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Re: [christian-philosophy] Purpose of speculations

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  • Warren
    ... This is not accurate, we have many similes of The Kingdom of Heaven/God with which we can garner information of its method of Government. Moreover we
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 1, 2000
      Alex wrote:

      > (Warren) wrote:
      >>>
      >>> First, all my speculations can be wrong; my speculations are simply
      >>> speculations.
      >>
      >> Agreed but you have asserted speculations based upon a presupposed model of
      >> reality; namely that "Kingdom of God is one realm where only a complete
      >> happiness is governing by God's presence". This presupposition is inaccurate
      >> and can be demonstrated so by many means, thus because of your errant
      >> presupposition you have produced a flawed speculation.
      >
      > In principle none of us can say about the nature of the God's Kingdom,
      > since it is one transcendent realm.

      This is not accurate, we have many similes of "The Kingdom of Heaven/God"
      with which we can garner information of its method of Government. Moreover
      we have evidences of Satan's pre-rebellious state and activities which give
      us indication its function toward dysfunctional citizens. It is clear that,
      within God's Kingdom, there is room for personal freedom to be and act as
      one sees fit, however with that freedom comes responsibility for consequence
      and accountability for outcome.



      > Both our statement can never be biblically verified. Therefore, I said
      > following:

      Perhaps, but I would argue yours can be Biblically denied. Here we come to
      the only assertion of "truth" we have here on this earth, where we can say
      what isn't true based upon a common standard, we can only approach what ~is~
      true for it is an elusive, maybe illusive, ideal which we can never actually
      know.


      >>> There is no point in arguing against it;
      >>
      >> Of course there is, for we ~can~ prove things impossible by many means and
      >> this limits the scope of possibilities for an ultimate resolution to our
      >> questions. Your speculation just cannot be so within the context of the
      >> evidence we possess.
      >
      > But my contention is that none of us have evidence for our beliefs
      > regarding Heavenly transcendent kingdom.

      This is not exactly true, in my opinion. We have this present world which is
      asserted repeatedly as a reflection of the original or greater reality. We
      have Satan's activities which lead to his fall and we have record of his
      activities in this present world in its original state, in its reconditioned
      state and now in its current state demonstrating a continuity of those
      assertions. We know it was destroyed before the Spirit moved on the face of
      the waters, we know it was the place to which Satan was cast, we know the
      reason why this was done and we know the result of this event.

      With this information we can create some models of possible sequence of
      events and discount others. I would assert yours cannot be fit into the
      evidence we possess.


      > Why do we then speculate? We speculate because of apologetic reasons that
      > could explain why God had not yet destroyed Satan, the human fall in sin, the
      > origin of suffering, etc.

      I agree. Most theologies begin with this current world order as the
      foundation of their evaluations of the present and their speculations of the
      future. They have generated many outright flawed theories which have
      furthered Satan's agenda and increased the suffering of his government;
      Augustine and Calvin being two very poignant cases in point.


      >>> it is just an explanation why angels who were near God chose to rebel
      >>> against His goodness.
      >>
      >> Satan was free to do as he saw fit, his condemnation was that he refused to
      >> alter his course in spite of the obvious resolution of his actions (more on
      >> this in a bit).
      >
      > That's your speculations:)

      Agreed, however it fits the facts we now possess. Does this mean it is
      correct? No, but, so far, it stands more of a chance than any other I have
      tested. I am willing to test yours further and promise to do my best to
      honestly evaluate yours fairly. I have no axe to grind, I am more than
      willing to discard my positions because to me, truth is the goal not
      personal vindication.


      > But your speculations cannot answer following problem: how could an
      > intelligent being, who was near God, choose to rebel against God, if we at
      > the same time assume that God is the perfection of Goodness and Bliss.

      And to this I can answer fully and completely to my satisfaction and I would
      bet to yours as well, given enough time. Define "Goodness". It is not an
      objective assertion but a subjective determination. What is "good" to you
      may not be "good" to me. Who is to say ~your~ definition of "good" is
      universal? And if it ~is~ universal who is to say it will result in "Bliss"
      for me? What if your definition of "Good" results in a universal condition
      of misery for me, can I then accept your definition of "good" for myself.
      Would not your "good" be "bad" for me?

      I think the record is clear that Satan rejected God's definition of
      Goodness. What happens now? Where you can force someone to ~do~ something
      externally you cannot force a free moral agent to ~be~ or ~like~ something
      internally. If God had created automatons He could have just reprogrammed
      them but this was not the case. They were not "creations" per se but
      children; independent and free. To force them to ~be~ something would
      destroy them for it would strip them of the essential attribute of their
      personhood; freedom and independence, and destroy any potential for
      relationship.

      I believe the Scriptural record is clear that Satan's mindset causes some
      intrinsic changes in the essence of a moral agent. They move from a position
      of God's "Goodness" producing "Bliss" to a condition where it not only
      doesn't do so but never will be able to do so.

      With this perspective two options could be possible, 1) destroy the agent or
      2) remove the agent.

      With regard to option 1 there are two problems, first one would have to
      actually be able to "destroy" the agent which I think is problematic
      considering the ontological composition of spiritual beings, and second
      their destruction would deny them their right to live as they see fit. That
      they are, by a given definition of "sane", insane does not mean that they
      are so by ~any~ definition of sanity thus their destruction could, in
      theory, be an injustice.

      Option 2; banishment. That the rebellious don't have a ~right~ to live under
      God's government does not mean they don't have a right to ~live~. God is
      presently proving the diametric differences between the two perspectives and
      their complete inability to coexist. The resolution of a tyrannical God
      would be to force his will upon his subjects or destroy them for their
      noncompliance but this is not what God purposes to do. Rather He lovingly
      demonstrates to the rebels the result of their perspective in hopes that
      they would turn themselves, and failing that He allows them to do as they
      see fit in a place where they cannot harm others, in compliance to the First
      and Second Moral Laws. To those who adhere to God's definition of "Goodness"
      that place would be hell, outer darkness where there is nothing but pain and
      suffering but to those who follow Satan, insane with sin... well I don't
      know what it is and in point of fact ~don't~ want to know!


      >>>> The Kingdom of God is a matter of freedom.
      >>>
      >>> Your appeal to freedom doesn't solve the problem.
      >>
      >> Oh but it does, happiness must be a result of freedom for no one can force
      >> you to be "happy". Believe me I have tried in long car trips with the
      >> family... "you kids quit fighting and BE HAPPY or else!"
      >
      > First, you must prove that God created men and angels as free beings if you
      > at the same time assume that God created them with a predictable nature
      > that will fall in sin.

      There are two distinct levels of legal jurisdiction, temporal/material and
      eternal/spiritual. Where the former is clearly contingent upon the
      circumstances in which the agent finds himself, the latter ~may~ not be. I
      would assert it isn't nor could it be for if indeed we are essentially
      contingent then there is no ability for legal condemnation. Because God
      condemns men for their deeds we ~know~ that, on some level, we are indeed
      free for we are held accountable for what we did within the freedom we
      possessed.

