So now I exist......


#21

Earth is the test environment.

And how would we opt out? Would God create us and say, “Do you want to keep existing and agree to these rules?” But then if we said no…“we” wouldn’t non-exist, because non-existance is not an action and there would be no “we” to do it.

Why not?

God can do anything. The mechanism to non-exist could be used for it, unless, perish the thought, impossibility comes into the scene and we finally have an explaination why no one can be destroyed.

And so also…how do you know God doesn’t ask us?

Good point.

But we don’t believe God needs our agreement for anything…it’s well within his rights to give and take as he pleases…and if he wants to make us run in a race where the prize is salvation from eternal suffering…he very well may, even if we don’t agree.

What gives him that right, His omni-power? Because he says so? What makes that valid?

…might as well kill oneself now and go to hell. Of course, no one can be sure where they’re going until they do, many things can change over time, so I don’t really advocate suicide or despair for anyone, obviously.

If destination is found out at the last minute and at any minute the situation could be this dire, how would you feel about a status check system of sorts. At one minute a guy could be in a state of grace or in a perilous situation and he could find out. Maybe a minimal red,green,yellow warning system would be appropriate? If we are so indispensable why not.?

No, we won’t. We may have cyborgs that are very smart and, based on a cognition that replicates the human brain, they may simulate perfectly the material behaviour we associate with self-awareness. But they wont have souls, won’t have rational spirits, and so wont really be conscious. They wont experience qualia. They’ll just be p-zombies.

But they will go to non-existance eventually. So they have one option we don’t…even.

But that remains to be seen if we can be as detached and cold, and the moment we are ready to turn off the switch will be a test, especially after years of service to the family and first names and nicknames of fondness are shared, and memories of infants receiving love from them will register with us. They will cry and understand sorrow and understand what will happen to them and they will experience terror. Will we take out our clipboard to nonchalantly note the effects, or would we be moved by his/it’s reaction?

Perhaps the scene we are playing out now between man and God will be duplicated between us and them as well, and they may venture that reasonable logical question, “why did you not give me the choice not to exist rather than allowing me to suffer this fate”.

AndyF


#22

We have this. We call it “the Confessional.” (Little closet-like structure with a man inside the other side of the wall, who asks all the right questions, and then lets you know how you’re doing.) :wink:


#23

What gives him that right, His omni-power? Because he says so? What makes that valid?

He makes it valid. He is the standard of validity and non-validity. Of right and not right. Yes, because he says so, because no one has higher authority than He. There is no Constitution binding our King. No principles higher than He. He is principle itself. You cannot invoke “justice” against Him, He is justice. What He says is just…by definition is.

They will cry and understand sorrow and understand what will happen to them and they will experience terror. Will we take out our clipboard to nonchalantly note the effects, or would we be moved by his/it’s reaction?

We may on an emotional level be moved. That is the danger of allowing such cyborgs. But I don’t know what you mean by “understand” sorrow, or “understand” terror. They will experience them, mechanically, as impulses in the brain. Mimic our behavior perfectly perhaps. But we will know, ultimately, that they “feel” and “understand” subjectively only as much as a character in a dream. They might seem perfectly real…but they will have no subjective Self actually conscious of everything.

We have experience with beings that are emotional and knowledgeable and that we can come to love and identify with. Animals. And yet we kill them when necessary. Because we know that they are not really conscious. They may have cognition, but not a spirit, and so no subjective self that experiences qualia.

We have p-zombies already. They’re called animals.

Perhaps the scene we are playing out now between man and God will be duplicated between us and them as well, and they may venture that reasonable logical question, “why did you not give me the choice not to exist rather than allowing me to suffer this fate”.

They may ask it. But we will know they are not really suffering exactly because they weren’t made by God and cannot experience immaterial qualia. They’ll play through the physical phenomenon of pain and sorrow, but ultimately no one will “be home inside” to subjectively experience it…even like our computers and robots today.

But there are two different issues here. One with your parents, and one with God. You can ask either “why you made me without my permission”. The robots asking us why we made them is more analogous to you asking your parents…not like asking God. Asking God is asking God for anyone or anything.


