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8 Year Olds, Free Will, and Baptism


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14 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Personally, I like holding on to the idea that I may be able to surprise God, sometimes.  And maybe even get him to say "Wow would you look at that!"  every once in a while.

If you can surprise God, then God doesn’t know what you will do with 100 percent certainty, can’t predict the future, and you can keep your libertarian free will. 

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33 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Knowledge doesn’t determine the future. But if I can determine the future based on the present state of the world, in what sense is the future not determined?


How do you define free will? I’m working from the position that any meaningful definition of free will must include the ability of an agent to have done/chosen otherwise. If an entity can predict with 100 percent certainty what I will choose or do, in what sense could I have chosen otherwise? 

Consider a comet falling through space. If I know it’s center of mass and momentum, as well as the center of mass and momentum of other celestial objects I can predict with certainty its trajectory in the past and future. Can the comet choose to go right or left? 


Again, If I can determine the future based on what I know of the present, in what sense is the future not determined?

The comet doesn’t have free will so I’m not sure how that example works with the topic.

But the answer to your last question would seem to be, because your knowledge of someone or something doesn’t determine anything. 

 

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1 minute ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

If you can surprise God, then God doesn’t know what you will do with 100 percent certainty, can’t predict the future, and you can keep your libertarian free will. 

I would still have my free will even if God knows everything I am ever going to do.  None of our choices are taken away by someone who simply knows what we will do.

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From other thread-
 

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21 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Can you help me understand the process here. A person resigns from the LDS church, I'm assuming by letter or some such. How does that cancel their baptism, temple marriage, etc? A ceremony gave the baptism and marriage, how does a letter or phone call get rid of it? The latter seems bureaucratic -- taking a name off of a membership list. How does that connect to the former -- a religious rite?

I'm curious as to your theology here. I'm not being critical of it. 

 

This is an interesting question to think about.

When one is baptized into the LDS church the person raises his right arm to the square and says "Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ I baptize you in the name of the father, and of the son , and of the holy ghost. Amen"

IMO- that means the person has accepted Christ through baptism.

Associated with the baptism is the confirmation. Confirmation is associated with baptism but it's a separate ordinance. During the confirmation the priesthood holder confirming will say "I confirm you a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and say unto you, Receive the Holy Ghost."

So one could argue that the baptism as a follower of Christ is focused solely on being a follower of Jesus, and not necessarily connected to membership in the church. To me, confirmation makes one a member of the church, not baptism, so IMO a person who resigns would retain their baptism even while giving up their membership in the church.

There is no ordinance that dissolves the prior ordinances. The resignation really is just a bureaucratic process. I think a person should be able to resign their membership in a church while maintaining their baptism. Think of it this way, if a person resigns they also lose all temple blessings, yet they don't lose the legality of their marriage. Their marriage continues because it's not dependent on membership in the church, just like a baptism.

 

I'm sure I'll get LOTS of disagreement on this post but I think it could be an interesting discussion. :) 

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56 minutes ago, Ahab said:

But it actually does hold up.  You're just saying it doesn't.  And because I know it holds up... because even when you say it doesn't hold up and I get confirmation from God, again, and therefore my reason continues to hold up... I pretty much just tune you out as someone who doesn't know what the heck you are talking about when you say it doesn't hold up when in fact it actually does.

As per my explanation, how does it hold up?  I don't see how so.  

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11 minutes ago, bluebell said:

The comet doesn’t have free will so I’m not sure how that example works with the topic.
 

why doesn’t the comet have free will? How do you define free will?

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But the answer to your last question would seem to be, because your knowledge of someone or something doesn’t determine anything. 

 

I’m not sure what you think Naturalists mean when they say that free will is an illusion, but all they mean is that the future is determinable (outside of some potential quantum randomness depending on ones alignment there). That is, if someone knew everything, including all the relevant laws of nature, and had the necessary computing power, they could predict your action. In your case this individual is God. 
 

ETA - I’m derailing the OP here, so I will let you have the last word if you want and drop it on this thread. 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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9 minutes ago, Ahab said:

I would still have my free will even if God knows everything I am ever going to do.  None of our choices are taken away by someone who simply knows what we will do.

A choice determined by god already knowing what you are going to do isn't free will, it seems to me.  You are determined to do what God has already conceived of.  The choice you make does not originate in you, on your explanation.  It originates in God's conception.  

