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  #31  
Old Feb 21, '12, 6:49 am
Gorgias Gorgias is online now
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qoeleth View Post
And God is the man who stumbled under the weight of the Cross, nothing more and nothing less.
There's a category error here...! God is also the omnipotent creator of the universe! You're conflating the Godhead with the man Jesus, if what you're saying is that the physical limitations of the man Jesus are likewise the limitations of the Triune God!


Quote:
There is no omnipotence (except metaphorically), only Love.
I guess that Jesus metaphorically healed people, since that would require power over nature? I guess Jesus metaphorically rose from the dead, since that would require power over not only nature, but over the devil?

C'mon ... you're offering very nice devotional platitudes -- but don't try to turn them into doctrinal assertions!

Quote:
It is a category error to think He should/could stop atrocities.
I look at it Thomistically: God, as primary cause, turns all things for the good; therefore, what appear to be atrocities from our perspective are really, in a way that is mysterious to us in our human limitations, part of His plan of salvation. Could God stop the things that we perceive as atrocities? Of course. Should He, since that would imply that His plan was faulty to begin with? Of course not...!
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  #32  
Old Feb 21, '12, 1:41 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
There's a category error here...! God is also the omnipotent creator of the universe! You're conflating the Godhead with the man Jesus, if what you're saying is that the physical limitations of the man Jesus are likewise the limitations of the Triune God!




I guess that Jesus metaphorically healed people, since that would require power over nature? I guess Jesus metaphorically rose from the dead, since that would require power over not only nature, but over the devil?


I look at it Thomistically: God, as primary cause, turns all things for the good; therefore, what appear to be atrocities from our perspective are really, in a way that is mysterious to us in our human limitations, part of His plan of salvation. Could God stop the things that we perceive as atrocities? Of course. Should He, since that would imply that His plan was faulty to begin with? Of course not...!
Yes, all the qualities of Jesus are the qualities of God- mercy, love, compassion, gentleness, suffering. There is 'metaphoric' omnipotence in these, in the sense that true love and total mercy ultimately overcome all else.

Do you really believe God would use things like child abuse or torture as part of His plan of salvation? Even if we say that these things only 'appear' as atrocities to us (and, if something appears to be an atrocity to those concerned, it IS an atrocity), it is totally incompatible with the way of Jesus.

Are Christians bound to believe in a Thomistic God- can't we just stick with the words and example of Jesus? I mean, isn't the whole point of the Incarnation that we DO conflate Jesus, in His humanity, with Divinity?
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  #33  
Old Feb 21, '12, 3:51 pm
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empther empther is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

Quote:
Are Christians bound to believe in a Thomistic God- can't we just stick with the words and example of Jesus?
Sure,
if we could get rid of the Protestants, Moslems,Jews, Hindus, Mormons, atheists, and every other group that tries to find fault with Catholic theology.

But since we can't do that,
we need Aquinas to explain things that Jesus didn't mention.
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  #34  
Old Feb 22, '12, 9:13 am
TheTrueCentrist TheTrueCentrist is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by tonyrey View Post
#3 is false because preventing atrocities is a lesser evil than depriving persons of their free will thereby rendering them incapable of love and self-determination.
So what you are saying is that we can stop atrocities without denying the free will of those that would commit them, but God cannot. If we controverted their free wills by preventing their atrocities, we would not be morally obligated to act. You are saying that in this respect we are more potent than an omnipotent being.
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  #35  
Old Feb 22, '12, 9:33 am
carlysrose carlysrose is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

War is a more suitable example.
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  #36  
Old Feb 23, '12, 5:43 am
Gorgias Gorgias is online now
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Qoeleth View Post
Do you really believe God would use things like child abuse or torture as part of His plan of salvation?
Yes, I do -- but I'm not saying that God is causing them or desiring that they occur; when they happen, though, and in some inscrutable way, God is able to allow them to be used for good.

Quote:
Are Christians bound to believe in a Thomistic God- can't we just stick with the words and example of Jesus?
I think I would say that a "Thomistic God" is already compatible with the words and examples of Jesus!

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I mean, isn't the whole point of the Incarnation that we DO conflate Jesus, in His humanity, with Divinity?
Well, not 'conflate', as in 'confuse' or 'mix'...!
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  #37  
Old Feb 23, '12, 8:15 am
TheTrueCentrist TheTrueCentrist is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
Yes, I do -- but I'm not saying that God is causing them or desiring that they occur; when they happen, though, and in some inscrutable way, God is able to allow them to be used for good.
You do, of course, realize that no one (including Jesus) could have been sacrificed for us without evil being done to them. Therefore, if we assume that it was God's plan to provide a "perfect sacrifice" for humanity, that plan required humans to commit evil acts. God needed evil to accomplish his goal.

