Chaos-Engineer has left a new comment on your post "ANTI-SCIENCE DARWINISTS CANNOT EVEN GIVE A REASON ...":
"Free Will vs. Determinism is a pretty tricky philosophical problem. Christianity gets stuck on it too.
The problem there is that God is omniscient, and therefore knows exactly what's going to happen in the future. But if my future acts have been predetermined since the beginning of time, how can I be held responsible for them?"
Hyper-Calvinism, in other words. Allow me to insert an excerpt from the link. This is not a normative Christian worldview:
"This gets even trickier because God is also omnipotent, and therefore has the ability to create people who have free will but who never choose to sin. So God could have created "that version of me", but he chose to create this version instead, and therefore God bears the ultimate moral responsibility for all the consequences of that choice."
Not so, my friend! God made you with free will. If you cannot choose whether or not to sin, you are a robot not a man! We will address this further down the line. But thank you for making a reasoned argument! I grow weary of the typical Darwinist commenter who does not bring an argument along for the ride. Props to you!!!
"Exodus 9:12 is a good encapsulation of the paradox."
Let's look at that verse in ESV:
"But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses."
We cannot simply take scripture out of context and understand it. The matter of Pharaoh and Moses was not a one verse song. Let me give you the shortened version. Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, performed miracles by the direction of God to make sure Pharaoh knew that the God of Israel was real and then the two demanded that His enslaved people, the Children of Israel, be let go. Joseph was the son of Israel who saved Egypt and made it a mighty power by revelation from God that seven good years of crops and weather would be followed by seven years of famine. By storing up grain in warehouses, Pharaoh's second-in-command, the former slave and imprisoned Joseph, allowed Egypt to feed the starving in exchange for riches and lands.
But eventually a Pharaoh came into power who did not remember Joseph and what he had done to make Egypt great. He was afraid of the large number of Jews living in his lands and cruelly enslaved them. Moses was a baby born to be (by edict) murdered at birth, but his mother and sister put him in a basket which the infertile daughter of Pharaoh found floating in the Nile and claimed him as her own child, unwittingly recruiting Mose's own mother to be his nursemaid. Moses was therefore a son of royalty and could have become Pharaoh or at least the powerful brother of the Pharaoh. But Moses' heart turned towards his suffering people and he murdered a cruel Egyptian taskmaster, and then ran to the wilderness to escape punishment, becoming a tender of flocks, married to the daughter of the Priest of Midian and with no plans to return to Egypt again.
Moses, shepherding flocks in the wilderness, noticed a bush burning without burning up and was drawn to this strange sight. God spoke to Moses and identified Himself as I AM THAT I AM, the self-existent God. Moses and his brother Aaron would then become the representatives of God to Pharaoh to tell him to let God's people go free and back to their promised lands. You have to read from at least Genesis 30 to Exodus 15 to get the entire story.
But the truth is that Pharaoh was given the chance to decide to free the Jews. God did not force him to have a hardened heart. But once Pharaoh deliberately hardened his heart after already experiencing five plagues on his people (and not on the Jews), God then more or less made the condition permanent after the sixth plague so that His power could be demonstrated to Egypt and all peoples for all time. Here is a verse that explains this process, one that can happen to anyone:
King James Version of Proverbs 29:1 - He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
I believe that God will harden the heart of those who deliberately harden their hearts themselves. The verse Chaos uses reveals the state of Pharaoh's heart after several plagues had already hit the Egyptians. Pharaoh should have known that God was God. He ignored all the proofs and evidence. He would say that the people could go and then go back on his words. So God decided to make an example of him (and his charioteers). God took Pharaoh's hardened heart and froze it in that state, but Pharaoh was the one who decided to harden his heart in the first place and it was Pharaoh who did not keep his word. God always keeps His Word!!!
"The only way to get around this is to adopt the Calvinist belief that God deliberately creates Evil in order to demonstrate the virtue of Justice by punishing it. That seems evil and unjust by human moral standards, but the way around that argument is to just say that anything God does is by definition "Good", no matter how hateful and destructive it might appear. Fred Phelps has a lot to say on the subject. "
Fred Phelps and his disgusting cult is not in any way a Christian organization. You want to use Phelps as an example of Christianity, then let me use John Wayne Gacy as a typical Darwinist. No? Then keep the lunatics of the Westboro idiots out of an otherwise intelligent discussion.
