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« Links Mentioned on the 7/15/16 Show | Main | How Much Temptation Is from Man's Nature as Opposed to Satan? »

July 16, 2016

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Well, that wasn't supposed to post.....

So.... the edited, and more complete, version:

The Calvinist presents a false dichotomy as he, again, stops too soon and fails to incorporate all of Scripture. In reply to the Non-Calvinist he states, “It’s much better to think of the almost infinite amount of evil that rains down on us each and every day as absolutely purposeless.”

The problem with that reply by our Calvinist friend, of course, is this: If God uses [All Things] for good, how is it without purpose?

If and only if gratuitous evil is gratuitous in one but not all senses, that is to say, that real evil is a necessary [….given Eden and given the Decree of the Imago Dei] possibility vis-à-vis contingent living in a freedom permitting world – and – if and only if God in fact does use [All Things] for our good does our thinking align with the fundamental nature of reality and of Scripture itself.

The alternative is Calvinism:

“On Calvinism, God has the power to save all people, but He prefers to eternally, actively torment….. people in hell. Granting humans some degree of agency preserves God’s goodness in preferring the salvation of all people, but allows for hell in that some people choose by their own agency to reject His goodness.” (by “gaberenfro”)

We just saw (earlier in this thread) that very state of affairs, of loving all, in all cases, all the time, in the opening post’s Physician/Patient scenario as it proceeded to go further, to subsume yet more scripture, thus avoiding the error of stopping too soon.

The problem.... make that another problem, is the conflation of Sovereignty for Determinism, speaking as if they are the same thing.

But (obviously) they are not.

Quote:

“The second theodicy is the free-will theodicy. According to the free-will theodicy, God is justified in permitting evil and its consequences because He [given His Decree] has to do so if he is to bestow on some of his creatures the incommensurable privilege of being responsible agents who have, in many areas, the capacity to choose as they will, without God, or anyone else (other than themselves), determining which alternative they choose. When Adam partakes of the fruit in Genesis 3, the most severe charge brought against God is not that he caused Adam to sin, but that in making Adam significantly free God brought about the possibility that Adam might misappropriate his freedom and choose a course of action that is morally wrong. God is not responsible for Adam’s choices given that Adam was endowed in creation with self-determining free will. The ground for denying God’s causing evil is that human freedom is conceptually incompatible with divine determinism (not divine sovereignty).” (Evans, Jeremy A. (2013-03-01). The Problem of Evil: The Challenge to Essential Christian Beliefs (B&h Studies in Christian Apologetics).

Hence moves of false dichotomies, moves of thinking if evil is gratuitous in one sense it is so in all senses, moves of conflating sovereignty for determinism, moves of denying agency which God has Decreed, moves of denying that God does in fact us [All Things] for good, moves of asserting that God in fact *can* create an X which factually *can* fail to glorify Him, and moves asserting that there is some real ontological seam somewhere where God really *can* lose control should He grant possible worlds to volitional agents….. all of these moves emerge in what is termed Calvinism.

Just to make the point about God using [All Things], we can just outright grant gratuitous evil in the following sense, realizing that “sense” actually means something:

Two PDF’s which are available are “The Necessity of Gratuitous Evil” by William Hasker and also “The Existence and Irrelevance of Gratuitous Evil”, by Kirk R. MacGregor [ http://www.kirkmacgregor.org/uploads/pc_14-1_macgregor.pdf ].

The Greater Good defense is true, as God *does* use [All Things] for good. However, the Calvinist really does not believe that the word [All] means [All], hence all those “moves” we alluded to.

So, Non-Calvinist embrace the Greater Good reality, only, they reject the Calvinist’s flimsy and oh-so-easily defeated version of it.

A brief excerpt: “The absurdity of the [Calvinist’s] Greater-Good Defense is multiplied by its transformation of the universe into a philosophically overdetermined system….. Gratuitous evils are simply a logically unavoidable necessity of contingent living in a freedom-permitting world…… While God can [And Does] surely use [All Things] of those individual acts of evil for our good, it does not follow that every act of evil that God allows, He allows for the purpose of accomplishing some greater good….. He allows acts of evil, even gratuitous acts of evil, because He values and honors the freedom of our will.”

That is to say, God values and has decreed the Imago Dei and God cannot create a one-sided-coin no matter how badly the Calvinist wishes it to be possible. Necessarily two-faced necessarily means not-one-faced.

At what point does it all get ahead of God? At what point does God lose control? At what point does God *fail* to use [All Things] for good?