#24

There is something about this discussion that I find vaguely dark and disturbing, apart from some of the posts being a little over my tiny head, theologically/philosophically. Something reminiscent of the sense of darkness and despair I used to feel long ago whilst reading people like Marx, Camus, Sartre, et al. And I am VERY glad those days are long gone. I eventually was able to open my heart, by the grace of God my Creator, just enough to let in, at least in a small degree, enough of His love to allow me to experience and know that He loves me.

My dear AndyF, I feel a strange mixture of deep compassion for the despair that I sense in your posts, and frustration with, well, I guess that very same despair. I haven’t yet been able to figure out the purpose of this discussion, or where it is going. Not totally unlike what appears to me to be your own struggle with the fact of your existence. Or am I missing something? There is a part of me that wants to, figuratively speaking, grab you by the shoulders and try to shake you out of whatever you would call the state you find yourself in. To say to you, “You exist. You were not given a choice about it. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you discuss, you cannot alter that fact. And any speculation about non-existence is just that—speculation. You exist, and YOU had nothing to do with it. Now deal with it and get on with your life, making of it, with God’s grace and help, the very best that you can! There, I said it :slight_smile: .

Having been granted the GIFT of existence, there is no longer any option for non-existence. Besides, in a state of non-existance, there is no-thing to choose whether to stay there or to exist. In fact, there is no “there” there. Only our Blessed Creator has that choice and He has chosen. Your only choices now, and you do have them and only you can make them, are, ultimately, Heaven or Hell. And your Creator can actually help you with the one, but only YOU can choose the other. You just cannot opt for something that is no-thing, i.e. non-existence, no matter how appealing you think that might be. In fact, should “you” not exist, there would be no “you” to even know that “you” didn’t exist, let alone feel comfortable and cozy in the “there” that isn’t. Whoa, did any of that make sense :slight_smile: ?

You almost sound as though you would like to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and are resentful that you cannot. Yikes! :eek:

And the “bending” that our Father did for you and for me was on that cross at Golgotha, by His Son.

If I were to offer you any advice, and I’m not sure that you are even asking for it, I would suggest lots of prayer, lots of time before the Blessed Sacrament, and perhaps finding a good spiritual director. Oops, there’s the advice you didn’t ask for :slight_smile: !

You started your original post, “…So tell me again why I should be greatful for existing?” The long and the short of it, I guess, is… “because you do exist”.

Apologies to all for rambling so much!
Glory to Jesus Christ!!
Jeff


#25

You are saying He is his own Authority, but does that prove it is the appropriate authority that should assign it, or that it is appropriate to assign it to himself.? It only shows that He says it and is claiming to live it.

Justice really belongs to those who it is applied to, it is their tool and formed from precepts of the law, otherwise it is open to corruption and double standards has we see proved time and again on earth. God sanctions true systems on earth. If they are Sanctioned, then they have the seal of approval for systems applied to us from any source. That leaves out black box systems and systems that don’t reveal their internal mechanisms for scrutiny. So I leave the obvious conclusion to you.

More on justice. Let’s take one aspect flaunted in front of individuals regardless of how they may feel about it. Tell me, does favoring sinful nations over individuals a fair judgement? Is it more than coincidental numbers are a factor in influencing the type of punishment an entity will receive? Is discrimination a norm among gods and not an option among creatures.? Wouldn’t you think a God would be above this sort of thing, unphased by numbers but strictly adhering to precepts he binds to all entities He recognizes have form, or is there an attribute of God who really doesn’t care what we think, that is of course, if we are really witnessing this.? But I am surprised that the only quality of justice you can muster for God rates an 8 on the scale, that even inferior human justice sees this as a blight on any system.

… will experience them, mechanically, as impulses in the brain. Mimic our behavior perfectly perhaps.

This point made an interesting episode on Startrek. An admiral wanted to dismantle Data, and captain Picard who was his/it’s defense councel countering the prosecution’s argument that he didn’t feel has a human would, showed that Data’s impulses were the same as electrically fired neurons in the brains of humans. The electrical pulse that generated the thought pattern produced the exact same result that it would in a human. Data won. Anyway, food for thought.:slight_smile:

They may have cognition, but not a spirit, …

They have a temporary soul which performs the function of animation.

But we will know they are not really suffering exactly because they weren’t made by God and cannot experience immaterial qualia.

