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Donnadogsoth

The Fall of Man as insurance against the Divine Right of Kings

41 posts in this topic

Simply put, Christianity has built into it a fallible but nevertheless potent weapon against the arbitrary use of power, namely the doctrine of the Fall of Man.  The syllogism goes like this:

The Universe was intentionally created by God.

The Universe includes wicked kings.

Therefore God intends there to be wicked kings.

Surely this logic has prevailed throughout the world throughout almost every time and place.  People accept the way things are as the way things must be.

However, if the world is fallen, the syllogism is broken.  The Universe was intentionally created by God but self-corrupted and thus failed to reach perfection.  Consequently no one can claim that wicked kings are intended by God, but are rather part of a broken world it lies with us to seek to repair, or at least ameliorate.

The only similar idea I have found to this is the Oriental concept of the Mandate of Heaven, which says that any emperor who becomes wicked loses the mandate and therefore may be deposed by the people.

For persons concerned with freedom, on this count they should not dismiss Christianity as being incompatible with the highest possible heights of freedom, precisely because the doctrine of the fall precludes God from sanctioning all that occurs on Terra.  This doctrine's implications have not always been declaimed, as seen most notably in the reign of the Absolutist Monarchs of Europe (1500-1800 AD), but has always remained there, pushing for self-reflection, humility, and the recognition that the world is not as it should be.

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how convenient.

 

Its funny how in one instance, things can go against gods plan, or self-corrupt, and you can explain that away, and then in another instance, gods all powerful uncorruptable nature is brought up to explain something else away

Its almost as if you are grasping at straws, and making stuff up

 

You can come up with a plausible sounding explanation , a "what if" or a "maybe". Doesnt make it true though

eg, what if god intented the world to be fallen?

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 10And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand.11And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. 12And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul. 13Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

Too bad that god using evil kings is a trope all over the Old Testament.

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I can't remember the exact argument, but it sounds something like Stefan said about, "The argument for having a government". That if people are corrupt(in this case original sin) giving them power isn't exactly the best way of making the situation better, if people aren't corrupt, then why have a government? If there is going to be a government let it be seen as it is "Warts and All". "Better the Devil you know then the Devil you don't" etc.

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6 hours ago, RichardY said:
7 hours ago, neeeel said:

how convenient.

 

Its funny how in one instance, things can go against gods plan, or self-corrupt, and you can explain that away, and then in another instance, gods all powerful uncorruptable nature is brought up to explain something else away

Its almost as if you are grasping at straws, and making stuff up

 

You can come up with a plausible sounding explanation , a "what if" or a "maybe". Doesnt make it true though

eg, what if god intented the world to be fallen?

It's almost as if you've decided to be an atheist from the start, and so are not considering the matter in any other terms.

Why would God intend a fallen world?  That would mean he was evil, yet evil is always a lack or a privation, so that would mean God is imperfect and lacking.  How could such an imperfect being be æternal?

7 hours ago, ofd said:

Too bad that god using evil kings is a trope all over the Old Testament.

God uses whatever is available to achieve his ends, including evil kings.

6 hours ago, RichardY said:

I can't remember the exact argument, but it sounds something like Stefan said about, "The argument for having a government". That if people are corrupt(in this case original sin) giving them power isn't exactly the best way of making the situation better, if people aren't corrupt, then why have a government? If there is going to be a government let it be seen as it is "Warts and All". "Better the Devil you know then the Devil you don't" etc.

Conservation of culture demands group action, and group action requires both leadership and suppression of anti-conservative elements.  Corruption here is inevitable but can be ameliorated through foresight and corrected with patriotism.  My point is that Christianity alone as religion incorporates the understanding of human frailty as part of the natural condition requiring spiritual work to resist, and it is little wonder Christianity is where men chose to revive Athens, as an example of a republic that in principle had the state exist for the people and not vice versa as was the case almost everywhere else since time immemorial.

 

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 Consequently no one can claim that wicked kings are intended by God

If you had read the bible passage I posted, you might have noticed that God intended Saul to be evil by sending an evil spirit. There are many other places where god wants kings to be evil to punish nonbelievers or his own people.

 

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Why would God intend a fallen world?  That would mean he was evil, yet evil is always a lack or a privation, so that would mean God is imperfect and lacking.  How could such an imperfect being be æternal?

You are up to something. Use your keen intellect and go down that route.

