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SemperParatus

So What Would You Do?

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For starters, I'm sorry if this has already been said, but I read about til page 3, then realized I'm very passionate about this issue, and couldn't postpone a reply long enough to get thru the last pages.

 

I would pull away, no doubt. Baden-Powell started this whole organization as one guy trying to instill good morals, and valuable skills into a bunch of boys, right? So if the BSA actually turn their backs on such morals as they've done a more than descent job of holding fast to, I would definitly feel too... well betrayed to be able to stay. I would pull a "Baden-Powell" and bring together any "hypothetical" sons I would have, and their friends, and do the same things that Scouts has been doing great for years. (I may or may not be slammed for saying this but...) Teaching our boys values is SO Much more important than following the edicts of the organization (if that wasn't true, the Boy Scouts would be nothing more than a well organized cult). I stick with scouts because I was raised in it, and I believe it to be a great way to instill those values in our young men.

I understand that the only hypothetical changes would be taking the socially charged issues of homosexuality and god out of the picture... but where do we get our values if not from God? What, besides God, is the final ultimate criteria for what's right and wrong? Certainly not this relativistic "it's right if you think it's right" nonsense. Giving in on any point would just brocast to the boys the idea that the values they've been learning for as long as they've been in Scouts have really been from such relativism, and that they could adopt if they wanted to, a moral standard where it's ok to do all the things we know (way deep down) to be wrong, like sexual immorality, or drugs. Foremost as a Christian, a child of God, and secondly as an Eagle Scout (one of the biggest scout nerds you'll ever meet) I wouldn't be able to keep going in this if it weren't for the values.

Hope I didn't offend anyone to badly,

Curtis H. :-D

Romans 12:1-2; Psalms 118:14

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Is God all Knowing or is he flawed?

God is all knowing. God is perfect. Humans are neither.

Do you believe in Free Will?

Yes I do. God gave us free will. And by having free will we can choose to sin or choose not to sin. But just because God gave us free will doesn't mean He condones sin. God gave us free will because He doesn't want blind faith.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Finished reading the rest of it,

God is all knowing. (I personally believe he is apart from our time frame, so he has already ssen the choices we'll make, therefore is still soverign) that being said, of course there's free will. Why would such a creative God want to be followed/loved by a bunch of puppets?

-Curtis

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Ok, Ed and ScoutNerd. Now let us apply a little Left Brain Logic to the table.

 

First, some definitions.

 

Free will: The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action: championed freedom of will against a doctrine of predetermination. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.

 

Perfect: Lacking nothing essential to the whole; complete of its nature or kind. Being without defect or blemish: a perfect specimen.

 

I think its safe to assume we can agree on these definitions, right?

 

So, now we shall add Logic to it all. See if you can follow along here.

 

You agree that: People have free will. Therefore this logic follows.

 

-People have Free Will

-If people have Free Will they can make choices freely

-If people can make choices freely they can decide between alternatives

-If there are NO alternatives, no choice is possible

 

So, to say People have free will you are agreeing with what is stated above.

 

Now, onto God.

 

You agree that: God is perfect. Therefore this logic follows.

 

-God is Perfect

-If God is Perfect, then Gods knowledge is Perfect

-If Gods knowledge is Perfect then God knows everything

-If God knows everything then he knows what everything will do

-If God knows what I will do, and Gods knowledge is Perfect then I will not do anything except what God already knows I will do.

-If I will only do what God already knows what I will do, then I dont have a choice.

 

See the contradiction here?

 

Let me explain further. When applying logic to the statements God is Perfect (G) and People have Free Will (W) you discover that both can not be true. Either God is NOT Perfect (~G) or People dont have Free Will (~W) The Logical equation of this is

G v W. If G = true, then ~W=true or If W=true, then ~G=true.

 

As much as we would like to, we cant have both to be true.

 

If God knows what we will do and he is perfect we are NOT going to chose anything but what God expects us to chose. We dont have a choice. Otherwise, he is not perfect. If we chose something other then what he thought we would chose, then he was wrong and a Perfect God is never wrong. We dont have a choice in anything. Its all predetermined.

 

For example, God told Adam and Eve not to eat the apple from his tree. If God is all knowing (a perfect God) he already knew that Adam and Eve would eat the apple. It was IMPOSSIBLE for them NOT to eat the apple, and therefore they really didnt have any choice. Ad they never eaten the apple, God would have been wrong and Imperfect. If God didnt know what they would do, then God is Imperfect.

 

Its a contradiction that is ignored in faith.

 

Lets now apply this logic to this debate. Homosexuality is immoral. Homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuality is a violation to the idea of each human having a duty to God. Homosexuality is a choice.

