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      01-09-2015, 03:14 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
Essentially what you said, in bold, was that: If a person deliberately lives an evil life in order to go to hell instead of heaven, but is still sent to heaven regardless of this, he/she still has free will.

How is that free will?
Again, if you go back and read what I said, I said exactly that. They've lost their free will NOT to go to Heaven. That doesn't mean there is NO Free Will at all. They no longer have Free Will to make that single choice.


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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
Just because that person made many decisions along the way to that fate, doesn't mean he/she had free will...it was simply an illusion of free will.

No free will to determine your own fate (in the Biblical sense)= NO FREE WILL.
Then maybe we simply won't agree because you're using some definition of free will that doesn't match up with the half dozen I posted in my comment. If that's the case, then it's just an issue of us using different terms to mean different things.

Having an "illusion of Free Will" would mean you made choices which you thought had been your decision but had actually been decided by someone else. You thought you wanted to go to the bank today but it was actually predetermined by God when he created the universe. He decided that on "this day" you would go to the Bank. Now it just FEELS like you made the choice and could have even decided not to, but no matter what, you were going to end up at the bank today. THAT IS THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL.

That is why I said Free Will has nothing to do with the point you're trying to make. You're making a point whether we have control of our destiny or afterlife. As in, we no longer have Free Will to make the choice not to go to Heaven (because we will be forced to), but you're painting it as in we have no Free Will at all, which simply is not true.

Not having the power to determine if we go to Heaven, isn't the same as having No Free Will at all. Not being able to make choices vs being able to make choices but not having control of their outcomes, are two different things.


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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
If a Satanist (not picking on different religions here, just an example) deliberately kills a whole bunch of innocent people so that he might be judged and damned to Hell by God, but is instead sent to heaven in the afterlife, where was the free will? That person made the choice to go to Hell, but ultimately wasn't allowed to.
If he chose to have scrambled eggs that morning was that God's doing too? Again, Satan would not have free will over that Single Choice. That doesn't mean he's lost all Free Will. He still made his own choices but did not have power over the outcome.

When we talk about Free Will, it doesn't mean you have total control over your destiny. It simply means that you are in control of making your own decisions, NOT OF THEIR OUTCOME.

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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
It makes no sense, but I really don't feel like wasting any more time discussing it, because you obviously can't be convinced otherwise on this issue.
I don't see why not. I can always be convinced by reason and argument. I'm not sure what your argument is though. I thought I clearly stated that Free Will is the ability to make your own choices. Your position is that if those choices don't have the outcome that you like, suddenly it's not Free Will. I'm not sure what your justification for that is.

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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
Edit: And please don't say something like 'a person can lack free will while in enslavement but can have free will after being freed.' Even in chains, a person still has the ability to make decisions...those decisions may have very little impact on his/her fate, but decisions were still made, and consequences (however minimal) followed.
You seem to be making my point here. If I'm enslaved, I have certain choices I can make that may not have any effect on my ultimate fate or the outcome I desire. That doesn't mean I don't have free will. I can choose to do my work poorly or do a fantastic job but neither will get me my freedom. That doesn't mean I've lost all Free Will. It simply means I've lost free will to choose whether or not to be free (which is correct).

This is exactly analogous to your heaven example. You have Free Will to make your own choices but do not have the power to control the outcome of those choices. It doesn't mean you have NO FREE WILL. It simply means you lose free will over that single decision.

You seem to have just conceded and agreed with my point...?
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      01-09-2015, 03:25 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
Sorry, I couldn't help myself. This example doesn't hold up at all.

1) You still have free will in that situation. You can decide to: commit suicide, leave the country, start a rebellion, ect.
But you can't decide what profession you want (which was analogous to heaven in my example).

In your example, you can still eat what you want, marry who you want, etc. You just can't decide to go to Heaven (just like you can't decide your profession in my example).



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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
1) You still have free will in that situation. You can decide to: commit suicide, leave the country, start a rebellion, ect.

2) Simply not being able to get what you want is not an absence of free will. If I want to pick a winning lottery ticket, but instead pick a loser, that doesn't mean that I lack free will.

3) I never implied or explicitly stated that free will translates into your actions always leading to a desired outcome. I said that your choices do have an impact, however big or small. If you believe in the Biblical teachings of heaven and hell, you know that there are two possible outcomes for the way you live your life on earth.

