A.Suarez's Treatment on a Pope's Formulation for Original Sin's Transmission!


(Antoine Suarez) #141

Indeed. The message I try to convey is that scientific laboratories and the scientists therein dwell in God. In His mind are contained all possible experiments scientists can perform, to which He assigns convenient outcomes.

Paraphrasing this quotation I dare to claim:
God knew that humans could decide to sin, and in His mercy created an evolutionary world to facilitate humans to atone.


#142

Actually God knew which humans would sin (that being all of us) and in His love prepared our redemption before the universe was even created.

Applying verb tenses to God really doesn’t make sense but it is all our time arrow bound mind can do.


(GJDS) #143

I think we agree on important theological teachings of the Christian faith, but we may differ on the emphasis we place on scientific knowledge within a theological context, be it QM or ToE. Salvation in Christ was predestined before time began and is after time ceases. As I have mentioned previously, no-one knows the mind of God, so discussing omniscience as some type of ideas in God’s mind, or knowledge on what may be possible as existing in God’s mind, are erroneous ways to discuss attributes of God.

I think I understand why you make the claim, but I must confess that I would not word it the way you have.


(Antoine Suarez) #144

Agreed

I would like to add:

Since God created us really free, it was in principle possible that humans didn’t sin. Hence this scenario was also contained in God’s mind before the universe was even created.

Accordingly one could say that all possible histories are contained in God’s mind, but we freely select which history we want for us. Whichever choice we make, the creation will achieve the aim God’s wanted for it. We can only influence the path by which this aim is reached. But from God’s perspective all paths are equivalent in the end.


#145

I am not a big fan of the concept of original sin. What happens is each of us are born in the state of original sinlessness. Our free choice to sin leads to our separation from God. While that is a free choice I believe it is one that everyone makes, with one exception of course. This makes Genesis not a story of a fall but a story of making the wrong choice and living with the consequences.


(George Brooks) #146

The perfect description!


(Antoine Suarez) #147

Nonetheless it is important to assert that God’s omniscience is NOT in contradiction with human free will. Hence we have to accept the two following declarations:

  • A:
    God knows certainly which humans will accept Redemption and become saved.

  • B:
    Nobody is predestined to be condemned.

Consider now the following claim:

  • C:
    God knows those who will be condemned.

If we maintain that C follows from A, then we fall into contradiction with B.
Consequently we have to accept that C does not follow from A, and maintain the following statement:

  • D:
    God does NOT know those who will be condemned.

In my view we can maintain D without denying God’s omniscience.


(GJDS) #148

We need to agree that God predestined salvation through His Son before the creation.

With this, salvation is both foretold, and is also told every time we as human beings hear and understand the Gospel.

God also can see what is hidden within a man’s heart, The Gospel shows us Christ died to redeem all humanity. acceptance of this unconditional aspect of the Gospel is a choice we must make.

I am tempted to post a lengthy discussion on human freedom, and limitations of human understanding, but I will simply state that human freedom amounts to a person being totally him/her self, and without restraints from choosing good - the good from God, once chosen, amounts to a human being freely living according to the teachings of Christ.

Now, on what we in our ignorance think God knows - I am of the view that we cannot speak in any manner on knowledge of God - the essence of God, the trinity, and what is, are indistinguishable - this is another reason why Orthodoxy speaks of the essence of God as simple, total, and not compounded, and the energies of God as a separate way that creation came into being and is sustained by the Word of God. We are faced with an inexhaustible range of possibilities, but this is because we are part of the creation. This limits our insights.

To answer your step wise statements - if God wills that all who repent are saved, then there is nothing that we can add.


(Antoine Suarez) #149

If the choice is FREE, then humans could really have chosen NOT to sin. Consequently God had certainly contemplated this possibility in His mind and had a plan for it.

Discussing this possibility more in detail may help us to develop a coherent view about the “original wrong choice and its consequences”.


(GJDS) #150

We need to remember that Eve was tempted (and deceived) - this makes the choice different from the way we normally consider choice (by weighing the consequences and choosing freely). Thus Adam and Eve did not make an unrestricted free choice. i.e. [quote=“AntoineSuarez, post:149, topic:35442”]
If the choice is FREE, then humans
[/quote]


(Antoine Suarez) #151

Bill_II, the following answer was intended for your quotation above. Apologies.

If the choice is FREE, then humans could really have chosen NOT to sin. Consequently God had certainly contemplated this possibility in His mind and had a plan for it.

Discussing this possibility more in detail may help us to develop a coherent view about the “original wrong choice and its consequences”.


(George Brooks) #152

@AntoineSuarez,

Not if a slightly different premise is used: that sin comes with a lack of perfection.

