Author Topic: Free will and foreknowledge  (Read 3639 times)

Offline Pon de Replay

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3597
  • Thanked: 1736 times
  • Religion: Agnostic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #90 on: November 11, 2018, 11:32:26 AM »
The other thing, your joy in heaven increases with the Charity you develop on Earth.

Even Dutch Schultz, who was a Catholic for perhaps a few hours has more joy in heaven then a recently baptized baby that dies.

As far as dead fertilized embyo's like in the fertility clinics, they are in Limbo.  I don't think it is possible for them to experience what we would consider "joy".  They don't suffer.

I am merely appealing to Catholic theology, James.  The Catholic Encyclopedia entry says that the souls in the limbo of infants "enjoy and will eternally enjoy a state of perfect natural happiness."  I am not disputing that limbo is less than heaven.  It doesn't have to be as good as heaven to still be preferable to risking heaven in a trial where the odds of success are slim.  It's better to fold and cut your losses than to go all in on a junk hand.
 

Offline Pon de Replay

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3597
  • Thanked: 1736 times
  • Religion: Agnostic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #91 on: November 11, 2018, 11:37:17 AM »
Quote
Therefore, absent faith by grace, wouldn't the logical conclusion of finding a world with suffering be that it was not wrought by an omnibenevolent deity?  An omnibenevolent diety would, definitionally, give to all created souls eternal happiness, gratis.

No, that would be an error.  The error is dualism.  How could I exist if my parents didn't live their lives?  For that matter, how could they exist if my grandparents hadn't lived their lives, and on it goes.

It doesn't have anything to do with parentage.  We can use the angels as an example.  They are created, not born.  Just consider a basic thought experiment: there's a world populated with angels that contains suffering.  How would you say their creator is omnibenevolent when he could've just placed them in a world without it?
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8130
  • Thanked: 2615 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #92 on: November 11, 2018, 11:48:35 AM »
You answer your own dilemma.  God didn't create angels with parentage.  So there was no need for parents to be born.

So your question is really this:  Why did God create both men AND angels?

Unfortunately I can't answer that.  This is not a cop out however.  We have minimal (bordering on non-existent) information on angels, so it is impossible to say how they differ from us in every way.  Logic would dictate that we have some advantage over angels while they have some advantage over us and thus God created both.  I think we got the better deal as we have Confession or even a sincere Act of Contrition.  In a Word (pun intended), we have Jesus Christ.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8130
  • Thanked: 2615 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #93 on: November 11, 2018, 11:49:59 AM »
Quote
It's better to fold and cut your losses than to go all in on a junk hand.

It's less risky FOR YOU, but is screws over all the people that won't be born or saved as a result.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline Pon de Replay

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3597
  • Thanked: 1736 times
  • Religion: Agnostic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #94 on: November 11, 2018, 01:30:04 PM »
You answer your own dilemma.  God didn't create angels with parentage.  So there was no need for parents to be born.

So your question is really this:  Why did God create both men AND angels?

Unfortunately I can't answer that.  This is not a cop out however.  We have minimal (bordering on non-existent) information on angels, so it is impossible to say how they differ from us in every way.  Logic would dictate that we have some advantage over angels while they have some advantage over us and thus God created both.  I think we got the better deal as we have Confession or even a sincere Act of Contrition.  In a Word (pun intended), we have Jesus Christ.

The dilemma pertains, ultimately, to omnibenevolence, not men and angels.  I was just proposing the thought experiment to get you over the hurdle about birth.

Maybe we can work this out by appealing to first principles.  I think we can agree on two things.  First, the empirical fact that we find ourselves in a world that contains suffering.  Second, that we can logically assume an uncaused cause, a prime mover of the universe that we can call God.

My question, then, is: how (absent faith by grace) can we logically conclude that this world is the willful and deliberate creation of God, and that God is by nature omnibenevolent?
 

Offline Pon de Replay

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3597
  • Thanked: 1736 times
  • Religion: Agnostic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #95 on: November 11, 2018, 01:37:27 PM »
Quote
It's better to fold and cut your losses than to go all in on a junk hand.

It's less risky FOR YOU, but is screws over all the people that won't be born or saved as a result.

You mistakenly seem to assume in this equation that all who are born will be saved.  That is not the case.  I am not screwing anyone over by giving them non-existence.  Non-existence is neither a positive or a negative; it's a zero.  The majority of souls go to hell, and non-existence is preferable to hell ("woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed.  It were better for him, if that man had not been born").
 

Offline Michael Wilson

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 6429
  • Thanked: 4099 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #96 on: November 11, 2018, 01:43:55 PM »
P.D.R. Stated:
Quote
Then, we can look at the scenario where God has created a scheme were there is suffering, even eternal suffering, and see that this does, at least, prima facie, contradict the notion of an omnibenevolent God.  It remains possible, of course, that there is some unknown way that God could create this and still be omnibenevolent.  But that claim is suspect, as it appeals not only to what we do not know, but also to what appears paradoxical and illogical.

