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The Nature And Relationship Of God And Creation


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The premise isn't reliant on determinism being factual. While I do hold that true free will requires indeterminism, it is also not sufficient (simple indeterminism doesn't yield free will).

 

Why is it not sufficient? 

 

In a nut shell I'm asking why you think your premise (that God cannot create a free willed being) is true? 

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I'll reference you to Galen Strawson's The Basic Argument discussed in his article The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.

 

But basically whatever "free willed" decisions I make is because of who I am. If I were different, I would potentially make different decisions. But am I who I am because of my choices? Sure. But what caused those choices in the first place? Who I was. And what made me who I was? My choices. And those choices? Who I was. Etc. etc. Strawson goes through the line of reasoning much more rigorously.

 

 

 

Edit to add: Mormonism's escape from The Basic Argument's reasoning is both elegant and sufficient. Creatio ex nihilo does not escape but is damned by it.

Edited by Nofear
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I'll reference you to Galen Strawson's The Basic Argument discussed in his article The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.

 

But basically whatever "free willed" decisions I make is because of who I am. If I were different, I would potentially make different decisions. But am I who I am because of my choices? Sure. But what caused those choices in the first place? Who I was. And what made me who I was? My choices. And those choices? Who I was. Etc. etc. Strawson goes through the line of reasoning much more rigorously.

 

 

 

Edit to add: Mormonism's escape from The Basic Argument's reasoning is both elegant and sufficient. Creatio ex nihilo does not escape but is damned by it.

 

Creation Ex Nihilo is assumed to be insufficient based on a premise that God can't create a free willed being. Yet, why God can't create a free willed being hasn't yet been explained. 

 

Your explanation above, is a side step, not an explanation at all. Strawson's argument is based on the idea that who we are determines what we do. This is plainly false. Not everyone who is poor steals, and not everyone who is rich shares with those who have less. Not everyone who is paralyzed is bitter and acts angry. These facts undermine what he calls the "Basic Argument". 

 

 

 

Mormonism attempts to escape it by assuming matter and "intelligences" to be eternal (not created), a premise that doesn't fit the evidence in my opinion. 

Edited by danielwoods
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I find your rebuttal wanting and irrelevant. So would, I'm willing to bet, even philosophers who try in their own way to counter Strawson's argument in their own way. It's ok. I'm not going to lose sleep because some internet interlocuter is wrong. :)

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I'll reference you to Galen Strawson's The Basic Argument discussed in his article The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.

 

But basically whatever "free willed" decisions I make is because of who I am. If I were different, I would potentially make different decisions. But am I who I am because of my choices? Sure. But what caused those choices in the first place? Who I was. And what made me who I was? My choices. And those choices? Who I was. Etc. etc. Strawson goes through the line of reasoning much more rigorously.

 

 

 

Edit to add: Mormonism's escape from The Basic Argument's reasoning is both elegant and sufficient. Creatio ex nihilo does not escape but is damned by it.

DUDE!

 

I am impressed!   Actual thought right here!!

 

;)

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Mormonism attempts to escape it by assuming matter and "intelligences" to be eternal (not created), a premise that doesn't fit the evidence in my opinion. 

Evidence?  That matter was "created"??

 

I guess that is why all scientists are clearly creationists.  Uh huh.

 

Evidence that intelligence was CREATED??   So God is not "intelligent" because he was not created?

 

I don't think your "Intelligent design" guys would go for the idea that intelligence was "created".  Unless of course that the intelligent designer was a created little green man, I guess...

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I find your rebuttal wanting and irrelevant. So would, I'm willing to bet, even philosophers who try in their own way to counter Strawson's argument in their own way. It's ok. I'm not going to lose sleep because some internet interlocuter is wrong. :)

 

In other words you can't explain how God can't create a free willed being. Got it. 

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Well, Mormonism solves your perceived problem by giving everyone the title "God". Woohoo and high five! Oh, wait, self-determination is the temptation that Satan presented to Adam and Eve in the Garden.

