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Posts posted by cksalmon

  1. 6 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

    Why would the ravings of a petty ignoramus alter my religious beliefs?

    Nice! No reason they should, "The Nehor."

    I guess for me, I've begun to distance myself from the sort of folks who think Trump is the "Christian" Leader America Needed post-Obama. And, yeah, that has at least impacted my own perception of how I'm related to my religious beliefs, if that's vague enough. 

  2. (1) True: I keep moving away from Trump's policies and Twitter pronouncements but it has no discernible effect on my religious beliefs

    (2) True: I keep moving away from Trump's policies and Twitter pronouncements and it has impacted my religious beliefs to some degree

    (3) False: Stay the course, Mr. Trump!

    (4) Other... (comment below)




    I'd say I'm probably in the (2) camp, but what precisely that means is perhaps a bit difficult to articulate in sound byte form.


  3. 6 minutes ago, Calm said:

    We talk about Catholicism at times mainly because there are thoughtful Catholics here making interesting comments to engage with.  If you want a healthy discussion about Calvinism, maybe you should stick around long enough to interest people in the subject.  Suggesting people are avoiding something when it is probably something they just aren't interested in about having to search out ideas to discuss on their own seems a bit much.

    Oh, Calm. You've posted so often, but know so little about me. Where is the old guard?

  4. 25 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

    What is truth? ;)  Is it true that murder is wrong?   How do you show that?  Mormonism is true in the same way that "It is wrong to murder" is true.  It works as a way of life.

    By the way, good to see you!

    Hey, buddy. 

    You know I'm not a pragmatist. So, I'll just throw some NT at ya. 

    "For sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law."

  5. 12 minutes ago, Calm said:

    Doesn't it matter what the other options are if the LDS faith isn't the best expression of the Gospel or at least God's authorized covenant makers?

    For example, there is a huge difference in gains and loses if the other option is Atheism as opposed to Calvinism.

    Fair enough. 

    But, my question is how Mormonism cashes out ultimate options. Ex hypothesi, Mormonism is true. What does one gain by opting in versus opting out?

    As for Calvinism vs Atheism: you'd sure better opt in. That's a given. I'm wondering if Mormonism has a trump card. 

  6. What would it look like?

    To get you started...

    1. Mormonism is true, or Mormonism is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
    2. A Game is being played... where heads or tails will turn up.
    3. You must wager (it is not optional).
    4. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that Mormonism is true. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain [what?]; if you lose, you lose [what?]
    5. ?




  7. On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 5:16 PM, Steve Noel said:

    "I have experienced the arrogance, condescension, sarcasm, mockery, misrepresentation, etc. that sometimes comes from theologically/apologetically minded Evangelicals (especially online)."

    Wait. What? My ears were burning.

  8. If Joseph was practicing plural marriage before 1942, why did this messenger have to appear

    to him for the third time?

    It's complicated and there were some time travel issues. 'Nuff said. 

  9.  I am asking if it is possible for ANY Mormon to be a Christian.


    From my perspective (and that of my ex-Mormon wife), of course. 


    We'd say that Mormons can be Christians in the same way that all Christians are so: by God's grace (and, because I'm a Calvinist, I'd say also by God's choosing). And that in spite of any and all obstacles (including Mormonism).




  10. Am I completely up to speed with all that is written on the topic? nah...but I'd wager neither are you nor cksalmon, even if both of ya are far more well-read than I.


    I can't speak for M, but I'll have you know, my good sir, that I read everything I could possibly find on the subject, a decade ago, in writing a thesis on the problem of evil in the context of Calvinism, at least as my sources pertained to the questions I was seeking to address, and within the timeframe I had to write, and provided I could wrangle access to obscure sources, etc.




    So, yeah, I'm not up to speed with all that has been written on the topic. I'm sure the literature has grown. Ten years is a long time. And my focus was not as broad as it might have been.

  11. God is only "ultimately responsible for all things, including the existence of evil," if He is the only non-contingent, necessary being.  in LDS theology He is not the only necessary being, and all humans are coeternal with Him.  Which means that He cannot be responsible for all things, and not for evil, since that would contradict His fundamental nature as God.


    Yeah, I'm familiar with at least the broad contours of LDS theology. You could read my post as saying nothing more important than, "But I'm not a Mormon."


    But a couple things you wrote are unclear to me.


    In LDS theology He is not the only necessary being [emphasis added]


    Are all beings necessary on Mormonism or none at all? You'll have to refresh my memory on necessary beings in Mormonism. This strikes me as a sticky question.


    Which means that He cannot be responsible [1] for all things, and [2] not for evil, since that would contradict His fundamental nature as God.


    [1] I get. It follows from the co-eternality of other beings. Of course, I would phrase it differently, e.g.: "It would contradict his fundamental nature as [not the sort of God who ultimately brings about all things]," where my brackets are filled in with something slightly more intelligent.


    If [2] is a [1], then, sure, that follows, too, I guess. It's just a more specific way of affirming [1].


    Why can't the God of Mormonism be responsible for (some) evil? He can't be responsible for any evil? Sounds like you're thinking evil is some sort of thing. Or, perhaps you're just saying the God of Mormonism can't be responsible for anything or anyone other than himself.



  12. of course it's bunk. If God created all things absolutely and knew before hand all that would happen before He created, then all choices are what He conceived of. The problem associated with this, of course, is that before creation God was all there was. When He conceived of creation, He must have conceived of evil. Thus all evil is the result of God. Without Him conceiving of evil there would be no evil. And if God created absolutely He could save people at creation, rather than forcing them through life wherein many to most become lost forever, suffering eternally.

    Compatibilism is bunk? There's a fairly robust literature on the topic. It doesn't seem like bunk to me, but unlike you, I'm biased. 


    Sounds like your beef is with a God who is ultimately responsible for all things, including the existence of evil. I just don't share your squeamishness on that point, stemelbow.

  13. Yes, some do equivocate.


    The late Chuck Smith, pastor of Calvary Chapel (Costa Mesa, Calif), frankly stated that the notion of free will directly opposed the sovereignty of God.  He admitted that he could not explain any logical way out of such a contradiction or paradox, even though he believed in free will.


    In any discussion of free will, definitions are crucial. Mormons, for example, typically hold a belief in libertarian free will.


    If I say I believe in free will, but of the compatibilist variety rather than the libertarian one, I'm not equivocating; I'm defining my term. Maybe you think it's bunk, but that's another sort of discussion.


    I can't speak to your alleged Chuck Smith sentiment, but I consider him a dubious source of theological insight. I would be pleasantly surprised to see him admit that his belief system is incoherent.


    Quoth Nehor:

    That is not entirely true. Many Calvinists believe in free will; they just don't believe your eternal destination can be chosen.


    "Can be chosen" by whom?


    Well, right-thinking Calvinists don't believe in libertarian free will (though some folks at my Presbyterian church do  :D )  and right-thinking Calvinists hold that a Christian actually does choose his/her own eternal destination as a result of God's prior providence.


    Come to think of it, I can't think of any Christian group who holds that one's eternal destination can't be chosen by someone.

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