Compatibilism: Freewill or Necessity?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    In the realm of theology, there is as most know, some that hold to the notion of compatibilistic freewill. Brandon Jones has explained it in a way that is the most understandable I have encountered. He said, relating to his own understanding of freedom,

    “My way of understanding freedom still involves choices based on desires, but it is also compatible (hence the term compatibilism) with God decreeing the events of the world including free acts.”

    My intents in this thread involves digging deeper into this notion of theology, to ascertain the meaning of ‘desires’ and if in fact desires are the product of necessity or freedom. It also involves looking into the idea of God’s decreeing the event, and to discover what is entailed in God’s decrees, if in fact the outcome can involve freedom or if in fact the outcome of a decree from God is again a matter of necessity as opposed to freedom.

    Who would like to be the first to give us your explanation to these two notions surrounding the heart of compatibilism freewill?


    I have offered a principle I believe is applicable to any and all discussion involving freedom and necessity. If there is only one possible consequent for a given antecedent, the matter is a matter of necessity. If there are two or more possible consequents for a given antecedent, the matter is said to involve choice or freedom. I see no alternative to these two principles.

    I would like to see any and all that might disagree with this notion to FIRST set forth their definition of the two terms, freedom and necessity as I have done, and provide, as has been done in measure on another thread, illustrations to support their definitions.




     
  2. BobRyan

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    Did Christ HAVE to succeed in His mission or "could" He fail?

    Did Christ HAVE to die for our sins - or "could He choose to go back to heaven"?

    When Christ was tempted - COULD He fail?

    If the answer to all this is there WAS another option - then Christ was FREELY CHOOSING to succeed according to your definition above.

    What about sinners?
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Would you be so kind as to set forth your definition of the two terms, freedom and necessity, so to establish the meaning of the terms we use for the reader? Thanks.

    I would like all posters on this thread to do the same. If we are to have meaningful discussion, terminology is paramount.
     
  4. BobRyan

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    I am using the definitions in your OP and I would agree that IF there is a choice - an option - an alternative -- then the person is freely choosing something.

    Since most would argue that Christ was not enslaved or a robot or deprived of free will - then we must conclude he could have done something else.

    By the same token the sinner has a choice because IN sin he is enslaved only if he rejects the "drawing of God" who "Draws ALL mankind unto Him" John 12:32.

    But that drawing PROVIDES a choice - an alternate outcome.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    You would start the opportunity of freedom subsequent to being drawn by God, but not prior to whatever caused the malady. You present, as I understand you, a sinner by necessity but salvation via the means of freedom of choice.

    Lay aside the issue of salvation for a moment. You present freedom ONLY when the gospel is presented. That leaves me to believe that you feel men are necessitated as sinners from birth. If this is true, sin cannot be a moral issue, for morality cannot be predicated where choice or freedom does not exist. Freedom as you explain it is necessitated guilt, and a necessitated remedy offered to all these necessitated men.

    Again, God must in fact grant to men freedom or choice ONLY when salvation is offered. Men must not be deserving of hell until they reject the necessitated messsage of salvation, for no choice was or could have involved until then, for they were necesitated as evil from birth.

    Evil cnanot be moral, for no choice was possible until salvations offer, for again , according to you, choice begins at salvations offer. Is this correct so far?
     
  6. Jarthur001

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    Does bluegrass have the freedom to grow as red?
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Would God condemn it to an eternal hell of torment if it did or it did not?
     
  8. BobRyan

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    You propose an environment where the Gospel does not exist. There is no such environment on earth.

    Your propose that we negate what God IS doing to make this a fair and just system - take OUT His part and THEN ask - is it still fair and just.

    I would agree with you - it would not be fair and just IF we eliminated God's part in this.

    In the case of angels who fell and are demonic - THEY CHOSE -- freely chose rebellion and they are justly condemned.

    In the case of sinners with sinFUL natures that DO sin and ARE in the Romans 3 state of total depravity - God would be JUST in NOT allowing them to exist at all - IF He were to truly cancel out His own Gospel activities in the mythical scenario that you propose.

    I agree with you - that would be the only just thing to do - Keep them from existing at all.