 

No.  Not everyone gets the title of "God".  Only Deity has knowledge by nature.  We have to obtain knowledge by a difficult and sometimes painful process, and even then not everyone gets it.

 

And you are wrong about the temptation that Lucifer gave Adam and Eve in the Garden.  The temptation was making them think that they could gain the benefits of knowledge, without suffering the consequences (death).

 

-Stephen

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Indeed God is creating a Heaven full of Jesuses. 

 

 

But if God can create Jesuses, and God can do so outside of time, then God can create Jesuses Ex Nihilo rather than through a process. ..., then there is no reason to have all those people go the hell for eternity, no need for the suffering, etc.

 

-Stephen

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1) I already said, you lean very hard towards fate when presenting what you think about Christian teachings, and leave out the free part. You still are. But you carefully keep enough fate intact in your idyllic view of Mormon teaching so as to not have to take no-fate to its logical conclusion, nihilism.

2) Other than that, you have a depressing view of creation and of God. ...

3)God didn't program us with a personality. ...

 

 

1) Mormonism CAN hold to fate.  The difference is that God alone does not determine the fate, either by deciding which beings to create and which beings not to create.

 

2) You have not even demonstrated that you understand my view of creation and God.  You have not demonstrated that you even understand the arguments that have been presented to you.

 

3) God created ex nihilo every single aspect of our being according to your theology.

 

-stephen

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You also leave out or are ignoring the center of Christian faith, which is Jesus Christ. He is God's solution to your perceived problem, not ourselves with viewing ourselves as punky little gods that are self sufficient and not in Need of God. Christians understand we have a Need, and understand who fulfills that Need. It is not ourselves.  ...

Honestly, I don't know why you bother to believe in God at all. You certainly don't need God in the false self sufficient view of yourself.

 

And how did you come to the conclusion that LDS theology says that we don't need God?

 

Please back up that assertion.

 

And are those who become like Jesus Christ considered to be "punky little gods" in your mind?

 

 

-Stephen

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But if God can create Jesuses, and God can do so outside of time, then God can create Jesuses Ex Nihilo rather than through a process. ..., then there is no reason to have all those people go the hell for eternity, no need for the suffering, etc.

 

-Stephen

 

God could do anything he wanted. He could have created only those who would choose him, based on his foreknowledge. So, why did God choose to do it this way? It seems to me that the reason stems from some of his attributes.

 

One is Justice. Which is more Just, to create only those who would choose him, or to create everyone, and allow them to actually make their own choices? Another is Love. God loves all and wishes to share his life with everyone.

Another aspect is deeper. God didn't actually create all of us, he created two people in the beginning and gave them the ability to create more. While, I believe that God is apart of the process, as we become parents, we also learn what he feels towards us. This glimpse into how much he loves us is instructive, and it's something we wouldn't realize if he decided to just snap his fingers and not go through this process. 

 

So, while you look at it and say why go through this seemingly arduous process with all this unnecessary suffering? God obviously has a different perspective. Well, he sees all perspectives actually, which is why we aren't God, and never will be. 

Edited by danielwoods
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In other words you can't explain how God can't create a free willed being. Got it. 

 

Nor can you. That's because God didn't create our free will. We have it but we didn't/don't have to have it. Our bodies could have been different but what we have here in mortality is a remarkable balance between the compulsions of the flesh* and our ability to exercise moral agency. It's a beautiful thing.

 

* Some actions of our flesh are not free willed. My heart beating for example. Sometimes things go awry with the fleshy tabernacle and moral agency is not present (e.g. retardation, dementia, or other maladies).

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In other words you can't explain how God can't create a free willed being. Got it. 

Isn't it great to be able to affirm how irrational it is and be happy about it and know that you won anyway?  ;)

Edited by mfbukowski
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God could do anything he wanted. He could have created only those who would choose him, based on his foreknowledge. So, why did God choose to do it this way? It seems to me that the reason stems from some of his attributes.