      Therefore "sin" is not a material construction, not the result of the
      contingency of the material world, it is a product of the spirit of a
      spiritual essence which transcends the temporal reality into an eternal
      reality of which we have extremely limited information.

      That God orchestrated the "fall" does not mean God foreordained Adam's
      spiritual condition. Where Adam, and all mankind, were temporally subjected
      to a curse this is external to themselves, a condition in which they must
      live, a circumstance they must endure. The judgment of God falls not upon
      the contingent material result of this condition, for that is foreknowable,
      but rather upon the spiritual result, what will the agent determine about
      this circumstance. This is why moral judgment occurs ~after~ the termination
      of this temporal life and not during. Where we are given indications of the
      result of moral corruption this is not a sentence, per se, but a warning, a
      demonstration of ultimate result. It is a matter of correction not judicial
      punishment. If these temporal signs are rejected moral judgment obtains to
      ~eternal~ punishment, the actual result of their own independent and free
      choice.

      Therefore, where man is on one level "predictable" this is wholly irrelevant
      to the issue of this world but rather a method by which certain results can
      be demonstrated. We are strapped into a roller coaster and given a ride. We
      are not judged by the ride but rather our assessment ~of~ that ride. God
      controls exactly where, when and how much this ride will effect us, He
      promises not to exceed our ability to withstand, but what is unknown is how
      we will assess the experiences we have endured.


      > Second, even if we assume that Satan freely choose to rebel, this cannot
      > explain why he rebelled.

      Let's break down your question a bit, rebellion, by definition, is a
      demonstration of ~freedom~ for without freedom there is no ability to rebel.
      If Satan were "forced" to rebel then, in point of fact, he didn't actually
      "rebel" by definition.

      So we can logically understand that Satan's mindset was a result of his
      innate freedom to be as he wished but his rebellion was a result of God's
      restriction upon him to ~do~ as he wished.

      As to why... I think this is a question which God Himself cannot assess
      (just speculation here), it simply happens. We know it is not a matter of
      contingency and thus cannot be foreknown. To some extent this is Satan's
      argument, if it is "natural" then it cannot be "evil" anymore than my hating
      liver and onions is "evil". I would say God's argument is that if it is
      allowed to thrive in His Kingdom it will destroy everything and cause
      suffering upon everyone. Therefore, they are free to be as they want but
      only restricted from doing what they want in His Kingdom, they must go.



      > As rational beings we act because we have some reasons.

      We must be careful not to apply Laws into jurisdictions which they don't
      apply. We know this is the case in the temporal world but we also know that
      there is a realm of reality which is described as no eye having seen and no
      ear having heard. Therefore we have no knowledge of the parameters of this
      greater reality and no ability define their function.

      You are actually appealing to contingency in this argument; cause and
      effect. We experience certain events and these events are processed by us
      into degrees of positive and negative values based upon the construction of
      our minds/souls. A full knowledge of a person's mental construction will
      give an absolute resolution to whether or not a given event will be
      positively or negatively received. Certain events can be constructed which
      will further a given end, an end which can be positively predetermined.

      This is ~not~ the issue of this world nor could it be for we are not
      condemned by the material result of our choices but rather by our spiritual
      assessment of our condition. We are saved from the ultimate consequences of
      our actions by our agreeing with God of the "sinfulness" or "badness" of
      "sin". Failing that we are condemned to banishment for the actual result of
      these deeds in reality. Those who "repent" of these acts are allowed to
      enter into God's Kingdom and those who don't, aren't.

      The definition of "rational" can only be determined within a universal set
      of Law. When we don't possess that set we cannot determine what is and what
      isn't "rational".



      > Satan was quite intelligent being, and he certainly acted as rational when he
      > rebelled, i.e. he had some reasons why he rebelled. Therefore, your appeal to
      > freedom cannot solve the problem, unless you identify freedom with irrational
      > activities.

      Irrational from ~what~ universal set of "reality"? If Satan's reality was
      altered then where his actions may appear to us as "irrational", to him they
      fully fit within the confines of his "new" reality.

      In this world we see a concrete set of reality universals. These are static
      and immutable. What of a reality which is not as concrete? What of a reality
      which is fluid? We have no ability to define such a reality for the Laws we
      know and use assume a different set of reality parameters.

      We have information which points to this as the case and thus we must be
      careful in our speculations that we don't pollute our assessments with
      flawed applications of Law which cannot apply.


      >> Your position is self contradictory for you assert:
      >>
      >> 1) the Kingdom of God is a happy place.
      >> 2) Satan was in God's kingdom.
      >> 3) Satan was unhappy.
      >>
      >> Logically your position cannot be sustained.
      >
      > Not quite true. What you have *partially* defined is the *problem* I pose.
      > I believe that (1) and (2) are true and that Satan, before rebellion, was
      > happy. So, why did he chose to rebel?

      I would say that Satan violated the primary Law to love God/others as
      himself and created an alternate reality which was wholly destructive to not
      only others but himself as well. His indulgence into this reality initiated
      a corruption of his essence which is irreversible, however, within that
      reality set, his actions are perfectly "rational".

      Again, the "why" of this is, in my opinion, unknowable. It is the product of
      an immaterial essence which transcends cause/effect and in some way simply
      ~is~, rather than ~is made to be~. In this way the causative chain is
      broken, God is not the author or "creator" of sin or sinful beings but they,
      in their freedom, do this to themselves.



      >>> Would you rebel if you knew that this would lead to your destruction?
      >>
      >> Sounds sorta insane... doesn't it. I suppose that is the point.
      >
      > Yes, that's the point:)
      >
      >
      >> Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection,
      >> implacable, unmerciful:
      >> 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are
      >> worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do
      >> them.
      >>
      >> There you go, full disclosure. The Scriptures answer your question in the
      >> affirmative.
      >
      > It does not, since Rom 1:31 speaks of human rebellion and not of Satan's
      > rebellion.

      The point is that Satan's rebellion and human rebellion are one in the same,
      they are a violation of the ~same~ Law, punished in the ~same~ way and
      produce the exact same result upon the essence of a moral agent; insanity.
      This is a concept which must be understood before a person can make any
      speculation of original condition.

      The information we have tells us that Satan is actively working to produce
      in this world the exact same result he himself has experienced. This nugget
      of truth speaks volumes to why we are here.


      > Rom 1:31 speaks of people who are already in sin. It does not
      > even speak of the origin of their sinful nature.

      I don't believe in the existence of an innately "sinful nature". I have
      demonstrated to many that the Scriptures assert we are born innately "good"
      and that sin is something we obtain, that a "sinful nature" is something we
      inflict upon ourselves with our indulgence into and acceptance of sinful
      acts. The first chapter of Romans demonstrates this perfectly.


