There is no such thing as 'Free Will'

You know, I can't see how the act of holding a grudge vs the act of forgiveness is not an act of free will. Grudges will wear down your will and enslave you, but forgiveness will increase it. *shrugs*
 
It makes me think that your God is a sadist. If he intended for Adam and Eve to suffer then He also intended that every creature on Earth be wiped out in the flood. Why create something with the intent to destroy it?

You've said that you think people who teach eternal Hell are despicable (my word) yet you teach that God intentionally makes mankind suffer and intentionally destroyed every creeping thing that creeps upon the Earth. So it's difficult for me to see your perspective as anything but manipulative and despicable as well.

God created man with a sense of self (Obviously). It is in this sense of self that man becomes selfish, lustful, and self serving. Yes, God knew that we would fall, and that evil (Suffering) would manifest on this earth.

Is God responsible?

Only in the sense that He gave us the free will to choose self (Lust) over His Spirit (Love). Evil and suffering exists (In my mind) so we might one day choose love over lust on our own vocation.

God created us; we are the ones who ushered evil into the world, so it is only in this sense that God is responsible for evil. He merely gave man the ability to choose self (Lust) above Him (His Spirit/Love). We can live only for self, or we can live in a manner beneficial to those around us.

God doesn't force man to harm others; He simply gave man the awareness of self, which allowed man to become selfish, lustful, and self serving.

In other words, God has allowed all mankind to have what we each desire most. It just so happens that our selfish, lustful, and self serving ways create pain, suffering, and evil in this world.
 
You know, I can't see how the act of holding a grudge vs the act of forgiveness is not an act of free will. Grudges will wear down your will and enslave you, but forgiveness will increase it. *shrugs*

Whatever considerations are having the strongest influence on you to do for whatever sets of reasonings you deem them the most desirable to do at the time you are making a choice, is what you actually will do.
You are not "free" to do otherwise.
 
God created man with a sense of self (Obviously). It is in this sense of self that man becomes selfish, lustful, and self serving. Yes, God knew that we would fall, and that evil (Suffering) would manifest on this earth.
Is God responsible?
Only in the sense that He gave us the free will to choose self (Lust) over His Spirit (Love). Evil and suffering exists (In my mind) so we might one day choose love over lust on our own vocation.

There is no such a thing as "free" will.

God has locked everyone up in a lifetime of choices that can ONLY be made in the direction of the STRONGEST influence all of the time.

Every choice we ever made was the only choice we could have made because we chose what we preferred the MOST at that particluar split second in time.

A few seconds before, or a few seconds afterwards, we may have chosen something else due to influences that were non-existent when we actually did make the choice.

No one has ever made a choice without a reason, even if that reason was only to choose randomly, e.g. flipping a coin.

The reason was the influence that CAUSED us to choose what we did choose.

At that particular split-second in time that was the ONLY choice we could have made based on the reason why we preferred that choice the MOST.

"therefore contrary choice or “free" will not only does not exist but cannot exist."
 
Only in the sense that He gave us the free will to choose self (Lust) over His Spirit (Love). Evil and suffering exists (In my mind) so we might one day choose love over lust on our own vocation.

A far more "reasonable" view—in my opinion. How do we ever learn if we aren't the ones actually doing the choosing?

Why would God create us, just to manipulate us and then punish us when He makes us transgress? That just doesn't make any sense at all.

But a God that creates the conditions for life and then steps back and lets life find its own way is a deity that I could get behind... if it weren't for my overriding desire to not believe in deities.
 
There is no such a thing as "free" will.

God has locked everyone up in a lifetime of choices that can ONLY be made in the direction of the STRONGEST influence all of the time.

Every choice we ever made was the only choice we could have made because we chose what we preferred the MOST at that particluar split second in time.

A few seconds before, or a few seconds afterwards, we may have chosen something else due to influences that were non-existent when we actually did make the choice.

No one has ever made a choice without a reason, even if that reason was only to choose randomly, e.g. flipping a coin.

The reason was the influence that CAUSED us to choose what we did choose.

At that particular split-second in time that was the ONLY choice we could have made based on the reason why we preferred that choice the MOST.

"therefore contrary choice or “free" will not only does not exist but cannot exist."

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things

We are like babies ... We need some coaxing before we put away our selfish ways. This is where evil, suffering, etc. come in. God 'allows' these things so we might choose wisely.



Sure, our circumstances play a role in our decisions, but we (Our desires) are NOT governed by God alone. We are self aware, and it is in this self awareness that we are able to make decisions that best suit our particular needs/wants/desires.
 