 

One is Justice. Which is more Just, to create only those who would choose him, or to create everyone, and allow them to actually make their own choices? Another is Love. God loves all and wishes to share his life with everyone.

Another aspect is deeper. God didn't actually create all of us, he created two people in the beginning and gave them the ability to create more. While, I believe that God is apart of the process, as we become parents, we also learn what he feels towards us. This glimpse into how much he loves us is instructive, and it's something we wouldn't realize if he decided to just snap his fingers and not go through this process. 

 

So, while you look at it and say why go through this seemingly arduous process with all this unnecessary suffering? God obviously has a different perspective. Well, he sees all perspectives actually, which is why we aren't God, and never will be.

 

Calvanist predestination for the win.

We believe that all the posterity of Adam, being thus fallen into perdition and ruin by the sin of our first parents, God then did manifest himself such as he is; that is to say, merciful and just: Merciful, since he delivers and preserves from this perdition all whom he, in his eternal and unchangeable council, of mere goodness hath elected in Christ Jesus our Lord, without respect to their works: Just, in leaving others in the fall and perdition wherein they have involved themselves. (Art. XVI)

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No.  Not everyone gets the title of "God".  Only Deity has knowledge by nature.  We have to obtain knowledge by a difficult and sometimes painful process, and even then not everyone gets it.

 

And you are wrong about the temptation that Lucifer gave Adam and Eve in the Garden.  The temptation was making them think that they could gain the benefits of knowledge, without suffering the consequences (death).

 

-Stephen

I'm not going to argue with you about what you believe. You believe what you believe.

 

I don't believe anyone gets the title "God".

 

I don't believe the Mormon interpretation of the temptation in the Garden.

 

So.

 

Have a nice day!

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And how did you come to the conclusion that LDS theology says that we don't need God?

 

Please back up that assertion.

 

And are those who become like Jesus Christ considered to be "punky little gods" in your mind?

 

 

-Stephen

The Mormon belief about God appears to me as believing, all you need is a superior leveled being, who is exactly the same as yourself, to do things for you so you can climb levels. Eventually believing you will be superior yourself over lower leveled beings, who are exactly like you, who need you to do the same things for them so they can climb levels.

 

I don't view that as believing in God. More like believing in an organized group of like minded beings who want to help each other out. Similar to a country club.

 

So, the idea that is not in the country club, is that there is One God who is absolute sovereign over all, including you and how, when and why you are created.  You are not in need of the God that I believe. You have yourself (or selves, as it is).

 

Certainly I don't hold a belief, that any man or woman is a god or will be a god. That idea puts an image in my head of little punky gods, running around in Elysian Fields, all self important but having a good time too.

Edited by saemo
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1) Mormonism CAN hold to fate.  The difference is that God alone does not determine the fate, either by deciding which beings to create and which beings not to create.

 

2) You have not even demonstrated that you understand my view of creation and God.  You have not demonstrated that you even understand the arguments that have been presented to you.

 

3) God created ex nihilo every single aspect of our being according to your theology.

 

-stephen

As I said, we start with different premises.

 

Your argument is that you don't want to be ultimately created by God without your permission. That's your main gist, and everything else comes from that. You see being created sans permission (ex nihilo) as a violation of free will. So, the teenager who stomps his feet and says, "I didn't ask to be born." You reply, "Yeah, you did." And you believe that every rotten or good thing ever occurring to you and everyone else, was agreed to before you were born. You believe you are self-fated. You think being self-fated solves the problem of suffering, is what I'm guessing, though you haven't said. Ex nihilo also chafes against your individualism. No one is absolute sovereign over you! Including God. How's that?

 

I don't think you understand my posts, generally, because you keep framing them in your premises. I think this because you respond to about 1/4 of what I say, and ignore the rest and cry ' you don't understand what I'm saying'.  I think I understand what you are saying, but that you cannot understand my replies (and I mean cannot, as in something deep rooted preventing). So we go nowhere.

 

Personalities develop over time, and certainly there are aspects of personality that we seem to be born with. But where nature (what we're born with) and nurture (how we develop) blend, is the organic bit.

