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Author Topic: Predestination  (Read 2813 times)
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DarkEL
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« on: January 26, 2008, 03:18:12 AM »

Okay the last topic I was in went to a weird place - so here's an attempt to switch gears and open things up to some intelligent religious conversation (i.e. no bashing of other religions, denominations or accusing people of doing that)

So within the Christian belief system there are a couple major schools of thought concerning the doctrines of predestination vs. the free will of man. (no need to go into which denominations believe what)

Do you believe that there is an omniscient God who has already pre-ordained every event of your life (both good and bad) and that he has also determined who will go to heaven and who will go to hell from before they were even born?  If so, how do you handle the idea that this would mean that a good and loving God has also destined some good people to die horrible painful deaths, or suffer things like rape?

Or

Do you believe that Man has free will and that the good / bad things that happen in his life and whether he goes to hell are solely based on his own decisions. If so, then how do you handle the Bible verses that seem to indicate predestination, or the fact that there is a force (man's will) that God cannot control and how do you believe that God has a plan for both your life and all existence if it's outside of his control.


So where do you stand and why?
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Blackadar
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2008, 03:50:19 AM »

Quote from: DarkEL on January 26, 2008, 03:18:12 AM

Okay the last topic I was in went to a weird place - so here's an attempt to switch gears and open things up to some intelligent religious conversation (i.e. no bashing of other religions, denominations or accusing people of doing that)

So within the Christian belief system there are a couple major schools of thought concerning the doctrines of predestination vs. the free will of man. (no need to go into which denominations believe what)

Do you believe that there is an omniscient God who has already pre-ordained every event of your life (both good and bad) and that he has also determined who will go to heaven and who will go to hell from before they were even born?  If so, how do you handle the idea that this would mean that a good and loving God has also destined some good people to die horrible painful deaths, or suffer things like rape?

Or

Do you believe that Man has free will and that the good / bad things that happen in his life and whether he goes to hell are solely based on his own decisions. If so, then how do you handle the Bible verses that seem to indicate predestination, or the fact that there is a force (man's will) that God cannot control and how do you believe that God has a plan for both your life and all existence if it's outside of his control.


So where do you stand and why?

Neither.

I fall in line much more with option B, but I don't believe there is a Hell. 
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Doopri
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 04:20:39 AM »

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So where do you stand and why?

honestly this is one i leave well enough alone.  to understand the nature of gods omniscience and human kinds free will is, well to be god.  if i had to guess id say both issues are much more intertwined than we all will ever know.  i guess where i stand is that this is something i cant understand smile
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CSL
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008, 04:27:27 AM »

I'm an anti-Calvinite.
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warning
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2008, 05:56:25 AM »

I suspect the answer is probably "our brains aren't able to comprehend this no matter how we try" so I'm voting for BOTH!
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 06:15:05 AM »

The entire issue of free will is just so much more than a belief in magic.  Even when you take out the mythological figures, you can start wondering whether a person actually has choice based upon their economic reality, their genetic inheritance, and even the simple circumstances of their life.

Just an easy example is how people with either a family may be less inclined to take risks they otherwise would if they were on their own.
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DarkEL
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 06:31:23 AM »

Heh just realized I never said my own stance on the matter.

I agree that it's something that's probably beyond our capacity to understand or truly know (which is why it's kind of a fun topic to think about).

When I was younger I leaned more towards the Predestination camp. Which I used as as basis in my logic for why it was okay for me to do a lot of dangerous activities with the excuse that I was going to die on a specific day anyways and that it wouldn't matter if I was Rockclimbing without safety equipment or sitting on the couch watching TV - so why not enjoy the more dangerous activity?

As I've gotten older - I've leaned a bit towards the free will option - especially in response to the evil things that can happen in this world.

but i hold both options in high respect.

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mikeg
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 01:35:04 PM »

Perhaps God does not so much ordain as KNOW what you will do.  For example, having been a teenage boy, full of hormones, I know that my teenage boy will start to have feelings of lust.  It's inevitable.  That is not predestination so much as pre-knowledge of an event that is (short of him dying) inevitable. 

When God says you will do such and such and go here and there, maybe He is not so much DIRECTING as just KNOWING AHEAD of time what you will no doubt end up doing; quite simply because He knows you as well as he does.

And from out tiny perspective it appears to be predestination.

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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 02:32:24 PM »

Well if God already knows what we are going to do, and God controls everything, then there's obviously no hell.  After all, we are just doing what God made us to do.

Charles Manson isn't bad, he was just drawn that way (to paraphrase Jessica Rabbit).
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DarkEL
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 03:50:44 PM »

another theory I've heard is that since God is outside of our limited senses and dimensions that this could also mean that he is outside of our sense of time.

i.e. if you think of our lives as a movie reel with each frame representing a second, he's able to look over the entire reel from beginning to end, and interact with us at any specific frame. in that regard - he knows every decision that we will ever make and thing that will happen to us, yet is able to influence us along the way.
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DarkEL
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008, 04:00:20 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on January 26, 2008, 02:32:24 PM

Well if God already knows what we are going to do, and God controls everything, then there's obviously no hell.  After all, we are just doing what God made us to do.

Charles Manson isn't bad, he was just drawn that way (to paraphrase Jessica Rabbit).

That is one of the big quandary isn't it. If you assume that God controls everything then you have to assume that he created some people for the simple purpose of punishing them for all eternity.

You also have to assume that he chose to create the priest who would end up molesting 100's of small children who's only crime was going to church to try and love God.
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Doopri
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2008, 03:18:01 AM »

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I'm an anti-Calvinite.

we all are - hes blustery and quick tempered.  now how about that presdestination question  Tongue
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Doopri
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2008, 03:20:05 AM »

and just so you know

1) calvin im kidding and

2) gees whyd it take so long to hit that 75 mph fastball csl just tossed?
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CSL
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2008, 03:39:02 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on January 26, 2008, 02:32:24 PM

Well if God already knows what we are going to do, and God controls everything, then there's obviously no hell.  After all, we are just doing what God made us to do.

Charles Manson isn't bad, he was just drawn that way (to paraphrase Jessica Rabbit).

Predestination really shouldn't mean that God has already decided how things are going to go - he never decides there is still free will. But taking the notion that God does not exist in the same vein of time we do, a nonlinear one, he knows how things will turn out but only because he exists at all segements of time.

Essentially predestination as I understand it, having nothing but vague secondhand knowledge, may be best described with the following example. We have a pretty good idea of how things went down in modern history - lets take the Second World War. We know that the Nazis were defeated and were ultimately bound to fail after they declared war on the Soviet Union and the United States, to us there defeat was predetermined. For them, at that time it was anything but, free will existed to them.

So, then to me its clear that with predestination God doesn't control everything, he can't do such a thing - at least to me, being an atheist or strong agnostic, the notion that he controls our actions necessarity destroys his conceptual greatness. God only knows how things will go down because he, in a conceptual view, sees all parts of the universe at every moment of time concurrently.
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2008, 08:53:40 PM »

You trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?
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Austin
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2008, 02:51:34 PM »

God's sovereignty is taught in Scripture.

Personal Responsibility is taught in Scripture.

the more I study the more I lean toward pre-ordination, however I would rather not get caught up in the mechanism so much as the doing.  Both sides have their strengths, and also their dangers on the extremes.
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