The good that man creates is recognized, blessed and sanctioned by God, so it will be for them/it. They may receive an extra blessing due to their service and aware state that we could not ignore.

…but ultimately no one will “be home inside” …even like our computers and robots today.

I think they will be light years ahead of computers today, but will that be enough of an explaination, that is, they don’t have “anything inside”?. Will they calmly accept this after this explaination. I think this is vastly oversimplified, anyway the future will tell.

But there are two different issues here. One with your parents, and one with God. You can ask either “why you made me without my permission”. The robots asking us why we made them is more analogous to you asking your parents…not like asking God. Asking God is asking God for anyone or anything.

Not sure if I understand you clearly here.

AndyF


#26

ziggernaut:

Thank you for the kind post.:thumbsup:

I don’t take what anyone is saying here offensively.

I searched for a philosophy category but couldn’t find one so this is the closest I could come to.

It could very well be I simply wish to learn about this existance that I’m in. That, and the confidence that the Fathers were just as wavering(?) when they drew up their studies. I consider myself as learned as at least any theologian of the sayyyy 15th century who had carte blanche permission to delve in the wrongly believed risky subject of Diety. So I say things exactly as I see them using empirical data and what the Church can provide in data, and from works of the Fathers, and by this study the “Church is pleased(Sheen,RR Vol I))”.

I appeal to the constructive criticism of God’s human attribute and say what I think. This is exactly what I would do with my dad.

Something reminiscent of the sense of darkness and despair …

…don’t understand.? I’m not sure I agree with the crowd you placed me in, Ahemmmmm…, but I’ll pass.:frowning:

You had nothing to fear from the truth I eventually was able to open my heart

Nonesense. If hell is a reality for humans, then it is an element to reckon with, period. While it is here, it is a lion in our living room and something we need to deal with.

My dear AndyF, I feel a strange mixture of deep compassion for the despair that I sense in your posts, and frustration with, well, I guess that very same despair.

Sure, but having nothing you can do about it leaves nothing but this answer for an option, I understand. If you agreed with me would you admit it?..C’mon the truth now. :wink:

The way I see it, I state the situation is a dire and precarious one and use reason to prove it. Your trying to save your skin and you will do anything to do that, even telling people who make reasonable and rational hypothesis that they are wrong without any evidence through rational and reasonable counterpoints, which is a practice against Church doctrine.

Ironically, and I know you don’t believe it, I am conforming to God’s wish again has he doesn’t want me to be hypocritical. If it means I need to say what is occuring is just, then that is the limit of my choice as it contradicts God’s demands to be truthful. The paradox then is not my creation.

I haven’t yet been able to figure out the purpose of this discussion, or where it is going. Not totally unlike what appears to me to be your own struggle with the fact of your existence.

What is applicable to me is applicable to everyone, but that is hard to accept I know, so we keep it in the first person singular to make it more pallatable, I understand.

grab you by the shoulders and try to shake you out of whatever…

Then you would be countering doctrine, has you limit what God can do. You could have an effect as you are trying hard to do by simply stating the truth, that reason suggests it is unjust, and we should get on with it. That I would accept.

Having been granted the GIFT of existence, there is no longer any option for non-existence.

Gifts can be optional. I can prove that in a hundred ways but I won’t. Again you limit God on what he can do, non existance can be accomplished after existance.

Besides, in a state of non-existance, there is no-thing to choose whether to stay…

Exactly. Which I already mentioned in Jesus’s statement concerning Judas that it is better to* not having been born*. That sounds like a place at least cooler than hell, better being the active word.:smiley: A place where you don’t know there is one, or beings alive for that matter. But that would be a bit too much liberty for a being who has a thing for torture. Too much to learn from this test I suppose. Better keep lab specimens alive.

You almost sound as though you would like to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge …

Now your being presumptuous in the negative. I would assume intent means something, unless of course this exclusion is a another prime example of an attribute of this existance that you relish.

If I were to offer you any advice, …

[quote]

And that is to do what, quash my reasoning that the Church allows me, make the situation YOU are in more bearable.? My soul is not in peril in theological discussions such as this and I’m in good standing with God. If it were I would be the first to admit it and I know the difference.

[quote] “because you do exist”.

[/quote]

And I should enjoy drowning because I’m in water?