It is a tenet of Catholic morality that the ends do not justify the means. We cannot achieve a good end through evil actions. However, you claim that God is able to do this.
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  #38  
Old Feb 23, '12, 1:12 pm
Gorgias Gorgias is online now
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by TheTrueCentrist View Post
You do, of course, realize that no one (including Jesus) could have been sacrificed for us without evil being done to them. Therefore, if we assume that it was God's plan to provide a "perfect sacrifice" for humanity, that plan required humans to commit evil acts. God needed evil to accomplish his goal.
You're mischaracterizing "God's plan", and therefore, you're making it appear to rely on evil in a way that isn't quite correct. God's plan wasn't to "provide a 'perfect sacrifice' for humanity"; it was to will the salvation of all, such that, having given life and free will to all humans, they would return God's love and attain salvation.

Now... this isn't what happened. Free will was abused in sinful ways. Therefore, in order for God's plan to come to fruition, Jesus was made incarnate, and redeemed humanity. God didn't "require humans to commit evil acts" or "need evil to accomplish his goal"; rather, God utilized the human condition in a way that respected free will and still attained to the salvation that God intended in the first place.

Quote:
It is a tenet of Catholic morality that the ends do not justify the means. We cannot achieve a good end through evil actions.
Correct. As humans, our nature sets in play a morality in which intrinsic evil acts cannot be performed in order to achieve good ends.

Two notes: first, this proceeds from natural law -- that is, it proceeds from the nature of creation. Second, notice that the prohibition is against intrinsic evil acts. (For example, it is immoral to kill a human in her mother's womb. However, it is potentially not immoral to kill an intruder who is threatening to kill someone, if there is no other way to prevent the loss of innocent life.)

Quote:
However, you claim that God is able to do this.
No. In the first case, the actor is the one performing the evil and hoping to attain to the good. In your statement, you're implying (whether you meant to or not) that God is doing this same thing. This is not what I'm saying: I'm simply noting that God can take evil acts (of others) and make good come of them. Big difference...
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  #39  
Old Feb 23, '12, 5:00 pm
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTrueCentrist View Post
You do, of course, realize that no one (including Jesus) could have been sacrificed for us without evil being done to them. Therefore, if we assume that it was God's plan to provide a "perfect sacrifice" for humanity, that plan required humans to commit evil acts. God needed evil to accomplish his goal.

It is a tenet of Catholic morality that the ends do not justify the means. We cannot achieve a good end through evil actions. However, you claim that God is able to do this.
You are overlooking the fact that Jesus chose to sacrifice Himself...
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  #40  
Old Feb 23, '12, 5:05 pm
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTrueCentrist;8992238[I
Quote:
#3 is false because preventing atrocities is a lesser evil than depriving persons of their free will thereby rendering them incapable of love and self-determination.
[/i]
So what you are saying is that we can stop atrocities without denying the free will of those that would commit them, but God cannot.
We don't deny free will; we prevent the decision from being implemented.
Quote:
If we controverted their free wills by preventing their atrocities, we would not be morally obligated to act.
It is impossible to controverted their free will.
Quote:
You are saying that in this respect we are more potent than an omnipotent being.So what you are saying is that we can stop atrocities without denying the free will of those that would commit them, but God cannot.
God can but He chooses not to because it would defeat the purpose of giving us free will, i.e. to choose what to believe and how to live.
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  #41  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:12 am
TheTrueCentrist TheTrueCentrist is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by tonyrey View Post
You are overlooking the fact that Jesus chose to sacrifice Himself...
Irrelevant, unless no evil was done to him.
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  #42  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:26 am
TheTrueCentrist TheTrueCentrist is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
You're mischaracterizing "God's plan", and therefore, you're making it appear to rely on evil in a way that isn't quite correct. God's plan wasn't to "provide a 'perfect sacrifice' for humanity"; it was to will the salvation of all, such that, having given life and free will to all humans, they would return God's love and attain salvation.

Now... this isn't what happened. Free will was abused in sinful ways. Therefore, in order for God's plan to come to fruition, Jesus was made incarnate, and redeemed humanity. God didn't "require humans to commit evil acts" or "need evil to accomplish his goal"; rather, God utilized the human condition in a way that respected free will and still attained to the salvation that God intended in the first place.
So you're saying that God could have saved everyone without requiring us to sacrifice Jesus? He could have done so in a way that didn't require us to kill innocent people?