However if all people, including those who sin and remain unrepentant, get sent to heaven, then their choices had no impact at all on their fates...they had no free will.

Re-read the bolded parts on 1, 2 and 3. Then read the last statement you made. They are in direct conflict. It sounds like Special Pleading when it comes to an Afterlife. You seem to agree with me otherwise but when it comes to the decision of Heaven, suddenly your reasoning follows different logic than what you demonstrated right there in 1, 2 and 3. Your slavery example also demonstrates you agree with me where Freedom represents Heaven. In each case, my position is consistent and yours differs only when discussing Heaven.

You agree with me if we aren't talking about an afterlife. You disagree with me if we are talking about an afterlife.
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      01-09-2015, 09:18 AM   #91
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Boys!!
This debate has been going on for decades and decades. What you seem to be rambling about, correct me if I'm wrong is essentially the sovereignty of God vs. the free will of man. Predestined but able to make choices. Again there is a point where we need to let God do His thing and for us to trust. You'll never know it all, so this is where we need to trust. Not a blind trust...he's given us enough to go on yeah? Look at poor Job, when He asked why, look at Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived (read Ecclesiastes), Paul, Jesus Himself put His total faith in His Father whilst on Earth.
How do we explain the trinity? It's impossible for our earthly minds? Gods ways are WAY bigger than ours. I just try to trust Him more and more each day, constantly stuff up, but know His love stands true. I would go crazy thinking "what if my non believing mates going to hell!", after all he's a good guy and loves classical music, gives money to charity etc...my mind says he should go to heaven, but the bible says all that aren't in Christ will perish.
Ah, but God thought my non believing friend was worth dying for!!! So how do I know what's in his heart, or for any atheists heart for that matter. God loves Richard Dawkins just as much as me. As CS Lewis said, even atheists have their moments of doubt!!!
Tell me what other God allows for this level of patience, love, forgiveness, free will! No other my friends. If you don't know Him , why don't you at least entertain the idea of inviting him in? Nothing in it for me, I don't get 10000 virgins in heaven if you become Christian (unfortunately).
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      01-09-2015, 09:51 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
Re-read the bolded parts on 1, 2 and 3. Then read the last statement you made. They are in direct conflict. It sounds like Special Pleading when it comes to an Afterlife. You seem to agree with me otherwise but when it comes to the decision of Heaven, suddenly your reasoning follows different logic than what you demonstrated right there in 1, 2 and 3. Your slavery example also demonstrates you agree with me where Freedom represents Heaven. In each case, my position is consistent and yours differs only when discussing Heaven.
According to the Bible, there are only two options for people's souls after they die: Heaven or Hell.

If however all people are sent to heaven, regardless of the lives they lived, they have no choice in the matter; their fates have been determined for them. The lack of free will in this case is not defined by the fact that a sinner lost the option to go to Hell; it's that he only had one possible outcome/fate/option period.
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      01-09-2015, 09:54 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
But you can't decide what profession you want (which was analogous to heaven in my example).
NOT BEING ABLE TO PICK YOUR PROFESSION OF CHOICE IS NOT THE SAME THING AS A LACK OF FREE WILL!!!!!!

You are seriously getting confused on this issue.

Again, I bring up the example of trying to pick a winning lottery ticket. Just because I want a winning ticket, but end up picking a loser, doesn't mean I lack free will.
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      01-09-2015, 09:57 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
Again, if you go back and read what I said, I said exactly that. They've lost their free will NOT to go to Heaven. That doesn't mean there is NO Free Will at all. They no longer have Free Will to make that single choice.
Again, dude. I don't understand how you can rationalize that...how someone can have free will during some parts of their life, but not at other parts...you either believe that we have free will all the time, or you believe that we don't.

If we use your explanation of the lack of free will = God, or someone/something predetermining your choices for you.

How then, using your own logic, does that force of predetermination turn off for certain choices in your life but then is magically turned on for other choices of your life?

Free will either exists in the entirety of your existence or not at all.
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      01-09-2015, 02:27 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by pfitz911 View Post
Boys!!
This debate has been going on for decades and decades. What you seem to be rambling about, correct me if I'm wrong is essentially the sovereignty of God vs. the free will of man.
We are really just arguing on the definition of Free Will. I believe it means the control over your own choices and he's saying it's ultimate control over your destiny.