      --
      Warren
    • Aleksandar Katanovic
      ... I do not understand your above paragraph. Do you mean that the principles of logic do not apply to our talk about God? ... The Bible does not clearly state
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 1, 2000
        At 14:52 01.11.00 -0600, you wrote:
        > > Both our statement can never be biblically verified. Therefore, I said
        > > following:
        >
        >Perhaps, but I would argue yours can be Biblically denied. Here we come to
        >the only assertion of "truth" we have here on this earth, where we can say
        >what isn't true based upon a common standard, we can only approach what ~is~
        >true for it is an elusive, maybe illusive, ideal which we can never actually
        >know.

        I do not understand your above paragraph. Do you mean that the principles
        of logic do not apply to our talk about God?

        > >>> There is no point in arguing against it;
        > >>
        > >> Of course there is, for we ~can~ prove things impossible by many means and
        > >> this limits the scope of possibilities for an ultimate resolution to our
        > >> questions. Your speculation just cannot be so within the context of the
        > >> evidence we possess.
        > >
        > > But my contention is that none of us have evidence for our beliefs
        > > regarding Heavenly transcendent kingdom.
        >
        >This is not exactly true, in my opinion. We have this present world which is
        >asserted repeatedly as a reflection of the original or greater reality. We
        >have Satan's activities which lead to his fall and we have record of his
        >activities in this present world in its original state, in its reconditioned
        >state and now in its current state demonstrating a continuity of those
        >assertions.

        The Bible does not clearly state how Satan rebelled. Yes, even the Bible
        does not confirm that Satan was *not* created evil:)
        Much of our traditional story on Lucifer's fall is our speculation.

        > > Why do we then speculate? We speculate because of apologetic reasons that
        > > could explain why God had not yet destroyed Satan, the human fall in
        > sin, the
        > > origin of suffering, etc.
        >
        >I agree. Most theologies begin with this current world order as the
        >foundation of their evaluations of the present and their speculations of the
        >future. They have generated many outright flawed theories which have
        >furthered Satan's agenda and increased the suffering of his government;
        >Augustine and Calvin being two very poignant cases in point.

        I do not see how your view is different than Augustine's and Calvin's.

        > > But your speculations cannot answer following problem: how could an
        > > intelligent being, who was near God, choose to rebel against God, if we at
        > > the same time assume that God is the perfection of Goodness and Bliss.
        >
        >And to this I can answer fully and completely to my satisfaction and I would
        >bet to yours as well, given enough time. Define "Goodness". It is not an
        >objective assertion but a subjective determination. What is "good" to you
        >may not be "good" to me. Who is to say ~your~ definition of "good" is
        >universal? And if it ~is~ universal who is to say it will result in "Bliss"
        >for me? What if your definition of "Good" results in a universal condition
        >of misery for me, can I then accept your definition of "good" for myself.
        >Would not your "good" be "bad" for me?

        Hmm, so you are not a moral realist?

        Quite unusual for a Christian. I must be sure whether you are a moral
        realist. Moral realism is a position that says that good and evil are
        objective categories, not subject to individual taste.

        And please be brief. I also tend to write long posts, but it is not good:)

        Regards,
        Alex
      • Warren
        ... Prove objectively that: God exists at all, Jesus died for our sins, why this was necessary, what exactly His death did, etc. These contentions are based in
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 2, 2000
          Alex wrote:

          > (Warren) wrote:

          >>> Both our statement can never be biblically verified. Therefore, I said
          >>> following:
          >>
          >> Perhaps, but I would argue yours can be Biblically denied. Here we come to
          >> the only assertion of "truth" we have here on this earth, where we can say
          >> what isn't true based upon a common standard, we can only approach what ~is~
          >> true for it is an elusive, maybe illusive, ideal which we can never actually
          >> know.
          >
          > I do not understand your above paragraph.

          Prove objectively that: God exists at all, Jesus died for our sins, why this
          was necessary, what exactly His death did, etc. These contentions are based
          in the Scriptures but are filled with presuppositions beyond requisite
          acceptance of the Scripture's veracity.

          We build models which incorporate Scriptural truth with the assumption that
          the model which does not violate any Biblical tenet is "true". But is it?
          How many models could be constructed which do not violate any Biblical
          tenet. If this were mathematics it would be a little easier to determine but
          with prose one can give literal weight to a given text and poetic weight to
          another which would make the models theoretically endless.

          Therefore even if we can agree that the "facts" of Scripture are accepted as
          accurate we are still faced with problem of what exactly the "facts" are and
          what do they mean.

          Ultimately we are faced with the conclusion that nothing we hold can be
          actually stated as "true" but some things we incorporate into our models can
          be shown to be "false". I find this is possible by demonstrating
          contradictions, not with ~my~ perspective, but within ~their own~ model. I
          hope this would be the tact of my opponent, but more likely than not this is
          not the case.



          >>>>> There is no point in arguing against it;
          >>>>
          >>>> Of course there is, for we ~can~ prove things impossible by many means and
          >>>> this limits the scope of possibilities for an ultimate resolution to our
          >>>> questions. Your speculation just cannot be so within the context of the
          >>>> evidence we possess.
          >>>
          >>> But my contention is that none of us have evidence for our beliefs
          >>> regarding Heavenly transcendent kingdom.
          >>
          >> This is not exactly true, in my opinion. We have this present world which is
          >> asserted repeatedly as a reflection of the original or greater reality. We
          >> have Satan's activities which lead to his fall and we have record of his
          >> activities in this present world in its original state, in its reconditioned
          >> state and now in its current state demonstrating a continuity of those
          >> assertions.
          >
          > The Bible does not clearly state how Satan rebelled. Yes, even the Bible
          > does not confirm that Satan was *not* created evil:)
          > Much of our traditional story on Lucifer's fall is our speculation.

          I never referenced the ~how~ of Satan's fall in the Scriptures but rather
          the conditions which existed ~before~, ~during~ and ~after~ the event. To
          this we have some information.

          Satan was engaged in activity, probably on this earth. The activity was not
          "illegal" but Satan chose to turn it into an illegal act in as much he
          aspired to be like "the most High". We aren't told what exactly happened
          then but we know that Satan was cast to the earth, cast out of heaven. My
          guess, based upon the result, is that his "fall" destroyed the Earth, maybe
          his own activities, leaving it a "waste and void".


          >>> Why do we then speculate? We speculate because of apologetic reasons that
          >>> could explain why God had not yet destroyed Satan, the human fall in
          >> sin, the
          >>> origin of suffering, etc.
          >>
          >> I agree. Most theologies begin with this current world order as the
          >> foundation of their evaluations of the present and their speculations of the
          >> future. They have generated many outright flawed theories which have
          >> furthered Satan's agenda and increased the suffering of his government;
          >> Augustine and Calvin being two very poignant cases in point.
          >
          > I do not see how your view is different than Augustine's and Calvin's.

          With the limited information you have about my doctrine your "view" of my
          position can't be trusted. Augustine presupposed a model in which God was
          lawless and capricious. With this model Moral Law was relegated to an
          optional tool only implemented or plied when the need arised. Man's freedom
          of choice was denied thus man was absolved of his sin and any assessment he
          might make of his condition was irrelevant.