 

But wait a minute. God is perfect.

 

So God knew that these people would be gay, well before they ever existed. If he was Perfect he did. They never had a choice in the matter. Sin is based on choice, the decision to act against Gods will. But if human beings cant choose then it was not their fault a sin was committed. If a Perfect Creator created everything, and Free will is eliminated because God is Perfect, then God created Homosexuals therefore they did not and are not a violation of his Will, because it is by his Will that they are exactly the way they are. This means that homosexuals are not immoral, a sin or a choice.

 

If not, Then God is imperfect.

 

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DugNevius,

What you fail to understand is faith is in the mix. You didn't account for faith! Logic is man made. And not everything is logical.

 

Nice try, though.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Wow, ok...

Let me start a response by pointing out that the Christian Church has had a debate over the nature of this argument for years. If the high up theologians have difficulties comming to terms with this, then I really don't expect to. Many people, including myself at times, put this away as one of those mysteries of God that we won't be able to figure out, but that we trust is true, because we trust the God who is in charge of it all... that being said, I have not ignored this subject. Being involved in a Christian group/club at an engineering university, my friends and I actually sit and ponder this kind of thing in depth. Here are some of the things we've come up with over the years.

 

1.) God created time, therefore He can not be defined by it. He exists in what we call the past, and future, the same as He exists in our present. In Exodus, God called himself "I am", thru which He was passing on the understanding to people of Him being the Self existant one, not defined by our reference frames :-D. Keeping this in mind God lets us have free will, lets us make our own choices. Just because He knows the outcome doesn't make it any less of an adventure/challenge/choice for us.

 

2.) Another possible explanation: God Created us, right? (is it safe to assume we agree there?) He knows every detail in our lives, every reaction to every situation, my friends and I joke that one of His hobbies is nameing the hairs on our head. He knows us so well because He created us. He knows us better than our parents/spouse/kids do, better than we do. (You said yourself that we're assuming God's knowledge is perfect, which I heartily agree with). Because of that, He know's how we'll react when presented with any choice. The choice is not of a required answer variety, but God still knows how we'll respond. Think of it in the same way that you can predict how you're best friend will react to certain good or bad news, but God can predict a whole lot more precisely, and a whole lot more... well, infinitly.

 

I hope that makes sense. Either or both of these is Biblical, and true, so feel free to tear them apart. :-D

The other part of the discussion was about imorality vs. God's Soverignty

I serve a God that is Holy and Just, and loves us with the Holiest of loves. He neither wants to force us to follow him, nor can he accept us as we are. That's what I've come to know that Christ is the only way for everything to work. Someone had to die for us to be justifed, so He could love us with his Holy love, and by sending his own son to do the dying, He showed us exactly how much He did (and does) love us.

Frankly, I'm perfectly fine with the idea that God allows sin, because God allows free choice, but we still must deal with the consequenses of those choices. It's not that Free will and God's omnipotence/perfection can't coexist, it's that the people with free will choose to go against God, therefore they deal with the consequences. Personally, I've decided that following God is more important than my free will, so I choose (freely) to do what God wants me to do.

 

"And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

...Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." (Romans 1:28,32)

 

well I hope that makes sense, and that you can find it as applicable to the topic as I can (and yes I did proof read it)

-Curtis

 

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Ed is right. Faith doesn't require (or involve) "Left Brain Logic". This is a basic misunderstanding that often causes two people to argue around each other in circles.

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a ha, ScoutNerd, but yu realize that both yur examples are flawed.

 

"Keeping this in mind God lets us have free will, lets us make our own choices. Just because He knows the outcome doesn't make it any less of an adventure/challenge/choice for us."

 

He knows the outcome. He is not wrong. So you will not do something other then the exact choice he has already forseen. It does not make it less of an adventure, but it DOES make it not a choice. You will always do exactly what he has foreseen.

 

" He created us. He knows us better than our parents/spouse/kids do, better than we do. (You said yourself that we're assuming God's knowledge is perfect, which I heartily agree with). Because of that, He know's how we'll react when presented with any choice. The choice is not of a required answer variety, but God still knows how we'll respond."

 

He knows how we will react. Again this only further illustrates the idea i have proposed here, that there was no free will at all.

 

Ed, Faith is the simple answer the explain simple contradictions. Its sweeping the dirt under the rug. The dirt is still there, even if you ignore it. If you close your eyes the trees and the birds and the earth is still there. So closing your eyes doesnt get rid of the trees and the birds and the earth.

 

The study of Logic is mathmatical. The absense of logic is chaos, and therefore there is no rule. To eliminate Logic from the discussion of Homosexuality in BSA means there are no rules and therefore it can not be argued either that Homosexuality is wrong or right.