A far more "reasonable" view—in my opinion. How do we ever learn if we aren't the ones actually doing the choosing?

But we ARE the ones "doing the choosing."
It's just that we always choose what our reasonings tell us we prefer to choose the MOST. It is simply not possible to choose otherwise. That is why every choice we ever made was the only choice we coukld have made at that point in time.

We all will learn what God wants us to learn, by trial and error, according to God's perfect timing for each individual.

Why would God create us, just to manipulate us and then punish us when He makes us transgress? That just doesn't make any sense at all.

The idea that it would not be right for God to hold us accountable for doing what we could not help but do is merely an ethical opinion that is rendered irrelevant by the irrefutable fact that WE ALWAYS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, CHOOSE IN THE DIRECTION OF THE STRONGEST INFLUENCE, ALL OF THE TIME.

But a God that creates the conditions for life and then steps back and lets life find its own way is a deity that I could get behind... if it weren't for my overriding desire to not believe in deities.

I believe that God will eventually fit every unique individual into His master plan in a positive way that necessitates their unique temporary involvement in evil and suffering that will enable God to manifest, and glorify, and magnify the many facets of His character in a way that uniquely involves that person, and everyone else involved in that person’s life too.

Then, after God has finished using evil and suffering for the reasons why He allowed them to temporarily exist, He will eradicate them from existence.
THE PURPOSE OF EVIL
evil.html
 
(Our desires) are NOT governed by God alone. We are self aware, and it is in this self awareness that we are able to make decisions that best suit our particular needs/wants/desires.

We are governed by our reasonings which CAUSE us to choose the choice that we prefer to choose the MOST.
We cannot choose anything else.

Our "decisions" are made in response to the reasonings that cause us to "desire" one choice instead of another.

Every choice we ever made was the only choice we could have made because we chose what we preferred the MOST at that particluar split second in time.

A few seconds before, or a few seconds afterwards, we may have chosen something else due to influences that were non-existent when we actually did make the choice.

No one has ever made a choice without a reason, even if that reason was only to choose randomly, e.g. flipping a coin.

The reason was the influence that CAUSED us to choose what we did choose.

At that particular split-second in time that was the ONLY choice we could have made based on the reason why we preferred that choice the MOST.

"therefore contrary choice or “free" will not only does not exist but cannot exist."
 
There is no such a thing as "free" will.

God has locked everyone up in a lifetime of choices that can ONLY be made in the direction of the STRONGEST influence all of the time.

Every choice we ever made was the only choice we could have made because we chose what we preferred the MOST at that particluar split second in time.

A few seconds before, or a few seconds afterwards, we may have chosen something else due to influences that were non-existent when we actually did make the choice.

No one has ever made a choice without a reason, even if that reason was only to choose randomly, e.g. flipping a coin.

The reason was the influence that CAUSED us to choose what we did choose.

At that particular split-second in time that was the ONLY choice we could have made based on the reason why we preferred that choice the MOST.

"therefore contrary choice or “free" will not only does not exist but cannot exist."

If the "strongest" reason that causes you to do something is delusion, the delusion is a product of your own mind. If the strongest reason that causes you to do something is jealousy, then the jealousy is a product of your mind. You manufacture the jealousy. You override the sympathetic joy you should feel in favor of manufacturing jealousy. You create the causal mechanism in that case. If the "strongest" reason that causes you to do something is 'hate,' the hate is a product of your own mind. YOU create the hate, jealousy, and delusion. You choose to manufacture them and act on them. That is why there are laws against the harmful acts that people do under these products of your mind. (There are no laws against acts resulting from sympathetic joy, compassion, and love. Good Samaratan laws exist to protect those acting in such a way.)

If the "strongest cause" is a product of your own mind, then it would be a good idea to take responsibility for it and make an active effort to purify your mind.
 
If the "strongest cause" is a product of your own mind, then it would be a good idea to take responsibility for it and make an active effort to purify your mind.

Sometimes the "strongest cause" is already "pure."

If our mind is already "pure," the STRONGEST influence, made up of the reasons why we prefer one choice over another, will also be "pure."

When we choose, we choose what is presently choice to us. It is not possible for us to do otherwise, for our choices reflect the true condition of our heart, and manifest our character.

This is why, as a universalist Christian, it is important fo me to be able to believe that God will eventually fit every unique individual into His master plan in a positive way that necessitates their unique temporary involvement in evil and suffering that will enable God to manifest, and glorify, and magnify the many facets of His character in a way that uniquely involves that person, and everyone else involved in that person’s life too.