I hope people understand that your use of "Calvinist" is actually "Hyper-Calvinist" so we can discuss that. That God creates each of us before we are born in the womb and knows all of our deeds and thoughts is apparent from scripture, so we each have a unique life created by God and given to the world. By heritage we get the genetic codes from our parents that build our bodies and the soul passed down through the blood. But man also has an eternal spirit given to us at the creation of mankind. We are made in God's image, three part beings (body, soul and spirit) just as God is Father, Son and Spirit. We see in Genesis one and two the creation account, first a day-by-day account and then a narrative that focuses on the creation of man. The Son of God breathed life into Adam, making him unique among creatures, an eternal person with a supernatural spirit in a natural world, meant to rule over creation with his wife, Eve and their descendants...if only they would obey the one commandment that was given to them. Of course they disobeyed and sinned and brought death and woes inumerable upon mankind and all of creation.
Free will, then, was intrinsic to mankind from the beginning. Since God is Omnipresent, He knows everything we will do but that doesn't mean He makes us do it, quite the opposite! He deliberately made man to be creative, thoughtful, inventive and intuitive and able to have relationship with God Himself. He also gave mankind a free will. It is not the normal Christian who denies free will.
I would argue that just because God is not limited by time and has seen every life event of every person and in fact everything for all time does not make him a puppet-master. God is a gentleman who does not force you to worship Him. He gives you and everyone else a choice. Every second of every day that you live you keep having that choice presented to you. Will you accept the Blood Sacrifice of Christ for your sins and make Him your Lord and Savior? Or will you deny Him?
"Anyway, the Humanist explanation for Free Will is a philosophy called Compatibilism. The link has a long discussion of the history, but basically Compatibilists believe that Free Will and Mortal Responsibility can exist as valid concepts, even if the underlying behavior is predetermined."
Who says the behavior is predetermined? Darwinists do, if they are pure Darwinists, but they also deny any absolute morality and also deny the existence of a Creator Who gave us the morality and will preside as Judge at the end of time. All considerations of responsibility are moot if there is no moral standard by which actions may be judged. Will you steal the morality of Christians while denying God? Does that really make sense?
The story of mankind from the Biblical perspective has always been a case of man, given choices and moral direction from God being the one who decides whether to obey or rebel. Darwinism is an organized rebellion against God and Godly morality. We see that our society becomes more depraved the farther we wander from the belief that God is Lord of all and Judge as well.
We Christians believe in the "conservation of the miraculous" in that God does not directly intervene in the affairs of men without good reason. While God has given us salvation and direct relationship with Him, we Christians who are classic believers will pray and ask God to intervene on behalf of us, our family, our friends, people in need, our nation, our troops and all those who stand between the community and evil and for the people of the world. We pray because He encourages us to pray. We do not know how often He directly steps into the material world to guide events but we know that His Will for mankind is far more important than our own desires and so-called needs.
God ended direct communication with mankind in general with the completion of the scriptures with the Book of Revelation, probably written before AD 65 by consideration of the events of the times and many other proofs. That Jesus made predictions about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in his prophecies is supported by Josephus and the early church fathers. (Great link, I hope you check it out)!
Dispensationalism is a late attendee to the Christian faith and the spread of the idea that John's prophetic language in Revelation was meant to be read literally AND that Jesus's use of the phrase "this generation" should be stretched out for thousands of years is just bad use of Biblical hermaneutics and exegesis. Sorry, Hawkeye, the subject came up here and I will believe what I see as truth. I know you do not take money from folks. Dispensationalism is not the historic position of the church and is based on one rather garbled quote from Iraneus and little else. All the early church fathers almost without exception taught this and certainly the apostles were looking forward to the destruction of the Temple as the judgment of God against those who rejected His Son and as the end of true Judaism. Rabbinical Judaism has taken the place of the Judaism of the time of Christ, for Christ was the Messiah and Christianity is the continuation of the true faith of Adam and Noah and Abraham and Israel and Joshua and Daniel and Jesus Christ and Peter and Paul.
Remember, when Jesus was crucified the Temple Veil was torn in two from the top down and the Glory of the Lord left the Holy of Holies forever. Jesus predicted correctly that the Temple would be torn down stone by stone within the time of "this generation" to whom He was speaking.
I see that unscrupulous teachers convince their followers that God is a waiter ready to obey their prayers if they have enough faith...and usually one of the proofs of faith is giving money to the teacher!!! There will be no great tribulation, no seven years of hell on Earth, no weird creatures tormenting people, no Anti-Christ and no new temple built in Jerusalem. No, rather God will destroy this world and make a New Heavens and a New Earth just as He promised. David Green has compiled 101 statements in the New Testament that support a fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse within the lifetime of the hearers.
Adam Maarschalk has authored an essay that reveals that Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy of Leviticus that demanded that the Temple be torn down.