Hey, I take the prize on rambling, OK?. :wink:
:slight_smile:

Interesting post, thanks.

AndyF
[/quote]


#27

Sure, but is hell a great gift too?

If you were a OSAS Protestant, you would have a point, however neither you nor I know for sure that we are going to get to heaven (even if we are currently in a state of grace). We may be heirs, but we don’t know if we’re going to inherit.

I think this discussion can nicely boil down to whether or not hell is better than non-existence.


#28

Hey, whoa - nobody alive today has the education that they had - it just isn’t available anymore, due to the lack of job opportunities, and the fact that we no longer have a leisure class who can devote their entire waking lives to the study of philosophy.

Most of us are just barely literate compared to those guys - it’s pretty rare, nowadays, to even be up to the standards of their least apprentices - we’re too busy learning the practical arts.


#29

AndyF–

There is a kind of very well disguised cynicism and negativity which you seem to be almost revelling in. That, I think is the darkness and despair I mentioned earlier. I know, they are not exactly identical, but close enough for this discussion. God does not want you to be hypocritical, nor does He want for you the kinds of feelings that seem to underpin your very erudite postings.

Be that as it may, you seem to miss the point. Any discussion about non-existence is bound to be at least circular, and can really, as far as I can tell, go nowhere. This is simply because there is no way for us, already in existence, to know anything at all about non-existence. Jesus could say what He did about Judas, because, as one part of the Holy Trinity, God, He would know. We cannot.

You give the impression that God has a thing for torture. The torture is of your own making, I’m afraid, from the choices you make. I know little of God but part of the very, very little that I do know, is that He loves us. My experience tells me this and my faith informs me that He is, indeed, Love itself, and hence could not want ill for us. What has happened in your life, my friend, that as one who professes to be a Catholic, you can even entertain the thought of a cruel, torture-loving god :frowning: ??

And are you, indeed, drowning? The water that our good God has put us in is only deep enough to drown us if we choose that. Put your feet down, feel the bottom, and keep on walking! Failing that, roll over onto your back and float along. And no-one said that you have to enjoy anything!

On that note, I shall be retiring from this discussion. Going around in circles makes me dizzy:D

God Bless and…Glory to Jesus Christ!

Jeff
[/quote]


#30

Sometimes I can be kinda thick headed.


#31

I think you are missing what is really meant by God can do anything. God is perfect, therefore he can’t be imperfect. That in no way means that he can’t do anything. He just can’t be who he is not. It is not an indication that he is limited.

So, knowing that God is perfect, how can you suggest that you, with your tiny little drop of knowledge about eternal salvation even suggest that your plan of the option of non-existanse is something better than God’s plan? It is impossible that he overlooked this option.

You were created for a purpose, a purpose far greater than nothingness. You can spend your life attempting to get to know God and his will for you, attempting to come to an understanding of why in God’s infinite wisdom he has selected eternal existance for each and every one of us. Or, alternatively, you can reach the conclusion that God is not good enough for your liking, since he doesn’t give souls the option of non-existance. You can refuse to honor him, refuse to cooperate with him. In the end though, even by refusing him, he will still use your rebellion to bring about his will. He is perfect and you would be choosing to not even try for perfection. I’m not sure where you think that will get you though. It certainly will not get you to the place where you can choose non-existance.


#32

ziggernaut:

You almost sound as though you would like to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge

I don’t search it’s boundaries but if I happen to wander into it’s domain and I shouldn’t have, then there should have been barriers in place preventing me.

If it contains truth, and it is truth the Church is trying to empart to me, then it could only assist in helping me.

AndyF


#33

I’m saying he can, not can’t. “He just can’t be who he is not” is a conclusion and I think your taking a liberty. You are summing all the quadrillions of various circumstances that God would find Himself in and coming to that conclusion. Anything to me includes being everything that he isn’t.

So, knowing that God is perfect, how can you suggest that you, with your tiny little drop of knowledge …

You redicule my sources. My knowledge of eternal Salvation comes from the Church. All the same your not being logical. If anyone needs saving then it was required under forced conditions of existance, and no choice to boot and that is true.

You were created for a purpose, a purpose far greater than nothingness.

Some may find the cost too high. The very attitude that that brings may be a prime indicator of what’s ahead, and they would be right. Nothing new really. Where power is concerned, diplomacy has a very short lifespan. As a King he has the right to force situations and that is what happened.