Then, after God has finished using evil and suffering for the reasons why He allowed them to temporarily exist, He will eradicate them from existence.
THE PURPOSE OF EVIL
evil.html

I found Ray Prinzing's point of view helpful. He said ---
God never lets anyone get involved in evil and suffering any further than He intends to eventually make it better for them (and for everyone else connected to them) that they were involved.

I believe how much, and for how long, each of us gets involved in evil and suffering is up to God. He is the one Who perfectly controls the interplay between good and evil, both in the world as a whole, and in our individual lives too. The end result will bring permanent positive blessings to everyone.

I call it "theistic determinism."
BIBLICAL CHART OF GOD’S PLAN FOR THE AGES OF TIME
The eons of the Bible With Concordance, God’s purpose of the eons.
Here is a quote from it
"During the present wicked eon (Gal.1:4), Sin reigns, and death swallows up the race (1 Cor.15:22).
But notwithstanding, God is over all and is in supreme control.
He is the eonian God (the God of the ages). In due time He will deliver the entire creation and bring good out of all the suffering mankind is called upon to endure (Rom.8;18-23)."
 
as a universalist Christian, it is important for me to be able to believe
When they were butchering people in Cambodia is was important for them to be able to believe the story they had all been told as well.
It enabled them to kill without compunction so as to achieve the stated goal which the murderers believed in.

It was important for the catholics to be able to believe in the stories they had been told during medieval times that burning witches was a good thing as well as all the other nonsense they had been told to do, and they did believe, they believed with fervor at times, and the church invested much time and effort to insure that all their adherents also be able to believe the stories they were telling as it insured their power base would remain intact and would thrive.

People have believed all manner of stories through the ages.
This is not evidence of veracity any more than the volume of the mob running due to hysteria is evidence of their rationality.

The people who have committed various genocides for a variety of reasons over the past few thousand years all believed they were involved in some just cause which enabled them to to butcher with zeal and a justification.
It does not absolve them in the eyes of history, but they could feel good about it at the time.
This is the problem with beliefs.
Often they are wrong.
But just try to tell the believer that.
 
This is the problem with beliefs. Often they are wrong. But just try to tell the believer that.

If there was one thing missing from Rodger's posts it's the understanding that his POV is a matter of personal faith and not some kind of iron-clad truth.

Seattlegal mentioned delusion in her post and one form of delusion is clinging to concepts. Rodger is a good example of what happens when you become materialistic over something that is immaterial.

Just be one with God.

Leave the rest up to Him.
 
If there was one thing missing from Rodger's posts it's the understanding that his POV is a matter of personal faith and not some kind of iron-clad truth.

Can you quote me where I inferred my belief is an "iron-clad truth,"
except in my last post in which I was joking?

Seattlegal mentioned delusion in her post and one form of delusion is clinging to concepts.

What if the concepts turn out to be the truth?

Rodger is a good example of what happens when you become materialistic over something that is immaterial.

I don't understand what you mean by that. :confused:
What is it that is "immaterial?"

To be able to believe that evil and suffering are temporary, and God is eventally going to tranform it all into something better for everyone is a big help to some of us.

e.g. THE PURPOSE OF EVIL
evil.html

Just be one with God.
Leave the rest up to Him.

I can do that, as long as I'm not asked to believe in a god who would allow anyone to suffer forever, like some Christians and Muslims believe.
 
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Can you quote me where I inferred my belief is an "iron-clad truth," except in my last post in which I was joking?

Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt.

What if the concepts turn out to be the truth?

Concepts are thoughts. Thoughts are not "the truth" they are fleeting electro-chemical functions of our brain. Clinging to a transient reaction and seeing it as "the truth" is delusional.

What is it that is "immaterial?"

A concept is immaterial. But it can be "clung to" nonetheless.

I can do that, as long as I'm not asked to believe in a god who would allow anyone to suffer forever, like some Christians and Muslims believe.

Ironic that the man who doesn't want to be asked to believe something is the one incessantly asking others to believe something.

That has a whiff of hypocrisy to it. Can you smell it, Rodger?
 
Ironic that the man who doesn't want to be asked to believe something is the one incessantly asking others to believe something.
That has a whiff of hypocrisy to it. Can you smell it, Rodger?

I'm not asking anyone to believe anything.
Everyone will believe, or not believe, anything they want to.

I am, however, guiding others to reasons why I believe as I do.

Regarding why I believe in universal transformation
THE PURPOSE OF EVIL
evil.html

Regarding why I believe in theistic determinism
CHOICE AND DEITY
biblical studies: His Achievement Are We - Part 16 - Choice and Deity
 
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