    In Christ,
     
  9. Jarthur001

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    ish 40
    8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

    john 3
    18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil
     
  10. Jarthur001

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    Well...
    I did not get any takers on my last post...so I will just go ahead and post follow up. :)

     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: If there was not an environment where the gospel does not exist, thousands of missionaries have risked life and fortune for something less than needed. To deny that many have even today not received the gospel is ridiculously naïve. A conscience and some knowledge as to the existence of God does not equate to having received the gospel.

    Your problem is that you are trying to start from the false presupposition of original sin. The truth is that there is no need for all to receive the gospel message to make it fair. Salvation is not about being fair, it is about His mercy. God is under no obligation of any idea such as to be ‘fair’ in disseminating salvation. If He desires to be fair He could just send all men to hell. Salvation is about His mercy, and He will show mercy upon whomsoever He wills according to Scripture.

    The problem is that you deny the aspect of mans nature that coordinates with God fairness. You deny that men are born well able to do that which is required of him. You make man a sinner from birth, instead of a man capable of choice as he in reality is created. What would be unfair is that if God created man with original sin and then punished him for failure to do the impossible, which is to overcome necessitated fate.

    Show me one verse that states that men are born with sinful natures. Read them carefully before you waste our time posting verses that simply mention ‘by nature’ unless you feel that every time the word nature is used it means necessitated sinfulness, an oxymoron at best.
     
  12. BD17

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    Psalms. David said he was concieved in sin.
    There is also a verse the states I believe that men turn away from birth I will find them and let you know.
     
  13. BD17

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    Here they are ...

    David in Psalms 51:5 "Surley I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me."

    There you go HP. I can give you more ifyou like, but you just asked for one.
     
  14. BD17

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  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: That aught to settle the matter for one with a closed mind. A proof text.

    Forget trying to harmonize it with the approx:150+ or so texts that clearly indicate that there are righteous.

    How about the utilization of a little wisdom on the behalf of a fair and balanced approach to the Word of God? :)
     
  16. BD17

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    Name one person who was righteous of their own accord. All of the righteous people in scripture became righteous when God called them. I like how you conveniently avoid Psalms 51.
     
  17. BD17

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    How about Job15:14..."What is man that he could be pure, or one bron of a woman that he could be righteous"

    Psalm 58:3 "Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies."

    Would you like more?
     
  18. BD17

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    Man cannot claim righteousness for himself.

    2 Corinthians 3:5 "Not that we are competant in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competance comes from God."
     
  19. BD17

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    Show one, and make it harmonize with the texts that say there are none. You cannot do that if you believe in free-will. If you do you are commiting an exegetical fallacy. I bet I can guess how you will make it work...you will change the meaning of aword and put into a context that fits what you want it to be.
     
  20. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: First, David was a Jew and the Jews did not believe in original sin.

    Next, that is not what the verse states. Here is what it says. “Ps 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

    The plain truth of this text is that David was not speaking directly concerning his personal sin. He was conceived in sin as the result of his mother’s former relationship with an Ammonite. David mother was not the mother of his other brothers, and David had two half-sisters from his mother’s former relationship to the Ammonite that was her former husband. David’s mother was obviously Jesse’s second wife. This is one of the reasons David’s brother so despised him. He was their half brother.

    The Jews considered David to be illegitimate as he obviously was in the sight of the Jew laws. David was not a bastard, for if he was he could not have sat on the throne at all, but just the same was considered illegitimate. It was for this reason I fully believe that he father Jesse did not bring him to the prophet to be chosen and anointed as the next king.

    What I believe David was stating in this psalm, was reflecting on how sin, even from the facts surrounding his conception, was involved in his life. Obviously David felt these influences did in fact play a part in bringing him to the point of his personal recognizable sinfulness he now felt. There had not been a time in his life, not even in his conception, that sin was not indeed a formidable influence to evil.

    What cannot be concluded, is that David was in any way supporting the Augustinian notion of original sin or constitutional depravity. That notion did not even develop until approx. 400 years after Christ’s death, and even then still had no place in Jewish or Christian thought outside of the father of the doctrine of original sin’s thoughts, none other than Augustine.
     

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