Good morning to you Omar--
--- Either way, God created the conditions necessary for evil.
a==O- But not sufficient. God rests and "saw", or understood, as the symbol is used, that His creation "good". He created man and woman, each with the ability to choose, yet the creation was still good. He even added the Serpent and it was all good...in fact it was perfect, morally perfect even, why, because only in the existence of moral wrong can there exist a moral right. But the couple falls, the balance act is ruined and the tension is released. Only after the choice is there sin.
Sin is possible.
Nothing happens unless God wills it.
God is capable of preventing what he does not will.
Therefore, God wills sin.
--- Right, but the Bible tells us "all have sinned" making the probability of sinning in one's life time 100%, significantly higher than the probability of murdering or becoming an alcoholic. Original sin makes sin a virtual certainty which no one but the dual-natured Son of God can overcome. Yet God unfairly holds the sinner responsible.
b==O- God is merciful. Sure all have sinned. No one is perfect. Is that so hard to accept. haven't you seen little kids do mean things? We only learn to be civilized to one another. But God is merciful. The point is not that all are evil, but that all are imperfect. And yet from the imperfect God avails for himself men and women who become great, and the sign of every great man or woman in the Bible is how humble they are, how quick they are to concede their own defects and to elevate in this way the contribution to their success to God. Not unlike today, when people receive merited awards, the thank Jesus first and foremost. They don't say: "I first wanna thank my tall mamma for hooking up with my tall dad thus producing my exemplary physique which led me to dominate the game of basketball".
It is not hard to believe in natural-born killers, but in natural-born saints.
Excusing sin because God is merciful or "no one is perfect" in unchristian.
If it were that easy Christ would not have to die to save people from their sins. Christians call these notions "cheap grace." Grace was not cheap in this view. Jesus had to shed his precious blood to pay for it.
God's plan is not about people achieving individual greatness according to the NT. It is about people living "In Christ" manifesting Christ who is "in them" as a community known as the church.
Your response is a diversion from my argument that original sin makes sin a certainty. We have less chance of being sinless as we do a being born and surviving without peeing because genetically we were born with a bladder. If It would be unjust to hold us accountable for having to pee, how much more is it unjust to hold us accountable for sinning when we inherited a "sin nature"?
--- Argument from ignorance again.
c==O- You talk about a priori concepts, true by definition. "God is good". Is that an analytical statement or a synthetic statement? If you are my client then it is true by definition.
I suppose by "good" you mean all good
, and you include in your definition that God is also the creator of everything. Then, observing that infants are born without heads from time to time, which is bad [according to the parent's POV at least], one might conclude that-- yes "God is good" by definition, but there is no God that fits the definition.
But if treated as a synthetic statement, based on judgement, then you abandon St Alselm and project a god (this standard) above God. That was a heresy.
No, you might have found the true God that meets Anselm's definition. The standard is Anselm's. But your right, belief the true God might be considered heresy by the Reverend Doctors.
How you approach this "God" is key. I argue for ignorance because my answer is not the necessary or only answer. There are many ways to understand the world, when it comes to this problem. When someone has lost a child to cancer, one cannot simply waltz in and say: "Well it is all according to God's plan". It might be, but here is where humility is key, where you have to direct the griever to that higher power, because it is in power (see Job) that the person might be consoled, by awe, at His power, at His beauty, that one might find peace in his heart. I could say to such a person an uncontroversial dogma: "Your child is in heaven now" or "in a better place", yet that would be to miss the point. We cannot be like Job's friends and offer platitudes, but mourn with him and abide by him or her in silence.
It is not an argument then but a choice I left to you.
Wise words, but irrelevant ones as far as I can tell.
--- Or so they say because that is a promise of cargo yet to be delivered. Such claims do not constitute evidence.
d==O- Nothing would constitute as evidence. What is the evidence that light ALWAYS and without exception, moves at a constant speed?
Evidence would be if Jesus returned to earth, destroyed the Satan dominated kingdom, and reigned the world with justice. That's what Christians have a right to expect based on the NT. Once that happens, everyone will have reason to expect that Jesus will cast Satan into the lake of fire. This is all orthodox doctrine on the eschatological side of what I assert is a conflict in the Christian dogma.
Because we have measured it at that when we have measured. But you haven't measured it for all time, so how do you know? You extrapolate. But there is no evidence for that inference, so you have a circular reasoning that the evidence that light speed is constant is in the very thing you are out to prove, what is in question. This is the scandal brought by Hume to science. The infinite faith in the ability of the scientific methodology is it's own cargo.