You can spend your life attempting to get to know God and his will for you, …

What’s this fixation on “you” I don’t understand. He created “us” into existance.

The rest of your post has the aire of evangilization and ad hominem jabbing. You can’t counter argue a point of logic, sound reasoning, and valid inferance making assumptions. You also do a disservice of every past theologian that did a constructive study of this subject. Yes, this is hard to believe that good people actually discussed this subject in the past.

Or, alternatively, you can reach the conclusion that God is not good enough for your liking, since he doesn’t give souls the option of non-existance.

MMMMMmmmmmm. Presumption again. I could I suppose, and that would be a method of some. Others pretend to evangelize others and hope He is looking for points when the state of their soul indicates the opposite.

You can refuse to honor him, refuse to cooperate with…

So how did the theologians approach the subject successfully and sensitively without sending the wrong message?

…he will still use your rebellion to bring about his will.

Where are you coming from. You have no way of knowing how I live my life and how I prove my conformity. :eek:

you would be choosing to not even try for perfection…

So by asking why we don’t have existance as an option and thinking we should, you think I’m not in the race? Did you know some actually go out and prove they aren’t every day by what they think and do? Those in confessional lineups take no issue with me, those who claim perfection …

But tell me who besides diety or anyone who was deliberately made perfect can be my roll model? You?

Oops, those darn odds sneak in again.:shrug:

AndyF


#34

ziggernaut:

Coping out before your pressed for that answer hey? :tsktsk:

I’ll ask again, and allow you to leave after you answer.

If you agreed with me would you admit it?

There is a kind of very well disguised cynicism and negativity which you seem to be almost revelling in.

What, that I admit the obvious? Relax, you have liberties as well. The purists don’t like it but then they wouldn’t be purists bless their souls.:slight_smile: All covered under Opinio Tolerata. (Ott on De Fide) (Reminds me of the childrens stories “Chicken Run” and storybook tale “The Emporer Wears no Clothes”)

Naww, the negativity is just the impact and realization of the truth of what I’m saying finally hitting home and who’s to blame you. Hope your not wishing to shoot the messenger. :smiley:

nor does He want for you the kinds of feelings that seem to underpin your very erudite postings.

More about painful facts than feelings.

Any discussion about non-existence is bound to be at least circular

Circular as in “no way out of our predicament”. I Iike your watered down version. True, we can’t do anything about it but I/you can say reality and truth no matter where it is, and truth can bare scrutiny and dissection, and I can state it from the rooftops. God is Truth so in doing so I do him honour.

is no way for us, already in existence, to know anything at all about non-existence. Jesus could say what He did about Judas, because, as one part of the Holy Trinity, God, He would know.

We don’t need to know it all. His putting a positive spin to non existance is enough information. Any positive must be better than the total negativity of hell.

The torture is of your own making, I’m afraid, from the choices you make.

That’s illogical. Some didn’t want to be to make choices. Some just wanted to make that supreme sacrifice of giving up on heaven,hell purgatory and non-intrude on anyone’s discomfort, and just be left to be. All this is trying to build a case around a totally innocent (proto?)being who wants no part of the action. Extremely in poor taste and unbecoming. I’m reminded of the westerns where the guy was made to dance by being shot at his feet, then being accused of not dancing his best.

What has happened in your life, my friend, that as one who professes to be a Catholic

You seem to imply I have done something wrong, this when I try to treat God as a father that you say I can count on and be up front with as I would my own. That and when I state an opinion that the Church allows, you disagree with me making it.

Why do you disagree with doctrine?

Professing to be Catholic is not what I do. I went through the proceedings for initiatian but yet to be confirmed when He says I am.

AndyF


#35

I still get the strong sense, both around here and in many Catholic writings from the time of the 17th century onwards, there is an almost morbid obsession with sin and hell and damnation. True, in a way hell and eschatology cannot ever be removed from Christian thinking, but sometimes it seems as if hell is the primary thing people think about. It is interesting how in contrast to this when I’m on the Byzantine Catholic forum, people instead talk less about hell and far more about the joy of being in union with Christ and in undergoing theosis into God.