Even WITH Free Will… can anyone really expect a person to always make the sinless choice? I hardly think so.

Conversely, I would be quick to assert that in the course of human history millions of human infants have died sinlessly.


#153

We only have one example of a human that chose NOT to sin. All the rest of us did, have, and will chose to sin. The decision not to is in theory available, but just because it is available doesn’t mean anyone will actually make it.


(George Brooks) #154

Or not make it…

Depending on whether we mean make the decision not to sin… or , in reverse, make a sinful decision.

There are even those times when we think we have chosen the sin-free option… and because of an imperfect mind, we have not correctly identified the son free choice.


(Antoine Suarez) #155

If while God created us, He discarded the possibility that we do not sin, then we were created without freedom and predetermined to make the choice of sin.

In my view the only way to save human free will is to assert that in God’s mind there are two possible histories of humanity: one with choice of sin, and another with sinless choice of love. For the first history (with sin) God “in His love prepared our redemption before the universe was even created”. For the second history (without sin) Redemption would not have been necessary, however God in His love could very well have decided to incarnate.

We have freely chosen to sin. Nonetheless from God’s perspective the two histories are equivalent since His aim for the Creation will be reached anyway.

In both histories Incarnation seems to be the completion of Creation, and becomes also way for Redemption in the history with sin.


(George Brooks) #156

@AntoineSuarez,

Didn’t we already discuss the Chess Master scenario?

1 Chess Master.
100 eager Chess enthusiasts, 50 boards in 2 lines.
The Chess Master goes tot he first board, makes his move, and proceeds to the next board. Then the next. And so on.

The first board needs to have made his or her move by the time the Chess Master has returned to the first board. And the process is repeated over and over until he has defeated all 100 players.

Has the Free Will of any of the 100 losers been violated by the Chess Master? No.

But the Chess Master has inevitably (or virtually so) conquered each and every opponent who thought to defy his will .

And that’s how human freedom works with God the Father.


(Antoine Suarez) #157

Undoubtedly, Adam and Eve were tempted but this does not mean that God created them predestined to fall into temptation and sin.

Consequently, God (in His omniscience) contemplated also the possibility that Adam and Eve did not sin, and had a plan fitting this situation.

As said, in any case, history will achieve God’s aim in the end.


(GJDS) #158

I tried to make short posts, but I guess I was unsuccessful, so here goes;

The importance of Adam and Eve may be better understood if we consider human beings created with the capabilities to grow in Godly attributes by obeying God’s commandments as exemplified by the Law.

The Gospel teaches us that all have sinned and have come short of the Glory of God. Sin is the transgression of the Law. This shows that even if we view the Law of God as intrinsic via a human attribute, in practice, human beings would comprehend the negation of an attribute (e.g. if a person committed murder, he would be understood as “without a lawful attribute”, i.e. a criminal). Such a negation may also be understood within a judgement of intent, and act, and the result is comprehension of error (e.g. a person unintentionally kills another human being). A judgement would also be required on a falsehood of a stated intent; for example, if the intent of such a person was to harmed another person, and then denies that intent, such a human would be “without a lawful attribute regarding deceit” by uttering a falsehood, and so on. So now we can discuss: (a) the attribute of a person who intended and acted correctly, as a “lawful attribute”; (b) a person did not intent, nor act, to harm another person, but if he did, an examination for other causes would be warranted, causing the growth of an unlawful attribute.

This would require a judgement, and consequently, keeping the Law is not an intrinsic aspect to a human. Although this argument appears negative, it nonetheless enables us to recognise the capacity for human beings to display an attribute of lawfulness and also of “without-lawfulness”. This attribute is based on the human characteristics of choice, intent, act, and judgment. These comments show that human beings are characterised, or comprehended, through acts, and these may be judged within intent, actualisation of that intent, and the nature of the act.

If we now appeal to the revealed will of God as Law, then our argument would imply that the law of God requires the growth of the attribute of lawfulness, but conversely as a result of the Law, the attribute of unlawfulness may also occur. This attribute is also a ‘communal attribute’ since it includes activity that impacts on other people. The command to ‘love God’, is the gift from God, stated as the gift from God’s Holy Spirit.

The fact that unhappiness, suffering, and death are found in the world makes it necessary to remove the cause of these things, which is sin, brought by the author of sin, the Devil, and removed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The law of God is so sacred, inviolate, and necessary for the salvation of humanity from sin, that the Son of God sacrificed his life to provide the forgiveness of sins.