A misrepresentation of science in service of your clients. You did say you were their lawyer after all so I suppose defending them with sophistry as you are attempting is to be expected.
Look, I am not a fideist, not against science. I love science, but I know the limits of knowledge, the limits of science and metodology in ways that you seem to ignore. Only the most radical scientist would deny the irrational aspects at the margins of science. See Thomas Kuhn. Evidence is, in some cases, in the eye of the beholder.
You stretch Kuhn's theory way beyond his intended meaning in an attempt to remove science from the discussion by invalidating it. I'm saying that there is no way to substantiate metaphysics. If you want to argue against my point is not to denigrate science but to demonstrate that I am wrong by substantiating metaphysics. I'm all ears.
--- I did not claim Romans 7 mentions Satan but rather that sin is spoken of as a person. For example in verse 11 Paul says "For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me." Depersonalizing Satan and Sin is unbiblical.
f==O- Paul is clearly talking metaphorally.
One can interpret the passage that way. One can interpret it to mean that sin is that evil person, Satan the devil incarnate in the flesh. How would one decide the issue either way. Why not go one step further and interpret that Satan himself is but a metaphor for evil-- evil personified? Why not admit that that the personal God Himself is an anthropomorphism as well? It might be the first step necessary for untying the knot of contradiction I see in the Xian conception of God.
Is Satan an angel gone bad? Yes. Sure. But he performs a function, as his name implies, a function that is performed by others, as the case was with Peter.
OK now you say he performs a function where as before you seemed to be reducing "him" to a function.
Is Sin a person? No. And Paul in Romans is presenting a theory of sin, not presenting us with a person, a theory very much like the platonic theory of corruption of the soul, it's imprisonment by the body and not surprisingly, each prescribing the mortification, the denial of the body and it's urges. This had become respectable to Paul's audience. Men are sinful, Paul says, and he explains it as a contagion, from Adam to the last man, inheriting the imperfections of the flesh (Paul speaks of a "law" which makes it, like gravity, an imagined constant thus indeed for him no one could be righteous) that make perfection of the soul impossible...unless one dies to sin, to the flesh, thus only in actual death or in ritual death, such as baptism, which by the Holy Spirit liberates the soul from the law of his or her own body. Just as before he saw himself as a slave to his body, he now sees himself as a slave to Christ (Rom 8:6-11).
You demonstrate here albeit unintentionally that you do understand that humanity's sin nature is such that not sinning is impossible except for a God-man. Since not sinning is impossible, it is unjust for God to punish us for it. So it seems, by dying on the cross and thus destroying Sin, Jesus saved us FROM GOD who would otherwise unjustly punish us for something over which we have no control. God saved us from God; the Son from the Father. Thank you Jesus! Of course this is heresy per orthodox Xianity.
--- How can you have a person without being a positive thing even in metaphor or symbolism?
g==O- I can say: "My heart doesn't care about what what is good for me." I have given, in this metaphor, an identity of it's own to my organ. As a metaphor I can do that, but it has no positive being because my heart in actuality has no brain of it's own, no concerns or cares. It is just an organ despite my symbolism. I am fine in talking like that because I am intelligent enough that I do not take metaphors literally.
Yes but your response missed my point. The heart IS a positive thing [i.e. it exists] whether it has a brain or not. Likewise, evil is a positive thing [positive in the sense of being an entity] whether or not it is personified.
---Because destructive beings really do exist and events really do happen. They are not the mere absence of good.
h==O- The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I think that most people who commit crimes THINK that they were justified to do as they did. In fact it is only a small percetage that ever admit to any wrongdoing in the worst cases.
An interesting factoid to be sure. But what they're thinking about their crimes is false by definition in your scenario because you state that what they committed was a CRIME. Evil is basically destruction. It requires a being to destroy. Moral evil is a destructive act. But Biblical Christianity sees it as a quasi-physical phenomena, i.e. it destroy through corruption.
Think of the Rumsfeld-Cheney policy to torture prisioners for information. It was something horrible to do, but have they any remorse? Are they evil? Not unless you want to make evil hundred of others that followed thru and many who today still sign it's praises. "Would Obama have been able to find and kill Bin-Laden if not for those harsh interrogations?". I agree with Socrates on this. I think that inside their own heads, everyone thinks that he or she is doing, by and by, the right thing.
These are cases when a person just starts to kill and EAT other human beings, but these are crazy people who are not competent, rational, or even, to some degree, responsible for their actions. They are just the first victim.
If everyone thought that they were doing the right thing, no one would have a sense of guilt. I have experienced a sense of guilt.How about you? Therefore, everyone does not think they are doing what is right.