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Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
No. In the first case, the actor is the one performing the evil and hoping to attain to the good. In your statement, you're implying (whether you meant to or not) that God is doing this same thing. This is not what I'm saying: I'm simply noting that God can take evil acts (of others) and make good come of them. Big difference...
So it might be acceptable for me to hire someone (not intrinsically evil) to assassinate me (intrinsically evil) because I knew that it would further some greater good? Its ultimately the hitman who does the killing, not me.
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  #43  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:27 am
TheTrueCentrist TheTrueCentrist is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by tonyrey View Post
We don't deny free will; we prevent the decision from being implemented...

God can but He chooses not to because it would defeat the purpose of giving us free will, i.e. to choose what to believe and how to live.
So what you are saying is that God could prevent the decisions from being implemented without circumventing free will, but does not because it would circumvent our free will?
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  #44  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:47 am
Gorgias Gorgias is online now
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by TheTrueCentrist View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorgias
God didn't "require humans to commit evil acts" or "need evil to accomplish his goal"; rather, God utilized the human condition in a way that respected free will and still attained to the salvation that God intended in the first place.
So you're saying that God could have saved everyone without requiring us to sacrifice Jesus? He could have done so in a way that didn't require us to kill innocent people?
No. Two thoughts: first, what God "could have done" is what God actually willed, and "did do": God wished us both to have free will and to attain to salvation. Saying this, though, doesn't place constraints on God's abilities.

But, there you go again, with this presupposition of a "requirement" placed on God or on us. Does the expression of God's will for human salvation "require" humanity to sacrifice Jesus? That seems too strongly worded. We know the historical events of Jesus' life, and we know the significance of them in the context of Salvation History. Can we assert, though, in a human context, that God "required" these actions of us? No, I think not. In the same way that we discussed your previous question ("does God have a 'ends justify the means' approach in the context of salvation?"), it's reasonable to assert that no, God does not "require" actions in a way that impinges on free will; nevertheless, God is able to make good result from any evil that exists (without imputing God's participation in or causation of the evil).



Quote:
Quote:
No. In the first case, the actor is the one performing the evil and hoping to attain to the good. In your statement, you're implying (whether you meant to or not) that God is doing this same thing. This is not what I'm saying: I'm simply noting that God can take evil acts (of others) and make good come of them. Big difference...
So it might be acceptable for me to hire someone (not intrinsically evil) to assassinate me (intrinsically evil) because I knew that it would further some greater good? Its ultimately the hitman who does the killing, not me.
No. But I'm confused by the way you use the term 'intrinsically evil': are you saying that the hitman is "not intrinsically evil", or that the act of hiring a hitman is "not intrinsically evil"? Are you saying that assassination is "intrinsically evil"? I would assert that any person is not "intrinsically evil" -- this is a judgment applicable to a particular act, not a particular person.

So, is hiring someone to assassinate a person 'intrinsically evil'? I would say, in a precise way, "no" -- under certain conditions! (That doesn't mean that it's not 'evil', however, and I'd like to be clear about making that distinction!) My answer, then, is that getting someone to assassinate me, even if I thought it would further some greater good, is evil (but not intrinsically so). The consideration you seem to be offering is pure utilitarianism, and that's not what I'm advocating. Moreover, you seem to be attempting to make the case that the only way I can keep (myself?) from committing future evil is to have myself killed; that's not at all defensible. (At the very least, from an Aristotelian perspective, it's untenable: if I'm completely vicious, then I no longer am aware of my vice, so I wouldn't be able to recognize the 'advantage' of my death; on the other hand, if I'm not completely vicious, such that I recognize my vice, then there's still a part of me that hasn't abandoned virtue, and therefore, I can work towards increased virtue, so there's not the need to facilitate my own death. )

In any case, even the act of hiring the hitman is evil -- it means that you're enticing another person into committing an act of vice, and embroiling them in that evil!

However, it seems that you grabbed onto the "evil acts of others" part of my assertion, without noting that God is not willing or causing those acts; in your example, you are both willing and causing your own assassination.
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  #45  
Old Feb 24, '12, 11:12 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Argument from Atrocities

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Originally Posted by TheTrueCentrist View Post
So what you are saying is that God could prevent the decisions from being implemented without circumventing free will, but does not because it would circumvent our free will?
God can and does prevent decisions from being implemented without circumventing free will but if He did so too frequently it would be coercive evidence that he exists...
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