This means no more new revelations for mankind from any modern so-called prophets. This means that we do not give to God as if He was a kind of investment portfolio with a guaranteed return on investment. Nor do we order Him about. God has a plan for His world and we are certainly important to Him, each of us, but His will for the world trumps my particular wants and needs.
LET'S TAKE A CONCEPTUAL THOUGHT JOURNEY!
Is there some mystery here? Sure! Let me repeat some assertions and then take a thought journey to consider them...from my last post:
"Darwinism believes a singularity magically appeared from nowhere.
Darwinism believes it exploded by unknown forces.
Both of those beliefs defy the Laws of Thermodynamics. In fact the Big Bang is mostly miracles and fairy tales and an equation with 96% missing energy and matter. THEREFORE SCIENCE HAD NO EVIDENCE-BASED REASON TO ABANDON CREATION BY GOD!
Darwinists believe life formed itself from non-life.
This violates the Law of Biogenesis.
THEREFORE SCIENCE HAD NO EVIDENCE-BASED REASON TO ABANDON CREATION BY GOD!
Darwinists believe "favorable mutations" (probably about as common as werewolves or zombies) collect and eventually form more advanced forms of life.
This belief violates the Laws of Statistics and the Laws of Thermodynamics.
THEREFORE SCIENCE HAD NO EVIDENCE-BASED REASON TO ABANDON CREATION BY GOD!
Darwinists believe information contained in DNA and the cell is simply random happy accidents.
This belief violates the Laws of Statistics and the Laws of Thermodynamics and the Laws of Information.
THEREFORE SCIENCE HAD NO EVIDENCE-BASED REASON TO ABANDON CREATION BY GOD!"
Leaving the statistical portion of this to another time and many previous posts, let us consider three laws Darwinists ignore and let me tell you why they do it. Use your imagination...Naturalists, think about the concept of not being bound by the four dimensions but actually having created those dimensions as God did. To help you become unbound by materialism allow me to recommend reading Adventures in Flatland?
"Classic of science (and mathematical) fiction — charmingly illustrated by author — describes the journeys of A. Square and his adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions). A. Square also entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions — a revolutionary idea for which he is banished from Spaceland."
I could say the book is about a two-dimensional being discovering the amazing concept of a three-dimensional worlds and other dimensions as well and that would be so little to say about the book. It is a must-read for those who want to consider philosophical thoughts seriously in my opinion. It is a book about realizing both your limitations and how to see beyond them. Now I hope I can help you see beyond the three-dimensional world bound by the fourth dimension in which you live and imagine more...God and His Limitless Magnificence!
The Law of Biogenesis makes life an miraculous occurrence. Not natural.
The Laws of Thermodynamics make existence a miraculous occurrence. Not natural.
The Laws of Information make information and consciousness a miraculous occurrence. Not Natural.
Therefore the Universe is itself a miracle upheld by God Himself.
The Supremacy of God's Son
So if we could look at the entire Universe and say, let's only see the miraculous parts lit up, it would continue to shine in every place. God made self-replicating organic machines and every star and planet and in fact all forces, laws, powers, time, every particle and subatomic particle and whatever the fabric of space might be, He wove it. So we will dispense with imagining the miraculous wonder of His creation and focus on what is supernatural in fact within the Universe.
Information. Since information does not come from material sources, see my link here, The Ultimate Information Post, for multiple proofs and arguments. So if we were to only allow the information to shine out, we would still face many blinding lights. We need to tone it down.
Life of man. We were created with an eternal soul. Only man among all living creatures has this gift that is also a responsibility. We can know God...or we can reject Him. Suppose we only lit up the eternal souls of people?
The Universe would go dark but for one little blue planet which would shine like the Sun in a vast expanse of darkness. Like lighting a campfire in the deep wilderness, the light of the lives of people would shine with eternal light as we go about our days in a world otherwise consisting of material and temporal materials destined to devolve and eventually be destroyed by the same Voice that called it into existence. Those who have passed away from the temporal existence of life on Earth will be eternallly shining lights with God in communion with Him or will go dark, separated from God in isolation and torment, awaiting final judgment to come.
Think about this...the only beings made to be eternal in all of the history of existence are people like you and me. You are meant to be a forever person. This was God's intention from the beginning and He has made it possible to continue. In fact, it will continue.
Substitutionary Atonement. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died a cursed death unjustly hung on a cross and died the death I deserved. He became sin to pay for sin. He paid the blood sacrifice required for sins while fulfilling the law on Earth. He endured separation from the Godhead so you and I could be in relationship with God forever:
Matthew 25:31-46 ESV
The Final Judgment