BaruchNow that is why St Augustine of Hippo said ....Mon Mar 5, 2012 20:2718.104.22.168Hell was made for people who ask questions like that! Probably because those are questions the clergy have a hard time answering. I was married to clergy, and I can tell you from first hand experience, she didn't have any answers ... she knew the rituals and dogma, act out in the appropriate way ... mostly.
One point ... predetermination is not the same as predestination. Omniscience can plausibly justify predestination ... since G-d knows past, present and future at the same time (according to theologians, but not the Bible). Predetermination basically says, the reason why G-d knows what you are going to do, is because you are a puppet, that G-d more or less controls (depending on the degree of determinism).
Really classical physics is no better, offering an impersonal version of determinism based on classical matter and motion. But fortunately chaos/turbulence and quantum limits blow that determinism completely to Hell ... and objectivity is further eroded by the relativity of space/time and mass/energy ... even causality (by Special theory) is undermined as well as conservation of mass-energy (by General theory).
It can be important, as a teaching device (oh teacher) to have the student decide for themselves. In fact the best way to learn is thru mistakes. Rote learning and fear of error destroy that in traditional educations ... hence the brilliance of Montessori.
In the Gita, basically everyone is saved (achieves moksha) eventually, thanks to reincarnation and that books teleology ... though you can be stuck successively reincarnating as a Hell being if you have pissed Krishna off! So in the eyes of eternity, it is known if you are saved or not, because everyone is. The choosing simply controls how many times you have to reincarnate, and as what. But then Buddha blew that notion up, by getting a get out of samsara card for free card ;-)
The Bible teaches that G-d is not omniscient ... right in Genesis. G-d is a rather bumbling and bad tempered deity (a cross between El and Baal, which is what He is). That seems rather more realistic, than the idealizations of the theologians. And it is quite possible that G-d is one of those Trickster gods ... like Crow or Two-Face. In a non-dualist way, perhaps the greatest integrity can be found only the the midst of the greatest corruption etc. And worse yet, the greatest truth lies hidden in the heart of the greatest lie! The Covenant .. how has that worked out for Jews so far? Humm? If G-d employs Satan as his Prime Minister ... as the Book of Job says ... profound untrustworthiness is the least of G-d's problems.
Two sided coin, all dualisms are. I hate that as much as you do, but as a realist I accept it rather than reject it like an idealist would. I have yet found a way to split a coin in two, such that each part only has one face, instead of two. Much like the inability of any force to separate a pair or triple of quarks into individual quarks, without creating more pairs/triples in the process. Job And The Art of Quantum Chromodynamics.
- Good, and a few more Frashavan, Mon Mar 5 20:09If God knows everything, then surely He already knows if I am saved or not. Why is he going through this elaborate charade of having me choose? How can I make a choice, if God already knows what my... more
- Just as contradictory as many Koranic verses! (nm) Kasey, Tue Mar 6 06:26
- Now that is why St Augustine of Hippo said .... Baruch, Mon Mar 5 20:27
- The theologians and philosophers ruin... Frashavan, Mon Mar 5 21:07...faith and religion, both. They want to be clever, and impute to god all sorts of things that are no where attested. One of the things I find most hilarious about "Bible-believing" protestantism is ... more
- Well that is the fault of the Renaissance ... Baruch, Mon Mar 5 22:03is it not. Brought all those non-Christian Greek and Roman writers back into vogue ;-) Without the Renaissance (starting with Petrarch) and printing, there would be no Reformation. And without the... more
- In part, but that would let Catholic Orthodoxy off the hook Frashavan, Tue Mar 6 08:12They, also, share the pagan/philosophical conception of YHWH... but, of course, they have lots of extraneous influences. Identifying them was the main concern of the Protestants; a case of straining... more
- The requirements of nascent nationalism .... Baruch, Tue Mar 6 13:25required some kind of repudiation of Catholic internationalism. So excuses would have been made ... even if as insubstantial as the E Orthodox crossing themselves opposite to the Catholics. Since... more
- One sees that most clearly in... Frashavan, Tue Mar 6 15:46...Lutheranism and Anglicanism, both of which managed rapprochement with Eastern Orthodoxy, by conveniently overlooking all the things that RC and Orthodoxy have in common. A case of "the enemy of my ... more
- At one time during the Christian-Muslim conflicts .... Baruch, Tue Mar 6 23:42of the 16th century, the French and Venetians were allied with the Ottomans. But the Germans caught up to that, in the 20th century. Shalom
- The French were delusional and the Venetians opportunistic Frashavan, Wed Mar 7 07:57At that point in time, allying with the Ottomans was a foolish thing to do, since Europe was in real peril. By the time the Germans did it it was foolish for a different reason, since the Ottomans... more