          >>> But your speculations cannot answer following problem: how could an
          >>> intelligent being, who was near God, choose to rebel against God, if we at
          >>> the same time assume that God is the perfection of Goodness and Bliss.
          >>
          >> And to this I can answer fully and completely to my satisfaction and I would
          >> bet to yours as well, given enough time. Define "Goodness". It is not an
          >> objective assertion but a subjective determination. What is "good" to you
          >> may not be "good" to me. Who is to say ~your~ definition of "good" is
          >> universal? And if it ~is~ universal who is to say it will result in "Bliss"
          >> for me? What if your definition of "Good" results in a universal condition
          >> of misery for me, can I then accept your definition of "good" for myself.
          >> Would not your "good" be "bad" for me?
          >
          > Hmm, so you are not a moral realist?
          >
          > Quite unusual for a Christian. I must be sure whether you are a moral
          > realist. Moral realism is a position that says that good and evil are
          > objective categories, not subject to individual taste.

          You wonder if I am a moral ~ relativist~? Of course, we all are. We all
          struggle with our own definitions of "good" and "evil". We are forced, in
          this world, to realize a greater reality of truth which incorporates
          suffering (bad events) for a greater good. Whether or not we agree or accept
          this realization is the issue here.

          That said, I believe in an objective moral standard which is, by definition,
          universal. God asserts that violation of this standard is destructive. So?
          So what if it is destructive? Satan would claim that destruction is "good".
          Therefore the question is not whether or not God's Moral code accurately
          reflects a consequence but whether or not that consequence is to be avoided
          or embraced.


          > And please be brief. I also tend to write long posts, but it is not good:)

          LOL... :)

          --
          Warren
        • Warren
          ... Your assertion would require me to post Scriptures for your rebuttal: Ez 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 2, 2000
            Alex wrote:

            > Yes, even the Bible does not confirm that Satan was *not* created evil:)

            Your assertion would require me to post Scriptures for your rebuttal:

            Ez 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created,
            till iniquity was found in thee.

            Where this describes his "deeds" [derek] it also pertains to his original
            moral character.

            By definition, the creation of "evil" is a moral crime. The assertion of
            Augustine was that God can create evil and yet still be good. Therefore, if
            indeed Satan was "created" evil it was the result of God's activities which
            would assert God ~is~, by His own definition, ~evil~.

            At this point this is a contention which I must reject.

            --
            Warren
          • Aleksandar Katanovic
            ... If so, how can you say that you are moral relativist?! Moral realism is a negation of moral relativism. Moral relativism teaches that there is no objective
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 3, 2000
              At 21:01 02.11.00 -0600, you wrote:
              > >>
              > >> And to this I can answer fully and completely to my satisfaction and I
              > would
              > >> bet to yours as well, given enough time. Define "Goodness". It is not an
              > >> objective assertion but a subjective determination. What is "good" to you
              > >> may not be "good" to me. Who is to say ~your~ definition of "good" is
              > >> universal? And if it ~is~ universal who is to say it will result in
              > "Bliss"
              > >> for me? What if your definition of "Good" results in a universal condition
              > >> of misery for me, can I then accept your definition of "good" for myself.
              > >> Would not your "good" be "bad" for me?
              > >
              > > Hmm, so you are not a moral realist?
              > >
              > > Quite unusual for a Christian. I must be sure whether you are a moral
              > > realist. Moral realism is a position that says that good and evil are
              > > objective categories, not subject to individual taste.
              >
              >You wonder if I am a moral ~ relativist~? Of course, we all are. We all
              >struggle with our own definitions of "good" and "evil". We are forced, in
              >this world, to realize a greater reality of truth which incorporates
              >suffering (bad events) for a greater good. Whether or not we agree or accept
              >this realization is the issue here.
              >
              >That said, I believe in an objective moral standard which is, by definition,
              >universal.

              If so, how can you say that you are moral relativist?!
              Moral realism is a negation of moral relativism. Moral relativism teaches
              that there is no objective and universal moral standard.

              >God asserts that violation of this standard is destructive. So?
              >So what if it is destructive? Satan would claim that destruction is "good".

              We do not know what Satan belies in.
              We do some wrong actions in spite of knowing that the action is wrong.
              Also, we do wrong actions because we are deceived and live in self-deception.

              I understand that we can have perverse standards, and regard some values as
              good when they are in fact evil in God's eyes, and vice versa.
              Nevertheless, I believe that we can understand that God's moral standard is
              the correct one if we are honest with our selves.

              >Therefore the question is not whether or not God's Moral code accurately
              >reflects a consequence but whether or not that consequence is to be avoided
              >or embraced.

              What confuses me is that you say that men could have not avoided to fall in
              sin. Also, it seems that you have some utilitarian view on morality. I do
              not regard the value of some action in the light of its consequences but on
              itself.

              Regards,
              Alex
            • Aleksandar Katanovic
              ... No, I cannot prove that God exists, that Jesus died for our sins, etc. Our Christian faith ultimately rest on our beliefs. However, our belief is not a
              Message 6 of 17 , Nov 3, 2000
                At 21:01 02.11.00 -0600, you wrote:
                >Alex wrote:
                >
                > > (Warren) wrote:
                >
                > >>> Both our statement can never be biblically verified. Therefore, I said
                > >>> following:
                > >>
                > >> Perhaps, but I would argue yours can be Biblically denied. Here we come to
                > >> the only assertion of "truth" we have here on this earth, where we can say
                > >> what isn't true based upon a common standard, we can only approach
                > what ~is~
                > >> true for it is an elusive, maybe illusive, ideal which we can never
                > actually
                > >> know.
                > >
                > > I do not understand your above paragraph.
                >
                >Prove objectively that: God exists at all, Jesus died for our sins, why this
                >was necessary, what exactly His death did, etc.

                No, I cannot prove that God exists, that Jesus died for our sins, etc. Our
                Christian faith ultimately rest on our beliefs. However, our belief is not
                a blind belief; it rest on some reasons which makes our beliefs more reliable.

                >These contentions are based
                >in the Scriptures but are filled with presuppositions beyond requisite
                >acceptance of the Scripture's veracity.

                I agree that our fundamental Christian beliefs are based on the Scriptures,
                but do not understand the last part of your statement: "but are filled with
                presuppositions beyond requisite acceptance of the Scripture's veracity."
                What kind of presuppositions?

                >We build models which incorporate Scriptural truth with the assumption that
                >the model which does not violate any Biblical tenet is "true". But is it?

                No, because the requirement is not a sufficient criterion for the
                truthfulness of model/theory. However, it is a necessary condition for the
                truthfulness of some model/theory.

                >How many models could be constructed which do not violate any Biblical
                >tenet.

                More than one.

                >Therefore even if we can agree that the "facts" of Scripture are accepted as
                >accurate we are still faced with problem of what exactly the "facts" are and
                >what do they mean.

                Yes, I agree.

                >Ultimately we are faced with the conclusion that nothing we hold can be
                >actually stated as "true" but some things we incorporate into our models can
                >be shown to be "false".