You don't know what you might do in a week.  But God does, apparently.  If so, then your doing is completely already determined by what resides squarely in God's conception.  

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6 hours ago, teddyaware said:

It would be a monstrous crime to forbid those who are capable of committing sin to have no means of receiving forgiveness for those sins for eight years!

Catholicism handles this nicely by allowing confession and first communion around the age of 7 :) 

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5 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

A choice determined by god already knowing what you are going to do isn't free will, it seems to me.  You are determined to do what God has already conceived of.  The choice you make does not originate in you, on your explanation.  It originates in God's conception.  

You don't know what you might do in a week.  But God does, apparently.  If so, then your doing is completely already determined by what resides squarely in God's conception.  

God resides in eternity, outside of time. "Time only is measured of men".  God knows what you will do next week because from his viewpoint you have already done it. All thing are before him present. Past, present and future.

This temporal state only introduces time so that for us everything does not happen at once... that way we can exercise faith because there is a delay between our actions and their consequences. 

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13 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

As per my explanation, how does it hold up?  I don't see how so.  

Oh, were you talking about something specific?  I was just talking generally about how when you say something doesn't hold up, and I know it does, how in truth it does really hold up.

What specifically were you talking about this time?

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13 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

A choice determined by god already knowing what you are going to do isn't free will, it seems to me. 

I think the word "God" may be throwing you off a little here. Think about yourself, instead, like how when you know someone will choose to do something and then they actually do it.  You don't think you are taking their choice away, do you?

13 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

You are determined to do what God has already conceived of.

Well, yeah, I do try my best to do whatever he wants me to do.

13 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

The choice you make does not originate in you, on your explanation.  It originates in God's conception.  

What exactly are you thinking about here?  I choose to do whatever I do regardless of whether or not anyone knows what I am going to do.

13 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

You don't know what you might do in a week.  But God does, apparently. 

You think so? Really?  I thought you had said that you didn't really believe in God.

13 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

If so, then your doing is completely already determined by what resides squarely in God's conception.  

No, I don't think so.  I think you are just mistaken and have some false ideas.

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4 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Proclaiming the gospel is teaching. 

The church sends out thousand of missionaries to teach its principles.

The church calls teachers in its local units to teach regular classes to all members and visitors.

The church organises general conferences every six months to teach globally.

The church publishes magazines, manuals, and webpages to teach its principles.

Obviously people do have their personal perspectives and you may have a unique testimony of the meaning of the LDS gospel. However, there are things about the church which we can verify.

Each denomination of churches has a huge publishing arm.  The Methodists for example publish sunday school manuals just like the LDS Church does.  Those manuals are written by individual humans, flawed humans, with particular points of view.  Which POV is the "correct" and normative one?  In my lifetime I have seen a great many LDS manuals and tracts with some very diverse POVs.  There was the 1957 Melchizedek Priesthood Manual by Hugh Nibley, for example, a manual which was in no sense just business as usual.  Early in the 20th century some general authorities had some very divergent POVs about the Gospel.

A very narrow version of the Gospel was taught later by Bruce R. McConkie in his Mormon Doctrine, published before he became an Apostle.  David O McKay made it clear that he didn't like the book and forced changes in the second edition.  In the end, McConkie confessed publicly that he had been wrong about one key issue in his book -- an issue based on bigotry and racism, which members sometimes still can't quite own.  McConkie not only confessed his own error, but that of those preceding him, including Brother Brigham.

Verifying the truth is not so simple as only taking one correlated POV and declaring that to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  There is a history, a powerful history of testimonies going back not just centuries, but millennia.  Most LDS members look no further than a few years into the past, and forget everything else.  We shouldn't really expect more from them.  Life happens, and it can be all-consuming just keeping one's head above water, not to mention becoming expert in history and theology.

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48 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

why doesn’t the comet have free will? How do you define free will?

Free will:  the power and ability to act at one's own discretion. 

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I’m not sure what you think Naturalists mean when they say that free will is an illusion, but all they mean is that the future is determinable (outside of some potential quantum randomness depending on ones alignment there). That is, if someone knew everything, including all the relevant laws of nature, and had the necessary computing power, they could predict your action. In your case this individual is God. 