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48 minutes ago, ofd said:

If you had read the bible passage I posted, you might have noticed that God intended Saul to be evil by sending an evil spirit. There are many other places where god wants kings to be evil to punish nonbelievers or his own people.

 

You are up to something. Use your keen intellect and go down that route.

Yes, yes, and God hardened Pharoah's heart, too.  Does this mean Pharoah and Saul were puppets lacking free will?  If they were, why not the rest of us?  If we're all puppets, then how is God' s judgement not evil?  If God's judgement is evil how is God himself not evil?  If God is evil, why should we not hate him?  And so we manage to hate ourselves free of any obligation towards the divine.  Isn't twisting Christian doctrine fun?

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Does this mean Pharoah and Saul were puppets lacking free will? 

Yes.

 

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If they were, why not the rest of us?

Indeed. Why not?

 

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If we're all puppets, then how is God' s judgement not evil?

God can't be evil. If he were, he would be imperfect and could not be æternal. Hence his judgment is justified. 

 

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If God's judgement is evil how is God himself not evil?  If God is evil, why should we not hate him?

The sinners have been predetermined to hate God. Haters gonna hate. 

 

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And so we manage to hate ourselves free of any obligation towards the divine.

Good Lord, are you an anti-nomian???

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16 minutes ago, ofd said:

God can't be evil. If he were, he would be imperfect and could not be æternal. Hence his judgment is justified.

Given that predestination to Hell is the maximum evil one could conceive, and that maximum evil is incompatible with God's goodness, the existence of God proves there must be free will.

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Given that predestination to Hell is the maximum evil one could conceive,

That's not for you to judge. A tool can't judge its creator.

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36 minutes ago, ofd said:

That's not for you to judge. A tool can't judge its creator.

We are made in his image and thus possess the credentials to use our reason to construct a theology.  And by this reason we know that there can be no evil greater than predestining someone for æternal Hell.

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We are made in his image and thus possess the credentials to use our reason to construct a theology. 

Oh yeah, a made up theology is totally legit especially if it contradicts scripture. 

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4 hours ago, ofd said:

Oh yeah, a made up theology is totally legit especially if it contradicts scripture. 

What difference does Scripture make if we are all predestined for Heaven or Hell?  Why should we read or heed Scripture in any way if our fates are sealed before we are even born?

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Why should we read or heed Scripture in any way if our fates are sealed before we are even born?

Because it's the word of god. D'uh.

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16 minutes ago, ofd said:

Because it's the word of god. D'uh.

So?  The only word of God that matters was uttered before I was born, either damning me or saving me.  Anything else he says is irrelevant.

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Anything else he says is irrelevant.

Good to know. But then don't call your doctrine Christian.

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1 hour ago, ofd said:

Good to know. But then don't call your doctrine Christian.

It's not my doctrine, it's your doctrine, of predestination.  If you're interested in knowing what Christian doctrine is, there is a large building over there called the Catholic Church which you can explore.

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there is a large building over there called the Catholic Church which you can explore.

I was under the impression that St. Augustine was rather important for the Catholic Church.

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On 4/17/2017 at 7:29 PM, Donnadogsoth said:

It's almost as if you've decided to be an atheist from the start, and so are not considering the matter in any other terms.

Why would God intend a fallen world?  That would mean he was evil, yet evil is always a lack or a privation, so that would mean God is imperfect and lacking.  How could such an imperfect being be æternal?

Atheism is the default position, thats correct. 

Im not sure about "decided to be an atheist". If there was evidence that atheism was incorrect, or that your position was correct, then I wouldnt have much choice but to accept that, although I would possibly deny it, I suppose. 

It is in the realms of possibility that a god or gods could be evil. I dont see what evil has to do with being aeternal either

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It's almost as if the teachers of the Catholic Church taught predetermination.

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2 hours ago, ofd said:

It's almost as if the teachers of the Catholic Church taught predetermination.

Can you please find that teaching in the Cathechism for me?

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Respondeo dicendum quod, cum praedestinatio includat voluntatem, ut supra dictum est, sic inquirenda est ratio praedestinationis, sicut inquiritur ratio divinae voluntatis. Dictum est autem supra quod non est assignare causam divinae voluntatis ex parte actus volendi; sed potest assignari ratio ex parte volitorum, inquantum scilicet Deus vult esse aliquid propter aliud. Nullus ergo fuit ita insanae mentis, qui diceret merita esse causam divinae praedestinationis, ex parte actus praedestinantis. Sed hoc sub quaestione vertitur, utrum ex parte effectus, praedestinatio habeat aliquam causam. Et hoc est quaerere, utrum Deus praeordinaverit se daturum effectum praedestinationis alicui, propter merita aliqua.