 

"Freedom is the knowledge of Necessity."

 

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(copied from personal message to Dug)

 

Assuming that if one person has free will, everyone does... if you know how your wife will react to something does that take away from the freedom of choice she exercises in reacting that way? I don't really have a good example of the outside-of-time because frankly, it's near impossible for us to grasp... I simply trust God to do things in a loving, holy and just fashion. Not really because God's knowledge is so vast, but because his character is so good. How much God knows is not as important to me as the character he has. At the beginning of the world God created us in His image... let us not try and return the favor in this day and age.

 

(then some addition)

 

Why should God have to conform to our logic?

A quote from CS Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia" comes to mind...

"He's not a tame lion afterall" :-D

 

-Curtis

Col. 2:8

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"Assuming that if one person has free will... if you know how your wife will react to something does that take away from the freedom of choice she exercises in reacting that way?"

 

If you possess perfect knoweldge like some people claim God to have, then you know exactly what your wife will chose. If you are going to Mc Donalds and yu have Perfect knowledge and know she will chose the Big Mac, she will never prove you wrong by getting McNuggets, she will always pick Big Mac if you know that she will, no matter the time of day or dimension she is in. She has no choice, and as a rule the absence of choice is the absense to choose. If she were to pick something other then what you knew she would, then you dont possess Perfect Knowledge.

 

God being Good, Great or bad is not the debate here and has no bareing on the debate.Its not about his charactor, Its Free Will vs a Perfect God.

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I am not sure one can distinguish the nature of God using human language, concepts and experience. To think humans can define and judge whether or not God is perfect or imperfect is absurd. I would direct those interested in free will discourses to study St Augistine and Thomas Aquinas and then get back to us when you digested it all. I think April 24, 2010 sounds about right

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God being Good, Great or bad is not the debate here and has no bareing on the debate.Its not about his charactor, Its Free Will vs a Perfect God.

 

On the contrary, the character of God obviously is the main issue here. If he wasnt good, how could he be perfect? And if he wasnt creative, why would he give us free will?

Then on the topic of choice Im failing to see how knowing someones choice makes it any less of a choice for them. If God knows what I will choose, by all means the adventure of the choice is still there for me. Im still responsible for making the choice, and I certainly still have to go through much mental deliberation to make some of them. I think we need to point out the difference between knowledge of someones choice and control of it.

 

and I agree with OGE, well maybe I could recommend a few more contemporary authors (as to keep the argument of their ideas being outdated out of the picture - though they are very good writings, biblical, well thought out, I'd certainly call them true)... John Stott, CS Lewis, AW Tozer

 

Perhaps we should take this to a spin off thread, since were getting rather far from the initial question of what would you do?" though this topic is certainly something I'd like to keep discussing :-D. If you think it doesn't apply to scouting enough, then by all means, (esp. Dug) send me a personal message and we can keeping going by email.

 

 

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This is all on topic.

 

"Im failing to see how knowing someones choice makes it any less of a choice for them. If God knows what I will choose, by all means the adventure of the choice is still there for me. Im still responsible for making the choice, and I certainly still have to go through much mental deliberation to make some of them. I think we need to point out the difference between knowledge of someones choice and control of it."

 

If God KNOWS what yu will do, can you do something different and he still be right? No.

That means that there was no alternative. Because:

 

-If people have Free Will they can make choices freely

-If people can make choices freely they can decide between alternatives

-If there are NO alternatives, no choice is possible

 

So no choice was possible, the ONLY alternative was the one that God has forseen.

 

So, in the case of homosexuality, those that are Gay do not have a choice in it at all. Everything has been Predetermined and part of God's master plan and not immoral (Definition: A violation of God's principals) because God is the creater of all things and actions.

 

If God is Perfect, then Homosexuality is not a sin nor is it immoral.

 

If human's can not judge the perfection of God then they can not understand fully ANYTHING related to God, including morality, and therefor NOTHING is defined.

 

If nothing can be defined then nothing is immoral, and that would therefore include Homosexuality.

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dug,

Faith isn't sweeping the dirt under the rug. Faith is believing without seeing. I believe in God. Never seem Him gut I know he is there. The winds blows. I can't see it but I know it's there.

 

You can't define God with logic. God created logic. God created everything!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Dug, you keep going back to this, so I'll pose the question back at you...

 

Do you believe your own logic? do you believe that Homosexuality is not really all that immoral? Do you think that choices can only be free when they are unpredictable?

 

What if God has seen clearly all the outcomes of every choice of ours? It certainly would be within his abilities... Then the choice we make was still forseen but not required of us.

 

-Curtis

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