There are philosophical problems with Free Will when it comes to a deity with both omniscience and omnipotence. But this conversation isn't that interesting and that's not what we are talking about here. We're simply disagreeing over what Free Will means.

I agree with all the definitions I posted, having the ability to make your own choices. He is using it to mean control over his destiny.
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      01-09-2015, 02:37 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
Again, dude. I don't understand how you can rationalize that...how someone can have free will during some parts of their life, but not at other parts...you either believe that we have free will all the time, or you believe that we don't.
In order to reach a middle ground, I'd been trying to say you're losing Free Will over a single choice, in order to contrast it with having no Free Will at all, which you were implying. Maybe that is hurting more than it is helping and just making this more complicated. In reality, you never had will over that choice. It's a choice being made by someone else. There's two components to this:
  • Choices you can make
  • Choices someone else can make that have an effect on you.

I'll show you three analogous (and hypothetical) examples of this:
  • God tells you to do the things he wants: have faith in Jesus, follow the teachings of the bible, and so on (Your Choices). If you do these things, he'll send you to Heaven (His Choice). In the end, this isn't true and he ends up sending everyone to Heaven, regardless of their behavior.
  • Your slave master tells you (as a slave) to do the things he wants: work hard in the field, never misbehave, and so on (Your Choices). If you do these things, he'll set you free (His Choice). In the end, this isn't true and he ends up setting all the slaves free, regardless of their behavior.
  • Your father tells you (as his kid) to do the things he wants: do good in school, finish your chores and so on (Your Choices). If you do these things, he'll take you to Disneyland at the end of the month (His Choice). In the end, this isn't true and he ends up taking all his kids to Disneyland, regardless of their behavior.

In each example, you never lost the Free Will to make your choices. You simply believed that your choices would lead to an outcome and that wasn't necessarily true and that was ultimately controlled by someone else. Again, this speaks to how much control you have over your ultimate destiny. It doesn't speak to how much control you have over your own choices (Free Will).

This is why I raised an objection with you saying that "everyone goes to Heaven" someone how eliminates Free Will. It doesn't. It simply goes against your expectations of what effect your choices will have on God's decision.
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      01-10-2015, 12:48 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
To suggest that all people will go to heaven, regardless of what decisions they make in their life, would indicate that there really is no freewill inherent to humanity.
No, it doesn't. Universalism simply means that punishments for transgressions in this life occur in this life. In death, a great, loving, and benevolent God wipes the slate clean, and gives everyone a second chance. No exceptions.

And a number of people find that God more awesome and believable than the one I'll mention below. And many read the Bible in support of their position, exactly as you read it in support of yours. Your rhetoric repeatedly assumes your citations and interpretations of the Bible (and history) are the only possible ones, impossible to question. They aren't, a simple fact.

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      01-10-2015, 12:52 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by pfitz911 View Post
I would go crazy thinking "what if my non believing mates going to hell!", after all he's a good guy and loves classical music, gives money to charity etc...my mind says he should go to heaven, but the bible says all that aren't in Christ will perish.
Here's the problem some people have with that particular Christian interpretation. They truly can't make it make sense in their head, because...

That would mean that God has condemned and is condemning most of his creations on Earth (aka people). Simply because they don't have the "right" religious beliefs. For a large number of people (including universalists, small u), that simply is not an act worthy of a great and loving God. They believe that God would not condemn even those who don't believe. Much less those who believe, but as part of a non-Christian religion.

You understate the magnitude of that problem. It's not just a few of your friends being condemned. It's a reasonably large majority (3/4?) of all the people who ever lived on Earth who have been condemned. That's just too big a horror for many people to accept as the will of God. It makes the evil in our lives look like an insignificant issue for believers. The question becomes not why would God allow this evil or that one to happen in our lives? But rather why would he would perpetrate this large nightmare, forever?

For a number of people universal salvation makes more sense than that.

Christian universalists sincerely believe that the best way to promote Christianity is for it to, once again, become universalist. That would draw in many people who just can't go there now. And it truly seems to them more Christian. As in the proverbial question, what would Christ do? He dined with and healed sinners and saints alike.

