community of the Triune will be found in Creation. In other words, it seems Choice is Uncreated for it is found inside of the Triune, both Constrained and Free by/in His Nature. Once we see this, it is apparent that there will be Choice in any Image which reflects His Image. Thus, Power [must] create (if it is to create His Image) a Species with Choice: that leaves only one world to decide upon: W1 or No-World at all. Now, by No-World, we do not mean God cannot create any other world, but we do mean that He cannot create any other world [If] it is to be in His-Image.

How can Power mutate Immutable Love and call it a World in Love’s Image? Should Power do such a thing the result would be some other reality. It would not be love’s image.

Choice in the Created Self is, [If] that world is to be in Love’s Image, inevitable. Power cannot do otherwise (if that world is to be in His Image).

Power is limited, not because it could not create many sorts of other species, but because it launches out to create a species in His-Image, that of Love as is found among Multiple Distinct Perfects within the Triune.

Any way you cut it, it seems that God must always have, in such a species, a creature who is free enough to dive into Other or into Self and we see that "I know they will use this freedom to dive into Self" is not a feature of the Divine which destroys that limited freedom or that limited Agency. It is but a constraint on Power based on the [Uncreated], and thus [Necessary], nature of Love, which is the End which Power Wills.

The issue of Love’s Final Good, that of something Immutable, as He is, comes with the question of: How can Immutable Love create something Immutable in one-step if He Alone is Immutable? Can the uncreated create the uncreated in one step? How then will He make Man in His Image finally? The Uncreated must fill up the Created, and, therein, when Word is finally made flesh, something of Revelations 22 may emerge. But such a thing takes a Wedding, so to speak. In the Triune the Self/Other there do just this, and, as described earlier, the move into death is open to the created by the nature of its dependence on Other, while no such limit is found within God. But that leads into Revelations 22 and other discussions not relevant to this page.


For these initial stages, however, any way you cut it, it seems that God must always have, in such a species, a creature who is free enough to dive into Other or into Self and we see that "I know they will use this freedom to dive into Self" is not a feature of the Divine which destroys that limited freedom or that limited Agency. It is but a constraint on Power based on the [Uncreated], and thus [Necessary], nature of Love, which is the Final End which Power Wills to Create.

Ben,

There is no W2. It will be "His-Image". There is only W1. Thus the error of your models. The singular will be pleural one day, but in The-Now it is "Image" and not Images.......

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