--- But your point was that God had bigger fish to fry somewhere else and the alleged fact that he came to personally die for humans on this planet shows that he did not and does not.
i==O- That wasn't my point. I said that earth was where man was put after the fall, banished from Eden, to where the ground would be cursed, and he would eat from it through painful toil. God is God however whether in spring or in winter; even if we prefer spring so much more, it is a wrong love and to honor Him only because He suits our needs, only because our naked selfishness. Or else Satan was right: You would curse God unless creation goes your way?
OK I misunderstood you. Wasn't Eden on earth too? Seems you have altered the story slightly. Why?
--- The "correct plan" predicted an event which Jesus and Paul thought was immanent in their time but notably did not occur as they thought.
j==O- Who is "we"? Is it the specific people on that day or the Church, the body of Christians? The interpretation will solve the dilema for the believer.
I didn't say "we" so I don't understand the question. I was referring to Jesus and Paul.
--- The parousia is an integral part of the defeat of the Evil One on the eschatological side of the Christian God concept and so not in any way a tangent.
l==O- For the orthodox this is not a relevant problem What is important is not the specific date or time, but how are you prepared for it
Right you need to be prepared so that you are not ultimately cast into the lake of fire with the devil.
--- No , it was a rationalizing response to the delay of the parousia which was beginning to become a problem for faith even in Paul's time. That "race" interpretation stretches the meaning of the passage beyond belief.
m==O- Beyond YOUR belief obviously, but not for millions of Christians that live or billions that have lived. I guess humanity is that deluded if not outright stupid. But that is your thing. I anot here to pass judgment. On you or on them. It is not what they believe but how they act on those beliefs, how authentic one can be with oneself, how honest. To that end i invite the dilemas and the problems that force a person to confront the doubt that hardens or break their faith. Because it is faith and nothing more at these fringes. If you have this idea to call yourself a "Christian" then meet the problems that come with it. By and by I think that many did confront such difficulties. As you say the parousia and it's delay were problems already present in Paul's time (I'll take your word on it). Well, as such, they had to confront it. However I think that this is one of the less problematic if you will because it was couched, both by Jesus and Paul, with an admission of ignorance, that the day and the hour were unknwn and that the important issue was preparation. This was assimilated, because for the most part, no one thinks of the second comming on full stomachs and usually disasters similar to those predicted to occur in the end of the age, come not so often.
Perhaps they are afraid to consider the objectively for fear that it would undermine their faith. I feel for them. I have had to face the same fear.
--- It is necessary to conceive of how to fix the world in order to have a higher conception of God than the Christian conception. Imagine a God who would not create a Devil. Voila! you have a conceived of a greater God.
n==O- Imagine a God that would kill a baby Adolf Hitler. Viola! But to what end? It was not one man that killed six million but hundreds thousands of men who acted in ways that permitted such an attrocity through absent-mindness or belief in the premise that the end justifies the means. The devil temps, but it is man who acts, who chooses, who deserves the credit. The absence of the devil would not change the world, but the obedience by man would have.
That is not a New Testament Christian belief. There Satan and his minions were the central enemy.
--- It has been experimentally confirmed many times.
o==O- Circular reasoning.
It's a matter of empirical observation and probability not circles.
--- Again, confirmed many times since Gallileo.
p==O- Again, the doubt is resolved by the thing in doubt.
Yeah its a predictable pattern nothing more. Not an absolute. But enough information to get men to the moon and back.
--- Repeated observation.
q==O- Same objection, same circular reasoning.
Good enough reasoning to cure a disease or design a cell phone.
--- In any case, they debunked metaphysics effectively and science and philosophy has supported their arguments ever since. Anyway, it isn't necessary to accept their entire philosophies to recognize that metaphysical propositions are doubtful because they have neither analytic nor a posteriori support.
r==O- Oh Hume dod much more than demolish meta-physics but even put physics on alert about the limits of human knowledge. that was his aim. What comes after Hume is the disclousure by science about it's uncertain nature, it's tentative approach which requires acceptance of unverifiable propositions, such as constancy. For these propositions all we have is inference and thus they remain "theoretical".
So what? That's where we are. I can live with it.
Incidentally, reading The Eye of the Heart
by Frithjof Schuon this morning has persuaded me to reconsider privatio boni
as an instance of relativism. However, privatio boni
stands on one side of what I claim is the contradiction involved in the concept of the Christian God. That is, it stands in contradistinction to the idea of a literal Satan. Much can be accomplished in terms of resolving the contradiction if we accept that God and the Devil are anthropomorphisms. But, that is a step which orthodox Christian theology forbids us to take.