                No, because we can believe that it is true, and thus state it as true:)

                Regards,
                Alex
              • Warren
                ... The issue of God s Kingdom is whether or not we will adopt or accept God s model of Morality as our own. ... Yes; God asserts a universal model of
                Message 7 of 17 , Nov 3, 2000
                  Alex wrote:
                  > (Warren) wrote:

                  >>>> And to this I can answer fully and completely to my satisfaction and I
                  >>>> would bet to yours as well, given enough time. Define "Goodness". It is not
                  >>>> an objective assertion but a subjective determination. What is "good" to
                  >>>> you may not be "good" to me. Who is to say ~your~ definition of "good" is
                  >>>> universal? And if it ~is~ universal who is to say it will result in
                  >>>> "Bliss" for me? What if your definition of "Good" results in a universal
                  >>>> condition of misery for me, can I then accept your definition of "good" for
                  >>>> myself. Would not your "good" be "bad" for me?
                  >>>
                  >>> Hmm, so you are not a moral realist?
                  >>>
                  >>> Quite unusual for a Christian. I must be sure whether you are a moral
                  >>> realist. Moral realism is a position that says that good and evil are
                  >>> objective categories, not subject to individual taste.
                  >>
                  >> You wonder if I am a moral ~ relativist~? Of course, we all are. We all
                  >> struggle with our own definitions of "good" and "evil". We are forced, in
                  >> this world, to realize a greater reality of truth which incorporates
                  >> suffering (bad events) for a greater good. Whether or not we agree or accept
                  >> this realization is the issue here.
                  >>
                  >> That said, I believe in an objective moral standard which is, by definition,
                  >> universal.
                  >
                  > If so, how can you say that you are moral relativist?!

                  The issue of God's Kingdom is whether or not we will adopt or accept God's
                  model of Morality as our own.


                  > Moral realism is a negation of moral relativism. Moral relativism teaches
                  > that there is no objective and universal moral standard.

                  Yes; God asserts a universal model of Morality, universal to ~His Kingdom~,
                  and no; it is only "universal" if we accept it. We all are in the process of
                  defining our own Morality set within this material world. We have
                  demonstrated to us the result of our model in reality. We are offered by God
                  His "truth" of Morality, and its "truthfulness" in consequence. At this
                  level we are dealing with a relativistic Moral assessment vis a vis God's
                  view and our view; will we accept our temporal model of Morality or will we,
                  by faith, accept the seemingly contradictory model of Morality God offers. I
                  say "seemingly contradictory model" because it asserts a Moral code which
                  results in "bad" to us which is contrary to our own view of Morality [Ro
                  7:5-13].


                  >> God asserts that violation of this standard is destructive. So?
                  >> So what if it is destructive? Satan would claim that destruction is "good".
                  >
                  > We do not know what Satan belies in.

                  In point of fact we do for the Scriptures assert that acts are a production
                  of a Spiritual disposition; evil disposition-> evil acts. The Scriptures
                  also assert the location of our treasure is an indication of our "hearts".
                  We have enough information to state with Scriptural certainty that Satan
                  loves destruction in as much as this is what he treasures, this is what he
                  does; it is a demonstration of the "abundance of his heart".


                  > We do some wrong actions in spite of knowing that the action is wrong.
                  > Also, we do wrong actions because we are deceived and live in self-deception.

                  All circumstantial observation and equally flawed information for the
                  assessment of this subject, in my opinion.


                  > I understand that we can have perverse standards, and regard some values as
                  > good when they are in fact evil in God's eyes, and vice versa.
                  > Nevertheless, I believe that we can understand that God's moral standard is
                  > the correct one if we are honest with our selves.

                  In this you yourself are expressing a morally relativistic model... if you
                  are honest with yourself. :)


                  >> Therefore the question is not whether or not God's Moral code accurately
                  >> reflects a consequence but whether or not that consequence is to be avoided
                  >> or embraced.
                  >
                  > What confuses me is that you say that men could have not avoided to fall in
                  > sin.

                  It is an entirely different paradigm than yours in as much as I accept a
                  distinction between material and spiritual realities.


                  > Also, it seems that you have some utilitarian view on morality. I do
                  > not regard the value of some action in the light of its consequences but on
                  > itself.

                  And in this you don't understand the concept of "Morality", in my opinion.

                  --
                  Warren
                • Warren
                  ... Linguistic interpretation coupled with subjectively understood reality resulting in distinct sets of perspective of reality. We all are forced to fit our
                  Message 8 of 17 , Nov 4, 2000
                    Alex wrote:
                    > (Warren) wrote:
                    >> Alex wrote:

                    >>> (Warren) wrote:
                    >>>
                    >>>>> Both our statement can never be biblically verified. Therefore, I said
                    >>>>> following:
                    >>>>>
                    >>>> Perhaps, but I would argue yours can be Biblically denied. Here we come to
                    >>>> the only assertion of "truth" we have here on this earth, where we can say
                    >>>> what isn't true based upon a common standard, we can only approach what
                    >>>> ~is~ true for it is an elusive, maybe illusive, ideal which we can never
                    >>>> actually know.
                    >>>>
                    >>> I do not understand your above paragraph.
                    >>>
                    >> Prove objectively that: God exists at all, Jesus died for our sins, why this
                    >> was necessary, what exactly His death did, etc.
                    >>
                    > No, I cannot prove that God exists, that Jesus died for our sins, etc. Our
                    > Christian faith ultimately rest on our beliefs. However, our belief is not a
                    > blind belief; it rest on some reasons which makes our beliefs more reliable.
                    >
                    >> These contentions are based in the Scriptures but are filled with
                    >> presuppositions beyond requisite acceptance of the Scripture's veracity.
                    >>
                    > I agree that our fundamental Christian beliefs are based on the Scriptures,
                    > but do not understand the last part of your statement: "but are filled with
                    > presuppositions beyond requisite acceptance of the Scripture's veracity." What
                    > kind of presuppositions?

                    Linguistic interpretation coupled with subjectively understood reality
                    resulting in distinct sets of perspective of reality. We all are forced to
                    fit our material reality ~into~ our understanding of Scriptural truth for
                    our definitions of terms are founded in our material experiences.


                    >> We build models which incorporate Scriptural truth with the assumption that
                    >> the model which does not violate any Biblical tenet is "true". But is it?
                    >>
                    > No, because the requirement is not a sufficient criterion for the truthfulness
                    > of model/theory. However, it is a necessary condition for the truthfulness of
                    > some model/theory.

                    You miss the point, within our Christian discussion we accept that a model
                    which violates the Scriptures is wrong, pure and simple. I am not discussing
                    ~any~ model but specifically a Biblically established Christian Model of
                    Theology.

                    If you accept that a theological construction can be accurate and in
                    violation of the Scriptures then we have a foundational difference of
                    criterion for truth.


                    >> How many models could be constructed which do not violate any Biblical tenet.
                    >>
                    > More than one.

                    You got that right.