From my perspective, the difference is between whether or not someone can choose a different course or whether or not they will.  If someone can choose a different course, but you know they won't despite the ability to do so, that is the ability to 'predict the future' without the future being determined.

 

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35 minutes ago, gav said:

God resides in eternity, outside of time. "Time only is measured of men".  God knows what you will do next week because from his viewpoint you have already done it. All thing are before him present. Past, present and future.

This temporal state only introduces time so that for us everything does not happen at once... that way we can exercise faith because there is a delay between our actions and their consequences. 

ummm...ok.  Either way...

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I think the word "God" may be throwing you off a little here. Think about yourself, instead, like how when you know someone will choose to do something and then they actually do it.  You don't think you are taking their choice away, do you?

I can certainly guess in some cases or anticipate, but I don't know.  

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Well, yeah, I do try my best to do whatever he wants me to do.

What exactly are you thinking about here?  I choose to do whatever I do regardless of whether or not anyone knows what I am going to do.

That is the illusion.  But if your choices are made before you are conscious of them, then it's not you choosing so much as your decision choosing you.  

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You think so? Really?  I thought you had said that you didn't really believe in God.

I'm going with the assumption of God.  

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If so, then your doing is completely already determined by what resides squarely in God's conception.  

No, I don't think so.  I think you are just mistaken and have some false ideas.

Sounds good.  Have fun.  

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On 8/20/2020 at 1:47 PM, stemelbow said:

Free will is an illusion.  It ain't real nor possible.  

Balderdash.  I may not be able to choose the circumstances in which I find myself at any given point in time, and I might not like those circumstances (in fact, I may even hate them), but that doesn't mean I lack free will to choose how to respond to those circumstances (whatever they may be).  The Book of Mormon, on nearly every page in some way and to some degree or another, begs to differ with your conclusory and false assessment.

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8 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Each denomination of churches has a huge publishing arm.  The Methodists for example publish sunday school manuals just like the LDS Church does.  Those manuals are written by individual humans, flawed humans, with particular points of view.  Which POV is the "correct" and normative one?  In my lifetime I have seen a great many LDS manuals and tracts with some very diverse POVs.  There was the 1957 Melchizedek Priesthood Manual by Hugh Nibley, for example, a manual which was in no sense just business as usual.  Early in the 20th century some general authorities had some very divergent POVs about the Gospel.

A very narrow version of the Gospel was taught later by Bruce R. McConkie in his Mormon Doctrine, published before he became an Apostle.  David O McKay made it clear that he didn't like the book and forced changes in the second edition.  In the end, McConkie confessed publicly that he had been wrong about one key issue in his book -- an issue based on bigotry and racism, which members sometimes still can't quite own.  McConkie not only confessed his own error, but that of those preceding him, including Brother Brigham.

Verifying the truth is not so simple as only taking one correlated POV and declaring that to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  There is a history, a powerful history of testimonies going back not just centuries, but millennia.  Most LDS members look no further than a few years into the past, and forget everything else.  We shouldn't really expect more from them.  Life happens, and it can be all-consuming just keeping one's head above water, not to mention becoming expert in history and theology.

I've been saying that a person who accepts the LDS baptism today would also be rejecting any righteous, godly paths that that covenant precludes. What you seem to be arguing only makes it worse, because your point would mean that the church today is fundamentally off the mark, according to its currently long-established preachings and practices. Therefore a person would not only be rejecting other good paths, they'd be rejecting good paths for a false one.

 

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19 hours ago, stemelbow said:

The bold point doesn't fit as a valid description from a determinist position.   Your choice is not on account of having a free will, your choice is determined by all that is you or makes up you.  it's very fitting for a determinist to be exacerbated by your choice.  He simply cant be you knowing all that which goes into your choice--and its probable you don't know all that goes into your choice .  It can be confusing.  In addition the illusion is not easily shed, in the first place.  