Edited by saemo
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In other words you can't explain how God can't create a free willed being. Got it.

In Mormonism, God does not create free-willed beings. According to the prophet Joseph Smith, all intelligent free-willed beings that now exist, either as spirits or embodied personages, had no ultimate beginning and will therefore have no end. The intelligence that exists in man and in all creatures had no beginning, and intelligence cannot exist outside the boundaries of free will. Joseph Smith taught the intelligence that exists within all men is co-eternal with God; and in its most elementary state that uncreated intelligence can be described as the "light of truth." So that means at the very core of our being there is a divine-center. In a manner of speaking, that uncreated divine-center "dies" (spiritual death) as a consequence of the fall of Adam, but through the atonement of Christ that divine center is partially revived, as it were, and by this means Christ becomes "the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

Edited by Bobbieaware
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Nor can you. That's because God didn't create our free will. We have it but we didn't/don't have to have it. Our bodies could have been different but what we have here in mortality is a remarkable balance between the compulsions of the flesh* and our ability to exercise moral agency. It's a beautiful thing.

 

* Some actions of our flesh are not free willed. My heart beating for example. Sometimes things go awry with the fleshy tabernacle and moral agency is not present (e.g. retardation, dementia, or other maladies).

 

When we talk about free will, we are talking about a Moral freedom of choice. Our hearts beating, isn't a reference to free will, but our physical nature. 

 

If you don't think that God created our free will, you believe we don't have it, or God didn't actually give it to us? 

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In Mormonism, God does not create free-willed beings. According to the prophet Joseph Smith, all intelligent free-willed beings that now exist, either as spirits or embodied personages, had no ultimate beginning and will therefore have no end. The intelligence that exists in man and in all creatures had no beginning, and intelligence cannot exist outside the boundaries of free will. Joseph Smith taught the intelligence that exists within all men is co-eternal with God; and in its most elementary state that uncreated intelligence can be described as the "light of truth." So that means at the very core of our being there is a divine-center. In a manner of speaking, that uncreated divine-center "dies" (spiritual death) as a consequence of the fall of Adam, but through the atonement of Christ that divine center is partially revived, as it were, and by this means Christ becomes "the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

 

I appreciate the explanation, thanks!

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God could do anything he wanted. He could have created only those who would choose him, based on his foreknowledge. So, why did God choose to do it this way? It seems to me that the reason stems from some of his attributes.

 

One is Justice. Which is more Just, to create only those who would choose him, or to create everyone, and allow them to actually make their own choices?

 

I want you to look closely at this second statement you made here.  I want to illustrate how poorly you have thought all of this out.  

 

God cannot create beings of free will Ex Nihilo, I clearly laid that out in the video and the post that had Hausam's quotes , and neither you or Saemo have been able to refute the arguments given ... but let me humor you for a moment.  Let's pretend for a moment that God can create beings who choose , let's say that God creates 20 of them.  And let's say that the even numbers will choose salvation and the odd numbers damnation.

 

Saved 2 Bob, 4 Frank, 6 Sara, 8 Marcus, 10 Isabel, 12Johnny, 14 Matilda, 16Joseph, 18Simon, 20 Karina

 

Unsaved , 1 Cain , 3 Matt, 5 Alicia, 7 Carmen, 9 Nathan, 11 Jeremy, 13 Candace, 15 Javier, 17 Jose, 19 Mary

 

Now, read that second statement of yours again above. 

 

Would those who chose salvation be any less free (would they not have free will) if God simply did not create unsaved?

 

-Stephen

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I want you to look closely at this second statement you made here.  I want to illustrate how poorly you have thought all of this out.  

 

God cannot create beings of free will Ex Nihilo, I clearly laid that out in the video and the post that had Hausam's quotes , and neither you or Saemo have been able to refute the arguments given ... but let me humor you for a moment.  Let's pretend for a moment that God can create beings who choose , let's say that God creates 20 of them.  And let's say that the even numbers will choose salvation and the odd numbers damnation.