                    >> Therefore even if we can agree that the "facts" of Scripture are accepted as
                    >> accurate we are still faced with problem of what exactly the "facts" are and
                    >> what do they mean.
                    >>
                    > Yes, I agree.
                    >
                    >> Ultimately we are faced with the conclusion that nothing we hold can be
                    >> actually stated as "true" but some things we incorporate into our models can
                    >> be shown to be "false".
                    >>
                    > No, because we can believe that it is true, and thus state it as true:)

                    I agree, but in the final analysis I am not so concerned what ~you~ believe
                    for over that I have no control. Rather I am more concerned with what ~I~
                    believe for of ~that~ I will stand accountable. Thus in these conversations
                    I am here for what could be asserted as selfish motivates. Though I would
                    hope I am of help to others with their own models my primary motivation is
                    to correct my own model as it is shown to be flawed.

                    --
                    Warren
                  • Aleksandar Katanovic
                    ... Hmm, I think that this is partially true. The trouble is that even if we accept God s Moral Law, we break His Law (cf. Rom. 7:12-17). ... Hmm, do you mean
                    Message 9 of 17 , Nov 4, 2000
                      At 14:33 03.11.00 -0600, you wrote:
                      >The issue of God's Kingdom is whether or not we will adopt or accept God's
                      >model of Morality as our own.

                      Hmm, I think that this is partially true. The trouble is that even if we
                      accept God's Moral Law, we break His Law (cf. Rom. 7:12-17).

                      > > Moral realism is a negation of moral relativism. Moral relativism teaches
                      > > that there is no objective and universal moral standard.
                      >
                      >Yes; God asserts a universal model of Morality, universal to ~His Kingdom~,
                      >and no; it is only "universal" if we accept it.

                      Hmm, do you mean by saying this that God's moral judgments *per se* are not
                      wise and true? By truth I mean that they have objective validity.

                      You use term 'universal' not correctly. If we say that some *moral*
                      judgment is universally valid then its validity is independent of our
                      acceptance. (My definition of universality only applies to moral judgment
                      and not to descriptive assertoric judgments).

                      >We all are in the process of
                      >defining our own Morality set within this material world. We have
                      >demonstrated to us the result of our model in reality. We are offered by God
                      >His "truth" of Morality, and its "truthfulness" in consequence. At this
                      >level we are dealing with a relativistic Moral assessment vis a vis God's
                      >view and our view;

                      Does it mean that none of our views (various human and God's) are
                      objectively true? Furthermore, do you believe that moral propositions are
                      without truth value?

                      > >> God asserts that violation of this standard is destructive. So?
                      > >> So what if it is destructive? Satan would claim that destruction is
                      > "good".
                      > >
                      > > We do not know what Satan belies in.
                      >
                      >In point of fact we do for the Scriptures assert that acts are a production
                      >of a Spiritual disposition; evil disposition-> evil acts.

                      But, would not "evil", according to your ethics, be a relative term, not
                      having any objective quality?

                      > > I understand that we can have perverse standards, and regard some values as
                      > > good when they are in fact evil in God's eyes, and vice versa.
                      > > Nevertheless, I believe that we can understand that God's moral standard is
                      > > the correct one if we are honest with our selves.
                      >
                      >In this you yourself are expressing a morally relativistic model... if you
                      >are honest with yourself. :)

                      I think I see what you mean. But I believe that moral judgments have an
                      objective truth value in the virtue of there being a moral perception in
                      moral agents. Moral agents can perceive *an objective moral reality* if
                      some conditions are satisfied. Such view is called moral realism, and I
                      subscribe to it. It would imply that every man can *individually* asses
                      whether some action is good or evil. There is nothing wrong in starting
                      "with ourselves." But such start would not necessarily imply moral
                      relativism, as you seem to suggest.

                      > > Also, it seems that you have some utilitarian view on morality. I do
                      > > not regard the value of some action in the light of its consequences but on
                      > > itself.
                      >
                      >And in this you don't understand the concept of "Morality", in my opinion.

                      Do you mean that an anti-utilitarian view on morality is false, as for
                      instance Aristotelian virtue theory in ethics, or Kantian deontic
                      philosophy of morality?

                      Warren, I wish to come with some personal remarks. I greatly appreciate our
                      discussion, and your contribution to the forum.

                      It seems that you, David and me are only active participants of the forum:)

                      Regards,
                      Alex


                      *****************************************************
                      Home Page: http://www.uio.no/~aleksank/

                      eGroups:
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                      *****************************************************
                    • Aleksandar Katanovic
                      ... It is not quite clear for me that we understand reality as subjective. Try to be neutral on this issue. OK? ... Hmm, what do you mean by material
                      Message 10 of 17 , Nov 4, 2000
                        At 12:23 04.11.00 -0600, you wrote:
                        > > I agree that our fundamental Christian beliefs are based on the Scriptures,
                        > > but do not understand the last part of your statement: "but are filled with
                        > > presuppositions beyond requisite acceptance of the Scripture's
                        > veracity." What
                        > > kind of presuppositions?
                        >
                        >Linguistic interpretation coupled with subjectively understood reality
                        >resulting in distinct sets of perspective of reality.

                        It is not quite clear for me that we understand reality as subjective. Try
                        to be neutral on this issue. OK?

                        >We all are forced to
                        >fit our material reality ~into~ our understanding of Scriptural truth for
                        >our definitions of terms are founded in our material experiences.

                        Hmm, what do you mean by material experience? You have your own vocabulary
                        which is quite special. You have your own notions about matter, spirit,
                        etc., and it is not quite clear that your notions are theoretically neutral.

                        > >> We build models which incorporate Scriptural truth with the assumption
                        > that
                        > >> the model which does not violate any Biblical tenet is "true". But is it?
                        > >>
                        > > No, because the requirement is not a sufficient criterion for the
                        > truthfulness
                        > > of model/theory. However, it is a necessary condition for the
                        > truthfulness of
                        > > some model/theory.
                        >
                        >You miss the point, within our Christian discussion we accept that a model
                        >which violates the Scriptures is wrong, pure and simple. I am not discussing
                        >~any~ model but specifically a Biblically established Christian Model of
                        >Theology.

                        But we have different Christian Models, which are based on different
                        interpretations and hermeneutic approach to the Bible. I think that we
                        agree on this, and that I actually haven't missed your point, as seen below:

                        > >> How many models could be constructed which do not violate any Biblical
                        > tenet.
                        > >>
                        > > More than one.
                        >
                        >You got that right.

                        Now, you said this:

                        >If you accept that a theological construction can be accurate and in
                        >violation of the Scriptures then we have a foundational difference of
                        >criterion for truth.

                        I do not accept that a Christian theological construction can be true but
                        violating the Scripture, simply because no Christian theological
                        construction can be independent of some hermeneutic approach.