If a determinist is exacerbated by my "choice" (whatever that means in a deterministic universe), then he doesn't really understand his position.  Why would one get exacerbated or frustrated at the unavoidable choice of another?  To get exacerbated or frustrated or angry at the choice of another would imply a belief that a wrong decision/choice was made, or that the other person has the ability to self-control and blew it, big time.  Well, in determinism, there are no wrong decisions.  No wrong behavior. No good or bad decisions and actions, and therefor no good or bad people.  No reason to be angry at anyone, for anything they do.  No mistakes.  No avoidable circumstances.  Therefore, getting frustrated at others shows a lack of understanding or acceptance of their deterministic reality.  The very concept of wrong and right don't make sense in determinism.   There is no such thing as moral, ethical, intellectual, or any other kind of responsibility.  Responsibility requires free-will.  A true hard determinism wouldn't believe in any kind of penal system or behavior.  The mantra that would be best associated with a true acceptance of determinism would be "live and let live".  

There is nothing "confusing" about it - I am not in control of my future or behavior and can't be anything other than what I am, right now - a Latter-day Saint. So, get over it (speaking to my Bro in law)! 

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

I've been saying that a person who accepts the LDS baptism today would also be rejecting any righteous, godly paths that that covenant precludes. What you seem to be arguing only makes it worse, because your point would mean that the church today is fundamentally off the mark, according to its currently long-established preachings and practices. Therefore a person would not only be rejecting other good paths, they'd be rejecting good paths for a false one.

Well, the real question is which version of the Gospel is true?  Is it the one backed by rumor and folklore, or the one backed by the Holy Canon of Scripture?  It is merely another instance of the pathetic fallacy to depict the Church as having a POV.  People have points of view, not churches.  Holy Writ defines the Church as the Body of Christ and Kingdom of God on Earth, but it is composed of people of faith.

It is true that Gandhi-Ji was never a Mormon, but he was clearly one of God's noble and great ones -- for whom the temple endowment by proxy is only a pro-forma exercise for one whose apotheosis is well assured.  Joseph Smith was not exclusionary, and he willingly accepted goodness and truth from whatever source it might come -- including other religions.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I've been saying that a person who accepts the LDS baptism today would also be rejecting any righteous, godly paths that that covenant precludes. What you seem to be arguing only makes it worse, because your point would mean that the church today is fundamentally off the mark, according to its currently long-established preachings and practices. Therefore a person would not only be rejecting other good paths, they'd be rejecting good paths for a false one.

 

“Mormonism,” so-called, embraces every principle pertaining to life and salvation, for time and eternity.  No matter who has it. If the infidel has got truth it belongs to “Mormonism.” The truth and sound doctrine possessed by the sectarian world, and they have a great deal, all belong to this Church.  As for their morality, many of them are, morally, just as good as we are. All that is good, lovely, and praiseworthy belongs to this Church and Kingdom. “Mormonism” includes all truth. There is no truth but what belongs to the Gospel. It is life, eternal life; it is bliss; it is the fulness of all things in the gods and in the eternities of the gods.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-2?lang=eng

Edited by Ahab
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10 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Eight year-olds are baptized at eight because they are capable of sinning at that age and in need of the gift of the Holy Ghost to spiritually strengthen them, enable them to discern between right and wrong, and help them to make correct choices that will lead to their peace of mind and happiness. It would be a monstrous crime to forbid those who are capable of committing sin to have no means of receiving forgiveness for those sins for eight years! This would amount to nothing less than sadistic spiritual child abuse. I can’t imagine the emotional pain and spiritual suffering a 15 year-old would have to wade through for 8 long years without having the means to obtain forgiveness for their sins. Our Father want’s his sons and daughters to be baptized at 8 because he is a merciful God and doesn’t want his children to unnecessarily suffer the soul crippling spiritual agony that issues forth from guilt, shame and remorse of conscience..

Sorry, I missed this post and agree with you

But I think the answer is already been posted, in defense of Catholicism, that in their doctrine a child can go to confession at age 7- at least it was that age for me- and receive "absolution by the power of the priesthood" to kind of mix metaphors and use both Catholic and LDS views in one sentence, ;)

So yes, you are right, but Catholics do not believe that children are put into that position.  Whether or not God forgives people who receive a Catholic "absolution" I suppose remains for some but certainly as far as their peace of mind and the stress of guilt should not be a factor, theoretically.

And I personally believe that God really does forgive people who have done the best they can to BE forgiven, even if it does not follow our particular beliefs.

They are doing the best they can with the information they have, and thank God for the possibility of receiving what we see as truth, even in the afterlife.   I believe they are not penalized for doing the best they can.