Well one will have to ask the Calvinist, as he, and no other, inexplicably seems to think such a thing is possible. Hence he must chisel away at reality and at Scripture until his version of God is “safe” and therefore “able” to use [All Things] for good.

KWM

"It’s much better to think of the almost infinite amount of evil that rains down on us each and every day as absolutely purposeless."

As opposed to thinking that the monster God rains down that evil??

Oh yes. Much, much better.

Two statements:

God cannot, ever, create and decree and by creating and decreeing lose control should He grant (any number of) possible worlds to volitional agents.

God uses [All Things] for good.

Perhaps one of the keys to Eden, to the Imago Dei, to Trinity, and to *reality*, is this:

God values and has decreed the Imago Dei and God cannot create a one-sided-coin. Necessarily two-faced necessarily means not-one-faced.

It's not as if God even could have tipped the scales. A coin is, well, *one* creation.

Necessarily.

It cannot be otherwise.

And Trinity is like that. And love is like that.

Therefore: Christianity

Esoteric clarification:

God can tip any scale. But He must undo something to do so, if and only if we speak of the Imago Dei. We are not as free now as we were in Eden, though irreducible volition remains, and, whatever that New City is, we will be more free there than we were in Eden, even as irreducible volition yet remains. There is more to freedom than volition. And we also know this: In Eden it is the case that The Adamic, which does not and even cannot reduce to covalent and ionic bonds, stood between radically different (possible) worlds. Scripture tells us something which necessarily reduces to the immaterial made what is termed a choice.

We awake to find ourselves in a universe soaked through with final causes.... with good.... with good minus something....

_________________


"Esoteric" was a fair warning.....


Another problem:

Purposeless evil isn't even remotely biblical.

Agree.

No one ever said otherwise.

God uses [All Things] for Good.

All.

One sided coins can't exist.

Perhaps it was missed:

The Greater Good defense is true, as God *does* use [All Things] for good. However, the Calvinist really does not believe that the word [All] means [All], hence all those “moves” we alluded to.

So, Non-Calvinists embrace the Greater Good reality, only, they reject the Calvinist’s flimsy....version of it.

Evil either has a purpose…or it doesn’t.

Our evil isn't / wasn't *necessary*.

Because our choices are/were volitional.

Coins are *necessarily* two sided.

God uses [All Things] for good.

In all possible worlds.

Is there a possible world were that fails?

The Calvinist seems to think so.

God tells us that God uses all things for our greater good.

For the Calvinist to question that is peculiar.

How can evil have no purpose when God tells us He uses [All Things] for our greater good? The Calvinist states the obvious truth and thinks we disagree.

Odd.

God either granted Pilate the authority to kill Jesus or He didn’t.

KWM,

God tells us that He uses [All Things] for our greater good.

What we purpose for evil He purposes for Good.

Does God use things other than Evil for for good?

Well of course.

[All Things]

In all possible worlds.

You're correct as far as you go. You're just stopping too soon, before Scripture gets done talking.


KWM,

Volition?

Of course.

Just like Eden.

You do believe in Eden don't you?

I mean *really* believe.

KWM,

He gave us the authority to choose among possible *worlds*.

Yet you seem to think smaller fragments of that inside of this world helps your case?

Why?

KWM,

Where am I falling down? Where is there evil not being purposed by God for our greater good?

In what possible world does God *not* use [All Things] for *good*?

Is there such a world? You seem to think so. Can you explain?

Another way to look at Eden and authority to choose worlds is that our (possible but not necessary) evil would in fact, should it actualize, be gratuitous but for the fact that God takes hold of it and purposes it for our greater good.

But then even good streaming out of Eden would also undergo the same treatment (by God) towards yet greater good.

In all directions there is no such thing as a one sided coin.

Of course, that is true of [All] our acts whether they are good, evil, or etc. They would [All] be fundamentally / ontologically gratuitous but for the fact that God takes hold of them and purposes [All Things] for yet far Greater Good(s).

In all possible worlds.

Evil and the Goodness of God:

[1] The Greater Good reality (with respect to [All Things]) is true and is a valid statement about [All Things].

[2] Scripture affirms possible but not necessary evil given God's decree of the Imago Dei with respect to the Adamic's volitional authority to choose possible *worlds*, much less acts. See both [5] and [7].

[3] Minus God: [All Things] whether good or evil or any amalgamation thereof which stream out of The Adamic in number [2] *are* fundamentally and ontologically gratuitous "at bottom". Indeed, but for God and His Hand, “purpose” finds no grounding, and hence “Minus God” leaves all lines gratuitous.