Therefore, absent faith by grace, wouldn't the logical conclusion of finding a world with suffering be that it was not wrought by an omnibenevolent deity?  An omnibenevolent diety would, definitionally, give to all created souls eternal happiness, gratis.
Pon,
I would respond that even good parents and good governments are forced to punish erring children and citizens. The presence of free will includes the freedom to do wrong and to violate justice and charity. Just as it would be wrong for a parent not to punish an errant child, and a governor, the criminal, so it would be wrong for God not to punish (at least in the end) the unjust and sinful creature.
The presence of Hell not only does not signify that the deity is not omnibenevolent, but only if the deity in question were to send an undeserving soul there; the same could be said of a parent or of a governor in dealing out punishment to their children or citizens.   
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 

Offline Pon de Replay

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3597
  • Thanked: 1736 times
  • Religion: Agnostic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #97 on: November 11, 2018, 02:00:51 PM »
I would respond that even good parents and good governments are forced to punish erring children and citizens. The presence of free will includes the freedom to do wrong and to violate justice and charity. Just as it would be wrong for a parent not to punish an errant child, and a governor, the criminal, so it would be wrong for God not to punish (at least in the end) the unjust and sinful creature.
The presence of Hell not only does not signify that the deity is not omnibenevolent, but only if the deity in question were to send an undeserving soul there; the same could be said of a parent or of a governor in dealing out punishment to their children or citizens.   

Michael, I think we are missing each other on "the presence of free will."  Free will is clearly not necessary to attain eternal happiness or the beatific vision; the souls of the unbaptized in limbo and the baptized in heaven who died before the age of reason show this. 

There would be no need to for the Omnibenevolent to punish any errant children since, by virtue of his omnibenevolence, he would logically have given everyone eternal happiness without bringing choice into the equation.  The present question is why he did not do that.  The results of doling out free will are: a systematic unfairness and gratuitous suffering.


« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 09:27:47 PM by Pon de Replay »
 

Offline Michael Wilson

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 6429
  • Thanked: 4099 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #98 on: November 11, 2018, 02:51:21 PM »
Pon,
 I'm all talked out on this subject. If I haven't convinced you so far, then I'm certainly not going to do so by repeating what I already wrote. Thanks for the responses and I enjoyed our exchanges, the only thing that was missing, was a good bottle of Bourbon and a good cigar.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
The following users thanked this post: Pon de Replay

Offline Pon de Replay

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3597
  • Thanked: 1736 times
  • Religion: Agnostic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #99 on: November 11, 2018, 04:22:22 PM »
Pon,
 I'm all talked out on this subject. If I haven't convinced you so far, then I'm certainly not going to do so by repeating what I already wrote. Thanks for the responses and I enjoyed our exchanges, the only thing that was missing, was a good bottle of Bourbon and a good cigar.

Yes, we appear to have reached a stalemate.  I suspect this might be a "faith by grace required" problem to solve, though I take the ancillary point that you and James are making about the necessity of the earthly sojourn in order to maximize the beatific vision for those who are saved.  I think I understand that better.  Gracias.
 
The following users thanked this post: Michael Wilson

Offline Pon de Replay

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3597
  • Thanked: 1736 times
  • Religion: Agnostic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #100 on: November 11, 2018, 04:28:15 PM »
Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound:
Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound:
What meaneth Nature by these diverse laws?
Passion and reason, self-division cause.
Is it the mark, or Majesty of Power
To make offences that it may forgive?


Baron Fulke Greville (1554 1628)
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8130
  • Thanked: 2615 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #101 on: November 11, 2018, 04:30:21 PM »
Quote
Michael, I think we are missing each other on "the presence of free will."  Free will is clearly not necessary to attain eternal happiness or the beatific vision; the souls of the unbaptized in limbo and the baptized in heaven who died before the age of reason show this.

The level of Charity in the baptized baby is minimal.  In fact, it is probably thought of as one-way, the Charity God infused at Baptism.  This baby still has free will, but it wasn't used much, if any.  The multi-celled embryo, which is still a human person, never loved God, nor was God's Charity poured into it.

The man who tried and fell, then got back and freely chose to try again because he loved virtue filled his heart with Charity for God.  His joy in heaven will be far greater.  This is only possible with Free Will.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8130
  • Thanked: 2615 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #102 on: November 11, 2018, 04:37:40 PM »
Quote
My question, then, is: how (absent faith by grace) can we logically conclude that this world is the willful and deliberate creation of God, and that God is by nature omnibenevolent?
  You can arrive at some knowledge of God from nature.  We see that in every culture.  All are given actual graces, and for those that cooperate with Grace, God will give them additional Graces then a miracle to save them.  How often do they make it?  No one knows, which is why we try to get everyone baptized.

Quote
Is it the mark, or Majesty of Power
To make offences that it may forgive?

A denial of Free Will.

A better phrase would be:  "Is it the mark, or Majesty of Power, to make Virtues that it may forgive?"  This would be closer to reality, however God's motivation is wrong.  God "makes" Virtues because He is the Form of the Good.  Out of Mercy, He forgives when we transgress virtue.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline Pon de Replay

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3597
  • Thanked: 1736 times
  • Religion: Agnostic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #103 on: November 11, 2018, 04:40:43 PM »
The level of Charity in the baptized baby is minimal.  In fact, it is probably thought of as one-way, the Charity God infused at Baptism.  This baby still has free will, but it wasn't used much, if any.  The multi-celled embryo, which is still a human person, never loved God, nor was God's Charity poured into it.

The man who tried and fell, then got back and freely chose to try again because he loved virtue filled his heart with Charity for God.  His joy in heaven will be far greater.  This is only possible with Free Will.

Then you are claiming God created a system that would deny billions of soul the ability to choose him freely, and deny them that greater joy through no fault or doing of their own.  How do you reckon this is fair?
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8130
  • Thanked: 2615 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Free will and foreknowledge
« Reply #104 on: November 11, 2018, 05:11:46 PM »
Quote
Then you are claiming God created a system that would deny billions of soul the ability to choose him freely, and deny them that greater joy through no fault or doing of their own.  How do you reckon this is fair?

Because He is in no one's debt, so it is fair.

If you have Free Will, this is the result.  I've said elsewhere, Free Will is the Prime Directive.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."