Perceived Choices

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Artimaeus, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
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    I don't believe the following statement is true, but, I have been asking people's thoughts on this for nearly 30 years and I am yet to get a satistactory reply. Here is the statement.

    Given their perceived choices, a person will ALWAYS choose that which will gain the most pleasure or will avoid the most pain.

    The key to understanding this statement is, as the title to this thread suggests, in the phrase "perceived choices". It is whatever this person THINKS his choices are and the effect he THINKS those choices will have on HIM. I am asking for exceptions to this statement, thus, proving it to be false. Good luck, it is not as easy as it sounds. I posted it in this forum because it relates directly to total depravity.
     
  2. Xingyi Warrior

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    Animals are reactionary in nature and do seem to follow the pattern you described. Humans, however due to higher cognitive abilities do not always follow the rule. animal behavior is goverened highly by instinct. Humans do have some primitive instincts still lurking around (sexual, survival, etc..) but we mainly rely on reason (or should) to facilitate decisionmaking. One of the core beliefs in geography is that human behavior is governed by proximal relationships between the human and another real world entity (ocean, desert, mountain, other humans, etc...) This does account for some of our fundamental behavioral patterns but does not entirely dictate them. Franz Boaz, the father of American anthropology was a geographer from Germany who did the work on his dissertation in Greenland collecting ethnographical information on the indigenous Innuit tribes there. Although his geographical background suggested that because of their harsh environment that the Innuit should behave in an expected patterns, Boaz found that much of Innuit behavior was done in spite of their environment and didn't make sense according to models dictated by the dominant paradigm. This prompted him to break with his geographic traditions and establish a paradigm that would become the forerunner of modern American anthropological thought.
    Animals respond well to negative reinforcement which is providing a negative stimulus to facilitate behavioral change. Humans however do not. Numerous studies have shown that when negative stimulus is applied to human test subjects the results are usually counterproductive or erroneous at best.
     
  3. Artimaeus

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    If my statement is true then man's ability to reason is merely an extremely complicated and difficult to understand biological programming.

    I maintain that they do (if my statement is true). I am asking for specific exceptions which would prove it to be untrue.
     
  4. Tim too

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    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are biblical examples that prove this statement false.

    "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:17-18 NIV

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  5. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Artimus;
    Spending time on a battlefield proves your theory false. When a man will give his own life for his friends or country. When men think of others with more regaurd than them selves. But then if you think about it animals will do the same. Try standing between a mother grizzley and her cubs for instance. It's the bear's instinct to run from man. On the other hand, bear's have an instinct to protect there young. But is it instinct or love? Some animals will run and leave you with there young and be glad you didn't get them.

    I think what seperates us from the animals is we are made in the likeness of God. We aren't animals.

    I've heard of people running out of a burning building to save them selves and then, turning around and going back in to save loved ones. The first is instinct but the second isn't.

    Just my opinion
    May God bless you.
    Mike
     
  6. Artimaeus

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    Not really, think about it. Remember, it is their PERCEIVED CHOICES. It wasn't merely a choice between life and death. It was a choice between obeying God (and how much that meant to them) or obeying man and being guilty of a grievous sin. Their choice was really between a short period of pain followed by an eternity of pleasure or a short period of pleasure (no fire) followed by a lifetime of pain from guilt and remorse. Our choices are always what we perceive them to be AND all of the ramifications that go with them, not just the simple choice of yes or no, right or wrong, up or down.
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    A man's sense of honor, sense of duty, sense of patriotism, all play a part in these types of decisions. He views his choices as living without these and thinking of himself as a coward retaining these and giving up his life. Sometimes one's life just doesn't stack up.
     
  8. tyndale1946

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    Will his choice be any different if he has a cold and stony heart or a heart of flesh whom God has changed?... A good study would be the book of Job!... Curse God and die!... Though he slay me I will trust in him... Obey God and receive his blessings... Disobey and suffer!... But does YOUR choice GAIN you eternal salvation or keep it for you?... If we are Totally Depraved where is choice until the heart is changed?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  9. Yelsew

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    Raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is mature he will not depart from it.

    The child raised to fear God already has 'God-sense' installed in his very being. The Pavlov's dog syndrome, so to speak.

    Likewise, the child that is raised to dispise God will do so out of "conditioning". Again the Pavlov's dog syndrome.

    Even so, those who have such conditioning can change. They can choose both consciously and unconsciously to make a change in their own life. Where the impulse to change comes from is debate fodder, but the fact is one can change of one's own volition based on one's environment, history, and personal desire.

    If in one's environment there is strong delusion leading to evil and the one responds to that, one will become evil. While, on the other hand, a strong influence to righteousness results in one responding to righteousness. Sometimes it is a tossed coin with no guarantee which side will be facing up.

    That is why there is such a struggle for the hearts and minds of our children in and out of the public school systems. Take the righteousness factor out of the schools and you end up with an uncivil, unthinking society.

    Leave religion up to the parents and by the end of the second generation, there will be no religion! And the church buildings become empty shells or storage barns. What a grim prospect for God loving and fearing people.
     
  10. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Yelsew;
    I understand what you are saying. I've known men who had drunks for Fathers and Mothers but they don't drink themselves. Enviroment isn't always what determines the out come of a child.
    May God bless you.
    Mike
     
  11. Yelsew

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    That of course, was not the thrust of what I was saying. It is the person who puts the substance in his/her body that faces the consequences of doing so. That is the medical and emotional problems caused by the use of such substances. Alcoholics for example are quite often afflicted with Psorosis of the liver...pickled liver. Smokers are subject to Lung Cancer. Both are subject to addiction to the substance.