 

Saved 2 Bob, 4 Frank, 6 Sara, 8 Marcus, 10 Isabel, 12Johnny, 14 Matilda, 16Joseph, 18Simon, 20 Karina

 

Unsaved , 1 Cain , 3 Matt, 5 Alicia, 7 Carmen, 9 Nathan, 11 Jeremy, 13 Candace, 15 Javier, 17 Jose, 19 Mary

 

Now, read that second statement of yours again above. 

 

Would those who chose salvation be any less free (would they not have free will) if God simply did not create unsaved?

 

-Stephen

 

They would be free if God created them that way. Your point? 

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Daniel wrote: In other words you can't explain how God can't create a free willed being. Got it.

Isn't it great to be able to affirm how irrational it is and be happy about it and know that you won anyway?  ;)

 

Um ... I did explain it.  I explained it in the videos and in the posts, and neither Daniel nor Saemo have even attempted to address the specific arguments presented therein.

 

Saemo wrote:  As I said, we start with different premises.

 

Correct.  You start with the premise that God created everything "out of nothing".  LDS start with the premise that God created everything "out of something". 

 

Saemo: Your argument is that you don't want to be ultimately created by God without your permission. That's your main gist, and everything else comes from that.

 

Wrong.  "Want" has nothing to do with it.  The "gist" comes from a logical "IF and THEN" proposition. 

 

IF God created every single aspect of our being and our very nature from God's own mind and created ex nihilo ....  THEN God ultimately determines what we will do. 

 

Let's say that a spirit will be born into a body in 3 seconds from now. Where will that spirit come from? What will the nature of that spirit be?  Why?

 

Saemo: You see being created sans permission (ex nihilo) as a violation of free will. So, the teenager who stomps his feet and says, "I didn't ask to be born." You reply, "Yeah, you did." And you believe that every rotten or good thing ever occurring to you and everyone else, was agreed to before you were born.

 

Hey?  I never thought about that aspect of it.  Great point!  Yet another reason to reject ex nihilo.  Thanks!

 

Saemo:  You think being self-fated solves the problem of suffering, is what I'm guessing, though you haven't said.

 

Oh Absolutely.  The problem of evil and suffering that plagues ex nihilo theologians is not nearly as big a problem for the LDS.  It is still there, but significantly diminished.

 

Saemo:  Ex nihilo also chafes against your individualism. No one is absolute sovereign over you! Including God. How's that?

 

You are absolutely wrong on this.  It is the opposite.  With LDS theology, we are all in it together, and we have been all in it together from before the creation of the world.  Each individual influencing other individuals and God being the greatest influence of all.

 

Saemo:  I don't think you understand my posts, generally, because you keep framing them in your premises.

 

Example?

 

Saemo:  I think I understand what you are saying, but that you cannot understand my replies (and I mean cannot, as in something deep rooted preventing). So we go nowhere.

 

I have answered and responded to all of your replies.  I even listened to (and even transcribed) the audio that you presented and explained exactly why it does not address the issues.  (Speaking of which, I wanted to add something about this notion that  God lives outside of time.  I will address that in my next post.)

 

The same cannot be said for you.  So far, it appears that you listened to the first couple minutes, and then rather than addressing the main issues of the video, you stopped and simply started complaining that I didn't address the "Trinity", but instead I only focused on God being the only single eternal Being/substance. 

 

Saemo:  Personalities develop over time, and certainly there are aspects of personality that we seem to be born with. But where nature (what we're born with) and nurture (how we develop) blend, is the organic bit.

 

Most certainly we are born with some kind of personality characteristics, and some kind of nature.  Who created it?  Who created the "organic bit"? 

 

There is something you cannot escape Saemo:  With Ex Nihilo, God Himself created every single aspect of existence and every single aspect of every single being.  The result would be exactly the Universe and beings that God imagined it to be.  Nothing more and nothing less.  That Universe would be nothing more and nothing less than an extension and representation of God's own mind.  PanENtheism.

 

 

-Stephen

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