It's time, once again, to address Bob Hutton's internet-ravings. Reading through his latest, it quickly becomes apparent that Bob's not a student of logic. Nor is he particularly adept at making clear, concise points. The whole post is a mess of half-expressed ideas, paradoxes and misreadings or misrepresentations of his source material; the Bible. And none of it, once you pick out the various strands is new. In fact it's not even new to this blog or to my main blog, where all of the points discussed have been dissected before.
Still an' all, let's go through it and see if some rewording n my own part might finally convince Bob that there's an objection or two he needs to address with more than a hand-waving reference to a Bible-verse. (I'd say I'd like to convince the chap he's wrong about something, but let's not set our goals too high, eh?)
Basically, he's talking about God being able to preordain things and have foreknowledge of them, yet still allowing us free will. Picking a point at almost random, let's deal with this bit first:
The Bible teaches in many places that God the Father sent Jesus to die for our sins. Isaiah chapter 53 foretold this 700 years before it happened (a clear example of the Bible being true and infallible).
In fact, if you look at Isaiah 52, 53 and 54 instead of singling out 53 as if it were context-free, Isaiah 53 is quite obviously talking about the return of the exiled Jewish people (Israel; the servant) from Babylon to their homeland. But this brings up yet another subject I've already addressed at length. The incompatibility of prophecy and free will. Indeed I know for a fact that Bob's read my post on it, but ho-hum, let's try again.
Imagine someone driving along a road which has many forks. Each fork leads to more forks, which lead to more forks, which lead to yet more forks, and so on. Here's a simplified version:
If free will is possible in the universe which you, me and even God inhabits—or even if one of us is somehow looking in from outside—then starting from the bottom, our driver could choose any available series of forks, and end up at any of the end-points shown. Therefore, if free will is allowed, foreknowledge of the finishing point, and thus prophecy, would be impossible.
If, however, it is possible to know beforehand that the driver will end up at the green circle, with no shadow of a doubt, then the only route which she may take is the black one. The red roads become unavailable; to all intents and purposes non-existent, illusory. She may think she's making choices at each fork but, in order for foreknowledge to be possible, each "choice" she makes has to be merely self-delusion. She's headed along the black route come what may, and may as well be on rails. Free will is impossible if her actions are fore-ordained and/or foreknowable to anyone, even God.
None of this puts a human-made constraint on Bob's god. He couldn't create a person who is at the same time hairy and hairless, and, for the same reason, he couldn't create a universe in which free will both does and does not exist. Foreknowledge and free will are mutually incompatible because the statement "foreknowledge is possible" says that free will is impossible.
Bob then goes on to discuss the problem of God preordaining our ultimate fates, while somehow still leaving us free will with which to make choices which might change those fates. Which is, basically, the same problem as above. If it's truly preordained, foreknown, then it cannot be changed, and thus free will is illusory. If we have free will, then it is impossible to preordain our ultimate destination.
Bob, this is not a question of authority or of a lack of knowledge of God or of the universe. It is a question of pure logic. So please do not merely quote a Bible-verse and think you've "solved" the problem. If your interpretation of a Bible-verse leads you to the belief that foreknowledge, even on God's part, is possible, while your interpretation of another verse leads you to the belief that we have free will, then either one or both of those beliefs is wrong or my logic is faulty.
If you want to show that your beliefs described above can possibly both be correct, Bob, you need to address my logic and point out where and how it's faulty.
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