                        Regards,
                        Alex

                        *****************************************************
                        Home Page: http://www.uio.no/~aleksank/

                        eGroups:
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                        *****************************************************
                      • Warren
                        ... Perhaps this is true here but it is not necessarily true everywhere. I would suggest that any model which attempts to extend ~this~ material world s
                        Message 11 of 17 , Nov 5, 2000
                          Alex wrote:
                          > (Warren) wrote:


                          >> The issue of God's Kingdom is whether or not we will adopt or accept God's
                          >> model of Morality as our own.
                          >
                          > Hmm, I think that this is partially true. The trouble is that even if we
                          > accept God's Moral Law, we break His Law (cf. Rom. 7:12-17).

                          Perhaps this is true here but it is not necessarily true everywhere. I would
                          suggest that any model which attempts to extend ~this~ material world's
                          "reality" into the Spiritual realm is destined to error.

                          I would argue that this cosmos in which we live is ~not~ normal, that moral
                          agents are never subjected to this type of pressure under normal
                          circumstances and that this is being done to resolve a conflict which
                          predates and precipitated this present system.


                          >>> Moral realism is a negation of moral relativism. Moral relativism teaches
                          >>> that there is no objective and universal moral standard.
                          >>
                          >> Yes; God asserts a universal model of Morality, universal to ~His Kingdom~,
                          >> and no; it is only "universal" if we accept it.
                          >
                          > Hmm, do you mean by saying this that God's moral judgments *per se* are not
                          > wise and true? By truth I mean that they have objective validity.

                          Where I agree with your perspective that God's Morality is "true" by its
                          "objective validity" in this reality I would disagree that a given
                          evaluation of this "fact" is demanded. Where it is true denial of "Loving
                          your neighbor as yourself" results in vanity, only a subjective moral
                          determination could render this result as "evil". That it is "evil" to me
                          doesn't make it "evil" to all. Thus the universality of God's Morality is
                          limited to those within God's Kingdom for it isn't "universal" to all moral
                          agents as this world demonstrates, as Satan proves.


                          > You use term 'universal' not correctly. If we say that some *moral*
                          > judgment is universally valid then its validity is independent of our
                          > acceptance. (My definition of universality only applies to moral judgment
                          > and not to descriptive assertoric judgments).

                          In this I would point to the "scope" of this universal assertion. God
                          "universally" applies ~His~ Morality to ~all~ moral agents under His
                          authority, their personal morality notwithstanding. However, God does not
                          force agents holding a contrary view to change. Therefore we have two sets
                          of moral agents, those who are within God's kingdom and those without. God's
                          Law is universal only to those within His kingdom. Those who reject God's
                          code of Morality will be banished from His government.

                          God's Morality will ~NEVER~ be "universal" to all moral agents, but will be,
                          as it always was, universal to His Government and Kingdom.


                          >> We all are in the process of defining our own Morality set within this
                          >> material world. We have demonstrated to us the result of our model in
                          >> reality. We are offered by God His "truth" of Morality, and its
                          >> "truthfulness" in consequence. At this level we are dealing with a
                          >> relativistic Moral assessment vis a vis God's view and our view;
                          >
                          > Does it mean that none of our views (various human and God's) are
                          > objectively true?

                          Truth is not the issue anymore. No one disputes the "result" of God's
                          asserted Morality but rather whether this result is "good" or "evil". This
                          cannot be asserted in a universal context for it is subjectively determined.


                          > Furthermore, do you believe that moral propositions are
                          > without truth value?

                          It depends upon the context, if one were to assert "sin corrupts an agent"
                          one would have to define "sin" and "corruption". Both are negatives defined
                          so by a specific Moral code however its "language" could be challenged by an
                          alternate Moral code; "independence enlightens an agent". Satan's argument
                          was that his was an elevation, a natural result of maturing. That rather
                          than being "evil" it was "good" and necessary.

                          We now live in the full understanding of both perspectives. It is fairly
                          offered to us by their proponents; God and Satan, and with full disclosure
                          we make our own determinations as to which we accept and embrace. This is on
                          a personal level however on a corporate level there is a demonstration of
                          two things: 1) the result in fact and truth of Satan's perspective, 2) the
                          result in fact and truth of the incompatibility of both existing within a
                          common government.

                          Where the former (our determinations) is unknown the latter is easily
                          foreknown by God and stated as such throughout the Bible.


                          >>>> God asserts that violation of this standard is destructive. So?
                          >>>> So what if it is destructive? Satan would claim that destruction is
                          >>>> "good".
                          >>>
                          >>> We do not know what Satan belies in.
                          >>
                          >> In point of fact we do for the Scriptures assert that acts are a production
                          >> of a Spiritual disposition; evil disposition-> evil acts.
                          >
                          > But, would not "evil", according to your ethics, be a relative term, not
                          > having any objective quality?

                          They are "objective" in as much as they have universal results, they are
                          "subjective" in as much as these results can be viewed as either "good" or
                          "evil" depending upon the Moral set by which they are judged.

                          I believe the worship of individualism is destructive. I believe it closes a
                          logical chain into a circular reasoning which demands degeneration and
                          vanity. Therefore I embrace a Morality which expresses my own importance
                          being predicated upon ~your~ importance. Thus I must trust ~you~ to believe
                          the same or I open myself to ~your~ taking advantage of my Morality and
                          destroying me.

                          This world demonstrates this repeatedly in as much as we know and see the
                          innate disadvantage in any given contest of God's "good" prevailing; good
                          men finish last because evil doesn't adhere to God's set of "good" and
                          "evil", i.e., evil ~cheats~.

                          What did God do within this "reality"? He ~proved~ He was ~trustworthy~,
                          that He would do "good" for others in spite of any personal cost to Himself.


                          >>> I understand that we can have perverse standards, and regard some values as
                          >>> good when they are in fact evil in God's eyes, and vice versa.
                          >>> Nevertheless, I believe that we can understand that God's moral standard is
                          >>> the correct one if we are honest with our selves.
                          >>
                          >> In this you yourself are expressing a morally relativistic model... if you
                          >> are honest with yourself. :)
                          >
                          > I think I see what you mean. But I believe that moral judgments have an
                          > objective truth value in the virtue of there being a moral perception in
                          > moral agents. Moral agents can perceive *an objective moral reality* if
                          > some conditions are satisfied.

                          Let's don't confuse the "facts" with our personal determination ~of~ those
                          facts. Yes, God's assertions of alternate Moral codes are accurate or "fact"
                          however whether or not this "fact" is "good" or "evil" is the question. Is
                          individualism "good"? That individualism results in certain outcomes is not
                          in question, we know it does ~objectively~, but are these outcomes, their
                          positive and negative quotients notwithstanding, "evil"? We can see that
                          God's assertion of Morality many times results in "evil" where evil is
                          determined by a given Moral set, that is, God's Morality causes me harm but
                          does this harm rise to the level of "evil" in my Moral set or can it be
                          viewed as a greater "good"?

                          God has demonstrated to ~us~ that where His moral code can result in
                          personal "harm" (defined as "evil" by some) this is acceptable for the
                          greater good it establishes. He subjected Himself to unbelievable suffering
                          to demonstrate this truth. The individualistic model of Morality would
                          denounce this demonstration as being "evil" but God's assertion is that
                          morality individually assessed is "evil" and the question is for us, which
                          one is accurate?