[4] But God. Full stop. And God is the Necessary Being. Hence, this [4] *necessarily* subsumes [3] which *necessarily* subsumes [2] which *necessarily* subsumes [1].

[5] Creating and decreeing a coin is not decreeing or creating two separate faces, so to speak. It is creating *one* ontological reality with multiple sides. It is *one* creative act, *one* decree. Trinity is like that. Love is like that. God's decree guarantees that, grounds that.

[6] In all directions, there can be no such thing, no such creation, no such decree, as a one sided coin. God cannot do nonsense. It is no insult to God to state that He cannot do nonsense.

[7] God cannot, ever, create and decree and by creating and decreeing lose control should He grant (any number of) possible worlds to volitional agents.

[8] God uses [All Things] for good and yet greater good and yet greater good. Glory to glory, as it were. He does not "only" use evil. But [All Things].

[9] *God* is our guarantee and our sure anchor in all these things, whether we speak of our own frail attempts at good, or whether we speak of horrific evil, or whether we cannot speak at all but can only pray for we know not what. All appeals start and stop in His Decree, and He has decreed and declared His love for us.

[10] God is reality’s Anchor. Literally. And therefore our Anchor. Literally. God is our A and our Z. “You are my hope Lord, in you do I trust.”

Evil and God's Goodness Part Two: We cannot avoid what cannot be otherwise.

Definitions:

The “The Adamic” is referred to that way to draw out the fact of what we are talking about – something which does not reduce to covalent and ionic bonds and in fact traverses several different states, whether that which we find in Eden, or, that which we find in Privation, or, that which we find in the resurrected (and perhaps immutable) state of affairs. “The Adamic” houses by Decree (and hence it cannot be otherwise), the irreducibly volitional (with respect to nature) there in Eden standing between possible worlds, and we find therefore that the charge of “gratuitous” (without purpose / pointless) evil is a charge destined to fail given that it fails to define reality by necessity, by what cannot be otherwise.

More definitions:

(**See disclaimer) The motions amid the irreducible trio of [1]Self/[2]Other and the reality of [3]Unicity within “Trinity” just is the image, the pattern, the Archetype of all of reality with respect to the created reality of “The Adamic” and such defines not merely the Whole from which all definitions stream, but, also (therefore), love’s volitional motions. Oddly, Privation in God just is God, for the Father, not being the Son, is God, and the Son not being the Father, is God, and the Spirit……. And so on. And of course, Trinity is God. Must the Adamic know privation to know the whole? Well it seems that to know the Whole is to know privation. Lucifer tells the Adamic that he (Man) can know more through privation. God tells Man of a Tree named Life. More on that further down.

**Disclaimer: That “trio” of love’s irreducible (cannot be otherwise) constitutions is *not* replacing Father, Son, and Spirit. No. Rather, this is simply describing the unavoidably triune contours within those timeless processions amid love’s irreducible reciprocity within the Trinity. The fact that *both* God *and* love just happen to be “triune” is, well, welcome to Christianity. Describing *God* (on Christianity) lands us within the Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit), and, then, describing *love* (on all counts) also lands us within that which inescapably sums to Self/Other and the singularity of Unicity – that is to say – within something inescapably triune. Love is not God, though God is love. Hence, the fact that love reduces to something fundamentally triune is, well, again – welcome to Christianity, but such is not intended to be some sort of “ontic-substitute” for Father, Son, and Spirit.

While Privation in God just is God, just is The Good, such cannot be the case for any contingent being, for obvious reasons. Therefore, with respect to “The Adamic” which is by Decree fashioned after the Imago Dei, we find that Privation (Evil) which follows from the volitional "Adamic" is necessarily possible and yet (obviously) need not necessarily actualize. If and when it should actualize then all the horrific X’s which stream into reality by that Privation cannot be without purpose and that is the case for two different reasons.

First: As describe earlier, [All Things], not “only” evil things, are used by God, purposed by God, for The Good, the Greater Good, and so on. That reality grounds purpose throughout reality wherever the “Adamic’s” feet shall traverse. There is no number of possible worlds which God can grant the volitional being which can cause God to lose control. (It’s unfortunate that that last sentence even has to be stated).

Secondly: That which exists by God’s Decree is that which cannot be otherwise. Hence, such cannot be charged with being gratuitous simply by sheer definition and sheer necessity, else we must call God’s Decree pointless. If God values, and decrees, the Imago Dei, well then we come upon what cannot be a one sided reality there in Eden amid Self/Other, Man/God, but rather we come upon that which is by necessity a two sided reality with respect to God and the Adamic, or the Adamic and God.