I was looking at the Gospel of Luke last night to see what effects the immediate prescence of God had on people like Mary, Elizabeth, and others, and along with fear of the holy prescence of God, the angel of God said ‘do not be afraid.’ There was also immense joy and also peace at the immediate prescence of God.

Meister Eckhart once said however far you are not at peace, you are not in God’s prescence, and however far you are in God’s prescence, you are in peace. Morbid and constant fear of God may well in the end prevent us from trusting him enough to save us, and I can’t see how that is healthy in the life of the spirit.


#36

Andy;

It would help me a great deal if you would not beat about the bush so much - rather than hinting, give us the straight goods. What “Emperor” do you see, who has “no clothes?”

Also, this made absolutely no sense to me:

Professing to be Catholic is not what I do. I went through the proceedings for initiatian but yet to be confirmed when He says I am.

What is that supposed to mean?

Thanks!!


#37

You seem to have a strong sense of God’s awesome justice and majesty. When the Reformers returned to the Bible, they pondered over this and somewhat one-sidedly adopting Augustine’s ideas, they developed notions of justification through faith and also predestination by the will of God.

You seem to have a Jansenist fear that no-one can know whether or not we have been pre-destined to hell or heaven. I was reading a Jansenist sermon the other day on the net and it said most Catholics were going to hell, and only a minority will be saved. The fire-breathing preacher quoted some examples of St Jerome, and said for every 30,000 or 100,000 who die, only about three or four people are going to heaven, a few more are going to purgatory, and the rest right to hell. Remember this sermon said most Catholics, even those who partake in the sacraments, cannot know their fate as they are predestined to either heaven or hell.

Pre-destination was a doctrine of Calvin he called the ‘terrible decree’ of God. God decrees that each soul is damned or saved by his will alone, whatever the efforts the creature makes to salvation. To the elect, God infuses the grace of perseverance in such a way a person cannot refuse that grace, as that in the Calvinist understanding would contract God’s sovreign omnipotence.

Jansenism then was the Catholic equivalent of Calvinism, and it still has a lot of influence today, I notice, especially amoung Traditionalist Catholics and people who seem to adopt a sort of Feenyism. Yet the canons of Trent make clear that while salvation is a gift from God we don’t merit and also we are justified by faith, that does not mean we have no free will. The CCC clearly states God ‘pre-destines no-one to hell’ and instead if we are damned, it is by our own free choice to separate ourselves from God’s love and mercy forever. We are only pre-destined to the extent from all eternity God knows perfectly who makes the choice to accept his offer of love and mercy and salvation, and his salvific will is for all of mankind, not a tiny elect God has chosen from all of humanity and the rest he sends to perdition by his terrible decree and justice.

You are right we can’t know who is and who is not saved, which is in God’s knowledge, but at the same time you should contemplate how your fear of God’s justice and majesty (which is right as God’s prescence in its holiness does make the soul fear - the experience of ‘fear and trembling’ before the holy is common in most religions) might be blinding you to God’s love and mercy.

Therese of Lisieux grew up in a France which was still strongly influenced by the ideas of election and pre-destination by Jansen and she encountered a lot of nuns who feared they were pre-destined to damnation, or hovering over the abyss because of sin. When she grew in rank she grew to understand how God’s justice and majesty and sovreignty had to be seen also in light of his infinite love and universal salvific will.

We human beings are finite and we can’t grasp the infinite, so often we will see God only in terms of one or two attributes; for Catholics who fear hell a lot, it is God’s perfect justice they see; for those who experience God’s grace and mercy out of nowhere (as I did) we see God’s mercy and compassion; and also for others they can see God’s wisdom or goodness, and for others, it is God’s beauty.


#38

The more you grow in your faith journey the more you see all these things, perfect justice, perfect mercy, perfect beauty, perfect love, perfect compassion, perfect peace, perfect goodness, perfect truth, etc, all work in God in a beautiful harmony we can only grasp like rays of light reflected in a mirror.

Somehow all these things are a part of God but in God’s own being they are all One and in perfect agreement, and are all somehow different ways of seeing in a glass darkly God’s beautiful though incomprehensible essence. If we concentrate too much on one attribute of God alone, we can forget the others and their importance in spiritual meditations. The believer should mediate not solely on God’s justice or compassion or mercy alone, but consider each divine attribute in terms of the other attributes, and how these work in harmony to balance each other perfectly.