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      01-10-2015, 03:14 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
  • Choices you can make
  • Choices someone else can make that have an effect on you.

I'll show you three analogous (and hypothetical) examples of this:
  • God tells you to do the things he wants: have faith in Jesus, follow the teachings of the bible, and so on (Your Choices). If you do these things, he'll send you to Heaven (His Choice). In the end, this isn't true and he ends up sending everyone to Heaven, regardless of their behavior.
  • As I have said numerous times now, the lack of free will in this model of "everyone going to heaven" is not defined by the fact that you didn't get your desired outcome (if you sought to go to hell), or that someone else (God) made a choice that superseded your own. It's that there is only one outcome/fate that is allowed period....the choice or decision-making, on your part, has been eliminated all together.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
  • Your slave master tells you (as a slave) to do the things he wants: work hard in the field, never misbehave, and so on (Your Choices). If you do these things, he'll set you free (His Choice). In the end, this isn't true and he ends up setting all the slaves free, regardless of their behavior.
  • Simply being in servitude to some one else does not remove your free will. As a slave you still have the choice to: run away, disobey your master, follow his commands, do nothing, ect. Now many of your choices may lead to undesirable outcomes or may have very little impact on your overall fate, but you still made choices and they had effects on your fate, however marginal or undesirable they were.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
  • Your father tells you (as his kid) to do the things he wants: do good in school, finish your chores and so on (Your Choices). If you do these things, he'll take you to Disneyland at the end of the month (His Choice). In the end, this isn't true and he ends up taking all his kids to Disneyland, regardless of their behavior.
See my response to your slavery example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
In each example, you never lost the Free Will to make your choices.
Free will was lost in the first example, you even acknowledged this in previous posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
They've lost their free will NOT to go to Heaven. That doesn't mean there is NO Free Will at all. They no longer have Free Will to make that single choice.
So now you are changing your stance on that? Again I ask you, how is it possible to have free will in some situations but not in other situations? We as humans either have free will in every aspect of our existence or not at all.

And I agree that you never lost free will in the other two examples. You simply lost the ability to attain your desired outcome with those decisions that you did freely make...they are not same thing. Not being able to get what you want is not the same thing as lacking free will...again refer back to my lottery ticket example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
You simply believed that your choices would lead to an outcome and that wasn't necessarily true and that was ultimately controlled by someone else. Again, this speaks to how much control you have over your ultimate destiny.
I will reiterate: I never said that free will means that you have total control your destiny. I said that free will is having the ability to make decisions that have effects on your destiny, whether they are big or small effects, desirable or undesirable, ect.

I think you and I have made our stand on this issue and there really isn't any point in trying to persuade each other.
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      01-10-2015, 04:47 PM   #100
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"He dined with and healed sinners and saints alike"

All of them demonstrated a single similar trait: they all believe in the divinity of Jesus and probably all are now in heaven because of that belief
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      01-10-2015, 05:05 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
"He dined with and healed sinners and saints alike"

All of them demonstrated a single similar trait: they all believe in the divinity of Jesus and probably all are now in heaven because of that belief
It's extraordinarily unlikely that "all (or even most) of them believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ". We're talking about Jesus before crucifixion. When he was almost certainly viewed as Jewish by those he interacted with. No Christian churches/ministers. Illiterate people who had little access to anything like communication with others not within a few miles.

One thing both historians and the Bible agree on was that Jesus was a person who was extraordinarily inclusive, that he associated freely with many people considered to be at the lowest level in the society of the time.

Here's a good and unbiased summary of the relevant history.

http://www.ushistory.org/civ/4h.asp

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      01-10-2015, 10:38 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
Free will was lost in the first example
All three examples were completely analogous. That point seems to have gone over your head, since you addressed them individually. They are all the same example with different subjects. If you're treating the first example differently for some reason, it's simply special pleading and a logical fallacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
you even acknowledged this in previous posts:
So now you are changing your stance on that?
I addressed this in the very first sentence of my last post. I was initially trying to point out that not having power over every or all choices is not the same as having power of no choices. You keep implying Free Will is all or nothing. I could easily construct an example where that's not the case.