Even though sin is attributed to Satan as the author of sin, it is nonetheless sin committed by mankind. In a poetic setting, the fall of Satan is described as a transformation of a being through his own will, and this transformation is initially passive, commencing with pride and vanity, (Lucifer conceives himself as being greater, or other than what he is). The transformation is completed through an act, or force of will, in activity towards his kind (war with other angels) and involves the community of angels. This analogy is intended to show that will, freedom, and choice, cannot affect God, but have an effect on the community. The destructive aspects of reason is considered to arise from a passive state, in that a human being is capable of reasoning contrary to God’s will, and also from an active state, in that a human being would use his reason, and life, to plan and execute actions that he knows will bring harm to others.

We cannot discuss freedom when dealing with salvation, without asking the question, “What is freedom?” It may be inferred that freedom within a completely determined world be considered an act of will, so that a passive person is transformed into an active one through reason, and in this way attain to freedom by becoming part of the pre-determined world. Although an act of will may be consistent with choice, the inference in this view is that freedom can be considered within a completely determined world. Such a view is difficult to reconcile with choice in the world, change, chance, and uncertainty found in the world (particularly that of human choice and the ability to interfere with other people’s activity, and also interfere with natural activity). Does this mean that freedom cannot be equated with choice? I have stated elsewhere that reflecting on the elements of faith is an act of freedom; thus I have inferred that freedom is all pervasive when discussing salvation. The plurality of human attributes provides a range of possibilities, and with that a human introduces uncertainty; this denies a pre-determined world to human reality (but NOT to God). It also recognises the capacity to err, which is identical in religious terminology with sin; this is consistent with separation of human beings by sin from the one-ness of Godly attributes. Other theories may argue that freedom is choice of self, or the inevitability to choose one-self as a facticity of freedom in the being of the world. However, this discussion differs radically from such theories in that a human created in the image of God is in the world (not of the world); nor do we accept that consciousness or the being of consciousness emerges (or arises) in the world through a type of nihilism of in-itself. Human reality, in that it cannot be considered within a pre-determined world, is faced with chance, possibilities, and outcomes that are often such that a human being would wish to choose otherwise, after a conscious choice had been made. This is another way of stating that a human being is in the world and that he considers the external world of sense as being reasonable. Additionally, even though a human being were to believe he had made a particular choice, the specific outcome may be contrary to what that person initially understood should have been an outcome of such a choice. The causality that a human being believed was correct, may in fact prove otherwise for a particular choice and act, resulting in an illusion of choosing correctly, but actualising as other-than the intended choice.

When comprehending error, a human being may confer ‘regret’ or ‘judgement of self’ after such an experience – this judgement of self may be self-reflective, and grounded on freedom; the person knows and believes that he is able, or is enabled as a result of freedom, to reflect on the intent and act even after a choice and act have actualised in the world. This freedom and reflectance has brought an acceptance (or responsibility) of the result, even though the person in question may have concluded he had not ‘intended’ what has actualised, i.e. he may regret the deed, may question the intent, reflect on the nature of his intent, or conclude that he is ignorant of the act even if he understood his intent (e.g. it may have occurred accidentally). Conversely, when intent, choice, and act are correct, and error is not observed, an ‘equal judgement of self’ occurs and this judgement within freedom is both to reflect on a one-ness of intent and act (goodness is understood within freedom), and also ‘know’ that it may have been otherwise. In this way, a human through an active ‘experiences’ its freedom within goodness, and also within repentance. Finally, a person who intentionally acted with evil intent also may conclude that the intent actualised in the act, and judges his act as evil. This further emphasises that freedom is the ground of a human being.

These are the attributes, and acts, that form the multiple possibilities of humanity. God created the universe and humanity, so as human beings, we can only believe that it is all according to God’s will, as the Creator. We otoh are limited in our understanding and need to be taught, and as result grow in Godly attributes – that is our predetermined freedom.


(Antoine Suarez) #159

This amounts to say that our will is predetermined to sin, and consequently we are not responsible for our disobedience toward God’s commandments. In this context Redemption too seems to become senseless.

My thesis is that the omniscience of God also extends to future contingencies, that is, to events that would have occurred in case something would have happened that did not happen.

Accordingly I endorse the view that God set before humans two possible histories: one with sin, Incarnation, and Redemption; and another without sin and Redemption, but with Incarnation as completion of Creation.

Humans FREELY chose the history with sin, for which God in His love and mercy prepared Redemption before the universe was even created.


(George Brooks) #160

If humanity was created mortal, you cannot use the fact of our mortality to conclude that obtaining immortality is senseless.

No less can be said about Humanity’s imperfection. You insist that our imperfection dooms us … and so our redemption is senseless.

This progression, per your so-called logic, is what seems senseless. It implies that God would not… even must not… make Imperfect beings. Yet even angels are imperfect, yes?