Esoteric interjection for just a moment:

Given that Man is to know the whole, or to know God as God knows Man, or some such something (whatever that turns out to look like) and given that knowledge is good, we have no good reason to suspect that Man would not ever, at some ontological seam somewhere, eat of that Tree of Knowledge even if the Adamic volitionally dove into the other Tree named Life. Lucifer refuted the obvious fact that to know the Whole just is to know the Part as he (Lucifer) turned it on its head and declared that *more* knowledge will be availed to the Adamic should the Adamic embrace Privation, the Part. But of course none of that even *can* be true given the necessary contours of “Whole” and of “Part”. As for Insufficiency running face first into All Sufficiency, well there is no possible world where such an unsearchable abyss shall not need traversing by the contingent/created being if said being in fact is irreducibly fashioned after the Imago Dei.

End interjection.

There cannot be any such thing as a one sided coin there in Eden given love’s volitional motions and given God’s Decree of the pattern constituting the rock-bottom of (the Adamic’s) “irreducible reality”. That which Scripture terms “The Adamic” cannot evade, in any world, the irreducibly triune landscape of Self/Other timelessly amalgamated within the singularity of Unicity. “Self” here refers obviously to Adam, while “Other” obviously refers to God, and “Unicity” obviously refers to “God in Man / Man in God”. What is Unicity in Trinity? Well it is “Let Us…..” and the singularity that is said Us, said Trinity.

Only in Christianity do we find the peculiar landscape of Father, Son, and Spirit which, when transposed into “The Adamic” forces a singularity, a unicity, a syntax soaked through with incarnation, a syntax soaked through with God in Man, Man in God, and, also, just the same when transposed into “The Adamic” we find the Whole to be that same triune singularity, and we find the Part (Privation) to be the fragmentation thereof.

Only in Christianity is (irreducible) Evil the fragmentation of an (irreducible) Whole termed love.

Again: As for Privation in God and amid the Trinity, that just is, in all directions, well, God. That’s impossible for the created Imago Dei from the get-go. God only knows where that seam in which (we are speaking of Adam, of the Adamic) mutability gives way to immutability. Insufficiency must be filled. All Sufficiency must pour. Changing worlds cannot change that.

Christianity alone seamlessly subsumes all such vectors.

God uses [All Things] for good, not just evil things:

*Any* vector, possible or actual, lands void of purpose but for the fact of God’s Hand using [All Things] for good.

There is a subset within Christianity which insists that unless God causes Evil it is gratuitous, that if Man (actually) volitionally (actually) chooses amid (actually possible) worlds to actualize Privation, it is gratuitous. But that move must expunge far too much Scripture and, also, it fails to define reality by what cannot be otherwise, for the reasons put forth in this discussion so far. And, also, it fails to define God’s reach as necessarily to the bitter ends of, not just evil things, but in fact [All Things]. And, also, we find the following reasons behind the word “necessity” to be true – and therefore problematic to any definitions which seem to want God to be able to create one sided coins:

“God is justified in permitting evil and its consequences because he [God] has to [cannot make one sided coins] do so if he [God] is to bestow [Decrees] on some of his creatures the incommensurable privilege [irreducible nature] of being responsible agents who have, in many areas, the capacity to choose as they will, without God, or anyone else (other than themselves), determining which alternative they choose.”

And, on top of that, as we’ve been discussing, God in fact uses, not “only” evil, but in fact [All Things] for The Good. There are no “gratuitous” evils in any coherent sense just as there are no such things as possible [“purposeless worlds”] given *God* but there *are* unnecessary actualizations of evils just as there *are* [possibly actualized] but not [necessary actualized] worlds – again given *God* and again given the irreducible Archetype constituting the Imago Dei.

Therefore, once again, from earlier:

[A] God uses [All Things] for good and yet greater good and yet greater good. Glory to glory, as it were. He does not "only" use evil. But [All Things].

[B] *God* is our guarantee and our sure anchor in all these things, whether we speak of our own frail attempts at good, or whether we speak of horrific evil, or whether we cannot speak at all but can only pray for we know not what. All appeals start and stop in His Decree, and He has decreed and declared His love for us.

[C] God is reality’s Anchor. Literally. And therefore our Anchor. Literally. God is our A and our Z. “You are my hope Lord, in you do I trust.”


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