                          In this we have a definition of "suffering" which gives it meaning and
                          purpose. It is no longer "evil" but, because it can be constructive, it is
                          "good".


                          > Such view is called moral realism, and I subscribe to it. It would imply that
                          > every man can *individually* asses whether some action is good or evil. There
                          > is nothing wrong in starting "with ourselves." But such start would not
                          > necessarily imply moral relativism, as you seem to suggest.

                          Ahh but it does. Man is not condemned because they were simply too ignorant
                          to see the truth, but because they, in full possession of the truth,
                          rejected God's Model. It is not a difference of opinion over ~what is true~
                          but rather a difference of ~what is "good"~.


                          >>> Also, it seems that you have some utilitarian view on morality. I do
                          >>> not regard the value of some action in the light of its consequences but on
                          >>> itself.
                          >>
                          >> And in this you don't understand the concept of "Morality", in my opinion.
                          >
                          > Do you mean that an anti-utilitarian view on morality is false,

                          Yes.


                          > as for instance Aristotelian virtue theory in ethics, or Kantian deontic
                          > philosophy of morality?

                          That the proof of their "theory" is vindicated in "reality" demonstrates the
                          foundation for their assertion is concrete. What I have found in my studies
                          is that this world is typically used as a model for a given perspective.
                          That something must be taken on faith ~here~ doesn't mean it is a faith
                          based assertion ~every where~. I believe there is ample evidence that we are
                          dealing with function vis a vis Moral perspective and to assert otherwise
                          would leave this present cosmos functionless and without purpose. Suffering
                          and the success of evil has been a problem for these perspectives resulting
                          in some very convoluted presuppositions.

                          If evil is arbitrarily asserted apart from result then we are dealing with a
                          lawless god for evil is whatever he determines at a given point wholly apart
                          from any concern for his subjects. If His Law is based upon what is "good"
                          for His subjects then we have a concrete requisite for Morality which
                          restricts His government and His own edicts.

                          To some extent Satan demonstrates your perspective in as much as he asserted
                          that God's "good" was resulting in "evil" to himself just as it does to us
                          therefore His Morality is arbitrary and capricious completely careless of
                          its result upon His subjects, an application of God's personal view forced
                          upon all others.

                          What does Kant, Aristotle or Augustine's model say about God? That He
                          defines "good" in the same way as Satan but that only because He is stronger
                          and bigger can His perspective prevail. This assertion is destroyed in as
                          much as God took upon Himself a form which was subjected to His own model of
                          morality and stripped Himself of all His authority and power. In this form
                          He was tempted to adopt Satan's individualistic view of Morality, to simply
                          determine "goodness" based upon His own personal perspective, to abandon the
                          greater "good" for personal "good". Christ rejected this course in spite of
                          the pressure Satan applied, never did Jesus do anything of Himself, never
                          did He employ a subjectively founded Morality.


                          --
                          Warren
                        • Warren
                          ... I would say that our very discussion is a demonstration of my perspective s validity. I carry with me a set of definition generated by my experiences which
                          Message 12 of 17 , Nov 5, 2000
                            Alex wrote:
                            > (Warren) wrote:


                            >>> I agree that our fundamental Christian beliefs are based on the Scriptures,
                            >>> but do not understand the last part of your statement: "but are filled with
                            >>> presuppositions beyond requisite acceptance of the Scripture's veracity."
                            >>> What kind of presuppositions?
                            >>>
                            >> Linguistic interpretation coupled with subjectively understood reality
                            >> resulting in distinct sets of perspective of reality.
                            >>
                            > It is not quite clear for me that we understand reality as subjective. Try to
                            > be neutral on this issue. OK?

                            I would say that our very discussion is a demonstration of my perspective's
                            validity. I carry with me a set of definition generated by my experiences
                            which describe to me a specific set of reality where you, in and through
                            your experiences, hold to another. Does this mean there is no "objective"
                            reality? No, but that our understandings of reality are inextricably tied to
                            our depth of definition. I have no control over mine anymore than you have
                            over yours. I am only able to connect with your reality set if I can
                            translate my definitions in your language. If we ultimately cannot
                            communicate a common reality perspective this is only a function of our
                            limited language and not of a universal reality.

                            When we come to Scriptures, we read their words, which are objective, with
                            ~subjectively~ established definition. Therefore, where I read the exact
                            passage you read we can come away with distinctly different meanings.


                            >> We all are forced to fit our material reality ~into~ our understanding of
                            >> Scriptural truth for our definitions of terms are founded in our material
                            >> experiences.
                            >>
                            > Hmm, what do you mean by material experience?

                            When I say "going to work" what do you understand? When I say "suffering" or
                            "peace" or "grace" or "freedom" what do these terms mean? Believe me, they
                            don't mean exactly the same things to ~anyone~. We experience certain things
                            which we understand to be "grace", beyond those experiences we are unable to
                            comprehend or define the term.


                            > You have your own vocabulary which is quite special. You have your own notions
                            > about matter, spirit, etc., and it is not quite clear that your notions are
                            > theoretically neutral.

                            Assuming that we both accept "up" as being ~away~ from the center of the
                            earth, I am not "neutral" about a contention of "up" being "down". Now if we
                            have a genuine difference of definition of "up" then that is another matter.

                            I do have a perspective which I believe to be accurate. I believe this not
                            merely because I hold it but because I have tested it against others and it
                            has prevailed. Sadly, however, I am the arbitrator of a given perspective's
                            validity and I am the first to admit I might not be fair. Therefore my
                            "neutrality" is expressed in my desire to hear your objections and give
                            yours more latitude in expression than my own, thus making every attempt to
                            empower ~you~ to be ~my~ arbiter limiting my function to explanation only.


                            >> You miss the point, within our Christian discussion we accept that a model
                            >> which violates the Scriptures is wrong, pure and simple. I am not discussing
                            >> ~any~ model but specifically a Biblically established Christian Model of
                            >> Theology.
                            >>
                            > But we have different Christian Models, which are based on different
                            > interpretations and hermeneutic approach to the Bible. I think that we agree
                            > on this, and that I actually haven't missed your point, as seen below:

                            At this point I am not so sure we have these differences. Rather I believe
                            we are dealing with a difference of language, of perceived connotation and
                            meanings. It is very possible that you, with the model of Scriptural
                            understanding you now possess, will agree with me and mine. I think it
                            probable that, when the information I have is expressed in a manner you
                            understand, you will agree with me... but who knows (other than God :).


                            >> If you accept that a theological construction can be accurate and in
                            >> violation of the Scriptures then we have a foundational difference of
                            >> criterion for truth.
                            >>
                            > I do not accept that a Christian theological construction can be true but
                            > violating the Scripture, simply because no Christian theological construction
                            > can be independent of some hermeneutic approach.

                            I agree, therefore we have the same foundational approach. Now all that is
                            left is to come to a common hermeneutic.

                            --
                            Warren
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