ST, I, Q.23, A5

 

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Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non requiratur aliqua praeparatio sive dispositio ad gratiam ex parte hominis. Quia ut apostolus dicit, Rom. IV, ei qui operatur, merces non imputatur secundum gratiam, sed secundum debitum. Sed praeparatio hominis per liberum arbitrium non est nisi per aliquam operationem. Ergo tolleretur ratio gratiae.

ST, II/1, Q.112, A1

 

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600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of "predestination", he includes in it each person's free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.

CCC, 600

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5 hours ago, neeeel said:

Atheism is the default position, thats correct. 

Im not sure about "decided to be an atheist". If there was evidence that atheism was incorrect, or that your position was correct, then I wouldnt have much choice but to accept that, although I would possibly deny it, I suppose. 

It is in the realms of possibility that a god or gods could be evil. I dont see what evil has to do with being aeternal either

If God is defined as perfect, then he could not be evil, as evil is a falling away from good, a privation, or a lack.  The will to do evil comes from a character flaw.  Someone who is a whole personality has no will to do evil, to break, to hurt, to insult for the sake of the pleasure derived from so doing.  A perfect God will therefore be good.

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Just now, Donnadogsoth said:

If God is defined as perfect, then he could not be evil, as evil is a falling away from good, a privation, or a lack.  The will to do evil comes from a character flaw.  Someone who is a whole personality has no will to do evil, to break, to hurt, to insult for the sake of the pleasure derived from so doing.  A perfect God will therefore be good.

If you predefine god as good, then of course you can deduce that god is good

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17 minutes ago, ofd said:

ST, I, Q.23, A5

 

ST, II/1, Q.112, A1

 

CCC, 600

What part of "free response to his grace" misleads you?

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3 minutes ago, neeeel said:

If you predefine god as good, then of course you can deduce that god is good

No, if  you predefine God as perfect, you can deduce that he is good.  And how can the Creator of the Universe not be perfect?  What would it mean to have an imperfect Creator?  Where would we get our concept of perfection from if perfection is nowhere to be found in the Universe, not even as an imperfect reflection of the Creator?  We'd be in a right pickle then!  But moreover, we would have no concept of perfection, it would never enter into our minds.

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14 minutes ago, Donnadogsoth said:

No, if  you predefine God as perfect, you can deduce that he is good.  And how can the Creator of the Universe not be perfect?  What would it mean to have an imperfect Creator?  Where would we get our concept of perfection from if perfection is nowhere to be found in the Universe, not even as an imperfect reflection of the Creator?  We'd be in a right pickle then!  But moreover, we would have no concept of perfection, it would never enter into our minds.

"because we can conceive of perfection, perfection must exist"

 

really?

 

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What part of "free response to his grace" misleads you?

Read the other parts too. Especially those about God knowing before who will response to the offer of grace.

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36 minutes ago, ofd said:

Read the other parts too. Especially those about God knowing before who will response to the offer of grace.

What of it?  If I'm your old friend and I  know you so well I can predict your responses, does that mean you have no free will?

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What of it?  If I'm your old friend and I  know you so well I can predict your responses, does that mean you have no free will?

It's not about prediciton but knowing who will be saved and who won't be saved.

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50 minutes ago, neeeel said:

"because we can conceive of perfection, perfection must exist"

 

really?

 

It's the same as having a standard of good versus evil.  Atheists sometimes doubt the existence of God because evil exists, but without God there is no good or evil, just personal preference.  So with perfection, without God, there is no perfection, just arbitrary preferences.

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22 hours ago, ofd said:

It's not about prediciton but knowing who will be saved and who won't be saved.

That sounds like prediction to me.

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Knowing beforehand with absolute certainty how every event will turn out is different from prediction. It's called predetermination.

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7 hours ago, ofd said:

Knowing beforehand with absolute certainty how every event will turn out is different from prediction. It's called predetermination.

That's a matter of degree, not of kind.  God knows the character of everything he creates, to the point of knowing every free choice every being will make.  He can do this as a function of his atemporal omniscience.  He knows you perfectly.

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