But I realized that point disagreement takes a back seat to the main issue which is that we don't agree that Free Will means to have control of our own choices. You think it means control over your destiny, which I think you've gotten from misinterpreting two separate ideas in the bible (God has given us free will and God says if we behave a certain way, we get into heaven).
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      01-10-2015, 10:49 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
As I have said numerous times now, the lack of free will in this model of "everyone going to heaven" is not defined by the fact that you didn't get your desired outcome (if you sought to go to hell), or that someone else (God) made a choice that superseded your own. It's that there is only one outcome/fate that is allowed period....the choice or decision-making, on your part, has been eliminated all together.
Okay, it seems a big part of this misunderstanding is that if you lose Free Will anywhere you have no Free Will at all.

Read your part in bold again. How is that different from the Slave getting his freedom outside of his control? The decision-making on his part has been eliminated all together. The master will set him free. He can kill himself but he will do it as a free man. He does not have the power to force the slave master to keep him a slave.

Likewise, if God is omnipotent and has power to bend you to his will, you don't not have control over certain decisions or possibly even your fate. Free Will is not control over your fate. It's control over your own decisions.

Just as the Slave will be forced to be freed but he can choose to kill himself, you may be forced into heaven but you can choose to give God the finger. You still have control over which choices you make, WHICH IS WHAT HAVING FREE WILL MEANS.

If we can't agree on that, then we will simply have to disagree as we are using our own definitions for the same term. I provided justification for the way I'm using "Free Will" and I expect it's pretty universally accepted. You are using it in a manner that doesn't make sense if we are using the standard definition. So it must make sense to you because you're using a different definition of the term.
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      01-10-2015, 11:12 PM   #104
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Finally, this is what not having Free Will looks like.
  • Let's imagine a scientist conducting an experiment. He puts an implant in a person's brain. Everytime they order lunch, they will choose salad instead of pizza. The person maybe doesn't realize what's going on and will try to justify why keep choosing salad instead of pizza. "I'm really disciplined this year, I'm taking my diet seriously, etc".
  • In reality, an agent besides themselves is responsible for the decisions they're making. They have an illusion of Free Will. They think they are making the choice to eat Salad but it has been pre-determined that they will get salad.
  • Now let's say for Dinner, the implant is turned off. That person can order whatever they want and is actually making those choices themselves. The implant has no effect and their decisions are being made by them. There is no pre-determined outcome.
  • They have Free Will over their dinner choices. They do not have Free Will over their lunch choices. This person hasn't lost all Free Will. They've lost Free Will over what they will have for lunch.


  1. Now imagine they are in prison. The prison DECIDES what they will have for lunch. They might tell them "If you behave, you'll get steak. If you guys fight or act out, you'll get beans".
  2. There's no illusion that the choice of what they will eat is being made by someone else. The choice of what they will eat is no longer in their power. They still have free will over how they will behave and if the guards keep their word, they may have some control of what they eat. But it's the Guard's choice and not theirs.



Free Will means you are the agent making a choice. There are some arguments for no free will:

If God is omnipotent and omniscient, he know everything that will happen in the universe he created AND has the power to create any other universe. That means that either "your actions are known before you make them (no free will)" or "God isn't all knowing or all powerful".

There's also the scientific argument (which I will butcher for the sake of time). If every action has an equal and opposite reaction, we are all just products of our brains and our brains are not exempt from this, everything we do is just a predetermined and measurable reaction from something else. If we had perfect knowledge we could calculate the future outcomes, etc.

Things like this imply that we are not the ones making the decisions we think we are and infact have no Free Will. With that in mind, I hear you say something like "I don't have any choices in scenario x, therefore Free Will can't exist...". This is not an accurate statement. You are simply like the prisoner. Someone else has the power over that decision. A decision you feel is very, very important. They don't have power over all your choices.
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      01-11-2015, 11:03 AM   #105
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With that in mind, I hear you say something like "I don't have any choices in scenario x, therefore Free Will can't exist...". This is not an accurate statement. You are simply like the prisoner. Someone else has the power over that decision. A decision you feel is very, very important. They don't have power over all your choices.
By the way, Devious21 and I basically agree about this.

Let's assume you have free will.

You can apply it throughout your life. You can make decisions, and there are consequences for those decisions, good and bad. What religion to practice is one of those decisions.