#39

(New Advent/Predestination-Dogma)
“Consequently, just as no one is saved against his will (Denz., n. 1363), so the reprobate perish solely on account of their wickedness(Denz., nn. 318, 321). God foresaw the everlasting pains of the impious from all eternity, and preordained this punishment on account of their sins (Denz., n. 322), though He does not fail therefore to hold out the grace of conversion to sinners (Denz., n. 807), or pass over those who are not predestined (Denz., n. 827). As long as the reprobate live on earth, they may be accounted true Christians and members of the Church, just as on the other hand the predestined may be outside the pale of Christianity and of the Church (Denz., nn. 628, 631).”

My point is the Choice of Existance(CE) produces another element in the way of God’s foresight. “I foresaw that Claudius was destined to destruction by his choice and had a plan for him to have an opportunity to save himself, but he chose not to exist therefore nullifying my plan for him.” So we can see CE is inconvenient to God, and has nothing to do with the person at this point.

You seem to have a Jansenist fear

My concern is that we can mistakenly send the wrong message to our audience here by assigning a degree of seriousness that is overrated.

Firstly, there is a potential for false dichotomy in value discussions such as this, but I admit this is common in agendaed debates. One’s believing that existance should be optional doesn’t make him any less loyal than a citizen is a traitor for disliking paying taxes.

Secondly, in what I can glean from your explaination of Jansenism is that a group of these actually went on to formulate an entire ideology in opposition to the Church. To you my “Jansenist” (Catholics going to hell) view implicates me in their cause. I may formulate an opinion and offer some explainations for the sake of study and I do so by permission, but I think if I were seeking a platform to subvert I would choose a more effective outlet than an impersonal electronic media such as this.

Thirdly, mild subjects such as this can be categorized at most as *Sententia Probabablis, subgroup Sententia Pia. *

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My posit in anology would be someone who is kidnapped on shore and placed on a ship. He is placed in the hold and returns to consciousness. He is told on waking he must be greatful to the kidnapper of his generocity and he can show his worth to the kidnapper by his attitude and good deeds, and that a reward of luxurious cabins await him above deck and a life of joy and partying, but a furnace of hot coals in the stoker room waits him below if he doesn’t behave.

The captive is expected to react with thanks, forget he was kidnapped because of the wonderful gifts he will receive, and put aside that a moral wrong was committed. While the kidnapper is topsides he reads the kidnappers book of rules left behind that is to guide him. One rule states that if the captive commits a wrong, he will never gain recognition of any good he does until he can make amends to the kidnapper. “But this is illogical” he says to himself. “If the kidnapper can break his own rules, why should the case be different for me.” Then the rules are not pure in themselves on their own merit?

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…choice to accept his offer of love and mercy and salvation, and his salvific will is for all of mankind, not a tiny elect God has chosen from

If a being didn’t exist would love from him matter, and mercy, and predestination. Would either of us be affected? Of course not. Think of the effort saved. Best of all God is not offended.

might be blinding you to God’s love and mercy

Just as long has it is understood that I wouldn’t need to if I weren’t here, and that isn’t mine to explain. But I do as I am obliged as you do.

It is no more unreasonable to ask that hell be removed to convince me to stay than to ask a priest to remove the revolver from his belt at a wedding reception.

We human beings are finite and we can’t grasp the infinite, so often we will see God only in terms of one or two attributes;

Absolutely, “Those” who have taken it upon themselves to give life a try and the striving for heaven a good shot.

In conclusion, the main issue is the issue of existance as an option based on it’s own merit. Hell,heaven,love,hate,bad,good,suffer,charity,joy are after the fact in this ideal situation.

Allow your reasoning to act on it’s own based on data the Church gives you and what you infer by it. Free your thoughts from the censor or overseer that wishes to mold your pure thought into what it isn’t. The truth can bare scrutiny and dissection. Be as pure as an infant in your thoughts and don’t be afraid to say what is.

AndyF


#40

God is all knowing, so could we say that He would have known those who would have chosen to exist and those who would not have? Using this foreknowledge, He then created us. I don’t really know.

And even if God showed you His justice, you would not understand it, so it really is of little value to show you something that you won’t be able to completly understand. That is where faith comes in.


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