And incidentally Catholics would grant us that same mercy- they believe in "baptism of desire", and a modification of their views on "Limbo".  The beliefs on unbaptized children were more harsh in the past.

Those are a rather new idea which has come about in the last 60 or so years since I was a good Catholic altarboy.  ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Well, the real question is which version of the Gospel is true?  Is it the one backed by rumor and folklore, or the one backed by the Holy Canon of Scripture?  It is merely another instance of the pathetic fallacy to depict the Church as having a POV.  People have points of view, not churches.  Holy Writ defines the Church as the Body of Christ and Kingdom of God on Earth, but it is composed of people of faith.

It is true that Gandhi-Ji was never a Mormon, but he was clearly one of God's noble and great ones -- for whom the temple endowment by proxy is only a pro-forma exercise for one whose apotheosis is well assured.  Joseph Smith was not exclusionary, and he willingly accepted goodness and truth from whatever source it might come -- including other religions.

Yes and he said so more than once!

I am sure "his work" has been done by now, at least as a token gift ;) of love and respect.

In fact most famous figures have received their proxy ordinances many times over, submitted again and again by their faithful fans!

 

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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I've been saying that a person who accepts the LDS baptism today would also be rejecting any righteous, godly paths that that covenant precludes. What you seem to be arguing only makes it worse, because your point would mean that the church today is fundamentally off the mark, according to its currently long-established preachings and practices. Therefore a person would not only be rejecting other good paths, they'd be rejecting good paths for a false one.

 

If LDS baptism is of God, how could accepting it preclude other righteous godly paths?

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17 minutes ago, bluebell said:

If LDS baptism is of God, how could accepting it preclude other righteous godly paths?

It wouldn't.  Oh, doh!  You probably just wanted to see if she would say that. 🤔🥴😬🏳️

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5 hours ago, pogi said:

If a determinist is exacerbated by my "choice" (whatever that means in a deterministic universe), then he doesn't really understand his position.  Why would one get exacerbated or frustrated at the unavoidable choice of another? 

I already explained that.  One could very well grow exacerbated by another's choice because the one doesn't understand what went into the decision.  It's quite likely the chooser doesn't understand all that went into the decision. 

5 hours ago, pogi said:

To get exacerbated or frustrated or angry at the choice of another would imply a belief that a wrong decision/choice was made, or that the other person has the ability to self-control and blew it, big time.  Well, in determinism, there are no wrong decisions.  No wrong behavior.

That's not true.  

5 hours ago, pogi said:

No good or bad decisions and actions, and therefor no good or bad people.  No reason to be angry at anyone, for anything they do.  No mistakes.  No avoidable circumstances.  Therefore, getting frustrated at others shows a lack of understanding or acceptance of their deterministic reality.  The very concept of wrong and right don't make sense in determinism.   There is no such thing as moral, ethical, intellectual, or any other kind of responsibility.  Responsibility requires free-will.  A true hard determinism wouldn't believe in any kind of penal system or behavior.  The mantra that would be best associated with a true acceptance of determinism would be "live and let live".  

There is nothing "confusing" about it - I am not in control of my future or behavior and can't be anything other than what I am, right now - a Latter-day Saint. So, get over it (speaking to my Bro in law)! 

Determinism doesn't mean there's no cause and effect nor no consequence.  It suggests there are factors often unseen that cause the decision. As it is it's already been shown decisions can be known before the decider is aware of the decision.  There's certainly a positive of the notion of determinism.  We need not be so thirsty for revenge and punishment.  If or perhaps when there comes a time when we can better appreciate each other and perhaps find a cure for the evil that is found in some, we may see tremendous progress.  It's a hope that may or may not be realized.  

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5 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Balderdash.  I may not be able to choose the circumstances in which I find myself at any given point in time, and I might not like those circumstances (in fact, I may even hate them), but that doesn't mean I lack free will to choose how to respond to those circumstances (whatever they may be).  The Book of Mormon, on nearly every page in some way and to some degree or another, begs to differ with your conclusory and false assessment.

The BoM is not very useful in many ways.  Still your choice in response is preset in you.  You only think you are in control, but it has been shown your choice was made before you were conscious of it.  The choice is not yours quite like you think.  Your choice is,though, dependent upon all that has made you, interacting together at any given moment. 

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