You believe you are right about your religion. So, you practice your form of Christianity (whatever that may be), and, if you are right, the bad consequences of your bad decisions are negated by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, when you leave this life.

If, on the other hand, the universalist is right, the bad consequences of your bad decisions also stop when you leave this life.

Nothing changes for you. You get forgiveness from God, either way.

You really shouldn't care if someone else is universalist, or even if it turns out they're right. It has no impact on you, and none on your free will. It's pretty much the ultimate win-win.

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      01-12-2015, 12:14 PM   #106
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It's extraordinarily unlikely that "all (or even most) of them believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ". We're talking about Jesus before crucifixion. When he was almost certainly viewed as Jewish by those he interacted with. No Christian churches/ministers. Illiterate people who had little access to anything like communication with others not within a few miles.
But that was just it, they believed in the DIVINITY (not the Christianity nor universalist, but) that he was the son of God. Even today, Jews are awaiting the son of God, and that is one of the big differences between Judaism and Christianity. Both worship the same God, it's just whether one believes Jesus was the messiah.
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      01-12-2015, 12:45 PM   #107
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But that was just it, they believed in the DIVINITY (not the Christianity nor universalist, but) that he was the son of God. Even today, Jews are awaiting the son of God, and that is one of the big differences between Judaism and Christianity. Both worship the same God, it's just whether one believes Jesus was the messiah.
Our discussion was about whether all who encountered Jesus instantly accepted him as divine, and that is why they received his grace. I maintained he offered his gifts to all freely. Universally, if you will. <grin> There is significant support for that position in the Bible, and the traditions around Christ as a healer.

As you point out most Jews still await the Messiah. Which means they don't accept the divinity of Christ. There is a relatively small group of "messianic Jews" who do.

Those early Jews that did accept the divinity of Christ became (almost by definition) Christians. There's no record of that as a mass phenomena. The idea that either this represents the majority of the downtrodden Jews he dealt with, or that any large number of people at all either claimed his divinity or accepted it before the crucifixion seems dubious to me. It isn't prominent in the Bible, much less historical records of the time.

I suppose one could claim all he came into contact with were so affected they instantly accepted him as divine because of that encounter, before he bestowed his grace upon them. I don't buy it, but, of course, you can.

This looks like an interesting book which might have something to say on the subject, but my reading list is already too long.

http://yalepress.yale.edu/reviews.as...=9780300125818

Note to Dalko43. It probably also has something to say about the degree of which the early, and very diverse, Christianity was universalist. It would be illuminative about how various early Christian dogmas either lived or died, as the religion became institutionalized through such things as the Council of Nicea, and would surely further inform anyone about the origins of Christianity. I would think you'd be interested in that.

Edit: Actually it appears that a significant number of early Christians questioned the divinity of Christ, to one degree or another. This book also looks interesting.

"When Jesus Became God"

http://www.amazon.com/When-Jesus-Bec.../dp/0156013150

One message here is that early Christianity consisted of many sects, with many views. Some of those views have survived, some not. It's certain that their adherents believed in them strongly.

"According to some accounts in the hagiography of Nicholas of Myra, debate at the council (of Nicea) became so heated that at one point, he slapped Arius in the face."

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      01-12-2015, 01:26 PM   #108
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I didn't say instantly. I am recalling some of the teachings I have had over the years, about characters (used I think as a parable) who demonstrated faith in Jesus' divinity despite their lot in life. Even Pontius and his wife knew there was something about Jesus. The sinner on the cross who accepted him was in Heaven that afternoon.
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      01-12-2015, 01:28 PM   #109
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I didn't say instantly. I am recalling some of the teachings I have had over the years, about characters (used I think as a parable) who demonstrated faith in Jesus' divinity despite their lot in life.
I certainly can accept that. But not that that faith was a necessary condition for Jesus to bestow his grace. It relates to my similar refusal to accept that a loving and benevolent God would require a specific form of religious belief as a condition to bestow salvation on his creations. And that he would turn his back on the majority of people, for that one reason.

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      01-12-2015, 09:18 PM   #110
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Show me any support for universalism in the bible...none.
Why would Jesus give several examples of hell, Lazarus and the rich man. Have you actually read it, or are you making some bold assumptions on how you think the bible should read?
Please don't say the bible supports this when it clearly doesn't!!
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