    The fact that use of such substances affects others, is peripheral or collateral damage.

    Alcoholics recover, Smokers quit. Though not officially an alcoholic, I consumed a whole lot of alcohol during my early military service, fifteen years worth, and I smoked the majority of that time. Therefore, I am a surviver of both, but I am still subject to the consequences of using those substances.

    All the while, I was a believer in Jesus Christ, having accepted Him as my personal savior as a youth. I never stopped believing in Him, but like the prodigal I ran from him for a while.
     
  12. tyndale1946

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  13. Yelsew

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  14. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Yelsew; [​IMG]
    You yourself stated;
    Children learn best from example. Alot of people who were brought up in a drunks home become drunks them selves. As I stated before some don't, infact some even hate alcohol. I myself learned from example. My parents were saved. So am I. I Thank God for godly pearents who taught me the way by example...
    May God Bless You.
    Mike
     
  15. Artimaeus

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    If we could know ALL of the factors of a coin toss, such as wind resistance, force used, initial position of the coin, direction and angle of "flip", etc, then even a coin toss would not be in doubt and you could say for sure how it would end up. Pavlov's dog experiments and B. F. Skinner's work with pigeons helped clarify the basics of conditioning. the only reason we can't guarantee the results is because we don't and can't known all of the variable and the degree of each. I believe that the introduction of the Holy Spirit is the factor that can bring us from the point of being "predictable" to the point of actually being "unpredictable". We can accept or reject Christ and the outcome is not a foregone conclusion based on past experiences.
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    First of all Yelsew I disagree with that statement... If they were saved they are still saved... My Eternal Salvation is based on the work of Jesus Christ not on mine... To compare your aquaintences faith with the same belief that demons have is short sighted on your understanding of the scriptures. Their faith may be weak or lacking and not as strong as yours but as far as them not having eternal salvation I leave that up to God... They have as much OSAS as you do but are not receiving the blessing in this life until they return to God... But as far as their Eternal Salvation and Eternal life in Jesus is concerned they NEVER lost that... It is hid in God in Jesus Christ... And Man... Angels... Demons and Satan himself CAN NEVER TOUCH IT!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  17. Yelsew

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    First of all Yelsew I disagree with that statement... If they were saved they are still saved... My Eternal Salvation is based on the work of Jesus Christ not on mine... To compare your aquaintences faith with the same belief that demons have is short sighted on your understanding of the scriptures. Their faith may be weak or lacking and not as strong as yours but as far as them not having eternal salvation I leave that up to God... They have as much OSAS as you do but are not receiving the blessing in this life until they return to God... But as far as their Eternal Salvation and Eternal life in Jesus is concerned they NEVER lost that... It is hid in God in Jesus Christ... And Man... Angels... Demons and Satan himself CAN NEVER TOUCH IT!... Brother Glen [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]Your eternal salvation is determined by your faith! If not, God would not have established human faith in Him as the criteria for salvation.

    Jesus' atonement took away the sins of the world therefore sin is no longer a judgement criteria, thus enabling even the vilest of sinners to be saved in Grace through faith!

    Works are not a factor for salvation either, for some cannot do what others can do and there would be a requirement that not all can meet because as Paul told us each of us was given a different gift.

    We were ALL given the same ability to have faith, Faith in God, and Jesus His Son. Thus with a level playing field we ALL have the same opportunity for salvation, and the same criteria for ALL.

    My associates have dissavowed their former saving faith. They have clearly stated they do not any longer believe that Jesus is the son of God, the Messiah, but at one time they did! They were, at one time, saved through faith, marked for salvation by believing and confessing that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. They have recanted! Resulting in their names being blotted from the book of life. Unless they repent of their sin of disbelief, they will be cast into the lake of fire, for they are not any longer marked for salvation. The faith that they had was faith growing in weedy soil for surely their faith has been choked out by the cares of this world. Their saving faith is dead!
     
  18. tyndale1946

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    Yelsew... That is why God is God!... He is more forgiving than any on here and since you can not read their hearts it doesn't matter what you think of those who you don't think are saved... Actually I don't worry about it as it is out of my hands... Jesus Christ SHALL SAVE ALL HIS GRACE WROUGHT BLOOD BOUGHT CHILDREN... His ELECT chosen in HIM before the world began... That is what the Bible teaches and that is what I believe... We were his loving gracial choice and there was nothing we could do to earn it or fall from it as it is nailed to his cross! [​IMG] ... Brother Glen The Primitive Baptist [​IMG]
     
  19. Yelsew

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    He does not save those who have no faith in HIM!
     
  20. tyndale1946

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    So Yelsew!... According to Romans 9:4 are those Israelites mentioned saved eternally?... Could Paul actually be accursed from Christ in an eternal sense to save his kindred?... If he could would not that make Paul the Savior of his kindred if it were possible?... Or is this in reference to the blindness that was visited upon Israel that Paul pleaded to God to remove so they could see Jesus Christ as he saw him?... They were enemies to the cross but beloved of the Father and included in election and eternally saved... That is what Romans 9... 10 and 11 teaches for we are ALL Jews Inwardly and our life is hid in Christ in God!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     

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